Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday, 15 January 2022

By , 15 Jan 2022, 04:44 AM News
Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Catch up with the news from Slovenia, wherever you are Flickr - Yukiko Matsuoka CC by 2.0

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This summary is provided by the STA

Income tax bill, energy vouchers in coalition's focus until end of term

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Amendments to the income tax act and energy vouchers, along with measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic, will be the coalition's main priorities until the end of its term, coalition leaders said after a meeting. On income tax, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that the coalition might even accept the opposition's referendum challenge after it sees whether it is possible to hold the vote on the day of the general election. A bill establishing a demographic fund, once a major government priority, is however not feasible any more, said Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.

Inquiry quizzes Janša about rapid tests, bonuses

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša made another appearance before the opposition-led parliamentary inquiry examining the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He discussed the verification of rapid antigen tests, payout of bonuses and legal basis for coronavirus measures, as well as the low vaccination rate, which he said was similar in all post-Communist countries. He said decisions on hazard bonuses were not taken by the government. He questioned the truthfulness of allegations over test verification.

Nearly 7,000 new Covid cases

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 6,918 new coronavirus infections on Thursday to push the 7-day case average above 5,000, to 5,202, as the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population rose to 2,625. Six more Covid-19 patients died, while hospital figures remained stable. According to the government, 524 Covid patients were treated in hospitals this morning, including 155 in intensive care. Nearly 51% of the PCR tests were positive.

French EU presidency priorities presented in parliament

LJUBLJANA - The priorities of France's EU presidency were presented to the parliamentary committees for EU affairs and foreign policy. Florence Ferrari, the French ambassador to Slovenia, thanked Slovenia for the work carried out during the last six months and praised the cooperation between the two countries during Slovenia's EU presidency. France, together with its trio partners Czechia and Sweden, plans to build on the programme set up by the previous presidency trio, including Slovenia.

Alpine region ministers talk carbon neutrality efforts

LJUBLJANA - Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak discussed with his Alpine Convention counterparts the modal shift to rail and climate policy based on the premises prepared by the Swiss presidency of the convention. They agreed that cooperation between Alpine countries was essential. "Slovenia expresses its support for the strengthening of cooperation on the pan-Alpine level in the field of environment and transport to support the vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest," said Vizjak.

Coal region welcomes coal phaseout strategy

ŠOŠTANJ/VELENJE/LJUBLJANA - The Šalek Valley, the only active coal region in the country, home to the TEŠ coal-fired power station and a coal mine, welcomed the government's strategy to phase out coal for electricity production by 2033. The Šoštanj municipality said the region now faced the challenge of phasing out coal in a just way that will not harm the people. The strategy was also hailed by HSE, the owner of TEŠ and Velenje mine, pledging to take a comprehensive approach to restructuring.

GZS urges immediate aid to businesses over high energy prices

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) once again called on the government to immediately help businesses cope with high energy prices. It said that businesses were still waiting for a government aid scheme and for a decree that would introduce compensation for indirect costs of greenhouse gas emissions. The chamber expects the decree that would regulate refunds of indirect costs of greenhouse gas emission to be adopted as soon as possible.

Rail operator's cargo arm finalises join venture with Czech partner

LJUBLJANA - The cargo division of the Slovenian rail operator Slovenske Železnice, SŽ-Tovorni Promet, and Czech EP Logistics International (EPLI) finalised their strategic partnership agreement to expand to foreign markets under a joint venture named SŽ EP Logistika in a bid to become a leading rail freight and logistics provider in the region. Slovenske Železnice owns a 51% stake in the new company and the Czech partner holds 49%.

National railway operator launches new double-decker trains

LJUBLJANA - The national railway operator Slovenske Železnice welcomed ten new double-decker trains to its fleet as the company director Dušan Mes and Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec took a symbolic first ride to Litija aboard one, announcing more train purchases. "If we want to make railway passenger transport more appealing we need to modernise the railway infrastructure and purchase new trains that make the ride more comfortable for passengers," Vrtovec said on the occasion.

Jože Bele appointed new CEO of Revoz

NOVO MESTO - Jože Bele replaced Kaan Ozkan as CEO of Revoz, the Slovenian subsidiary of the French car maker Renault, as of 1 January. He has worked for the company for more than 30 years, and has been director of production since 2017. He is taking over at a challenging time of disruption in supplies and slump in sales. However, he is confident about the future considering Revoz has continuously been recognised as one of the best subsidiaries in the Renault group.


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