News

06 Feb 2020, 08:54 AM

STA, 5 February 2020 - Banks have been complaining for years about negative interest rates, which have been eroding their earnings. In some countries they have therefore started charging fees for household sight deposits. In Slovenia, this is unlikely to happen, at least for the vast majority of deposits, shows a central bank analysis.

A survey of commercial banks conducted by the Slovenian central bank shows that at least sight deposits up to EUR 100,000 should be safe from any such measures.

Just one in ten banks involved in the survey said they were considering negative interest and two in ten said they were considering deposit fees, shows the survey presented on Tuesday.

And even if some banks decide to start charging for deposits, the central bank is bullish about the impact this would have on the banking sector.

That is because banks elsewhere in Europe which have already introduced deposit fees have not seen significant outflows of cash, according to vice-governor Primož Dolenc.

And the measure would only affect a small proportion of savers: only 1% of deposits are in excess of EUR 100,000.

What is more, bank clients are slow to react to changed interest rates since real rates are already negative. This implies that some would even accept deposit fees, according to Dolenc.

And even if banks started charging negative interest, most said they would change their policies, meaning they would try to entice clients to convert sight deposits into term deposits.

Bank clients also have few other ways to invest their deposits with the same degree of risk. "Alternative investments would have to be similar to deposits - with high liquidity and low risk," but they do not currently exist, said Dolenc.

This is also why the central bank is not concerned about the impact negative interest might have on bank capital adequacy and liquidity.

"Banks would respond actively, liquidity of the banking sector is reasonably high and access to alternative sources of financing is good at the moment," Dolenc said.

The central bank does not plan on issuing any recommendations to commercial banks regarding negative interest. "Interest rate policy is in the domain of banks," according to Dolenc.

06 Feb 2020, 08:51 AM

STA, 5 February 2020 - Slovenian executives are quite pessimistic about the prospects for global economic growth this year as more than half think growth will slow down, shows a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

 "The sentiment of this year's survey of Slovenian directors is best summarised with the word uncertainty," head of legal services at PWC Slovenia, Sanja Savič, told the press on Wednesday.

Last year 47% of directors thought that global growth will deteriorate over the next 12 months, this year 53% think so.

The Slovenian figures are very much aligned with global trends. In last year's PwC survey just 29% of directors were pessimistic, this year the share rose to 53%, in what is the biggest jump in pessimism since 2012.

Savič said uncertainty was present across all segments of the economy and is the consequence of "tensions in international trade, political turmoil, increasing protectionism, coronavirus, terrorism, cyberattacks and increased regulation".

The factors most commonly highlighted by Slovenian directors as having an impact on growth of their companies include uncertain economic growth (78%) and higher taxes (76%). Technological change (67%) and availability of skilled staff (60%) also rank high.

Savič pointed out that Slovenian directors do not perceive cyberattacks as a major threat, as they ranked last among perceived threats (49% mentioned them). Globally, however, the share is much higher, 73%.

Slovenian directors plan to employ a variety of strategies to counter the growing uncertainty, foremost among them organic growth, which is the choice of 69% of Slovenian respondents.

"Interestingly, 50% of Slovenian directors said they would forge new strategic partnerships this year. What this means remains to be seen," Savič said.

Several directors were on hand for the presentation and highlighted the business environment as the overarching problem.

"We don't need much, all we need is a stable and predictable business environment," said Dejan Turk, the director of mobile operator A1 Slovenija.

Likewise, Sašo Berger of IT company S&T said high taxes were not a problem, the business environment was.

This is the second time Slovenia was included in the PwC survey, which has been conducted for over two decades. A total of 45 directors took part in Slovenia and almost 1,600 globally.

06 Feb 2020, 08:45 AM

STA, 5 February 2020 - Addressing the press on Wednesday amid continuing speculation about the plans of Novartis, representatives of the Swiss multinational's Slovenian subsidiary Lek said Novartis would continue a reform in Slovenia that included the transformation of production locations and more focus on innovative drugs along with generics.

"The changes that we feel the most are Novartis's ongoing portfolio changes. In this context I see Lek in Slovenia integrated to a greater extent in the innovative segment," Lek head Robert Ljoljo said.

"This does not mean that we're leaving generic products entirely ... but we'll definitely see a transformation of production locations and an additional increase in the number of innovative drugs produced," he added.

