24 Jan 2021, 19:33 PM

STA, 24 January 2021 - The first case of the highly transmissible UK coronavirus variant has been officially confirmed in Slovenia in a Kosovo national with temporary residence in Slovenia who arrived from Belgium, Prime Minister Janez Janša announced on Sunday.

The Kosovo national was in Belgium on company business. He arrived in Slovenia on Saturday and had been tested twice, with one coming back positive and one negative, Janša told a special press conference.

The man appears to have used the negative test to cross the border but was detected after Slovenia received notification from Belgian authorities via a rapid reporting system.

A new test at arrival was positive. The man does not appear to have had contact with other people. "If that is indeed the case, the risk was not big," Janša said.

In addition to the first confirmed case, another two cases of UK coronavirus variant are suspected as a result of the testing of 80 Slovenian samples, said Janša, who added it was possible the UK variant has been in circulation in Slovenia for a while.

The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) now plans to retroactively check tests from all regions that have come back positive since 11 January, in order to get "a clear enough picture" of the potential prevalence of the UK variant in the country.

This will be done after the health authorities received on Friday special test kits from Slovakia that detect the UK variant.

Janša thanked the Slovak government for providing the kits. He said Slovenia would now order such kits too, but he noted that their availability on the market was limited.

As for the overall epidemiological situation, the prime minister said that it had not been improving as Slovenia hit a new plateau.

While kindergartens and the first three grades of primary school will reopen on Tuesday as scheduled after nearly three months of closure, Janša noted that the situation was prone to change in the event the UK variant becomes more widespread.

"We are facing very demanding times and have very challenging weeks ahead... It is all the more important to comply with all hygienic and precautionary measures," he said.

Unlike some other countries, Slovenia has not yet decided to demand the wearing of better masks in certain situations. Janša nevertheless urged the people to wear surgical or FFP2 masks when possible.

The latest data on COVID and Slovenia

24 Jan 2021, 13:25 PM

STA, 24 January 2021 - A public opinion poll commissioned by the commercial broadcaster POP TV shows that almost 60% of the respondents would probably or very probably get vaccinated against Covid-19, which is three times more than last October. The share of the respondents opposing vaccination has meanwhile dropped significantly to 25%.

In the poll involving 501 people and conducted by the pollster Mediana, almost 60% of the respondents think that Covid-19 vaccination should be mandatory for employees in community health centres, hospitals and care homes.

More than 50% of the people polled thinks that Covid-19 vaccination should be mandatory for employees in schools and kindergartens, while 13% disagree with this.

Almost 47% of the respondents support the idea to introduce a vaccination passport, while 38% oppose this. Some 22% of the respondents who are against Covid-19 vaccination would get vaccinated if this would enable them to travel.

The latest data on Slovenia and coronavirus

24 Jan 2021, 13:11 PM

STA, 20 January 2021 - An international team of researchers headed by Marko Anderluh of the Ljubljana Faculty of Pharmacy and Nikola Minovski of the Chemistry Institute has synthesized molecules that could result in new treatments for super resistant bacteria.

The expert group demonstrated the mechanism of action of these new molecules for the first time, the Faculty of Pharmacy said.

This breakthrough will help develop new, more effective medicines to tackle one of the key global problems of the 21st century - anti-microbial resistance, which is one of the ten most dire threats to public health, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The occurrence and spread of pathogens resistant to medicines jeopardise effective treatment of common infections.

"The main achievement of the researchers is the development of bacterial type II topoisomerase inhibitors (NBTI) with the innovative segment of the molecule. The produced molecules, which have been patented, have an extraordinary potent antibacterial effect since they are even more efficient in inhibiting the proliferation of bacterial cells."

The new molecules could boost the treatment of bacterial infections by affecting resistant bacterial strains that hardly respond to the existent antimicrobials.

The breakthrough has also proved the existence of special halogen bonds in biological macromolecules, which has not yet been identified in a biological system.

Four Slovenian scientists and six from the UK worked on the study, which took four years. Its findings were presented in a peer-reviewed paper in Nature Communications on 8 January (

24 Jan 2021, 04:33 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.

This summary is provided by the STA

Info commissioner finds no unauthorised access to politicians' personal data

LJUBLJANA - The Information Commissioner has not established any irregularities in the police's access to the personal data of 44 politicians, including party and deputy group leaders, the newspaper Dnevnik reported. It said the Commissioner completed on Thursday a procedure to check whether police officers had looked into the politicians' personal data unlawfully. The procedure was launched last February after several politicians expressed concern their personal data might have been subject to unauthorised access by police.

