This summary is provided by the STA:
Fajon urges Russia to withdraw from Ukraine at NPT conference
NEW YORK, US - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon addressed the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York, saying the war in Ukraine had caused the worst deterioration of security in Europe and urging Russia to cease the hostilities and withdraw from Ukraine. She stressed Slovenia will continue supporting Ukraine and its right to self-defence, and welcomed the departure from Odessa of the first ship carrying wheat, which she believes is a sign that dialogue is possible. Fajon was also scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Govt to annul parts of income tax reform next year
LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič announced the government will partly annul as of 2023 the latest income tax reform introduced by the previous government in the spring because it significantly affects budget revenue. The centrepiece of the plan is to annul both the increase in the general tax relief and the cut in the tax rate for top earners from 50% to 45%. This means the general tax relief, at EUR 3,500 before the reform, will only raise to EUR 5,000 by 1 January, but no further as planned to EUR 7,500 by 2025. Boštjančič said this was because of inflation and the rising costs of living. The changes to the general tax relief should raise revenue by EUR 180 million in 2024 and EUR 170 million in 2025.
Drought's impact on crops calls for emergency legislation
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (KGZS) is still collecting data on the damage caused by drought, but it is already clear that it will exceed the limit set for eligibility for state aid following natural disasters (0.03% of the budget revenue) and thus require emergency legislation. According to KGZS head Roman Žveglič, the situation is worse than in 2017 when damage was estimated at EUR 65 million. Virtually all crops are affected, especially vegetables, orchards, permanent cropland, and field crops. Grain and hay production was down 20-23% each. Žveglič also called for cutting red tape to allow for more irrigation.
Petrol and diesel a few cents cheaper from Tuesday
LJUBLJANA - Regular petrol and diesel sold at service stations outside the motorway network in Slovenia will be cheaper from Tuesday, by 8.6 cents and 2.3 cents, respectively. A litre of petrol will cost EUR 1.534 and diesel EUR 1.676, the Economy Ministry announced. The new prices will be in place for a day more than usually, for 15 days, including on Tuesday, 16 August, because Monday, 15 August, is a bank holiday. They will include an environmental duty on CO2 emissions as the government changed today a relevant regulation to reintroduce the obligation to pay this duty on petrol, diesel, natural gas and heating oil after temporarily lifting it to cushion the rising retail fuel prices on 21 June when it introduced the new pricing model. Along the motorways, fuel prices are fully liberalised.
Internal audit finds major irregularities in motorway police
LJUBLJANA - An internal police audit has revealed major irregularities in contracts concluded by the Motorway Police Administration, which was established under the previous government. This also applies to the contract with national motorway operator DARS, which was referred to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the Budget Supervision Office and the State Attorney's Office over suspicion of criminal acts. The Interior Ministry said the contract intertwined the activities of the police and DARS to create suspicion about independence and quality of police jurisdiction in relation to DARS. Also today, all staff from three out of the four existing motorways police units were assigned to ordinary road traffic police stations due to lack of staff, which the media interpreted as their de facto abolishment.
Media: Olaj's former assistant suspected of data tampering
LJUBLJANA - The police has initiated a dismissal and disciplinary procedure against an employee on suspicion of a work-related crime. According to media reports, the person in question is Tomislav Habulin, a former assistant to previous Police Commissioner Anton Olaj. According to tabloid Slovenske Novice, Habulin is a former commander of the Murska Sobota police station and reportedly suspected of data tampering during his work as a senior official in the office of the police commissioner. The Specialised State Prosecutor's Office will be notified of the matter.
Illegal migration up 80% in first seven months year-on-year
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian police processed in the first seven months just over 8,200 foreigners who illegally entered the country, up 80% compared to the same period last year. However, Tomaž Pavček of the Border Police Division told the press that this is less than a 10% rise compared to the same periods in 2019 and 2020. Nationality-wise, the majority of illegal migrants were citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The police also apprehended 130 people suspected of helping migrants cross the border illegally, who came from 30 different countries, most of them from Serbia.
