07 Jan 2021, 12:09 PM

STA, 6 January 2020 - Radio Študent, a small independent radio station, is at risk of losing funding as the 2021 budget of its founder - the University of Ljubljana's Student Organisation (ŠOU) - no longer earmarks any funds for it, according to a press release from the radio station.

Radio Študent's management and editorial board say that the EUR 3 million budget passed first reading in ŠOU's newly-elected assembly on 30 December.

Even before that, the assembly changed the rules on ŠOU funding, which now say that ŠOU members get no money from the concession fee from student work.

The release also says that funds for the radio station, which was launched in 1969, has been falling for almost a decade.

In 2012 it received EUR 230,000, but only EUR 120,000 last year, during the Covid epidemic when the radio station intensified its reporting and programmes.

Radio Študent urged ŠOU, which represents some 60,000 University of Ljubljana students, to allocate at least EUR 120,000 for the radio station.

The radio station understands the budget is lower than in 2020 due to the epidemic, but believes that at least minimum shares of funds for institutions under the ŠOU wing should be preserved. It also wants to be included in all talks on its "uncertain future".

"The challenge of surviving faced by Radio Študent today is unprecedented in its entire 50-year history," the release says.

The radio station has more than 200 young contributors, who make 17 hours of live radio shows a day.

07 Jan 2021, 04:05 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Daily coronavirus count tops 3,000 for first time

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged a record 3,354 coronavirus infections from a combined 22,194 PCR and rapid antigen tests performed on Tuesday, as the positivity rate for PCR tests hit a record high. Nuška Čakš Jager of the National Institute of Public Health said an increase in infections among young people and a survey the infected suggested the rise transmissions in recent days was mainly due to private gatherings and family reunions over the holidays. Further increase is expected in coming days. With 31 more deaths the Covid-19 death toll rose to 2,899.

Draft audit report finds PPE purchases inefficient

LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Delo disclosed findings from the still confidential draft audit report on the purchases of personal protective equipment during the spring wave of coronavirus, compiled by the Court of Audit. The report finds the purchases were inefficient, as an efficient system to assess the needs for essential supplies had not been put in place, also due to failings by the previous government. The report does not name anyone in particular as especially problematic. Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said the findings showed the allegations of massive corruption were baseless. The court's president Tomaž Vesel told the STA that the Court of Audit had not sent the draft report to anyone but the audited parties, and assessed that the summary in the media was a "one-sided display of partial information."

Public agency looking into suitability of rapid antigen tests

LJUBLJANA - The Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices has decided to carry out an extraordinary inspection of the suitability of the rapid antigen tests the Health Ministry purchased in December from the company Majbert Pharm. The decision comes after suspicion has been raised in the public about the reliability of these tests. Health Minister Tomaž Gantar told the STA in a response that the purchase of rapid antigen tests had been urgent, as otherwise it would be impossible to carry out mass testing as recommended by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Commission.

Tonin says ruling coalition's majority solid

LJUBLJANA - Matej Tonin, the defence minister and leader of New Slovenia (NSi), said the ruling coalition had "solid" 47 MP votes even after the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) quit the coalition. He is convinced the government will finish the term without major difficulties. Tonin based his claim on the 47 MP votes on dozens of telephone conversations and guarantees given by MPs. He said he would not be surprised if the opposition failed to seek the planned vote of no confidence in the end.

Left in favour of no-confidence motion, Erjavec for PM

LJUBLJANA - The council of the opposition Left expressed support to a motion of no-confidence in the Janez Janša government with Karl Erjavec, the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), as prime minister-designate, the party said. Other opposition parties from the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL) have already backed Erjavec's candidacy.

Janša talks Covid-19 pandemic with Taiwanese health minister

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša spoke in his capacity as interim health minister with Chen Shih-chung, the minister of health and welfare of Taiwan, via videolink to exchange views on the Covid-19 pandemic and share good practices. Janša thanked Chen for Taiwan's donation of protective masks in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic last April. Taiwan, with which Slovenia has no diplomatic relations, is among the countries that have been the most successful in tackling the pandemic by introducing strict control on borders and diligently tracing contacts of infected persons.

