Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 21 October 2020

By , 20 Oct 2020, 03:57 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 21 October 2020 Flickr - Lionel Martinez CC-by-nc-nd-2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

794 coronavirus infections confirmed for Monday, two deaths

LJUBLJANA - The number of new coronavirus infections continues to rise in Slovenia, reaching 794 on Monday, when 4,326 tests were conducted. Government data show 313 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, including 56 in intensive care. Two more people died, brining the death toll to 192. A total of 38 patients are mechanically ventilated and 27 patients were discharged from hospital, while 53 new patients were admitted, according to data by the tracker Covid-19.Sledilnik.

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Curfew takes effect, gathering becomes more restricted

LJUBLJANA - A temporary 9pm-6am curfew entered into force across Slovenia to limit the spread of coronavirus. The cap for gatherings has been lowered from ten to six people and a ban on movement between statistical regions has been put in place. There are, however, a number of exceptions, such as those related to work, emergency situations and services, family assistance and farm work. Public transport will not be shut down, libraries, museums and galleries also remain open.

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Minister says food supply not at risk in second Covid-19 wave

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Attending an EU ministerial in Luxembourg, Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek said that little less problems in the Slovenian agriculture sector were expected than during the first Covid-19 wave in the spring, reiterating that food supply would not be disrupted or threatened. The ministry added in a press release that food supply in the second wave would be adequate and called on consumers not to stockpile food and other supplies, as it might happen that retailers would not be able to refill their shelves on time.

Govt seeks to allay budget spending concerns

LJUBLJANA - The government defended its budget plans for the coming two years in response to the Fiscal Council's concerns about excessive expenditure, underscoring the importance of investment for recovery and noting that investment expenditure is to be boosted mainly at the expense of EU funds. In a response to the advisory body's assessment, the government notes that continued recovery will depend on what is a very uncertain situation with respect to coronavirus. In such a situation, fast action to protect people's health and the economy is essential, it says.

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Opposition blame govt for "fatefully low" trust in Covid measures

LJUBLJANA - The centre-left opposition parties called on the government to mend its ways, which they argue are the reason for what they see as a "fatefully low level" of public trust in measures and recommendations aimed to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus in the country. In a press release, the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) argue the measures are ill thought through and badly communicated, which they say is made worse by the government's "degrading of the experts, attacks on the media and judiciary, and attempt to subjugate social subsystems".

Poll: Public supports ban on gatherings, critical of masks outdoors

LJUBLJANA - The latest Valicon survey, released on Monday, shows the public is divided when it comes to the assessment of individual protective measures meant to tackle coronavirus. Standing out as a clearly supported measure is the ceiling on the number of people gathering in the public, with 77% approving of the measure, while there is less support for the compulsory wearing of masks outdoors (just over 40%).

Trade union calls for extra funds for education to manage Covid-19

LJUBLJANA - Trade unions have asked the government to secure additional EUR 90 million in the 2021 and 2022 budgets each for managing the Covid-19 epidemic in the educational process. The additional funds would be spent on personal protective equipment and sanitisers, technical adjustments and additional temporary jobs. The main committee of the SVIZ trade union of teachers and culture workers also urged the relecant ministry to do something to neutralise what the trade union believes are the growing differences among pupils brought by remote teaching, as not all of them have the same conditions.

Slovenian cyclists dominate at Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana

UDINE, Italy/BILBAO/Spain - Slovenian cyclist Jan Tratnik (Team Bahrain McLaren) won the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia between Udine and San Daniele del Friuli to become only the fifth Slovenian ever to win a stage at the prestigious road race around Italy, while his more celebrated compatriot Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) won the first stage of the Vuelta a Espana to establish himself as one of the favourites in the race around Spain as he is defending his overall winner title.

Commission representative welcomes budget increase for Equal Opportunities Ombudsman

LJUBLJANA - Zoran Stančič, the head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, welcomed in talks with Equal Opportunities Ombudsman Miha Lobnik on Monday the government's decision to allocate more funds for the office. Stančič said thus the cabinet had constructively responded to some criticism voiced by the Commission in its rule of law report. In the report published at the end of last month, the Commission warned that Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman was understaffed.

Group of RTVS councillors propose dismissal of director

LJUBLJANA - A group of 13 programme councillors at RTV Slovenija have proposed the dismissal of the public broadcaster's director Igor Kadunc. He stands accused of responsibility for RTVS operating in the red between 2017 and 2019 and of failure to draw up a number of documents. Kadunc rejected the claims, suggesting the motive was changing editorial policy.

Next Round investment conference for startups under way

LJUBLJANA - A two-day investment conference got under way named Next Round that will see 80 investors from Central and Eastern Europe meet the best startups from Slovenia and 25 more countries. The online event, co-organised by the Slovenian Enterprise Fund, will also be addressed by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.

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