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Slovenia puts freak ice storm damage on woods at 194 million euro

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Damage wrought on Slovenia's forests during a heavy ice storm earlier this month is estimated at 194 million euros ($266.77 million) and will take months to repair, officials said on Wednesday. The devastation occurred mostly in west Slovenia as a three-day freak storm brought down electricity lines and trees and coated parked cars, petrol stations and street signs in thick ice.

Life grinds to a halt in Slovenia's frozen west

By Zoran Radosavljevic POSTOJNA, Slovenia (Reuters) - Cars stand entombed in a crystal-like casing near the deserted railway station in Postojna. Trees and electricity pylons lie felled in the snow by the sheer weight of ice enveloping them. The damage wrought in western Slovenia by a freak ice storm and blizzards could take weeks or months to repair in a tiny EU member-state already going through its worst economic crisis in two decades as an independent state.

90,000 households without power as snow, sleet hit Slovenia

Heavy snow and sleet battering most of Slovenia since Saturday blocked railways and left 90,000 households without power across the Alpine country, the government said Sunday. In the Postojna area, some 40 kilometres (24 miles) south of the capital Ljubljana, power lines collapsed under the weight of ice and snow or falling trees and could not be repaired due to the continuing bad weather.

90,000 households without power as snow, sleet hit Slovenia

Heavy snow and sleet battering most of Slovenia since Saturday blocked railways and left 90,000 households without power across the Alpine country, the government said Sunday. In the Postojna area, some 40 kilometres (24 miles) south of the capital Ljubljana, power lines collapsed under the weight of ice and snow or falling trees and could not be repaired due to the continuing bad weather.

Saved a state bailout, Slovenes question hefty banking bill

By Laura Noonan LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The sighs of relief around Europe when Slovenia said it could rescue its banks without an international bailout have been matched by anger from locals who see it as an over-generous deal that will discourage financiers from changing their ways. The rescue announced last week will give the former Yugoslav republic's three largest banks capital ratios of 15 percent, well above the European Union average of about 10 percent, they note.

Slovenia Church warns of lawsuit flood after abuse ruling

Slovenia's Catholic Church has warned a court decision ordering it to compensate a victim of sexual abuse could open the floodgates for lawsuits against other institutions, like schools or hospitals. Local media reported a court ruling over the weekend that ordered the archdiocese of Maribor, Slovenia's second city, to pay 80,000 euros ($107,000) to a woman who had been sexually abused as a child by one of its priests. "Court sentences have to be obeyed," the Slovenian Bishops' Conference said in a statement on its website.

Eurogroup head says Slovenia must press on with reforms

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The chairman of the group of euro zone finance ministers said the bloc stands ready to support Slovenia, but the country must not stray from the path of fiscal reform, a newspaper reported. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, due to discuss reforms and the overhaul of Slovenia's struggling banks with policymakers in Ljubljana later on Monday, said the government's credibility was likely to suffer if deficit and debt levels rose.

Political row threatens Slovenia government, efforts to avert bailout

By Marja Novak LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - A dispute over the leadership of Slovenia's ruling party erupted on Wednesday, posing a threat to the euro zone state's four-party coalition government and its efforts to avert an international bailout. The mayor of Slovenia's capital Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic, announced he would run for the leadership of the center-left Positive Slovenia (PS), the main ruling party, in a move that prompted dismay among the other coalition parties.

Slovenian PM faces party leadership challenge

Ljubljana's millionaire mayor said Wednesday he would challenge Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek for the leadership of the Positive Slovenia party, prompting threats from Bratusek's coalition partners to quit the government. Zoran Jankovic, a charismatic former supermarket boss, founded Positive Slovenia (PS) and the party came first in elections in late 2011, but corruption allegations forced his resignation in January.

Slovenian PM says will ask for vote of confidence: TV interview

By Marja Novak LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The center-left prime minister of Slovenia, which is struggling to avoid a bailout, said she will ask for a confidence vote in parliament later this year, linking it to the vote on 2014 budget. The budget is designed to cut public spending and raise taxes so as to help reduce the deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2015, as demanded by the European Commission, from some 7.9 percent seen this year.
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