Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 31 March 2021

By , 31 Mar 2021, 04:06 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Wednesday, 31 March 2021 JL Flanner

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This summary is provided by the STA

Igor Zorčič remains speaker of parliament

LJUBLJANA - Igor Zorčič remains National Assembly speaker. The coalition failed to unseat him after he quit the Modern Centre Party (SMC) deputy group, as 45 voted in favour of the dismissal, one short of the required majority. The opposition LMŠ, SD, Left and SAB, and the new deputy group formed by MPs who have defected from the SMC and DeSUS, abstained. The vote was closely watched as an indication of the governing coalition, but Zorčič himself poured cold water on this idea saying the outcome "does not forecast that the government will not have a majority in the future".

Fine a way to cross border despite travel ban

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's latest restrictions on the crossing of borders ban all travel to high-risk countries save for a few exemptions. The interior minister says people not among the exemptions may leave the country. If they do not qualify but for an exemption but still wish to leave, officers simply give them a fine, which starts at 400 euros, and let them leave, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said.

Border restrictions challenged at Constitutional Court

LJUBLJANA - A request has been filed for the Constitutional Court to review the government decree setting conditions for entry to Slovenia as a measure against the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic. The request, alleging encroachment upon the constitutional rights to freedom of movement and private property, was filed by lawyer Matjaž Šaloven on his behalf and on behalf of a civil initiative of Slovenian owners of real estate in Croatia.

Over 1,000 Covid cases, 15 deaths recorded on Monday

LJUBLJANA - From a total of 5,395 PCR tests carried out on Monday, 1,080 came back positive for a positivity rate of 20%, up from Sunday's 16.4%. The daily death toll was at 15. The seven-day average of new cases rose by 14 to 957, the government said. The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals declined to 515, of whom 105 are in intensive care, down seven on the day before.

C-bank vice-governor, Securities Market Agency head appointed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly elected Tina Žumer a vice-governor of the Slovenian central bank. Žumer, who has been serving as a chief economist with the European Central Bank after a spell at the analytical department of Banka Slovenije, was backed by 60 votes to 21. The MPs also backed by 52 votes to 25 the government's proposal to appoint jurist Anka Čadež as director of the Securities Market Agency for a six-year term.

Fiscal Council warns about long-term risks to public finances

LJUBLJANA - Public debt has considerably increased during the pandemic in both Slovenia and the EU, but an analysis by Slovenia's Fiscal Council shows that it should remain sustainable in the coming five years whereas long-term risks are expected to increase. General government debt will remain sustainable in the next five years if standard shocks are taken into account and expansionary monetary policy preserved.

MPs pass amended water act

LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed changes to the water act with 44 votes in favour and 38 against. One major provision, which would have allowed industrial plants that use hazardous materials to be build on protected water area, was scrapped from the bill in the wake of criticism by NGO, but environmentalists warned that the legislation is still problematic in that it allows building in right along the coast of water bodies. One NGO said it would launch a referendum initiative.

Cross-border workers to get higher unemployment allowances

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed legislative changes under which cross-border workers will be temporarily eligible for higher unemployment allowances than workers employed in Slovenia since they pay higher unemployment insurance in the countries where they work, sometimes 20-times higher. While a majority of the parties endorsed the motion, some voiced concern about unequal treatment.

Slovenia pledges EUR 70,000 in aid for Syria

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia pledged EUR 70,000 in fresh humanitarian aid to Syria over the next two years at a donor conference for Syria. Foreign Minister Anže Logar said the donation would support the activities of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Syria. Additionally, Slovenia is financing bilateral projects for the Syrian people and has so far allocated EUR 6 million in aid.

Report: TAB on cusp of Li-ion deal with Chinese firm

MEŽICA - TAB, a maker of starter batteries for cars and industrial batteries, is on the cusp of striking a deal with a Chinese partner to launch production of lithium-ion cells, Večer reported citing well placed sources. The supervisors were acquainted with the plan to establish a joint venture called TAB-Haidi JV, which would produce lithium-ion cells and be by a joint venture between TAB Haidi Energy Technology from China.

Survey shows execs optimistic despite epidemic

LJUBLJANA - Most Slovenian and global business executives are confident that 2021 will bring economic growth despite the corona crisis, showed a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Some 76% of respondents on the global level and 64% of executives in Slovenia believe in global economic growth. This is almost 20 percentage points higher than the last record level of optimism, recorded in 2018. On the global level, 36% were confident that the revenue of their companies would increase, in Slovenia the share was at 61%.

Small business urge government against new closure

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) expressed protest over the renewed closure of small businesses during 1-11 April, which they find discriminatory given that large companies will be able to work without disruption. "We cannot accept the theory that the possibility of infection in small workshops and salons is greater than in large production halls with 500 or 1,000 employees. Our members tell us that they want to work and not receive aid," OZS president Branko Meh said.

Debate hears coal phase-out date should be set with consensus

LJUBLJANA - A round table debate heard that, while coal phase-out is inevitable, it should be made sure that power supply is not jeopardised as Slovenia makes the transition. The participants agreed that the year of closure of the sole operational coal mine in Velenje should be set in consensus of all stakeholders. Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Blaž Košorok said that coal phase-out was inevitable, noting that 2033 had been determined as the year of closure of the mine.

Vrtovec calls for competitive rail transport in EU

LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec called for competitive rail transport in the EU as he attended an informal videoconference of EU ministers in charge of transport. Slovenia supports activities to decarbonise transport, he said, adding that to meet these challenges the EU needed attractive and competitive rail transport and freight. It should strive to improve infrastructure, eliminate bottlenecks, set up new connections, upgrade fleets and come up with more effective digitalisation.

Pošta Slovenije boss steps down, chief supervisor appointed interim head

MARIBOR - Boris Novak stepped down as director general of postal operator Pošta Slovenije by mutual agreement with the new supervisory board. He is succeeded by Tomaž Kokot, the chair of the supervisory board, who will step in as interim director.The other two management board members, Andrej Rihter and Vinko Filipič, remain on the board, the company said after a supervisory board session.

Hungarian minority gets EUR 2.8m in economic incentives

LJUBLJANA - The Hungarian minority in Slovenia will get incentives from the state worth EUR 2.8 million in 2021-2024 in a bid to improve the economic development of the area where the community lives. EUR 1.2 million will be available for the promotion of investments, EUR 720,000 for the promotion of tourism, and EUR 880,000 for support activities under three agreements that Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek signed with the representatives of the minority.

Little Girl wins Amnesty International Slovenia award

LJUBLJANA - Little Girl, a documentary about an eight-year-old girl trapped in a boy's body by Sebastien Lifshitz, was named the winner of the Amnesty International Slovenija Award as the 23rd Festival of Documentary Film draws to a close on Wednesday. An honourable mention meanwhile went to The Case You, a German documentary about sexual abuse experienced by five actresses and directed by Alison Kuhn.

Jure Zdovc second Slovenian in FIBA Hall of Fame

NYON, France - Slovenian basketball coach and former player Jure Zdovc will be inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class. He is only the second Slovenian to make it to museum honouring people who have greatly contributed to international competitive basketball after Ivo Daneu. Zdovc's class was announced by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which said that the virtual ceremony would be held on 18 June.

Sign language interpreter Slovenian Woman of the Year

LJUBLJANA - Natalija Spark, an interpreter of the Slovenian sign language and a psychotherapist, has become the Slovenian Woman of the Year 2020, a title conferred by the women's magazine Jana/Zarja and its readers. Having a connection with the hearing world is particularly important for the deaf during the coronavirus epidemic, the organisers said.

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