Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Imago Sloveniae Brings Music to Old Towns Across Slovenia

"Over 100 concerts will bring fresh life to old city centres as the festival Imago Sloveniae (Images of Slovenia) does its rounds in more than 25 cities across Slovenia starting in the medieval city of Ptuj on Saturday.

The festival will open with a concert by the Philharmonic Orchestra, which will also be the opening event of its tour of Slovenia. The six-concert tour will end on 30 June at Ljubljana Castle, the organisers said on Thursday."

Source: GCO

Slovenia Gets Tough Anti-Smoking Legislation

"Smokers in Slovenia are facing tighter restrictions this summer as the National Assembly on Friday passed amendments to the anti-smoking act in a 45:13 vote. The law means Slovenia is joining a growing number of EU countries with tough anti-smoking laws.

When the act takes effect in August, smoking in indoor public and work places will be allowed only in areas where employees cannot be exposed to second-hand smoke.
Exemptions to the general smoking ban include open public areas, special smoking hotel rooms, special smoking areas in elderly care centres and jails, and special smoking rooms in bars and other work places.
The smoking rooms, which will have to meet strict technical standards, will however not be allowed to occupy more than 20% of an establishment.
The age for buying cigarettes has been raised from 15 to 18. Shops will have to check the age of buyers, as is the case with alcohol, while persons who sell tobacco products have to be at least 18."

Source: GCO

Friday, June 22, 2007

Slovenia lawmakers will consider changing rules

"Slovenia's lawmakers will next month start debating changes to gaming and business-ownership laws that would allow Harrah's Entertainment to partner on a $1 billion casino development near the Italian border.

The Las Vegas gaming company agreed in early June to take a 49 percent stake in partnership with Hit, a Slovenia-based developer, for a mixed-used project in western Slovenia.

The agreement allows Slovenia's Finance Ministry to propose and debating changes to regulations that only allow a 20 percent stake by foreign investors in businesses and to the country's gaming tax, which is close to 60 percent.

'The government has a desire to see an increase in tourism,' said Jan Jones, Harrah's senior vice president of government relations. 'They also realize they need partnerships to realize that goal.'

Jones said the current tax rate is prohibitive for Harrah's to see a return on its investment.

The casino would be Eastern Europe's largest, with 1,500 rooms, 2,000 slots, table games, convention and event space, clubs, bars, restaurants and a spa. The partnership is considering six building sites around the western city of Nova Gorica."

Source: Casino City Times

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Robic wins race across America

"Slovenia's Jure Robic won the Race Across America trans-continental cycling race for the third time in four years on Tuesday. The 42-year-old ultra-marathon cyclist completed a journey from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean that took him eight days, 19 hours and 33 minutes. Robic peddled 3042 miles from Oceanside, California, over two mountain ranges to this seaside resort just after 8 a.m. and nearly four hours ahead of Austrian runner-up Wolfgang Fasching, a three time winner of the solo event."

Source: AFP

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Australian Buys Top Floors of Ljubljana Skyscraper

Another Aussie story and it's barely been a week! According to Slovenia's STA news service, the state-run Pension Fund Management (KAD) sold part of Ljubljana's landmark Neboticnik building (locally known as the Skyscraper) in an auction on 12 June. The buyer, a company called Terra Australis (owned by Anthony Tomazin, an Australian of Slovenian descent) paid EUR 2.12 million for the top five floors of the building. Tomazin's company also owns the Opera bar, a popular nightlife spot in the center of Ljubljana that is decorated with Australian motifs .

"Neboticnik, conceived by architect Vladimir Subic (1894-1946), was inaugurated on 21 February 1933. With a height of just over 70 metres, it was at the time the tallest building in the Balkans and the ninth tallest in Europe. Neboticnik rests on 16 support pillars set 18 metres into solid ground. This design makes it one of the most earthquake-safe buildings in Ljubljana."

