23 Nov 2020, 12:23 PM

STA, 23 November 2020 - The Slovenian Book Fair will get under way on Monday, this time moving online for the first time in history. The week-long event will feature a virtual fair presenting 97 publishers, while the schedule also includes over 100 online events. Spain is the honorary guest country this year.

The 36th iteration of the country's main book event, which is usually hosted by the Cankarjev Dom arts centre, will open with a literary event whose keynote will be delivered by Niko Grafenauer. The poet is celebrating his 80th birthday, which will be marked with a special ceremony on Tuesday.

The virtual fair segment will run under the slogan Apart But Together Nonetheless. The Chamber of Book Publishers has joined forces with Cankarjev Dom to organise an online exhibition that will include the possibility to buy books and a diverse programme for the general and expert public.

Exhibitors will be able to present themselves in an e-catalogue and on a calendar of virtual events. The visual design is based on an illustration made by Chinese-Slovenian artist Wang Huiqin for a book about traveller and author Alma Karlin (1889-1950). Originally the fair, if held at Cankarjev Dom, was meant to be dedicated to Karlin.

The featured Slovenian city at the fair this year is Novo Mesto, while Spain is the honorary guest country. The programme includes debates with Spanish authors Olga Novo and Juan Bonillo, both recently celebrated with national honours for poetry and prose. Publisher Družina will moreover host an online talk with Catalan writer Pilar Rahola.

Moreover, in cooperation with French Institute and publisher Mladinska Knjiga, a talk will be organised with French author David Diop, while the Italian Institute and publisher Totaliteta will host Italian author Paolo Cognetti.

Several more foreign authors will participate at the fair, including Ruediger Wischenbart, Carlo Carenho, Arunas Gudinavičius, Alma Čaušević, Miguer Barrero, Tore Slaatta and Helge Ronning.

A number of awards will be conferred, including the award for the book of the year, for the best debut, and the Schwentner Award for exceptional contributions to publishing.

According to the head of the fair's managing board, Zdravko Kafol, this is the first time in the fair's history that the organisers were faced with the dilemma of what kind of a fair to hold. Originally the idea was to have a hybrid event, intertwining online and live events but this became impossible as the epidemiological situation deteriorated.

Kafol said their role models had been the Göteborg and Frankfurt fairs, although the latter received EUR 6 million to develop a digital platform. What has been conceived as the biggest Slovenian online fair, will now host more than 100 events prepared by 97 publishers on a special YouTube channel.

Kafol told the STA the organisers expected at least as many visitors as the live event attracts and 20-30% of the "live" sales. Given that the participants have no other costs, this would be a "good result", he said, noting that a recent Croatian fair without any accompanying events exceeded all expectations by generating a third of "live" sales.

Kafol's message to the book industry is to join forces in what is arguably the toughest time in the last 50 years. Bookshops were closed for 50 days and they are closed again, 600 booksellers are on furlough, he said.

"Online sale is becoming increasingly important but it cannot replace the loss of revenue. In the first, spring wave of the epidemic, the industry lost EUR 2.5 million, about 160,000 fewer books were sold. Only through cooperation and connectivity, joint projects, can we be stronger," he said.

The official website is here

23 Nov 2020, 12:09 PM

STA, 23 November 2020 - A 67-year-old man from Ljubljana has been charged with multiple counts of crime after police discovered he had been hiding the corpse of a relative for several years and collected her pension, Ljubljana police said on Monday.

Several media reports suggest the man lived with the corpse of his mother, who would have been 97 now, and prevented other relatives from having any contact with the argument that she did not wish to see them.

Police received a missing person notice from last week and upon entering the premises discovered that she had been dead for several years. During this entire time the man collected her pension.

The man has been arrested and charged with abuse of a corpse, a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to two years, negligent homicide, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, and fraud.

23 Nov 2020, 04:05 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

Over 1,000 new coronavirus cases as nearly 30% tests positive

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 1,024 new coronavirus cases for Saturday as the test positivity rate reached almost 30%. Another 26 patients with Covid-19 died, bringing the overall death toll to 1,052, data from the government show. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 rose by 25 from the day before to 1,244 as the number of those requiring intensive treatment increased by one to 198. Prime Minister Janez Janša was briefed on the situation on the ground as he visited the general hospital in Murska Sobota and the Maribor UKC medical centre on Saturday.

