President Pahor does not support early election
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said he does not support a potential early election, arguing in an interview for TV Slovenija on Sunday evening that a vote during Slovenia's EU presidency would mean the country misses a rare opportunity to strengthen its reputation on the international stage. "Slovenia has such a rare opportunity to demonstrate its ability ... to give something to European politics. This would, of course, also require a little more internal cooperation between the Slovenian political forces." The EU presidency is "an opportunity that a mature country would not squander," he said.
Hojs and Schinas discuss priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency
BRDO PRI KRANJU - European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas visited Slovenia before it assumes EU presidency on 1 July, discussing with Interior Minister Aleš Hojs the priorities of the presidency. Hojs said the new pact on migration and asylum was a priority in the field of internal affairs. Schinas told Hojs that that a part of the pact relating to the future European agency for asylum would be finalised during the Portuguese presidency, and could be completed during Slovenia's presidency in the second half of the year.
Logar lauds efforts to boost economic cooperation as Slovenia opening embassy in Seoul
SEOUL, South Korea - Foreign Minister Anže Logar started a two-day visit to South Korea, which also marks the official opening of the first Slovenian embassy in Seoul. Janez Premože, a former Slovenian ambassador to India and China, was sent there last week, while his appointment is not yet formal because the embassy is planned to open in a month or two. "We're in the final phase of opening the embassy," Logar said in an interview with a Korean newspaper. He met representatives of Korean businesses and some MPs before he meets his counterpart Chung Eui-yong on Tuesday.
President to decorate three media, including STA
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor has announced he will award presidential decorations to the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), the Koper bureau of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and to the Slovenian bureau of Italian public broadcaster RAI. "I believe these are three anniversaries, three important media institutions which have made major contributions to us having freedom of speech, expression and media," he told a news show on TV Slovenija on Sunday evening. He will decorate the STA upon the proposals of two former STA directors, Dejan Verčič and Tadej Labernik, and the Association of Slovenian Journalists.
Janša says CoE Commissioner part of "fake news network"
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša reproached Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović. "Unfortunately, @Dunja_Mijatovic is part of #fakenews network. Well paid by our money," Janša wrote in English on Twitter on Sunday. The tweet comes after Mijatović urged the Slovenian authorities to stop the deterioration of media freedom and freedom of expression in the country.
Reynders again calls on Slovenia to name European prosecutors
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders reiterated his call for Slovenia to appoint European delegated prosecutors for the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) as soon as possible. He hopes that he could soon discuss the issue with the new Slovenian justice minister. "We need two European delegated prosecutors from Slovenia," Reynders told the press in Luxembourg on the sidelines of a meeting of EU justice ministers. Marjan Dikaučič, an official receiver, was last week nominated to replace Lilijana Kozlovič and could be appointed in the coming days.
Vaccination pace picking up
LJUBLJANA - The pace of vaccination is gradually picking up. Almost 132,000 shots were administered last week, up by about 30% from the week before. The first week of June also saw the highest number of shots delivered in one day as over 35,000 people were inoculated on 3 June. For this week, vaccination centres have ordered 135,000 doses, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) said.
Downward trend continues as 57 new coronavirus cases confirmed
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 57 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the lowest daily figure since late September, as the slow downward trend continued. Two patients with Covid-19 died, the latest government figures show. Hospital figures remained broadly stable with 203 patients in hospital overall, of whom 51 in intensive care, up by five and three, respectively. The rolling seven-day average of daily cases stood at 242.
Relaxation of all measures possible when Slovenia enters EU's green tier
LJUBLJANA - The government's Covid-19 advisory group does not intend to propose any substantial changes regarding Covid restrictions this week. Mateja Logar, the head of the group, said a complete relaxation could be put forward when Slovenia is in tier green according to the EU's traffic light system, but the country's 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents must fall below 25 and the rate of positive coronavirus tests below 4%. The latest data show the first figure stood at 173 on Sunday and the positivity rate at 4.3%. The Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) said Slovenia could enter the EU's orange tier in mid-June and the green tier in the first half of August.
Pahor, Zore call on Slovenians to work together, like 30 years ago
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted members of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference for lunch as Slovenia marks the 30th anniversary of independence. Pahor and Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore made a joint statement on the occasion saying all Slovenians should stand together, like during the independence efforts when the Church's Commission for Justice and Peace played an important role in democratisation and promotion of human rights. Zore also expressed an expectation that the Monument to the Victims of All Wars in Ljubljana should start to be perceived as a monument to reconciliation.
