Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 8 August 2020

By , 08 Aug 2020, 04:20 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 8 August 2020 Flickr - Niccolò Caranti, CC BY-SA 2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA:

Minister Hojs reportedly demands revision of some closed NBI cases

LJUBLJANA - The news portal reported that Interior Minister Aleš Hojs had unofficially tasked acting Police Commissioner Andrej Jurič with securing a revision of certain already closed cases handled by the National Bureau of Investigation. Hojs, a member of the ruling Democrats (SDS), allegedly wants the cases to be revised by what he labelled "uncontaminated" police officers so there be no doubt about their impartiality in the respective cases. The opposition accused the minister of abuse of power and political meddling in police work, urging him to actually step down this time after he went back on his "irrevocable" resignation earlier.

Ten new coronavirus infections confirmed

LJUBLJANA - Ten out of 753 coronavirus tests came back positive Thursday, with new infections confirmed in seven municipalities. One patient was discharged from hospital, leaving 24 Covid-19 patients hospitalised, four in intensive care, official data show. No coronavirus-related death was reported with the death toll unchanged at 125. There are currently 181 active cases in the country. Milan Krek, director of the National Institute of Public Health, said that over the past two weeks 16 young people tested positive after returning home from Zrče, the town on the Croatian island of Pag that is known for its night life. About 7,080 people in the country are currently under mandatory self-isolation.

Slovenia declares Belgium Covid-19 unsafe

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia added Belgium and several other countries to its red list of countries, which signals high risk in terms of coronavirus contagion. The Czech Republic, Malta, Switzerland and three Spanish administrative units were meanwhile removed from the green list of safe countries and demoted to yellow. Apart from Belgium, Saint Martin, Equatorial Guinea, the Faroe Islands and Namibia are now on the red list of 58 countries, meaning arrival from these countries entails a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Another 209 migrants apprehended in night to Friday

LJUBLJANA - The police apprehended a total of 209 illegal migrants across the country in the night between Thursday and Friday as part of a campaign of beefed-up surveillance of the route leading from Croatia to Italy through Slovenia. In Škofljica near Ljubljana a cargo vehicle was pulled up carrying 52 migrants. The Spanish driver was arrested and faces charges for people-smuggling. On Thursday, the Novo Mesto police apprehended 106 illegal migrants at 15 locations in the south-east.

Protests continue, in Izola ire over Pivec hotel bill

IZOLA/LJUBLJANA - Anti-government protests continued for the 16th straight Friday in Ljubljana, this time targeting the handling of coronavirus outbreaks at care homes. Meanwhile, dozens took to the streets in Izola following the reports that the coastal town had paid two hotel rooms for Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec. The protesters there also demanded the resignation of Mayor Danilo Markočič, a member of Pivec's DeSUS, who has also come under fire over contentious property deals.

Criminal complaint over PPE purchase filed against minister

LJUBLJANA - The commercial broadcaster POP TV reported that Ivan Gale, the whistleblower from the Commodity Reserves Agency who has exposed the alleged wrongdoing in the government's purchasing of PPE equipment for the Covid-19 epidemic, filed a complaint against Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and the agency's director over a multi-million deal for face masks with the company Hmezad TMT.
Gale alleges the pair had favoured the company as a result of which the state incurred millions of euro in damage.

Six teenage boys injured in run down pump track accident

RIBNICA - Six teenagers were injured in an accident on the run down pump track in Dolenji Lazi in the Ribnica area on Thursday evening. The boys, aged 13 to 16, were injured after falling seven metres deep after an old wooden bike ramp collapsed underneath them. The UKC hospital said three of the boys who sustained only mild injuries were being discharged today. Three will remain hospitalised, as two have spine and hand injuries, and a third one is still being examined but a spine injury has been ruled out.

Slovenia's exports down 5.6% in first six months, imports drop by 10.3%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's exports were down 4.2% year-on-year in June, amounting to EUR 2.68 billion, while imports decreased by 5.1% to EUR 2.56 billion. The export-import ratio was 104.7. The decreases for the first half of the year were 5.6% and 10.3% respectively, shows data released by the Statistics Office. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic was less pronounced in June than in April and May, when exports were for instance down 28.8% and 19.8% respectively in the year-on-year comparison.

Turnover in real estate down by about 40% in H1

LJUBLJANA - Preliminary data by the Surveying and Mapping Authority indicate about a 40% drop in both the number of property transactions in the first half of 2020. Prices of used flats meanwhile continued to grow, by 3% compared to the second half of 2019, taking the average square metre price in the country above EUR 1,900 for the first time. While final data will be released in October, the authority estimates the actual year-on-year decline in transactions will be between 35% and 40%, on what had been a record year.

Over 7 million litres of wine to be distilled to bridge market crisis

LJUBLJANA - At least 7.2 million litres of wine are to be distilled in Slovenia as part of government measures aimed at helping wine growers bridge the market crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Applications submitted by 5 August deadline moreover envisage 1.1 million litres for subsidised storage. The two measures, along with the green harvest that is already under way, are being organised by the Agency for Agricultural Markets and Rural Development, which received 62 applications for distillation and 19 for storage.

Museum project creating mosaic of life during pandemic

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana City Museum launched a project to gather insight into the life in the capital during the pandemic by collecting the minutiae of everyday life; photographs, recordings and impressions. Since life has not yet returned to normal, the project Corona Into Museum ASAP! continues with most recent contributions coming mainly from professional photographs sharing their takes on the situation.

Slovenian Alpine Museum celebrates 10th anniversary

MOJSTRANA - The Slovenian Alpine Museum in Mojstrana launched an exhibition themed Ten Anchors of Slovenian Alpine Climbing to mark its 10th anniversary, which coincides with the 125th anniversary of the erection of the Aljaž Tower, a shelter on top of Mt Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak. The main ceremony will be held on Monday. Since its opening, the museum's collection has expanded from 1,600 to 3,200 exhibits. It has also collected more than 3,300 books, as well as a multitude of photographs, post cards and other material.

Radovljica hosts more than 30 musicians from 12 countries

RADOVLJICA - The 38th Radovljica Festival, known for its focus on music on period instruments, started with a concert by Slovakian ensemble Solamente Naturali connecting Georg Philipp Telemann music with the folk music from the manuscripts of that period. The festival will see eight concerts by 33 artists from 12 countries until 23 August, offering a review of the music from the 11th century to Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt. Among the highlights will be Solamente Naturali and vocal quintet Cinquecento.

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