Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 19 September 2020

By , 19 Sep 2020, 03:54 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 19 September 2020 Danzor Friday Danzor CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Slovenia sees record 137 new coronavirus infections on Thursday

LJUBLJANA - The number of new coronavirus infections reached a new all-time high in Slovenia on Thursday, as 137 out of 3,557 tests came back positive, the government said on Twitter. The number of active cases is also at a record high of 1,116. Sixty-seven Covid-19 patients are in hospital, 11 of them need intensive care. Three people were discharged from hospital, while four people infected with coronavirus died, putting the national death toll at 140. According to the tracker site, the number of total confirmed cases since early March, when the first one was confirmed, stands at 4,195.

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Hojs defends his actions in parliament as opposition wants to oust him

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs defended his actions in parliament as the opposition levelled at him a number of accusations in a ouster motion, which he is however expected to survive. Matjaž Nemec of the SocDems argued Hojs was never apt to serve as minister. He accused him of trampling on human dignity by supporting individuals glorifying the Croatian pro-Nazi Ustasha, of subjugating the police force to the ruling Democrats (SDS) and of aggressively clamping down on protestors. While he condemned the Ustasha regime and fended off all the other accusations, Hojs said the motion was an attempt to smear him ideologically. He announced he would discuss his position in the government with PM Janez Janša should he survive the ouster motion. This is after he already offered to resign earlier this year. The MPs could vote on the motion in the small hours of Saturday morning.

Logar expresses solidarity with Greece in face of migrations, Turkey relations

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar expressed solidarity with Greece concerning migrations and relations with Turkey as he hosted his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias. Dendias thanked him for the support and welcomed Slovenia's desire to join the MED7 group. Logar stressed Slovenia would continue to support EU member states. "Solidarity is the most important principle in the EU," he said. During what is the first visit by a Greek foreign minister in ten years, Logar and Dendias agreed to enhance their communication in the future. The Greek minister was also received by PM Janez Janša and President Borut Pahor.

Pahor calls for continued pursuit of UN's 2030 Agenda goals

LJUBLJANA/NEW YORK, US - President Borut Pahor addressed via videoconference the UN's global summit on the sustainable development goals until 2030, saying that the "2030 Agenda offers a better future for billions of people around the world and for our planet as a whole". The summit is taking place in a virtual form due to the Covid-19 pandemic, featuring only 24 UN members. Slovenia was selected due to its regular and transparent reporting on the implementation of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the president's office said.

Slovenia added to UK quarantine list

LONDON, UK - The United Kingdom added Slovenia to the list of countries from which arrivals must self-isolate for two weeks, the Slovenian Embassy in London announced. Those wanting to travel to the UK have until 4am on Saturday to get there without needing to self-isolate. The UK advises against all non-essential travel to Slovenia. It does not, however, advise those UK citizens who are already in Slovenia to cut short their trip.

EFJ concerned over Rupel's nomination for OSCE media rep

LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Foreign Ministry sent to the OSCE the nomination of ex-Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel for the post of OSCE media representative after endorsing it on Thursday. However, Ricardo Gutierrez, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) general secretary, expressed concern over it. "I am very very concerned about Slovenian politician Dimitrij Rupel's application for the position of OSCE media freedom representative," he wrote on Twitter, pointing to a contentious letter Rupel and former constitutional judge Peter Jambrek addressed to The Guardian after the UK paper published a critical article about Slovenian PM Janez Janša.

Pahor in Paris for Tour de France final stage, to meet Macron

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will be in France to watch the final stage of the prestigious Tour de France race live on Sunday and to meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Monday. He is heading for Paris at the invitation of the Slovenian Cycling Federation as it is almost certain the Tour de France victory will go to Slovenia's Primož Roglič or Tadej Pogačar. The Pahor-Macron working meeting will be a continuation of Pahor's regular dialogue with EU leaders on the future of Europe. The pandemic will also be discussed.