Over 1,500 new Covid-19 infections, 20 deaths on Friday

LJUBLJANA - A total of 1,506 new coronavirus infections were confirmed in Slovenia on Friday from a total of 11,950 PCR and rapid tests, the government said on Twitter. 1,129 Covid-19 patients were in hospital and 20 died. The number of active cases is estimated at almost 18,670. The number of hospitalisations was down by 11 to 1,129, of whom 192 were in intensive care, three fewer than the day before. 90 persons were discharged from hospital.

Cigler Kralj dismisses allegations from dismissal motion

LJUBLJANA - "The interpellation motion will be a good opportunity to point out that Slovenia must preserve the freedoms of speech, thought and religion as the greatest values," Minister Janez Cigler Kralj, who is in charge of labour, the family, social affairs and equal opportunities, said in response to a motion the opposition filed yesterday to dismiss him. Speaking for the private Nova24TV broadcaster on Friday evening, he said the allegations from the motion were not based on facts.

Creditreform Rating affirms Slovenia's AA- rating

LJUBLJANA - Creditreform Rating, an European credit rating agency, has affirmed Slovenia's AA- credit rating with a stable outlook. It says that Slovenia has a strong economic environment, a flexible labour market while its private sector's indebtedness is low, which should contribute to the country's post-Covid recovery. The Finance Ministry said the latest rating was yet another confirmation that Slovenia was one of the "stable and trustworthy countries".

Bad weather keeps skiers away from ski slopes

LJUBLJANA - Ski centres in nine of Slovenia's twelve statistical regions reopened, but only a handful of skiers could be seen on the ski slopes, possibly because of the bad weather and the fact that they have to produce a negative coronavirus test no older than 24 hours and carried out in Slovenia. Some ski centres organised testing at the entry point to their ski slopes. Apart from the ski centres, some more shops as well as museums, galleries and libraries reopned as well.

First World Cup team event win for Slovenia women's ski jumpers

LJUBNO OB SAVINJI - Slovenian women's ski jumpers Ema Klinec, Špela Rogelj, Urša Bogataj in Nika Križnar won a World Cup team event in what is the first-ever team event victory for Slovenia's women's ski jumping. It comes after they finished second at the same venue, in Slovenia's Ljubno ob Savinji, in 2019 and 2020. "This is a historic victory for Slovenian ski jumping. I'm glad it's a team victory because it means the most to me," head coach Zoran Zupančič told the press.

Slovenia draw with Sweden to stay in contention for q-finals

CAIRO, Egypt - Slovenia played out a 28:28 draw with Sweden in their second match of the main round of the World Men's Handball Championship on Friday, with Matej Gaber saving the day with a goal three seconds before the final whistle. Slovenia now need to beat the hosts Egypt on Sunday to make it to the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Telemark skier Jure Aleš to good season start

OBERJOCH, Germany - Slovenia's best telemark skier, Jure Aleš, started the new World Cup season successfully, winning Thursday's opener in Germany's Oberjoch and finishing today's parallel sprint third. "I'm happy with the third place, and I hope I can do even better tomorrow," he said. Aleš finished the last season third overall, and emerged the parallel sprint winner.


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


23 Jan 2021, 18:15 PM

STA, 23 January 2021 - Slovenian women's ski jumpers Ema Klinec, Špela Rogelj, Urša Bogataj in Nika Križnar won Saturday's World Cup team event, in what is their first-ever team event win. The victory comes after they finished second at the same venue, in Slovenia's Ljubno ob Savinji, in 2019 and 2020.

Having led already after the first series, they finished as many as 17.9 points ahead of second placed Norway while Austria's team placed third.

"This is a historic victory for Slovenian ski jumping. I'm glad it's a team victory, because it means the most to me," head coach Zoran Zupančič told the press after he dared to forecast on Friday the girls would win today.

He said Ema Klinec did a great job with the first jump, leading the way for the entire team. He admitted it was a good tactical move to pick her for the first jump.

He also thanked all his predecessors and all the girls who had helped make Slovenia one of the leading nations in ski jumping.

