Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 20 January 2021

By , 20 Jan 2021, 04:08 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 20 January 2021 Flickr - glasseyes view CC-by-SA-2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Motion of no confidence in government temporarily withdrawn

LJUBLJANA - Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec has withdrawn his bid to become PM-designate until all MPs are able to vote in person, after an opposition MP was confirmed to have the coronavirus and several others still waited for the results of their tests. Erjavec said he planned to resubmit the motion of no confidence in the Janez Janša government as soon as all MPs who have signed the motion can vote. The ruling coalition criticised the move as an excuse to avoid a failure to vote out the government, after Erjavec already said on Monday he was considering withdrawing his bid.

Strain resembling English coronavirus variant detected in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - A strain of the novel coronavirus very similar to the highly virulent English mutation has been detected in the smear test sample of a person who has recently arrived in Slovenia from England, the national lab has confirmed. The National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food told the STA that sections of the sample they had been able to analyse fully matched the English variant, but they were unable to acquire the whole genome sequence.

Daily coronavirus count down on week before for 10th day

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 1,690 new coronavirus infections from 14,010 tests on Monday as the daily increase in cases fell on the week before for the tenth day running. Government data also show that 25 more Covid-19 patients died. Government data show 5,306 PCR tests and 8,704 rapid antigen tests were performed yesterday, of which 22.8% and 5.5%, respectively, came back positive. The number of cases confirmed is a decline of almost 11% on the figure a week ago, follows from the tracker site

Janša expects 70% of Slovenians could be vaccinated by beginning of summer

LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša said he expected 70% of the Slovenian population could be vaccinated against coronavirus by the beginning of summer as he presented fresh figures on planned deliveries of vaccines that indicate Slovenia should get significantly more jabs in the second quarter than previously thought. In the second quarter Slovenia expects to get 2.4 million shots compared to fewer than 1.7 million shots projected last week, mostly due to a doubling of deliveries by Pfizer/BioNTech to 1.4 million. "The second quarter will be the most important quarter ... If the deliveries come through, we'll achieve a 70% vaccination rate by the beginning of summer and contain the epidemic within our borders," Janša said.

Minimum wage for 2021 to be set at EUR 1,024 gross

BRDO PRI KRANJU/LJUBLJANA - Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj announced after meeting social partners that he will set the minimum wage for 2021 at EUR 1,024 gross. This is 120% of the minimum cost of living and the lowest possible rise under minimum wage legislation. Last year, the minimum wage stood at EUR 941 gross. The minister said the government intended to partly cover the raise for employers until the end of June with the option of a six-month extension. The last time the minimum cost of living was calculated was in 2017, at EUR 613 for a single person. It will be next calculated in 2023. This is what particularly bothers the trade unions, as the raise does not take into account all the price increases since 2017.

First EU recovery fund transfers expected before end of June

LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj expects that the first transfers from the EU's recovery fund will be made during Portugal's EU presidency in the first half of this year, as member states including Slovenia are rushing to ratify the legal basis and draw up national recovery plans. "We'll hurry up as best as we can so that this project regarding the entire recovery package commences as soon as possible," Šircelj told Slovenian reporters after an online session of EU finance ministers. Unofficial information indicates that the ratification by the National Assembly of the legal basis, called the Own Resources Decision, is planned in March.

Parliamentary majority opposes probe into rapid test procurement

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Health Committee debated the contentious rapid antigen test procurement for mass testing at Monday's session, voting down the proposal by the opposition Social Democrats (SD) to urge relevant institutions to look into potential wrongdoing in the matter. The session was called by the SD, whose MP Franc Trček said suspicions were being raised as to the lawfulness of the public procurement as well as the reliability of tests.

Slovenia's Expo Dubai pavilion ready for showcase

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is to take over the management of its pavilion at Expo Dubai next week on the sidelines of Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek's visit to the United Arab Emirates netween Sunday and next Wednesday. The exhibition is to help with Slovenia's economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister said, adding he was glad to see plans to expand Slovenia's economy to the fastest growing markets coming to life. "This year the icing on the cake of our export efforts will be active participation in the greatest world event, that is Expo 2020 Dubai," Počivalšek said.

Police find ten people who threatened govt officials

LJUBLJANA - Police have recorded 18 cases of threats to government representatives or persons connected with government work in any way from March 2020 until the end of last year and managed to find perpetrators in ten of the cases. Intensive investigation is still under way into several cases, the police told the STA on Monday evening. The news comes after Prime Minister Janez Janša told the commercial broadcaster Nova24TV in an interview on Sunday that he received about 100 death threats on a daily basis, mostly through social media.

Squatters evicted from Rog as building site emerges

LJUBLJANA - Members of an autonomous social and cultural community that have been squatting the defunct Ljubljana bicycle factory Rog for years are being forcefully removed from the premises on Monday as construction work started on the site. The Ljubljana authorities confirmed they had started tearing down buildings on the site as part of the long running efforts to remake the rundown site into a new creative hub. Police said ten persons were detained, one of whom was injured during arrest. Users of the Rog compound claim three people were injured during arrest and had to be taken to the emergency room.

Slovenia with highest construction growth in EU in November

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Slovenia recorded the highest growth in construction works in the EU in November, both on the monthly and annual levels, show Eurostat data. Slovenia's volume of construction works was up by 12.2% in November on the previous month. Hungary follows with a 12% increase and Slovakia with 7%. At the EU level, the figure rose by 1.2%.

Slovenia remains attractive for Austrian investments

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia remains an attractive investment destination for Austrian companies despite the pandemic, shows a survey conducted by the Austrian trade office Advantage Austria Ljubljana among its members. Investments are being postponed due to Covid-19, but most companies think that Slovenia will keep its investment allure in 2021.

Revoz forced to briefly suspend production after fire at supplier's

NOVO MESTO - Revoz, the Renault-owned assembly plant in Novo Mesto, will have to suspend production for a few days starting on Thursday after a supplier of insulation components had to stop deliveries due to a massive fire, Revoz spokeswoman Nevenka Bašek Zildžović said. A week ago the production facilities and offices of Treves, based in Bič in south Slovenia, went up in flames and it had to suspend production.

Ljubljana budget revised up by EUR 34m

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana city council has endorsed a revised budget for this year to expand the original one by EUR 34.35 million to EUR 439 million. The city is to spend EUR 187.3 million on investments. The council, where Mayor Zoran Janković holds an outright majority, also gave its go ahead last night to the draft budget documents for 2022 and 2023, valued at EUR 417 million and EUR 416 million, respectively.

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