This summary is provided by the STA:
Renewables in focus as Commissioner Simson visits
BREŽICE - European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson started a visit to Slovenia by visiting the Brežice hydro power plant, accompanied by Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec. The pair stressed the importance of renewable energy sources with Vrtovec saying the resources offered by nature should be used and invested in. Simson and Vrtovec also exchanged views on efforts for a coal phaseout. Simson pointed to the green deal, adding she was happy to see how individual countries approached it.
Govt working on risk mitigation due to prospect of compensation for wiped-out bank investors
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša believes the erasure of shareholders and subordinated bondholders as part of Slovenia's 2013/14 bank bailout could pose a risk of potentially high compensations. He said the government was working towards mitigating these risks. Janša, answering a question from an MP at the start of a plenary, said there were some other skeletons falling out of the closet. "There are many of these decisions that were made under left governments, which the media do not scrutinise, law enforcement does not act, but sooner or later, bills are issued," he said.
Pahor and Logar attending UN General Assembly
NEW YORK, US - A Slovenian delegation led by President Borut Pahor, who will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Anže Logar, will attend the United Nations General Assembly this week. The high-level general debate starts on Tuesday and Pahor will deliver his address on Friday. Pahor will also participate in the Food Systems Summit and attend the reception for heads of state and government hosted by Secretary General Antonio Gutteres, with whom he is scheduled to have a one-on-one meeting on Friday.
Vaccine uptake accelerates as Covid pass becomes mandatory
LJUBLJANA - The Covid pass mandate introduced last week has led to a surge in vaccination. Almost 84,000 shots were administered last week, the highest weekly figure since early June, show data from the national vaccination registry. At present 46% of Slovenia's population is fully vaccinated and 52% have received at least one jab. Among adults, the rates are 55% and 61%, respectively.
EU, US officials discuss ties in judiciary, home affairs
LJUBLJANA - Security challenges, cooperation in fighting terrorism, exchange of information, violent extremism, hate speech and racism, were in the focus of Monday's meeting of EU and US justice and home affairs officials, which was held in Ljubljana as part of Slovenia's EU presidency. "With close cooperation, we can ensure a high level of security for our citizens," said Slovenia's Deputy Police Commissioner Jože Senica, who co-chaired the meeting.
Slovenia to sell over 20,000 doses of Moderna to Australia
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will sell to Australia 20,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine it has already ordered but not yet received, after Australia asked EU members at the end of August for help it in its Covid-19 vaccination effort. Selling the vaccine on to Australia will not endanger public health in Slovenia, the government said. Since Australia wants the vaccine to be delivered directly from the producer, Slovenia will sell it some of the doses it has not yet been delivered.
Public divided over mandatory vaccination
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian public is divided over mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 with a poll commissioned by the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer showing a majority of 48.9% to 46.7% being in favour of a vaccination mandate. Meanwhile, more than half in the Vox Populi poll agreed with the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PTC) rule imposed on staff and customers across activities, against a third (32.5%), who did not find the measure sensible.
291 coronavirus cases, five deaths on Sunday
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded another 291 coronavirus cases on Sunday, nine more than the same day a week ago. The 7-day average of new cases rose by one to 1,039 and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 was up by three to 624. The number of hospitalised patients rose by three to 363 with 97 now in intensive care. Five patients died, official data shows. Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said infections were also rising fast in care homes, but as almost 96% residents were vaccinated serious symptoms were rare.
Valentin Areh endorsed as acting TV Slovenija director
LJUBLJANA - The programming council of RTV Slovenija gave the green light to appoint Valentin Areh acting director of the public broadcaster's TV programme section, TV Slovenija. The council voted 19:2 for Areh's appointment for up to six months or until a full-fledged director is appointed. The 50-year-old worked for private broadcaster POP TV in 1996-2010 and joined TV Slovenija's news programme in 2010, and has reported from several wars, including in the Balkans, Chechnya and Iraq. The move comes after Natalija Gorščak was dismissed from the post on 20 August.
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's key, but obstacles remain
LJUBLJANA - Early detection of Alzheimer's disease is instrumental for providing treatment in the early stages of the disease, but ahead of World Alzheimer's Day, experts point to obstacles to early detection, including lack of staff and expensive diagnostics. Štefanija Lukič Zlobec, the head of the Alzheimer awareness association Spominčica, estimates there are 33,000-34,000 dementia patients in Slovenia, whereby three quarters of those with early signs of the disease are undiagnosed.
Vox Populi poll: Government rating remains low
LJUBLJANA - The Vox Populi poll run by the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer shows that support for the government is at 28%, one of the lowest ratings so far. Nevertheless, the ruling Democrats (SDS) remain in the lead among parties, at 18.4%, followed by three opposition parties - the Social Democrats (SD) at 13.3%, Left at 9.2% and the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) at 8.9%. All parties were slightly up over August. Meanwhile, Health Minister Janez Poklukar fell from third to 12th in politicians' popularity raking.
Slovenia ranks 36th in digital quality of life
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia ranks 36th among 110 countries in digital quality of life, according to a survey conducted by IT company Surfshark, after it ranked 23rd among 85 countries last year. Slovenia is above average in internet accessibility (22nd), while it fared worst in terms of the quality of internet connections (52nd). Surfshark noted that while Slovenia had slipped 13 points compared to last year's survey, its total score was still around 10% above the global average.
Tam-Europe revenue down 70% in 2020 due to pandemic
MARIBOR - The Maribor-based bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer TAM-Europe slipped further into the red last year because of the pandemic. Since one of its main activities is production of airport shuttle buses and the aviation industry has been virtually brought to a standstill last year, the company's revenue plummeted by 70% to EUR 4.1 million. According to the annual report of the Chinese-owned company, the loss increased from EUR 2.2 million to almost EUR 3.9 million.
Cukrarna Gallery a new platform for contemporary art
LJUBLJANA - The Cukrarna Gallery, managed by the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (MGML), will open its doors to the public on Friday in a completely renovated former sugar factory on the banks of the river Ljubljanica, in what marks the creation of a new platform for contemporary art. The opening exhibition will feature works by Slovenian and foreign artists including Jimmie Durham, winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.