Morning titles for Slovenia: Thursday October 7, 2021
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This summary is provided by the STA:
EU-Western Balkans summit confirms commitment to enlargement, brings no progress
BRDO PRI KRANJU – EU and Western Balkan leaders confirmed the Western Balkans European perspective and commitment to enlargement as they gathered for a summit in Brdo pri Kranju. However, the summit did not bring any major progress for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the EU’s failure to launch talks is undermining its role and reputation in the region. Western Balkan leaders left the summit with mixed impressions. Serbian President Aleksandar VuÄiÄ identified minor progress, while North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev urged the EU to act.
EU leaders want more autonomy for the bloc
BRDO PRI KRANJU – The EU must strengthen its capacity to act autonomously in order to become more effective and assertive on the international stage, EU leaders agreed at the informal dinner on Tuesday, according to a statement by the President of the Charles Michel Council. âOur unity is our main asset. Acting together we will build on our strengths,â said Michel was one of the main messages of the debate. The Slovenian prime minister’s office said the leaders had conducted a “strategic debate” on the role of the EU on the international stage in the context of recent events in Afghanistan, a debate on the AUKUS security partnership and relations with China.
STA funding and media freedom discussion at the EU-Western Balkans summit press conference
BRDO PRI KRANJU / LJUBLJANA – Prime Minister Janez JanÅ¡a has disagreed with the claim that Slovenia is setting a bad example for EU candidates by suspending STA funding and failing to respect media freedom during of a press conference in Brdo pri Kranju. But European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was clear, as she addressed the press after the EU-Western Balkans summit alongside JanÅ¡a, that current STA funding is needed.
IFJ chief warns of deterioration of media freedom, also in Slovenia
LJUBLJANA – The President of the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard has warned that media freedom is deteriorating in several European countries, including Slovenia. Speaking at a press conference as the Media Freedom Rapid Response Delegation wraps up its visit to Slovenia, Bjerregaard called on the European Commission and EU leaders to take a stand and call on their counterparts to support the freedom of the media and journalists.
Leader of the demonstration among those arrested after the riots
LJUBLJANA – Police made several arrests during Tuesday’s riots in Ljubljana, including protest organizer Zoran StevanoviÄ and rapper Zlatko, one of the mainstays of anti-government rallies. Police have not confirmed the identity of those arrested beyond saying three people were apprehended on suspicion of criminal activity and 22 others due to police law violations. Police said six officers were slightly injured and two protesters needed medical assistance due to tear gas inhalation.
Police deny allegation of excessive use of force against protesters
LJUBLJANA – Police and Interior Minister AleÅ¡ Hojs have dismissed the allegation that excessive force was used to break up Tuesday’s protest and riots against coronavirus measures in Ljubljana, while NGO Le Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy urged MPs to open a parliamentary inquiry to examine the matter. The center-left opposition, meanwhile, demanded an emergency session of the National Assembly on what it described as the “state of war” unfolding in Ljubljana, reiterating its call for early elections. .
EU political groups meet on the sidelines of the summit with the W Balkans
BRDO PRI KRANJU / LJUBLJANA – Meetings between leaders and politicians from EU political groups – the European People’s Party (EPP), Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and Renew Europe, took place on the sidelines of the EU summit – Western Balkans. Discussions focused on the efforts of the Western Balkans to join the EU. The participants in the EPP meeting adopted a declaration reiterating their unequivocal support for a credible prospect of enlargement and EU membership for the Western Balkans.
Slovenian MEP Tomc to participate in EP fact-finding mission to Slovenia
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Parliament fact-finding mission due to Slovenia next week will feature Slovenian MEP Romana Tomc, a member of the ruling Democrats (SDS) and the European People’s Party (EPP). A group of MEPs will travel from 13 to 15 October to meet representatives of the media, NGOs and government agencies to check the level of democracy in the country. Tomc said she saw the mission as political and directed against Janez JanÅ¡a’s government.
Border checks in Schengen area can exceed six months, EU court says
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg – Schengen border controls can be extended beyond six months because threats to public order or internal security are not necessarily limited in time, says an Advocate General of the European Court of Justice in its opinion on a case concerning border controls between Austria and Slovenia. Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe also said that this was subject to particularly strict criteria. Thus, each time a member of the Schengen area notifies the European Commission of its plan to extend border controls, the Commission must thoroughly examine whether all the strict conditions are met.
Human rights ombudsperson calls for active stance against climate change
NAVPLIJ, Greece / LJUBLJANA – Human rights ombudsperson Peter Svetina attended a session of the General Assembly of the Association of Mediators of the Mediterranean, calling on his colleagues to take an active and determined stance against climate change . He sees climate change as the most complex challenge facing humanity in modern times.
Petrol completes acquisition of Croatian fuel distributor Crodux
LJUBLJANA – The Slovenian energy group Petrol has finalized the acquisition of a firm stake in the Croatian fuel distributor Crodux after having fulfilled all the conditions precedent. This is the company’s largest acquisition in a decade and affirms its position as Croatia’s second-largest supplier of petroleum derivatives. The purchase price was 191.7 million euros and Petrol will also assume net financial debts to banks in the amount of 19.2 million euros, the company said.
EIB provides EUR 30m loan for SME and municipal recovery
LJUBLJANA – The European Investment Bank (EIB) will grant the Slovenian Regional Development Fund a loan of 30 million euros to help secure a new line of credit intended to facilitate the revival of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ), ETI and post-Covid-19 municipalities. The funds are intended for businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors that have been most affected by the epidemic.
Farmer representatives warn of worrying situation in agricultural sector
LJUBLJANA – Farmers’ representatives warned that the situation in the agricultural sector is worrying. Energy as well as input prices have risen sharply since the summer, with seed prices increasing on average by 39%, fertilizers by 24%, pesticides by 22% and fodder by 38%. On the other hand, purchase prices are stagnating. “The situation in which agriculture finds itself is very worrying,” said Janez Pirc, director of the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry.
Energy production in Slovenia up last year, consumption down
LJUBLJANA – A total of 153,000 terajoules (TJ) of energy was produced in Slovenia last year, 4% more than in 2019, while final consumption fell 9% to 188,000 TJ. The share of energy from renewable sources in final consumption increased by 2.2 percentage points to 24.16%, the Statistics Office said.