Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 23 June 2020

By , 23 Jun 2020, 04:48 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 23 June 2020 Flicker - Kheel Center CC-by-2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia happy with hearing in ECB archives case

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - The grand chamber of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held a hearing in a suit the European Commission has brought against Slovenia for accessing ECB documents as part of a police investigation at Slovenia's central bank regarding Slovenia's 2013 bank bailout. Slovenia's agent labelled the hearing "very positive" for the country. "I consider today's hearing very positive as the court's questions were extremely in favour of our arguments," Katja Rejec Longar told the press.

Slovenia, Austria to do everything to keep shared border open

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar and his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg told the press after meeting in Ljubljana that they would do everything in their power so that the shared border was not closed again due to Covid-19. The countries have boosted information exchange and coordination in this field, they added. Logar said Slovenia was keeping close tabs on the development of the pandemic in the countries and taking quick measures if the epidemiological situation worsened.

Army chief does not think forces need more powers

LJUBLJANA - Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier-General Robert Glavaš does not think the situation at the moment grants invoking a special article of the defence act that would give the army police powers. Appearing in a talk show on TV Slovenija on Sunday, Glavaš said the army had sufficient powers to help police on the border under existing legislation. This was in response to Police Commissioner Anton Travner saying he saw no reason why the military would not operate in the country's interior, not just along the border.

Govt drafts EUR 780m bill for military investments

LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry presented a bill under which investments worth EUR 780 million are to be made in the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) in 2021-2026. The majority of the funds, or EUR 408 million, is to go for eight- and four-wheeled armoured personnel carriers for a battalion battlegroup. Matej Tonin told the newspaper Delo that if he was allowed to stay on as defence minister, Slovenia would be able to set up a battalion battlegroup which would meet NATO standards by 2026. The core of the first battalion battlegroup will be a medium-sized mechanised battalion, which the government would like to fully equip while this piece of legislation is in place.

Soldiers' union apologises to man allegedly stopped at gunpoint

LJUBLJANA - The Trade Union of Soldiers apologised to a man allegedly stopped at gunpoint on the border with Italy in early May for saying last week that he had violated the border crossing restrictions in place at the time due to the coronavirus epidemic. The union said it "fell for misleading media reports" which suggested that the patrol had stopped a person who crossed the border into Slovenia from Italy. But it later turned out that the man, Daniel Malalan, a member of the Slovenian ethnic minority in Trieste, is in fact living in Slovenia, the trade union said.

Prime minister and nuncio confirm good relations

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša received Apostolic Nuncio Jean-Marie Speich. The pair confirmed the importance of ties between Slovenia and the Holy See, the prime minister's office said in a press release. The confirmation of good relations came in the light of two approaching anniversaries: 30 years since the Holy See became the first country to recognise Slovenia's independence in 1990 and 30 years since Slovenia and the Vatican signed a bilateral agreement on legal issues, which is coming up next year. Speich also commended the government for its handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

Slovenia sees one new coronavirus infection

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia registered one new coronavirus infection from 271 tests carried out on Sunday, fresh government statistics show. The latest case, which was recorded among foreign citizens, increases the number of active cases to 36, and the overall tally of cases to 1,521. Six patients with Covid-19 remain hospitalised, one of them in intensive care. The latest infected person appeared at the Ljubljana emergency department at the weekend, but since he was wearing a mask and kept his distance it is unlikely the staff or other patients got infected, health officials said.

Net profit generated by companies in Slovenia up 10% in 2019

LJUBLJANA - Companies in Slovenia generated EUR 4.625 billion in net profit last year, a 10% increase on 2018. Revenue was up 4% to EUR 103.892 billion, the Agency for Legal Records (AJPES) reported, assessing the economy was better prepared better for the crisis than for the crisis slightly over 10 years ago. "The Slovenian economy also preformed well last year, even more so than the year before, but growth was slower," the head of the statistics department at AJPES Marjan Širaj told the press.

Slovenia has little short-term public debt, majority of debt foreign-owned

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia remained in 2019 among the EU members with the lowest shares of public debt with maturity of less than one year. It also remains among those member states that mostly secure loans through debt securities and where most of the debt is foreign-owned, show data released by Eurostat. The share of public debt with maturity of under a year in Slovenia stood at 3%. This compares to 21% in Sweden, which had the highest share of such debt, while several countries, such as Lithuania, Bulgaria or Poland have no or almost no such debt. The average share of debt in the the form of debt securities stood at 80.6% in the EU in 2019, while Slovenia's was 87%.

Modra Zavarovalnica pension insurer generates record profit of EUR 12.2m

LJUBLJANA - Pension insurer Modra Zavarovalnica, which is owned by the state's KAD pension management fund, generated EUR 12.2 million in net profit last year, a new record for the company. The results were discussed by the AGM, with the business report showing that premiums paid into mutual pension funds reached EUR 106.5 million in 2019, an increase of 8.1% on 2018. The company had 289,000 clients at the end of the last year, and paid out monthly instalments to over 28,000 pensioners. The value of assets managed increased to slightly over EUR 1.7 billion by the end of the year.

Epidemic provides additional push to digital banking

LJUBLJANA - While demand for digital banking services has been increasingly persistent in recent years, the trend has been sped up additionally by the coronavirus epidemic. The county's biggest bank, NLB, saw a doubling of online transactions during the crisis, with around 13,000 of its clients signing up for internet of mobile banking. Other banks noted that major steps forward in digital operations had already occurred in recent years, but an additional spike during the epidemic was noticeable as well.

EUR 5.8m in fines over undeclared work last year

LJUBLJANA - In tackling grey economy, the Financial Administration (FURS) last year paid particular attention to undeclared work, carrying out a total of 11,982 inspections, with violations detected in 22.3% of the cases. A total of EUR 5.8 million in fines was issued, shows the annual report of the government commission for the prevention of undeclared work and employment. FURS received 2,826 reports of alleged violation of labour legislation against 3,504 entities last year.

Architects of Ljubljana mosque win Plečnik Prize

LJUBLJANA - The 2020 Plečnik Prize for best architectural project in Slovenia was won by Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović and Christophe Riss for the Muslim religious and cultural centre in Ljubljana. The jury said the project was exceptional not only in the national but also in the European context. The architects have proven how extremely important it is to have a comprehensive approach to a project, and consistently implement the concept both at the levels of the city and building, and individual architectural elements.

Pahor honours nurses and midwives with Apple of Inspiration

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor conferred the Apple of Inspiration award on Slovenia's nurses and midwives, hailing their selfless efforts during the Covid-19 epidemic. The need to address the poor working conditions of the recipients was raised at the event. The head of the Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, Monika Ažman, addressed the ceremony along with Pahor, speaking of a recognition of nurses' and midwives' "dedication, expertise and sacrifice". She took the opportunity to point out the epidemic had revealed the poor working conditions in nursing, pointing to the problem of understaffing and departures of workers abroad.

Documentary on missionary Opeka wins top award at Beverly Hills Film Festival

LOS ANGELES, US - Opeka, a new documentary about Slovenian missionary Pedro Opeka and his humanitarian efforts in Madagascar, has won the award for best film at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Directed and produced by US filmmaker Cam Cowan, the documentary presents Opeka's decades-long project that has involved teaching families living in Madagascar's largest landfill how to build their own houses.

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