This summary is provided by the STA:
Security Council urges parliament to give soldiers police powers
LJUBLJANA - The National Security Council fully supported the police's proposal to activate a provision in the defence act which would give soldiers police powers to help it patrol the border to contain illegal migration, PM Janez Janša said after a session of the council. Saying the situation on the border with Croatia was becoming critical again, he urged the opposition to provide the necessary votes for a two-thirds majority needed to activate the provision. The council also discussed the coronavirus situation. Janša said it supported the measures the government had already taken or was planning to, assessing them as adequate, well prepared and balanced.
Slovenia confirms 363 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, four deaths
LJUBLJANA - A total of 363 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in 3,682 tests on Thursday, the third day in a row that the case count exceeded 300. Slovenia now has a total of 7,879 confirmed cases, of which 2,865 are active, according to data tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik. Four people with Covid-19 died, bringing the death toll to 165. Measured in new cases per 100,000 people over two weeks, a key benchmark used in the EU, Slovenia is now at 137. There are 138 Covid-19 patients in hospital, up from 131 on Thursday, while the number of patients in intensive care rose by one to 22.
Super tax on undeclared income struck down by top court
LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has struck down provisions of a 2013 law that impose a 70% tax on income that individuals have been found to have failed to report. The court has also declared that tax reassessment cannot be made for cases prior to 2009. The court said in the ruling declared today that the taxation rate could not be above the rate valid for income proved by the taxpayer. Another provision that has been quashed allowed tax authorities to reassess taxes for the period before 2009, which the court says is not in conformity with constitutional safeguards.
Defence Minister says budget plans development-oriented
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Defence Committee endorsed the budget bills for 2021 and 2022. Defence Minister Matej Tonin said that the planned increase in defence spending proved the budget was development-oriented in that it secured funds for development and the necessary investment in the army as well as civil protection and disaster relief. Next year, EUR 636 million will be allocated to defence or EUR 75 million more than under the budget passed last year. Defence spending will rise to 1.28% of GDP next year. It will further increase by EUR 51 million to EUR 687 million in 2022, which is 1.3% of GDP.
Share of infected school children doubles in past week to 0.06%
LJUBLJANA - The share of recorded Sars-CoV-2 infections among kindergarten and school children in Slovenia has doubled since last Friday to 0.06%, while the share of children in self-isolation has risen from 0.36% to 0.81%, show data released by the Education Ministry which began to be analysed as the school year began in September. There are presently 11 kindergarten departments with 200 children in quarantine, 55 primary school departments with 1,100 children and 41 secondary school departments with 1,040 pupils.
Peter Boštjančič wins Borštnik Ring
MARIBOR - Peter Boštjančič, a Maribor-based actor known for his memorable roles in the theatre and on film, was declared the winner of this year's Borštnik Ring, Slovenia's top accolade for lifetime achievement in theatre acting. Boštjančič, 68, has been a member of the Drama SNG Maribor theatre ensemble for over 20 years, after spending 17 years with the SLG Celje theatre. In a career spanning more than four decades he has appeared in more than 100 roles in the theatre and in over 20 films.
PPE whistleblower Gale loses job
LJUBLJANA - Whistleblower Ivan Gale, who has been accusing government representatives of meddling in the procurement of medical and personal protective equipment when the coronavirus first reached Slovenia in the spring, has lost his job at the Agency for Commodity Reserves. Gale announced this in a short Facebook post, while the agency told the STA it could not comment on an ongoing procedure. The left-leaning opposition said his sacking was an act of "vengeance against a public servant" and expressing support for and solidarity with Gale. Transparency International Slovenija pointed to the lack of protection for whistleblowers in Slovenia, calling for legislative changes.
EU approves takeover of Pro Plus owner
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission has given the Czech investment group PPF the green light for the takeover of the CME fund, which owns the Slovenian media company Pro Plus. The Commission believes the takeover will not harm competition. According to Czech media, the transaction should be completed on Tuesday, 13 October. CME's operations include 30 television channels in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Pandemic shows need for development of new skill sets, conference hears
BRDO PRI KRANJU - The coronavirus pandemic has exposed all the shortcomings in education and training and effective action is needed to address the problems, the Skills Summit participants heard. Participants shared the view that interdepartmental international cooperation will be key. Addressing the OECD event, PM Janez Janša said the pandemic had proved that skills were key in the economic recovery in the long term. OECD Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen said the pandemic showed the importance of digitalisation.
Slovenia's exports down 3.6% year-on-year in August
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's goods exports declined by 3.6% year-on-year to EUR 2.227 billion in August as imports fell by 0.6% to EUR 2.311 billion. The rates of decline are stronger for the period between January and August, in particular for imports, data from the Statistic Office show. The office notes that despite the decline, Slovenia saw the second highest values of exports and imports for August over the past ten years.
Poll shows growing pessimism about long-term impact of Covid
LJUBLJANA - As coronavirus keeps spreading fast in Slovenia, people do not appear to be any more concerned for their own and their close ones' health and lives, but they are increasingly pessimistic about the lasting impact of the pandemic, a poll has shown. The proportion of those who believe life will turn for the worse forever in the wake of the pandemic has increased to 63% in the latest poll by Mediana, which compares to 49% in April and 55% in July.
Tensions flare at Friday protest in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - Police stepped up the IDing of protesters at Friday's 25th anti-government rally over violations of the decree limiting public assembly during the coronavirus epidemic, and several protesters were removed from the site. The protesters labelled the police action "repression and a disgrace", as the majority heeded the calls in social media to arrive by bike and wear face masks, while activists called on them to keep a safe distance and avoid confrontation with the police.
National Museum opening major exhibition on Carinthian plebiscite
LJUBLJANA - Exactly 100 years after the Carinthian plebiscite, the National Museum will launch on Saturday an exhibition on the referendum as a result of which a portion of Slovenians remained outside their motherland. The largest show on the plebiscite ever put on in Slovenia, entitled Slovenians, This Is for Good, features some 240 documents and photographs, the majority of which are put on display for the first time.
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