Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 30 July 2022

By , 30 Jul 2022, 08:00 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA:

Annual inflation rate hits 11%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's annual inflation rate accelerated to 11% in July, up 0.6 percentage points from the month before, driven mostly by high prices of petroleum products, data from the Statistics Office shows. It is the highest annual inflation rate since August 1995. Higher prices of petroleum products contributed as much as 2.1 percentage points to the annual inflation rate as well as half a point to the monthly inflation rate of 1%. Another 2 percentage points were added to inflation by a 13.5% hike in food prices, and a 30.4% increase in electricity prices contributed 1.1 points. Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU gauge, the annual growth of consumer prices was 11.7% and the monthly growth was 0.9%.

Govt measures to affect inflation in September, PM says

LJUBLJANA - Government measures designed to mitigate the effects of rising cost of living should start showing their effect on inflation in September, Prime Minister Robert Golob commented on Friday, after the Statistics Office said the country's annual inflation rate accelerated to 11% in July. Golob said that inflation would likely be even higher in August, adding that the government hoped to keep inflation at 10% or lower.

Court blocks Mokrice hydropower plant project

LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court decreed that the planned Mokrice hydropower station on the river Sava cannot get a building permit until it has ruled on legal action brought against the project by the Slovenian Native Fish Society. Announcing the decision, the society said it was important because it blocked the investors' plan to obtain a partial building permit from the Ministry and Spatial Planning and start with the plant's construction despite their legal challenge. Mokrice, located near the border with Croatia, is the last hydro plant to be built on the lower Sava, four having already been completed as part of a project started 16 years ago. Under initial plans the Mokrice plant was slated for completion as early as 2018.

Govt to strengthen cooperation with NGOs

LJUBLJANA - PM Robert Golob and Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik met with representatives of some dozen NGOs for the second time to discuss current issues. The government is keen to include NGOs into the decision-making process, Golob said after the meeting. Representatives of some NGOs expressed their discontent with the government's decision not to include them in discussions on measures aimed at reducing the cost of living amidst price hikes.

Golob calls serial referendum initiatives abuse of law

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob has responded to the third referendum initiative brought by the biggest opposition party by arguing referendum legislation is being abused to block the executive and legislative branches of power. "Such tactics can have a counterproductive effect, especially in the run-up to elections," Golob said on Friday, a day after the Democrats (SDS) filed their third referendum initiative. He said the referenda would be held on the same day, regardless of how many more were to be called, because they would not let one party cause excessive costs to the state through its ill-judged policies.

Minister: High time politics no longer played a role in judge appointments

Ljubljana, 29 July - Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan said in an interview for the STA she will not approach changes in the judiciary haphazardly, but wants to see well-thought-out solutions under a broad consensus, while noting it was high time politics no longer played a role in judicial appointment procedures. The minister would like to see a broad consensus among experts and politicians, as well as politics retreating from the appointment of judges, but she does not support hasty or reckless solutions in reforming the judicial network. Lengthy court proceedings are another bane of Slovenia's judiciary, whose reputation is being damaged. The minister believes that the reasons for this are many and cannot be attributed to judges alone.

Minority seeks permanent seat in Italian parliament

LJUBNO OB SAVINJI - Slovenian minority officials pledged to work to secure a permanent seat for the minority in the Italian parliament as the Office for Slovenians Abroad hosted a debate on the issue today. This comes amid concerns that the Slovenian minority in Italy could end up without its representative in the Italian parliament following the 25 September snap election. The election will be held after the electoral law has been amended to reduce the number of seats in both houses of parliament, including from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where most ethnic Slovenians live.

Threats reason for ombudsman getting security protection

LJUBLJANA - The government has included the country's human rights ombudsman among officials who are provided with security protection by the police. The ombudsman had so far not been listed in the police security protection regulation, but his office suggested a while ago the Interior Ministry consider including the ombudsman as one of the officials eligible for level 4 of security protection. The office "is an independent body, ranked seventh in the diplomatic hierarchy, whose position is quite similar to that of the president of the Constitutional Court," the office told the STA. The ombudsman's office sought the security also because Ombudsman Peter Svetina has often been target of threats over the past two years.

