Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 19 March 2020

By , 19 Mar 2020, 04:20 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 19 March 2020 CC-by-0

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A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia to ban public gatherings of more than five persons

LJUBLJANA - The government will ban public gatherings of more than five persons in order to fight the coronavirus epidemic. The relevant decree is expected to be adopted shortly. Defence Minister Aleš Hojs said the ban would be modelled on Austria's. It will be policed and fines will be put in place for violators. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Slovenia rose to 286 by 2pm, up by 13 in the last 24 hours. A total of 8,730 persons have so far been tested.

Hospitals making room for potential new coronavirus patients

LJUBLJANA - Hospitals around Slovenia are preparing for an expected increase in the number of coronavirus patients who will need intensive treatment. Additional rooms have been reserved and transitional units established for those suspected of being infected. UKC Ljubljana, the country's largest hospital, has increased the number of beds for intensive care and the orthopaedic and dermatology wards have been reorganised to admit coronavirus patients. Additional beds will also be made available at community health centres.

Pahor urges Von der Leyen to facilitate purchase of medical equipment

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor spoke with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in via videoconference, calling for procedures of public procurement of medical equipment for fighting the coronavirus pandemic to be facilitated. Pahor also spoke with EU High Representative Josep Borrell and European Parliament President David Sassoli. The officials agreed that other important issues must not be overlooked during the coronavirus crisis, including illegal migration, negotiations on the next multi-year EU budget, climate change, digitalisation and EU enlargement.

Upper chamber to eschew vetoing emergency laws

LJUBLJANA - The National Council, the upper chamber of parliament, plans to actively avoid vetoing emergency laws in order to accelerate their implementation. As soon as the government tables a bill, the National Council will convene a correspondence session asking councillors if they give up their right to veto in advance. If such a proposal is confirmed, the National Assembly will be able to pass legislation with immediate effect rather than waiting for eight days as customary for a National Council veto decision. National Council president Alojz Kovšca said only emergency laws would be treated this way.

Committees clear first emergency bills

LJUBLJANA - Parliamentary committees backed ahead of Thursday's emergency plenary the first set of bills aimed at mitigating the coronavirus crisis. The measures include pay compensation for temporary laid-off workers and the possibility to impose restrictions on trade in agriculture and food products to ensure sufficient food supplies in the country, as well as a one-month suspension of prison sentences or early release when there are no safety concerns. Notably, amendments were adopted that expand the temporary aid to some 106,000 self-employed in the country.

Govt adopts bill to defer company debt payments

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted an emergency bill to allow banks to defer liabilities of companies, co-operatives, self-employed and farmers by 12 months. Banks will be compelled to do so for those unable to operate under government measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said only solvent and tax paying debtors would be eligible. He said the measure, which is to be passed by parliament tomorrow, would not affect the country's financial stability.

UEFA boss and Alibaba founder secure face masks for Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is to receive 300,000 protective face masks from two foundations of the Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma. The donation, which is expected to arrive in Slovenia on Thursday evening or Friday morning, is a result of a friendship between Ma and UEFA boss Aleksander Čeferin. Another shipment of 1.5 million masks in expected to arrive on Thursday, mostly intended for healthcare workers, social institutions.

More than 650 Slovenians still away abroad

LJUBLJANA - More than 650 Slovenians are still away abroad amid world-wide cancellations of flights and other public transport links due to the coronavirus crisis. The Foreign Ministry said that almost half of those who responded to its call to get in touch were currently in EU countries, and a third in the Middle East, Asia and Russia. They are mostly tourists and travellers rather than those living, working or studying abroad, the ministry said, adding it was working to help get them home.

Drug makers working hard to secure undisrupted supply

NOVO MESTO/LJUBLJANA - The two main pharmaceutical companies in Slovenia, Krka and Lek, say they are making the greatest possible effort to keep production and supply of the market at normal levels, while introducing measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic. The pharmaceutical wholesale group Salus, an important link in the chain of supply of medications and other related products to medical institutions, pharmacies and individuals, said that it was making the same effort.

Slovenia points to coronavirus impact on transport

LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Blaž Košorok took part in a videoconference of EU ministers in charge of transport, pointing to the major negative financial consequences of the battle to contain the new coronavirus on the sector and the need for financial aid. The Slovenian government is preparing financial aid from the budget, but if the crisis continues, "additional aid from the EU and, temporarily, higher flexibility of state aid will be required," Košorok said.

Actor Peter Musevski dies

LJUBLJANA - Actor Peter Musevski, best known for his lead role in Bread and Milk, the 2001 drama that won the Lion of the Future in Venice, died, aged 54. Musevski, a theatre and film actor who made a name for himself for portraying difficult, low-life characters, had been a member of the Prešernovo Gledališče Kranj theatre since 2003. His most recent film role was in Vinko Möderndorfer's Deadlock. His artistic accomplishments won him the 2009 Prešeren Fund Prize.

Art galleries moving online due to coronavirus

LJUBLJANA - Several Slovenian galleries and museums have closed their doors to visitors during the coronavirus epidemic but that does not mean art lovers will be left in the lurch. Art events, including museum tours, are simply moving online. The National Gallery, Equrna Gallery, Moderna Galerija and the Ethnographic Museum are among those showcasing online, while Ljubljana City Art Gallery will exhibit art pieces created during the social isolation on Facebook.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

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