Presidential candidate raises dust with "media buying" comment
LJUBLJANA - Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar, who is expected to run in the 23 October presidential election, has raised dust with a statement for the Siol.net news portal about "media being paid to attack those who think differently". The former information commissioner said in the recent interview this was "something that is practised by Požareport, Nova24TV and now also Reporter and Necenzurirano. Is that journalism? The answer is no." The media outlets have reproached her for encroaching on their reputation, and demanded an apology. Some have even announced lawsuits.
Extended weekend Covid case count down 10% weekly, ten deaths
LJUBLJANA - A total of 2,835 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Slovenia from Friday to Sunday in what is a 10% decrease compared to the same period a week ago, fresh data released by the Health Ministry shows. Hospitalisations remained flat compared to last Thursday, and ten patients with Covid-19 died between Friday and Sunday. There are now an estimated 22,694 people actively infected in the country, and the 14-incidence rate per 100,000 people is at 1,072.
Slovenia to get 750,000 vaccine shots in case of flu pandemic
LJUBLJANA - In line with an agreement that the European Commission signed with pharmaceutical company GSK on behalf of a dozen EU countries, including Slovenia, last week, Slovenia will receive 750,000 shots of pandemic influenza vaccine Adjupanrix if a flu pandemic is declared, the Health Ministry told the STA. In line with the agreement on a joint order, the EU countries will be able to buy up to 85 million doses of the vaccine if necessary, but the vaccine will only be supplied if the WHO declares a flu pandemic.
July hottest month on record in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - This July has been the hottest month on record in Ljubljana in terms of the mean monthly temperature, which stood at 24.4 degrees Celsius, the Environment Agency (ARSO) announced. Record temperatures for July were also recorded in many other locations in Slovenia. The past month was 2-3 degrees warmer than the 1981-2010 average in most of the country, and was also quite dry, with some stations receiving only a third to half of the expected rainfall, said Veronika Hladnik Zakotnik from ARSO.
Demand surges for pellets, heat pumps
ŠKOFJA LOKA/MARIBOR - Amid the energy crisis, the prices of wood pellets and heat pumps in Slovenia have surged. As demand for pellets rose by about 35%, the price almost doubled, and the supply has become a problem. The Škofja Loka-based wood pellets producer Energija Narave told the STA the price of pellets went up by as much as 95% due to the rise in the price of raw material and costlier production. Energy company Elektro Maribor Energija Plus told the STA the demand for heat pumps had also been on the rise due to fear of price hikes and disruptions in the supply of heating oil and gas.
New 5-star hotel opens in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's capital has a new five-star hotel as Grand Plaza has just opened across the road from InterContinental Ljubljana to make the city's largest hotel yet. Situated in the Bavarski Dvor area, the 22-storey hotel features 354 rooms, more than double the number in its counterpart across the street, which opened in August 2017 as Ljubljana's first five-star hotel. Grand Plaza Hotel & Congress Center, as it is officially named according to a Facebook post, is an investment of Slovenian jeweller Zlatarna Celje.
Slovenia's EXPO 2020 pavilion to remain in Dubai
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's EXPO 2020 pavilion will remain at the EXPO site in Dubai, the government decided in a correspondence session. The pavilion will remain at its original location, becoming a part of the District 2020 Dubai, to continue promoting Slovenia's economy and tourism for another five years. The Economy Ministry hopes the move will help Slovenia seize the potential of Middle Eastern markets.
Slovenia tops FIBA's ranking forecast ahead of EuroBasket
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia tops the first power ranking forecast by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) ahead of the European Basketball Championship coming up in September. The defending champions are placed before France and Greece. FIBA says that "Luka Dončić is elite and the 'supporting cast' more than proved their value last summer in the Olympics journey". It says the "big question is whether FIBA EuroBasket 2017 MVP Goran Dragić" jonns the national team this time round, as he is expected to announce his decision this week. Slovenia are currently in training camp and will be playing preparation games with the Netherlands and Montenegro this week.