Source: STA

Monday, June 11, 2007

Aussie wins Slovenia Big Brother Contest

An Australian contestant on Slovenia's popular Big Brother reality TV show has claimed the grand prize this weekend:

"HE'S got a Big Brother house right at his doorstep, but Aussie Andrej Novak travelled all the way to Slovenia to compete on the reality TV series - and won.

The 27-year-old Gold Coaster took home €75,000 ($120,000) on claiming the top prize in the Central European nation's first BB series.

Novak, who has a Slovenian background, spoke mostly English in the house because he didn't feel confident using the native tongue.

Always a scene stealer, he was one of 12 housemates who entered the 300sq m house in the capital Ljubljana on March 17."


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Majority of Slovenians Satisfied With Euro Switch

"Two-thirds of Slovenians are satisfied with the switch to the euro, but the majority believe that the changeover caused price hikes, according to a Eurobarometer survey on the euro changeover in Slovenia, which was published in Brussels on Thursday.

The majority of Slovenians are convinced that the euro strengthens Slovenia's position in the international community, while paying with euros makes them more European.

More than four-fifths believe that the changeover was simple, while only 2% say that the change of prices from tolars to euro presented a problem."

Source: GCO

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Discovering Koper

The Times Herald of Port Huron Michigan has published a story titled "Adriatic Sea is a largely undiscovered travel delight" that begins with a very enthusiastic description of the author's arrival on a cruise ship at the port of Koper:

"There is a sparkling port on the Adriatic Sea relatively new to tourism. In fact, the arrival of the cruise ship Veendam to Koper, Slovenia, was such a special occasion the local TV network sent a crew to report on our arrival.

We were greeted by smiling residents and breathtaking beauty. Even a substantial number of the Veendam crew disembarked to check out this gem tucked away at the north end of the Adriatic Sea between Italy and Croatia, south of Austria.

We walked uphill, along pristine sidewalks lined with flowers, trees and shops, toward an open-air market were the locals sell flowers, vegetables, fruit, wine, garlic spreads, olives and linens. Few spoke English but that didn't stop us from shopping."


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Little Slovenia, part of the Big Fiber Dream �

Om Malik, a well-known technology writer, has posted an article about Slovenia's plans for deploying fiber optic cables directly to individual homes:

"Slovenia is one of those tiny nations you may have heard off but may have difficulty finding on the map. Independent for about 16 years, the country with a population of over 2 million was carved out of the old Yugoslavia. Despite its diminutive size, it is one of the important players in the fiber-to-the-home revolution that is slowly sweeping the world.

The local incumbent, Telekom Slovenije, has launched a project, F2, a massive fiber to the home project that will get 50,000 Slovenian homes fiber-based broadband access. That may not sound like much, but it still is an important piece that adds to the overall FTTH deployments worldwide, which are slowly and steadily increasing."

SOurce: GigaOM

Friday, June 1, 2007

Slovenians Make Top 20 in Walking Speed Index

"LONDON, England -- Pedestrians all over the world are moving faster than a decade ago, according to scientists who have conducted a study into the pace at which people walk.

Psychologists say walking speeds have increased by an average of 10 percent in the past 10 years.

People in the greatest hurry live in Singapore, according to the study of cities in 32 countries. Following in their footsteps are residents of Copenhagen in Denmark and Madrid in Spain."

Here is a list of the top 20 cities ranked by the speeds at which people walk:

1) Singapore (Singapore)
2) Copenhagen (Denmark)
3) Madrid (Spain)
4) Guangzhou (China)
5) Dublin (Ireland)
6) Curitiba (Brazil)
7) Berlin (Germany)
8) New York (U.S.)
9) Utrecht (Netherlands)
10) Vienna (Austria)
11) Warsaw (Poland)
12) London (United Kingdom)
13) Zagreb (Croatia)
14) Prague (Czech Republic)
15) Wellington (New Zealand)
16) Paris (France)
17) Stockholm (Sweden)
18) Ljubljana (Slovenia)
19) Tokyo (Japan)
20) Ottawa (Canada)

Source - CNN