National Assembly passes law reducing VAT on energy
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly unanimously passed changes to the VAT act reducing VAT on electricity, gas, biomass and remote heating from 22% to 9.5% between 1 September 2022 and 31 May 2023. The changes come as part of efforts to mitigate the cost of living crisis and will be coupled with the regulation of the prices of all the products subject to the reduced VAT rate. The opposition sought to reduce the rate to 5%, but the coalition thought this would shut the door for any further measures, which may still be necessary.
PM expects up to EUR 1bn to be needed to help business next year
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob told TV Slovenija in an interview the EUR 40 million package to help businesses cope with high energy prices was focused on this year when there were still few problems, while next year up to one billion euro in aid will be needed. Appearing on the late night news show Odmevi on Monday, Golob announced a meeting within two weeks for the government and business representatives to discuss potential solutions.
Govt to discuss solidarity gas agreement with Croatia
LJUBLJANA - After Slovenia ratified an agreement with Italy on solidarity measures to safeguard the security of gas supply, now the same agreement is to be reached with Croatia, so Slovenia could ask Croatia to supply gas to protected customers in the event of supply disruptions, and vice versa. The draft agreement is based on a 2017 EU regulation concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply and sets down the technical, legal and financial elements for such solidarity assistance.
Former MEP Ivo Vajgl presents his presidential bid
LJUBLJANA - Former diplomat, foreign minister and MEP Ivo Vajgl announced his intention to run for president. He will collect signatures in support of his candidacy and is counting on getting the backing of a "very prominent party", but will not reveal which one for now. Vajgl sees his bid as an alternative to other candidates, saying he offers a different content due to his many years of experience in politics, diplomacy and journalism.
Pahor reaffirms strong support for Ukraine sovereignty
LJUBLJANA/KYIV, Ukraine - President Borut Pahor reaffirmed Slovenia's "strongest support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" as he delivered a video address at the launch of the Crimea Platform in which he condemned Russia's invasion as an "unprovoked, unjustifiable attack". "Let me reassure you that Slovenia will continue providing political and economic support, as well as humanitarian aid and other assistance to Ukraine. We are with you," he said.
Slovenia marks Black Ribbon Day
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia marked the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of All Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes with several events. President Borut Pahor laid a wreath at the monument in Congress Square in Ljubljana as part of a ceremony attended by high-level representatives of the country's five largest religious communities. Recalling summary killings after WWII in Slovenia, he said the quest for the truth may never end and that all victims must be remembered.
Minister urges boss of country's largest hospital to resign
LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan called on the director of Slovenia's largest medical centre to step down. He told reporters that Jože Golobič, director general of UKC Ljubljana, no longer enjoyed the Health Ministry's support, pointing to poor business results and numerous missed deadlines. "The figures are extremely problematic. The management of the largest health care institution [in the country] is beyond criticism," Bešič Loredan said, adding the PM shared the view.
TV Slovenija anchor and editor face transfer over Mladina report
LJUBLJANA - TV Slovenija director Uroš Urbanija has called for a TV news show anchor and editor to get transferred over how they decided to present a report on the broadcaster ending its business with the magazine Mladina. The reason is that on the main news show last week, TV Dnevnik anchor Saša Krajnc announced a report on the reasons why Urbanija was ending business cooperation with Mladina by saying it was being aired at the explicit request of editor-in-chief Jadranka Rebernik. The move has sparked outcry from journalists, who demand that Urbanija resign.
Žiga Debeljak appointed new chairman of state assets custodian
LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) appointed Žiga Debeljak, a former CEO of retailer Mercator, as the new chairman of the management board. He will succeed Janez Žlak as of 1 September. The supervisors arrived at this decision unanimously, appointing the sixth full-term chairman of SSH since its inception. No one has yet completed a full term.
Housing Fund to build over 1,200 rental apartments by 2026
LJUBLJANA - The Housing Fund, which has received EUR 108.25 million in grants from the Environment Ministry and a loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), plans to build 1,244 public rental apartments across the country by 2026, the fund's head, Črtomir Remec, told the press. Given the current stock of 7,000 apartments and about 2,500 apartments under construction and planned, the fund expects to have 10,000 apartments available for rent in 2025.
Office for Digital Transformation moves to suspend IT courses for elderly
LJUBLJANA - The Government Office for Digital Transformation urged the Slovenian Regional Development Fund to immediately suspend all activities related to IT courses for citizens aged 55 or more who are included in the digital vouchers scheme, as several irregularities had been detected. The vouchers, put in place by the previous government, have been widely criticised because only 5,000 over-55s qualify and most youngsters used their 150-euro vouchers to buy earphones.
Consumer confidence remains at post-Covid low
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's consumer confidence has not changed this month, remaining at the lowest point since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, down 19 percentage points on August 2021 and 17 points below the long-term average, the Statistics Office reported. Compared with July, consumers were this month more upbeat about the prospects for household finances and for the state of the country's economy, but the improvement was offset by pessimism about major purchases and current state of household finances.
Free self-testing kits for students available from Monday
LJUBLJANA - Free kits for Covid-19 self-testing for primary and secondary school students in the new school year will be available in Slovenian pharmacies from Monday. Testing will be voluntary and will take place at home, with funds for the campaign being secured from the national budget. Health Ministry State Secretary Tadej Ostrc said the voluntary self-testing is aimed at finding individuals with signs of coronavirus infection, and not at detecting asymptomatic cases.
2,280 new cases of coronavirus on Monday
LJUBLJANA - A total of 2,280 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Slovenia on Monday and three patients with Covid-19 died. The case count is not comparable to the previous Monday, which was a public holiday, however data from the National Institute of Public Health shows the 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 of the population falling to 878 and the 7-day case average rising to 1,508. Health Ministry data shows 92 patients require hospital treatment for Covid-19, including 12 in intensive care.
Water Man musical raises questions about social media
LJUBLJANA - A pop-rock musical will be staged at the Križanke open-air theatre tonight as a highlight of the Ljubljana Festival. Water Man, inspired by a poem by one of Slovenia's greatest poets France Prešeren, is a project uniting several well-known Slovenian musicians. The musical is to address modern man rather than criticize the haughty Urška, the girl from Prešeren's poem, the author of the lyrics Ambrož Kvartič says. The main theme is kidnapping and what can kidnap a modern individual.
Primož Roglič takes the lead in La Vuelta
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain - Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič has taken the lead in La Vuelta after winning the 152-kilometre stage four on the last climb. Roglič now has a 13-second lead on the American Sepp Kuss in the overall rankings, with the Brit Ethan Hayter in third 26 seconds adrift.