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24 Jan 2022, 20:47 PM

STA, 24 January 2022 - Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar said that "we must do everything in our power, use all diplomatic means for a diplomatic solution to the dispute" between Russia and Ukraine, as he spoke to the press after a session of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

Before the session, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU would not follow in the footsteps of the US, which is withdrawing family members of staff at its embassy in Ukraine from the country over a continuing threat of military action from Russia.

Borrell said he could not see any reason for such a move until talks were continuing with Russia, as he spoke to the press before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefed the EU's foreign ministers via video call about the reasons for the US decision.

Logar said after the session Borrell had clearly said that the EU's diplomatic delegation remains in Ukraine with all staff, and added that the delegation itself also saw no reason for any change at the moment.

Asked whether the US decision meant a war was close, Logar said that "it's not an announcement of an expected course of events".

As for Slovenia providing direct help to Ukraine, Logar said that a decision had not yet been taken. If it decides to do so, the public will be promptly informed, he added.

The minister noted, however, that the question of helping Ukraine is up to each individual EU country, it is not subject to harmonisation at EU level.

The Foreign Ministry told the STA Slovenia was not planning to reduce its diplomatic staff in Kyiv for the time being and was coordinating all activities with other EU countries.

As to the Ukraine travel advice, the ministry said the general recommendation published on its website remained valid.

Slovenian citizens are advised against all travel to the temporarily occupied areas of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol and certain parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk.

This is because the Slovenian Embassy in Kyiv cannot provide consular assistance to the Slovenian citizens that would encounter difficulties in those regions.

The ministry also expressed Slovenia's concern about the buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. "We are calling for de-escalation and a diplomatic solution while welcoming efforts by the European External Action Service and allies in that direction," it said.

The ministry noted that Slovenia is providing support to Ukraine within its NATO membership. In case of potential escalation, it called for a unified and fast response in coordination with the alliance and other international partners.

The EU's Foreign Affairs Council discussed the situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border, as well as the situation in Libya and Syria.

24 Jan 2022, 15:34 PM

STA, 24 January 2022 - Robert Golob, who has been ousted as chairman of energy trader Gen-I, has ended weeks of speculation about his future by announcing he will vie to become a president of a small non-parliamentary party this week to contest the general election in April. 

Z.Dej, a green party formed by former environment minister Jure Leben in May 2021, will hold a congress this Wednesday. "I hear the [presidential] post is vacant, this is the magic of adventure," Golob said on Monday as he presented the company's results.

The decision comes after Golob spent several weeks in talks with various party leaders, having already decided before that he would enter politics in one way or another.

A critic of particracy, he was initially sceptical of joining an existing party, but he recently acknowledged the realities of the Slovenian political system necessitated this type of political organisation.

Golob would not go into detail about his political plans and said the members of Z.Dej would hear about that first. "Out of respect, they should not learn that from the media. This is the only way I can expect respect from them as well."

The statement came at a press conference at which he talked at length about the success of Gen-I, a company he established and led since its inception, offering it as a model for how the country could be governed.

While he refused to answer many of the direct questions about his politics, he made repeated references to the election during the presentation, for example by noting that mistakes in the country would be "addressed in April" and saying that his next job will probably be in parliament - should the voters decide so.

He also referenced a "combination of seemingly impossible goals" of the kind that Gen-I achieved, and said the focus should be on green, digital as well as investment in people and the sharing of gains.

Golob thinks it is time to change political culture in the country. "Anger and fear lead to nothing but perdition," he said, noting that there would be "more light" come April.

"The man whose ultimate value it is to instil fear among the citizens will never be my interlocutor," he said, in an apparent reference to the current prime minister.

Golob was eased out of Gen-I in what the centre-left opposition and many media outlets have described as political staffing.

The company is still without a CEO and a court is currently deciding on several competing proposals for management. Golob was among the names put forward but he said today he had revoked his consent and would not be joining the company again.

24 Jan 2022, 12:40 PM

STA, 24 January 2022 - Invera Equity Partners, a Dutch private equity fund manager, has acquired a 58.2% stake in Slovenian prefabricated house maker Marles Hiše Maribor. Invera said it intends to strengthen the company's position in existing markets, increase production capacity, and secure new opportunities.

Marles will get the opportunity to expand its business, consolidate its position as the leading manufacturer of prefabricated wooden buildings in Slovenia, and become a major player in Central Europe, the company said in Monday's press release.

They added that Invera's strategic investment will result in additional hiring, increased investments and even more successful future operations, especially in the markets of Western Europe.