No Slovenian soldier in Latvia infected with coronavirus

RIGA, Latvia - While several soldiers deployed in Latvia as part of a NATO mission have been infected with the new coronavirus, no Slovenian soldier is among them, the Slovenian Armed Forces told the STA. The Latvian Defence Ministry did not provide details about the nationalities and the number of infected soldiers, but a Canadian TV channel reported that several Canadian soldiers were among them. Currently, 40 Slovenians are serving in Enhanced Forward Presence.

Unemployment total up 15.9% year-on-year

LJUBLJANA - The Covid-19 pandemic pushed up Slovenia's registered unemployment total to 87,283 at the end of December 2020, up 15.9% year-on-year, and 3.7% more than at the end of November last year. The Employment Service noted the growth in unemployment would have been even higher had it not been for the government's job retention schemes. 7,735 persons had registered anew in December, up 5.2% compared with the month before, while 2,913 had found a job, down 36.5% from November.

Shutdown of non-essential stores and services extended

LJUBLJANA - The government has extended the shutdown of non-essential shops and services by another week until 13 January. Several existing exceptions will continue to apply, including shops selling mainly groceries, personal care and cleaning items, pharmacies, stores selling medical and orthopaedic equipment, farming shops, petrol stations, financial services, post offices and delivery services. Also allowed to remain open are newsagents and hair salons, among several other exceptions.

Janša, medical experts not keen on prompt school reopening

LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša and medical experts are not in favour of schools and kindergartens reopening soon, arguing the epidemiological situation has worsened after Christmas holidays, when some socialising and business restrictions were briefly relaxed. Janša said as he met representatives of teachers today that the government would decide on the matter on Thursday, but could not tell what the decision would be.

Brdo Hotel renovation to begin later this month

BRDO PRI KRANJU - After delays in selecting the contractor to renovate the Brdo Hotel, a key accommodation facility for Slovenia's EU presidency, the state-owned Brdo estate signed a contract with construction company Makro 5. Works will kick off later this months and should be completed three weeks before Slovenia takes over the presidency. The hotel is located at the main entrance to the Brdo park, only a short walk from the conference centre, which has served as the main venue of Slovenia's first EU presidency in 2008 and will once again assume this role in the second half of 2021.

Stojan Petrič joins management board of Delo

LJUBLJANA - Stojan Petrič, the director of the asset management company FMR, which owns the newspaper publisher Delo, has joined the management board of Delo as director along with Andrej Kren and Nataša Luša, shows a posting on the website of the AJPES agency for legal records. Petrič, who is also the chairman of the supervisory board of the industrial group Kolektor, which is controlled by FMR, is a management board member of the publisher of the eponymous daily newspaper from 1 January.

Ljubljana listed among world's most sustainable cities

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana has made the Lonely Planet's list of the world's eight most sustainable cities. The capital is praised for being liveable, "extremely clean and increasingly green". The article notes that Ljubljana was the first European city to commit to a zero-waste goal. Moreover, it says that over 10 hectares of the city centre are pedestrianized. The list also includes Copenhagen, Portland, Singapore, Lisbon, Bengaluru, Vancouver and San Francisco.

Jasna Hengović becomes woman engineer of the year

LJUBLJANA - Jasna Hengović, a software developer at Cosylab, has become the Woman Engineer of the Year, as this accolade has been given out for the third year to encourage young women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Together with her colleagues, the winner develops software and integrates it with hardware for the most advanced systems in the world, such as ITER, ESA, CERN or ALMA.

EU leaders under scrutiny at art exhibition

LJUBLJANA - An exhibition examining online algorithms relied upon by many human resource executives is opening tonight at Aksioma in Ljubljana. The Berlin-based !Mediengruppe Bitnik, consisting of Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo, applied the algorithms to those holding the top-level jobs in Europe - the heads of state of EU member countries. Flagged for Political Speech will run until 22 January.

