This summary is provided by the STA:
Prešeren Prizes for classic philologist and conductor
LJUBLJANA - Kajetan Gantar, a translator of classical literature and philosophy, and Mirko Cuderman, a choir conductor, were declared the winners of the 2022 Prešeren Prizes, the highest national accolade for lifetime achievement in culture and arts. Meanwhile, the Prešeren Fund Prizes for individual accomplishments in the past three years will go to author Anja Štefan, actress Jette Ostan Verjup, composer Damijan Močnik, soprano Andreja Zakonjšek Krt, painter Dušan Kirbiš and animated film auteur Špela Čadež, the Culture Ministry announced.
Slovenia's coronavirus curve keeps flattening
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's coronavirus curve keeps flattening out with 1,737 cases confirmed on Thursday, more than a quarter fewer than the week ago and 18% down on the day before. Almost 32% of the PCR tests came back positive yesterday. Covid-19 hospitalisations remained high despite a drop and 17 more patients died, government data shows. According to the National Institute of Public Health, there are still 31,757 actively infected people in the country. This is down 1,770 compared with yesterday's estimate.
Quarantine mandatory for all in close contact with Omicron
LJUBLJANA - All those who have had a high-risk contact with a person highly suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus will have to quarantine at home. The rule, adopted by the government, also applies to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have already recovered from it. A high-risk contact is a person confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant or a person who was in the past 14 days in one of the countries where this variant is highly spread, according to the changes to the government regulation on exceptions to quarantine at home, which enter into force tomorrow.
Boštjan Napast appointed new CEO of Luka Koper
KOPER - The supervisory board of Luka Koper appointed Boštjan Napast the president of the management board of the state-owned port operator for a five-year term. Napast was until recently the head of the board of the gas distributor Geoplin. Chief supervisor Franci Matoz told the press after the session that the appointment had been made on proposal of a staffing commission and that the third member of the management board was yet to be appointed. The third member of the management board, who will be in change of finance, is expected to be found by the end of the year, but the supervisors say they would not rush things.
Govt proposes that current Fiscal Council line-up stay on
LJUBLJANA - The government decided to propose to the National Assembly to re-appoint for another five years Davorin Kračun as the president and Alenka Jerkič and Tomaž Perše as members of the Fiscal Council. With the current terms of the Fiscal Council members running out on 21 March 2022, the government issued on 1 October a public call for applications from potential candidates for the posts of the president and the two members of the advisory body. The current members of the Fiscal Council, tasked with assessing the sustainability and compliance of fiscal policies with the fiscal rule, were appointed in the spring of 2017.
Foreign Policy Committee approves new bill on deployment
LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Policy Committee approved a proposed new bill on deployment in civilian missions and international organisations in second reading. The proposal is intended to enable the timely nomination and deployment of Slovenian experts, said Foreign Ministry State Secretary Gašper Dovžan, adding the amendments had been necessary because the existing law from 2006 proved to be partly unviable. The changes will make it possible to deploy judicial officials, which was not possible until now.
Funds for higher care staff pay to be secured from budget
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Labour Committee voted down a proposal by the centre-left opposition yesterday for the government to secure an extra EUR 16 million for higher wages of staff at care homes through a state budget reallocation after the ruling coalition tabled an amendment to the same effect to the long-term care bill. While the government initially calculated the fees for aged-case homes would need to go up by 5.6%, Labour Minister Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said yesterday there would be no rise in fees as a result of the amendment to the long-term bill.
Janša emphasizes connective role of CEI in address to summit
BUDVA, Montenegro - Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša discussed the need to bring the Western Balkans into the EU as he addressed by video link the summit of the Central European Initiative (CEI), and he also emphasised the initiative's role as a bridge between the EU countries in Europe's east and south-east. The main topic of the summit, hosted by Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić, was EU enlargement and boosting cooperation with East European CEI countries, Janša's office said.
Logar says economic development in Africa key to less migration pressure
ROME, Italy - FM Anže Logar attended the Rome MED 2021 - Mediterranean Dialogues conference in Italy on Friday to discuss current issues in the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa. Speaking on a panel on the Mediterranean as a common good, Logar said that economic development in Africa was key to reducing the migration pressure. "There is a demanding period ahead of us and without adequate action, our problems will be unsurmountable in 30 years' time," he was quoted by the Slovenian Foreign Ministry.
Committee agrees with amendment to audiovisual services act
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Culture Committee endorsed on Thursday an amendment to the audiovisual services act filed by the group of non-affiliated MPs to transpose an EU directive after a government-sponsored proposal did not make it through parliament. The government too agrees with the proposed changes. Presenting the proposal, MP Branislav Rajić said the proposal was identical with the government's proposal only that it did not envisage a controversial contribution or a special budget fund for European audiovisual production.
Eco Fund to get nearly 72 million extra
LJUBLJANA - The government adopted on Thursday a revised 2021 business and financial plan for the Eco Fund under which an additional EUR 71.8 million will be allocated to the fund. The extra amount will go for environmental investment loans, energy efficiency grants and sustainable construction. Under the revised plan, the funding for the environmental investment loan scheme will increase by EUR 20 million to EUR 50 million.
