Top officials pledge effective and democratic action
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's top officials met to discuss the functioning of political institutions and joint action during the coronavirus crisis. They said action must be effective but also democratic so as to prevent a decline of trust in democratic institutions. "The way we survive the crisis will determine how we live after the crisis," President Borut Pahor said after talks with Prime Minister Janez Janša and the heads of both chambers of parliament, National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič and National Council President Alojz Kovšca. Janša said the government was working efficiently and lawfully, with the measures realistic and feasible.
Sixth Covid-19-related death in Slovenia confirmed
LJUBLJANA - An resident of the Metlika nursing home died last night of complications caused by the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in Slovenia to six. The person had several underlying conditions, the head of UKC Ljubljana's infectious disease clinic Tatjana Lejko Zupanc announced. There are currently 41 persons at the infectious disease clinic treated for Covid-19, of which 11 are in intensive care. A total of 36 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 562. A total of 17,294 tests have been conducted so far.
Pahor endorses govt coronavirus action
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor endorsed the government action to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Slovenia as well as the EUR 2 billion stimulus package. In an interview broadcast on the late night Odmevi news show on TV Slovenija, Pahor said the composition of the group of experts advising the government on the crisis measures inspired great confidence, and the measures themselves were a step in the right direction. "I'm not saying they are ideal or that they won't need amendments and adjustments on the go, but I feel they are being taken on time and are such that no one will be left behind," he said.
Central bank says banks strong but need to expect drop in profitability
LJUBLJANA - Banka Slovenije, the central bank, said in its report for January that the banking system remained strong capital- and liquidity-wise but should now brace for a fast drop in profitability. It wrote that the EUR 596 million in pre-tax profit recorded by banks in Slovenia last year had been a historical high and advised them to distribute this profit carefully now. As for January, the central bank reported EUR 15.4 million in pre-tax profit for banks in Slovenia, a 61% decrease year-on-year. It pointed out that the net easing of impairments and provisions that also marked last year had practically ended.
Janša optimistic as first coronavirus patients recover
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša presented some encouraging news as Slovenia fights the coronavirus crisis, saying some of those who had fallen ill with Covid-19 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. What is more, the condition of the first patient who needed a ventilator has improved so that they can now breath on their own. "The fact that someone tests positive for the virus does not automatically mean they will end up in intensive care," he said optimistically, noting these encouraging developments showed the disease was manageable.
Slovenia's stock of protective gear sufficient for at least a week
LJUBLJANA - After Slovenia received several shipments of protective gear in the past few days, its current stock should suffice at least for a week, chief of the civil protection service Srečko Šestan told the press. Slovenia currently has over 7,500 protective suits, 26,000 FFP3/N95 masks, 790,000 surgical masks, 100,000 IIR surgical masks and 7.7 million pairs of gloves. New orders have also been placed, so there should be enough protective gear in the future as well, said Economy Ministry State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti. Given the number of companies making face masks in Slovenia now, Cantarutti believes the country will eventually reach a certain degree of self-sufficiency in this respect.
Survey: Slovenians quite optimistic about coronavirus situation
LJUBLJANA - Slovenians are still worried about the coronavirus epidemic, but an increasing number (57%) believe the situation is improving, a survey carried out by pollster Valicon between 23 and 25 March shows. Only a week ago, over 50% of those polled said the situation was getting worse. While 3% even think the situation is improving considerably, the number of those who believe it is much worse than it was has dropped from 8% last week to only 3%. And while 84% of the 566 polled respondents are worried, two points up from last week, only 25% are very worried, a drop of two points.
Medeja Lončar becomes new president of Manager Association
LJUBLJANA - The Manager Association has elected Medeja Lončar, the director of Siemens Slovenija and CEO of Siemens Hrvatska, its new president, the association announced. Lončar, who is succeeding Aleksander Zalaznik after he served two three-year terms, has for some time been among the leading entrepreneurs in Slovenia and Croatia and already served as the association's vice-president in the previous term. Petra Juvančič, presently the head of public relations at mutual insurer Vzajemna, will join Lončar as executive director in June. Succeeding Saša Mrak Hendrickson, Juvančič has been active at the Slovenian Insurance Association.
Association urges responsible reporting
LJUBLJANA - The Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP) welcomed the government's stimulus measures and urged media to report on the coronavirus crisis responsibly eschewing politically-motivated sensationalism. "We at the ZNP must dissociate ourselves from the work of journalists who depict state measures designed to stop the spread of coronavirus as some kind of introduction of political dictatorship. This is conduct that has nothing in common with reporting ethics and professionalism," the association said in a press release.