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14.12.2012 14:00
REVIEW, EVENTS, YEAR
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STA Annual Review of Events Involving Slovenia in 2012

Ljubljana, 14 December (STA) - Annual review of events involving Slovenia and the country's international activity in 2012:

JANUARY

1st - LJUBLJANA - An emergency crisis bill freezing pensions, public sector pay and social transfers for the year steps into force.

1st - LJUBLJANA - New welfare legislation enters into force introducing stricter conditions for access to welfare benefits based on the value of the recipient's total estate.

1st - LJUBLJANA - Changes to the corporate income tax act introducing an 18% tax rate and 100% tax break for R&D investments enter into force.

1st - MARIBOR - Matjaž Kovačič steps down as chairman of Slovenia's second-largest bank, NKBM, and is replaced by board member Andrej Plos.

5th - LJUBLJANA - President Danilo Türk nominates Positive Slovenia (PS) leader Zoran Janković as prime minister-designate. The PS, SocDems, Citizens' List (DL) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) initial a coalition agreement on 7 January, but the deal is not implemented and Janković fails to get sufficient support in parliament. The Democrats (SDS) of Janez Janša subsequently launch talks to form a centre-right coalition.

6th - ŠOŠTANJ - Coal-fired plant operator TEŠ launches talks with the main equipment supplier for the sixth generator, France's Alstom, on restructuring of payments after the National Assembly failed to pass a bill providing a loan guarantee for TEŠ in October. A number of NGOs step up efforts to have the TEŠ 6 project suspended.

8th - LJUBLJANA - The Democrats (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi), the People's Party (SLS) and Citizens' List (DL) initial an agreement on a centre-right coalition. The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) agrees to enter the coalition on 24 January, providing the coalition with the required majority in parliament. The new coalition puts forward SDS leader Janez Janša for prime minister on 25 January.

12th - MARIBOR - Receivership is launched at investment firm Zvon Dva Holding, owned by the Maribor Archdiocese, with creditors registering EUR 250m in claims.

13th - NEW YORK, US - Credit rating agency Standard&Poor's cuts Slovenia's rating to A+ from AA- with a negative outlook.

14th - MARIBOR - The European Capital of Culture project is launched in Slovenia's second-largest city and five partner cities with an opening ceremony.

16th - CELJE - Israeli company Frutarom acquires flavourings and essential oils maker Etol.

17th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia and Croatia agree on the president and the remaining two members of the tribunal to arbitrate on the border between the countries based on a list compiled by the European Commission. Gilbert Guillaume of France is named the president of the commission, with German Bruno Simma and Briton Vaughan Lowe appointed members.

18th - NAKLO - The management of Merkur files the first in a series of lawsuits against the former management of the hardware retailer whose failed MBO attempt nearly destroyed the company.

22nd - KRANJSKA GORA - Michaela Kirchgasser wins the slalom event at the Golden Fox World Cup ski meet, which was moved from its home of Maribor to Kranjska Gora due to weather conditions. Tessa Worley of France won the giant slalom a day earlier.

23rd - KLAGENFURT, Austria - Rudi Vouk, the lawyer who successfully petitioned the Austrian Constitutional Court for the Slovenian ethnic minority's rights, wins the Tischler Award, the highest accolade for ethnic Slovenians in Carinthia.

25th - LJUBLJANA - President Danilo Türk announces he will not be nominating a new prime minister-designate, after Zoran Janković failed to win sufficient support in parliament and his idea that banker Marko Voljč head a technocrat government is rejected by the parties. The parties forming the new centre-right coalition nominate SDS leader Janez Janša for prime minister.

26th - TOKYO, Japan - Slovenia is among 22 EU members to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The move prompts protests in Slovenia from internet and human rights advocates and the Slovenian government suspends ratification procedures on 15 March. The agreement is rejected by the European Parliament on 4 July.

27th - WASHINGTON, US - Rating agency Fitch cuts Slovenia's sovereign debt rating by two notches to AA- from A.

28th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorses Janez Janša, leader of the centre-right Democrats (SDS), for prime minister-elect by 51 votes to 39, opening the door for Slovenia to get a full-fledged government after weeks of political deadlock following the 4 December 2011 early election.

30th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia notifies the European Commission and Croatia that international mediation expert Jernej Sekolec will act as its representative in the five-member border arbitration tribunal.

FEBRUARY

1st - PRISHTINA, Kosovo - Samuel Žbogar, the former foreign minister, formally takes over as the EU's special representative in Kosovo, in what is the first senior position for a Slovenian national in the EU's recently founded diplomatic service.

2nd - BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia is slated to contribute EUR 342m to the permanent European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), in line with an agreement on the facility signed by eurozone members.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - The pro-family Civil Initiative for Families and the Rights of Children files 42,000 signatures in support of a referendum on the family law, which proposes providing nearly the same rights for same-sex partnerships as those enjoyed in a traditional marriage. Parliament calls the referendum for 25 March.

4th - LJUBLJANA - The amended government act, which cuts the number of ministries from 15 to 11, enters into force. The changes include the transfer of the prosecution service from the Justice Ministry to the Interior Ministry and the merger of the culture, education, science and sport portfolios.

7th - LJUBLJANA - Croatian food group Agrokor withdraws a bid for the purchase of 52.1% in Slovenian retailer Mercator owned by a consortium of banks, beverage group Pivovarna Laško and the NFD Holding after strong political and public opposition to the sale.

7th - LJUBLJANA - Matjaž Vipotnik, one of the internationally best-known Slovenian graphic designers, and veteran writer Jože Snoj receive Prešeren Prizes, the top national awards for lifetime artistic achievement.