Lek started producing 10 innovative drugs last year, making for a total of 26. The development of generic pharmaceuticals is also continuing, with registration applications filed last year for 21, the development and research executive Uroš Urleb explained.

Novartis plans to continue with investment. Last year it expanded the development centre in Ljubljana and set up an automatised analysis lab, while this spring it expects to wrap up an investment into the development of biological medicinal products in Mengeš.

Commenting on the change of plans in Prevalje, where Lek built a new hall to then announce it was actually phasing out the production of antibiotics there, Lek management board member Raul Intriago Lombeida repeated this location would be part of Novartis's future global centre for technical operations.

As regards a potential sale of the newly built hall, Ljoljo said that talks with TAB, the Mežica-based maker of starter batteries for cars and industrial batteries, were still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Intriago Lombeida did not wish to comment directly on the visit of potential Chinese investors at the production unit for active ingredients in Mengeš. He said such visits by agency representatives, suppliers etc. were an everyday affair.

Lek's results in 2019 were also not discussed concretely, with Ljoljo announcing they would be presented in the annual report, presumably in August. He did say the trends were in line with those for Novartis, which increased net sales by 9% while seeing a decrease net profit by 7% to EUR 11.7 bn.

06 Feb 2020, 03:51 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Parties keeping their options open

LJUBLJANA - Mid-sized parties are keeping their options open a week after the resignation of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec. Talks with President Borut Pahor today showed the Modern Centre Party (SMC) prefers a new coalition to a snap election, and will enter talks with Janez Janša's Democrats (SDS), while it did not say whether it was interested in a potential partnership with the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB). The SocDems remain in favour of a snap election, but will sit down for talks only with the SAB. The Left does not plan to participate in any possible coalition, while New Slovenia (NSi) plans to talk to both SAB and SDS, even as it steps up preparations for a snap election.

Delo poll shows 62% favouring snap election

LJUBLJANA - A poll run by Delo has 62% picking a snap election among the options following the disbanding of the coalition. The forming of a new coalition is, on the other hand, favoured by 26.4%, while 10.8% are undecided. According to the survey, conducted by Mediana in the week after the 27 January resignation of PM Marjan Šarec, left-leaning voters in particular favour a snap election. Eight out of ten respondents believe a new government should first tackle healthcare.

Slovenia welcomes new proposal on enlargement policy

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia welcomed a European Commission proposal for a reform of the EU membership process that provides stronger sanctioning of aspiring EU members if they backslide on their reform efforts. "Slovenia is confident that a more dynamic, credible and political process will accelerate EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, which is crucial for stability, development and reform processes in the region," the Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Ministry advises against non-urgent travel to China

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry advised against any non-urgent travel to China. The ministry said that people should not travel to any areas that are under quarantine due to the new coronavirus which has claimed some 500 lives since breaking out in the city of Wuhan in late December. The ministry advised Slovenians in the most at-risk areas that the safest option is to leave.

MPs critical of white paper on defence

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Defence Committee discussed the white paper on defence recently presented by the Defence Ministry. The opposition Democrats (SDS) and the Left voiced the harshest criticism, albeit listing different arguments. While the SDS claims the document is not ambitious enough, the Left labelled it "a propaganda leaflet". The document plans for Slovenia's armed forces to increase to 8,000 members and 2,000 reserves by 2035, while defence spending is to rise to 2% of GDP.

Catalonia support committee says EU losing credibility

LJUBLJANA - The committee set up in Slovenia in support of Catalan political prisoners sent out another protest letter, calling on governments in Europe and on European institutions not to divert attention from violations of basic European values in Spain. The committee founders, including former Slovenian President Milan Kučan and former MEP Ivo Vajgl, said the EU was losing credibility due to violations of European values in Catalonia and the process to waive immunity of Catalan MEPs.

NKBM completes Abanka takeover

LJUBLJANA - NKBM, Slovenia's second largest bank, formally completed its takeover of Abanka by transferring the EUR 444 million purchase consideration to the state. The two banks will be merged into a single legal entity this year, creating a strong rival to market leader NLB. The merger, which Abanka chairman Jože Lenič described as a momentous event in Slovenian banking, will create a bank with total assets of EUR 8.8 billion, just shy of NLB's. Its market share by assets will be 23.6%.

