Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 9 July 2020

By , 09 Jul 2020, 04:30 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 9 July 2020 Flickr - Mike Prince CC by 2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Govt limits gatherings to 10 people, as 24 more infections confirmed

LJUBLJANA - The government lowered the number of persons allowed in public gatherings from 50 to 10. Official events of up to 50 people will be allowed if the organiser keeps a record of all the participants. The decision came as Slovenia recorded 24 new infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus after 1,607 people were tested on Tuesday. The outcome is in line with the slightly raised but still fluctuating curve seen in the past week. The number of active cases rose to 223, out of 1,763 positive cases so far. A total of 14 Covid-19 patients were in hospital on Tuesday.

Janša calls for single European coronavirus tracing app

BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Janez Janša called for a uniform and not entirely voluntary coronavirus tracing app for the whole of Europe, saying this was the only option that would allow tourism to continue and prevent public life from coming to a halt again. Janša made the call in a video debate on the challenges of the EU organised by the Foundation for a Civic Hungary and also featuring Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. Janša also spoke of "cultural Marxism" as the biggest ideological threat to the EU.

Pahor, Van der Bellen to mark 100 years of Carinthian plebiscite together

VIENNA, Austria - Slovenian and Austrian presidents, Borut Pahor and Alexander Van der Bellen, agreed to mark the centenary of the Carinthian plebiscite, which determined the border between Austria and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, together. The programme of the 10 October event has largely been agreed, Pahor said, arguing this would be an opportunity to reflect on the past and think about the future. Pahor and Van der Bellen met on Tuesday evening ahead of the seventh trilateral meeting of the presidents of three neighbouring countries - Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. Today the presidents, including Croatia's Zoran Milanović, discussed measures to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to fight climate change.

PM Janša fails to notify parliament of Interior Minister Hojs' "irrevocable resignation"

LJUBLJANA - Parliament did not receive a PM Janez Janša's formal notification of Interior Minister Aleš Hojs's 30 July "irrevocable resignation that was accepted by the PM" by the Tuesday midnight deadline. This raises the question of whether Janša did not accept it and whether Hojs is staying on. The PM's office has not yet provided an explanation, while Hojs said when asked whether he was staying on, that this was in Janša's hands. The minister stepped down when the police carried out several house searches, including at the home of Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, as part of a probe into alleged wrongdoing in the procurement of PPE during the epidemic.

Ex-PM warms up to the idea of alternative interim cabinet

LJUBLJANA - Marjan Šarec, the former prime minister and leader of the largest opposition party, appears to have had a change of heart about the idea of attempting to form an alternative government. However, he believes the new PM should not come from a political party. Šarec initially rejected the idea, championed by Alenka Bratušek, another former prime minister, to call a "constructive vote of no confidence" in incumbent PM Janez Janša by putting forward a new PM candidate, as flawed. Bratušek's SAB party and the SocDems welcomed Šarec's change of mind. The Left insists on a snap election.

Report: Ministry working on media reform not just changes to RTVS act

LJUBLJANA - The Culture Ministry is not preparing only changes to the RTV Slovenija act but a media reform that would affect the acts on the media, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and audiovisual media services, the newspaper Delo reported. The changes to the act on the STA would change the appointment procedure for supervisors and for dismissing the STA director, putting the government in charge instead of parliament. The changes to the media act would extend the status of special importance also to other printed and on-line media, so they too would be financed from a part of the RTV Slovenija licence fee. Meanwhile, the opposition Left tabled amendments to the STA act to assign the wire service the duty to inform the international public in English about volunteer activities and NGOs.

30 years on, reconciliation still far away

LJUBLJANA - Divisions remain rife among Slovenians 30 years, to the day since a commemoration was held in the Kočevski Rog woods in a bid to heal the wounds the nation suffered as a result of post-WWII summary killings by Partisans. The event is believed to have made the nation more united when it was seeking independence, while many are convinced that it is even more divided now. More than 30,000 people attended the 8 July 1990 commemoration, which was led by then Ljubljana Archbishop Alojzij Šuštar and addressed by then President Milan Kučan.

C-bank expects labour market deterioration, especially once support is removed

LJUBLJANA - Banka Slovenije pointed out that the coronacrisis stimulus measures are having a marked effect on the labour market and that employment and wage statistics could deteriorate significantly once they are lifted. The central bank added that a deterioration on the labour market was also heralded by surveys conducted among companies. Banka Slovenije's latest quarterly report moreover says Slovenia suffered a strong decline in GDP in April, the prospects for the second half of the year are, however, more favourable. The financial situation of businesses meanwhile remains stable, while the state's fiscal situation has deteriorated. Revenue in the first five months decreased year-on-year by EUR 720 million or 9.2%, while expenditure was up by EUR 874 million or 11.4%.

Ljubljana airport operator's boss Skobir makes another call for state aid

BRNIK - Passenger numbers at Ljubljana airport have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic even if many routes have already been relaunched. This is why Fraport Slovenija director Zmago Skobir believes the government should help airlines with state aid to preserve routes and aviation as a whole, which he sees as extremely important for Slovenia. "The situation now is no better than we anticipated back in April," Skobir said in an interview with the STA. The airport thus expects to realise only 30% of the planned passenger transport for 2020, or half a million passengers, but only if the relaunched routes are kept.

Lonstroff announces production expansion

LOGATEC - Lonstroff, a Swiss maker of elastomers, announced that its facility in Logatec south of Ljubljana, which was launched in January, would be an excellent starting point for expanding production across Europe. The company plans to boost workforce and increase production capacities in Slovenia. The 15,000-square metre facility is turning into Sumitomo's largest plant for medicinal products, said Naofumi Harada, director at the Lonstroff owner, the Japanese multinational Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Some six million products are expected to be produced there per year.

Hisense Gorenje setting up global R&D centre in Velenje

VELENJE - Home appliances maker Hisense Gorenje announced it would set up a global R&D centre for cooking appliances and dishwashers for the entire Hisense group in Velenje. "This means the in-house development team will be in charge of the entire development of the technology and appliances," the company said. This is an important step as until last year, Hisense Gorenje had only been developing products for factories in Europe. Hisense Europe employs some 360 experts in R&D, 290 of whom in Slovenia.

Slovenia preserves 12th ranking in Agenda 2030 implementation

LJUBLJANA - A report on progress towards the goals of UN's Agenda 2030 for sustainable development keeps Slovenia ranked in 12th place, while also ranking the country seventh when it comes to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the 17 goals, Slovenia is marked best when it comes to the first goal, the eradication of extreme forms of poverty, and goal 16, the guaranteeing of peace, justice, and strong institutions. The biggest outstanding challenges for Slovenia concern measures targeting the eradication of poverty, securing sustainable ways of production and consumption, as well as measure against climate change and the preservation of the sea and its resources.

Embassy puts on display Germany's EU presidency priorities

LJUBLJANA - The German Embassy in Ljubljana inaugurated a photo exhibition featuring some of Germany's main political goals as the EU presiding country in a bid to draw the attention to the presidency's priorities beyond the coronavirus crisis. Large boards featuring urban environments, infrastructure, memorials, the countryside and people were put on the fence around the embassy in the city centre where Prešeren Road and Šubič Street meet. The exhibition runs until the end of the year.

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