Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 16 September 2020

By , 16 Sep 2020, 04:21 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 16 September 2020 CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA


Covid-19 tally up by 82 as hospitalisations hit 50

LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR - Slovenia's coronavirus case count increased to 3,831 after 82 more people tested positive from 2,247 tests conducted on Monday. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 rose to 50, including ten in intensive care, which compares to 28 and 4, respectively, a week before, government data show. Hospitals are already grappling with a shortage of staff and beds. The situation is particularly dire at UKC Maribor, where eleven staff have tested positive for coronavirus and around 30 more are self-isolating. The country now has 907 active infections. There have been no fatalities for over ten days now with the death toll at 135.

Outlines of new Demographic Fund emerging

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The coalition partners agreed the outlines of a new Demographic Fund, which would manage state assets and provide an extra source of financing of public pensions. The bulk of partially or wholly state-owned companies would come under the control of the new entity, except for electricity transmission companies and the national motorway company DARS. The assets to be managed by the Demographic Fund are currently valued at EUR 8.5 billion. 40% of dividends and 60% of proceeds from the sale of stock would be retained. The rest would be allocated for pensions, family policies and the construction of nursing homes.

C5 countries agree to coordinate anti-coronavirus measures

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The foreign ministers of Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia agreed at a Central 5 (C5) meeting that the members of the informal initiative will regularly coordinate their measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Coordination meetings would be held every two weeks via videoconference at the level of police commissioners, Slovenia's Anže Logar said. It was also agreed that the European Commission should create a joint mechanism for measures and standards in the event of an increasing number of infections.

Govt adopts response to draft EU rule of law report

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a response to a draft EU report on the rule of law that takes issue with some of the conclusions made by the EU Commission, in particular with regard to the impartiality of judges and independence of the anti-graft commission. Foreign Minister Anže Logar said the response had been adopted unanimously and without debate, while Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič said the draft opinion was an opportunity for dialogue on the actual state of judiciary in Slovenia. The opposition urged the government to declassify the document.

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Primorska Day hears praise for resilience and patriotism of its people

LJUBLJANA - As Slovenia observes Primorska Reunification Day in memory of the western region being reunited with its homeland in 1947 under a peace treaty with Italy, PM Janez Janša said the holiday was an expression of respect for generations of people from Primorska and gratitude to them for their national pride, resilience, resistance against Italianisation and Fascism and for their loyalty to Slovenian identity. Praise for the people of Primorska was also expressed by President Borut Pahor and parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič, after the major ceremony celebrating the day was held on Saturday.

Slovenia should be smart in spending EU funds, debate hears

LJUBLJANA - A webinar on how to effectively draw EU funds in 2021-2027 heard that a serious reflection was needed in Slovenia on how to use the money. Economist Mojmir Mrak said he would like to see the bulk of the funds go for smart, digitalisation, green and circular economy projects. Janez Potočnik, the former European commissioner who co-chairs the International Resource Panel, said that natural resources needed to be protected in the process. Andreja Kodrin of the European Fund for Strategic Investments noted that the money also needed to be invested in conservation.

Chinese and Slovenian researchers step up cooperation

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology will build an institute to research intelligent manufacturing methods of advanced materials in Guangdong Province, China. Under an annex they signed last week to the 2018 cooperation agreement, the Advanced Material Intelligent Manufacture Research Institute is to be set up by 2023. The Chinese partner committed to provide EUR 300,000 for the work of Slovenian researchers over a period of three years, as well as EUR 250,000 for the material costs of building the institute.

Boxmark completes workforce reduction process

KIDRIČEVO - Boxmark Leather, the Kidričevo-based maker of car upholstery, which employed 1,450 people at the beginning of the year, announced it had concluded the process of laying off 350 people. Having dismissed 300 workers by the end of April, now its workforce counts 800. CEO Marjan Trobiš hopes Boxmark will be able to hire new people soon, especially experts in research and development as part of the company's plans to enter the aviation industry. These have been put on hold due to coronavirus.

Slovenian music industry asking for coronavirus state aid

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian music industry, one of the businesses worst hit by Covid-19, has come up with a set of proposals it wants the government to include in its next anti-corona package. Until all restrictions applying to concerts are lifted and beyond, the Music Industry Coalition wants an exemption from social security contributions for the self-employed and 700 euro in monthly basic income. For workers on permanent employment contracts, the state should pay all contributions and taxes, while furloughed workers should have their pay subsidised. The government is expected to unveil a new stimulus package this week.

July wage figures mostly on par with June's

LJUBLJANA - Average net pay in Slovenia in July stood at EUR 1,176, which was 0.1% up on June nominally and 0.2% more in real terms. Releasing the figures, the Statistics Office noted they were broadly level since measures mitigating Covid-19 ramifications were effective in both months. Wages in the private sector were up by 1.4%, whereas those in the public sector were down by 2.3%.

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