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06 Jan 2021, 15:59 PM

STA, 6 January 2020 - A total of 3,354 coronavirus infections were confirmed in Slovenia on Tuesday from a combined 22,194 PCR and rapid antigen tests, the highest daily number of cases yet, as the positivity rate for PCR tests hit a record high, government data show. A further 31 Covid-19 patients lost their lives.

Of the 6,956 PCR tests performed yesterday, 2,602 returned positive results for a positivity rate of 37.4%. In addition, 752 infections were confirmed from 15,238 rapid antigen tests (4.9%), Jelko Kacin, the government's Covid-19 spokesman, told the press.

“Non-Essential” Retail, Services Remain Closed Until 13 January

The daily number of cases from both types of tests is up by 853 from the day before and compares to the previous high of 2,611 logged on 27 October, when only PCR were counted as valid.

Addressing the daily briefing, Nuška Čakš Jager, deputy head of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), suggested the rise in infections in recent days was mainly due to private gatherings and family reunions over the holidays.

She cited case statistics as showing infections among care home residents were decreasing, while cases were rising among other groups of the population, in particularly those aged 25 to 34, and to an extent those between 45 and 54 years of age.

"That, along with the survey among the infected confirms the likeliest reason for the increase in transmissions was private gatherings and family reunions during the holidays," said Čakš Jager.

She said a further increase in infections was expected in the coming few days, but NIJZ was not planning to recommend any new restrictions for the time being as recommendations in place such as those pertaining to social distancing "should suffice to contain the spread of infections if everyone stuck to them".

Kacin said potential new measures or changes to the existing ones could be expected at the government session on Thursday after the government meets in its Covid-19 format in the afternoon today.

After Croatia confirmed a Scottish strain of the novel coronavirus yesterday and several countries, including Austria, reported having confirmed the fast transmittable British mutation, Kacin said an analysis conducted by the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology of the Ljubljana Faculty of Medicine had not yet detected the presence of the British variant in Slovenia.

The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 dropped by 16 to 1,177 after 106 were discharged and 114 were newly admitted. The number of those in intensive care units dropped by six to 182, Kacin said.

NIJZ data show Slovenia has confirmed 131,787 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic with an estimated 21,697 cases still active.

The 14-day incidence of cases per 100,00 residents is 1,032, while the seven-day daily average of cases is 1,703.

According to tracker site, the latest deaths bring the country's death toll from Covid-19 to 2,899.

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06 Jan 2021, 13:51 PM

STA, 6 January 2020 - The government has extended the shutdown of non-essential shops and services by another week until 13 January. Several existing exceptions will continue to apply, including for hair salons.

According to a release issued last night by the Government Communication Office, the exceptions to the ban include shops selling mainly groceries, personal care and cleaning items.

Those shops are not allowed to sell footwear or clothing, though.

Also allowed to stay open are pharmacies, stores selling medical and orthopaedic equipment, farming shops, petrol stations, financial services, post offices and delivery services.

Produce markets will continue to be open and farms will still be able to sell their produce to consumers.

Also remaining open are newsagents and hair salons, among several other exceptions.

Individual non-medical counselling and therapeutic services will continue to be available.

It will still be possible to pick up goods or food at pick-up points except for alcoholic beverages between 6am and 9pm. Consuming the food in public spaces is not allowed.

Other essential services needed to ensure safety and health are also permitted.

The ban on the sale of pyrotechnics remains in force, mainly to prevent injuries that would require medical attention.

Existing restrictions and precautionary measures continue to apply, including the one limiting the number of customers inside the establishments to one per 30 square metres or a single customer if the premises are smaller. In open-air markets one customer per ten square metres is allowed.

06 Jan 2021, 13:15 PM

STA, 6 January 2020 - The World Boxing Federation (WBF) has declared Slovenia's Ema Kozin the best WBF woman boxer of the year 2020, while her coach Rudi Pavlin has in turn been declared the best WBF coach in the last year. This is a second WBF award for Kozin, who last year won the award for the best women's fight of the year.

