Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 16 March 2021

By , 16 Mar 2021, 04:18 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, 16 March 2021 pexels CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Slovenia temporarily halts AstraZeneca vaccine use

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has decided to follow the lead of several major European countries and temporarily halt the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine pending a decision by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Health Minister Janez Poklukar said the Slovenian expert group for vaccines had not found reasonable grounds to stop using the jab. Nevertheless, as a matter of precaution it is proposed that vaccination be suspended.

Minister warns against discrimination over vaccination certificates

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs warned against discrimination in relation to Covid-19 vaccination certificates. He believes it is too early to talk about crossing borders with apps or certificates until most citizens have had access to a coronavirus vaccine. The European Commission will present on Wednesday a proposal for a digital green certificate that is to make travel easier during the coronavirus pandemic.

Slovenia advocates stricter approach on return of migrants

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia advocated a stricter approach to dealing with third countries when it comes to returning migrants from the EU as the bloc's foreign and interior ministers debated the external aspects of the EU's migration policy. The virtual session came after Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said last week the ministers should agree on third countries that need to be focused on in efforts to strengthen the return of migrants.

Hojs sceptical about support for Croatia joining Schengen zone

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs told the press he was not optimistic about support among EU countries for Croatia joining the Schengen zone. He does not expect the Portuguese presidency to put the matter on the agenda again, but added he had no problems with putting in on the agenda during Slovenia's EU presidency.

Minister Kustec, coalition reject criticism as opposition claims she must go

LJUBLJANA - Education Minister Simona Kustec's handling of school closures took centre stage as the National Assembly debated a motion to oust her. The leftist opposition claimed the minister should have acted more resolutely to return kids to school as soon as possible, while Kustec and the coalition dismissed the criticism as politicking. The parliamentary debate is scheduled to last beyond midnight and given the distribution of votes in the National Assembly, Kustec is almost certain to survive the vote of no confidence.

Tighter entry rules for daily migrant workers

LJUBLJANA - Stricter rules to enter Slovenia kicked in for several groups, including people commuting daily to work outside Slovenia, in an EU or Schengen country. From today, they do not have to quarantine only if they produce a negative coronavirus test result not older than seven days. The measure applies to arrivals from red-listed countries. A negative test result is also obligatory for persons crossing the border for educational or research purposes and those accompanying them.

205 coronavirus cases on Sunday, four deaths

LJUBLJANA - A further 205 people tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday and four patients with Covid-19 died. The seven-day average of new daily cases dropped by one from the day before to 696. The number of those in hospital increased by 25 to 463, of which 87 patients were in intensive care. According to the National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia has so far confirmed 200,579 coronavirus cases, of which 10,233 are active.

Pahor nominates Tina Žumer as Banka Slovenije vice-governor

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor sent to parliament today a proposal to appoint Tina Žumer a vice-governor of central bank Banka Slovenije, while the nominee will present her bid to the public at the Presidential Palace tomorrow. Žumer is a former employee of Banka Slovenije who now works at the European Central Bank.

Hojs's land purchase cleared by corruption watchdog

LJUBLJANA - As part of its preliminary procedure, the corruption watchdog established there were no corruption risks or breaches of the integrity law when Interior Minister Aleš Hojs bought a piece of land on the Slovenian coast in July 2020. The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption said it would not process the case further. The weekly Mladina alleged in September that Hojs had bought the plot cheaply owing to his being an acquaintance of Koper Mayor Boris Popović.

Pahor and Moldovan counterpart discuss Covid-19 pandemic

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor talked to his Moldovan counterpart Maia Sandu via video link, inviting her to visit Slovenia. The pair discussed a number of topics, including the Covid-19 pandemic, Pahor's office said in a press release. Sandu spoke about Moldova's wish to make steps toward EU membership and boost cooperation with member states, including Slovenia. Pahor expressed support for Moldova's efforts to boost the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

MP Lep leaving DeSUS deputy group

LJUBLJANA - MP Jurij Lep announced would would leave the deputy group of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), citing a lack of consistency between the party, which left the government coalition in December, and the five-strong deputy group. He is not considering quitting the party or joining anther deputy faction. However, under the party's internal rules, membership terminates when an MP has left the deputy group or become an independent.

Former DeSUS head and minister Pivec founding new party

LJUBLJANA - Aleksandra Pivec, the former president of the Pensioner's Party (DeSUS) and agriculture minister, has made good on her announcements about forming a new party. The maiden congress of the For People movement is scheduled for Saturday in Maribor. Pivec stepped down as agriculture minister in the Janez Janša government last October following her ousting as the leader of DeSUS due to suspected ethics breaches.

Vox populi: Govt with lowest rating ever, SDS improving still

LJUBLJANA - The latest Vox Populi poll sees more than 67% of respondents not approving of the government's work in a new low for the Janez Janša cabinet. However, support for the ruling Democrats (SDS) continues to grow, improving by almost two percentage points to 18.9%, or a full 6 points ahead of the second-placed SocDems.

SAZU presents statement on reconciliation

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) presented a statement on reconciliation, underlining that Slovenians must reach an consensus about basic values on which the nations is founded. Presented to President Borut Pahor today, the statement says that it should not be contentious that resistance against World War II occupying forces was justified, while armed collaboration with the occupying forces was not. The usurpation of the National Liberation Front by the Communist Party and revolutionary terror were unjustified, but the resistance against it was.

Slovenian minority loses mayoral post in Carinthia

KLAGENFURT, Austria - The Slovenian minority in the Austrian state of Carinthia is left with only one mayor after incumbent Franc Jožef Smrtnik, a member of the United List (EL), lost Sunday's run-off in Eisenkappel (Železna Kapla) to Elisabeth Lobnik of the Social Democrats (SPÖ). The Slovenian minority in the southern Austrian state thus remains with only one mayor, in Globasnitz (Globasnica), where Bernard Sadovnik was re-elected mayor in the first round two weeks ago.

Slovenia awarded citizenships to 1,900 foreigners in 2019

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia awarded citizenship to 1,900 foreigners residing in the country in 2019, which is a 5% drop in comparison to the year before, show statistics published by Eurostat. At the same time the number of citizenships granted in the EU, excluding the UK, rose by 5% to 706,400. Non-EU citizens accounted for nearly 96% of those who were granted citizenship by Slovenia. Almost 60% of the beneficiaries were men. Around a third were children younger than 14.

January pay decreases slightly month-on-month

LJUBLJANA - The average gross pay in Slovenia in January stood at EUR 1,977, down by 2.2% nominally and 1.8% in real terms on December, show the Statistics Office data. Those working in healthcare and social care services received the highest pay on average. The average January net pay also decreased compared to December, by 3.5% in nominal terms and 3.1% in real terms to EUR 1,269. Year-on-year, the average gross pay was up by 9.4 nominally and by 10.2% in real terms.

All against All wins Andrej Košak three best-picture awards

LJUBLJANA - All against All (Vsi proti Vsem), a 2019 political thriller by Slovenian director and screenwriter Andrej Košak has won three best-picture awards and an award for best photography at international film festivals as well as an award for best poster in the past month. The feature about a corrupt mayor who is about to lose an election, took best picture awards at film festivals in India, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

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