Morning Headlines for Slovenia: 19 January, 2022

By , 19 Jan 2022, 04:07 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA

Janša says talks under way on "exchanging representatives" with Taiwan

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša revealed in an interview with the Indian broadcaster Doordarshan that Slovenia and Taiwan are working on "exchanging representatives". The exchange of representatives would not take place at the level of embassies but the "same level that many EU countries already have." He also called China to account over its handling of the Covid outbreak saying that it was necessary to "make the Chinese accountable" for "not acting in good faith" when it comes to notifying the rest of the world about the threat of the novel coronavirus in a timely manner.

Absolute daily record of 8,681 coronavirus cases on Monday

LJUBLJANA - An absolute daily record of 8,681 new coronavirus cases was confirmed in Slovenia on Monday as the positivity rate reached almost 63%. The weekly increase in new cases was nearly 17%. Government data show hospitalisations remain stable, but the head of the Institute for Microbiology and Immunology, Miroslav Petrovec, said labs could no longer cope with this quantity of samples.

Only vulnerable groups to be automatically tested with PCR method

LJUBLJANA - Due to an overwhelming number of coronavirus infections, labs in Slovenia are swamped so the country is switching to a new regime of Covid testing. As of tomorrow, only vulnerable groups with Covid symptoms will automatically be tested with the PCR method, while the rest will need to use rapid tests or self-tests first. PCR testing as a payable service for people without symptoms may still be available only with private providers.

Minister promises coal regions not to be left on their own

LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec reiterated his promise that the state would help the coal-mining regions through transition as he responded to misgivings aired by those dependent on the industry over the strategy to exit coal in 2033. Vrtovec said 2033 when Slovenia was to exit coal to generate power was an ambitious but also very realistic goal. "The Šalek region won't be left on its own, the state will help a lot through legislation," he said.

Treasury official nominated for central bank vice-governor

LJUBLJANA - Marjan Divjak, who has served as director general of the Finance Ministry's treasury directorate since 2013, has been put forward by President Borut Pahor to succeed Primož Dolenc as one of four vice-governors of the Slovenian central bank. The president submitted the nomination to the National Assembly today after examining the bids and consulting deputy factions, his office said.

Slovenian MEPs welcome Metsola's election

STRASBOURG, France - Roberta Metsola's election as European Parliament president was hailed by Slovenian MEPs from the ranks of her European family, the EPP, but also others as Renew and S&D members expressed the expectation for her to represent the Parliament's common position on issues such as the right to abortion. The Maltese, who was the candidate of the European People's Party (EPP), mustered 458 votes to win the election in the first round.

Slovenia's request for new recovery funds likely in spring

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia is expected to submit a request to get further EU recovery funds in the spring, Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said. It is not possible to talk about the amount of the new funds, he said, as it is not yet clear how many or which objectives will be achieved by the time the request is submitted.

Agriculture Minister Podgoršek to run on NSi slate in election

LJUBLJANA - Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek announced he would run in the general election on the slate of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), saying that the party provided political stability. NSi president Matej Tonin said the NSi was open to experts and people who want to implement its platform. Podgoršek had already cooperated with the NSi in the past, serving as a municipal councillor in Vodice, and participating in the party's campaign for the 2018 general election.

Left against holding tax referendum along with election

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left opposes the idea floated by PM Janez Janša to hold a referendum on amendments to the income tax act along with the general election in April and is considering withdrawing its petition for such a referendum. "We reject the initiative for a referendum on a single issue, that is the income tax, to obscure the weight of the future we will decide in this election," said Left leader Luka Mesec.

Electoral Commission seeks input on pandemic voting

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The National Electoral Commission discussed ways of making sure people can cast their ballots in an election even if they have to isolate or quarantine due to coronavirus. It plans to seek additional inputs from health authorities before proceeding with the debate. A meeting will be organised next week, National Electoral Commission director Dušan Vučko told the STA.

Committee rejects proposal to further raise minimum wage

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Committee rejected a proposal for an increase in minimum wage beyond the 4.9% rise set by the labour minister. The opposition Social Democrats (SD) and Left, which had requested the sessions, respectively, called for the higher increase, arguing that the 4.9% spike was by far insufficient in light of rising living costs, but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

Orthopaedist gets three years for accepting bribe

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court has sentenced orthopaedic surgeon Gregor Kavčič of the Novo Mesto hospital to three years in prison, media report today. A three-member panel of judges agreed with the prosecution that he had accepted bribes from medical supplier Emporio Medical in exchange for having the company supply knee replacement products by Biomet to the Novo Mesto hospital. Kavčič has announced an appeal.

Separate university quota introduced for Slovenians from abroad

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport has introduced a separate quota for the enrolment of Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship in universities in Slovenia. The separate quota has been advocated by Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch, who has welcomed the change. The rules have so far stipulated a joint quota for Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship and for all other non-EU nationals.

GZS urges easing of quarantine rules in business

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) called on the government to loosen quarantine rules along the lines of changes that will be put in place in some critical infrastructure sectors from Wednesday. This would mitigate the situation, as companies are facing problems with quarantine-related staff shortages. "We expect the same for all sectors of the economy," GZS director Aleš Cantarutti said.

36 people in Šentjur mistakenly given saline instead of Covid shot

ŠENTJUR - Out of 126 persons who were vaccinated for Covid-19 in the Šentjur Community Health Centre last Friday, 36 were mistakenly given a shot of saline solution that had been put in empty vials. All 36 persons were contacted, with 34 responding immediately, and the remaining two persons, who had not been reachable at first, being informed about the mistake later. All of them have subsequently received shots of the Pfizer vaccine, except one person, who will be vaccinated next week.

Over 40 athletes to represent Slovenia in Beijing

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will be fielding a total of 41 athletes at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, a group featuring a number of established Olympians as well as some potential dark horses. Based on the season so far, the women's and men's ski jumping teams are seen as having the best chance of winning an Olympic medal. The athletes had been picked out of the 53 candidates by the Slovenian Ski Association, and the decision was cleared Slovenian Olympic Committee.


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