The win in the tough fight with Chris Namus of Uruguay in mid-October is what brought the Slovenian the accolade and helped her succeed Nicole Wesner of Germany as the best WBF women boxer.


With the victory, Kozin has retained WBF and WIBA middleweight titles and has won the vacant WBC interim middleweight title.

Her coach Rudi Pavlin has meanwhile succeeded Thomas Hanshaw of the US as the WBF coach of the year.

"This is a nice recognition for our small team. This provides you with a new momentum and motivation, which is very important after 2020, which was special because of coronavirus," Pavlin told the STA about the award.

The coach noted that last year was really difficult because of cancelled and postponed fights, but Kozin "has won the champion title in the WBC organisation and we have opened a new chapter in her career, which has not gone unnoticed."

With the professional record of 20 wins, zero losses and one draw, the Slovenian is going strong into the new year.

"A path to the US is opening up, and we also have offers for fights in Panama, but the things related to the pandemic need to be sorted out first," the coach said.

06 Jan 2021, 12:06 PM

STA, 5 January 2020 - NLB, the largest bank in Slovenia, will phase in fees for combined deposits by physical persons of over EUR 250,000 as of April. The monthly fee will amount to 0.04% and will be first charged in May, the bank said in a press release on Tuesday.

The bank will add up the amounts on personal accounts and other accounts, including deposits, held by individuals in NLB, and charge the fee if the combined amount in a certain month exceeds EUR 250,000.

This means that if a client holds EUR 50,000 above the EUR 250,000 threshold for an entire month, he or she will pay a EUR 20 fee, the bank said.

The fee is expected to affect a small number of clients at NLB - some 100 from the network and slightly more from private banking. According to the business newspaper Finance, around 300 clients are expected to pay the fee.

The fee has been recently announced by NLB management board chairman Blaž Brodnjak, who has told the newspaper Delo that deposit fees had already been introduced in the majority of eurozone countries, most of which opted for the EUR 100,000 threshold.

"Fact is that the loan-to-deposit ratio in Slovenia is very unfavourable and deteriorating fast. This means that the volume of deposits compared to loans is higher than in comparable countries," Brodnjak has said.

Due to the lockdown and extensive stimulus measures, deposits have been rising even faster since people have nowhere to spend the money. Household bank deposits have thus already reached EUR 22 billion.

06 Jan 2021, 12:02 PM

STA, 5 January 2020 - Slovenia has issued a new ten-year bond to the tune of EUR 1.75 billion and extended the existing 30-year bond issue by another EUR 250 million, the newspaper Finance has reported, adding that the coupon rate for the 10-year bond is negative for the first time ever.

The news follows an announcement by the Finance Ministry on Monday that it had commissioned the banks Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and NKBM to manage the issue of a new bond due in 2031 and the increase of the bond due in 2050.

Finance cites Bloomberg in reporting that demand for the ten-year bond exceeded EUR 10.6 billion and the coupon rate was 17 basis points above the mean value of the 10-year swap rate of -0.27%, which means the borrowing comes at a negative coupon rate.

Slovenia also issued an additional EUR 250 million in existing 30-year bonds with a maturity due in 2050. The demand exceeded EUR 250 million. The coupon rate was 40 basis points above the median value of the 30-year swap rate of -0.02%. This means the sovereign borrowed at an interest rate of 0.38%, according to Finance.

Slovenia most recently tapped into international financial markets in October 2020. Finance at the time reported that the treasury took out roughly EUR 6 billion in fresh borrowing through various new and expanded bonds, not including treasury bills.

The bulk of the borrowing was needed to finance relief and stimulus measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

To implement this year's state budget, the country would need to borrow EUR 5.67 billion, under the budget financing programme adopted by the government last month.

Public debt would thus increase to EUR 36.62 billion, or 75% of the country's GDP.