Invera is a private equity fund based in the Netherlands. It focuses on southeastern Europe, and its investor base consists of institutional investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Fund.

"We are very proud to assist Marles in its further development and expansion into the challenging Western European markets," said Janez Škrubej, a partner at Invera Equity Partners.

"We believe that the company can play a key role in the prefabricated timber building industry in the most demanding markets in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and beyond," he added.

Marles Hiše's board of directors described the transaction as good for all stakeholders. The remaining 41.8% stake in the company will be held by the Slovenian company Investma.

The company has consolidated annual revenues of around EUR 30 million and bills itself as the largest Slovenian producer of prefabricated wooden houses and buildings. It is also the largest exporter in this sector.

24 Jan 2022, 11:55 AM

STA, 19 January 2022 - Many Slovenian cities and towns are twinned with cities all over China, with the oldest link being between Ljubljana and Chengdu, lasting over 40 years, and the most recent one being the twinning of Kranj and Zhangjiakou, one of the host cities of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.

The mayors of Kranj and the Chinese city of Zhangjiakou, which has 4.7 million inhabitants and lies 200 kilometres north-west of Beijing, signed a document twinning the two cities in December, focusing mainly on cooperation in sport and business.

Zhangjiakou will be one of the venues for the Winter Olympic Games in February 2022, with teams competing there in ski jumping, cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

Zhangjiakou boasts state-of-the-art winter sports infrastructure, while Kranj is passing on experience gained through a well-established school system for young athletes, quality work in sports clubs and its experienced coaching staff.

The twinning with a Chinese city is a historic step, as it is the first time that Kranj became twinned with a non-European city.

"Sport is the strongest link between our two cities, and we look forward to working with our Chinese friends, exchanging experience and knowledge," Kranj Mayor Matjaž Rakovec said upon the signing of the twinning document in December.

Zhangjiakou, also known as "Beijing's northern gate" due to its strategic location, has seen an accelerated focus on tourism in recent years, including winter sports tourism. This is an aspect that can provide opportunities for Slovenian partners as well.

Many Slovenian cities and municipalities have already established links with China in the past. The oldest is Ljubljana's link with Chengdu, and the list of twinned cities is quite extensive.

Ajdovščina is twinned with Jorung, Črna na Koroškem with Harbin, Koper with Jiujiang, Novo Mesto with Yixing, while Maribor is twinned with a total of eight Chinese cities: Wuxi, Yancheng, Huai'an, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Chongqing and Hangzhou

24 Jan 2022, 04:45 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA

New record of nearly 14,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday

LJUBLJANA - A new daily record number of coronavirus infection cases was recorded in Slovenia on Saturday as 13,911 PCR tests were positive, with Radio Slovenija reporting that the figures included the results of the samples taken on Thursday and Friday that had come back for Germany, as a certain number of samples are being sent there as Slovenia has reached full capacity. The positivity rate standing at 75.5%, data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) show. Total hospitalisations were up by seven to 608 today, while the number of patients in intensive care was down by one to 135. A total of 18 people with Covid-19 died yesterday, which is the highest daily death toll since 18 December.

Slovenian minority grateful to Matarella as his terms runs out

TRIESTE - An umbrella organisation of the Slovenian minority in Italy has expressed gratitude to Italian President Sergio Matarella as his term is running out, noting his important institutional stance. It said this stance had played played an essential role both nationally and locally in building mutual respect and strengthening the country's reputation. The Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ) said that when it comes to the cross-border relations, Mattarella and Slovenian President Borut Pahor had been able to provide a "decisive stamp to the good neighbourly relations".

Ski jumper Lanišek scores two second place finishes in World Cup

TITISEE-NEUSTADT, Germany - Slovenia's Anže Lanišek scored two second place finishes in the Ski Jumping World Cup event in Germany's Titisee-Neustadt on Saturday and Sunday, with German Karl Geiger outclassing him both times. This was the third podium finish for the 25-year-old in a row in the current season and the 11th career podium finish. As Lanišek climbed to the 5th in the overall World Cup rankings, another two events will be held next week in Willingen before the Olympic break.

Bear attacks and injures a hunter in Postojna area

POSTOJNA - A bear attacked a man in the Postojna area, between the Baba and Mali Javornik hills, during a hunting drive. The 63-year-old hunter was taken to the local community health centre with a broken arm, injured ribs and several wounds on his back. Reporting the incident, the Koper Police Department said that the man had been attacked by a female brown bear that had two cubs. Police advised caution as the area is a popular hiking destination.

