Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 21 May 2020

By , 21 May 2020, 04:51 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 21 May 2020 pxfuel CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Government adopts new, EUR 1 billion economic stimulus package

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a new economic stimulus package, featuring subsidies for shortened working time, vouchers for citizens to be spent in tourism facilities around the country, and favourable liquidity loans. The package is worth around one billion euros. An estimated EUR 345 million worth of vouchers will be awarded to all Slovenian citizens to be used as of 1 June. Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj announced that Slovenia planned do draw EUR 900 million from the European Commission's SURE mechanism to subsidise short-time work as part of the stimulus measures.

Border reopening to depend on Covid-19 situation, says foreign minister

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar told the Foreign Policy Committee that the reopening of borders with the neighbouring countries would depend on the epidemiological situation but that Slovenia would do all in its power to normalise the regime on its borders by 1 June. Logar plans to meet his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday to examine cooperation and identify "problem points". Next week a visit is planned to the Slovenian-Hungarian border while talks continue with Austria. Meanwhile, Italy does not meet the conditions epidemic-wise for a further relaxation on the border.

EU Commission tells Slovenia to boost economy, prop up healthcare

BRUSSELS, Belgium - A new set of recommendations issued to Slovenia by the European Commission as part of the European semester calls on the country to take all needed economic measures to support the recovery after the coronavirus epidemic, provide social protection, as well as resilient systems of healthcare and long-term care. To start with, the Commission proposes that Slovenia "in line with the general escape clause, take all necessary measures to effectively address the pandemic, sustain the economy and support the ensuing recovery".

PM says Slovenia's reputation of safe country could boost tourism, investment

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša said as the government was adopting a new anti-coronavirus stimulus package, that Slovenia's reputation of a safe and orderly country capable of protecting its citizens' health was the best recommendation both for tourism and investments. He called for joint efforts for this to remain so. In a video address, Janša reiterated that Slovenia was on the right track, as "we are among the most successful countries in the world and the best in Europe in terms of the results in battling the new coronavirus epidemic. For now."

Just one new coronavirus infection reported, no deaths

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's coronavirus case count has increased to 1,468 after one new infection was confirmed on Tuesday out of 981 tests. No new fatalities have been reported, leaving the death toll at 104. Only 23 patients were still in hospital with Covid-19 yesterday, after one was discharged. Only four remained in intensive care. So far, 276 patients have been discharged from hospital.

Foreign minister in phone call with Russian counterpart

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar talked with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov about the Covid-19 pandemic and its fallout on the telephone today. The pair affirmed good bilateral relations. According to a press release from the Foreign Ministry, Logar and Lavrov exchanged information about the impact of the pandemic on their countries and the international community.

Slovenian, Croatian police chiefs discuss anti-Covid-19 measures

LJUBLJANA/ZAGREB, Croatia - Acting Police Commissioner Anton Travner and Croatia's Police Commissioner Nikola Milina met to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and measures imposed by both countries to contain the spread of the virus. They also talked about illegal migration. The talks mostly revolved around the measures restricting social life, a gradual easing of restrictions that had been introduced and the role of the police in the current circumstances.

Judiciary seen as having performed well in 2019

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian courts received 839,000 cases last year and resolved roughly 850,000, reducing the backlog of pending cases to 133,000, shows the annual report on the work of the judiciary compiled by the Supreme Court. Proceedings are getting shorter, in particular insolvencies, while the number of cases older than ten years dropped from 5,000 in 2015 to 1,500. The report mentions some problems, including class action lawsuits in which the state is the defendant, the high average age of judges and lack of space at some courts.

To catch up, courts will recess for only two weeks in summer

LJUBLJANA - The summer recess of Slovenian courts will be reduced from a month to two weeks this summer so that judges may catch up with proceedings which have been delayed by the two-month coronavirus closure, Supreme Court president Damijan Florjančič said. Almost all non-urgent proceedings were suspended during the lockdown and courts have already started to step up activities leading up to the full resumption of operations on 1 June. During the lockdown the number of pending cases rose from 128,000 to 136,100.

Revoz layoffs to affect mostly agency workers

NOVO MESTO - After confirming that it will lay off about 400 workers, the Slovenian Renault subsidiary Revoz said that most of them would be agency workers and those nearing retirement. The cut may reach 450 posts if night shift workers transferred to the day shift find their salaries too low. If the company, which currently employs some 3,150 people, decides to open more jobs again, those laid off now will have priority.

Indictment filed at last over controversial generator project

LJUBLJANA - Almost a decade after police opened their first inquiries into the case, the prosecution has filed an indictment over the controversial EUR 1 billion-plus generator project at the Šoštanj coal-fired power plant. Twelve Slovenian and foreign individuals and one Slovenian and one foreign legal entity are charged with 24 counts of abuse of office or money laundering. The indictment will be served to the defendants once it is translated into French and German.

Chemistry Institute starts coronavirus vaccine trial in mice

LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Chemistry has started testing a potential coronavirus vaccine in a mouse study after receiving a green light for the animal trial on Tuesday. The nanoparticle-based vaccine contains viral antigens and could be more effective than a protein-based vaccine, Roman Jerala of the institute told the STA. The first results of the study are expected in July when it will be clear whether the mice have responded to the vaccine by creating neutralising antibodies that prevent the coronavirus infection.

Beekeepers urge efforts to preserve bees

LJUBLJANA - Swift and specific measures to preserve bees are needed and every individual action counts, the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association stressed at a special session marking World Bee Day. Addressing the event, Boštjan Noč, the head of the association, said that there was still room for improvement in efforts for preserving bees. "Bees are threatened by climate change, intensive farming and an excessive use of pesticides, therefore by humans," he warned, pointing to Slovenia's initiative to declare World Bee Day, which he believes is an example of best practices.

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