Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 10 July 2020

By , 10 Jul 2020, 04:25 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 10 July 2020 pixabay.com CC0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Slovenia sees lowest coronavirus daily count this month

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 13 new coronavirus cases yesterday from 1,271 tests performed, the lowest daily tally since 30 June, follows from data released by the government. However, the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients has risen by one to 15 even though one patient was discharged yesterday. There are currently 230 confirmed active cases in the country. Health Minister Tomaž Gantar told TV Slovenija last night the epidemic was expected to peak by the end of the month after which the curve should turn downwards.

MPs pass new coronacrisis package, envisage contact tracing app

LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed a legislative package meant to prepare Slovenia for the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, including with a legal basis for a contact tracing app. The app, which the government wants to make compulsory for Sars-CoV-2-positive and quarantined persons, took flack from the left-leaning opposition, part of which spoke of a too grave interference in human rights and of a constitutional challenge, but the bill was passed in a 50:23 vote. The bill brings several other measures, notably an extension of the furlough scheme by a month.

PM keen for EU recovery plan not to depart much from Commission proposal

BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Janez Janša summed up Slovenia's goals in the negotiations on the EU's 2021-27 budget and recovery plan in Brussels by saying the final agreement should be as close as possible to the European Commission's proposal and that it should be clinched as soon as possible. Janša met President of the European Council Charles Michel and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as well as Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. He told Stoltenberg that Slovenia planned to invest EUR 780 million in equipment and in better working conditions for Slovenian soldiers in 2021-2026. Stoltenberg said he was counting on Slovenia to continue to strengthen defence spending. Janša and von der Leyen said they discussed European issues.

FM deems first mission to Brussels successful

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Minister Anže Logar labelled his first trip to Brussels since assuming office in mid-March as successful. Logar said he anticipated close cooperation with all the top EU officials he met during the visit, which focussed on discussing Slovenia's approaching EU Council presidency. The talks mostly revolved around the country's preparations for the presidency in the second half of 2021. The foreign minister met the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhely, European Crisis Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Miroslav Lajčak, the EU's special representative for the Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue, and Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People's Party (EPP) in EU parliament.

PM Janša to meet Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković

LJUBLJANA - A meeting between Prime Minister Janez Janša and his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković is scheduled in Slovenia's Otočec this Friday. The news was announced by the spokesperson of the Croatian government and later confirmed by Janša's office. Bilateral relations and a joint fight against Sars-CoV-2 were among the topics on the agenda. This will be the first meeting of the two prime ministers in person after they talked several times on the phone amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Last Saturday Slovenia removed Croatia from the green list of epidemiology safe countries from which entrance into Slovenia is possible without restrictions.

Police say illegal migration into Slovenia on the rise again

LJUBLJANA - After restrictions imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic suppressed illegal migration into Slovenia, a renewed rise in the numbers trying to cross the border illegally is now being recorded. Police handled 4,993 instances of illegal border crossing between 1 January and 30 June, a decrease of 12.4% compared to the same period last year, but according to Interior Ministry State secretary Franc Kangler the six-month statistics in fact reflected the situation in three months only, as there was little illegal migration when the border was closed.

Logar to study proposal for withdrawal from global migration compact

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar announced the Foreign Ministry would examine a proposal from the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee for Slovenia to withdraw from the global compact for migration, just like it examines all committee proposals it receives. Committee chair Branko Grims (SDS) argued at Wednesday's session the agreement was but a dead letter and that by withdrawing from it, Slovenia would give a clear signal to illegal migrants that it did not want to be a destination country. While the motion was passed in a 8:0 vote, committee members from the opposition LMŠ and SD said they abstained, finding the motion unworthy of a vote, while coalition SMC hailed the compact as a political act that promotes, at the highest level, the respect for human rights.

Pivec enjoys support of DeSUS leadership

LJUBLJANA - The leadership of the junior coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) expressed support to Aleksandra Pivec to carry on as party leader after she was publicly criticised by a regional faction of the party earlier this week. Pivec said it was ideological topics that are an issue for some party members. "I've never said there are no second thoughts among the membership about joining the coalition," she said, noting similar reservations had surfed whenever DeSUS had joined a right-leaning government. The party is now in for a lot of work to implement its commitments from the coalition agreement, foremost a long-term care bill as well as the establishment of a demographic fund and a government office for demographic affairs plus raising pensions, Pivec added.

Krka Group sales up 6% in H1, profit up 15% to EUR 160.3m, AGM decides on high dividend

NOVO MESTO - Krka Group sales revenue grew by 6% year on year to EUR 803.8 million in the first half of the year, according to estimates. Net profit of the pharmaceutical group grew by 15% to EUR 160.3 million. The preliminary data was presented at the annual shareholders meeting, where it was decided that shareholders will get a dividend of EUR 4.25 gross per share this year, which is EUR 1.05 more than in 2019. Economist Matej Lahovnik, the chief adviser to the government on the anti-coronavirus stimulus legislation, became one of the four supervisors.

Vizjak says hydro power, nuclear plants crucial for Slovenia's future

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak said at the Green Energy Summit in Brdo pri Kranju that he could not imagine Slovenia's energy future without the planned hydropower plants and the second reactor at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant. The minister announced a long-term strategy for decarbonisation that will address some major energy issues would be sent into public debate in the coming months.

State loan guarantee scheme to be fully operational in autumn

LJUBLJANA - SID Bank, the state-run export and development bank, will provide for efficient implementation of the government loan guarantee scheme to allow commercial banks to provide much needed liquidity to businesses. It expects the scheme to be up and running efficiently in the autumn.

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