Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 19 November 2020

By , 19 Nov 2020, 04:03 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 19 November 2020 pxfuel CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Janša causes furore with rule of law letter to EU leaders

LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša draw widespread criticism from the ranks of coalition and opposition after addressing a letter to EU leaders on Tuesday in which he called for a return to the July EU summit agreement on the next financial budget, which is, he said, now undermined by a recent deal between the EU Council and Parliament tying the rule of law to the EU funds eligibility. He argued that "numerous media and some political groups in the European Parliament are openly threatening to use the instrument wrongly called 'the rule of law' in order to discipline individual EU Member States through a majority vote." All three junior partners in the government coalition distanced themselves from the letter and Justice Minister Lilijana Kozlovič emphasizing her ministry was not involved in the writing of the letter nor had the letter been discussed by the government. The European Commission would not comment on the letter.

Pahor supports rule of law mechanism, refutes Janša's claims

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor responded to PM Janez Janša's letter to EU leaders by stressing the need to respect the agreement between the European Parliament and the EU Council that makes EU funding conditional on adherence to the rule law. He also rejected Janša's assertion that the 2014 general election had been stolen "through a drastic abuse of state institutions". The president said the 2014 general election had been lawful and legitimate as all elections since the first multi-party election in April 1990.

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New confirmed cases above 2,000 again, 43 with Covid-19 die

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 2,013 new coronavirus cases from 6,813 tests on Tuesday, for a positivity rate of 29.5%. A total of 43 persons with Covid-19 died, bringing the death toll to 919, show official data. Hospitalisations rose to 1,280 and number of intensive care patients to 209. Government's Covid-19 spokesman Jelko Kacin noted that nursing homes were once again becoming major hotspots: one in five of the infections confirmed yesterday were from there.

Janša meets Australian candidate for OECD sec-gen

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša received in Ljubljana Mathias Cormann, who until recently served as Australia's finance minister and is bidding to be the next secretary general of the OECD. They discussed the organisation's role and mission in the global situation and exchanged experience in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. They both agreed on the OECD's role as a advocate and defender of democracy and the principles of market economy.

Logar argues for stronger EU at Prague European Summit

PRAGUE, Czechia - Foreign Minister Anže Logar called for a rethink on how to make the EU better, stronger and more resilient, as he took part in the Prague European Summit. He argued the EU should assume a more decisive role in the global political arena while facing challenges such as changed international economic relations and the changing global security environment. Logar also met separately foreign ministers of Czechia and Slovakia, Tomaš Petriček and Ivan Korčok.

Covid-19 task force head leads race for Medical Chamber boss

LJUBLJANA - Head of the government's coronavirus task force Bojana Beović made it to the second round of election for the head of Slovenia's Medical Chamber, while incumbent Zdenka Čebašek Travnik is out. Beović, a clear front-runner in the first round of voting, will face Tanja Petkovič in the run-off. Ballots were sent in by mail, with data on the chamber's website showing that 5,893 votes had been cast, a 50.7% turnover. Beović received 2,895 and Petkovič 1,510 votes.

Criticism of state asset manager proposal stepped up

LJUBLJANA - The government-sponsored bill to bring the bulk of state assets onto a new national demographic fund is inappropriate, heard a conference held by the Slovenian Directors' Association. There were calls for scrapping the bill. Trade unions said the proposal was beyond repair, urging its withdrawal as well. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the proposal mirrored a strong government influence and was likely to fail to bolster the pension system in the long run.

British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce event underlines need for green financing

LJUBLJANA - The importance of green financing in post-Covid-19 recovery was underlined by all participants, ranging from banks, state and private companies, of an event organised by the UK Embassy and the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce. The Chair of the Green Finance Institute Roger Gifford noted that green financing, like any other financing, involves risks and benefits. Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said Slovenia had drawn up a framework for green bonds and was is aware of the challenges related to climate change and its impact on the financial sector.

Maribor airport to be turned into smart hub

LJUBLJANA/HOČE - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec presented in parliament this week a new vision for the Maribor airport that has not been operating for a while. He told MPs this week that he had been working with local mayors on plans to turn the airport into a smart hub by the end of the year. Vrtovec said the idea for a modern multimodal cargo logistic centre had come from the current operator of the airport, the state-owned consulting and engineering company DRI.

Court approves Tuš financial restructuring

LJUBLJANA - The Celje District Court approved an agreement on financial restructuring for the heavily indebted retail group Tuš. Thus the Alfi fund, which owns more than 80% of all claims to the group, is gradually taking over the managing of the Celje-based group. The group includes the parent company Tuš Holding, the real estate arm Tuš Nepremičnine and retailer Engrotuš. The company has 100 stores with more than 3,100 employees.

Slovenia marks day of protection of children against abuse

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia observed the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, with experts warning that child victims of abuse find it harder to seek help amid the epidemic. One in five Slovenians has experienced at least one type of sexual abuse in childhood, whereas one in seven has experienced two or more, according to a survey commissioned by the Justice Ministry as part of efforts for a Children's House. Merely 6% pressed criminal charges, half of those went to court. One in four such cases saw trial without conviction.

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