Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 18 February 2021

By , 18 Feb 2021, 04:06 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Thursday, 18 February 2021 01 Wikimedia - Olivier Colas CC by 4.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Janez Poklukar gets committee nod to become new health minister

LJUBLJANA - Janez Poklukar, the director of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, was endorsed by the Health Committee as candidate for health minister. The 42-year-old doctor said that in addition to fighting the Covid-19 epidemic, his priorities would be to strengthen primary care, expand integrated care, reform financing, and improve work conditions for staff. In fighting the epidemic, vaccination would be key. The National Assembly vote is scheduled for next week.

Four doctors, sales rep sentenced to prison in healthcare corruption trial

LJUBLJANA - Four orthopaedic surgeons and a sales representative were sentenced to jail terms ranging from ten months to three years in what was the largest healthcare corruption trial in Slovenia. The Ljubljana District Court also imposed fines, while three of the doctors will also have their unlawfully gained assets seized. The verdicts are not final yet, with both the defence and the prosecution announcing appeals.

Restrictions remain unchanged

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The government conducted its weekly review of coronavirus restrictions and except for some minor changes, the existing rules associated with the orange tier remain in place at last until 26 February. The decision is expected given that the benchmarks used to determine the transition from one phase of restrictions to another have not changed much in recent days. While the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital continues to gradually decline, the average daily number of new cases has been stagnant.

New coronavirus cases again to 1,000, as 12 patients die

LJUBLJANA - After the number of new coronavirus infections, hospitalisations and deaths dropped to the lowest level in months on Monday, the number of new cases exceeded 1,000 again on Tuesday, but hospitalisation continued to drop. A total of 1,097 out of 5,115 PCR tests conducted, came back positive yesterday for a positivity rate of 21.4%. The number of patients requiring hospital treatment dropped by 43 to 648, of whom 126 needed intensive care, one fewer than the day before. 12 people died.

Actress Skrbinac files complaint over sexual harassment

LJUBLJANA - Actress Mia Skrbinac, who has publicly accused her drama teacher of sexually harassing her while she was a student, has officially filed a sexual harassment complaint to the University of Ljubljana. The alleged harasser is Matjaž Tribušon, a 58-year-old award-winning film and theatre actor, RTV Slovenija reported on Tuesday, adding that Tribušon had so far not responded to journalist calls. The Ljubljana Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) said Tribušon would be suspended from teaching.

Signatures collected for law redefining rape

LJUBLJANA - Collection of 5,000 voter signatures in support of an only-yes-means-yes rape law got under way on Wednesday amid controversy over accessibility of one of the administrative offices in Ljubljana where verified signatures can be submitted. The law to redefine rape and sexual violence to use affirmative consent standard is being proposed by the NGO Inštitut 8. Marec, which has 60 days to collect the needed signatures to put the bill forward to the National Assembly.

Opposition presents its proposals for recovery and resilience spending

LJUBLJANA - Four opposition parties filed a request for a plenary session to discuss Slovenia's national recovery and resilience plan, a document required to draw EUR 5.2 billion in EU recovery funds that the government has so far kept under wraps. "The government's secret model of Slovenia's development is asphalt and concrete, which will be very hard to make green let alone digital," said SocDem MP Franc Trček. The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy sees the plenary as "an opportunity to exchange opinions about our common future" and debunk lies and manipulations concerning this document.

Fajon on no-confidence vote: Janša feels the end coming

LJUBLJANA - Opposition Social Democrats (SD) leader Tanja Fajon believes Monday's no-confidence vote against the government has shown the political reality. She said ruling Democrat (SDS) MPs not having picked up the ballots showed that they were afraid and that the 41 votes the Janez Janša government enjoys was not a beginning but the end. The 41 figure Fajon mentions refers to the fact that out of a total of only 53 ballots picked up, 47 returned valid and six invalid.

DaiBau raises fresh funds

LJUBLJANA - DaiBau, which runs portals in multiple countries where investors can link up with building contractors, has received fresh funding from the German chemical company Henkel. Henkel made the investment via its subsidiary Adhesive Technologies. The scale of the investment has not been disclosed beyond the companies saying it was a seven-figure amount. The company operates portals in Austria, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Romania.

2020 a boom year for mutual funds

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian mutual funds had a bumper 2020, as inflows exceeded payouts by almost EUR 150 million, the highest figure since 2007, according to figures by Vzajemci, a mutual funds consultancy. The number of individual investors increased by over 10,000 to 466,283 and Slovenian mutual fund managers had EUR 3,235 assets under management at the end of the year.

Taxi drivers staging protests over frequent testing requirement

LJUBLJANA - Taxi drivers have been protesting for several days against the demand that they be tested for the new coronavirus every 72 hours. They have been expressing their discontent by driving around the Ljubljana city centre, honking and closing their call centres. "The rest can do their job in line with the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health (NIJZ) without tests, while for taxi service tests are required every 72 hours," said Saška Kiara Kumer from the trade union of transport and connections.

Slovenia's Dončić and Garnbret make TIME's list of rising stars

NEW YORK, US - Slovenian NBA player Luka Dončić and sport climber Janja Garnbret have made US magazine TIME's list of 100 rising stars for 2021, Time 100 Next. The 21-year-olds are featured in the Phenoms category of rising stars in sports. Garnbret was meanwhile labelled a favourite for gold at the Tokyo Olympics, where competitive climbing will make its debut. Dončić was lauded for his crazy moves and billed as a player who is set to earn many more honours.

Biathlon: Laegreid takes men's individual tile

POKLJUKA - Norway's Sturla Holm Laegreid took his second gold at the Biathlon World Championships on Pokljuka, beating Germany's Arnd Peiffer and compatriot Johannes Dale in the men's individual event.

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