 

23 Jan 2022, 16:04 PM

STA, 22 January 2022 - As of today, retail businesses are no longer obligated to give out a paper receipt unless a client explicitly asks for it. Until now, businesses selling goods or services had to give clients a receipt on paper, or in the electronic form if the client agreed with this option.

This is no longer required as the changes to the VAT act kicked in on Saturday, transposing four EU directives and also bringing some simplifications for businesses.

This does not mean the receipt does not have to be issued.

Retail establishments still have to issue a receipt, which will also be recorded for tax purposes, it is just that the receipt will not be automatically handed to the client, Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj explained in parliament in November.

The seller now tells the client the amount charged, issues the receipt and registers it for tax purposes, but does not give a hard copy to the client, the Tax Administration explained.

23 Jan 2022, 15:58 PM

STA, 23 January 2022 - A new daily record number of coronavirus infection cases was recorded in Slovenia on Saturday as 13,911 PCR tests were positive, with the positivity rate standing at 75.5%, the latest data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) show. Total hospitalisations were up slightly, while as many as 18 people with Covid-19 died.

The record comes after similarly high daily numbers were also recorded on Tuesday (more than 12,000) and Wednesday (more than 10,000).

Radio Slovenija reported that the Saturday figures included the results of the samples taken on Thursday and Friday that had come back for Germany, as a certain number of samples are being sent there as Slovenia has reached full capacity.

According to unofficial information, there are certain delays in the reporting of results for samples sent abroad.

The STA is still waiting for comment on that from the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food (NLZOH) the Health Ministry.

Some community health centres record an increased number of calls from residents and there are significant delays in obtaining results of swabs from PCR testing by external laboratories.

NIJZ Milan Krek is not surprised by the record daily count. He told Radio Slovenija that the Omicron variant was extremely contagious and that it had many opportunities "given how people behave".

The 7-day average of confirmed infections was up by 1,125 to 10,557, and the two-week incidence per 100,000 population rose by 502 to 5,329.

According to the government, hospitalisations were up by seven to 608 today, while the number of patients in intensive care was down by one to 135.

The youngest hospitalised patient is 20 years old, and the youngest patient in intensive care is 32 years old.

A total of 18 people with Covid-19 died yesterday, which is the highest daily death toll since 18 December.

The estimated number of active infections was up by 10,557 to 112,517, according to the NIJZ.

Get all the latest data on COVID and Slovenia

23 Jan 2022, 05:29 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA

Four injured in hot air balloon accident near Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - Four persons, of whom one Slovenian and three Belgian citizens, were injured in a hot air balloon accident on the Ljubljana Marshes around 10am this morning. The injured persons were taken to the UKC Ljubljana hospital, three of them with severe yet not life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. Police spokesperson Tomaž Tomaževic said that upon landing, the basket hit the meadow. Grega Trček from the Barje Balloon Centre told the STA that strong winds were blowing upon landing and four persons fell out of the basket.

Almost 9,950 Covid infections confirmed on Friday

LJUBLJANA - 9,945 infections were confirmed in Slovenia for Friday, a daily rise of 5,479 and a weekly rise of 2,365, shows data from the Institute of Public Health, which estimates there are currently almost 102,000 active infections in the country. The 7-day average of confirmed infections is at 8,825 and the two-week incidence per 100,000 population at 4,827. Government data shows that 11 Covid patients died yesterday and that 601 patients were in hospital this morning.

Almost 70 kids with inflammatory syndrome treated since start of epidemic

LJUBLJANA - 69 children suffering from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children have been treated at Slovenia's only children's hospital since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in March 2020. Immunologist Tadej Avčin from the Ljubljana Paediatric Clinic says this makes the two-million nation a world leader per capita, saying this is a good indicator of how spread the coronavirus is in the general population. He said in an interview with N1 news portal that MIS-C has been the most frequent systemic immune disease his department has treated in the past two years, with an absolute record of 17 cases last December alone.

Shops no longer obligated to give clients paper receipts

LJUBLJANA - As of today, retail businesses are no longer obligated to automatically produce a paper receipt unless a client explicitly asks for it. Until now, businesses selling goods or services had to give clients a receipt on paper, or in the electronic form if the client agreed with this option. This is no longer required as the changes to the VAT act kicked in today, transposing four EU directives and also bringing some simplifications for businesses.