Slovenia's joblessness declines in November
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's jobless total fell in November, with 65,379 people registered with the Employment Service, 1.9% fewer on a monthly level and 22.3% fewer annually. A total of 4,996 newly unemployed were registered in November, which is less than in October, year-on-year and November 2019, the Employment Service said. The number of newly registered unemployed persons decreased by 27.5% on a monthly level and by 32.1% annually. On average, 75,074 people were registered as unemployed in the first eleven months of the year, down by 11.5% on the same period last year.
Government bans serving of food and drink at outdoor stalls
LJUBLJANA - The government decided to ban as of Saturday the serving of food and drinks at outdoor stalls, with the exception of roasted chestnut. As for outdoor fairs, organisers will have to make sure that visitors move in a one-way direction, and access to the venue must be fenced off, so that entry outside the official entrance is not possible. Congresses and fairs are permitted to be held both outdoors and indoors, provided that the attendees meet the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition, wear face masks and keep distance. Supervision of compliance with the rules and conditions must be ensured by the organisers.
Rules for safe operation of ski lifts adopted
LJUBLJANA - As the skiing season is starting, the government set the conditions for the operation of ski lifts, whose use is permitted to skiers who meet the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition. Wearing surgical or FFP2 face masks is mandatory in enclosed facilities and also in outdoor facilities if distancing is not ensured. Windows must be open at all times, even while facilities are moving, and the distance between skiers while travelling with a ski lift and buying tickets must be 1.5 metres.
Zorčič urges climate change measures in Mediterranean
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič advocated the need to implement measures to tackle climate change in the Mediterranean as he addressed a summit of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean. The region is heating up 20% faster than other parts of the planet, he said, noting that the effects of climate change posed an increasingly big threat to the continued survival of humanity.
Slovenia presents collection on Google Arts & Culture portal
LJUBLJANA - A collection of Slovenian cultural and natural heritage, folk tales, stories and traditions was presented as part of the Google Arts & Culture portal. "This project will give many people around the world the opportunity to hear about Slovenia's natural beauty, culture and unique features," said president Borut Pahor. Google Arts and Culture Director Amit Sood explained that Google's new service was available free of charge, online or as a smartphone app. The Stories from Slovenia collection has been in the making for almost a year and, according to Sood, would surely inspire people to visit Slovenia.
Anti-graft watchdog insists Hungarian MP in breach of dual-office rule
LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has found that Ferenc Horvath, the MP for the Hungarian minority, remains in breach of the incompatibility of dual offices as he also serves on the council of a minority organisation in Lendava. Horvath failed to fix the breach despite being urged to do so within three months, the commission said. Horvath would not comment on the finding, telling the STA he had said what he had to say on the matter two years ago when the watchdog found his office as chairman of an umbrella minority organisation incompatible with his office as MP.
National postal company signs collective bargaining deal
LJUBLJANA - Staff at Slovenia's national postal company and its sheltered workshop are looking at higher pay under a collective bargaining agreement signed on Thursday that caps months of negotiations. The agreement, signed by the management and trade unions representing staff in both companies, is to provide a suitable level of social security to employees and stable and successful business in the long term for the state-owned company, the sides said.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities marked by calls for inclusion
LJUBLJANA - People with disabilities should be enabled full inclusion into society, organisations representing the disabled said on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. All obstacles both in the physical and social environments must thus be removed, they said, pointing to the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.
EUR 19m worth of orphan assets from privatisation unclaimed
LJUBLJANA - EUR 19 million worth of assets left behind from the privatisation in the early 1990s are still waiting for their rightful owners to claim them. Unless they move the securities to trading accounts by the end of the year, the assets will pass irreversibly to the state. The assets concerned are left behind after the KDD clearing corporation in January 2017 discontinued free accounts on which citizens had kept shares they received in exchange for privatisation vouchers during denationalisation.
Maribor's new cultural centre gets govt funding
LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR - The Culture Ministry approved EUR 12.7 million in state co-funding for the city of Maribor's new centre that will host the main library, an art gallery and a cinema. The Rotovž Centre, estimated at around EUR 25 million, will be built in Rotovž Square in the city centre where Maribor's dilapidated library will be torn down. The centre will solve the pressing space issue of the main library, while also improving conditions for fine arts and other creative practices, the ministry said as it endorsed the city's request for emergency co-funding. Construction work is expected to start in the spring of 2022.
Merry Day of Culture brings mix of online and in-person events
LJUBLJANA - This year's Merry Day of Culture, a celebration of the birth anniversary of Romantic poet France Prešeren (1800-1849), one of Slovenia's greats, is marked in hybrid form. Cultural institutions, where admission is free the entire day, organised both online and in-person events. A number of theatres are again taking part in the cultural celebration, as well as museums and galleries, with free guided tours and activities for children.