AmCham debates Slovenia's position in global arena

The US chamber of commerce in Slovenia, AmCham, will host a debate Tuesday on Slovenia's position in the international arena.

The focus will be on how Slovenia is adjusting to global change.

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Management board of gaming company Hit dismissed over grave breaches

The supervisors of Hit dismissed on Monday the gaming company's management board, which had been led since April last year by Janez Mlakar as chairman and Tevž Korent as member.

They were dismissed because of incompetence and grave violations of obligations, Hit said.

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Retirement home in Maribor has been declared the best facility for seniors in Europe by the European Centre for Research and Education in Ageing Services

A retirement home in Maribor which has introduced an innovative approach to the understanding of age has been declared the best facility for seniors in Europe by the European Centre for Research and Education in Ageing Services.

The Dom Danice Vogrinec has more than 800 beds and is one of the largest retirement homes in Slovenia.

According to its head Marko Slavič, the practices that they are introducing go far beyond their basic commitment of providing basic care and health care to the elderly.

One of their most successful projects is rock concerts dubbed Oma, Deda in Rock'n'Roll (Grandma, Grandpa and Rock'n'Roll), where well-known rock bands take the stage at admission-free open-air concerts for all generations.

The concerts have become an annual event, being organised for the fourth year this year. Thousands attend, Slavič said.

A Club of Centenarian brings together centenarians from the entire country who share their wisdom with others at special events.

"All these practices have shown our fresh, different approach to the understanding of old age," Slavič told the STA.

"We're not neglecting our required basic therapeutic activity but we're also letting people know that they're not forgotten in a fresh, kind way," said Slavič, who accepted the prize a few days ago in the Czech capital of Prague.

Aside from the Maribor home, three other facilities from Italy, France and the Netherlands were shortlisted for the prize and presented in Prague at the first congress of the European Ageing Network, which was created with last year's merger of the two biggest European associations in the field.

The European Centre for Research and Education in Ageing Services, which is a part of the network, confers the accolade biannually. In 2014, it went to a retirement home in Germany's Krefeld and in 2016 to one in Gent, Belgium.

Slavič sees the award as a recognition to all Slovenian retirement homes, whose practices put them among the best in Europe. But he warned that they would not be able to cope much longer unless a complete change of mindset happens "in the heads of the people who are responsible for the system of elderly care in this country".

He is particularly concerned about quality staff leaving the country, which he attributes to low pay in Slovenia.

"The situation is very serious. For example, Germany and Austria will need hundreds of thousands of staff in elderly care in the future. I cannot imagine the national catastrophe we face if we don't make some decisive moves quickly and stop turning a blind eye," he said.

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Gorenje boss says production and seat to stay in Slovenia

Gorenje chairman Franjo Bobinac has told the newspaper Večer that after the takeover by China's Hisense, the household appliance maker remains a Slovenian company with headquarters in Velenje.

He said that Hisense had great plans about growth of Gorenje, which meant a bigger production capacity and more jobs.

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Controversial Janković runs for fourth term as mayor – will voters again overlook that he is accused of taking bribes, extorting a female pharmacist, and being responsible for the personal tragedies of the contractors at Stožice?

The controversial mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, will run for a fourth term at the November elections. Will the citizens of Ljubljana again overlook that there are 9 pre-litigation procedures pending against him, and that he has been accused of taking bribes, extorting a female pharmacists for sexual favours, causing a bank liquidity gap due to the controversial construction of a stadium and many other actions connected to his family affairs and debt write-offs, which would never be overlooked by honest judges in normal countries, let alone by voters?

Zoran Janković was the first candidate to announce his candidacy for Ljubljana mayor. On Dvorni trg, he asked the citizens of Ljubljana to grant him a sufficient number of signatures to lodge his candidacy. The signatures will be collected next week in front of administrative units. Even before his announcement, the mayor, who is concluding his third term, met with the candidates that will run for membership in the city council on 18 November.

