Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 13 November 2021

By , 13 Nov 2021, 04:33 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA

Signs of plateauing as 3,431 new cases confirmed, ICU cases at new high

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 3,431 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the second day in a row that cases declined compared to the week before. The positivity rate declined slightly as well, to 37.6%. However, the number of Covid-19 patients at intensive care units rose by three to reach a record 215, whereas the overall number was up by 34 to 954. A total of 14 patients with Covid-19 died. The Jožef Stefan Institute said that judging by the positivity rate, "the fourth wave of the epidemic has probably reached its peak".

Minister says new lockdown would cause Slovenia to go bankrupt

NOVO MESTO - A potential new lockdown would cause the state to go bankrupt, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said during a government visit to the south-east Slovenia. He said the Covid crisis was not over yet, so everyone should join forces to find solutions as "there will be no more state aid". The latest Covid restrictions are the last attempt at restricting the medical crisis, he said, adding that he was advocating the introduction of the PC rule, meaning only those who have recovered from Covid or have been vaccinated would get the Covid pass.

Mandatory self-testing for school kids deferred to Wednesday

LJUBLJANA - Primary and secondary school students will start self-testing on school premises on Wednesday, the government decided as it delayed the start by two days. Testing will be carried out three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, and will count as a Covid pass for children. Parents will have to sign consent forms to allow their children to self-test at school. Vaccinated school children and coronavirus convalescents will not be required to self-test.

Only one new Luka Koper board member appointed

KOPER - The supervisory board of the state-owned port operator Luka Koper appointed only one new member of the management board for a five-year term, unanimously confirming Robert Rožac, who currently serves as state secretary at the Environment Ministry, while failing to appointing one additional member of the board and its chairman. The supervisors of the operator of Slovenia's sole maritime port are looking for replacements to chairman Dimitrij Zadel and board members Metod Podkrižnik and Irma Gubanec, who recently resigned. Chief supervisor Franci Matoz after the session that the staffing commission had been given until 19 November to conduct interviews with other candidates, and that it was expected to hold a session on this topic on 24 November.

Vizjak optimistic about outcome of Glasgow conference

GLASGOW, UK - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak told the STA that negotiators at the Glasgow climate conference were making progress on virtually all points. "A solution is in sight. I'm optimistic," he said after the plenary session, adding he expected "some kind of agreement" on Saturday morning at the latest. As the European Commission presented some general statements that accompany such conferences, Vizjak said "there was a lot of optimism at the plenary session that at the end of today, probably during the night or in the first half of Saturday, some kind of agreement will be reached."

Chairman of power utility Elektro Maribor dismissed

MARIBOR - The supervisory board of electricity distributor Elektro Maribor dismissed chairman Boris Sovič, in what is the third major staffing decision in state-owned energy firms in two weeks. The supervisors said Sovič had been dismissed due to delays in the achievement of business goals, inadequate preparation for the green transformation, poor oversight of subsidiaries, and loss of trust. Sovič, an ex-Social Democrat (SD) mayor of Maribor who served as the company's chairman since 2012, rejected all the arguments for his dismissal. The president of the supervisory board, Jože Hebar, will take over as interim chairman.

Minister Vrtovec denies involvement in energy firms' staffing

LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec rejected claims he was involved in the ousting of several directors of state-owned energy firms. He told Delo staffing was in the exclusive domain of supervisory boards and Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), while corporate governance rules precluded direct political influence on staffing. He acknowledged there had been expectations from some that he would intervene. "I do not consent to this practice, I reject it, it's alien to me."

EU ministers express support for combatting sexual abuse of children

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The EU home affairs ministers hosted by Slovenia's Aleš Hojs at a virtual conference expressed in a joint statement their political support for finding appropriate tools for discovering and investigating sexual abuse of children. "We stressed the importance of preventive action and raising awareness, but we also expressed our political support to finding appropriate tools for discovering and investigating sexual abuse of children," Hojs said.

Slovenia receives EU formal notice regarding fight against terrorism rules

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission decided to open infringement proceedings against Slovenia to ensure correct transposition of EU rules on combating terrorism. The country has now two months to respond to the formal notice from Brussels, or else faces receiving a reasoned opinion, the next stage in the infringement procedure. The other member states that have received the same latter of formal notice on Friday are Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Sweden and Slovakia.

Commission to present interim report on political interference in police

LJUBLJANA - The chair of the parliamentary commission investigating suspicion of political interference in police, Rudi Medved from the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), said after the session held a session that it would send an intermediary report to the National Assembly confirming the suspicion of political pressure on police. The announement comes after the commission interviewed the former head of criminal police, Boštjan Lindav, who said he had been replaced based on a political order.

Pahor labels UNESCO as pioneer in solving world's problems

PARIS, France - President Borut Pahor attended a high-level meeting marking the 75th anniversary of UNESCO and held talks with the organisation's director general Audrey Azoulay. He said in his address that UNESCO had a pioneering role in searching for solutions to the world's most pressing problems and challenges. "UNESCO was born out of a realisation that political and economic cooperation is not enough for achieving a lasting peace and that people need to be brought together through dialogue among cultures, and cooperation in science and education," he said.

Biologist honoured for campaigning against hydro power stations

MUNICH, Germany - Slovenian biologist and environmental activist Andreja Slameršek has received this year's Wolfgang Staab Prize for Nature Conservation, which is given out by the German Schweisfurth Foundation. She was honoured for helping to stop several planned power stations that would destroy unique ecosystems along the rivers Mura and Sava. She received the EUR 20,000 prize, conferred annually for achievements in sustainable development of river and flood areas, on Thursday.

Voice of the People initiative starts election campaign

LJUBLJANA - A network of civil society and non-governmental organisations that is forming the Voice of the People initiative started its election campaign at the anti-government protest, presenting ten out of its hundred demands with which it plans to confront political parties ahead of the general election. The initiative aims to "shape the political agenda for our common future from the bottom up" and will demand answers to questions such as whether the consequences of the "harmful legislation adopted in the past year" would be done away with.

Slovenia draw with Slovakia in World Cup qualifier

TRNAVA, Slovakia - Slovenia played 2:2 against Slovakia in the penultimate qualifying game for the World Cup on Thursday evening, a solid performance given that several key players were missing from the team and Miha Blažič was sent off after the second yellow card in the 57th minute. Slovenia players were happy with the team's performance, which Josip Iličić described as a show of character.

Illegal Iranian migrant hit by train near Kozina

KOZINA - A 31-year-old Iranian citizen who had entered Slovenia illegally was hit by a train travelling on the Kozina-Prešnica route near the village of Brgod in south-western Slovenia on Thursday evening. According to the police, the Iranian was standing on the tracks. The train driver noticed him and started honking and braking immediately, but the collision was unavoidable, with the man being hit by the right step of the locomotive. The man was taken to the Izola hospital with serious injuries.

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