Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 24 September 2020

By , 24 Sep 2020, 03:54 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 24 September 2020 Flickr - Thomas Hawk CC-by-2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Parliament confirms revised budget for 2020, expenditure up by nearly 30%

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly adopted the supplementary budget for 2020, which raises expenditure by EUR 3 billion or 29% in the face of the coronacrisis while slashing revenue by almost 15%. With a deficit of 9.3% of GDP, the budget earmarks EUR 2.6 billion, 19% of all expenditure, for measures meant to mitigate the crisis. Prime Minister Janez Janša acknowledged the deficit, at roughly EUR 4.2 billion, was high, but he added the spending was prudent and positioned the Slovenian economy for a recovery.

Slovenia logs second highest daily coronavirus tally

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 136 new coronavirus cases for Tuesday, the second highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic, as another Covid-19 patient died. The latest cases come from 2,616 tests and bring the overall case count to 4,694, with the number of active cases at 1,383, show combined data from the government and tracker site Covid-19 hospitalisations fell to 65 after ten patients were discharged. Ten patients still require intensive care. So far 143 have died.

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Compulsory solidarity chief Slovenian concern about proposed migration pact

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry singled out the compulsory solidarity mechanism as the main area of concern after the European Commission unveiled the draft of a new migration and asylum pact. Slovenia expected that the plan would take into consideration "concerns by certain countries, Slovenia included, and would involve more balanced proposals," Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksander Geržina said. It is "not good" that the Commission opted for this concept since it "creates divisions again," he said.

Trade union reps walk out of coronavirus legislation meeting

LJUBLJANA - Trade union representatives walked out of a meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ESS) amidst a debate on new anti-coronavirus legislation. The unions proposed that the government adopt only the measures which have been coordinated with social partners as it holds a session this evening, while negotiations should continue on the remaining open issues. Jakob Počivavšek of the Pergam association said this was not accepted. Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said he regretted the decision.

Pahor paying two-day official visit to North Macedonia

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will pay an official visit to North Macedonia on Friday and Saturday upon invitation from his counterpart Stevo Pendarovski. In addition to bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation, the EU accession process of North Macedonia will be on the agenda. Pahor will be accompanied by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Defence Minister Matej Tonin, who will hold separate bilateral meetings, his office said.

Left proposes digital tax on tech giants

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left tabled a bill in a bid to levy a 7% digital services tax on multinational tech companies. They generate about EUR 100 million in turnover in Slovenia per year according to Financial Administration data but pay almost zero tax, said the Left's leader Luka Mesec. Their turnover is expected to continue to rise and given such an upward trend, Mesec believes that the tax could raise some EUR 10 million for the budget next year.

Council of Europe urges recognition of minority languages in Slovenia

STRASBOURG, France - The Croatian, German and Serbian languages should be recognised as minority languages traditionally spoken in Slovenia, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe said in its latest recommendations. It also calls for sufficient funding for television programmes in the Hungarian and Italian languages and says Slovenia should foster teaching the Roma language and culture and enhance raising awareness about regional and minority languages in educational programmes and media.

Church's claim for natural sights turned down

RADOVLJICA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that the Radovljica administrative unit had turned down the Ljubljana Archdiocese's claim for denationalisation of natural sights including the Triglav Lakes Valley, the Savica Waterfall area, and the lakeside of Lake Bohinj on the grounds that the Church did not own the properties when they were nationalised. According to the paper, the Church's claim also includes the Viševnik military ski slopes and some other properties the administrative unit has not decided on yet.

Home prices up in Q2, but fewer transactions

LJUBLJANA - Prices of residential properties in Slovenia in the second quarter of 2020 were up 1.9% compared to the first quarter, and 5.2% higher than in the same period last year, according to the Statistics Office. However, transactions were significantly lower, with the total value of all real estate sold being the lowest since the first quarter of 2015. Prices of new apartments and houses were up by 7.1% compared to the previous quarter, while used homes sold 1.4% higher.

Discussion urges efforts to contain job losses

LJUBLJANA - An online debate hosted by the European Parliament's Office in Slovenia highlighted the urgency of efforts to limit job losses during the coronavirus crisis. Measures leaning on the EU's SURE mechanism and being drawn up by the government were highlighted as part of this endeavour. The debate heard the young had been hit especially hard in particular because of precarious labour arrangements, which prevent them from taking out housing loans and are detrimental to their well-being.

Diplomatic Academy established at Foreign Ministry

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry has established a Diplomatic Academy, whose main purpose will be to educate and train future Slovenian diplomats and provide permanent training to current diplomats. According to the ministry's website, it will offer professional and advanced training programmes for employees, and develop and carry out diplomatic studies, training and advanced programmes for employment at the ministry and in the foreign service.

Slovenia marks first Day of Sports

LJUBLJANA - Day of Slovenian Sports was marked for the first time in memory of the first Olympic gold medals won for the independent country in Sydney in 2000 by rowers Iztok Čop and Luka Špik and shooter Rajmond Debevec. Addressing the main ceremony in Ljubljana's Congress Square, President Borut Pahor as the honorary patron noted the importance of sports for health, the country's promotion and for national unity. On the occasion, Pahor also decorated the Slovenian Athletics Association with the Golden Order of Merit to mark the centenary of organised track and field competitions in Slovenia.

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