06 Jan 2021, 04:28 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Opposition to table motion of no-confidence in govt in mid-January

LJUBLJANA - Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec, tipped for a prime minister-designate, announced the informal coalition of five centre-left opposition parties would file a motion of no-confidence in the Janez Janša government on 15 January. The parties, associated in the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL), have 43 votes between them, three short of the majority needed for the vote to succeed. He nevertheless expects the 46 votes in the secret ballot in parliament to elect a new PM-designate, mostly counting on MPs from the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC).

Slovenia takes out EUR 2 billion in fresh debt

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia issued a new ten-year bond of EUR 1.75 billion due in 2031 and extended the existing 30-year bond issue due in 2050 by another EUR 250 million, the Finance Ministry said. The 10-year bonds was issued with a negative yield to maturity of -0.096% and a zero coupon rate, which means the country would not have to return EUR 17 million, the ministry explained. It said this was the first time Slovenia had issued a long-term bond with a negative yield to maturity. To implement this year's state budget, Slovenia would need to borrow EUR 5.67 billion, which would increase its public debt to 75% of GDP.

Surge in coronavirus amid scaled-up testing

LJUBLJANA - As many as 2,501 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Monday, the second highest daily increase to date, as almost 23,500 PCR and antigen tests were performed, the largest number yet, following scaled-down testing over the extended holiday weekend. Another 30 patients with Covid-19 lost their lives for the overall death toll of 2,868. Covid-19 hospitalisations fell by 16 to 1,193. The number of patients in intensive care units dropped by six to 188, government data show.

Children with special needs return to school

LJUBLJANA - Children with special needs returned to classrooms after nearly three months of remote schooling. After employees were tested for coronavirus, schools opened for in-class instruction for special-needs children. The opening is in line with a recent decision by the Constitutional Court. The decision on when other pupils return to classrooms is expected on Thursday, after PM Janez Janša meets representatives of teachers on Wednesday.

Two SSH board members, supervisor resign over sale of venture capital fund

LJUBLJANA - Two members of the management board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), Boštjan Koler and Boris Medica, and supervisory board member Igor Kržan resigned over irregularities established in the sale of a 49% stake in the venture capital fund Meta Ingenium. SSH sold the stake in July, before biotechnology company Bia Separations, in which Meta Ingenium held a 10.8% stake, was sold to German biopharma company Sartorius for EUR 360 million in October. The newspaper Finance said in November that SSH would have received EUR 18 million for the stake in Bia instead of just EUR 3.1 million if it had sold the stake later. "SSH could have acquired additional information about Bia Separations that would justify higher expected proceeds from the state-owned stake in the sale procedure," the SSH management board said today.

Two chambers urge business reopening

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) and the Chamber of Commerce (TZS) sent their respective letters to PM Janez Janša and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, urging them to reopen small businesses and non-essential shops, respectively. The situation in the services sector is alarming, OZS head Branko Meh said, adding the reopening would prevent mass layoffs. The TZS said the restrictions affecting non-essential shops should be immediately relaxed in the statistical regions with the most favourable epidemiological situation. It added shop owners were running out of contingency reserves while state aid did not cover all the costs.

NLB to introduce deposit fees for individuals in April

LJUBLJANA - NLB, the largest bank in Slovenia, will introduce fees for combined deposits by physical persons which exceed EUR 250,000 in April. The monthly fee will amount to 0.04% and will be first charged in May, the bank announced. If a client holds EUR 50,000 above the EUR 250,000 threshold for an entire month, he or she will pay a EUR 20 fee, the bank explained. The fee is expected to affect a small number of clients at NLB - some 100 from the network and slightly more from private banking. According to the business newspaper Finance, around 300 clients are expected to pay it.

Environmental law changes expand producer-pays system, impose strict conditions for NGOs

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning sent into public consultation on 31 December a set of changes to the environmental protection act which broaden the responsibility of producers and imposes strict conditions for environmental NGOs acting for the public good. The ministry said the bill aimed to address "the most burning issues, such as irresponsible waste handling".