Zupančič is confident that "we can look forward to tomorrow's individual event", which will feature seven Slovenian ski jumpers.

Friday's qualifications attracted to Ljubno a record 76 ski jumpers from 17 countries.

Although World Cup ski-jumping brings 10-15 thousand visitors to Ljubno, this year it is held without spectators due to the coronavirus epidemic.

* Results:

  1. Slovenia 1064.8 points
  2. Norway 1046.9
  3. Austria 1028.9
  4. Japan 989.6
  5. Germany 968.0
  6. Russia 925.6
  7. France 882.1
  8. Poland 864.6
23 Jan 2021, 14:10 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 22 January 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Most interest groups find govt to their liking

STA, 22 January 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that political scandals in Slovenia no longer have an epilogue in the form of political consequences. It is naive to expect a smooth path towards bringing down the Janez Janša government as capital and private interest groups thrive under it.

Mladina recalls what was the main reason for the fall of the previous coalition - a bill to abolish top-up health insurance, the first serious attempt in years to cut off an inflow of public funds for insurers.

What followed was like "a bad film about corruption". One by one, senior officials opposed the proposal as well as half of the then coalition parties. "Lobbying action by health insurance companies was (again) successful."

That is why it took so long for the current opposition parties to mend their relations, says Mladina, highlighting the role ties between parties and capital interest groups play in political developments.

Those groups also paved the way for the Janša government. Since it assumed office a number of scandals have revealed that persons or companies close to the government have benefited from public funds.

"We don't claim that such incidents were not part of previous governments. On the contrary, of course they were, however revelations were followed by political consequences. Today politicians don't even care anymore that they have been caught doing such things."

Mladina says that the public has not been desensitised to such conduct with extremely low government ratings and support for coalition parties reflecting that. All this will affect the future course of Slovenian politics since even fewer people with at least basic ethical principles will enter politics due to its bad reputation.

Voter turnout will be affected as well and interest groups will be even stronger. "By the way, just to mention something - last year, insurers charged the same top up insurance premiums for all the months, even though the insured had access to considerably fewer services due to the epidemic than they would in a typical year."

Most of these interest groups find it much easier to find common ground with the current government when it comes to channelling public funds. The ruling Democrats (SDS) is a party that behaves as a company in the political arena, says Mladina, noting that all the interest groups are aware of that.

Regarding the motion of no confidence in the government, the weekly thinks a chance it succeeds is slim, however the editorial, headlined End of Halftime, concludes that only a month ago, the opposition had 39 votes and now it numbers 42.

Demokracija: The Left, freedom and the state

STA, 21 January 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija berates the left in discussing its view of the role of the state in society in the latest editorial, asserting that the same people that would repress freedom under normal circumstances demand absolute freedom in a state of emergency.

The piece headlined Living (Through) Leviathan notes that in the book with the same title Thomas Hobbes argued for a rule by an absolute sovereign with the argument that human nature was bad and weak, while states in the Christian civilisation were limited, following the belief that man is in principle a good and rational being who can take decisions and is personally responsible for them.

"Social experiments turned the situation upside down. The basic premise became that man was in fact bad so he had to have limits set and every individual should be taken as a potential criminal. Under such conditions human nature changed too. People suddenly started giving up to the state care for their health, old age [...]

"The left is the loudest in its demands that the state should take care of everything. Every step the incumbent centre-right government makes back to what is natural is labelled as sabotage of democracy."

As two examples the weekly offers the proposal that people should decide themselves which NGO they want to allocate part of their income tax to, and the freedom of speech and the tech giant's decision to close down social network profiles.

"It is interesting how the left started to invoke private property. The same property they had despised until yesterday. Or movement restrictions at the time of the Chinese virus. All of a sudden, the left demands absolute freedom of movement, every measure of the Janša government is termed as a new stone paving the way to totalitarianism. This from people who forced citizens for decades to be dependent on the state, stole their freedom [...].

"During the time of the Spanish flu, stringent restrictions and the wearing of masks proved the most efficient measures. Even though people were much more free than today (and consequently more responsible) they stuck to the measures.

"Today, the very people who would suppress freedom in normal circumstances, want absolute freedom in a state of emergency. Without assuming responsibility for their harmful conduct, they have been trying to bring down a legitimate government for months and want to put in the executive people who did not even stand in the latest election or failed to make it through the election sieve."

