Janša condemns extremism after protest in front of Slovenian embassy
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša condemned extremism after members of a radical Islamist group in Bosnia and Herzegovina protested in front of the Slovenian embassy in Sarajevo Sunday over an alleged non-paper linked to Slovenia that speaks about the breakup of Bosnia along ethnic lines. "Slovenian and other extremists who sow chaos are only causing damage," he said on Twitter noting that Slovenia had stopped dealing with the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, when it became independent. FM Anže Logar added that reviving a debate on the alleged non-paper benefited neither Bosnia-Herzegovina nor Slovenia. The debate is in fact "very harmful to Slovenia" and many things about it is "spreading non-truths and half-truths".
Gatherings of up to 100 allowed as outdoor hospitality reopens
LJUBLJANA - The months-long ban on assemblies was lifted as gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed again to gather for pre-registered rallies under strict mask-wearing and social-distancing rules. The government lifted the ban after it had been stayed by the Constitutional Court. Moreover, outdoor hospitality reopened in eight of the country's 12 statistical regions. The easing stepped in force in the regions of Pomurje, Podravje, Koroška, Zasavska, Gorenjska, Goriška and Obalno-Kraška.
Coronavirus count down for 5th day
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 234 coronavirus cases on Sunday, the fifth straight day that the daily increase in infections declined from the same day a week ago. The rolling 7-day average thus dropped to 785, government data show. However, hospitalisations rose by a further 21 to 652 and ICU cases rose by three to 157. Another eight patients with Covid-19 died. Data from the National Institute of Public Health show 4,461 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
Orders received for over 2,600 jabs for matura students, staff
LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has received an order for 2,625 shots of Corona-19 vaccine for final-year secondary school students taking the matura exam this year and the staff involved, while others will receive the leftover shots in what is voluntary vaccination. Almost 17,000 students will take the school-leaving exam this year. The students over 18 who applied for the vaccination will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, while the underage students will be inoculated with the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines. The NIJZ has received 47 orders for the latter, the institute told the STA.
EU presidency more demanding due to pandemic
LJUBLJANA - Gregor Štajer, the head of the government secretariat in charge of presidency organisation, told the STA Slovenia's spell at the presidency of the EU in the second half of the year will be even more demanding than usually owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The events calendar is not ready for release yet, but Štajer said the way things stand at the moment Slovenia will host 185 events. However, many may have to take place online, depending on the Covid situation.
Janša highlights role of Slovenian army during independence
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša stressed at a ceremony marking thirty years since the passage of the military service act that the process of the passage of the act had been difficult. He also stressed that the Slovenian Armed Forces had played a key role in Slovenia's independence. The act was passed on 18 April 1991 after an almost six-moth government and parliamentary procedure and despite enormous resistance, Jaša said at the ceremony in the National Council. The start of military training was "a big, extremely important and irreplaceable step towards independence," he added.
Top court says auditors may review central bank supervision
LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court decided the Court of Audit has the right to scrutinise the supervisory practices of the central bank, as it decided that several provisions of legislation that had been challenged by the central bank are not unconstitutional. The decision marks the latest chapter in a years long battle concerning the central bank's role in the EUR 5 billion bailout, which was the primary reason why the law was changed in 2017 to give the Court of Audit the power to audit the central bank's decisions leading to the bailout. The Court of Audit said it was satisfied with the decision.
Fiscal Council raises issues with budgeting documents
LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council reviewed government budgeting documents for the upcoming period, finding that projections for 2021 and 2022 indicate an expansionary fiscal policy, which it said was understandable, but said some measures were structural and would weigh down on the fiscal position. The council's head, Davorin Kračun, also said that part of expenditure projections for 2023 and 2024 unrealistic because a projected decrease in spending was not supported by measures.
Virtual conference on Latin America and the Caribbean starts
LJUBLJANA - FM Anže Logar pointed out as he addressed the start of a virtual conference dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) hosted by the Foreign Ministry and the Bled Strategic Forum that Slovenia would strive to strengthen partnership with the region during its upcoming EU presidency. Logar said in a video address that the relations between Slovenia, Latin America and the Caribbean had been traditionally good but that there were still many opportunities to strengthen cooperation, especially in economy, science and technology, the Foreign Ministry said.
ARSO no longer in charge of environment-related administrative procedures
LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning is assuming all administrative procedures related to the environment from the Environment Agency (ARSO). The reorganisation, to be completed by 1 July, is expected to speed up the procedures as part of the government's debureaucratisation drive, Minister Andrej Vizjak said. As part of the reorganisation, a complaint against what is now an ARSO decision could no longer be filed with the ministry, but directly at the Administrative Court.
Poll shows govt support keeps falling
LJUBLJANA - The Vox Populi poll for April shows support for the government continues to fall while there are also more respondents who consider its performance successful. The ruling Democrats (SDS) continued to poll highest among political parties whereas over a fifth of the respondents had problems with access to healthcare during the Covid epidemic. 67.3% of those polled labelled the government's performance as unsuccessful, up 0.1 of a percentage point on March and the lowest since it came into office in March 2020. However, the share of those who said the government was successful also increased.
Drug ring busted, 15 suspects indicted
CELJE - Celje police have indicted 15 suspects over 49 counts related to drug trafficking, transport of illegal migrants, classified information leaking and bribery, as an investigation that started in mid-2020, concluded last week with 16 house searches and arrests of 12 suspects, Celje Criminal Police chief Damijan Turk said. The drug ring based in the Celje area several citizens of Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia, who purchased, stored and sold cocaine and cannabis across the country. Its individual members also organised transport of illegal migrants from Croatia via Slovenia to Italy.
Ljubljana city council endorses Rog project
LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana city council endorsed the decree establishing the public institute Rog Centre that is to be set up in the defunct Ljubljana bicycle factory Rog. This comes after an autonomous social and cultural community was evicted from the premises in January. In line with the decree, Rog will become an interdisciplinary and multicultural public creative and production centre after renovation. The public institute will have a board, director and two assistant directors. Bids in a tender for renovation and construction of the premises, published at the end of March, will be reviewed on Friday.
Koper museum's independence exhibition upsets some veterans
KOPER - An exhibition on Slovenia's independence that is being mounted by the Koper Regional Museum has upset the Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence, an outfit led by Interior Minister Aleš Hojs, which believes the plan to remember the deaths of members of the Yugoslav army is an act of provocation. The museum, under the leadership of Luka Juri, a former MP for the SocDems, said independence-related events would be presented in an objective and comprehensive manner.
Slovenian Olympic torch to visit all Slovenian municipalities
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Olympic torch will pass through all Slovenian municipalities between 3 May and 23 July, as over 5,000 runners will carry the symbol of the Olympic Games over the 81 days in the run-up to the start of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The Slovenian Olympic Committee will organise the relay in conjunction with the police, while sports fans have been urged to monitor its progress online given that epidemic restrictions remain in place.
Two more Romanian lynxes arrive in Slovenia
BOHINJ - Two more Romanian lynxes arrived in Slovenia the past weekend as part of the international Life Lynx project after one arrived in March. The male Zois and female Aida will first spend some time in the adjustment enclosure in Jelovica in the north before being released into the wild as part of the project conducted by the Ljubljana Zoo and the Forest Service. Five lynxes are to arrive in the Gorenjska and Primorska regions by the end of the year.