9th - LJUBLJANA - Supervisors of Austrian-owned bank Hypo Alpe Adria dismiss the management board of the bank and its leasing branch due to alleged irregularities. Heribert Fernau becomes chairman on 1 June, while a criminal investigation is launched into alleged wrongdoing over the bank's dealings with bankrupt builder Vegrad.

10th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly confirms the cabinet of Janez Janša in a 50-10 vote, completing the formation of the 10th Slovenian government following the 4 December early election. Janša highlights efforts to exit the crisis as the new government's priority.

14th - MARIBOR - Andrej Plos, chairman of Slovenia's second-largest bank, NKBM, resigns after less than two months on the job and is replaced on 24 April by former boss of postal operator Pošta Slovenije Aleš Hauc.

14th - LJUBLJANA - Ratings agency Moody's cuts Slovenia's sovereign debt rating from A1 to A2 and places it on negative watch.

16th - LJUBLJANA - The government confirms guidelines for a social pact for the 2012-2016 period envisaging reforms of the labour market, pension system and health care.

16th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's largest bank, NLB, reports a net group loss of EUR 239m for 2011.

23rd - LJUBLJANA - The government names Dobran Božič as chief of the general staff.

25th - VIKERSUND, Norway - Slovenia ski jumper Robi Kranjec wins the World Championship in ski flying.

27th - MARIBOR - Receivership proceedings are launched at financial firm Zvon Ena Holding, which is controlled by the Maribor Archdiocese. A total of EUR 876.3m in claims are registered.

27th - BRUSSELS, Belgium - At a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Slovenia opposes a proposal to include Belarus businessman Yury Chizh on the EU's sanctions list against Belarus, arguing that the list should be expanded with other business officials to be fair.

29th - LJUBLJANA - In its preliminary assessment, the Statistics Office says that Slovenia's economy contracted by 0.2% in 2011.

29th - STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Sweden's Modern Times Group takes the TV3 commercial network run by Prva TV off air. The rights to the network are acquired by Agencija Medias.

29th - LJUBLJANA - The government declares the appointment of former constitutional judges Ciril Ribičič and Dragica Wedam Lukić to the Venice Commission by the previous government null and void on the grounds that the outgoing government had overreached its powers with the appointment. The Venice Commission nevertheless confirms the terms of the pair on 16 March, but the government maintains that Slovenia has no members in the Commission.

MARCH

2nd - BRUSSELS, Belgium - Leaders from 25 EU member states, including Slovenia, sign the Fiscal Pact whose main component is a fiscal rule determining that a country's annual structural deficit must not exceed 0.5% of GDP.

5th - ZAGREB, Croatia - The five successors to the former Yugoslavia divide a number of Yugoslav diplomatic buildings amongst themselves, as part of which Slovenia receives properties in Brazil and Africa.

5th - LJUBLJANA - The verdict acquitting former Defence Minister Karl Erjavec and former Chief of the General Staff Albin Gutman of misfeasance charges related to the 2006 contract with Finnish defence company Patria becomes final as the Ljubljana Higher Court rejects an appeal from the prosecutor.

6th - MARIBOR - After months of uncertainty and financial difficulties, Maribor is officially stripped of hosting the 2013 Winter Universiade, as the International University Sports Federation (FISU) announces efforts to find an alternate organiser. FISU also announces a lawsuit for damages from the Maribor organisers.

6th - RUHPOLDING, Germany - Croatian-born athlete Jakov Fak wins gold for Slovenia in the men's 20km event at the World Biathlon Championships.

9th - LJUBLJANA - The council of the coalition Democrats (SDS) endorses Milan Zver as the party's candidate for president.

10th - KRANJSKA GORA - The best men's skiers compete in the traditional Vitranc World Cup ski meet, with Ted Ligety of the US winning the giant slalom and Andre Myhrer of Sweden winning the slalom event.

13th - SLOVENJ GRADEC - An exhibition on the life and work of conductor Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) opens in his renovated birth house.

16th - LJUBLJANA - President Danilo Türk announces he will seek reelection.

16th - LJUBLJANA - Police announce that two men suspected of carrying out the biggest bank robbery in Slovenia's history have been apprehended, more than six years after the bold heist of the SKB safes which allegedly netted EUR 32m in cash and valuables. Charges are brought against the two on 13 September.

16th - PLANICA - Ski jumper Robert Kranjec wins the ski flying World Cup competition on the giant hill in Planica, in front of a crowd of more than 10,000.

18th - SCHLADMING, Austria - Tina Maze takes second place in the overall World Cup ski standings behind Lindsey Vonn of the US.

19th - ZAGREB, Croatia - Karl Erjavec pays the first official visit to Croatia by a Slovenian foreign minister since 2004.

20th - LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Constitutional Commission launches procedures for introducing the golden fiscal rule of zero deficits into the Constitution. Talks on the constitutional amendment are launched by party leaders on 10 April, but end in failure on 23 April.

22nd - LJUBLJANA - The government dismisses Slovenia's Consul General in Trieste Vlasta Valenčič Pelikan and names former Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel to the post.

22nd - LJUBLJANA - The government tasks the Interior Ministry to cancel a lease for the headquarters of the National Bureau of Investigation with a private company as part of a planned move of the ministry to a state-owned building. The move begins in October.

22nd - LJUBLJANA - The government decides to limit the number of national ceremonies in 2012 to two due to austerity.

22nd - LJUBLJANA - Supervisors of railway operator Slovenske železnice dismiss general manager Igor Blejc; Dušan Mes is appointed to replace him the next day.

