Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 17 September 2021

By , 17 Sep 2021, 04:56 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA

Widespread condemnation in wake off Wednesday's riot

LJUBLJANA - Officials and politicians from both sides of the isle condemned Wednesday's rioting in which seven police officers were injured and several police vehicles were damaged after an initially peaceful protest against the Covid pass mandate turned violent. Nine rioters were apprehended. PM Janez Janša said the government will not yield to pressure and Interior Minister Aleš Hojs described the rioting as "scandalous for a democratic society" and a "realisation of left fascism in practice". First estimates by Ljubljana city put the damage of riots at EUR 7,000.

Opposition demands changes to Covid pass mandate

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) filed for a session of the parliamentary Health Committee to discuss the Covid pass requirement for virtually all activities and services that entered into force yesterday. The party opposes the requirement being mandatory for access to health services, public transport and petrol stations. The opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) wants the rules changed to allow all children and youth unlimited access to medical service, while the equal opportunities ombudsman and the SocDems urged lifting Covid pass mandate for access to charities.

More than 1,300 new coronavirus cases, six deaths

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,324 new coronavirus infections were confirmed in Slovenia on Wednesday in 6,703 PCR tests, with the positivity rate down slightly. According to the government, hospitalisations are down by six to 341, but the number of patients in intensive care increased to 83. Six people died of Covid-19. As the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control updated its Covid-19 map of Europe, the western half of Slovenia turned dark red, while the eastern part remains red, although the whole country has already met the criterion for dark red with 14-day incidence per 100,000 over 500.

Covid pass mandatory at gatherings of over 50

LJUBLJANA - Th government mandated that a Covid pass will be required at gatherings of over 50 people, be it organised public events or public indoor or outdoor gatherings. This means participants will need to be vaccinated, tested or have proof of recovery. So far, the Covid pass was required for events with up to 100 participants and at indoor public events regardless of the number of participants. The government also extended existing border restrictions.

Janša dismisses alleged lobbying contacts

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša dismissed alleged lobbying contacts with the lobbyist Božo Dimnik and businessman Andrej Marčič as having nothing to do with lobbying. Speaking for Planet TV on Wednesday night, Janša said that over twenty years he had played golf with practically everyone who has played golf in Slovenia. "I have never done any deals with the gentlemen you have mentioned and it is sad that the self-proclaimed KUL opposition, which does not have a programme, now uses this to create the impression it is doing something."

Commission session on lobbying suspended after no-show by Janša

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Public Finances was supposed to debate allegations of improper lobbying contacts by Prime Minister Janez Janša. The session was suspended because Janša did not attend. Janša was offered three dates and the possibility to set a date himself, but he excused himself saying that he had "obligations concerning the performance of the presidency of the EU and pre-agreed commitments," according to commission chair Igor Peček.

Slovenia growth forecast substantially upgraded

LJUBLJANA - The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, the government's economic forecaster, upgraded Slovenia's growth forecast for the year to 6.1%, 1.5 percentage points up from its spring outlook. It projects for GDP growth to then ease off to 4.7% in 2022 and 3.3% in 2023. The improvement is due to more upbeat projections in the international environment, faster than expected growth so far this year a fast adjustment of businesses and consumers to the new situation.

Portorož hosts European Asylum Support Office meeting

PORTOROŽ - A two-day meeting of the management board of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) is being held in Portorož, with one of the topics being reforming the EASO into a European agency for asylum, with which it would assume new obligations and tasks. Interior Minister Aleš Hojs addressed the press on the occasion, pointing to the flexibility of the office in supporting EU member states, and expressed the expectation that aid is also directed towards third countries.

Tonin meets Hungarian counterpart to debate defence cooperation

CELJE - The Slovenian and Hungarian defence ministers, Matej Tonin and Tibor Benko, discussed bilateral military and defence cooperation as they held a meeting on Wednesday. Tonin thanked his counterpart on Hungary's assistance to Slovenia in controlling Slovenia's air space, with Benko assuring him that assistance would continue to be provided. Tonin and Benko touched on the efforts to ensure stability and peace in the Western Balkans, with both countries labelling this as priority for stability in the broader region.

