This summary is provided by the STA:
Drop in daily infections to 1,508 recorded on Thursday
LJUBLJANA - A total of 38 Covid-19 patients died in Slovenia on Thursday. 1,508 new coronavirus infections were confirmed in 5,762 tests, show fresh official data. There are currently 1,199 patients in hospital compared to 1,210 on Wednesday, of whom 200 are in intensive care, the same as the day before. The national death toll currently stands at 724, according to the tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik. The rolling 14-day average of infections per 100,000 residents has fallen to 948. The share of positive tests was 26.2%.
New restrictions enter into force
LJUBLJANA - New restrictions concerning public gatherings and border crossing enter into force as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus. All gatherings are banned, unless people who gather are family or members of the same house hold. Until yesterday gatherings were capped to six persons. While all events are banned, couples will now be able to wed with a special permission from the Ministry of Labour, the Family and Social Affairs. They will not be allowed to have a reception, though.
National Covid-19 vaccination programme ready
LJUBLJANA - The government debated on Thursday a draft national Covid-19 vaccination programme, which will form the basis for a vaccination strategy once a vaccine is available. Health Minister Tomaž Gantar indicated Slovenia might get the first doses of the vaccine in December. "We have the first serious prospects of being able to get the first doses of the vaccine in December," which means vaccination could start in the second half of that month, he told the press yesterday.
Hojs says migration pact entails problematic grey zone with respect to Croatia border
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs highlighted on the sidelines of an EU ministerial on the proposed migration pact a "very, very problematic grey zone" related to Slovenia's border with Croatia, the external Schengen border but not also the EU's external border. It is not clear if Slovenia will still be able to return migrants to Croatia, he said. If Slovenia found itself without the possibility of returning these migrants to Croatia, it would need to process all of them in Slovenia. "You can imagine that this would mean a rope around Slovenia's neck," Hojs said at the online press conference with Slovenian correspondents in Brussels.
Govt replaces Kajzer as FM state secretary, possibly sending him to Washington
LJUBLJANA - The government relieved Tone Kajzer of his duties as Foreign Ministry state secretary, saying he was taking over new responsibilities, which were not specified. Unofficially, Kajzer is a candidate for the post of ambassador to the US. The government appointed Stanislav Raščan in his place, effective on Tuesday. While the appointment procedure for ambassadors is confidential, some media reports handled Kajzer as one of the potential candidates to succeed Stanislav Vidovič as Slovenia's ambassador to the US after Vidovič was recalled prematurely from Washington in October and appointed Slovenia's new ambassador to Ireland.
Pahor discusses AI challenges at Paris Peace Forum
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said the right balance should be found between technological progress and broader social development as he attended a Paris Peace Forum debate on risks posed by unethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in fighting the coronavirus and the climate change. Pahor was invited to take part in the Paris Peace Forum, which is held online this year, by French President Emmanuel Macron, Pahor's office said in a press release.
Govt proposing agreement on Hungary's involvement in Koper port rail track
LJUBLJANA - The government submitted to the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee an initiative for an agreement between Slovenia and Hungary on cooperation in the construction and management of the new rail track to the port of Koper. The details of the initiative, which is labelled internal, have not be disclosed and the Infrastructure Ministry has not commented due to the classified nature of the documents.
DeSUS to pick new party head via mail, results expected on 5 December
LJUBLJANA - The election congress of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) will be held between 20 November and 5 December and will see the junior coalition party's new president selected through ballots cast by mail, the DeSUS council decided. The mail vote on the president and vice-presidents will take place between 27 November and 1 December, with the results expected to be declared on 5 December, the council's chair Anton Urh told the STA. There are presently ten candidate for vice-presidential posts, while Karl Erjavec and Srečko Felix Krope are vying for the top post.