Despite numerous controversial accusations, he remains immune          
In the last four years, criminal investigators have visited various institutions in the Ljubljana municipality at least four times. They looked for evidence that would support the suspected offences of the Ljubljana mayor and some of his colleagues. Janković’s transactions related to the Stožice project were investigated twice. On this basis, the investigators filed three bundles of criminal charges. The proceedings concerning suspicions of fraud in obtaining a loan and fraud in obtaining European funds are still ongoing. In this matter, the court has launched an investigation against Janković and nine other accused persons.

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MEP Romana Tomc: Dementia is a disease that can affect anyone, and the stories of those who suffer from it are heartbreaking.

MEP Romana Tomc (SDS/EPP) is a member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance (EAA) in the European Parliament. The EEA’s goal is to raise awareness, especially at the political level, about the necessity of more action regarding the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. With this cause in mind, the Alzheimer’s disease international (ADI) declared September to be a month dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. Today, 21st of September, was declared World Alzheimer’s Day.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most frequent cause of dementia, which affects more than thirty thousand people in Slovenia. »Dementia is a disease that can affect anyone, and the stories of those who suffer from it are heartbreaking. Sadly, dementia is becoming more and more frequent even in Slovenia, because the population is aging fast,« Romana Tomc stressed. »That is why Slovenia needs a strategy to ensure a wholesome and efficient way of dealing with the disease, from early diagnosis to effective treatment, but also awareness and prevention.«

»The Ministry of Health prepared a Strategic plan of comprehensive measures in order to achieve these goals. By 2017, an Action plan was supposed to be introduced, however, it has not yet seen the light of day. The new government has to put dementia high on their list of priorities, otherwise socio-economic costs will rise along with the people affected by dementia. Unfortunately, the pressure under which the healthcare system in Slovenia is right now, worries me. It could delay the comprehensive treatment of issues, connected to the disease. Even the new coalition treaty does not predict any action in the field of dementia,« the MEP adds.

»Slovenia can learn a lot from other EU member states. A lot of different approaches which encompass all aspects of life that dementia affects, have been formulated all over Europe. Slovenia faces slow improvement in numerous fields, many of which are suffocated by bureaucracy. Therefore, I count on the new government to put their promises from the Strategic plan into action very soon, « MEP Romana Tomc concludes.

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New Yaskawa plant in Kočevje to be opened next February

The boss of the Slovenian subsidiary of Japanese robotics group Yaskawa Electric has announced that the new robot plant, which has been under construction in Kočevje (SW) since last autumn, will be opened next February.

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Estonia's Sirekar Hulgi OÜ buys Polzela brand

Polzela, one of Slovenia best known brands whose survival was in peril as the sock and hosiery making factory was shut down in July following years of agony, has been acquired by Estonia's Sirekar Hulgi OÜ.

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Police investigating car explosion, explosive device

The police are investigating a minor car explosion which happened in a village outside Ljubljana and "a suspicious object" found along the road in the near-by town of Brezovica near Ljubljana.

The police suspect the two incidents are linked and related to unresolved business issues.

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Darinka Bukovnik of The SAB Party (member of Alde) Confiscates Money Intended For a Girl's Operation

The mainstream media immediately labels anyone who passes by Trstenjak street as a prominent member of the SDS Party, eagerly attributing to them any irregularities, and inflating the stories to epic proportions. But this changes significantly when members of other political parties are involved. The mainstream media, in their style of "objectivity", ignores or minimizes the fraud, so as not to accidentally dirty the name of any coalition party. This is confirmed by a recent case concerning the fundraising for a girl's operation in which the money has mysteriously disappeared. Obviously, this is not presented as a problem since Darinka Bukovnik was involved in the fraud. Bukovnik was until recently a member of the Council of the Alenka Bratušek Party (Stranka Alenke Bratušek – SAB), a position she was removed from just as the affair broke out.

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President Pahor puts forward Primož Dolenc for Banka Slovenije governor

President Borut Pahor nominated Primož Dolenc for central bank governor on Wednesday.

It is unclear whether Dolenc, currently serving as a vice-governor, will indeed be appointed by the National Assembly, as neither he nor any of the remaining four candidates enjoy the necessary support of 46 MPs in the 90-member legislature.

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National Gallery celebrating its centenary this week

The National Gallery in Ljubljana will mark the first century of its existence with a series of art and music events this week. The main celebration will be held on Wednesday evening, when President Borut Pahor presents the museum with the Golden Order of Merit.