Slovenia gets ownership of Rome flat through Yugoslav succession

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will become the owner of a diplomatic apartment in Rome as part of the succession process after the break-up of Yugoslavia. The country already uses the apartment as a residence of the ambassador to the Holy See. The agreement was reached at the latest session of the relevant joint committee. It was agreed that Serbia will hand over the documentation on the apartment by the end of the year, which will be followed by the transfer of ownership to the Republic of Slovenia.

Minister for Slovenians abroad starts US visit

CLEVELAND, US - Helena Jaklitsch, the minister for Slovenians abroad, started a 10-day visit to Slovenians in the USA, beginning in Cleveland, Ohio and concluding in Lemont, Illinois. The overarching theme is the 30th anniversary of Slovenian independence. The 30th anniversary of Slovenian independence will be celebrated on Thursday at Cleveland City Hall with the opening of the exhibition "Us and Them without Frontiers" and a presentation of Slovenian cuisine.

Počivalšek gets mandate to merge SMC with pro-business party

CELJE - Delegates of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) gave party leader Zdravko Počivalšek the mandate for a merger, a tie-up and cooperation with other related parties and lists at the next general election. They also adopted a manifesto and programme for the election and elected ten new members of the party council. The party is to merge with the Economically Active Party (GAS), a pro-business party headed by National Council President Alojz Kovšca, possibly before the end of the year.

BSH Hišni Aparati to receive EUR 7.7 million subsidy

NAZARJE - The Nazarje-based home appliance maker BSH Hišni aparati, a Slovenian subsidiary of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, will receive a state subsidy worth EUR 7.7 million. The investment will create 62 new jobs, including at least 12 for highly qualified employees, the Economy Ministry said. Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek will sign a subsidy agreement with BSH Hišni Aparati CEO Boštjan Gorjup on Friday at the International Trade Fair in Celje.

Ana Roš among the world's top 10 chefs

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Michelin starred chef Ana Roš from Hiša Franko has placed seventh in the rankings of the world's top chefs compiled by The Best Chef Awards 2021. Roš, who is the highest-ranked female chef on this year's list, has climbed 11 places from last year, according to The Best Chef Awards website. Adding to Hiša Franko's success, Maša Salopek, who has been with the Kobarid-based eatery since 2018, won the best chef pastry award for the year 2021.

Innovator and sound engineer Emilija Soklič wins Badjura award

LJUBLJANA - The recipient of this year's Badjura Award, given out for lifetime achievements in film since 1995, is the innovator and film sound engineer Emilija Soklič, one of the first Slovenian professional female film industry workers and an innovator in sound design. She will receive the award at the opening of the 24th Slovenian Film Festival on 12 October.

Drama Ljubljana's new season brings mixture of old and new

LJUBLJANA - SNG Drama Ljubljana, the country's leading theatre, will stage some old plays, some based on films and others it has commissioned itself, Drama's manager Igor Samobor said as the company presented its new season, which will open on 25 September with The Arsonists, a production based on Max Frisch's play. Milan Kundera's Jacques and His Master, directed by Dorian Šilec Petek, will follow in October, and Simona Hamer's newly written Everything OK (Vse OK) will be staged in December.

Classical music from Balkans in centre of Maribor Festival

MARIBOR - The Western Balkans is in the centre of musical exploration at this year's Maribor Festival which got under way with a concert featuring the artist-in-residence, North Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski, and the SNG Maribor Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Romanian conductor Gabriel Bebeselea. The festival will bring canon works of the classical repertoire and popular works of the western music tradition.

Robert Simonišek wins best essay collection prize

LJUBLJANA - Robert Simonišek, an author and art historian born in Celje in 1977, has won the 2021 Rožanc Prize for best collection of essays for Pejsaži - Sanjati na Soncu (Landscapes - Dreaming in the Sun). In his collection of 15 essays Simonišek reflects on themes as diverse as loneliness, love, populism, culture, artistic creativity and the virus. Named after essayist Marjan Rožanc, the prize will be presented on Saturday in the village of Rašica.

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