Austrian skier found dead in Mt Stol area

KRANJ - An Austrian skier who went missing on Friday while skiing off piste in the area of Mt Stol in the Karawanken mountain range in northern Slovenia was found dead this morning some 200 metres below the Stol ridge. He apparently fell in the ridge in his ski boots, and died on the spot, the Kranj Police Department said.

 

22 Jan 2022, 19:22 PM

STA, 22 January 2022 - An Austrian skier who went missing on Friday while skiing off piste in the area of Mt Stol in the Karawanken mountain range in northern Slovenia was found dead on Saturday morning, the Slovenian Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief says on its website.

The skier was found some 200 metres below the Stol ridge, in which he apparently fell in his ski boots, and died on the spot, the Kranj Police Department said.

The rescuers from Radovljica mounted a rescue operation on Stol's southern face yesterday and resumed it this morning. The rescue operation was also carried out on the Austrian sides of the border.

22 Jan 2022, 19:12 PM

STA, 22 January - Four persons, of whom one Slovenian and three Belgian citizens, were injured in a hot air balloon accident in the area of the Ljubljana Marshes on Saturday morning, the Ljubljana Police Department said. The injured persons were taken to the UKC Ljubljana hospital, which said that their lives were not endangered.

The accident happen around 10am in the area between Škofljica and Ig on the outskirts of Ljubljana when the hot air balloon carrying six persons was landing and the basket hit the meadow, the police department's spokesperson Tomaž Tomaževic told the press.

The hot air balloon took off at the town of Bistra, some 10km south-west of Ljubljana, for an hour-long trip together with another balloon.

Both planned to land on the Ljubljana Marshes, and the second balloon, with three persons on board, landed safely, said Tomaževic.

Injured were a 55-year-old Belgian pilot, two women aged 28 and 54, and the only Slovenian on board, a 67-year old pilot assistant.

UKC Ljubljana said that three of them are heavily injured and were hospitalised, yet neither has life-threatening injuries.

Traumatologist Franc Štefanič told the press that one of the men had sustained the severest injuries, of the head and chest. The other two sustained injuries of the spine.

The cause of the accident is not yet known, and criminal police are continuing the investigation, said Tomaževic.

As Grega Trček from the Barje Balloon Centre told the STA earlier in the day, strong winds were blowing upon landing and four persons fell out of the balloon.

Several teams took part in the rescue effort, while fire fighters intervened to prevent a fire or explosion.

Tomaževic said that the Belgians had come to Slovenia today with all the necessary equipment to for a hot air balloon ride.

The worst hot air balloon accident in Slovenia happened in August 2012, also in the area of the Ljubljana Marshes, leaving six of the 32 people on board dead and several gravely injured, as the balloon caught fire upon landing in windy weather. The pilot was acquitted of all charges in 2018.

22 Jan 2022, 08:04 AM

What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.

If you’d like to keep up on the daily headlines then follow those here, or get all our stories in your feed on Facebook.

FRIDAY, 14 January
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Amendments to the income tax act and energy vouchers, along with measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic, will be the coalition's main priorities until the end of its term, coalition leaders said after a meeting. On income tax, PM Janez Janša said that the coalition might accept the opposition's referendum challenge after it sees whether it is possible to hold the vote on the day of the general election.
        LJUBLJANA - Appearing before the opposition-led parliamentary inquiry examining the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Janez Janša discussed the verification of rapid antigen tests, payout of bonuses and legal basis for coronavirus measures, as well as the low vaccination rate, which he said was similar in all post-Communist countries.
        LJUBLJANA - The priorities of France's EU presidency were presented to the parliamentary committees for EU affairs and foreign policy, with Florence Ferrari, the French ambassador to Slovenia, thanking Slovenia for the work carried out during the last six months and praising the cooperation between the two countries during Slovenia's EU presidency.

SATURDAY, 15 January
        MUMBAI, India - Prime Minister Janez Janša told The Economic Times, an Indian newspaper, that Slovenia saw India as an "important global, indeed, strategic partner of Slovenia and the EU as a whole." He said the informal EU-India summit in May 2021 had "reinforced the EU-India strategic partnership, which is underpinned by the shared values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights."
        LJUBLJANA - Robert Golob, the former chairman of electricity trader Gen-I, told Večer it would be clear by the end of January if he would enter the election race and whether he would form a new party or have a go with one of the existing parties. He said he was in talks almost on a daily basis with representatives of various parties and movements.
        LJUBLJANA/BERLIN, Germany - Marking the 30th anniversary of Germany's recognition of Slovenian independence, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that this jubilee in German-Slovenian relations was an incentive "to continue to advocate European interests and values consistently and to shape our future in the EU together and in a positive way".

