MARIBOR - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected in Slovenia on Wednesday to watch an all important football match between the countries in Maribor. He is due to meet Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk during half-time break in the crucial playoff between Slovenia and Russia for a place at the 2010 World Cup. Also in attendance at the match will be Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor. Security in Maribor has been beefed up; 100-200 security guards will be protecting the Russian president alone.
LJUBLJANA - All three opposition parties criticised the government over they way it had been dealing with the crisis and its tackling of the border dispute with Croatia as they assessed the government's first year in office in Tuesday's debate on the public broadcaster TV Slovenija. Senior SDS, SLS and SNS officials were particularly critical of Article 3a of the arbitration agreement with Croatia, which says that the international law should be applied in setting the border at land and sea.
LJUBLJANA - After the government sent a part of the border arbitration agreement for constitutional review on Tuesday, two Slovenian legal experts told STA on Wednesday that the Constitutional Court could rule on any part of the agreement regardless of what the government deems problematic or disputable. Igor Kaucic assessed the court could hand down its ruling within two months, while Rajko Pirnat said it would be more realistic to expect the ruling in three to six months.
LJUBLJANA - The dispute between the president of the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) Karl Erjavec and two DeSUS MPs seems to have reached boiling point. Erjavec announced for Wednesday's edition of free daily Zurnal24 that he would resign as DeSUS president and environment minister if Franc Znidarsic fails to step down as the head of the DeSUS deputy group. Znidarsic has criticised the way Erjavec had gone about the selection of the party's candidate for a new minister.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
LJUBLJANA - Despite the excellent economic cooperation between Slovenia and Greece, its potential is still not fully used, President Danilo Tuerk told Wednesday's Slovenian-Greek business conference, organised as part of the three-day official visit by Greek President Karolos Papoulias. He proposed that cooperation could be strengthened in the fields of energy, the environment, IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism, while the countries could also cooperate in agriculture and services, especially banking and finance.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian blue chips suffered the third consecutive day of broad losses on Wednesday, pushing the SBI 20 benchmark index 30.72 points (0.71%) lower to 4,288.94. The SBI TOP index of the ten biggest blue chips fell 6.21 points (0.59%) to 1,038.48. Headlining the losses was the NKBM bank, which fell 2.3% to EUR 13.17. It was followed by port operator Luka Koper, which shed 1.94% to EUR 26.31.
LJUBLJANA - Francois Bourguignon, the chief economist of the World Bank between 2003 and 2007, was confident in his talk in Ljubljana on Tuesday that poverty in the world can be reduced fast despite the slow growth that will probably mark the coming decade. Bourguignon said in his "Kapuscinski Lecture" (a development initiative of the European Commission and the UN) that efforts for sustainable and inclusive global development needed to be upheld.
MARIBOR - Slovenia has been gripped by football fever ahead of Wednesday night's do-or-die match against Russia for a place at the 2010 World Cup. The match, which Slovenia needs to win to secure its second-ever appearance at a World Cup, kicks off at 8:45 PM in Maribor. Following its 2:1 loss in Moscow on Saturday, Slovenia needs either a 1:0 victory or a victory by at least two goals to proceed to the World Cup. Russian President President Dmitry Medvedev will visit Slovenia especially for the match.
LJUBLJANA - Reality show "Kmetija" (The Farm), broadcast by private broadcaster POP TV, is stirring controversy again. After the 2007 show came under fire over alleged animal torture, this year's Kmetija slavnih (Celebrity Farm) is in the spotlight because of sexual and violent scenes. The telecoms regulator APEK rebuked POP TV on Wednesday for violating media legislation by failing to protect children and the youth against explicit scenes of sex and violence, ordering to issue parental guidance.