Pahor discusses Ukraine war effects for W Balkans in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey - President Borut Pahor started a two-day state visit to Turkey by meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu and addressing the annual meeting of Turkish diplomats. The pair discussed the war in Ukraine and its consequences for the Western Balkans, with Pahor praising Turkey for its role as mediator between Russia and Ukraine, especially as regards grain exports. The war in Ukraine was also the main topic of Pahor's address to the Turkish diplomats, which he delivered upon a special invitation by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he is scheduled to meet tomorrow.
Fire under Socerb hill getting close to nearby villages
KOPER - A fire broke out last night under Socerb hill in a hard-to-access area near the border with Italy, south-east of Trieste, and has not yet been contained, as a strong bora wind helped it spread downhill towards the villages of Osp in Slovenia and Prebenico in Italy. The firefighters on both sides of the border were helped out by helicopters and water bombers until dusk, while they fear the bora, which is forecast to blow on Wednesday and Thursday. No evacuation was needed on the Slovenian side of the border so far. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Second coronavirus booster recommended for elderly, chronic patients
LJUBLJANA - The number of Covid-19 infections has not been increasing, but the number of those hospitalised with Covid is not decreasing either, so Bojana Beović, head of the advisory committee on immunisation at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), recommended those over 80 and those with chronic diseases to get a second booster immediately. Those over 60 are also advised to get a second booster shot. Immunologist Beović, who also heads the Medical Chamber, expects that vaccination for the entire population will probably be sensible in autumn, alongside flu jabs.
New school year to start with coronavirus self-testing
LJUBLJANA - The new school year is to start with home coronavirus testing for those showing symptoms and those who have been in contact with an infected person. If a new variant creating a high risk of severe illness starts spreading, weekly home testing for all students and teachers would be recommended, according to last week's decision of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) coronavirus advisory group. The decision was endorsed today by the sub-group for education. Its member Nives Počkar told the STA the goal was to avoid shutting down schools. NIJZ is to present the two-scenario plan on Wednesday.
Coronavirus infections keep receding
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 2,402 new cases of coronavirus for Monday, 9% fewer than the same day a week ago as cases kept falling week-on-week for the 12th day running. Six patients with Covid-19 died, fresh data from the Health Ministry shows. The number of patients needing hospital care for Covid-19 dropped by nine from Sunday to 104. Data from the National Institute of Public Health shows the 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people falling by 28 in a day to 993.
New case of foreign worker abuse reported
LJUBLJANA - Public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported that 12 Indian workers had been forced to work 60-hour weeks at a Ljubljana car wash for less than the minimum wage after having their passports taken away. The group eventually ran away from the Avtostop car wash and two of them turned for help to an NGO specialising in the rights of migrant workers. The Financial Administration, the Labour Inspectorate and the police conducted separate oversight visits at the firm in July, but the procedures are still ongoing. Amonte, the company operating the car wash, denied the allegations. Its director Semir Hajdarpašić believes this is an attempt at blackmail.
Parts of anti-money laundering act in for constitutional review
LJUBLJANA - The information commissioner has asked for constitutional review of part of the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing act that is based on two inspection proceedings and related to processing of personal information. "There are serious and objective reasons to suspect that the legal regulation of personal information processing by the Office for Money Laundering Prevention is unconstitutional in a certain part," the newspaper Delo quoted the request to review nine articles of the act by Information Commissioner Mojca Prelesnik.
Region's largest fire lab soon to open in Slovenia
LOGATEC - The Slovenian Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) will open a new fire laboratory in Logatec in September in what it says will be the only such facility in this part of Europe. The EUR 11 million investment is to allow further advances in the research of fire resistance and flammability of materials and structures. The laboratory, spanning a surface area of 3,500 square metres, will provide facilities to test fire resistance of products made in Slovenia and abroad. The new building will also headquarter ZAG's new Department for Research of Fire-Safe and Sustainable Built Environment.
Fraport Slovenija still in red in Q2 but on upward trajectory
BRNIK - Fraport Slovenija, the operator of Ljubljana's international Jože Pučnik airport, reported a loss of roughly EUR 300,000 for the second quarter of 2022, but the result is a significant improvement on the EUR 2.1 million loss posted in the same period last year. The company more than doubled revenue year-on-year, from EUR 4.2 million to EUR 8.7 million. The net loss for the first six months stands at EUR 2.5 million, coming on EUR 14.7 million in revenue. Compared to the same period last year, revenue rose by 98.6% while the loss decreased by EUR 2 million.
Few owners opt to enter public rental housing scheme
LJUBLJANA - There seems to be little interest among housing owners in renting out their property through a public rental housing service that the national Housing Fund set up this year to increase the number of flats available at not-for-profit rents. As a result, the fund has sub-rented out only six units so far. Apart from owners finding the rent too low, the fund believes that to secure more flats - 200 is the target in the ongoing call, legislative changes would be needed because owners have problems obtaining the documents they need to enter the scheme.
Ljubljana residents promised to be kept warm in winter
LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković promised the residents they will be kept warm this winter despite the energy crisis. Coal reserves are sufficient to provide district heating to nearly half of all homes and there will be enough natural gas, but the question is at what price gas will be available, he said at his weekly press conference. He is planning to meet Environment Minister Uroš Brežan later this month to discuss how the financial burden of emission coupons for the use of coal could be alleviated and to determine the energy sources for district heating.
Agriculture minister meets Carinthian Slovenian reps
KLAGENFURT, Austria - Agriculture Minister Irena Šinko met representatives of the Slovenian minority in the Austrian state of Carinthia to discuss the minority's work and development, with an emphasis on agriculture, the ministry said in a press release. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food noted that it had been cooperating well with the Slovenian agricultural organisations in Carinthia for many years.
Minister talks to reps of Slovenian communities in S America
LJUBLJANA - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon talked with representatives of Slovenian communities in Latin America via video link. They presented to him activities of their communities living in Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia and Bolivia, while the minister underlined the importance of preserving the Slovenian language, which, he believes, should be given special attention, the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad said in a press release.
MyKoroška app guide to bilingual town names in Carinthia
KLAGENFURT, Austria - The Austrian province of Carinthia is home to a sizeable Slovenian ethnic community, something that has been reflected in the names of places for centuries. More than 900 such places can now be found by their Slovenian or German name in an app called MyKoroška. The app, which can be downloaded for free, is an upgraded version of an app developed some ten years ago, Martin Kuchling of the Klagenfurt-based Christian Cultural Association recently told the Slovenian desk of the Austrian public broadcaster ORF.
Piran on CNN's list of 15 prettiest small towns in Europe
WASHINGTON, US - The Slovenian coastal town of Piran has made it to a list of the 15 prettiest small towns across Europe by the US television network CNN, which described it as a "mini Venice". CNN's Julia Buckley says in her article that although Slovenia has a "sliver of coastline" sandwiched between Italy and Croatia, it is home to several beautiful towns, including Piran, which boasts "a stout belltower, frothy architecture, and fishing boats docked in the tiny harbor".