All our posts in this series are here

23 Jan 2021, 11:21 AM

What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.

If you’d like to keep up on the daily headlines then follow those here, or get all our stories in your feed on Facebook.

FRIDAY, 15 January
        LJUBLJANA - An informal coalition of centre-left opposition parties filed a motion of no confidence in the Janez Janša government with the backing of 42 of the 90 deputies of the National Assembly, putting forward Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec as candidate for prime minister. However, Erjavec withdrew the bid on 19 January, after an opposition MP tested positive for coronavirus and several others waited for their test results, and would thus be unable to attend a secret ballot scheduled for 20 January.
        LJUBLJANA - PSS, one of the two trade unions in the Slovenian police force, which started a police strike to demand higher pay on 11 January, filed criminal charges against Interior Minister Aleš Hojs over his publishing of a document with pay data for nearly 9,000 members of the police force and ministry employees.
        LJUBLJANA - Energy company Petrol said it had taken over an outright stake in Croatian petroleum products seller Crodux as a result of which Petrol would acquire 91 service stations in Croatia once the deal was cleared by regulators. The deal was signed on 12 January.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Faculty of Medicine came into spotlight as it transpired that Covid-19 vaccination there had been extended to non staff. Allegedly the shots that were left after staff inoculation were administered to doctors' relatives to use all the prepared jabs.
        LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption said it had determined a breach of integrity and provisions banning the accepting of gifts in a case concerning Aleksandra Pivec, the former minister of agriculture, during her two visits to the coastal region in 2019 and 2020 in which she reportedly mixed business with family matters and which ultimately led to her resignation first as Pensioners' Party leader in September and then as agriculture minister in October.
        MARIBOR - Almost all workers on the morning shift at A&E Europe, the American-owned Maribor sewing threads manufacturer, went on strike to demand better pay after talks with the management failed to make progress since a token strike in December.
        LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry said Slovenia would like to buy an Alenia C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft made by Leonardo under a government-to-government contract with Italy.

SATURDAY, 16 January
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša said he believed a hard lockdown that would involve limiting people's movement to within a certain radius around their home may not be necessary due in particular to the introduction of rapid testing. The effects of vaccination are starting to show as well, he added.
        CELJE - Health Ministry State Secretary Marija Magajne announced Slovenia would receive 20-25% less Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine than planned on 18 January due to production adjustments at Pfizer, which delayed the first-dosage vaccination.
        LJUBLJANA - The head of the SOVA intelligence agency, Janez Stušek, tested positive for coronavirus, so nine MPs who attended a session of the Commission for Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services on 15 January had to be tested. They later all tested negative, but the situation contributed to the opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence in the government to be withdrawn.
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša congratulated Armin Laschet on his election as the leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), tweeting that he was looking forward to future cooperation between his Democrats (SDS) and the CDU.
        LJUBLJANA - Rating agency DBRS Morningstar confirmed Slovenia's credit rating at A (high), noting that the trend on all ratings was stable, in what the Finance Ministry said was another proof that Slovenia remained a trustworthy country despite the difficult situation.

SUNDAY, 17 January
        LJUBLJANA - After a group of parents recently filed a constitutional review proposal of the closure of primary schools and kindergartens, the government said that if the Constitutional Court stayed the implementation of the decree, that would be contrary to all the prevention measures and would mean direct harm to public health.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry called for "immediate release" of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. "Unhindered activities of opposition politicians are the foundation of a free democratic world," the ministry said on Twitter.