The festivities will commence on Tuesday, the day when the National Gallery Association was founded 100 years ago.

In the morning, a monograph by art historian Jure Mikuž on the life of artist Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926) will be presented, while in the evening admission-free guided tours for adults and families will be organised.

Visitors will be able to admire art works while listening to concerts by Art Music Orchestra at the entrance lobby and Trio Amadeo at the Honorary Hall.

An exhibition by students of the Ljubljana Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television will open in the evening before a giant cake is served to the visitors.

On Wednesday evening, President Pahor will present the museum with the Golden Order of Merit at a special ceremony before the premiere of the musical work Stories of the Paintings performed by the Slovenian Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra and written by Leon Firšt specially for the occasion.

On Thursday afternoon, poet Andrej Rozman - Roza will read his poems about some of the iconic paintings from the National Gallery's permanent collection at the launch of his new book Poems From the Gallery.

In the evening, visitors will be invited to draw the paintings and sculptures at the museum.

On Friday evening, actress Polona Vetrih will deliver a monologue entitled Ivana: Images from the Life of Painter Ivana Kobilca.

The Volčji Potok Arboretum, which this year features blow-ups of paintings from the Gallery to mark it 100th anniversary, will host a open-air painting workshop on Saturday.

On Sunday guided tours will be organised of the exhibition Posters of the National Gallery - 100 Years of Exhibitions and of the Ivana Kobilca exhibition about the author of two of the museum's most popular paintings, Poletje (Summer) and Kofetarica (Coffeemadam).

The National Gallery Association was founded 18 September 1918 without an art fund or exhibition rooms. It took over the city's art collection and complemented it with several own purchases to open an exhibition at the residential part of the Kresija palace in March 1920.

In June 1924, the association started renting the Jakopič Pavilion as a venue for occasional exhibitions, and in November 1925 it obtained the right to use most of the rooms of the Narodni Dom palace.

To mark its 10th anniversary, the association set up an exhibition of 230 paintings, 132 sculptures and 746 works of art on paper at Narodni Dom. In June 1933, it opened a permanent exhibition.

The National Gallery Association was dissolved in August 1945 and the National Gallery was founded as a state institution by decree on 1 June 1946.

In 1994, Narodni Dom was expanded with a new wing for temporary exhibitions and the European collection. In September 2001 a glass lobby was built to connect both parts.

Just before this year's jubilee, the Narodni Dom palace was renovated, welcoming first visitors in January 2016.

The renovated and significantly expanded collection now covers the Slovenian art from the early 13th to the mid-20th century.

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Dr Vinko Gorenak: ‘I’m sorry’ is a phrase that some are incapable of using

The phrase “I’m sorry” is beautiful in its very essence. Normally, it is addressed to the person spoken to when we wish to admit to an error or mistake concerning something we have done, said or written – to or about that person. Of course, the use of the phrase extends much further. In everyday communication between people, the phrase is heard quite often. However, while the phrase rolls easily off the tongue for some people, this is not the case for everyone. I myself have never had a problem using that phrase, even during my parliamentary mandate, for I believe that admitting our mistakes is one of the most sincere and honest things we can do.

However, in relations between the state and individuals or in relations between state institutions or other institutions and individuals, the phrase “I’m sorry” is rarely heard. It is obvious that state institutions also make mistake sometimes, and as a consequence, individuals suffer injustices; however, it is very rare to see these institutions apologise. This is especially true of the state administration and the judiciary.

In recent years, I can hardly remember more than two instances where the state, represented by a minister, apologised to an individual who had somehow been wronged. The first such case that I can remember is the case of Martin Uhernik. In 2007, the justice minister, Prof. Dr. Lovro Šturm, issued him a formal apology – Uhernik had been formally proclaimed innocent after more than 30 years of searching for justice, having been charged for manslaughter and sent to prison.