Slovenia, China sign protocol on poultry exports
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia and China signed a protocol on the export of Slovenian poultry, a key precondition for the export of food products to the Asian country. "China remains Slovenia's most important trading partner in Asia and growth in the bilateral trade in agricultural and food products has been positive," Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek said. A protocol on pork is to follow soon.
Corrected analysis shows Slovenia around EU average for green, digital investment
LJUBLJANA/BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Brussels think tank Bruegel revised its recent analysis of national recovery and resilience plans. While Slovenia originally stood out by its low share of digital and green investments, the updated figures place Slovenia in the middle of the rankings. After being quoted at EUR 0.77 billion on Sunday, the figure for Slovenia's investment in the green transition was revised to EUR 1.05 billion on Monday. The figure for digitalisation was revised from EUR 0.17 billion to EUR 0.54 billion.
Defence Ministry inaugurates new military heritage department
LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry launched on 1 June a new department dedicated to the preservation of military heritage that will also deal with related issues such as the situation of war veterans, the war-disabled and war victims, and management of activities related to war graves. Later this month, the Military Heritage Administration, headed by law expert Rok Janez Šteblaj, will also become in charge of graves of victims of summary killings during and immediately after WWII.
Slovenia chair of Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development
IZOLA - Slovenia assumed the two-year chairmanship of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development, a multi-stakeholder advisory body set up under the Barcelona convention, as the commission opened its 19th session in Slovenia's Izola today, to run in hybrid format until Wednesday. Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak pointed to Slovenia's achievements under the Barcelona convention and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR). He said it was Slovenia's wish for a partnership to achieve goals along the common sea to be intensified.
Sewage sludge dumped around creek south of Maribor
HOČE - An unknown perpetrator has recently dumped a major quantity of wastewater treatment sludge in a creek near the village of Pivola, south of Maribor, upstream the local botanical gardens, in what the authorities have labelled an ecological disaster. Hoče-Slivnica Mayor Marko Soršak said the local authorities had been informed about the illegal dump late on Thursday. The area was inspected today by Civil Protection head Srečko Šestan, who said the clean-up effort would take a long time. The Maribor Police Department told the STA police were intensively looking for the perpetrator.
Tanja Tuma becomes new head of Slovenian PEN
LJUBLJANA - Writer, publisher and editor Tanja Tuma is the new president of Slovenian PEN, replacing Tone Peršak, who resigned for personal reasons in February. Tuma, 56, was the only candidate as Slovenian PEN's assembly met to appoint the new head today. She would like to open up Slovenian PEN to new members, foremost young writers, those who have a hard time entering the market and having their voice heard. "The organisation desperately needs their fresh ideas and energy," she told the STA upon election. In 2016-2019, Tuma led Slovenian PEN's women writers' section Mira.
Architects of Ptuj Marketplace win Plečnik Prize
LJUBLJANA - The architects that have designed the Ptuj Marketplace won this year's Plečnik Prize, the highest national recognition for architecture. The jury said the project went beyond creating a new marketplace, it was a complete renovation of the city's central public space. The prize was awarded to Tomaž and Lena Krušec, Vid Kurinčič, Zala Likavec Perovšek, Ana Kučan and Luka Javornik, whose project was completed last year.
Zidanšek makes Slovenian tennis history
PARIS, France - Tamara Zidanšek has made Slovenian tennis history by advancing to the quarter-final of the French Open as the first Slovenian woman to do so in a singles competition since 1977. Zidanšek defeated Romania's Sorani Cirstea 7:6 (4), 6:1 on Sunday and will play the Spaniard Paula Badosa tomorrow. The last time a Slovenian female player was in the singles quarter-final of a grand slam tournament was in 1977, when Mima Jaušovec ended up winning the Roland Garros.
Germany win U-21 European title in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - The German youth football team has won the UEFA U-21 European Championship after beating Portugal 1:0. Lukas Nmecha scored the only goal of Sunday's game in the 49th minute to secure the third title for Germany since the competition began in 1978. Germany had struggled in the preliminary stages and barely finished second in their group to advance to the elimination round. In the quarter-final, they defeated Denmark after a penalty shoot out, and in the semi-final, they trumped the Netherlands.