MONDAY, 18 January
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia expressed support for a vaccine travel certificate as the EU's Europe ministers launched a debate on the issue with Gašper Dovžan, Foreign Ministry state secretary for European affairs, saying this "could strengthen the four European freedoms in accordance with the principles of EU law".
        LJUBLJANA - After questions were raised about rapid antigen tests used for mass screening and their efficacy, Health Ministry State Secretary Marija Magajne told reporters the ministry's inquiry into the matter showed the test kits complied with relevant national guidelines and WHO standards regarding their sensitivity and specificity.
        LJUBLJANA - Speaker Igor Zorčič and his Montenegrin counterpart Aleksa Bečić discussed in a video call Slovenia's support for Montenegro's EU bid, ways of strengthening bilateral cooperation, and the epidemiological situation in their countries, and expressed satisfaction with the excellent bilateral relations.
        BLEIBURG, Austria/LJUBLJANA - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch strongly condemned the incident in which unknown perpetrators spray-painted the Slovenian names of bilingual signposts in Pliberk/Bleiburg and Škocjan v Podjuni/Sankt Kanzian am Klopeiner See in the state of Carinthia, Austria on Saturday night.
        LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Matej Tonin said the Slovenian Armed Forces had managed to reverse the negative staffing trend in 2020, as 222 members of the permanent force and 73 members of the contractual reserve had been hired.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana city council endorsed a revised budget for this year to expand the original one by EUR 34.35 million to EUR 439 million. The city is to spend EUR 187.3 million on investments.
TUESDAY, 19 January
        LJUBLJANA - The national lab said a strain of the novel coronavirus very similar to the highly virulent English mutation had been detected in the smear test sample of a person who recently arrived in Slovenia from England.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša said he expected 70% of the Slovenian population could be vaccinated against coronavirus by the beginning of summer as he presented fresh figures on planned deliveries of vaccines that indicate Slovenia should get significantly more jabs in the second quarter than previously thought.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj announced after meeting social partners that he would set the minimum wage for 2021 at EUR 1,024 gross. This is 120% of the minimum cost of living and the lowest possible rise under minimum wage legislation. The state is to cover roughly 40% of the rise at the cost of EUR 47 million to the budget under the 8th economic stimulus package now in the making.
        LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said that the first transfers from the EU's recovery fund should be made during Portugal's EU presidency in the first half of this year, as member states including Slovenia are rushing to ratify the legal basis and draw up national recovery plans.
        LJUBLJANA - Members of an autonomous social and cultural community that have been squatting the defunct Ljubljana bicycle factory Rog for years were forcefully removed from the premises as the Ljubljana authorities started tearing down buildings on the site as part of long running efforts to remake the rundown site into a new creative hub.

WEDNESDAY, 20 January
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - The government decided nine of Slovenia's twelve statistical regions will enter the red tier of coronavirus restrictions on 25 January, which allows for partial school reopening, after new cases and hospital figures dropped below thresholds set in the exit strategy, and the coronavirus curve has been flattening for the last ten days. Additionally, ski lifts, as well as shops selling children's items and museums, galleries and libraries were allowed to reopen in the regions from 23 January.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 154,306 coronavirus cases and 3,284 Covid-19 deaths by 20 January, with an estimated 19,541 infections still active, according to National Institute of Public Health.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša announced he had sent congratulations to the newly sworn-in US President Joseph Biden, being one of the few world leaders who had not congratulated Biden on his election victory before the inauguration.
        LJUBLJANA - The Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) drafted a motion to oust Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj over the ministry's decision to grant funds to an NGO with close links to the minister. Other parties were invited to join in.
        LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar told the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee that Slovenia regretted and condemned the recent vandalising of bilingual signposts in the Austrian province of Carinthia. He said Slovenia's ambassador to Austria Ksenija Škrilec had written to the Austrian authorities about the incident.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Police Committee debated the government declaring the Lebanon-based political party Hezbollah a criminal and terrorist organisation as a whole, with most of its members endorsing the decision.
        LJUBLJANA - A total of 42,410 people have so far been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Slovenia, about 2% of the population, Marta Grgič Vitek, the vaccination coordinator at the National Institute of Public Health, said, noting the biggest problem was limited supplies of vaccines.
THURSDAY, 21 January
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor welcomed the US's rejoining the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organisation under President Joe Biden. "Multilateralism has regained encouragement and value. This is important for Slovenia, the EU and the whole word," Pahor said on Twitter. Meanwhile, climatologist Lučka Kajfež Bogataj assessed the US's return to the climate deal brought hope the agreement would actually start to be implemented.
        LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed the 2021 financial plans of the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund (ZPIZ) and the ZZZS public health insurance fund, valued at EUR 6.2 billion and EUR 3.4 billion, respectively, with balanced revenue and expenditure.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a bill to provide protection to children in criminal procedures either as victims, witnesses or perpetrators. It establishes a safe house where children will be interviewed in a neutral environment.
        LJUBLJANA - Maja Brkan, the candidate for Slovenian judge on the General Court of the EU, was unanimously endorsed by the parliamentary Privileges and Credentials Commission, the final step before the National Assembly vote, where she needs 46 of the 90 votes.
        LJUBLJANA - The shareholders of state-owned telecoms operator Telekom Slovenije appointed four new members of the supervisory board and changed the articles of association.