Despite monthly spike, jobless total still down y/y

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's jobless total hit 79,841 at the end of January, an increase of 6% from December that is mainly due to the expiry of fixed-term job contracts. The figure is still 3.6% lower than in January 2019, data from the Employment Service show. The number of freshly made unemployed who registered with the service in January surged by 41.9% from December to 11,288. Out of the 6,739 who were removed from the unemployment register, 4,700 found a job or got self-employed.

NLB completes EUR 120m bond issue

LJUBLJANA - NLB, Slovenia's largest bank, completed the issue of EUR 120 million worth of subordinate bonds in a second such issue since November last year. With a maturity date on 5 February 2030, the bonds are callable after five years. The bonds have an annual yield of 3.40%, and have been given a BB credit rating by the rating agency S&P. The issue attracted significant demand, with the book of orders exceeding EUR 300 million.

Execs bearish about growth prospects

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian executives are quite pessimistic about the prospects for global economic growth this year with more than half of those surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) thinking that growth will slow down. "The sentiment of this year's survey of Slovenian directors is best summarised with the word uncertainty," head of legal services at PWC Slovenia, Sanja Savič, said. This year 53% of directors think that global growth will deteriorate over the next 12 months, up from 47% last year.

Lek announces more focus on innovative drugs

LJUBLJANA - Addressing the press amid continuing speculation about Novartis's plans, representatives of the Swiss multinational's Slovenian subsidiary Lek said Novartis would continue a reform in Slovenia that included the transformation of production locations and more focus on innovative drugs along with generics. Lek started producing 10 innovative drugs last year, making for a total of 26. It also filed applications for 21 new generic pharmaceuticals last year.

Banks unlikely to charge households for deposits

LJUBLJANA - A survey conducted by the Slovenian central bank shows that Slovenian banks are unlikely to follow suit of some banks abroad that have started charging fees for household sight deposits to compensate for the loss of earnings due to negative interest rates. Just one in ten banks involved in the survey said they were considering negative interest and two in ten said they were considering deposit fees. It suggests at least sight deposits up to EUR 100,000 should be safe from such charges.

Slovenia's retail slowdown among most substantial in EU

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia saw the biggest slump in the volume of retail trade among EU members in December compared to the same month a year earlier, and one of the biggest month-on-month drops, show data from Eurostat. The seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade in Slovenia declined by 6.6% year-on-year and dropped by 2.8% compared to November 2019. This compares to the annual growth of 1.3% in the euro area and 1.9% in the EU27, and the monthly decline of 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively.

Petition against pollution of Soča Valley gaining traction

LJUBLJANA - A petition to protect the central Soča Valley from further pollution by the local cement plant is gaining traction, having been signed by almost 600 doctors and dentists from around the country. They urge environmental protection from the Salonit Anhovo cement plant in Kanal ob Soči, in particular the plans to expand the volume of co-incineration of waste. Environment Minister Simon Zajc said that medical professionals would be a factor as decisions were made on further measures.

Carinthian Political Almanac presented in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - The latest issue of the Carinthian Political Almanac was presented in Slovenia's capital for the first time, with Austrian Ambassador to Slovenia Sigrid Berka saying on the occasion that Carinthian Slovenians were an important part of the public and political life in Carinthia and that the publication treated them accordingly. The 2019 issue features annual analyses of political events in the southern Austrian state since 1994.

Health insurance to start covering cancer genetic testing

LJUBLJANA - The Health Insurance Institute will start covering genetic testing for cancer this year, helping to create individualised treatments. For instance, some breast cancer patients may avoid chemotherapy if the test shows a low risk of recurrence. Cost will not go up, as the tests will reduce the number of chemotherapy treatments and sick leave costs. The Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS) believes that between 1,500 and 1,600 genetic tests will be performed annually.

Alternative music festival kicks off in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - The MENT Festival of contemporary alternative music got under way at Ljubljana's Kino Šiška with a concert by Kamaal Williams, a project by South Londoner Henry Wu, one of the key artists responsible for the revival of the British jazz scene. The opening night also saw the Ukrainian female group Dakh Daughters and the Slovenian band Pantaloons. The three-day festival is featuring a total of some 80 performers on 14 stages as well as a conference.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

05 Feb 2020, 15:24 PM

February 8 is Prešeren Day, when Slovenia marks the death of its national poet - France Prešeren (1800 – 1849) - and more broadly its cultural heritage, along with that of the wider world. As such all state and municipal museums and galleries will give free entry, and various other cultural programmes will be on offer. If there’s a cultural institution you’ve been meaning to visit a long time then this is the day to make plans for. Go online and check out the galleries and museums that share your interests and then see how much culture you can absorb in one day.