23rd - LJUBLJANA - The government sends social partners guidelines for talks on the austerity bill which aims to bring in EUR 1.8bn in savings. The government proposes a 15% pay cut in the public sector, merging of state institutions, limitations on new employment and cuts in the prices of health services. Tough negotiations with the trade unions start on 27 March, with the ZSSS trade union confederation threatening to demand a referendum, but the sides manage to agree on the basis of the negotiations on 30 March.

24th - LJUBLJANA - More than 270,000 volunteers join the Clean Up Slovenia campaign.

25th - LJUBLJANA - The family law is rejected in a referendum with 54.5% of the votes against.

25th - LJUBLJANA - Zoran Jankovič is reelected mayor of Ljubljana in the first round of a mayoral by-election, held after he was elected MP in the 4 December 2011 early general election, only to resign his seat to return to local politics after failing to form a government.

27th - MARIBOR - Murska Sobota state prosecutor Robert Stojko is found guilty of corruption and given a suspended prison term of 18 months with a 3 year probation period.

28th - SLOVENJ GRADEC - Police locate a 5-year-old girl missing for over a year following a bitter custody dispute between her parents. Her father was sentenced on 15 March for abduction after refusing to hand over the daughter to her mother, who was given custody.

29th - LJUBLJANA - The government appoints former State Prosecutor General Barbara Brezigar State Secretary at the Interior Ministry.

29th - LJUBLJANA - The board of retailer Mercator headed by Žiga Debeljak resigns following disagreements with key owners on the planned sale of the retailer to Croatian food group Agrokor. Toni Balažič is named Mercator chairman on 1 June.

29th - LJUBLJANA - The government decides to keep Slovenian troops in Afghanistan until the end of the ISAF operation at the end of 2014.

30th - LJUBLJANA - Seven people, including fallen construction bosses Ivan Zidar, Dušan Černigoj and Hilda Tovšak, are found guilty of bribery in a public tender for a new control tower at the Ljubljana airport by a court of first instance and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 17 to 30 months.

30th - MARIBOR - Russian-owned company Platanus acquires spa operator Terme Maribor.

30th - LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office says in its preliminary assessment that Slovenia's general government deficit for 2011 stood at EUR 2.289bn or 6.4% of GDP.

APRIL

1st - LJUBLJANA - The government offices for equal opportunities, religious communities and climate change are formally discontinued and folded into respective ministries in line with amendments to the public administration act.

2nd - LJUBLJANA - The Strategic Council on Foreign Policy, a government advisory body, holds its maiden session to debate changes to foreign policy.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - Social partners sign guidelines for negotiations on the 2012-2016 social agreement, but only three out of nine trade union associations pen the agreement.

5th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts a supplementary budget cutting expenditure by EUR 1.1bn in order to bring the budget deficit below 3% of GDP. Unhappy with the proposals for cuts in public sector spending, a majority of trade unions in the sector announce a strike for 18 April.

6th - LJUBLJANA - MP Ivan Vogrin quits the deputy group of the coalition Citizens' List (DL) after the party urges him to resign over his company's failure to settle its debts to clients.

11th - WARSAW, Poland - Drug maker Krka lists its shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

12th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts the bill on the balancing of public finances containing measures affecting over 50 laws in order to allow the implementation of the austerity measures envisaged in the supplementary budget.

12th - KLAGENFURT, Austria - The final bilingual city limits are erected in the Austrian province of Carinthia almost a year after an agreement on the number of signs was reached.

13th - THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The tribunal tasked to arbitrate on the border between Slovenia and Croatia holds its maiden session and determines the procedural framework for arbitration.

16th - LJUBLJANA - Construction holding Gradis skupina G goes into receivership, the latest in a long line of construction companies that have failed during the crisis. Official statistics show Slovenia's construction sector shrinking by more than 50% since the start of the crisis in 2008.

17th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly amends the austerity act for 2012, deferring the payment of holiday allowance in the public sector by a month and capping it at minimum wage level in all companies where the state has a controlling stake. Both police trade unions react by filing signatures initiating referendum proceedings, but subsequently fail to collect the required number of signatures for a referendum to be called.

17th - LJUBLJANA - The junior coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) excludes MP Ivan Simčič from the party after he fails to prove his high school diploma is genuine. Simčič becomes an independent MP.

17th - MARIBOR - NKBM, Slovenia's second largest bank, reports a group net loss of EUR 81.1m for 2011, far higher than initially expected.

18th - LJUBLJANA - Public sector trade unions stage a general strike after failing to reach agreement with the government on austerity measures. An estimated 100,000 public sector employees take part in the work stoppage.

18th - LJUBLJANA - The coalition Democrats (SDS), Citizens' List (DL), Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and New Slovenia (NSi) file a constitutional amendment that would abolish the National Council, the upper chamber of parliament. The passage of the amendment is stopped on 18 July due to a lack of support.

19th - LJUBLJANA - Parliament adopts the law ratifying the EU Fiscal Compact, which forms the basis for the introduction of a golden fiscal rule in the Constitution.

19th - ZAGREB, Croatia - The Croatian government backs two commercial banks in court procedures against Ljubljanska banka and NLB. Following severe pressure from Slovenia, the government retracts the decision on 10 May.

19th - KRANJ - Democrat (SDS) MP Branko Marinič is found guilty of solicitation to forgery for having someone else take a German test at the Faculty of Organisational Sciences. The Higher Court upholds the five-month suspended sentence on 23 November.

19th - BRNIK - Adventure pilot Matevž Lenarčič touches down at Ljubljana Airport after successfully completing a 100,000 km round-the-world journey in an ultralight aircraft.

