Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 27 November 2020

By , 27 Nov 2020, 04:09 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 27 November 2020 Wikimedia - Christopher Michel CC by 2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Lockdown restrictions extended

LJUBLJANA - The government extended by a week all of the main lockdown measures, including the ban on gatherings, in-class schooling, movement between municipalities and the 9pm-6am curfew. Public transport will remain suspended for two more weeks and the current mask wearing regime, which includes masks outdoors, was extended by a fortnight as well. Shops selling non-essential goods, cultural institutions, and bars and restaurants remain closed as well.

1,767 new coronavirus infections confirmed, 46 people die

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 1,767 new coronavirus infections from 7,391 tests on Wednesday as 46 people died while the number of hospitalised patients rose by five to 1,302 and that of patients in intensive care by 13 to 215. The share of positive tests stood at 23.9%, compared to 27.6% on Tuesday. This share has been relatively flat for roughly a month and so has the curve of daily new cases, albeit with occasional fluctuations. The total death toll so far is 1,245.

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School marking cut as hope for return to school in December

LJUBLJANA - As schooling continues remotely, Education Minister Simona Kustec decreed merging what are now two school assessment periods into one, as a result of which pupils will get fewer marks. Moreover, primary schools are advised t wait with assessments until pupils return to school. In its circuclar to schools, the Education Ministry said that "if everyone makes the effort and we improve the epidemiologic situation in Slovenia" return of the youngest pupils could start from 7 December.

Coalition partners review government projects

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The four ruling coalition parties reviewed the implementation of the coalition agreement and discussed further steps as they met at Brdu pri Kranju. Details were sketchy but statements after the meeting suggest there are no major differences between the partners, while they agreed some projects needed to be stepped up. Health Minister Tomaž Gantar briefed them on the coronavirus situation, explaining why measures to contain the epidemic could not be lifted just yet.

Another attempt to give soldiers police powers fails

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Defence Committee failed to muster the needed two-thirds majority to endorse a government proposal to give soldiers police powers to help secure the border against illegal migration. This is the second attempt of the Janez Janša government to activate Article 37.a of the defence law after the first one was also rejected at committee level in April. This was MPs from the four left-leaning opposition parties voted against the proposal.

Over 28,000 support defence investment referendum

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left and Social Democrats (SD) filed more than 28,000 signatures to the National Assembly in support of a referendum on EUR 780 million in additional defence spending planned for 2021-2026, which is more than enough to start a referendum procedure. Now they will seek to collect 40,000 verified signatures to call a referendum. The Defence Ministry said referenda on on defence acts were not admissible under the constitution. If the National Assembly endorses this view, the Left plans to take the law to the Constitutional Court.

Slovenia supports Southern Neighbourhood reform based on dialogue

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stanislav Raščan took part in a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers and the Southern Neighbourhood, which focussed on the future of this partnership. He backed the planned reform which would be based on dialogue with southern partners and result in concrete goals in EU-Southern Neighbours relations. These are securing stability and security in the region, sustainable development and economic growth, efficient migration management and the fight against terrorism, as well as the rule of law and human rights.

Govt to sign memorandum on Ljubljana Passenger Terminal

LJUBLJANA - The government decided to sign a memorandum of understanding with all key stakeholders of the Ljubljana Passenger Terminal, a public-private project that will include Mendota Invest, a company affiliated with Hungarian bank OTP. Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said construction was to begin in 2022 with the entire investment valued at about EUR 350 million. Apart from an upgrade of the Ljubljana central train and coach stations it will also involve a multi-purpose commercial complex.

Local communities to get EUR 6.5m to partly offset epidemic cost

LJUBLJANA - The government allocated EUR 6.5 million to municipalities to partly cover the costs caused by the epidemic. A municipality will receive EUR 30,000 on average. The funds, meant to reimburse some of the costs prompted by protection, rescue and aid efforts, will be secured via a special budget provision set aside for Covid-related purposes. Supporting local communities is key to ensuring an effective response to the epidemic, said Defence Minister Matej Tonin.

Tonin re-elected NSi leader

LJUBLJANA - Matej Tonin was re-elected leader of New Slovenia (NSi) for two more years as the multi-day party congress came to a close. He won nearly 96% of the vote cast by mail. Tonin, the only candidate for the post, thanked the membership for their trust, saying he was proud of the NSi, a mature party that knew how to close ranks in critical moments. Tonin took over in January 2018 from Ljudmila Novak, who resigned after serving as party leader for a decade.

Mercator reports EUR 69m loss for Jan-Sep

LJUBLJANA - The retail group Mercator posted a net loss of EUR 69m in the first nine months as sales revenue rose by 2.1% year-on-year to EUR 1.6 billion. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation remained flat at EUR 126.3 million. The retailer saw a net profit of EUR 6.2 million in the same period last year, the loss this year being a result of a revaluation of the group's real estate carried out at the end of June, the core company said in a report.

Gorenje expanding workforce

VELENJE - Gorenje, the Chinese-owned household appliances maker, has hired around 800 extra staff since mid-August to meet an increase in orders, and is planning to open 300 more jobs by the end of the year. The company said part of the expansion was to replace existing staff who are being moved to a facility manufacturing TV sets, to be launched in January. The company said the newly employed are not agency workers. Hisense Europe companies in Slovenia currently employ 5,800 workers.

YSK posts record-breaking results in Slovenia

AARHUS, Denmark - JYSK, the Danish home goods retail chain, reported record-breaking results in Slovenia in the financial year that ended in August despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Sales revenue was up by 6.6% to EUR 38.6 million, and operating profit rose by more than 20%. The groups's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in Slovenia increased by 22% to top EUR 5.9m, despite shopping moving online during the spring epidemic.

Air quality poorer this autumn

LJUBLJANA - The Environment Agency has detected more PM10 particulates and more nitrogen oxides in the air in October and November than in the same period last year. The situation is the worst in valleys and basins, where fog lingers for the most part of the day and the concentration of emissions has not been reduced by wind or rain. Last year, October and November were very rainy, so the level of air pollution was lower and there had been few temperature inversions.

Average Slovenian threw away almost 70 kilos of food last year

LJUBLJANA - A Slovenian resident discarded some 1.3 kilos of food on average per week in 2019 or 67 kilos in the entire year, the Statistics Office data show. Almost 40% of food waste or some 26 kilos was edible. Households threw away most food in 2019, half of the entire amount or almost 69,900 tonnes. Almost a third of last year's food waste was generated by pubs and restaurants and other venues where food is served, such as schools, kindergartens, hospitals and care homes.

National Museum gets new director

LJUBLJANA - Pavel Car was appointed new director of the National Museum of Slovenia, succeeding Barbara Ravnik, who had the support of the museum for another term. Car was selected among seven applicants in an open call by Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti. The ministry told the STA Car turned out to be the most qualified candidate in terms of expertise, experience and other professional references. Car, who holds a PhD in history, has been so far mostly active in the IT field.

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