On a national scale, perhaps the main event is in Kranj, where the poet died at the age of just 48. Prešeren Fair takes you back to the days of 19th century Romanticism. You can expect people in costumes, traditional crafts, poetry, dancing and music, plus the usual open doors and guided tours of museums and galleries. The occasion also sees the “ Gathering of the muses on the Carniolan Parnassus”, which draws some of the artists and writers who have won the Prešeren Award or Prešeren Fund Award, and makes them available to the public. The day starts at 10:00 with the Kranska kuhna street food event, open till 18:00, although the official opening of the fair is at 11:00 in front of the Prešeren Theatre. The full programme can be found here.

If you’re in Ljubljana then there are plenty of options, from recitals of Prešeren’s work in front of the Prešeren Monument in Prešeren Square, to all the public museums and galleries the city hosts. Good places to focus are the Metelkova Museum Quarter, home to the branch of the Modern Gallery that covers contemporary art, the Ethnographic Museum and a branch of the National Museum. On the other side of town, but still not far away, you could focus on the National Gallery and the main branches of the Modern Gallery and National Museum.

Note: not all of the museums and galleries market are public ones. For example, Union's "beer museum" will not be free to enter

There’s also the chance to see inside the Presidential Palace (Erjavčeva cesta 17), with two events on Saturday. One at 11:00 is limited to the first 100 people who start gathering in front of the Palace at least 30 minutes beforehand. Those allowed inside will hear a speech from President Borut Pahor, enjoy some music, and get a tour of the building. Less exclusive tours will also be on offer between 13:00 and 15:00, with no limits on the numbers given by the President’s Office – just turn up and wait at the entrance.

Overall, if you’re in Slovenia on 8 February then you’re in luck with regard to culture. On the downside, it's a national holiday, and thus many supermarkets and other stores are likely to be closed. As such please remember to get your coffee, milk, bread, wine and other essentials on Friday, unless you plan on eating out or know an always open convenience store.

05 Feb 2020, 15:21 PM

STA, 4 February 2020 - The University of Maribor and its Medical Centre (UKC) have teamed up with partners from abroad to launch an EU-funded project to provide an AI-assisted post-treatment support to cancer patients.

The project Persist is the first such large European project at UKC Maribor and the first such cooperation between the centre and university.

"This is the first time that we've pooled the expertise that is abundant in Maribor in such a way," UKC Maribor director general Vojko Flis told reporters on Tuesday.

Technological solutions to build an innovative system to support doctors in post-cancer handling of patients are being developed by the Maribor Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

As part of a pilot project carried out by UKC Maribor and three other European hospitals, the Maribor hospital will monitor 40 patients cured of breast and colon cancer with the help of a smart watch.

The watch also will allow patients to communicate with psychologists and will record data on their state of health as well as their moods and how they feel through the way they communicate in text and pictures.

Based on the data collected, new models of health data analyses will be developed which will serve in further handling of patients after cancer treatment.

The partners will also develop a mass data platform that will bring together both components and combine them with digital recordings on patients used in hospitals.

Involving 13 institutions from ten countries, the project Persist will run until February 2023. Valued at over EUR 5 million, it is fully funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme.

EUR 700,000 of the sum is allocated to partners from Slovenia, including the Maribor Faculty of Arts, which provides support in the field of psychology.

Oncologists hope the project will allow them to better monitor their patients so as to help them better to rehabilitate.

"We can treat cancer. Once the patient ends treatment, they must be returned into society. I believe we can get important data there how to help on the path of that rehabilitation," said Maja Ravnik, the head of the UKC Maribor oncology department.

In Slovenia, cancer has become the leading cause of death in men and the second leading cause of death in women, show official data released on World Cancer Day.

As many as 15,072 people got newly diagnosed with cancer in 2016, which means a new cancer diagnosis every 35 minutes.

05 Feb 2020, 12:45 PM

STA, 4 February 2020 - A business delegation led by state secretary at the Economic Development and Technology Ministry Aleš Cantarutti is visiting Japan this week. They kicked off their trip with visits to Yaskawa Electric, Kansai Paint and Daihen on Monday.

All three companies have already invested in Slovenia. Japanese investments have grown more than tenfold since 2013, reaching EUR 339.5 million in 2018, central bank data shows.

