Hojs supports letter of 12 EU members to use EU funds for border fences
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs endorsed a letter in which 12 EU states urge the European Commission to enable the use of EU funds to finace erecting fences on the EU borders, as he chaired a meeting of home affairs ministers in Luxembourg. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said she understood the reasons for which member states set up fences, but does not think it a good idea to use EU money for this, stressing the funds for addressing migration challenges were rather limited.
NSi willing to talk early election but wants key projects completed
LJUBLJANA - New Slovenia (NSi), one of the two junior coalition partners in the government, would be willing to talk an early election with its coalition partners under the condition that the government completes the EU presidency and adopts the national budgets for 2022-2023. NSi leader Matej Tonin said an early election would be a reasonable price to pay to calm the passions in the country and complete the projects important for Slovenia. The NSi is willing to have a sincere talk with the coalition partners and reach, in agreement with the opposition, a deal to jointly contribute to calming the situation in the country.
NGOs sue ministries over energy permit for nuclear power station
LJUBLJANA - Three environmental NGOs have filed a suit against the infrastructure and environment ministries over an energy permit issued for the second unit of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK), the 24ur.com website reported. The NGOs consider the energy permit issued in July to the state-owned investor Gen Energija illegal, as it lacks a proper strategic and legal basis. They also challenge part of the long-term climate strategy. Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec responded by criticising the NGOs for "opposing everything". He described nuclear energy and could take Slovenia towards energy independence.
Prosecution deems govt decision on delegated prosecutors unconstitutional
LJUBLJANA - The Supreme State Prosecution expressed concern over the government's decision not to honour the ruling by the Administrative Court on the appointment procedure of Slovenia's delegated prosecutors and instead issue a new calls for application. It said the government was clearly in violation of articles 2 and 23 of the Constitution, which respectively deal with the rule of law and the right to judicial protection. European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi meanwhile expressed serious concern over the developments during Thursday's ministerial, calling for the EU's financial interests in Slovenia to be protected by all means available, the EPPO said on Friday. Kövesi informed the ministers about the consequences of the latest decision, highlighting the Slovenian obstruction was creating "a prosecution gap" in the work of the EPPO and wondering whether it was still possible to talk about appropriate protection of the EU's budget.
Task force reportedly recommends priority use of mRNA vaccines
LJUBLJANA - The Covid-19 vaccination task force at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has decided to recommend priority use of mRNA vaccines over vector vaccines, according to unofficial information obtained by the STA. Vector vaccines would continue to be used, but only at an individual's specific request. The decision was informed by data on rare adverse effects of vector vaccines and the higher efficacy of mRNA vaccines.
Legal basis in place for return of National Hall to minority
TRIESTE, Italy - The Italian government adopted a decree effectively returning the National Hall in Trieste in possession of the Slovenian community there. The newspaper Primorski Dnevnik said the government issued a decree changing the 2001 minority protection act to provide for the gratuitous transfer of the building to the National Hall Foundation from its current occupant, the University of Trieste. A spokeswoman for the minority said follow-up formal procedures may take months.
Businesses urge government to act on rising energy prices
LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) called on the government to take urgent action in the face of the sharp rise in energy prices. It asked for short-term measures such as reduction of certain levies on electricity and gas, and long-term measures including immediate implementation of planned and ongoing projects related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Nobel peace prize 2021 homage to freedom of expression and journalism, says DNS
LJUBLJANA - This year's Nobel Peace Prize "shows that the academy has recognised the importance of freedom of expression and journalism in times of global turbulence", said the Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS), responding to today's decision by the Nobel Committee to award the prize investigative journalists Filipino Maria Ressa and Russian Dmitry Muratov, "who work in authoritarian environments where power is abused".
Janša and Plenković discuss tourism and cooperation
TUHELJ, Croatia - The prime ministers of Slovenia and Croatia, Janez Janša and Andrej Plenković, agreed bilateral relations are good as they took part in an international conference on tourism in Tuhelj. Janša pointed to opportunities for cooperation in joint investments, and welcomed Croatia's imminent entry into the eurozone. The conference was also attended by Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.
Decrease in new daily coronavirus cases continues
LJUBLJANA - A total of 838 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Slovenia on Thursday as slow burn of the epidemic continues. Two patients died. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents dropped by five to 559. Hospital numbers remain broadly unchanged, with 413 patients reported hospitalised this morning, of whom 115 in intensive care, show government data.
Supreme court says penalty for non-use of masks in enclosed spaces groundless
LJUBLJANA - The Supreme Court announced its decision that issuing penalties for the failure to wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces during the Covid-19 epidemic as a minor offence has no legal basis. The decision relates to an appeal on the point of law against a final decision of a local court to issue warning to a person over a minor offence under the communicable diseases act.
Coalition and opposition remain at odds over STA funding
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly met for an emergency plenary debating the precarious situation of the STA. The centre-left opposition, which requested the session, urged the reinstatement of STA funding based on the law, whereas the coalition stressed the need for clearer rules and oversight. The session focused on a number of resolutions calling on the government to reinstate budget funding of the agency's public service in three days in line with Article 66 of the seventh coronavirus relief legislation and Article 20 of the act on the STA. But since the resolutions were defeated at committee level on Thursday, the MPs did not vote on them today. However, the opposition parties floated the possibility of another motion for constitutional impeachment.
Sustainability conference sees pandemic as opportunity
LJUBLJANA - The pandemic has slowed progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, however it also presents an opportunity to emerge stronger from the current crisis and more resilient in the face of future crises, agreed participants of a hybrid international conference on policy coherence for sustainable development and the EU Green Deal. Aleška Simkić, head of cabinet of the European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, said in an opening address that the Green Deal was seen as an important part of the EU Commission's strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda.
Author Jože Snoj dies
LJUBLJANA - Poet, writer and essayist Jože Snoj died on 7 October aged 87, his family said. His works dealt mostly with his experience of the WWII, religious and existential questions, and eroticism. He won a number of prizes, including the top award in culture, the Prešeren Prize, in 2012 for a life's work that "left a significant mark on Slovenian literature in the last five decades".
Slovenia's exports up by a quarter y/y in August
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia exported EUR 2.8 billion in goods in August or 25.4% more year-on-year, while imports surged by 39.4% to EUR 3.3 billion. Trade in August was also larger by volume than trade in August 2019 - exports were up by 20.3% and imports by 40.6%. In the first eight months of the year, Slovenia's exports rose by 19.5%, while imports increased by 26.9%.
Secondary school students to study in Slovenian in Rijeka
RIJEKA, Croatia - A secondary school in the Croatian port city of Rijeka started teaching Slovenian today in what is a result of years of efforts of the Slovenian community living in the city. The First Sušak Croatian Gymnasium became the first secondary school in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County to which the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education approved the introduction of Slovenian as a subject. So far, Slovenian has been taught in four primary schools in the region, of which two are in Rijeka.
Korean cultural centre opens in Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA - The King Sejong Institute Ljubljana, the first Korean language and cultural centre in Slovenia, opened at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana.
The King Sejong Institute Ljubljana was established by the King Sejong Institute Foundation, which is supported by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It is part of a network of 234 King Sejong Institutes in 82 countries.