SUNDAY, 16 January
        LJUBLJANA/ZAGREB, Croatia - Croatian media reported that Slovenia and Croatia reached an agreement under which Slovenian fishers would be allowed to fish in the Gulf of Piran in the Croatian territorial waters as far south as Umag, and Croatian fishers in Slovenian waters as far north as Koper. Slovenia neither confirmed nor denied these reports.
        MARIBOR - Authorities successfully neutralised an unexploded WWII aerial bomb that was found in Maribor earlier this week. A part of Slovenia's second largest city had to be evacuated until roughly 1:30pm when sirens marked the end of danger.

MONDAY, 17 January
        LJUBLJANA - The ruling Democrats (SDS) and a new party that would be led by Robert Golob, the former CEO of energy company GEN-I, were neck-and-neck at 15.5% and 15.4%, respectively, in a Vox Populi survey Mediana carried out in the format of an exit poll for the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer.
        LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič highlighted the progress in the digitalisation of the justice system as he presented the achievements of Slovenia's EU presidency, while rating the presidency as a whole as "excellent" despite the delays in nominating Slovenia's European delegated prosecutors.
        LJUBLJANA - The challenges faced by Slovenian ethnic communities in neighbouring countries were discussed as the parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad met at the behest of the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), which urged the government to draw up a new strategy of relations with Slovenians living outside of Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian police recorded 10,067 attempts at illegal crossing of the border last year, down 31% on 2020, while asylum applications rose substantially, official police statistics show.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia spent almost EUR 31.5 million on setting up fences and on other costs related to the increased surveillance of its border with Croatia between November 2015 and the end of 2020, as 85.5 kilometres of razor wire fences were installed along the border, and are now gradually being replaced by hard fencing.
        VELENJE - The Velenje municipality, home to the country's only functioning coal mine, rejected the coal exit year 2033 as "unrealistic" and called for a more ambitious jobs strategy. The trade union of coal miners expressed disappointment, describing the decision as "political, unprofessional and ill-conceived".
        BRNIK - Jože Pučnik Airport Ljubljana saw a total of around 422,000 passengers last year, up 46.4% compared to 2020, according to data released by the airport's German operator Fraport, which operates the Slovenian airport through its subsidiary Fraport Slovenija.
        LJUBLJANA - The Financial Administration last year collected EUR 19.2 billion in taxes and other levies, 18% more than in 2020, and 9.3% more than in 2019.
        
TUESDAY, 18 January
        LJUBLJANA - The number of new coronavirus cases reached an absolute record with as many as 12,286 coronavirus infections recorded since the start of the epidemic last year. Over 63% of PCR tests came back positive, as labs in the country became overwhelmed. Hospitalisations remain stable.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša revealed in an interview with the Indian broadcaster Doordarshan that Slovenia and Taiwan are working on "exchanging representatives" at the "same level that many EU countries already have". The Chinese Foreign Ministry described his statements as "dangerous", whereas the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry expressed "gratitude" for his "staunch support". Only a few days later, the Slovenian-Chinese Business Council reported that Slovenian companies in the Chinese market were already affected. The statement also triggered some strong reactions from the opposition while President Borut Pahor said Slovenia had consistently advocated a One-China principle, a principle the EU is also bound to.
        LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec reiterated his promise that the state would help the coal-mining regions through transition as he responded to misgivings aired by those dependent on the industry over the strategy to exit coal in 2033. Vrtovec said 2033 when Slovenia was to exit coal to generate power was an ambitious but also very realistic goal.
        LJUBLJANA - Marjan Divjak, who has served as director general of the Finance Ministry's treasury directorate since 2013, was forward by President Borut Pahor to succeed Primož Dolenc as one of four vice-governors of the Slovenian central bank.
        STRASBOURG, France - Roberta Metsola's election as European Parliament president was hailed by Slovenian MEPs from the ranks of her European family, the EPP, but also others as the Renew and S&D members expressed the expectation for her to represent the Parliament's common position on issues such as the right to abortion.
        LJUBLJANA - Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek announced he would run in the general election on the slate of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), saying that the party provided political stability. NSi president Matej Tonin said the NSi was open to experts and people who want to implement its platform.
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left opposes the idea floated by PM Janez Janša to hold a referendum on amendments to the income tax act along with the general election in April and is considering withdrawing its petition for such a referendum.
        LJUBLJANA - The Labour Committee rejected a proposal by the opposition Social Democrats (SD) and Left for an increase in the minimum wage beyond the 4.9% rise set by the labour minister for 2022.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court sentenced orthopaedic surgeon Gregor Kavčič of the Novo Mesto hospital to three years in prison for accepting bribes from medical supplier Emporio Medical in exchange for having the company supply knee replacement products by Biomet to the Novo Mesto hospital. Kavčič plans to appeal.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport introduced a separate quota for the enrolment of Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship in universities in Slovenia. The separate quota had been advocated by Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch, who welcomed the change.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will be fielding a total of 41 athletes at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. Based on the season so far, the women's and men's ski jumping teams are seen as having the best chance of winning an Olympic medal.