STA celebrating 30th anniversary in 2021

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Press Agency (STA) will celebrate its 30th birthday this year only days before the country observes the 30th anniversary of its independence in June. From its humble beginnings as a single-desk agency, the STA has grown to become a modern media service provider.

New car sales down by 27% in 2020

LJUBLJANA - The sales of new cars in Slovenia dropped by more than a quarter in 2020 over 2019. Just under 53,700 cars were registered anew last year, a drop of 26.6% compared to 2019, data from the Chamber of Commerce (TZS) show. Volkswagen sold the most cars in Slovenia last year, followed closely by Renault and Škoda.

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05 Jan 2021, 18:56 PM

STA, 5 January 2020 - An informal coalition of centre-left opposition parties will table a motion of no-confidence in the Janez Janša government on 15 January, Karl Erjavec, the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), who has been tipped for prime minister-designate, announced on Tuesday.

Erjavec, addressing reporters in front of the parliament building after a meeting of the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL), said he expected the motion to be signed by 43 MPs, three short of an outright majority needed for the vote to succeed.

Apart from DeSUS, KUL also includes the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), the Left and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), which do not have enough MPs between them for the motion to succeed.

They would need to win over potential defectors from the coalition, in particular the centrist Modern Centre Party (SMC), which they do not appear to be succeeding at.

Erjavec said they would go ahead with the motion regardless of how many MPs signed on to it, but also said that informal talks would continue with SMC representatives and he expected a majority of 46 votes to be mustered in the secret ballot.

After a party council session last week, the SMC said it was not supporting Erjavec for prime minister-designate. Still, Erjavec invited the party to talks, but said today he had not yet received a response.

Four of the five centre-left KUL parties have already supported Erjavec's bid to try to form an alternative government, while the Left will take a decision on Wednesday. Erjavec is confident they will support him.

He expects the required majority to be clinched in the secret ballot in parliament to elect a new prime minister. "There's quite some time left until the no-confidence motion is filed," he said, adding that it was vital for the National Assembly to say what politics it wanted going forward.

He said the purpose of the motion was not to bring down the government, but to "stop the destruction of the country ..., the government is failing in the epidemic, independence of institutions is jeopardised, media freedom is being interfered in".

Adding that they would like to stop the country's demonisation, he repeated that they did not want Slovenia to be in a group of non-core EU countries such as Hungary or Poland.

While DeSUS own MPs have not made their position fully clear after the party formally resigned from the coalition last month, Erjavec counts on their votes as well. He expects four of the five to support the no-confidence motion as he meets them next Tuesday.

The remaining four KUL parties have 39 MPs in the 90-strong legislature.

Erjavec said that Jože Podgoršek was violating DeSUS's rules by failing to resign as agriculture minister following the party's quitting the government, which would be put to party bodies for discussion. He expects him to be expelled from the party.

The other DeSUS government member, Tomaž Gantar, stepped down as health minister on 18 December, a day after DeSUS left the ruling coalition.

Commenting for the STA, Podgoršek said it was on Erjavec's initiative that DeSUS bodies decided for the two ministers not to quit the government, leaving it up to PM Janša to decide on the matter. This was why he stayed on in the government.

Asked about his further staying in the ministerial post, Pogoršek said he would continue to act constructively and in the interests of the state as he had so far.

Erjavec said earlier that the resolutions of the party council and executive committee were perfectly clear. He said the decision was taken mainly for the sake of the health minister so that he would not be reproached for abandoning the government overnight considering the situation. They expected Podgoršek so follow suit when Janša was to give up Gantar.

05 Jan 2021, 17:36 PM

STA, 5 January 2020 - As many as 2,501 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Monday, the second highest daily increase to date, as almost 23,500 PCR and antigen tests were performed, the largest number yet, following scaled-down testing over the extended holiday weekend. Another 30 patients with Covid-19 lost their lives, government data show.

Of the 5,966 PRC tests performed yesterday, 1,680 or 28% came back positive, while 821 infections were detected from 17,531 rapid antigen tests, for a positivity rate of 4.7%, show data presented by Jelko Kacin, the government's coronavirus spokesman.