Survey unemployment rate slightly down to 3.8% in June

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's ILO-compatible survey unemployment rate was at 3.8% in June, down by 0.1 of a percentage point on May and 0.6 of a percentage point year-on-year, the Statistics Office reported on Friday. Its estimates show there were some 39,000 unemployed people in Slovenia last month. The share of men among the unemployed aged 15-74 in June equalled that of women. The survey unemployment rate stood at 3.5% for men and 4.2% for women, dropping by 0.2 of a percentage point for the former.

Daily coronavirus count down 8% week-on-week, two patients die

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,484 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Slovenia on Thursday in what is an decrease of almost 8% compared to the same day a week ago. Two patients with Covid-19 died yesterday, shows data from the Health Ministry. The number of patients hospitalised for Covid-19 as their primary condition is exactly 100, of whom 14 are in intensive care, which is 22 and six more on a weekly basis, respectively. Data from the National Institute of Public Health puts the 7-day average of new daily cases to 1,645, down by 18 over the day before, while the 14-incidence rate per 100,000 people dropped by five to 1,076.

Mediana poll shows people not very concerned about coronavirus

LJUBLJANA - A July opinion poll by Mediana has found that concern among residents of Slovenia is not growing despite an increase in the number of newly-detected coronavirus infections. Around 39% of the respondents are worried about the Covid-19 epidemic in July, which is actually 0.7 of a percentage point less than in June. Some 28% of the people polled think that other countries are coping with Covid better than Slovenia. While the difference compared to June is not significant, the proportion of respondents with such an opinion has been declining since March (39%). The proportion of respondents who say that the Covid-19 epidemic has helped them appreciate more what they have has been declining since May, when it stood at 52%, compared to 47% in the July poll.

Slovenia confirms 35 monkeypox cases so far

LJUBLJANA - A total of 35 cases of monkeypox have so far been confirmed in Slovenia since the first case was reported in late May, according to the National Institute of Public Health. The institute's data shows just over one third of the cases were individuals who got infected abroad - in Spain, Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina - and a good third got infected in Slovenia. The source of infection for the other cases could not have been determined. The first case in Slovenia was confirmed on 24 May in a man who returned from the Canary Islands, with the second case confirmed a day later in a person who had been to Spain as well.

Some fish species endangered due to low water levels, heat

LJUBLJANA - Fish in Slovenian rivers are generally doing well, but certain species are highly affected by low water levels and overheating and some areas have seen fish kills in recent weeks. Water levels are extremely low in the Primorska and Notranjska regions, including Lake Cerknica, as well as in the Savinja and most small tributaries of large rivers. Particularly threatened are species of the Salmonidae family, such as brown trout, grayling and Danube salmon, as well as certain warm-blooded species in areas where there is a lack of water or oxygen, the Slovenian Fishermen's Association has told the STA.

Industrial fire in Kranj causes EUR 100,000 in damage

KRANJ - A fire that broke out at the Blisk foundry on the outskirts of Kranj on Thursday evening has caused damage worth EUR 100,000 according to a police estimate, while nobody was injured. Kranj police said today that no impact on the environment could be identified, while an environmental NGO urged a thorough investigation. The Kranj Police Department said in a press release the cause of the fire appeared to be a glitch in the electrical wiring.

All three Slovenian clubs out of UEFA Europa Conference League

LJUBLJANA - It was a devastating Thursday evening for Slovenian clubs in the UEFA Europa Conference League, the third-tier European club football competition, as Olimpija, Koper and Mura were all eliminated in the second qualifying round by their respective opponents. The national champions Maribor thus remain the only Slovenian representative in the European competitions even though they were eliminated from the Champions League qualifying this week by FC Sheriff of Moldova. Maribor were relegated to the third qualifying round of the second-tier UEFA Europa League, where they will play HJK Helsinki on 4 and 11 August.

Double exhibition opening at Maribor Art Gallery

MARIBOR - A double exhibition will open today at the Maribor Art Gallery (UGM) Studio. A cross-generational selection of artists mainly from Central Europe will be showcased on the ground floor, while on the lower ground floor Roma artist Mara Oláh from Hungary will be presented. The international group exhibition dubbed An Eclectic Attempt to Complete the Torso in My Head showcases representations of the body through different media, somewhere in-between folklore punk and new materialism. The lower ground floor is meanwhile dedicated to a single artist - the first solo exhibition of Omara (Mara Oláh) in Slovenia.

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