The second case is the case of Robert Fojkar. In 2013, I have, in the role of interior minister, issued him an apology in the name of the state for having been caught in criminal proceedings for over 10 years for an offence of paedophilia. It was finally discovered that he had not even been at the scene of the crime at the time of the criminal offence. However, the prosecutor Branka Oven resorted to all manner of appeals without any evidence. Of course, both in the case of Prof. Dr. Lovro Šturm’s apology to Martin Uhernik and in the case of my own apology to Robert Fojkar, none of those who had caused the injustice were present.

On the left-wing political scene, there has never been a hero ready to apologise in the case of an injustice. Recall the Patria case and the case of the withdrawal of Janez Janša’s mandate. When the Slovenian constitutional court annulled both cases, there was no hero on the leftist political hemisphere who would be ready to issue him an apology. Milan Brglez, in the role of the president of the National Assembly of Slovenia, would not have lost his dignity had he stepped on the podium and issued an apology to Janez Janša. But this simply did not happen. And so little courage and bravery is needed to say this magical phrase that has such a beneficial effect on both parties involved. Even in the case of Franc Kangler, where both the criminal police and the prosecutor’s office literally misused their powers and prosecuted him, as far as I know, with as many as 22 criminal charges, which also resulted in the non-endorsement of his mandate in the National Council of Slovenia, nobody did or probably ever will apologise, despite the fact that, by now, almost all criminal charges have been dropped.

Some are capable of it, others are not. The phrase “I’m sorry” is not a sign of weakness but a sign of courage and fairness on the part of the person using it.

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Is Milan Kučan on Rab with notorious bankster Romana Pajenk, who faces 10 years in prison?

We have reported that Milan Kučan is on vacation on the island of Rab and that Marjan Šarec (LMŠ) is also travelling thereabouts, having announced days ago that he was going on holiday despite the coalition negotiations.

According to our information, Šarec’s holiday was organised by his mother-in-law Vida Iskra, who had also accompanied him to confrontations when he was running for president of Slovenia, which can be seen on his Facebook page. Now some believe that Kučan might also meet with the notorious bankster Romana Pajenk while on Rab.

Pajenk is a founding member of Forum 21 and a favourite of Milan Kučan. She allowed the Probanka bank to be used for tycoonisation, and the bank later failed ignominiously during the crisis. As the head of Probanka, she purchased a plot of land on Rab, which she acquired by renting it and selling it to herself. In March 2006, Probanka Leasing Rijeka, a subsidiary of Probanka, purchased two plots on Rab from Marija Žigo (1110 square metres in total), which had been designated as a vineyard (today as a pasture), and 100 square metres of road, which had served as a service road since 1977. Probanka Leasing paid €230,000.

They actually bought it for Romana Pajenk, financing her acquisition of real estate with a financial leasing. The contract expired in 2010, when Pajenk concluded a repurchase agreement, and in April 2012, i.e. four months before Pajenk left the leadership of Probanka, she acquired full ownership with a purchase contract. The nice plot of land on the coast of Barbat, where she has almost finished building her house, cost €230,000. Locals say that the plot was never meant for construction, that construction there was in fact prohibited, and that Pajenk acquired a building permit in very suspicious circumstances. Pajenk and the locals are now suing each other.

Because of her controversial dealings, Pajenk is under investigation in Slovenia, and she is also being prosecuted for business fraud. However, it seems Kučan will comfort her that nothing bad will happen because the deep state has things under control.

In light of all this, it is definitely worth rereading the speech Milan Kučan gave on the 10th anniversary of Probanka in Maribor on January 2001, when he was full of praise for Pajenk.

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Unacceptable! Muslim woman teaches Slovenian children how to bow and pray to Allah on TV Slovenija

The left brings Slovenia closer to Islam with each passing day. Slowly but surely. It is not enough that they accept illegal immigrants from Muslim countries with open arms, even though they refuse to integrate into Slovenian society, now they want to teach Slovenian children about Islam. Should Slovenians learn to adapt to them? This has also been confirmed in a recent programme by the national broadcaster RTV SLO. Slovenian children, who live in a Christian country, are forced to learn about Islam, while Christianity has long since been removed from their programmes unless it is truly necessary. It is simply bizarre that two children on television had to bow and learn to pray to Allah.