The surge comes after a drop in cases over the extended holiday weekend when testing is as a rule scaled down. Yesterday, rapid testing became available at community health centres and many companies had their staff tested as did schools for children with special needs before reopening for in-person teaching today.

The hardest hit region remains Posavska in the east with a seven-day incidence of 1,037 per 100,000 as of 3 January, followed by SE Slovenia with 797. The national average is 520,9, with six regions below and six above that figure. The 14-day average is 972.

In Brežice, the centre of Posavska region, the hospital is still waiting for the vaccine for its staff and has received no explanation about the delay or when to expect the vaccine, hospital director Anica Hribar said.

Meanwhile, its Covid-19 ward is at capacity. While all ward beds are full, only one of its two ICU ventilation beds is free at the moment, she said, adding that patients would have to be moved if the situation keeps getting worse.

Covid-19 hospitalisations fell by 16 to 1,193 after 112 patients were newly admitted and 108 were discharged yesterday. The number of patients in intensive care units dropped by six to 188.

Since the start of the pandemic, Slovenia has recorded more than 128,000 coronavirus cases. A total of 2,868 patients with Covid-19 have died, according to the tracker site The site estimates the number of active cases at 20,510.

Data from care homes presented by Kacin show that infections were confirmed yesterday in 51 residents and 30 employees. In the five facilities for people with special needs 14 residents and one employee tested positive.

Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said that a total of 10,036 care home residents and 3,789 staff have recovered from Covid-19 or are still infected, that is out of totals of 18,700 and 9,108, respectively.

He said that 8,116 residents and 1,848 staff at aged-care facilities had already been vaccinated against Covid-19 as the facilities were to get a further 2,199 doses today, with another 701 to be supplied to facilities for adults with special needs.

"Those who haven't been inoculated, because they were infected at the time, will be vaccinated in the coming rounds of vaccination," the minister told the daily morning briefing.

The government last week expanded the requirement for regular rapid antigen testing to home care, social services and social care programmes providers.

Meanwhile, Kacin also provided more information about the death reported to the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) following vaccination. Initial expert opinions indicate that the patient had died of a repeat heart attack and that their death was unrelated to the vaccine.

The person who died was an elderly resident of a care home who decided themselves that they wanted to get vaccinated, the speaker said.

In line with standard procedure, a commission of independent experts will be appointed to look into the case and present its final results to the public, Kacin said.

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05 Jan 2021, 15:14 PM

STA, 5 January 2020 - A 32-year-old man from Celje faces charges for trying to poison his former partner and their six-year-old daughter with doughnuts and for threatening them, the newspapers Dnevnik and Večer reported on Tuesday. He faces more than 15 years for the vicious crime.

The 32-year-old was spending time with his daughter on the day of the incident as scheduled, but failed to bring her back to her mother at the arranged hour.

When his former partner called him to tell him that she was coming to pick up the child, he told her to enter his apartment because they were making doughnuts.

When she came in, he offered her the doughnuts, which however contained tranquillisers.

The mother and daughter fell ill on their way home, so they called their relatives and sought medical assistance. At the hospital it was determined that they were poisoned.

According to Dnevnik and Večer, the 32-year-old is charged with two attempted murders in a vicious and insidious way, for which he faces at least 15 years in prison. He also faces a fine or up to six months in prison for making threats.

Police said the man had a criminal record of violent offences, including an attempted murder, so police protection had been provided to the two victims until the 32-year-old was placed in custody.

He has been in custody since 7 October, and the custody has been extended until 6 January due to the danger of repeat offence. An indictment against the man was filed on 31 December 2020.

The 32-year-old told investigators that the substance which caused the poisoning was a medicine intended for his use.

Slovenia saw a substantial rise in the number of homicides, murders and attempted murders last year, with their number more than doubling from 22 in 2019 to 49.

This was also the first year in Slovenia's history when three triple murders were recorded.

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