Illegal migrations in first 8 months up year-on-year

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian police processed some 10,220 illegal crossings of Slovenia's borders until the end of August, up 3.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Following a lull in illegal migrations caused by anti-corona restrictions, the number of migrants started rising again. In August alone the police handled more than 2,600 cases of illegal migrations, mostly involving citizens of Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in an enhanced border surveillence campaign between 10 September and today, the police processed a total of 397 persons who crossed from Croatia into Slovenia illegally. More than a third of the illegal migrants were from Afghanistan.

Social partners touch on new stimulus package, voice some criticism

LJUBLJANA - Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj outlined to the social partners on the Economic and Social Council the emerging fifth coronacrisis stimulus package and the council agreed to discuss it at the level of a taskforce on Monday. Some positions were however already voiced, with employers being particularly critical of the furlough scheme only being extended for certain sectors. Trade unionist Lidija Jerkič meanwhile told the STA that the proposal was heading in the right direction.

Concession contract for Sava hydro power stations to be signed next month

KRŠKO - A concession contract for the construction of a series of hydropower plants on the central Sava river is expected to be signed with the state-owned power utility HSE on 2 October, Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak announced. The first to be built in the next 15 years are the Suhadol, Trbovlje and Renke power stations on the downstream section of the central Sava. The construction of the first plant on the central Sava is expected to start in 2024, and the remaining two should follow two or three years later.

Vizjak says realising climate strategy must be a joint project

LJUBLJANA - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak believes that for Slovenia's climate strategy until 2050 to be implemented, a series of action plans coordinated between various sectors will be needed. Each individual would need to change their behaviour, as "this is our common project", he added as he presented the document. He said it was very important that Slovenia was setting zero net emissions or climate neutrality as an objective for the mid-century. "This is not a burden, but an opportunity and responsibility. Responsibility towards the future generations, and opportunity for all stakeholders." The document will be in public consultation until 30 September.

Protesters target Minister Hojs, environmental concerns

LJUBLJANA - The 22nd consecutive Friday protests against government policies took aim at Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and highlighted several environmental issues that protesters said were indicative of current government policy. Protesters first gathered in Prešeren Square before heading to the square in front of Parliament House to witness the ouster motion against Hojs and "witness his downfall". They indicated they would stay put until the MPs take a vote on the interpellation motion, which could however take pace in the small hours of Saturday morning.

Cimos ending production in Maribor

LJUBLJANA - Car parts maker Cimos is stopping production at its plant in Maribor, public broadcaster Radio Slovenija reported, saying the news came as a shock to its 150 employees. Most employees went on their annual leave as of today, while the rest are engaged in the necessary works before the full closure. The plant is closing due to Covid-19 and overall troubles of the car industry. The staff will be offered to terminate the employment contract and receive severance pay or be redeployed to another Cimos plant. Indebted Cimos was sold to Italian fund Palladio Finanziaria in 2017. The group's profit plummet to just over EUR 180,000 in 2019, down from EUR 4.7 million in 2018.

Spar Slovenija to get new director next year

LJUBLJANA - Igor Mervič, the long-serving director general of the retailer Spar Slovenija, will end his tenure at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by David Kovačič, who will take up the top post on 1 January 2021, Spar Slovenija said. Mervič, who has been at the helm of Spar Slovenija for 28 years, will remain at the company as a member of the supervisory board and adviser of the Spar conglomerate.

Exhibition at Technical Museum traces history of Slovenian robots

BISTRA - The exhibition The Origins of Slovenian Industrial Robotics opened at the Technical Museum in Bistra. It is dedicated to two important anniversaries related to robotics, including the 100th anniversary of the first written record of the word robot and 40 years since the first industrial robot was put to work in Slovenia. A special part of the exhibition is also dedicated to the social aspect of robotics and the impact robots have on humans.

Kino Šiška merging online with on-site in new season

LJUBLJANA - Kino Šiška, one of the main music venues in Ljubljana, will fuse online and on-site concerts in the new season due to precautionary measures such as visitor caps. The centre has entered into a partnership with the online platform DICE to deliver livestreams of performances, mostly by Slovenian musicians. As of 1 October, concerts at the Katedrala Hall will be given for up to 150 persons. Livestreams will be payable. Kino Šiška says artists should receive fair pay.


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