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Slovenian report Slovenian report
by Euro Reporter
2012-08-30 10:11:34
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Slovenia bans hot air balloon flights after fatal crash

Slovenia's authorities have temporarily banned all hot air balloon flights following a crash that killed four people and injured 28. The country's Civil Aviation Agency said on Monday the ban was issued in line with recommendations of its team that is investigating the accident which happened Thursday near the capital, Ljubljana.

Slovenia's STA news agency says preliminary findings show that the accident was caused by a low-altitude wind shear that was triggered by an incoming storm. The balloon with 32 people in its basket was swept up by the wind and crashed in a ball of flame.

All the killed passengers were Slovenian citizens, including an 11-year-old girl and her mother. Two British and two Italian nationals were injured. Hot air ballooning is popular in the small Alpine country.


Slovenian accordionist sets new world record

Slovenian accordionist Zoran Zorko has set a new Guinness world record with marathon accordion performances that lasted 35 hours and 32 minutes. Zorko's record was set during performances in Ljubljana's Congress Square, the lakeside resort of Bled, and an accordion festival in the border town of Brezice between Thursday and Sunday. Finland's Anssi Laitinen held the previous record by continuously playing for 31 hours and 25 minutes in 2010.

Under Guinness rules, Zorko had to play the accordion continuously with a maximum of 30-second breaks between songs. He could not improvise and all his songs needed to be by recognised authors. A song could only be played once within a four-hour period.

Every full hour of playing earned Zorko a five-minute break. "During these five minutes, I go to eat, go to the toilet and do everything else necessary for my daily life," Zorko told Xinhua in Brezice. The self-taught accordionist cannot read notes, making his record all the more remarkable.


Slovenia leads rise in bank-stability risk across Europe

Slovenia’s banks are suffering from weak capital buffers and rising non-performing loans, according to Euromoney Country Risk. Slovenia has seen the largest fall in its bank-stability score of any European country during the past two years, according to ECR’s survey contributors. The indicator (one of 15 in ECR’s constantly updated survey) has plunged 2.7 points, from 8.3 out of 10 to 5.6. ECR’s bank-stability indicator provides a useful measure of banking strength, ranging from zero, where a systematic breakdown in the system has occurred, to 10, which is indicative of a perfectly functioning system with all possible exposures comfortably covered.

The situation in Slovenia is explained in a recent report (Is Slovenia next?) by one of ECR’s contributors, Ales Pustovrh, managing director of Bogatin Consulting, together with Marko Jaklic at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. The authors believe that: “Slovenia really could become the next EU country awaiting rescue from the bailout fund." “As a direct consequence of the excessive lending in the boom years, banks are now left with a large amount of non-performing loans. Exactly how large the amount really is remains unclear but most estimates put it at €6 billion.” Other countries experiencing the largest falls in their bank-stability perceptions among economists and other country risk experts since 2010 include Ireland, Greece and Portugal – the three countries that required a sovereign bailout.

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