Slovenia classified Japan as a strategic priority market in its business internationalisation action plan in 2015, the Economy Ministry noted in a press release on Tuesday.

At Yaskawa Electric, which has a robotics plant in Kočevje, Cantarutti talked about business sentiment in Slovenia, adding that the country wished Yaskawa would continue investing in Kočevje.

Cantarutti also met Kunishi Mori, president of Kansai Paint, the owner of coatings maker Helios Domžale, the press release said. Cantarutti and Mori shared the view that Helios was an example of best practices in terms of launching new centres focusing on innovation and R&D.

The state secretary also invited Mori to the Bled Strategic Forum, the key foreign policy event in Slovenia, taking place in Bled every September.

At Daihen, the investor in the Lendava-based Varstroj Daihen, the company presented their beginnings to the delegation and showed it around the floor shop.

Cantarutti invited representatives of Yaskawa Electric, Kansai Paint and Daihen to visit the Slovenian House during the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

The newspaper Delo said today that Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek had planned to lead the delegation. The head of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) changed his plans after Prime Minister Marjan Šarec resigned last week.

All our stories on Japan and Slovenia are here

05 Feb 2020, 12:03 PM

EMA, the Slovenian contest for the Eurovision song, is approaching, and the national broadcaster has released audio clips of the twelve songs that will compete for a ticket to Rotterdam, where Eurovision 2020 will take place in May of this year.

On February 22, a three-member panel of experts will select two super finalists, and the winner will then be decided by the public via a telephone vote. Slovenia will perform in the first semi-final on May 12, and if it qualifies for the final again on May 16.

As suggested by the audio clips, six songs are sung in English, six in Slovenian, and none of them stands out much, even the melodic rockers could easily swap their guitars with violins. Hopefully the stage visuals will bring some life to the show otherwise we might need another F-bomb dropping host (Lea Sirk last year, shocked at the win by Zala in Gašper) or a banana peel on the stage to keep us awake till the end.

05 Feb 2020, 09:12 AM

STA, 3 February 2020 - The Ljubljana mosque, which the Islamic community in Slovenia has been striving for decades, will be inaugurated in June after the end of Ramadan, while it will already start operating in about a week, Mufti Nedžad Grabus announced on Monday.

 Presenting the Muslim Cultural Centre Ljubljana, as it is officially called, Grabus told the press the centre was a milestone event for Muslims in Slovenia, who were finally getting their own space for prayer and activities.

Grabus, who highlighted the cultural and educational aspects of the centre, looked back at the efforts to obtain the mosque, which is located just north of the city centre.

Plans for a different location failed in 2006, while the plot between Parmova and Kurilniška streets was secured in 2008 and the foundation stone laid in 2013. Construction was suspended in 2017 and resumed in 2018.

Grabus spoke of one of the most beautiful Islamic cultural centres in Europe. It has a capacity of 1,400 worshippers and comprises a 24-metre cube containing the dome and a 40-metre-high minaret.

Aside from offices, classrooms, a washing room and a residential section, it also houses a gym and restaurant. A car park is attached as well, with Grabus announcing the gym, restaurant and car park could also be rented out to help fund maintenance.

The project will end up costing slightly over EUR 34 million, roughly EUR 28 million of which was provided by donors from Qatar. EUR 2 million came from other countries while EUR 4 million was collected by Muslims in Slovenia, whose number Grabus put at around 80,000.

The mufti rejected speculation the donors from Qatar could have asked for any favours or a role in the centre's activities in return for the funding.

Prayers will be held five times a days in the mosque, while they are expected to be extended to the platform in front of it during major holidays.

Like is customary abroad, worshippers will also be summoned to prayer with the help of loudspeakers, but Grabus announced this would be limited to the centre's main platform. "We will make an effort not to upset the Slovenian public," he said.

It remains to be determined in what way the centre and mosque will be open to the general public. At present, the idea is to enable visits to the mosque when it is not used for prayer, initially free of charge and later possible for a fee.

05 Feb 2020, 09:01 AM

STA, 4 February 2020 - Cyclist Primož Roglič, the winner of the Tour of Spain, and world champion kayaker Eva Terčelj are the winners of the Bloudek Prizes for sporting achievements, the highest national awards for current and lifetime success in sports.

 Having already been named Athlete of the Year by Slovenian sports journalists, Roglič, 30, was honoured by the state for the first ever victory by a Slovenian in one of the top cycling races in the world, the Vuelta, last year.