23 Jan 2021, 10:17 AM

STA, 22 January 2021 - Slovenian Ambassador to Italy Tomaž Kunstelj and the foreign and culture ministries are opposed to the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art's involvement in an exhibition showcasing the imagery of heroism in the former Yugoslavia at the MAXXI museum in Rome, the left-wing magazine Mladina reports in the latest edition.

The ambassador finds the exhibition scandalous, in particular considering that Slovenia is observing the 30th anniversary of independence from Yugoslavia this year.

In a dispatch to the Foreign Ministry on 12 January, part of which is published by Mladina, Kunstelj says the main reason for his opposition is that the project is linked to the theme of the former Yugoslavia and does not showcase achievements of Slovenian arts.

In the dispatch he says the embassy "will not promote or organise exhibitions from Slovenia on the topic of ex-Yugoslavia, in particular not during the 30th anniversary period".

The Foreign Ministry told the STA they agree with the ambassador that the "exhibition cannot be part of cultural and promotional programme to observe the round anniversary of statehood or the programme of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU".

The Culture Ministry said the ambassador did not demand for the exhibition to be "banned, he only expressed his opinion that it is not suitable to be included in the project to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's independence or the Slovenian presidency of the EU".

It added that the exhibition "unfortunately does not pursue such goals and values of international promotion of Slovenian culture and arts globally" as to be included in the programme of two international projects of such importance.

According to Mladina, MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts decided to put on the show as part of the years-long running presentation of contemporary arts in the broader Mediterranean region.

The show Bigger than Myself. Voices of Heroes from Ex-Yugoslavia will showcase contemporary arts from the region of the former Yugoslavia with heroism as the recurring theme.

The Rome museum invited Zdenka Badovinac, the former director of the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art, to edit the show. It involves more than 50 artists from countries of the former Yugoslavia, including more than ten directly linked with Slovenia.

The show was to be put on as early as 2018, but the opening has been postponed several times due to organisational problems and the coronavirus pandemic. It was to be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ljubljana from October to December.

The museum told the STA today it had not been informed of the ambassador's opposition to the show. "We have learnt about the ambassador's letter from Mladina, which is unacceptable as the Embassy and or the Culture Ministry should check facts with us as well."

Badovinac told Mladina that the exhibition was fully financed by the Italian museum. She believes the ambassador's letter suggests his "not being informed of the facts and his judging the exhibition based on national criteria, which is unacceptable in the modern world".

The opposition Left protested against the ambassador's dispatch in a press release today, saying the government was interfering not only in the programme of the Ljubljana museum but also in that of MAXXI, an internationally acclaimed private museum.

23 Jan 2021, 04:55 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.

This summary is provided by the STA

Slovenian, Croatian FMs discuss economic zones in Adriatic Sea

ZAGREB, Croatia - The foreign ministers of Slovenia and Croatia, Anže Logar and Gordan Grlić Radman, assessed after their talks in Zagreb that they had managed to raise the Slovenian-Croatian relations to a higher level in the past ten months. The talks focussed on Croatia's exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea, and included the border arbitration. Logar started his visit to Croatia in the Petrinja area, which was hit by a devastating earthquake at the end of December, to express condolences to the victims' families and convey Slovenia's readiness to help the neighbouring country in the case of natural disasters.

Opposition files motion to oust labour minister

LJUBLJANA - Four opposition parties filed a motion to oust Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj over his work during the epidemic and the ministry's decision to grant funds to an NGO with close links to the minister. They need 46 votes in the 90-member National Assembly to succeed. The motion was not signed by the opposition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS). PM Janez Janša believes the interpellation motion is a sign that the opposition does not have the needed support for the no-confidence motion in government.

1,439 new coronavirus cases confirmed on Thursday

LJUBLJANA - The epidemiological curve continues to flatten in Slovenia, as 1,439 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in 11,149 PCR and rapid tests on Thursday, a slight decrease both on the day before and in weekly comparison. Another 25 deaths were recorded, showed fresh government data. A total of 1,140 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, 19 fewer than the day before, while 185 were in intensive care, up by two. The seven-day average of new daily cases decreased slightly to 1,220, according to NIJZ data.