SMC says "it's not for sale" as it turns down alternative govt offer
LJUBLJANA - Modern Centre Party (SMC) leader Zdravko Počivalšek met economist Jože P. Damijan only to turn down his Constitutional Arch offer to form an alternative government to Janez Janša's. The party said in a press release issued after the meeting that it wanted to dispel any doubts and speculation about its potential exist from the current government. Even if the coalition SMC and NSi have turned down his offer, Damijan told the weekly Mladina it seemed he had the necessary majority in parliament to replace the Janša coalition, as he counts on votes by MPs from the ranks of the SMC and DeSUS.
2022 budget ready for plenary session, all amendments rejected
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee rejected all opposition-sponsored amendments to the state budget for 2022 as it prepared the document for a plenary session starting on Monday. The budget bill sets down EUR 11.01 billion in revenue and EUR 12.60 billion in expenditure, which puts deficit at 3.1% of GDP. Investment is being enhanced in transport infrastructure, health care, social care and the environment.
IMAD: Further economic recovery uncertain, especially in services
LJUBLJANA - Sentiment indicators for September and October show economic recovery is uncertain as the Covid-19 epidemic is worsening, says the government's macroeconomic forecaster IMAD. The eurozone economy is losing momentum, and so is Slovenia's, as the country saw a drop in business sentiment in October following a several-month improvement. IMAD says all this indicates that declaring the epidemic for the second time this year in October will have a major impact on the services sector. Still, the economic impact and the consequent restrictions to businesses could be less intensive than in the spring episode of coronavirus.
Nine airlines would fly to Ljubljana with government support
LJUBLJANA - Nine airlines have submitted applications for subsidies to fly to Ljubljana, an effort to improve air links to the Slovenian capital. All the carriers have previously operated or are still operating Ljubljana flights. An expert commission set up by the Economy Ministry is to decide on the applications on 23 November. The airlines in the running for EUR 1.5 million in subsidies are Lufthansa, Air Serbia, Montenegro Airlines, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Swiss Air, EasyJet, Wizzair, and LOT Polish Airlines.
Triglav premiums increase 6% in Jan-Sep, net profit down 14%
LJUBLJANA - Insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav reported consolidated gross written premium of EUR 960.9 million for the first nine months of the year, a 6% year-on-year increase. Net profit declined by 14% to EUR 50.8 million. The profit decline is principally the result of the situation in global financial markets, and partly a result of major events such as hailstorms in three markets, the Zagreb earthquake and an increase in provisions. The combined ratio, an insurance industry benchmark, stood at 91.4%, which the company says is favourable.
New director appointed at Jožef Stefan Institute
LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed the appointment of Boštjan Zalar as the new head of the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), Slovenia's leading science and research institute. Zalar will start his five-year term on 1 December and succeeds Jadran Lenarčič, who has been at the helm of the IJS since 2005. Zalar has a PhD from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of Ljubljana. He works at the IJS's department for solid-state physics and is a full professor for solid-state physics at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School.
Govt dismisses Book Agency head
LJUBLJANA - The government dismissed the head of the Slovenian Book Agency, Renata Zamida, who started her five-year term on 1 January 2018. Zamida told the STA the move was illegitimate. "Just like four months ago, I think the dismissal is illegitimate and a symptom of a policy that is currently being implemented in culture and wider. Zamida has been on the chopping block since January amidst allegations of imprudent spending.
Military Chaplaincy receives SAF bronze medal on 20th anniversary
LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Matej Tonin conferred the Bronze Medal of the Slovenian Armed Forces on the Military Chaplaincy, which was established 20 years ago to provide spiritual care in the Slovenian army. Tonin highlighted the activities of the Chaplaincy in international operations and missions, while describing the Chaplaincy as "firm, reliable and trustworthy support to all members of the Slovenian Armed Forces and their family members irrespective of creed or world view".
President honours diabetes expert Janež
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor bestowed the Apple of Inspiration award on diabetologist Andrej Janež. The head of UKC Ljubljana's endocrinology and diabetes department has been honoured for his extraordinary and breakthrough achievements in treating diabetes, said Pahor's office. Janež's work is proof that Slovenia's scientists can "reach the global Olympus of science", said Pahor, at the award ceremony that was without audience but streamed online.
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