Marjan Podobnik returns to helm of SLS after 18 years

Marjan Podobnik was elected the head of the People's Party (SLS) at Saturday's congress, two years after he was kicked out of the party and 26 years after he had first become president.

He promised to promote unity.

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Police officers going back on strike next Monday

The two police trade unions, PSS and SPS, will go back on strike on Monday after freezing industrial action in March when the previous government stepped down.

The demands remain the same: police work must be valued according to the officers' tasks, powers, responsibilities and danger they are exposed to daily.

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General government surplus at 1.3% of GDP in 2nd quarter

The general government generated a surplus of EUR 151m or 1.3% of GDP in the second quarter, the highest quarterly surplus in 19 years.

This is the fifth consecutive quarter with a surplus, the Statistics Office said on Friday. Consolidated general government gross debt decreased to 72.8% of GDP.

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Govt expected to appoint new intelligence agency boss

The government is expected to make several staffing decisions at its weekly session on Thursday, chief among them is the appointment of Rajko Kozmelj to the top position at SOVA, the national intelligence and security agency.

The cabinet will also get acquainted with the latest economic forecast by think-tank IMAD.

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New minister looking at healthcare from different perspective now

When Samo Fakin was the head of the public health insurance company ZZZS he called for exclusion of doctors from the public sector pay system.

As health minister, he now believes this will not be an easy task. If doctors are to be paid according to their efficiency, legislative changes will be needed, he told the STA.

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Pahor says US important ally, but multilateralism remains crucial

The United States remains an important ally and partner for Slovenia, but the two countries also have their differences and Slovenia remains an advocate of multilateralism, President Borut Pahor said on Tuesday after he addressed the UN General Assembly.

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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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