24th - LJUBLJANA - The government retracts a proposal for bigger class sizes in primary schools, one of the main reasons teachers' trade unions went on strike on 18 April.

24th - LJUBLJANA - The Citizens' List (DL) confirms the term of leader Gregor Virant and adopts a new statute at a party congress.

25th - LJUBLJANA - Members of the Chamber of Crafts Industries and Small Business (OZS) vote in a referendum to abolish mandatory membership of the chamber.

26th - WARSAW, Poland - Prime Minister Janez Janša attends a meeting of Central and East European heads of government with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

MAY

7th - LJUBLJANA - The daily Dnevnik reports that two retired bishops, Franc Kramberger and Alojz Uran, are stripped of rank and ordered to withdraw from public life. The Church denies the report, but it later transpires that the Holy See in fact demanded that they withdraw.

9th - LJUBLJANA - KD Group, an asset management firm, sells its banking arm, KD banka, to Factor banka.

10th - LJUBLJANA - Following more than 200 hours of negotiations, the government signs an agreement with the majority of public sector trade unions which staged a strike on 18 April on the austerity bill. The unions agree to an 8% across-the-board pay cut coupled with the elimination of disparities between wage brackets.

11th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passes the supplementary budget for 2012, its aim being to cut spending sufficiently to bring the budget deficit below 3% of GDP.

11th - LJUBLJANA - Police arrest 60 in several locations around Slovenia, seizing 35 kilo of drugs as well as weapons in what is the biggest ever sting into organised crime in the country's history.

17th - LJUBLJANA - Police trade unions lodge an initiative for a referendum on the austerity act but withdraw the petition on 30 May, after signing a new collective agreement increasing overtime pay.

18th - LJUBLJANA - The state-owned KAD and SOD funds sell their remaining stakes in Splošna plovba for a combined EUR 61m, which wraps up the controversial sale of Slovenia's sole maritime shipping company.

18th - LJUBLJANA - The National Bureau of Investigation files a criminal complaint against former MEP Zoran Thaler, who stepped down in the aftermath of a cash-for-laws scandal.

23rd - LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court orders an inquiry against Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and three others over abuse of office in the purchase of real estate in Serbia when they were on the board of retailer Mercator.

24th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's largest magazine publisher Delo Revije collapses after its owner Monera files for receivership. Police file a criminal complaint against Monera's owner Matej Raščan on 10 October for labour-related irregularities.

25th - LJUBLJANA - The government dissolves the supervisory board of motorway company DARS; the new supervisors dismiss chairwoman Mateja Duhovnik on 27 June and appoint Matjaž Knez to the post on 20 August.

26th - VATICAN CITY, Vatican - Pope Benedict XVI names Jurij Bizjak the new bishop of Koper.

26th - LJUBLJANA - Entry into force of amendments to the takeovers act, which raise the takeover threshold from 25% to a third of all voting rights.

29th - LJUBLJANA - New legislation allowing authorities to seize property acquired through illegal means enters into force.

31st - LJUBLJANA - Entry into force of the act on the balancing of public finances, an omnibus law that involves changes to 44 other acts in order to create an estimated EUR 222m in savings.

31st - LJUBLJANA/VIENNA, Austria - Slovenia declares Vienna-based Syrian Ambassador to Slovenia Bassam Sabbagh persona non grata over growing concerns about the situation in Syria.

31st - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts a decree closing embassies in Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Ireland, as well as consulates in New York and Düsseldorf. President Danilo Türk signs the decree on 7 June.

31st - KANGWONLAND, South Korea - President of the Ski Federation (SZS) Tomaž Lovše announces his resignation after Planica fails to win its bid to host the 2017 World Nordic Championships and the papers report of a dispute between him and Olympic Committee president Janez Kocijančič.

JUNE

1st - LJUBLJANA - The ZSSS trade union association petitions the Constitutional Court to throw out provisions of the act on the balancing of public finances dealing with holiday allowance, retirement criteria and extraordinary pensions that are not based on contributions. The court rejects the motion on 12 July. Public sector pay is cut by 8% in line with the omnibus austerity act.

2nd - KOČEVJE - Igor Lukšič is elected the new president of the Social Democrats (SD), unseating long-time president Borut Pahor, who declares he will run for president of the republic.

6th - LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court annuls a provision of the public procurement act that made it impossible for companies whose director had been involved in bankruptcy or liquidation procedures from bidding for public contracts.

9th - LJUBLJANA - Ivan Minatti, one of the most important Slovenian poets of the second half of the 20th century, dies at the age of 88.

12th - ROME, Italy - Prime Minister Janez Janša pays a visit to Italy for talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

12th - LJUBLJANA - The National Museum presents a sew-on ornament from the Bronze Age that, considered to be the oldest gold find in Slovenia.

14th - LJUBLJANA - Telemach, the country's no. 1 cable provider, enters the mobile telephony market.

15th - The prosecution drops the case against Prime Minister Janez Janša, who had been charged by the Information Commissioner in early 2011 of abuse of personal data for publishing the indictment in the Patria case.

21st - NOVA GORICA - Receivership starts of Slovenia's last big construction company, Primorje, making 750 workers jobless.

26th - LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša reveals he has not mustered the two-thirds majority in parliament to amend the Constitution with the golden fiscal rule and change referendum legislation.

26th - LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Aleš Hojs decrees that several barracks be renamed in honour of Slovenian independence war fighters, adding fuel to debates about ideological divisions.

