Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 7 July 2020

By , 07 Jul 2020, 03:51 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 7 July 2020 abstract duck, CC BY-SA 2.0 - -

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Sixteen new coronavirus cases, including Vipava care home outbreak

LJUBLJANA/VIPAVA - Slovenia recorded 16 new coronavirus cases after 530 tests on Sunday, including seven in an outbreak at the Vipava care home where nine elderly residents and seven staff are now infected, the latest data from the government and the care home show. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 has increased to 11 after four residents from the Vipava facility were hospitalised. Slovenia now has 195 active cases, out of the total of 1,716. More testing will be conducted at the Vipava care home, which plans to test all 108 residents and 45 staff.

Care homes say no systemic solutions found after first Covid-19 wave

VIPAVA - Responding to the coronavirus outbreak at the Vipava care home, the first such case after care home bore the brunt of Covid-19 deaths in Slovenia in the first wave of the pandemic, the Association of Welfare Institutions said no systemic measures had been put in place that would allow infected residents to be isolated effectively. "Despite our warnings that most care homes are without even basic conditions to implement full isolation," the association said. Meanwhile, an expert team from the nearby Šempteter hospital begged to differ, saying after a visit to the Vipava home that the solutions there were appropriate and that a transfer to hospital was not necessary.

France and almost entire Czechia reinstated to green list

LJUBLJANA - The government has re-instated France and the Czech Republic, with the exception of the Moravian-Silesian Region, to the green list of the epidemiologically safe countries, with the decision effective as of Tuesday. Announcing the news, the Government Communication Office said that the decision had been made following a briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the two countries by the National Public Health Institute.

Couple face sanctions for breaching quarantine rules

LJUBLJANA - Government spokesman Jelko Kacin revealed that a couple had breached quarantine rules and now face a fine or even prison on suspicion they spread coronavirus out of negligence. A 37-year-old woman was notified her husband had Covid-19, but failed to inform healthcare staff about the infection right away, whereby she jeopardised other people's health. Her husband kept going to work despite being ordered to self-isolate. The government might discuss sanctions for breach of quarantine rules later today. Kacin said 1,213 quarantine orders were issued to arrivals at the border.

Fiscal Council puts budgets costs of crisis measures at EUR 1.1bn so far

LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council, a government advisory body, estimates the public budget costs of coronacrisis stimulus measures by the start of July at around of EUR 1.1 billion, well below the government's initial estimate of EUR 4 billion and subsequent correction to EUR 2.8 billion. The body overseeing Slovenia's adherence to the fiscal compact initially estimated the first and third stimulus package - the two that were implemented so far - at EUR 2.3 billion in total or 5.1% of GDP.

Opposition insists on own inquiry into coronavirus measures

LJUBLJANA - The four left-leaning opposition parties have filed for a parliamentary inquiry to check financial (in)efficiency of government measures taken to contain the Covid-19 epidemic and mitigate its consequences. They would also like to examine potential violations of human rights and freedoms. The motion by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the Social Democrats (SD), the Left and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) also takes aim at the legal basis used to appoint advisory groups and the general appropriateness of the anti-epidemic measures.

Prosecutors deem Janša's letter inadmissible pressure

LJUBLJANA - The State Prosecutors' Council condemned a letter PM Janez Janša recently addressed to the state prosecutor general, criticising alleged inaction in prosecuting death threats expressed at anti-government protests and attacks on the police taking place as part of them. It labelled the letter an "unacceptable and political pressure". In the 19 June letter to Drago Šketa, Janša said the prosecution was neglecting its legal role in relation to the anti-government protests for failing to respond to incitement to violence and that Šketa would be responsible if the violence escalated.

Logar vows Slovenia's support for Albania's EU accession

LJUBLJANA - Meeting Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj, Foreign Minister Anže Logar vowed that Slovenia would provide support for Albania on the latter's path to the EU. The pair focussed on the country's progress in fulfilling requirements for starting accession negotiations with the bloc. The ministers also talked about the Covid-19 pandemic and the response of both countries, with Cakaj lauding Slovenia's response, and efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation, most notably in business.

Concerns aplenty as contact tracing app hits parliament

LJUBLJANA - A debate in parliament at the committee level on the emergency bill in preparation for the second wave of Covid-19 turned into a discussion on a contact tracing app. The opposition has accused the government of hiding "control over citizens and repression" among welfare measures. The fourth stimulus package, adopted by the government a week ago, includes a legal basis for introducing an app tracing contacts of persons infected with the new coronavirus and of persons who have been quarantined.

Ethnic Slovenian elected to Croatian parliament for first time ever

ZAGREB, Croatia - Barbara Antolić Vupora, an ethnic Slovenian running on the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) in Sunday's elections, has made it to the Croatian parliament. She has become the first member of the Slovenian minority in Croatia to enter Sabor in its 30-year history. The Slovenian minority did not have its candidate in the special electoral unit for ethnic minorities in Croatia, with Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj being re-elected as the joint representative of the Albanian, Bosniak, Montenegrin, Macedonian and Slovenian minorities.

Outlawed in Ormož, Štajerska Ward still plans new campaigns

ORMOŽ - The municipal council in Ormož (NE) has decided to deny hospitality to members of the self-styled Štajerska Ward as the first Slovenian municipality to do so. The paramilitary group nevertheless plans to organise its summer camp there and claims that the decision was unlawful. Last week, the municipal council unanimously endorsed the proposal from the local list Building Future Together, who said that "reason, moral criteria and ethics of all members" had prevailed, as it announced the vote on Facebook on Monday.

Labour Inspectorate issues fines worth over EUR 4m

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Inspectorate conducted almost 14,120 inspections in 2019, finding over 25,220 violations and imposing fines worth EUR 4.1 million. The inspectorate reported suspected offences in 40 cases. The number of alleged violations reported to the inspectorate increased, from almost 6,400 in 2018 to over 7,200. "If there were more inspectors, we could carry out more inspections, and undoubtedly discover even more violations," the inspectorate report for 2019 says.

Slovenia will see fewer residents, more elderly in 2100, says Eurostat

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's population will total more than 1,888,000 residents in the year of 2100 or 207,000 fewer than at the beginning of 2020, show recent Eurostat projections. Senior citizens will represent almost a third of the population in 80 years' time. The life expectancy at birth is expected to get longer and the elderly, aged 65 or more, will account for more than 31% of the population, compared to almost 20% in 2019, the Statistics Office reported based on the EUROPOP2019 projections.

Slovenia to host European Ladies Amateur Golf Championship

LJUBLJANA - The European Golf Association (EGA) has picked Slovenia to host the European Ladies Amateur Championship, which will be one of the largest international sporting events in Slovenia this year. It will take place on the Cubo course in Smlednik, north-west of Ljubljana, between 30 September and 3 October. The events, which had been originally planned to take place in Finland, has been awarded to Slovenia as a Covid-19 safe country.

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