Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 14 January 2021

By , 14 Jan 2021, 04:34 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 14 January 2021 pikist CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Daily rise in coronavirus down nearly 40% from week ago

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 2,092 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, down nearly 40% on the record daily figure a week ago. A total of 17 patients died, the latest government data show. The number of patients in hospital increased by 42 from the previous day to 1,244, of which 206 in intensive care. Slovenia has so far reported nearly 143,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,070 deaths. Slovenia's health organisations, faculties of medicine and the National Medical Ethics Committee recommend residents get vaccinated against Covid-19 if there are no health reasons to avoid vaccination.

Coronavirus restrictions extended until 22 January

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The vast majority of existing coronavirus restrictions will be extended until 22 January, the government decided as it conducted its weekly review of the measures on Wednesday. The only major change is an extension of the formal state of the epidemic by 60 days. There are very few changes compared to existing restrictions, most of them having to do with the crossing of borders.

Furlough scheme will be extended, Janša says

LJUBLJANA - The furlough scheme, a measure aimed at preventing lay-offs due to the Covid-19 epidemic, which was to expire at the end of the month, will be extended with the eighth stimulus package at least until the end of April, Prime Minister Janez Janša tweeted before today's cabinet session dedicated to the epidemiological situation. The measure was one of the first introduced to help companies and has been in force since the first day of the first wave of the epidemic in the spring.

Janša calls for faster vaccination within EU

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša called for speeding up vaccination as he attended an informal video conference of EU health ministers on Covid-19 vaccination in his capacity as health minister. He also proposed increasing capacities for vaccine production within the EU. Based on the experience so far, future measures must be planned to make sure "we will be better prepared in the future", Janša stressed.

EU commissioners say state aid to STA may be provided without prior notification

LJUBLJANA - Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner for competition, and Vera Jourova, the Commission vice-president for values and transparency, stressed that the state may support news agencies as entities performing a service of general economic interest under EU state aid rules if they so wish, and without prior notification, as they responded to an STA letter on the suspension of the agency's financing. In their letter they say "it is crucial for democracy and for our common EU values that media should be able to work freely and independently everywhere in the European Union".

Committee endorses opposition amendments to STA act

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Culture Committee voted 10:8 in favour of amendments to the act governing the STA that would require the STA English Service to report on the work of NGO as a legal requirement, amidst warnings that the STA has still not received overdue payment from the government for the performance of public service. The Left tabled an identical bill and resubmitted it after it was voted down in October.

Janša announces police pay reform

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša announced that the "operative part" of the police force would be extracted from the single public sector pay system to make pay ratios fairer. Janša, responding on Twitter yesterday to the controversy following the release of pay data of almost 8,700 Interior Ministry employees, including police, said the problem of police pay was not its being public or not but rather pay ratios in the force. Public sector trade union representatives expressed disagreement and called for social dialogue.

Public sector unions bring class suit over risk bonuses

LJUBLJANA - The KSJS association of public sector trade unions, acting through a police union, has brought a collective labour dispute to demand all public employees who have worked in their workplace during the coronavirus epidemic get a bonus amounting to 65% of hourly pay for risk working conditions for all the hours put in during the formal duration of the epidemic. The dispute was brought before the Labour and Social Court based on the collective bargaining agreement.

Počivalšek discusses space technology at European Space Conference

LJUBLJANA - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek took part in the virtual European Space Conference to present the opportunities for Slovenian science and economy brought by the country's participation in the European Space Agency. He sees this sector as an opportunity for successful recovery after the coronavirus crisis. At the conference hosted by Business Bridge Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Space Agency and the European Investment Bank, the speakers pointed that space technology would be given special attention and additional funds in the coming years.

Slovenia slapped with EUR 750,000 fine over delay with MIFID II

LJUBLJANA - The EU Court of Justice ordered Slovenia to pay a EUR 750,000 fine for failing to timely transpose into national legislation the 2016 changes to the EU directive on markets in financial instruments or failing to notify the European Commission about this. The European Commission sued Slovenia over the matter in 2018, the year when the relevant changes to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) entered into force.

More funds raised for quake-hit Croatia

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian chapter of Caritas continues to raise funds for earthquake-stricken Croatia and has so far transferred EUR 220,000 to its Croatian counterpart to enable the purchase of more than 30 new housing containers for families in the Petrinja area. The Slovenian Beekeeping Association has meanwhile raised EUR 23,000 for the fellow organisation in Croatia, with the funds contributed by its members, beekeeping companies and business partners.

Anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers protest over Covid restrictions

LJUBLJANA - Some hundred protesters gathered in Republic Square in front of the National Assembly building to air their disagreements with Covid restrictions, including mask-wearing, and vaccine recommendations. A relatively heavy police presence was in force for the protest, which was peaceful and ended in about two hours.

Arms manufacturer Arex expanding to Brazil

ŠENTJERNEJ - The Šentjernej-based military gear and weapons producer Arex, owned by the Czech private fund RSBC, is expanding to Brazil where it will set up its first subsidiary abroad. The director and former owner of Arex Ivan Kralj, who said the company operated at a profit last year, told the STA that in 2021 a plant to manufacture handguns would be launched some 150 kilometres away from Brazil's capital in a joint venture with Brazil based on a defence agreement signed between the two countries.

Fires damage Riko and Treves production premises

TREBNJE/RIBNICA - The premises of the companies Treves in the village of Bič near Trebnje (E) and of Riko Hiše in Ribnica (SE) went ablaze over the night. No person was reported injured in either of the incidents but the damage at Treves appears to be substantial. The blaze engulfed the entire building of Treves, the French-owned manufacturer of interior equipment for cars whose clients include Revoz, Magna, Jaguar and Fiat and which numbers around 100 employees.

Teen killed by train amid photo session

MARIBOR - An underage girl was killed after she was hit by a passenger train in Maribor on Tuesday with preliminary police inquiries indicating she and her friend had been taking photos on the tracks. While the investigation is ongoing, a release from the Maribor Police Department said foul play and suicide had been ruled out. The online edition of Večer quotes well placed sources as saying the death of the 14-year old might have been the consequence of a social network challenge.

Slovenia looking to set new milestone at handball worlds

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian men's handball team will open its world championship campaign in Egypt on Thursday against South Korea in what is seen as an opportunity for Slovenia to earn a third medal at major tournaments. They are among the favourites. "If everything falls into place and the players' preparedness is at the highest level, then we can reach very high," head coach Ljubomir Vranješ said.

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