The same year he also finished third in the Giro d'Italia, another Grand Tour race, and three more major races. "Roglič proves again and again that he is a cycling champion," the jury said.

Terčelj, 28, secured the accolade among women for winning the K1 event at the Whitewater World Championship in September 2019, a career high that the jury pointed out also earned her a slot at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Three lifetime achievement awards were also conferred as long-time Faculty of Sport professor Milan Žvan, swimming coach Vladimir Čermak and chess official Boris Kutin were honoured for decades-long careers in sports.

05 Feb 2020, 04:26 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

A schedule of all the main events involving Slovenia this week can be found here

This summary is provided by the STA:

Two largest parties on opposite sides regarding future moves

LJUBLJANA - All options remain open as Borut Pahor launched consultations with deputy group heads on the way forward following the resignation of PM Marjan Šarec. Danijel Krivec of the Democrats (SDS) said SDS president Janez Janša was the best candidate for prime minister, while Brane Golubović of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) called for a snap election. Pahor will host the remaining parties on Wednesday and Thursday, but the contours of a potential centre-right coalition led by Janša could start to emerge on Friday when talks will be hosted by the SDS leader. The small centre-left Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) has also not given up on its plan to organise a "project government".

Proponents of electoral changes hope to get 60th vote

LJUBLJANA - As the search is underway for the missing 60th vote to pass a bill to change electoral law, the details of the proposal were presented to the press. The changes, proposed in response to a Constitutional Court ruling, entail abolishing electoral districts and introducing a relative preferential vote, similarly to how members of the European Parliament are elected. To get elected with the relative preference vote, a candidate would have to win at least 4.5% of all votes won by the list on which they appear. The bill also says that neither sex should be represented by fewer than 40% of the candidates on the list, a rise of 5 percentage points from the existing legislation.

Adria's bankruptcy estate estimated at over EUR 6m

BRNIK - The bankruptcy estate of air carrier Adria Airways is worth EUR 6.23 million, of which EUR 3.15 million is the title to its office building at Ljubljana airport. Official receiver Janez Pustatičnik believes that due to its complexity, the receivership is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2024. The assets also include Adria's brand, the liquidation value of which is EUR 100,000, a flight simulator (EUR 93,000) and Adria's 100% stake in its flight school (EUR 133,500), according to an opening report by Pustatičnik. It is not yet know how much Adria owns creditors, since the deadline to report them has been extended until 2 March.

Koper port says coronavirus to affect business, no measures adopted yet

KOPER - Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's sole commercial port, has told the STA that the coronavirus situation is expected to affect transshipment volumes. Container cargo and vehicles are likely to be impacted the most, Luka Koper said, while explaining it had not yet received any instructions concerning potential health measures. It is the duty of the captain of a ship to report any health conditions before entering the port and the report is forwarded by the Maritime Administration to the National Institute of Public Health. The institute is also responsible for issuing instructions regarding any measures to the port.

Postal company stops accepting mail for China

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian national postal operator has stopped accepting mail for China until further notice after its partner air carriers suspended flights to the country in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Until further notice, Pošta Slovenije will no longer accept letters and packages destined for China. Deliveries already on their way to China are expected to arrive with a delay, the company said. An exception to the suspension of the service applies to UPS packages.

Slovenian delegation fortifying business ties with Japan

TOKYO, Japan - A business delegation led by state secretary at the Economic Development and Technology Ministry Aleš Cantarutti is visiting Japan this week. They kicked off their trip with visits to Yaskawa Electric, Kansai Paint and Daihen on Monday. All three companies have already invested in Slovenia. Japanese investments have grown more than tenfold since 2013, reaching EUR 339.5 million in 2018, central bank data shows.

Cyclist Roglič, kayaker Terčelj win national sports prize

BRDO PRI KRANJU - Cyclist Primož Roglič, the winner of the Tour of Spain, and world champion kayaker Eva Terčelj were declared the winners of the Bloudek Prizes for sporting achievements, the highest national awards for current and lifetime success in sports. Roglič, 30, was honoured by the state for the first ever victory by a Slovenian in one of the top cycling races in the world, the Vuelta, last year. The same year he also finished third in the Giro d'Italia. Terčelj, 28, won the K1 event at the Whitewater World Championship in September 2019.

Visiting Ljubljana? Check out what's on this week, while all our stories on Slovenia, from newest to oldest, are here

If you're learning Slovenian then you can find all our dual texts here

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