Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 1 December 2020

By , 01 Dec 2020, 04:26 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 1 December 2020 Wikimedia - Crepoastoram, CC by 3.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Economy expands by 12.4% in Q3 on the quarter before

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's economy contracted by 2.6% year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter, as seasonally-adjusted GDP increased by 12.4% from the quarter before, declining by 2.9% year-on-year, the Statistics Office reported. Domestic consumption in the third quarter contracted by 5% y/y and gross investment by 19.6% as exports fell by 9.5%. The central bank said the quarterly rebound was expectedly strong following the easing of coronavirus measures, while the government think-tank IMAD said it was better then expected. They both projected a decline in activity in the final quarter.

Coronavirus epidemic not easing yet

LJUBLJANA - The coronavirus situation in the country is not easing as hospital admissions in particular remain cause for concern. Government data show the country recorded 428 new cases from 1,880 tests on Sunday as the positivity rate dropped to 22.77% from over 30% the day before. A further 51 patients with Covid-19 died, taking the death toll to 1,435. Hospitalisations rose to 1,298, including 205 in intensive care units. Matjaž Jereb, the head of the ICU at Ljubljana UKC, described the situation as critical, expressing concern the peak had not been reached yet.

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Hojs reiterates discontent with Croatia as Schengen zone is discussed

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs reiterated dissatisfaction with Croatia's protection of the border as he took part in a debate on the future of the Schengen zone, hosted by the European Commission. Commenting on the debate, which looked at the problems of the passport-free zone in the face of migration, terrorism and the pandemic, Hojs said Schengen's collapse did not start with the novel coronavirus but due to ineffective control over migration. Slovenian MEP Tanja Fajon meanwhile said Schengen was seriously in peril, in particular because of lack of trust among member states, which was leading to ever more controls on internal borders. If Schengen is not solved quickly, there is a danger of the start of a collapse of EU integration, she said.

Govt declares Hezbollah terrorist organisation as a whole

LJUBLJANA - The government declared the Lebanon-based political party Hezbollah as a criminal and terrorist organisation that represents a threat to peace and security. The work of Hezbollah is intertwined with organised crime and terrorist or paramilitary activity at the global level, the government said. The decision was taken after the government was acquainted with a report on the activities and modus operandi of Hezbollah by the government's permanent coordination group for restrictive measures.

SSH supervisors approve asset management plan

LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of state assets custodian, Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH), confirmed the annual asset management plan for 2021, which now needs the approval of the government. According to commercial broadcaster POP TV, the annual plan includes the acquisition of the Luxembourg-based York fund's 43% stake in Sava company in what is seen as a key step towards the planned state tourism holding, a project driven by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek. While the price is said not to be in the annual plan, POP TV reported that York's stake in Sava is estimated at between EUR 40-50 million.

Slovenia improves equal opportunities in diplomatic service

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has significantly improved the equality of opportunity in its diplomatic service since 2009, with the share of women holding top positions increasing from 16% to 40% between 2009 and 2020, the study, conducted by the Slovenian Foreign Ministry in collaboration with Iceland's Foreign Ministry, shows. However, the ministry also warned that almost a quarter of women were found to have been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace in the past decade.

Annual deflation rate at 0.9%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's consumer price growth remained negative for the fourth month running in November as the annual deflation rate accelerated by 0.8 percentage points on October to 0.9%, chiefly as a result of lower fuel prices as well as cheaper clothing and footwear, according to the Statistics Office. Prices dropped by 0.8% on the monthly level. Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU-wide gauge, the annual deflation rate ran at 1.1% and the monthly deflation rate at 0.6%.

Labour minister admitted to hospital

LJUBLJANA - Janez Cigler Kralj, the minister of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities, was admitted to hospital with a condition not related to Covid-19. Announcing the news, his ministry said last night that doctors expected him to return to work within ten to 14 days. The minister was admitted to the urology department of the Ljubljana UKC hospital yesterday after feeling unwell for a week.

Police under scrutiny over conduct in Friday's car protest

LJUBLJANA - The police are facing criticism for their intervention during last Friday's anti-government protest, which was held in cars. One of the protesters, Jaša Jenull, has even pressed criminal charges. The police have said that the event had all the features of an unorganised rally and that the protesting drivers were violating traffic rules.

