Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 23 February 2021

By , 23 Feb 2021, 04:36 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 23 February 2021 JL Flanner

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This summary is provided by the STA

Logar urges EU unity on Russia

BRUSSELS, Belgium - As EU foreign ministers reached a political agreement to introduce sanctions against the persons responsible for the arrest and prison sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Slovenia's Anže Logar pointed to the need for the EU to be united in its attitude towards Russia. He also said that it was important to maintain dialogue with Russia but that the EU needed to make strategic reflection in the context of future relations with Russia.

Slovenia would like to organise EU-W Balkans and resilience summits

BRUSSELS, Belgium - During its EU presidency in the second half of 2021, Slovenia would like to organise an EU-Western Balkans summit and an informal summit on resilience, Foreign Minister Anže Logar told the press after attending a session of the Foreign Affairs Council. He said the wish was to discuss building a robust EU which will be able to address various crises, from a health to a cyber crisis.

FM speaks about pandemic recovery at UN Human Rights Council

GENEVA, Switzerland - Foreign Minister Anže Logar said recovery after pandemic should include actions aimed at achieving greater equality, solidarity and social protection as he addressed in a video call the UN Human Rights Council, which started its 46th regular session virtually in Geneva. He welcomed the recent US decision to re-engage with the council and noted that Slovenia stood ready to take its part in international human rights efforts as a member state in the 2026-2028 period.

Janša invited to Brussels for discussion on media in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld (Renew) has invited PM Janez Janša, Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti, Government Communication Office director Uroš Urbanija and public broadcaster RTV Slovenija director general Igor Kadunc to Brussels to take part in a discussion on the media in Slovenia expected to take place in March, public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported. The MEP chairs the European Parliament's Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group. After Janša accused Politico's journalist of lying in her story about the media in Slovenia, In 't Veld said last week she believed there was sufficient ground for the group to start monitoring the situation in the country. Earlier in the day, the leaders of both junior government coalition partners, New Slovenia (NSi) and Modern Centre Party (SMC), called on Janša to invite an EU mission to Slovenia to investigate the state of freedom of the press.

Slovenia taking over LOT House in Bosnia

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will take over a Liaison and Observation Team (LOT) as part of the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday. Addressing reporters, Colonel Borut Cesar said Slovenia would officially take over the LOT House in Banja Luka from Chile with a flag raising ceremony on Friday, while eight members of Slovenian Armed Forces will start operating there on 15 March. LOT Houses provide a link between the European Union Force FOR and the local civilian population.

Coronavirus situation stable, hospitals on exit strategy

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 247 coronavirus cases from 1,428 PCR tests performed on Sunday to keep the 7-day average number of new cases flat at 744. Eight patients with Covid-19 died for a total death toll of 3,784. Covid hospitalisations rose by 18 to 584 and ICU cases were up by two to 104, with the increase typical at weekends. Announcing an exit strategy for hospitals, Health Ministry State Secretary Alenka Forte announced that Covid beds capacities were being reduced to 10% of all bed capacities. In addition Topolšica and Sežana hospitals are no longer Covid hospitals.

New batch of Pfizer vaccine arrives in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - A new batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has arrived in Slovenia. It comprises 22,230 doses, of which 2,200 will be used for second jabs and the rest for the first, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) said. In line with the vaccination strategy, the batch is intended for residents older than 80. If some goes unused, the leftover doses will be used for those aged 75-80. All residents aged 80 or more and have opted for vaccination will have been vaccinated by the end of this week. So far, around 94,300 persons (4.5% of Slovenia's population) have received the first dose of the vaccine, whereas 49,918 have received both jabs.

Vizjak points to green transition in address to UN Environment Assembly

NAIROBI, Kenya - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak highlighted the role and potential of green investment for a low-carbon and circular economy as he addressed in a video call a two-day virtual session of the UN Environment Assembly. He said Slovenia was working on a plan of concrete measures for a systemic transition to a low-carbon circular economy. "It's true that we live in a crisis but also in a time of opportunities where actions and post-pandemic recovery can bring benefits to both the economy and environment."

Man charged with incitement to violent protest

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Police Department said a 39-year-old man from Ljubljana had been charged with incitement to violent protests in connection to an anti-government rally that turned violent on 5 November. News portal identified the suspect as Anis Ličina. He is suspected of having called for violence on various social networks for three weeks prior to the protest, and of being the ringleader of a group that obstructed police work at the protest and attacked police officers.

Doctor censured by peers over coronavirus statements

LJUBLJANA - A doctor who has downplayed the severity of the coronavirus epidemic has been censured by the Medical Chamber's ethics committee, which will now hand the case over to the chamber's prosecutor, who may initiate follow-up proceedings. While the committee admitted in its recent decision that every citizen has the right to freedom of expression, it has said that internal medicine specialist Matjaž Figelj "must realise that his publicly expressed opinions on the medical profession carry far greater weight and responsibility that statements by the lay public, and may significantly affect the public".

Slovenian community in Italy reclaims old land rights

TRIESTE, Italy - The Trieste-based Primorski Dnevnik reported that a predominantly Slovenian group of landowners in San Dorligo della Valle/Dolina municipality in Italy had reclaimed ownership of large tracts of lands under a landmark judgement recently handed down by an Italian court, a development seen as creating significant economic opportunities. The judgement affects 88 plots of land stretching over 233 hectares, some of it in the picturesque Glinščica Valley.

Boxmark wins deal to make upholstery for Emirates

KIDRIČEVO - Boxmark, the Kidričevo-based maker of car upholstery, is branching out into aircraft upholstery having recently sealed a deal with the Emirates Group to make leather upholstery for Emirates, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. The deal is a special achievement in the light of the aviation crisis. It will generate about EUR 3 million in revenue a year, as Boxmark continues to make the bulk of income with car upholstery, but the Emirates deal will boost its brand abroad.

Actor Danilo Benedičič dies

LJUBLJANA - Film and theatre actor Danilo Benedičič has died, aged 87, according to a release issued by the SNG Drama Ljubljana theatre on Friday. Benedičič, a winner of Borštnik Ring, Slovenia's top accolade for lifetime achievement in theatre acting, was a member of the SNG Drama ensemble for almost 40 years. He played in almost 150 roles, and was known and celebrated for his "extraordinary artistic heritage and kind, mindful personality", the theatre said.

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