Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 18 September 2020

By , 18 Sep 2020, 04:25 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 18 September 2020 Flickr - Mark Belokopytov CC-by-nd-nc-2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Govt announces stricter mask rules, temperature screenings, bar curfew

LJUBLJANA - Responding to a spike in new Covid-19 cases in Slovenia, the government has announced tightened rules for wearing face masks outdoors and at schools, compulsory temperature screenings in the workplace and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants. Also in the pipeline are changes governing entry to Slovenia should the coronavirus situation escalate in neighbouring and other countries.

104 coronavirus cases confirmed Wednesday, one Covid-19 death

LJUBLJANA - A total of 3,070 tests for the novel coronavirus were performed in Slovenia on Wednesday, resulting in 104 confirmed positive cases, the fourth-highest daily figure so far. One fatality was recorded, bringing the overall death toll to 136. A total of 62 persons were in hospital yesterday for Covid-19, 11 of them requiring intensive care, the latest government figures show. The number of active cases has exceeded 1,000 for the first time.

New stimulus package reportedly brings back UBI, extends furlough

LJUBLJANA - The government has prepared the draft of a new anti-corona stimulus package. Unofficial information suggests the furlough scheme will be extended for some industries, universal basic income brought back for sole traders and the health system shored up. Information obtained by the STA shows that the furlough scheme, whose last possible extension under current law expires at the end of September, will be extended until the end of the year.

LMŠ announces motion to oust agriculture minister

LJUBLJANA - The Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) said it planned to table on Monday a motion of no confidence in Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec, a move that comes right after she stepped down as president of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) due to suspected ethics breaches. The motion will allege that Pivec violated laws concerning the prevention of corruption, abused her office, failed to abide by ethical standards and concealed facts that are in the public interest. All five DeSUS deputies have disavowed her and deputy group leader Franc Jurša said it was possible they will vote in favour of her dismissal as minister.

DeSUS to elect leader at congress on 28 November

LJUBLJANA - The leadership of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) proposed to the executive committee and to the council to hold a congress at which a party leader will be elected on 28 November, deputy group head Franc Jurša said. The congress was first meant to be held on 14 November, but the new date was proposed because of the availability of the venue - Gospodarsko Razstavišče fairgrounds in Ljubljana. The party's executive committee and the council are expected to set the date on Wednesday.

Hojs, Kangler report unknown perpetrator for false reporting of crime

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and State Secretary Franc Kangler have filed their separate criminal complaints with the prosecution against an unknown perpetrator accusing them of false reporting of crime. Breaking the news, the siol.net portal also published both criminal complaints, dated 16 September. The development comes after an anonymous criminal complaint was filed against Hojs over abuse of office for ordering a review of five closed cases investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). The parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Security and Intelligence Services meanwhile announced it will reveal Hojs's guidelines and instructions to the public.

Rival police union urges de-escalation, dialogue

LJUBLJANA - After the PSS trade union has formed a strike committee alleging being blackmailed and intimidated by Interior Minister Aleš Hojs, the other police union, the SPS, said it saw no reason to step up its activities considering dialogue with the ministry was ongoing. In a written response to the PSS union's move, the head of the rival SPS union Kristjan Mlekuš said the SPS had had a strike committee formed since April 2019 to implement demands from the agreement to end a strike in the past that had not been met, rather than to "settle scores with politics in public".

Slovenian troops to continue participating in Mali mission

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will continue participating in the EU Training Mission in Mali with up to ten soldiers, the government decided. There are currently three Slovenian soldiers in Mali. The government also announced a strengthening of cyber capabilities with US funds and said Slovenia is to participate in November in the NATO cyber defence exercise Cyber Coalition.

Urbanija gets full five-year term as UKOM director

LJUBLJANA - Acting director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM) Uroš Urbanija was appointed for a full, five-year term, starting on 21 September, with the possibility of reappointment. The former home desk editor at the STA was appointed the acting director of UKOM as the Janez Janša government took over in mid-March.

Former FM Rupel candidate for OSCE media rep

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian government has nominated Dimitrij Rupel, a former foreign minister, for the post of representative on freedom of the media at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Government Communications Office said Rupel was a major Slovenian intellectual who has "significantly affected the creation of a free, democratic and pluralistic media space".

Rožanc Prize for essay collection goes to Esad Babačić

LJUBLJANA - Esad Babačić, a 55-year-old poet, writer and journalist, has won the 2020 Rožanc Prize for the best collection of essays for Veš, mašina, svoj dolg (Machine, You Know Your Debt). Publisher Cankarjeva založba has described Babačić's first collection of essays as unpredictable and diverse and as "at times dealing with the key issues of contemporary society". The jury said Babačić's lively, engaged style and tenderness coming from a big a heart is introducing Montaigne-type writing into Slovenia's essay landscape.

Roglič and Pogačar clear likely last hurdle to double Tour victory

GRENOBLE, France - Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar, the first- and second-placed riders in this year's Tour de France, braved what was the final tough stage in the Alps without major difficulties, reaffirming the likelihood of a historic double Slovenian victory in the general classification. Finishing fourth in today's 168km stage from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Forontoday, Roglič retained the yellow jersey and his 57 seconds lead on Pogačar. The winner of this year's Tour is likely to be determined in Saturday's 36-kilometre time trail with a summit finish at Planche des Belles Filles.

Dončić makes the all-NBA first team

ORLANDO, US - The 21-year old Slovenian basketball wonderkid Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks) was selected for the 2019/2020 season's all-NBA first team, becoming only the sixth European player in the history of the NBA to achieve this honourable feat. This season, Dončić was also selected to his first NBA All-Star Game as a starter, making him the youngest European player to start in an All-Star game.

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