Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 17 October 2020

By , 16 Oct 2020, 21:57 PM News
A Newspaper vendor in Tamil Nadu, India, wearing safety gloves, mask and safety glass. A Newspaper vendor in Tamil Nadu, India, wearing safety gloves, mask and safety glass. Vaikunda Raja CC-by-SA-4.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Slovenia's daily coronavirus tally hits a high of 834

LJUBLJANA - Coronavirus transmissions keep gaining pace in Slovenia with 834 of 5,196 tests performed on Thursday coming back positive and the rolling 14-day average per 100,000 residents rising by 27 in a day to 257.21. The Covid-19 death toll hit 180 after four more fatalities. Covid-19 hospitalisations rose to 242 with 45 patients requiring intensive care. Two more Slovenian statistical regions for a total of nine out of 12 went into lock down and officials indicated new restrictions could follow soon. Epidemiologists said they would continue establishing contact with those infected with the novel coronavirus, however from Saturday they will no longer pursue their contact tracing strategy or issue proposals for quarantine orders.

Electoral reform tops agenda of Zorčič's visit to Rome and FM Logar's to Trieste

ROME/TRIESTE, Italy - National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič held talks with the presidents of both chambers of the Italian parliament, the chairs of several parliamentary commissions and a Foreign Ministry state secretary. The focus of the talks was on reform of Italian electoral legislation The Slovenian minority in Italy expects that the new electoral law will secure representation of the community in the Italian parliament in line with a 2001 Italian law on the protection of the Slovenian minority. This was also the main topic of what was first official visit of Foreign Minister Anže Logar to the Slovenian community in Italy. Logar said Slovenia will follow the minority's situation with even more care given the situation and announced several more high-level meetings until the end of the year.

 

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PM says putting 38% of Slovenia under Natura 2000 a mistake

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Putting 38% of Slovenian territory under Natura 2000 protection was "a shot in the knee", PM Janez Janša told the press after an EU summit that had climate goals as one of the items on the agenda. He said that the European average for the area, where it is forbidden to produce energy from natural and sustainable sources, is 18%. "We'll try to be ecologically conscious and yet not be complete idiots like those who drew these maps at that time not realising what it is actually all about," he said. As for the call by some member states for an agreement on the goal to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030, Janša said Slovenia would support goals that will actually be implemented and would not pay triple the price like some neighbouring countries might.

Janša accuses mainstream media of coronavirus denial

BRUSSELS, Belgium - PM Janez Janša told reporters in Brussels that fake news in the sense of denial of the danger of the new coronavirus, spreading in Europe mainly through social media, and in Slovenia unfortunately also through mainstream media was what was forcing Europe and individual countries to take harsher measures than would otherwise be needed. Speaking after the pandemic topped the first day of the EU summit, Janša said Slovenia had been acting in line with recommendations regarding coordination of Covid-19 restrictions.

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Following PM's tweet, European journalists urge end of media demonisation

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) said "appalled by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša's latest attack against the Slovene public broadcaster STA". This comes after Janša's Twitter post on Thursday calling the STA a "national disgrace". "This demonising of public service media and journalism must stop," said the EFJ. A reaction also came from Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which monitors, tracks and responds to violations of press and media freedom across Europe. "In Slovenia PM Janez Janša continues to discredit, undermine and attack media outlets including the STA, both online and in reported comments at the European Council," tweeted the MFRR.

Ministry defending national energy and climate plans

LJUBLJANA - The Infrastructure Ministry defended the national energy and climate plans in the face of a review from the European Commission, saying that in some areas Slovenia's goals were even more ambitious than the bloc's commitments. The ministry also said the Commission highlighted some positive aspects of the plans adopted last February. In a Wednesday report assessing national energy and climate plans until 2030, the European Commission said Slovenia's plans in renewable energy lacked ambition, while the ambition in energy efficiency was assessed as modest or small.

Fiscal Council says budget expenditure for next two years too high

LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council warned that the budget expenditure planned for the next two years is too high, while also saying that the divergence from the fiscal rule was understandable and could be allowed, considering the coronavirus pandemic. Council president Davorin Kračun told the press that conditions have been met for divergence from medium-term balance in 2020 and 2021, considering the data available at the moment. It is yet too early to make the same assessment for 2022.