Tenth of Slovenians visiting other households amid epidemic

LJUBLJANA - Around 10% of Slovenian residents visited two households in a week in November despite anti-coronavirus restrictions. Moreover, a similar share of Slovenians do not seem to have significantly changed their social habits, having visited from three to five or more households during that time, a survey by pollster Valicon shows. More than half of the respondents said they were not visiting other households at all and over 25% made one social visit. Another Valicon survey indicates that the public places the greatest trust in experts when it comes to the Covid-19 situation, while trust is politicians is not that encouraging.

Innovation Day calls for cooperation between economy, creative sector

LJUBLJANA - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said during an on-line debate held as part of Innovation Day that there is a lot of untapped potential for cooperation between the Slovenian economy and the culture and creative sectors, as opening addresses highlighted the importance of creativity and innovation in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Today's Innovation Day and the Symptoms of Creativity conference featured over 800 representatives of the economy, creative sector and politics from over 50 countries. Eleven innovations meanwhile received top awards from the GZS as part of Innovation Day.

Govt dismisses Tina Bregant, appoints Marija Magajna new state secretary

LJUBLJANA - The government dismissed Tina Bregant from the post of state secretary at the Health Ministry upon proposal by Minister Tomaž Ganrat over loss of trust. It appointed Marija Magajna to replace her on 1 December. The new state secretary is an epidemiologist with wast managerial experiences and is currently the acting head of the ministry's health directorate. Bregant is meanwhile the third state secretary leaving the Health Ministry since Gantar came to office in mid-March.

Drug wholesaler Salus reports 56% profit growth

LJUBLJANA - Salus, a wholesaler of medicines, reported a net profit of EUR 6.8 million for the first nine months of the year, up 56.5% year-on-year, as revenue rose by 14.7% to EUR 292 million. Salus benefited from a surge in demand for medicines in March, after the coronavirus pandemic was first declared, whereupon demand eased off. The group expects end-year sales to reach EUR 350 million and net profit EUR 5.7 million, slightly less than in 2019.

EU co-funding revival of Pohorje habitats

LJUBLJANA - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak signed a contract on the EU funding of a project that aims to revive the grassland, water and forest habitats of the Pohorje hills area in the north-east. The EU will contribute EUR 1.74 million to the EUR 2.18 million project, while the rest will be chipped in by the state. According to Vizjak, the project will improve the state of highly important natural areas and habitats in Pohorje and find solutions for sustainable development of the area.

Slovenia qualify for 2022 EuroBasket in Ljubljana "bubble"

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian men's basketball team qualified for the 2022 Eurobasket with wins against Ukraine and Austria in a mini "bubble" tournament held in Ljubljana's Stožice Arena as part of the qualifying Group F. Slovenia will thus be defending their gold medal from the previous European championship in 2017. Slovenia defeated Ukraine (84:73) on Saturday and Austria (77:64) on Sunday. Slovenia all but secured a berth at the EuroBasket before today's match between Ukraine and Austria, and only needed Ukraine to win to make it; Ukraine did the favour by beating the Austrians in the last match of the Ljubljana bubble.

Slovenian Cinematheque gets new director in Ženja Leiler

LJUBLJANA - Journalist and editor Ženja Leiler was appointed the new director of the Slovenian Cinematheque for a full, five-year term, starting on 1 December. Leiler told the STA her priorities are enhancing the role of the institution in the public cultural space and raising the awareness of the importance of film heritage. The new director, who succeeds Ivan Nedoh, said Slovenska Kinoteka had a special place in Slovenian culture - it is exclusive as a national film museum and a very specific exhibition space.

Sebastjan Eržen at the helm of Book Agency

LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Sebastjan Eržen acting director of the Slovenian Book Agency as of 2 December, the Government Communication Office said after a correspondence session. Eržen, who was first relieved of his duties as a member of the agency's council, will run the agency until a full-fledged director is appointed, but no longer than 1 June 2021. His appointment comes after the government dismissed on 12 November Renata Zamida, who started her five-year term on 1 January 2018.

Animateka open to a global audience

LJUBLJANA - Animateka, the annual festival of animated film, got under way as an online-only event. While film buffs will be deprived of the big-screen experience, the silver lining is that most of the films will be available for viewing around the world. The festival has partnered with the online platform Eventive to create a dedicated website, on which it is possible to buy festival passes or tickets for individual films, watch films and view live events.

Meteorological winter to bring snow to Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Right after the start of meteorological winter, Slovenia will see a couple of snowy days. Snowfall is expected to start on Wednesday morning and get heavier by Thursday. In central Slovenia, 5-15 centimetres of snow is expected, while in some parts of the country the snow blanket could be up to 20 centimetres thick. The snow on low ground is to be washed away by rain on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here


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