This summary is provided by the STA:
Pahor and Peterle urge cooperation as they remember DEMOS govt
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor and Lojze Peterle, prime minister of the DEMOS government (1990-1992), urged cooperation and putting divisions aside as they remembered 16 May in 1990 when the government which led Slovenia to independence was endorsed in parliament. Both drew parallels between the time of independence and the coronavirus crisis at a cemremony at Presidential Palace. Pahor said the focus of the DEMOS government was independence and the focus of the Janez Janša government dealing with the consequences of the epidemic. He belives the opposition should realise it has the responsibility to cooperate. Peterle said Slovenia's main problem was "the virus of division" which does not allow for respecting the other and which is not based on truth.
Home ministers urge easier crossing of Slovenia-Croatia border
ORMOŽ - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and Croatian counterpart Davor Božinović met in Slovenia's Ormož do discuss easier crossing of the Slovenia-Croatia border, illegal migrations and Croatia's bid to join the Schengen zone. The pair confirmed Slovenian citizens can also enter Croatia as tourists after Croatia opened its borders for EU citizens on Sunday. Slovenian conronavirus spokesperson Jelko Kacin meanwhile took to Twitter saying that Croatia "is for now easing the crossing of the border for owners of property, vessels, while a general easing for tourist reasons is to follow once Slovenia and Croatia have reached an agreement". A similar view was presented by PM Janez Janša, who tweeted that opening borders could only be a bilaterally agreed measure.
No new coronavirus infections, deaths in Slovenia on Friday
LJUBLJANA - No new coronavirus infections and no new deaths were recorded in Slovenia on Friday. This means the total number of Covid-19 cases since the first Sars-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in the country on 4 March remains at 1,465 and the death toll at 103. As many as 1,151 tests for the virus were carried out yesterday, bringing the total so far to 68,852, the government figures released today show. Of the total of 1,465 infected so far, the majority, or 818, have been women. Since the curve of infections has been all but flat for a while, the government decided a few days ago to declare the epidemic over with the end of May.
Minister announces infrastructure fund
LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said an infrastructure fund was in the making to finance investments into railways and roads, which would bring some EUR 180 million a year. He also told the newspaper Dnevnik that electronic motorway toll stickers for personal vehicles will be introduced on 1 December 2021. Although he is in favour of sustainable means of transport, the minister believes roads will still be needed for quite some time. He however expects that in ten years' time, Slovenians could be encouraged to use railways to a greater degree. The government is also thinking about transferring the management of the construction of Koper-Divača rail track onto the national rail operator Slovenske Železnice. He said a decision on how to proceed should be taken soon.
Slovenia's meetings industry expects to pick up in autumn
LJUBLJANA - As practically all business meetings and conferences planned for the first half of 2020 were cancelled, the meetings industry, one of the key sectors of Slovenian tourism, does not expect to recover from coronavirus anytime soon. First events are planned to be held again this autumn and in 2021. "The meetings industry is faced with a very hard situation because this year's events were arranged several years ago. Some have been rescheduled to this autumn or next year, but many are lost for good," Slovenian Convention Bureau director Miha Kovačič told the STA. Ljubljana and Bled, two major venues for the meetings industry in the country, are happy the majority of planned events have not been cancelled but rescheduled.
VAT revenue down 20% in March due to lockdown
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's revenue from VAT in March, when most shops closed as Slovenia went into lockdown on 16 March, dropped to EUR 187 million, down nearly 30% over February and 19% over March 2019, the latest data from the Financial Administration (FURS) showed. Almost EUR 705 million in VAT was meanwhile collected in January and February, up 4.8% from the same period last year. Shops have been gradually reopening since, with all allowed to reopen on Monday, 18 May, but analysts do not expect domestic consumption to pick up anytime soon.
EU economy ministers urge aid scheme for car industry
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Economy ministers from twelve EU countries, including Slovenia, have signed an appeal to the EU stating their joint interest in introducing a plan to revive the car industry, one of the EU sectors that has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. They belives this would reduce the negative impact on production, it would preserve jobs and the sector as a world leader. The statement has been signed by Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Italy, Spain, Malta and Portugal.
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