Travel quarantine exceptions list expanded

LJUBLJANA - Citizens of Slovenia and other EU and Schengen countries are able to enter the country without quarantining if they had left the country to perform maintenance work on private property in another EU or Schengen country, or to provide care or aid or to visit their child. They must return no later than 12 hours after leaving Slovenia.

Teachers not tested for Covid-19 not allowed to classroom

LJUBLJANA - Although testing for the coronavirus is not compulsory, teachers returning to school on Tuesday will have to be tested if they want to teach in person in a classroom, Health Ministry official Vesna Kerstin Petrič explained. She also said testing for school children could be introduced in the future. Testing for kindergarten and primary school teachers is planned for Monday and will be conducted at either schools or local community health centres.

Environment Ministry welcomes US's return to Paris climate deal

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning has welcomed the US's return to the Paris Agreement, praising it as a positive development in global efforts to meet the commitments from the 2015 climate deal. "The return of the US to the Paris Agreement will definitely represent a new element in the process aimed at starting the implementation of the Paris Agreement, making the US again a player in global climate policy," the ministry told the STA.

Analysis shows Slovenia falling short of climate change goals

LJUBLJANA - Researchers of the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) have established that, while Slovenia has all key mechanisms in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with EU funds also being available, it has failed to reach the set objectives. The main problem is the shortage of experienced staff and lack of organisation, indicates their Climate Mirror 2020 publication.

Ambassador opposing Ljubljana museum's involvement in ex-Yugoslavia art show in Rome

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Ambassador to Italy Tomaž Kunstelj and the foreign and culture ministries are opposed to the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art's involvement in an exhibition showcasing the imagery of heroism in the former Yugoslavia at the MAXXI museum in Rome, the left-wing magazine Mladina reports in the latest edition. The ambassador finds the exhibition scandalous, in particular considering that Slovenia is observing the 30th anniversary of independence from Yugoslavia this year. Zdenka Baodvinac of the Museum of Modern Art believes the ambassador's letter suggests his "not being informed of the facts and his judging the exhibition based on national criteria, which is unacceptable in the modern world".

Logar concerned about detentions of journalists in Belarus

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar expressed concern about systematic violation of human rights in Belarus as he addressed a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council on media freedom in the country. "Detaining and punishing journalists and media employees for their work is unacceptable," Logar was quoted as saying by his ministry. In his address Logar noted that the situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, with continuous violations of human rights. "Journalists play a key role in society, it is thus in the public interest that they be protected," he said.

MPs urge improvement of earthquake resistance of buildings

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Infrastructure Committee debated earthquake safety on Thursday to call on the relevant ministry to come up with a programme for improving earthquake resistance of the most vulnerable buildings in Slovenia. The debate heard that many buildings are not quake-proof and that temporary accommodation capacity is low. The ministry said that a plan for improving earthquake resistance of the most vulnerable buildings was already in the making.

Vasle says eurozone financial markets remain stable

LJUBLJANA - The situation on eurozone financial markets remains stable despite the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, mainly thanks to the support of the monetary policy and optimism related to vaccination, Banka Slovenije Governor Boštjan Vasle said after Thursday's session of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB). "In Slovenia too, the conditions for borrowing of the state have improved and Slovenian banks are able to preserve favourable loan terms for companies and citizens," the governor said.

Slovenian contact tracing app upgraded with many new features

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Covid-19 contact tracing app, launched by the Public Administration Ministry last summer as a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus, has been upgraded to include many new features, including cross-border exchange of tracing keys, the ministry said. The upgraded app is available for Android devices, and it is expected to be available for Apple devices in a few days at the latest.

Several associations condemn Rog eviction, mayor rejects accusations

LJUBLJANA - Several associations have expressed support to members of an autonomous social and cultural community who were evicted from the defunct Ljubljana bicycle factory Rog earlier this week. The Slovenian PEN centre condemned the "brutal violence" with which there were evicted, while Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković rejected the accusations, stressing that the violence had been provoked by those who wanted to enter Rog in a violent way. In the evening, several hundred people rallied in Ljubljana city centre against the city's decision.

Revoz to relaunch production next Wednesday

NOVO MESTO - The production at Renault-owned assembly plant Revoz, which was suspended this week as a supplier of insulation components had to stop deliveries due to a massive fire, will be relaunched next Wednesday, Revoz spokeswoman Nevenka Bašek Zildžović told the STA. Components will be delivered from Spain, where Treves managed to transfer a part of its production.


