Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 15 May 2021

By , 15 May 2021, 03:54 AM News
Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 15 May 2021 CC-by-0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Pahor, Vučić discusses unchangeability of borders in the Balkans

BELGRADE, Serbia - President Borut Pahor met Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić in preparation for the Brdo-Brijuni Process summit with the pair agreeing that the borders in the Western Balkans must not be changed. Pahor reiterated his opposition to any changing of the borders in the region, noting that peaceful changes to the border were not possible. He said this was important not only for peace and stability in the region, but within the EU as well. Vučić said that Serbia, which does not recognise Kosovo's independence, exclusively advocated the principle of unchangeability of borders in line with UN decisions.

New basic training concept for military service

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has a new concept of basic training for the Slovenian Armed Forces, designed as a single entry point for those interested in either voluntary or professional service. For the whole 13 weeks of training, recruits will get pay of roughly EUR 3,200. Defence Minister Matej Tonin said a modern military required stable financing and more staff. Financing has been secured, while the new training system, which will be launched in July, is expected to increase the inflow of potential staff.

Unions say govt expelled them from ESS with ignorance of social dialogue

LJUBLJANA - Trade union confederations said they had decided to leave the Economic and Social Council (ESS) because the government had practically abolished social dialogue and thus deprived them of the seats at the negotiating table. They warned the government's action was leading to a conflict. Lidija Jerkič of the ZSSS said unions intended to fight for worker rights with other means. Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj regretted the decision. He said the current situation was tough, as the foundations were being laid for post-Covid times, so he urged them to return to negotiating table as soon as possible.

Govt flies Israeli flag in solidarity with Israel

LJUBLJANA - An Israeli flag was hoisted along the Slovenian and EU flags on the Slovenian government building as an expression of solidarity with Israel. "We condemn the terrorist attacks and we stand by Israel," the government said on Twitter, a message also shared by Prime Minister Janez Janša. President Borut Pahor expressed disagreement, tweeting that he was "not in favour of the expression of the country's views on international issues with the raising of other countries' flags", a view also echoed by Speaker Igor Zorčič. There was a rally in support of Palestine in front of the Israeli consulate in the afternoon featuring about 100 protesters.

Timing of phaseout of monetary policy measures key, governor says

LJUBLJANA - Boštjan Vasle, the governor of Slovenia's central bank, thinks the key challenge of the post-corona recovery will be to get the timing of the end of extraordinary monetary policy measures right. "We have to be mindful not to withdraw [the measures] too quickly and thus jeopardise the strengthening of the recovery dynamics to a sustainable level," he told the STA in an interview. At the same time, the measures must not persist for too long since they have negative side affects as well, while the precise timing depends on the course of the pandemic and monetary policymakers remain cautious.

Slovenia wants green certificate deployed by 1 July

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia thinks it is essential that the EU digital green certificate, which is designed to facilitate cross-border travel, be implemented by 1 July. If that does not happen, member states will be forced to resort to national solutions, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said after an informal meeting of EU ministers in charge of tourism. "We want to have a safe relaxation of cross-border mobility and the provision of safe tourist services," Počivalšek said.

Economist Mrak criticises government's recovery plan

LJUBLJANA - Economist Mojmir Mrak has criticised for Mladina the content and the drawing up of the national recovery and resilience plan. He feels that the measures are not sufficiently oriented towards development and productivity, and that the government showed distrust towards experts and public in the process. Mrak, a professor at the Ljubljana School of Economics and Business, also pointed out plan relied heavily on constructing physical infrastructure.

Slovenia's 1991 defence guidelines remembered with memorial plaque

POLJČE - A memorial plaque was unveiled in Poljče marking a key meeting in May 1991 that set the guidelines for Slovenia's defence in the independence war that followed in June. All those at the meeting knew Slovenia declaring independence would result in a clash with the Yugoslav People's Army, PM Janez Janša, at the time defence minister, said. He unveiled the plaque together with Defence Minister Matej Tonin and Janez Slapar, who was back then the chief of Slovenian Territorial Defence.

Logar thinks Slovenia, Andorra could boost coop in agriculture, high-tech

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar met Andorran Foreign Minister Maria Ubach Font, with the pair agreeing that the cooperation between Slovenia and Andorra could be enhanced. Logar proposed agriculture and high-tech as the areas with the most potential, while assessing bilateral relations between the two countries were currently at a low level but there are many opportunities to change that.

DeSUS MPs remain party members

LJUBLJANA - The executive committee of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) was expected to decide whether to strip its MPs of party membership over their recent voting record. Due to procedural issues, the matter was not put to a vote. Four regional chapters would have had to back the proposal to hold a vote, but only two did, the party's interim president Brigita Čokl said. The session was held in the aftermath of reports that some regional chapters were unhappy that their MPs continue to vote with the government even though the party left the coalition in December.

Fines for quarantine violations confirmed

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed amendments to the act on communicable diseases that bring fines of between EUR 400 and EUR 4,000 for those who ignore orders to quarantine. The new provisions stipulate that the National Institute of Public Health may order individuals to quarantine if they have been in a high-risk contact with a person infected with a dangerous communicable disease. Police may issue quarantine orders on arrival in the country.

CIVICUS warns of Janša's pressure on civil society, media

LJUBLJANA - CIVICUS, an international organisation of NGOs, warns in its latest report of the attitude of Prime Minister Janez Janša and the Democrats (SDS) towards the civil society and media. It expresses concern over government attacks on the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and a ban on protests. CIVICUS lists several examples of government pressure on people's freedoms, the civil society and media.

Slovenia recorded 471 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, six deaths

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 471 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and six new deaths, as the rolling seven-day average of new cases dropped to 466. Another 443 Covid-19 patients are currently in Slovenia's hospitals, fresh government data show. Yesterday, 11.9% of the 3,961 tests came back positive, which is a lower positivity rate than the day before, when it stood at 12.9%.

Miner initiation ritual declared intangible cultural heritage

VELENJE - The Ministry of Culture has declared the Jump over the Leather Apron, a traditional initiation ritual for beginner miners in Velenje, as Slovenia's intangible cultural heritage. Novice miners symbolically jump over a leather apron as this is an accessory that used to be worn by miners to protect themselves from damp. This initiation event was first held in 1961.

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