27th - LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of the state-owned NLB bank confirm a EUR 381m recapitalisation by means of a EUR 61m issue of fresh shares and a EUR 320m issue of contingent convertible (CoCo) bonds.

27th - LJUBLJANA - Entry into force of amendments allowing banks in need of capital to issue contingent convertible bonds.

29th - LJUBLJANA - Over 26,000 pensioners receiving pensions not based on contributions to the Slovenian pension fund had their pensions reduced in line with the austerity act, triggering protests.

29th - BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janše rejects reports that Slovenia is next in line for an EU bailout after markets become jittery over his earlier suggestions that Slovenia would need a bailout if key reforms are not adopted.

30th - ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - UNESCO's World Heritage Committee decides to include Idrija's mercury mine along with the mine in Spain's Almaden on its world heritage list.

JULY

1st - LJUBLJANA - Slovenian health insurers respond to changes in health cover from state insurance stemming from the omnibus austerity bill by raising premiums for top-up health insurance by around 15%.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's largest bank, NLB, completes a EUR 382.9m recapitalisation to raise its capital adequacy in line with demands from the EU regulator. The recapitalisation is carried out by the state with a EUR 320m issue of contingent convertible bonds (CoCo bonds) and an injection of EUR 62.9m in equity from the state-owned KAD and SOD funds.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - Speculation grows that Slovenia may become the next eurozone country to ask for a bailout to deal with mounting toxic investments in its banking sector. This is denied by Slovenian authorities and on 10 July the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - Receivership is launched at logistics group Viator & Vektor after it fails to complete a EUR 30m capital injection. Some 500 jobs are lost.

5th - LJUBLJANA - The head of the state-run Capital Assets Management Agency (AUKN), Dagmar Komar, tenders her resignation as the government pushes ahead with plans to abolish the agency and set up a sovereign holding. The two other board members, Marko Golob and Danilo Grašič, are dismissed on 20 July.

5th - LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša announces during a visit by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Slovenia that Slovenia will contribute EUR 500,000 to Afghan security forces after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014.

7th - DUBROVNIK, Croatia - The Slovenian and Croatian foreign ministers, Karl Erjavec and Vesna Pusić, agree that each government will name a financial expert to examine the issue of the debt of the Croatian subsidiary of the defunct Slovenian bank LB.

10th - LJUBLJANA - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano pays a state visit to Slovenia as part of which he holds an address in the National Assembly calling for closer European integration.

12th - LJUBLJANA - The government appoints former Banka Slovenije governor France Arhar Slovenia's expert for dealing with the LB debt issue. Croatia appoints its expert on 19 August, naming former central bank governor Zdravko Rogić to the post.

18th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passes legislation that will merge the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investment, the Public Agency for Technology, the Slovenian Tourist Board and the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments into a single agency called Spirit Slovenia on 1 January 2013.

18th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly breaks month of deadlock by approving a state guarantee for a EUR 440m loan for the construction of a new generator at the TEŠ coal-fired power plant. The confirmation comes after cost safeguards demanded by the government were entered into the bill, enabling the cabinet to pull the plug on the guarantee should the price tag - now set at EUR 1.3bn - rise. A civil initiative mounts an attempt to call for a referendum, but fails to collect the required signatures.

19th - LJUBLJANA - Party leaders agree to delay a vote on the introduction of the golden fiscal rule of zero deficits in the Constitution till the autumn thereby preventing a potential government crisis after Prime Minister Janez Janša threatened to tie the vote on the rule to a vote of confidence.

20th - LJUBLJANA - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visits Slovenia, with the focus of his talks with Slovenian officials on the situation in Syria and the Western Balkans.

23rd - BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec says solving the issue regarding the defunct LB bank is a "precondition" for Slovenia to begin ratification of Croatia's EU Accession Treaty.

27th - LONDON, UK - A team of 64 athletes represents Slovenia at the 30th Olympic Games.

31st - LONDON, UK - Judoka Urška Žolnir wins gold in the women's under 63kg class at the London Olympics.

AUGUST

1st - LJUBLJANA - Amendments to the act on members of parliament reducing benefits for former MPs takes effect.

2nd - LONDON - Rating agencies step up pressure on Slovenia: Moody's cuts Slovenia's credit rating by three notches to Baa2; S&P follows a day later with a one-notch cut to A.

2nd - LONDON - Slovenian rowers Iztok Čop and Luka Špik take the bronze in the double sculls competition at the London Olympics.

3rd - LONDON - Slovenian shooter Rajmond Debevec wins bronze in the prone position rifle shooting competition.

5th - LONDON - Field star Primož Kozmus takes silver in the men's hammer throw at the London Olympics.

6th - ROME, Italy - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano declares Trieste-based Slovenian writer Alojz Rebula Grand Officer of the Order of Knighthood for service to the Italian Republic.

8th - LJUBLJANA - The government decides that 23 August will be observed in Slovenia as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of All Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes.

14th - KOPER - The last major construction company to remain standing, Kraški zidar, enters receivership after failing to reach a deal with banks on restructuring of loans. Over 300 jobs are lost.

16th - LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry declares the ongoing drought in Slovenia a natural disaster. Slovenia asks for EU aid on 24 September.

22nd - LJUBLJANA - Party leaders fail to make a breakthrough on securing the required two-thirds majority for introducing the golden fiscal rule in the Constitution. Leaders of the coalition parties decide on 17 September to put off a decision on the matter.

23rd - IG - Six people, including a child, die in Slovenia's worst hot air ballooning accident to date. The Civil Aviation Agency imposes a blanket ban on balloon flights until operators obtain air carrier certificates.

