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This summary is provided by the STA:
PM hails EU recovery plan compromise as win-win situation
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša labelled the compromise reached by EU leaders over the recovery package a typical European solution, a win-win situation with no absolute winners or losers. The winner is the EU since an opportunity for actually implementing the package as of 1 January 2021 was unlocked, he said, describing the 24-hour summit as very successful. The compromise was also hailed by Slovenia's eight MEPs with Romana Tomc (EPP/SDS) stressing the role played by Janša in the search for the compromise.
Janša says Slovenia will not shut down industry
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša said Slovenia would not shut down its industry. "I can predict with great certainty that Slovenia will not shut down industry, as some had proposed," he told reporters after the EU summit. If there is any easing in the coming days, it will be limited to regions with fewer cases and falling trends, coupled with stricter oversight of measures at businesses that have recorded more infections or where there are dangerous trends. The government is due to meet hospital and business officials on Saturday to determine the course of action.
Slovenian Christmas tree lit as delegation visits the Vatican
VATICAN CITY, Vatican - A Slovenian delegation was received by Pope Francis and Foreign Minister Anže Logar held talks with Bishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for relations with states within the Holy See's Secretariat of State, before a 30-metre spruce tree from Slovenia came aglow with Christmas lights in St Peter's Square. Logar said the tree was Slovenia's thank-you to the Holy See for its support before and after Slovenia declared independence nearly 30 years ago. Logar and Gallagher discussed challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global and regional humanitarian situation, the future of the EU and Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of 2021.
Pahor attends online forum on W Balkans' EU future
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor reiterated his stance that EU prospects for the Western Balkans are the main geopolitical issue bearing on European stability, as he addressed the To Be Secure forum. His wish is for the entire region to join the EU. Although the EU has a number of challenges, such as the health crisis, the emerging economic crisis, and Brexit, to deal with, it would be a grave mistake to underestimate the role of EU enlargement, he said.
1,813 new coronavirus cases confirmed on Thursday, 49 die
LJUBLJANA - A total of 6,453 coronavirus tests were conducted on Thursday and 28% or 1,813 came back positive. The number of patients in hospitals rose by ten to 1,268, and the number of those requiring intensive care was up by seven to 196. 49 patients died. The number of active case in the country rose by 1% to 21,003 out of a total of 93,734 since the start of the pandemic. The seven-day rolling average per 100,000 residents rose by 0.3% from the day before to 1,510.9.
Chief Covid-19 adviser considered quitting but decided against
LJUBLJANA - Epidemiologist Bojana Beović told Mladina she had considered resigning as the head of the Health Ministry's Covid-19 advisory group when the situation escalated. She has however decided against it, convinced it would not help calm the situation, it would only further destabilise it. She said she had never threatened to quit, but would have done so had she been asked to argue in favour of something she could not as an expert. Beović also stressed she was "not interfering in politics".
Govt, NGOs welcome bolder EU greenhouse gas emissions goal
LJUBLJANA - The government and environmental NGO welcomed the EU summit's decision to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by at least 55%. The Environment Ministry believes the goal is realistic, whereas the NGOs would like it even more ambitious. "The goal is feasible if we make maximum efforts in all sectors. We expect to have the biggest challenges in transport," Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak said. Meanwhile, climatologist Luča Kajfež Bogataj said that for a true global impact, the EU should get China and the US on board.
Four DeSUS deputies to go independent unless "things calm down"
LJUBLJANA - Robert Polnar, a deputy of the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), said four of the five DeSUS MPs were willing to quit the deputy group and become independent "if things do not calm down". The MP said he was against "experiments" such as the KUL coalition and would remain a supporter of the government. Three fellow DeSUS deputies share a similar sentiment.
UKOM repeats arguments in letter to CoE commissioner
LJUBLJANA - The Government Communication Office (UKOM) responded to a letter by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović concerning the funding of the STA. UKOM head Uroš Urbanija repeated the argument that the STA was obligated to provide UKOM with all the requested documents. He said the government was obliged to ensure appropriate financing of the STA and that this area had been regulated from the very beginning by the UKOM on behalf of the government.
Employers urge political unity to tackle coronavirus crisis
LJUBLJANA - The Employers' Association appealed to all political representatives to engage in responsible and unanimous conduct to resolve the coronavirus crisis and its fallout, underscoring the importance of political stability. "Efforts by individual stakeholders are not enough in the search for joint solutions where doubts and pressure sow distrust in the measures taken; to successfully overcome the crisis unity and support of all stakeholders is essential," said the association.
Retailers reiterate call for reopening of shops
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce (TZS) called on the government to reopen non-essential stores. Non-grocery stores have been closed for four months and the chamber estimates the loss of revenue at over EUR 2 billion. The organisation said that stores were not a source of infections or a factor aggravating the epidemiological status. It warned that retailers were facing huge problems, including seasonal goods piling up in their warehouses.
Koper port operator expects 60% slump in profit
KOPER - Port operator Luka Koper will post an estimated EUR 25.1 million in group net profit this year on 207.9 million in sales revenue, which compares to EUR 40 million and EUR 229 million, respectively, in 2019. For 2021, revenue is projected to the tune of EUR 219.8 million and net profit at EUR 24.4 million. Estimates and projections published by the company show the estimated sales would be 13% below the planned figure and the estimated net revenue 21% below that projected.
Police investigate new threats to Covid-19 experts
LJUBLJANA/NOVO MESTO - Ljubljana and Novo Mesto police are investigating posters and graffiti which have appeared in both cities and labelled some medical experts exposed during the coronavirus epidemic "murderers of the Slovenian nation". Posters with an image of NIJZ director Milan Krek appeared overnight in Novo Mesto, south-east, labelling him a murderer of the Slovenian nation. Similar stickers and graffiti also appeared in the Slovenian capital.
Some resorts start skiing season
KRANJSKA GORA/MARIBOR - Despite the restrictions related to the Covid-19 epidemic, skiing season is starting in Kranjska Gora, Pohorje above Maribor and at Krvavec, but only for locals. The accompanying activities are prohibited, though, so the question is whether ski lifts will operate for long if restrictions are not lifted. The first ski lift in Kranjska Gora was launched on Thursday, although only locals may visit the resort due to the ban on travel between municipalities. Pohorje and Krvavec will launch open-air lifts on Saturday.
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