WEDNESDAY, 19 January
        LJUBLJANA - The EU integration of Western Balkan countries is important for the bloc's strategic position in the world. It is also an opportunity for Slovenian businesses, Foreign Minister Anže Logar told an event on the Balkans, noting Slovenian companies had a chance to take part in projects for which the European Commission set aside EUR 9 billion.
        LJUBLJANA - Due to a rising number of coronavirus infections in the country, Slovenia switched to a new quarantine regime, where employees in health, social affairs and education who were in contact with an infected person do not need to quarantine provided they test for coronavirus daily for a week and use a FFP2 face mask in the workplace. Similar rules apply for kindergarten children and students.
        LJUBLJANA - Overwhelmed with PCR test samples, the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food started sending part of them to Germany for analysis. From 3,000 to 4,000 samples are currently sent to the lab Eurofins, which processes them in 48 hours.
        STRASBOURG, France - The European Parliament endorsed Jorg Kristijan Petrovič, Slovenia's candidate for the European Court of Auditors in an non-binding vote.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Justice Committed endorsed in a 7:6 vote a bill sponsored by the National Party (SNS) that seeks to shorten or limit "unreasonably long pre-trial and criminal proceedings in white-collar crime cases" and could result in ongoing cases becoming statute-barred. The amendments were confirmed by coalition MPs despite criticism from the parliament's legal service, upper chamber of parliament and even the Justice Ministry.
        LJUBLJANA - MP Violeta Tomić resigned from the opposition Left. The party's executive committee said it decided not to field Tomić in the Ljubljana-Center district, the Left's heartland, whereupon she declined an offer to run in another district. It also quoted a "partial loss of trust".
        LJUBLJANA - The Voice of the People, an initiative of over 1,800 individuals and 100 civil society organisations, presented a list of 138 demands that they wish political parties take a position on in the run-up to the election day. They see this as a contribution to political discourse and voter turnout.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Council vetoed amendments to the act on special rights for minorities in education which would set a higher Italian language standard for staff working in Slovenian-Italian bilingual kindergartens and schools. The near-unanimous vote came after councillors said it was wrong for administrative staff to be subjected to the same strict requirements regarding Italian language skills as teachers.
        LJUBLJANA - The non-executive directors of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) appointed Finance Ministry State Secretary Kristina Šteblaj an executive director of the bad bank. She will join Matej Pirc and Andrej Lazar on 1 February, and will serve as a BAMC executive director until the end of the year.

THURSDAY, 20 January
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor formally informed the National Electoral Commission (DVK) that he will sign a presidential decree for a general election on 9 February, setting Sunday, 24 April, as the election date.
        LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of the NLB bank appointed Hedvika Usenik, Antonio Argir and Andrej Lasič to the management board to expand it from three to six members. Their five-year terms will start after clearance from the banking regulator.
        LJUBLJANA - Ivan Simič, director general of Slovenia's Financial Administration, was appointed the chief of the supervisory board at Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), taking over on Friday.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to extend the administered pricing of heating oil through the regulation on the pricing of petroleum products that was introduced last year, under which the distributors' margin has been limited to a maximum of six cents per litre of heating oil.
        LJUBLJANA - The government's macroeconomic think thank IMAD presented its report on productivity in Slovenia which shows that there is progress, but it is not significant enough. Slovenia is lagging behind the top EU countries and is being caught up with by its rivals from Central and Eastern Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted its negotiating position for pay talks with medical doctors, estimated at EUR 111.57 million annually. The negotiating position says that the top pay bracket for doctors could rise by six brackets to the 63rd under the public sector pay system.
        NOVA GORICA - Former CEO of brewer Pivovarna Laško, Boško Šrot, and his family business Atka-Prima were ordered to pay EUR 13 million in damages to fruit drinks producer Fructal over several deals dating back to 2008 and 2009/

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