27th - VENICE, Italy - The city of Maribor is represented at the Architectural Biennial in Venice with the project "100YC (100 Year City)" by Tom Kovač.

28th - LJUBLJANA - The daily Delo publishes an article in which a German man claims that Slovenian Cardinal Franc Rode is his father. A subsequent DNA test clears Rode of fatherhood, prompting the cardinal to file lawsuits against the paper and its journalist.

SEPTEMBER

1st - LJUBLJANA - Rudolf Skobe takes over as chairman of telco Telekom Slovenije, taking over from Ivica Kranjčević, who retired.

1st - LJUBLJANA - Changes to the road safety act reducing fines for minor road offences enter into forces.

2nd - BLED - The seventh annual Bled Strategic Forum, Slovenia's largest international foreign policy event, takes place under the title "Europe and the Reshaped Global Order".

2nd - LONDON, UK - Slovenian shooter Franček Gorazd Tiršek wins silver in the Category 2 standing rifle event at the Paralympic Games.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - Retail prices hit an all-time high: a litre of regular unleaded costs EUR 1.576 while the price of diesel fuel hits EUR 1.444 a litre.

4th - LJUBLJANA - Leaders of the coalition parties get acquainted with efforts to reform the pension system and the labour market, concluding that the reforms should be passed by the end of the year. The Economic and Social Council meets on 7 September and forms negotiating groups for each of the reforms.

4th - LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry and Patria agree that the Finnish company will stop its supply of armoured personnel carriers to Slovenia, leaving it with the 30 vehicles delivered so far, instead of the 135 vehicles ordered.

4th - LJUBLJANA - The opposition Positive Slovenia (PS) excludes MP Borut Ambrožič from the party after allegations that he plagiarised his master's thesis. Ambrožič is stripped of his master's thesis on 13 November.

4th - MONTREAL, Canada - "Shanghai", a film by Slovenian director and scriptwriter Marko Naberšnik based on a novel by writer Feri Lainšček, receives the award for best screenplay at the Montreal World Film Festival.

5th - LJUBLJANA - Bine Kordež, the former boss of hardware retailer Merkur, is found guilty of abuse of office and forgery and sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of EUR 39,500. Three co-defendants are also found guilty of abuse of office or complicity in the EUR 10m worth defrauding of Merkur in the wake of the 2007 management buyout.

5th - MOSCOW, Russia - Russia's Gazprom and Slovenian company Plinovodi establish a joint venture that will build the Slovenian section of the South Stream gas pipeline.

5th - LIPICA - The 27th Vilenica international literary festival gets underway. The main prize at the festival goes to Canada-residing Serbian writer of Jewish origin David Albahari.

6th - VITANJE - A new science and art centre dedicated to space visionary Herman Potočnik Noordung (1892-1929) is opened.

7th - KOPER - The supervisors of port operator Luka Koper dismiss chairman of the board Gregor Veselko and appoint Bojan Brank as active chairman.

7th - PRIŠTINA, Kosovo - Brigadier Bojan Pograjc formally assumes the post of deputy commander of NATO's KFOR force in Kosovo, the most senior military post a Slovenian ever held in the alliance.

10th - MARIBOR - The Maribor High Court upholds a 10-month suspended sentence for doctor Zlatka Kanič, who was found guilty by a lower court of malpractice in the death of a 12-year-old boy in 2008.

10th - LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Prime Minister Janez Janša meets Luxembourg Prime Minister and Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker, with the pair denying that Slovenia will need an international bailout.

12th - LJUBLJANA - A group of 50 deputies file a constitutional amendment for changes to the referendum system.

12th - DUBLIN, Ireland - Prime Minister Janez Janša holds talks with his Irish counterpart Endo Kenny on Ireland's experience with dealing with the crisis.

12th - LJUBLJANA - The supervisors of newspaper publisher Delo dismiss chairman Juri Giacomelli.

15th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia closes its embassies in Lisbon and Stockholm and its consulate in Düsseldorf as part of an overhaul of its diplomatic network.

25th - MARIBOR - The supervisors of newspaper publisher Večer dismiss general manager Uroš Skuhalo and appoint Jure Struc in his place.

27th - LJUBLJANA - Criminal investigators conduct a series of house searches related to the construction of the Stožice sports complex in the capital. The investigation targets Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and some of his closest associates.

27th - NEW YORK, US - Prime Minister Janez Janša presents an initiative for upgrading the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide as he addresses the 67th UN General Assembly.

28th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passes the Slovenia Sovereign Holding act which unites all state investments under one roof and abolishes the Capital Assets Agency. The act is opposed by the opposition, which fears a sell-off of state assets. The National Council vetoes the act on 4 October, but MPs reconfirm it on 23 October.

30th - PORTOROŽ - "Hvala za Sunderland" (Thanks for Sunderland), a black comedy by Sarajevo-born director Slobodan Maksimović, wins top honours at the Festival of Slovenian Film.

OCTOBER

1st - LJUBLJANA - Police Commissioner Janko Goršek resigns due to differences with Interior Minister Vinko Gorenak. He is succeeded by Stanislav Veniger.

2nd - LJUBLJANA - Janko Medja is appointed chief executive of NLB bank, more than nine months after his predecessor Božo Jašovič tendered his resignation.

2nd - ZAGREB, Croatia - Croatia proposes to Slovenia that both countries send a request to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel (BIS) to tackle the issue of Croatian savers in the Zagreb branch of the bank LB.

3rd - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passes a law establishing a bad bank in order to tackle mounting non-performing loans, endorsing it once again on 23 October after a National Council veto.