All Saint's Day without public ceremonies

LJUBLJANA - Addressing the government briefing on coronavirus, Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore said that this year's All Saint's Day will not see public religious ceremonies at cemeteries on 1 November due to Covid-19. He urged citizens to comply with anti-corona measures and to help out those in need, noting that in-person mass services are temporarily banned in red listed regions. He said that currently there are six priests quarantining, five were infected and one died a Covid-19-related death.

Trade unions walk out of ESS session on demographic fund

LJUBLJANA - The trade unions that are members of the Economic and Social Council (ESS), the main industrial relations forum, walked out of the session dedicated to the emerging Demographic Fund, where the government pans to pool all state assets to shore up the pension system. While refusing to go into detail before Monday, the unions said they were unhappy with the social dialogue. The Labour Ministry indicated the walkout was because the agenda item on social dialogue was postponed due the absence of the minister. The Pergam trade union association earlier urged the government to withdraw the bill on the Demographic Fund and reach a broad consensus on the bill first, and the anti-graft watchdog of corruption-risk related issues in the bill.

Second national digital radio network operational

LJUBLJANA - The second Slovenia-wide digital radio network, a technology known by its acronym DAB+, was launched. The new multiplex will carry the signals of regional and local radio stations, and stations serving the Italian and Hungarian minorities. Public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, which operates the network, said the the radio stations Radio Koper, Radio Maribor, Radio Capodistria and Pomursko-Madžarski Radio are broadcast for now. Other Slovenian local radio stations will be able to join the multiplex, which has nine transmission points, based on a call for applications by the Agency for Communications Networks and Services.

Report: Hoče Magna to build new electric Fisker SUV

TORONTO, Canada/GRAZ, Austria - Magna International, the Canadian-Austrian automotive multinational, announced it would start producing Fisker Ocean, an electric SUV, in 2022. According to unofficial reports by the Austrian Kleine Zeitung, the car would be assembled in Magna's plants in Graz, Austria, and in Hoče, near Maribor, starting off with 50,000 vehicles a year. Magna is yet to confirm the report about assembly location, although the Maribor-based paper Večer writes the info is accurate.

Companies told to be prepared for hard Brexit

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian and British companies must be prepared for the time after the Brexit transition period no matter whether an agreement is reached between the UK and the EU, heard participants of Tea with Reason held by the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce. The new UK Ambassador to Slovenia Tiffany Sadler said it was key for British companies to remain willing to do business with Slovenia and Slovenian businesses with the UK. She believes every company should look into consequences it might face.

Association concerned after Požar receives suspended prison sentence

LJUBLJANA/SLOVENJ GRADEC - The Association of Journalists and Commentators expressed concern over "a renewed abuse of the wheels of the judiciary" after Bojan Požar, author and proprietor of the news portal Požareport, received a suspended three-month prison sentence for defamation and insult due to an article in which he alleged that Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič and his former aide Matjaž Štandeker had bribed bankers. Požar announced he would appeal the ruling, handed by the Slovenj Gradec District Court earlier this week.

Maribor Theatre Festival shorted to one day

MARIBOR - The 55th Maribor Theatre Festival was shortened to a single day because of the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the country. The only event will be tonight's dance performance Burning Water by the Ballet of the Ivan Zajc Rijeka from Croatia, when Borštnik Ring for lifetime achievement in theatre acting will be conferred to Maribor-based actor Peter Boštjančič. All further events have been cancelled because of coronavirus.

Ljubljana Marathon cancelled due to coronavirus

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Marathon, due next weekend, was cancelled as new coronavirus restrictions took effect in parts of Slovenia with the highest incidence of new cases, including Ljubljana. "Unfortunately, the second wave and the high rise in cases is happening just in time for the Ljubljana Marathon and has prevented us from carrying out the event safely," Ljubljana Marathon director Gojko Zalokar stated. A virtual race will go ahead with registrations expected until 19 October.

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