22 Jan 2021, 15:20 PM

STA, 22 January 2021 - Several associations have expressed support to members of an autonomous social and cultural community who were evicted from the defunct Ljubljana bicycle factory Rog earlier this week. The Slovenian PEN centre condemned the "brutal violence" with which there were evicted, while Mayor Zoran Janković rejected accusations.

Members of the PEN centre said the incident was "unbecoming of democratic Slovenia" just as the attitude towards a Radio Študent journalist, a retired Večer journalist, and writer Vesna Lemaič.

"Their mission to report and write about the developments was jeopardised in the most brutal way and thus freedom of speech was jeopardised, which is something we are particularly aspiring for in the spirit of the PEN Charter."

The centre regretted that dialogue had been completely abandoned and that "violence spoke instead". It called on the municipality to protect the personal items of the members of the community which they have been unable to take with them or pay them compensation, and foremost offer them new rooms.

"Their art is the soul and image of our capital Ljubljana, which encourages culture and is UNESCO's city of literature. Dialogue is undoubtedly the only democratic way to a solution to this problem," the centre said.

The Rog community was also supported by the local Ljubljana committee of the Left party, the Asociacija society, NGO Peace Institute, and the Association of Culture Workers.

The latter said the battle for Rog was a battle for "all of us who do not accept the dictatorship of the capital culture". It noted that the cultural community there was "precious not just for the city but also wider".

In the last 15 years, Rog has been a "centre of critical thought, a hub for social movements, a sanctuary for all those who are being marginalised by the capital", a "place of friendship, comradeship, ideas and projects".

"Rog has been a symbol of all those who are rejecting profit, gentrification, rightist violence, capitalist repression, Janšist Orbanisation," reads a press release issued by the association.

Author and artist Svetlana Makarovič said after the incident she was renouncing her title of honorary citizen of Ljubljana. In a statement for the STA on Thursday, she said she was "deeply hurt and outraged by the thoughtless and harsh eviction of Rog residents, especially because animals that had shelters there were also subjected to the violence."

Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković responded to the incident on Thursday, saying that nobody had been at the defunct factory at 7am on Tuesday, when workers accompanied by security guards entered the premises to start demolition with a construction permit after all attempts of mediation failed and based on all court rulings in favour of the municipality.

Supporters of the Rog community and members of the community started to gather in Trubarjeva Street later, and tried to enter the Rog area in a violent way, which police prevented, he said in a Facebook post, stressing that the violence had been provoked by those who wanted to enter Rog in a violent way.

He said that all items that are not owned by the municipality would be recorded and taken to the Snaga waste collection centre in Povšetova Street, where owners would be able to collect them after a prior notice.

The mayor said the municipality planned to build a new Rog culture centre that would provide rooms for more than 500 artists and creative groups on more than 8,000 square metres.

22 Jan 2021, 15:16 PM

STA, 22 January 2021 - Although testing for the coronavirus is not compulsory, teachers returning to school on Tuesday will have to be tested if they want to teach in person in a classroom, Health Ministry official Vesna Kerstin Petrič explained on Friday. She also said testing for school children could be introduced in the future.

Returning to in-class schooling are primary school children in the first three forms, as well as kindergarten children, in nine of the country's 12 statistical regions with the best epidemiological situation.

Testing for kindergarten and primary school teachers is planned for Monday, and those testing negative will be able to start teaching on Tuesday. In case of a positive test, they will have to self-isolate, Kerstin Petrič, the head of the public health directorate, said at the government's Covid-19 briefing.

Testing will be organised in collaboration between schools and local community health centres, either at health centres or at schools. In case of a great number of teachers to be tested and for schools in remote areas, the ministry will ensure mobile units.

At the same time testing of university teachers will be carried out, as lab sessions will also be relaxed on 26 January. Testing will be available in all the cities where tertiary education is carried out.

Kerstin Petrič said testing of education workers is a key measure recommended by the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as well as by Slovenian institutions. It should be carried out before schools reopen and then periodically at least once a week.

She did not rule out introducing testing for school children. "Testing students is being discussed in entire Europe. Some countries have already launched it. I think it is worth waiting to see what results it brings before we opt for it in Slovenia. But it is highly probable that this will be the next step."

Photo galleries and videos

This websie uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.