4th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts the 2013 and 2014 budget bills. Spending is trimmed significantly to meet the target of a deficit below 3% of GDP, including with a planned 5% reduction in the public sector wage bill.

4th - BLED - The Kranj District Court rejects a Culture Ministry lawsuit seeking the annulment of a 2008 agreement which gave the Catholic Church a free 45-year lease on the Lake Bled island.

4th - BRDO PRI KRANJU - The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) holds its first session ever in an EU newcomer.

5th - LJUBLJANA - The Court of Audits requests the dismissal of the head of the Lipica stud farm, Toni Rumpf, over serious breach of conduct. Rumpf tenders his resignation the same day.

7th - SENOŽEČE - The first commercial wind farm in Slovenia is launched following years of complications with obtaining environmental permits.

9th - ROME, Italy - Media report that the Italian government decided to transfer EUR 4.8m to the special fund of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region for the Slovenian minority, EUR 2.1m less than budgeted.

11th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts a staffing plan cutting the number of employees in the civilian public administration by 816 in 2013 compared to 1 August this year and by an additional 50 in 2014.

12th - LJUBLJANA - Official campaigning starts ahead of the 11 November presidential election.

15th - HELSINKI, Finland - Slovenia closes its embassy in Finland, one of three it is shuttering as part of austerity measures.

15th - MARIBOR - The city of Maribor erects over 30 speed traps in a public-private partnership with Iskra sistemi, setting off a wave of protests against Mayor Franc Kangler, which grow into nation-wide protests against political elites.

16th - MARIBOR - The Borštnik Meeting, Slovenia's leading theatre festival, opens. The winner of the Borštnik Ring for life time achievement in theatre is actor Igor Samobor.

17th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts the labour market reform and the reform of the pension system, sending the proposals to parliament before they have been fully harmonised with social partners.

19th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia issues a US$ 2.25bn ten-year bond with a coupon rate of 5.5% and a yield of 5.7%, securing much needed funds for current expenditure.

19th - BRDO PRI KRANJU - Italy promises to start tackling the financing issues of the Slovenian minority as a coordinating committee of Italian and Slovenian ministers holds its fourth session.

24th - LJUBLJANA - Investor Jože Anderlič, the head of the Kranjska investicijska družba (KID) firm, withdraws from the construction of a modern arts and office building in the centre of Ljubljana after failing to obtain building permits.

25th - KRANJ - Sava sells its most profitable company, rubber and tyre maker Savatech, to the Czech CGS group for EUR 69.4m.

25th - LJUBLJANA - Bruno Blažina of the Criminal Police Directorate takes over as the new head of the National Bureau of Investigation.

26th - LJUBLJANA - Coalition parties file into parliamentary passage changes to the referendum act in a bid to tighten referendum criteria.

26th - ŽALEC - Beaulieu International, a Belgian industrial group, acquires a 52.42% stake in PVC floor maker Juteks for EUR 45 per share, in a deal worth EUR 15.1m.

27th-28th - LJUBLJANA - The Krško Nuclear Power Plant is stopped after heavy rains led to a surge in the level of the River Sava.

29th - LJUBLJANA - French company Lactalis agrees to acquire a 50.3% stake in the Ljubljana-based dairy Ljubljanske mlekarne from five shareholders.

30th - LJUBLJANA - A group of 30 MPs, mostly from the opposition Positive Slovenia, request referenda on the acts establishing the Slovenia Sovereign Holding and a bad bank.

31st - DUBLIN, Ireland/NEW YORK, US - Slovenia closes its embassy in Ireland and the general consulate in New York as part of cost-cutting measures.

NOVEMBER

2nd - LJUBLJANA - An opposition initiative for a referendum on the bad bank is found to be invalid due to the signatures being scanned. At the same time, an initiative by the Trade Union of Chemical, Non-Metal and Rubber Industries is restored after it is determined that signatures were lost between parliament, where they were lodged, and the Interior Ministry, where they were counted.

4th - LJUBLJANA - Blaž Košorok takes over as the director general of HSE, the state-owned power utility and one of the biggest companies in the country.

5th - LJUBLJANA - Heavy rain leads to severe flooding in western and eastern Slovenia, in particular in the Drava watershed. The damage is estimated at well over EUR 200m.

5th - VIENTIANE, Laos - Prime Minister Janez Janša participates in the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM).

6th - STRASBOURG, France - The European Court of Human Rights hands down a landmark judgement related to the long-running dispute over Yugoslav-era foreign currency deposits, ruling that Slovenia and Serbia had violated the right to effective legal remedy and the protection of property. Slovenia says it will appeal the judgement.

6th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly decides to petition the Constitutional Court to review the opposition-sponsored motion for a referendum on the Slovenia Sovereign Holding.

7th - VIENNA, Austria/LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša testifies via video link in the Vienna Patria trial, rejecting connections with the prime suspects, businessmen Walter Wolf and Hans-Wolfgang Riedel.

7th - LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFE) gets underway. The jury prize for best film goes to "Klip (Clip)" by Serbian director Maja Miloš.

8th - LJUBLJANA - The Strategic Council for Foreign Economic Cooperation adopts Slovenia's trade strategy, defining Azerbaijan, India, Kazakhstan, China, Russia and Turkey as strategic markets for 2013.

11th - LJUBLJANA - Former Prime Minister Borut Pahor surprisingly wins the first round of the presidential election with just under 40% of the vote, to face incumbent President Danilo Türk in the run-off.