The Muslim woman on the programme met two Slovenian children with questions that had obviously been prepared in advance and taught to them. For example, they asked her what Islam was. She started explaining that they “believe in a single God, that he was not born, that he always was and always will be”. She also started moralising that their god Allah sees and hears everything: “We always have to keep this in mind, because we’re better people then.”

Does he also see and hear the terrorists that kill and blow up innocent people in his name? Muslims are convinced that he does, which is why he promises them a reward – heaven. And this is what leftists force on Slovenian children. Do the girl and boy from the programme know any story from the Bible, the meaning of Easter, or where Jesus was born and died? Well, it seems to be more important that the two children now know that Muslim prayer consists of different movements, that during prayer men stand first and after them women, that they do not eat pork, that the Koran is a holy book with 6,236 Ayats and that it is read from right to left. Leftists are so against the church that if teachers in school taught about religion and Christianity all members of the media would be up in arms about it, but public teaching about a foreign religion that brings unrest, riots and a completely different way of life is accepted with open arms and blended with Slovenian culture.

Contributions for RTV pay for the collapse of Slovenia
The programme sparked a wave of indignation, and most people still cannot understand why they are forced to pay a contribution for RTV. “When will a law abolish the involuntary RTV contribution”, “all Slovenians need to stop paying the RTV subscription immediately”, “we pay so that they can force on us what isn’t ours, horrible”, “RTV contribution must be abolished forever” – are only some of the many responses. Others are appalled by leftists, “if children were shown a church, leftists would be up in arms”, “unbelievable what they brainwash children with”, “migrants must be shown and taught how to pray in our church”. Can you imagine that something like this would happen in one of the Muslim countries? That a national broadcaster would show people teaching how to pray to the Christian God? Probably not, because this would never happen. But Slovenians are “liberal”, “progressive” and “accept everyone”, even though it will be their undoing.

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Even LMŠ deputy and national assembly vice-president Tina Heferle supports war against economy

A bizarre story is unfolding within the LMŠ party since they apparently do not know what they want. The motley assortment of people in LMŠ has divided into two factions – one headed by Vojmir Urlep, who is convinced that statements from some deputies “will not do anything good in the search for a dialogue and arrangements between politics and the economy”, and a second, which also includes the LMŠ deputy Tina Heferle and seems to agree with the Left party and their declaration of war against Boscarol, Akrapovič and other entrepreneurs. Marjan Šarec, a prime minister without one hour of political experience, is caught in the middle, trying to calm the situation with statements such as: “A war between politics and the economy doesn’t benefit anyone. That’s why it wouldn’t hurt to keep some things to oneself.”

Given that Marjan Šarec’s deputies do not even heed his suggestion for calming down the economists that have been enraged by the Left, we wonder how he will lead his deputies and the government, as he cannot even cool tempers before the real work has started. The split in his party is obvious every day. The statement “personal income from capital and annuities will be included in the base for income tax assessment” from the coalition contract, which caused entrepreneurs and virtually the whole Slovenian public to get up in arms, also speaks for itself. The Left party has added fuel to the fire, particularly Luka Mesec and Miha Kordiš, who have inflamed intolerance against entrepreneurs and encouraged violence, revolutionary violence, nationalisation, which is obviously unconstitutional, with statements such as: “The capitalist extortion of nation states is a textbook example of the limitations of the reformist policies which we fought for in the coalition contract. The solution? Nationalisation.” The SDS deputy Branko Grims warned that “with attacks on entrepreneurs, the left is obviously unconstitutionally inflaming intolerance and encouraging violence”, which is why he has notified the police. It is also interesting to observe the split within the LMŠ party, where some are trying to calm the situation down while others, Šarec’s people, are inflaming the Left even more – also by quoting the leftist mouthpiece Mladina.

The Slovenian Business Club has responded as well – their executive director, Goran Novković, asked Šarec and his little team to “immediately publicly declare their position as key political representatives on the outrageous views and requests of the Left concerning the completely legal actions of our members”. Just hours after this request, the LMŠ deputy Tina Heferle posted on Twitter, adding fuel to the fire by quoting Mladina and Grega Repovž, specifically the article “O boscarolu” (About Boscarol): “We see no reason why taxes on capital gains and annuities should be lower than taxes on income earned.”

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