This summary is provided by the STA:
Over 270 coronavirus cases confirmed on Monday, seven deaths
LJUBLJANA - Seven Covid-19 patients died in Slovenia on Monday, as another 273 people tested positive in a total of 1,879 PCR tests, the government said. The rolling seven-day average dropped from 1,058 on Sunday to 943. 573 people were in hospital, 16 more than the day before, while the number of those requiring intensive care grew by six to 132. The National Institute of Public Health estimates there are currently nearly 13,377 active infections in the country.
Presidency trio defence ministers discuss Strategic Compass
LJUBLJANA - As part of the EU presidency trio format, the defence ministers of Slovenia, Portugal and Germany discussed a number of security and defence topics, including the Strategic Compass process, EU-NATO cooperation, military mobility, and the bloc's support for stabilisation efforts in Mozambique. The Defence Ministry said Minister Matej Tonin stressed the Strategic Compass would be a priority during Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of the year.
Logar to visit Bavaria in June
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar held a video conference with Bavarian State Minister for European and International Affairs Melanie Huml in preparation of his visit to the German state on 22 June. Logar's visit to Munich will coincide with the 32nd session of the standing Slovenian-Bavarian commission. The Foreign Ministry said Logar and Huml discussed ways to enhance cooperation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and Slovenia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU.
Extension of accreditations to colleges annulled by top court
LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court announced having annulled in an unanimous decision the implementation of a provision from one of the legislative packages for mitigating the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic that extends accreditations to higher education institutions. The provision was stayed in late January. The National Agency for Quality in Higher Education welcomed the ruling in that accreditation procedures can resume, while the centre-left opposition hailed it as they opposed the extension of accreditations.
Initiatives for referendum on water act changes gain momentum
LJUBLJANA - Two groups of petitioners submitted their respective initiatives for a referendum on the contentious amendments to the water act after they had collected over 9,000 and 33,000 signatures, respectively. The NGOs had seven days to collect the required 2,500 signatures after the legislation was passed last Tuesday. They would now be given a deadline to collect at least 40,000 signatures. Meanwhile, the upper chamber of parliament failed to veto the amendments.
Fiscal Council notes high Q1 budget deficit
LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council noted that, according to the preliminary data, the national budget deficit in the first three months of the year amounted to EUR 1.29 billion, which is almost half of the deficit planned for the entire year. It would have amounted to EUR 432 million without the direct effect of the stimulus measures. Deficits are usually pronounced in the first quarter, mostly due to payment of interest, but this time it was around two times higher than in the first months of 2020.
Registered jobless total down 6.1% in March
LJUBLJANA - The registered jobless total was down for the second consecutive month in March, standing at 82,638, or 6.1% less than in February. The number is nevertheless 6.1% higher than the number of registered unemployed persons in Slovenia in the same month last year. A total of 4,569 jobless registered with the Employment Service anew in March, 4.1% fewer than in February and 41.8% fewer than in March 2020. Almost half of those saw their fixed-term contracts expired.
IJS researchers make two major publications in two days
LJUBLJANA - The Jožef Stefan Institute announced having articles by its researchers published by Nature and Science, two of the most prestigious international scientific journals, in a span of only two days. In the Nature journal, Uroš Cvelbar and his colleagues from South Korea report about a surprising discovery that it is possible to stabilise instabilities in fluids by means of ionised gas jet or the use of plasma. Meanwhile, Dušan Turk of the institute's Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Structural Biology Department and his international colleagues present in the Science journal a study that inspires hope in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Maja Šorli wins Grum Award for best new play
KRANJ - Playwright Maja Šorli is the winner of this year's Slavko Grum Prize for best new Slovenian play for her play about university intrigue Tega Okusa še Niste Poskusili (You Haven't Tasted This Flavour Yet). The judging panel said that the play was written in realistic language, demonstrated the author's knowledge of the subject matter, and featured well-formed and believable characters.
Hungary honours Dušan Bavdek from Music Academy
LJUBLJANA - Hungary has decorated Dušan Bavdek, a vice dean at the Academy of Music at the University of Ljubljana, for his merit in promoting cooperation with acclaimed Hungarian musicians, most notably with the Franz Liszt Academy of Music from Budapest and the Hungarian Composers' Union. Professor and composer Bavdek received the Knight's Cross Order of Merit, given out by the Hungarian president, from Hungarian Ambassador to Slovenia Andor David at the end of March, the Slovenian academy said.
New car registrations down 23% last year
LJUBLJANA - Almost 113,000 vehicles were registered in Slovenia for the first time last year, which is 23% fewer than in 2019. The number of newly registered cars was down by 24% to around 81,000, while the number of electric and hybrid vehicles increased. The number of trailer vehicles registered for the first time in Slovenia in 2020 was also down by 23% compared to 2019, the Statistics Office said, noting that the Covid-19 epidemic had significantly contributed to the drops.
Snow disrupted traffic across Slovenia
LJUBLJANA - A cold snap brought snowfall to Slovenia, leading to road mishaps, closures and detours. The situation was the most dire on the Primorska motorway, especially between Postojna and Kozina in the south-west of the country and on local roads in the area. The region was on an orange-coded warning due to snowfall and low temperatures.
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