12th-13th - MOSCOW, Russia - The Slovenian section of the South Stream gas pipeline gets the final stamp of approval as Prime Minister Janez Janša visits Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

14th - LJUBLJANA - Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić pays his first official visit to Slovenia for talks dominated by economic cooperation.

15th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly unanimously endorses at first reading the government pension and labour reform bills as suitable for further debate.

15th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts the budget bills for 2013 and 2014 after making only minor adjustments compared to the original proposal.

15th - ROME, Italy - The Budget Commission of the Italian Chamber of Deputies reverses an announced cut in funding of the Slovenian minority, securing not only around EUR 3m but EUR 5.3m for 2013.

15th - LJUBLJANA - The government adopts changes to several acts, cutting into compensation of former officials, including the human rights ombudsman, constitutional judges and auditors.

15th - LJUBLJANA - The Corruption Prevention Commission finds multiple instances of corruption in Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler's dealings with the city-owned pharmaceutical company Farmadent. People's Party (SLS) leader Radovan Žerjav calls on Kangler to resign. The party excludes Kangler from its ranks on 22 November.

17th - LJUBLJANA - An estimated 30,000 people gather in the Slovenian capital to express their opposition to the government's crisis measures.

19th - LJUBLJANA - The opposition Positive Slovenia (PS) files for a vote of no-confidence against Interior Minister Vinko Gorenak, whom it accuses of being responsible for the loss of signatures in support for a referendum against the bad bank act.

20th - LJUBLJANA - Dragan Tošić, the alleged leader of what was believed to be the Slovenian arm of an international drug smuggling ring, is acquitted in the high-profile Balkan Warrior trial. Four of a total of 17 defendants are sentenced to between 4 and 10 years in prison. But they are released pending a final verdict since the prosecution failed to propose an extension of custody in its closing statement.

20th - LJUBLJANA - Slovenia announces it will challenge the European Commission's decision that sports equipment maker Elan must return a EUR 10m injection it received from the government in 2008, which the Commission found to have been against EU rules.

21st - MARIBOR - Hundreds of protesters gather in front of Maribor City Hall in a failed effort to prevent the Mayor Franc Kangler from being elected a national councillor. The protests escalate into a confrontation with police.

21st - LJUBLJANA - The government decides that the ill-fated government jet, which has been stationed in a hangar for nearly three years, will become part of the Slovenian Armed Force's fleet and will be made available for use by fellow NATO member states.

23rd - LJUBLJANA - The government withdraws a bill that would introduce a selective VAT rise, deciding instead to raise duties on fuel, electricity, alcohol and tobacco.

23rd - LJUBLJANA - Parliament confirms a coalition proposal to request a constitutional review of the initiative for a referendum on the bad bank law, effectively freezing the collecting of signatures in support of the referendum.

26th - MARIBOR - An estimated 10,000 people gather for what is the biggest and the most aggressive rally against Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler to date. A dozen police officers are injured and two dozen protesters end up behind bars.

26th - LJUBLJANA - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pays an official visit to Slovenia dedicated to boosting economic ties.

28th - LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič says the state should sell its entire stake in NLB bank, a statement that comes after the bank's supervisory board proposed a precautionary EUR 375m capital increase.

29th - LJUBLJANA - MPs back a package of changes to tax legislation, including amendments to the personal and corporate income tax acts aimed to simplify the system for sole proprietors and micro companies, and a law introducing a 6.5% tax on financial transactions.

29th - NEW YORK, US - Slovenia abstains from the UN vote on the motion by Palestinian authorities to upgrade its status in the UN.

29th - MARIBOR - NKBM bank decides to start exclusive negotiations on the sale of its 51% stake in insurance company Zavarovalnica Maribor (ZM) with reinsurer Sava Re. A deal on the sale is signed on 11 December.

30th - LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office reveals that Slovenia is officially in recession, as real gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 3.3% year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, the second consecutive quarter of contraction.

30th - LJUBLJANA - Anti-establishment rallies are held in several cities. Several thousand people gather in Ljubljana, where peaceful protests turn violent.

30th - LJUBLJANA - The Šoštanj coal-fired power plant TEŠ signs key guarantee contracts with the ministries of finance and infrastructure, paving the way for a state loan guarantee for the ongoing project to build a EUR 1.3bn generator at TEŠ.

DECEMBER

2nd - LJUBLJANA - The Social Democratic former Prime Minister Borut Pahor is elected the new president of Slovenia, winning 67.4% of the vote in the run-off to unseat the incumbent, Danilo Türk. The turnout is 42%, the lowest on record for a presidential election.

3rd - LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR - Thousands of protesters gather in several cities in a continuation of protests against political elites. In Maribor the protest of more than 10,000 turns violent and police use tear gas to disperse the crowd, arresting 120 rioters. Around 4,000 gather in Ljubljana but no major incidents are reported.

4th - LJUBLJANA - The coalition Democrats (SDS) float an idea of reforms of the political system that would include direct elections of MPs and limit terms for judges.

4th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly unanimously passes the government-sponsored pension reform whose centrepiece is an increase in the retirement age to 65 years or 40 years of contributions.

6th - LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passes austerity budgets for 2013 and 2014, aiming to bring the deficit below 3% of GDP. Public sector trade unions start referendum proceedings targeting the act on the implementation of the budgets, but the government subsequently announces it will seek a constitutional review of the initiative.

6th - MARIBOR - Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler announces his resignation effective on 31 December after anger provoked by his decision to set up speed traps and mounting allegations of corruption sparked a series of protests across the country.

9th - VIPAVA - Ljudmila Novak is elected the president of the conservative coalition New Slovenia (NSi) for a third consecutive term.

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14.12.2012 14:00

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