Govt supports transformation of European Research Area

LJUBLJANA - The government supported the European Commission's vision of the future development of a European area for research and innovation, saying in a position adopted earlier this week that an upgrade would better contribute to the transformation and efficiency of a sustainable development model and to green and digital transition. The European Commission presented its plan for a new European Research Area for research and innovation on 30 September.

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Looking for a gift this Christmas that says “Slovenia” and will keep you and your loved ones happy and well fed for years to come? Then check out the beautifully produced book Cook Eat Slovenia, with 100 easy to follow recipes for all seasons. The book has won three awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020, for best translated, best self-published, and best food tourism cookbook for Slovenia, and for the second best in the world for food tourism, and third best  for self-published. Our review is here, and you can order a copy from anywhere in the world here.

Esteemed Maribor auxiliary bishop dies

MARIBOR - Jožef Smej, a retired Maribor auxiliary bishop who had been honoured by Slovenia and Hungary for his literary and translation work, died on Saturday at the age of 98, the Slovenian Bishops' Conference announced. Hailing from Bogojina in the north-easternmost of the country, Smej served as auxiliary bishop from 1983 to his retirement in 2009, but he was also known for his work as a poet, writer, translator, researcher and church historian.

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


22 Nov 2020, 13:15 PM

Looking for gift ideas for Slovenian products and experiences? We put together a selection of the best #MadeInSlovenia gifts for Slovene-lovers – with prices from a few euros, to a few hundred euros.

This year, more than ever before, it’s important to support our local Slovene brands, companies and products. So – why not vote with your wallet and choose one of these great Made In Slovenia products for your next Christmas or birthday gift?

Whilst most Slovenian gift lists stick to the tried and tested Slovene salt, honey and lace products, we’ve dug deeper into what Slovenia has to offer to bring you a range of interesting and original Slovenian gift ideas that might surprise you – from beer to books, backpacks to bikes – all made here in The Sunny Side of the Alps.

Under €10

Slovenian-made Masks
Dali is a long-running family company founded by a former professional parachutist that makes pro-level ski-jumping, rowing and running gear. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have added an additional product to their line: masks. Show your support for Slovenia with one of their fun and colourful masks for kids or adults. Price: from €4.50. Buy:

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Natural Slovenian Creams, Scents and Soaps
Nona Luisa handmakes cosmetic and health products, with a philosophy of eco-friendliness in the beautiful Brda area. Selling a range of products from soap bars to bath bombs, all products are made in small batches, with carefully selected ingredients and minimal packaging. Price: Face creams start at €2.50. Buy:



Environmental-friendly Slovenian Cosmetics
Madres is a Slovenian company that makes cosmetics, oils and deodorants, using only natural food-quality ingredients and are vegan, biodegradable, free of harmful chemicals and bear the ‘cruelty free’ label. Price: travel-size oils start at €10. Buy:


Slovenian Cheese
Like most European countries, Slovenia has a long history of cheese-making. Pustotnik Farm offers one of the best selections of Slovenian cheeses, both young and mature, made from cows’, goats’ and sheep milk. They also sell other delicious dairy products including whey, yogurt and butter. Price: from €3. Buy:

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Slovenian Craft Beer
The craft-beer scene in Slovenia has exploded over the last decade, and Slovenia now has over 100 microbreweries making top stuff, such as Human Fish, Tektonic and Lobik. With far too many options to discuss here, your best bet for getting the finest amber nectar is to head to one of Ljubljana’s speciality craft beer shops where the knowledgeable staff can advise you on buying an interesting brew or two. They deliver too. Price: €3 and up. Buy: Visit Primoz ( ) or Craft Room ( )



€25 or under

Slovenia-inspired Apparel
BREG Design is a new Slovenia-inspired t-shirt and apparel company that makes Slovenia designs that are different. Though there’s no arguing that Slovenia is a beautiful country, much of Slovenia’s merchandise is cliché and overly-cute. BREG is the antidote to that, making original artwork based on Slovenian culture, cuisine and language that avoids the sickly-sweet stereotype. The latest design is the TR3 Ljubljana shirt, that celebrates the ‘brutal beauty’ of Slovenia’s TR3 tower block. Each design is available on various garments, in several colours, and ships worldwide. Price: from €25. Buy:

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A Slovenian-made Backpack
Created by Slovenian sisters Dominika and Katarina Bučar, the BOO brand started with a simple drawstring backpack, back in 2015. Their popular line now includes handbags, bum bags, t-shirts and tops – all made in small batches in Slovenia. With complete focus on style, quality and an eco-friendly ethic, BOO offers a lovely range of gifts for women. Price: Microbags start at €25. Buy:


Slovenian Non-alcoholic Gin
As the global gin-market has exploded in the last 10 years, we are now seeing an interesting move into non-alcoholic spirits. Slovenian distiller Vera Spirits are based on Slovenia’s Adriatic coastline and use botanicals from the area and spring water from the Julian Alps to create their range of non-alcoholic spirits. An ideal gift for gin-lovers who don’t want the hangover. Price: bottles start at €23.90. Buy:



Speciality Slovenian Coffee
Speciality coffee has long-since arrived in Slovenia and there is now no shortage of great places to buy your bean-flavoured black stuff. At Crno Zrno café, Slovenia’s best-known Columbian - Alexander Nino Ruiz - imports beans from his homeland to Slovenia where he roasts them and serves it up at his café in Ljubljana. Fans of interesting, delicious and complex coffee flavours will love his bags of brilliant beans. Price: starting from €11.50. Buy:



A Slovenian Mini-Adventure Game
Mini-adventures make sight-seeing games based on Slovenian (and other locations). Each adventure will take you on a journey to explore the sights of each place, whilst hunting for magical items and finding and solving clues. These are a lovely way to engage children, families and friends, by solving a quest and digging deeper into locations such as Koper, Kamnik and Kranj. Price: €25. Buy:

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Slovenology – the book
Penned by Slovenia’s celebrity American – Noah CharneySlovenology is an excellent read for anyone with an interest in Slovenia. Part autobiographical, part travelogue, part academic, this brilliant book explores many aspects of Slovene culture, from marriage to movies and is a must-read for anyone living in or loving Slovenia. Price: €19. Buy:


The Slovenia Book
‘The Slovenia’ are a Slovene publishing house who produce a steady stream of quality books about Slovenia but their flagship tome remains: ‘The Slovenia Book: Top 100 Destinations’. Now in its 3rd edition, it features detailed descriptions and beautiful pictures of the best Slovenia has to offer, along with interesting interviews with renowned Slovenian characters. This is a great gift for Slovene-fans, serving as both an inspirational coffee-table book, as well as a practical travel guide. Price: €19. Buy:


Handmade Slovenia Leather Bags
Gloria Bags is a one-woman show who makes beautiful, one-off, high-quality handmade leather bags and accessories. A Slovene artist, based just outside of Ljubljana, she personally designs and makes every item, using leather supplied from vendors who treat animals humanely and use them for food purposes and not just for leather. Price: zip purses from €20; bags from €35. Buy:

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Under €50

Access to the world’s greatest farmers’ market
For foodies and anyone interested in supporting local food production, a subscription to Cultisan – ‘the world’s greatest farmers’ market in the palm of your hand’ is a great gift. Though not exclusively selling Slovene produce, there are many made-in-Slovenia products featured and the CEO and Founder – Jason Hartley – is a long-time Slovenaphile based here in Slovenia. A subscription will get you access to their exclusive online farmers’ market, with top-quality and rare food items bought direct from the farmers and makers, all curated by the Cultisan team and celebrity chefs, shipped to your door for free. Price: Taster Subscriptions start at £25 (€28). Buy:

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Slovenian Alcoholic Gin
If you’re looking for some ABV with your G&T, then consider a bottle of Broken Bones Gin. They offer a range of gin varieties, all made in Slovenia using Slovene botanicals such as rose-hip and linden flower. Broken Bones have won several prizes for their gins so a bottle of this Slovene spirit will be warmly received by any lover of a good tipple. Price: from €34.95. Buy:


A Good Luck Slovenian Fairie
Handmade by a Slovene mother-daughter team, Rozinka make fairies, wooden mushrooms, floral headbands, decorations and jewellery at their small workshop in Slovenia. The duo have been crafting their creations for 20 years, which make an ideal gift for lovers of cuteness. Price: from €27 Buy:

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Slovenian Scenery: prints, pictures and posters
Ian Middleton is an English photographer based in Slovenia. His work includes incredible shots of Slovenia’s lakes, coastline, mountains and marshes. One of his beautiful prints is an ideal gift for anyone who loves and lusts after Slovenia’s gorgeous landscape. Price: Posters start at €28. Buy:

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Under €100

Coffee Roasting Course in Ljubljana
In addition to offering their own brand of coffee from their café in Ljubljana, R&B offers a coffee-roasting course where they take you on the journey from ‘green to roasted bean’. This is the perfect experience for coffee lovers who want to learn more about how quality coffee is made. Price: €60 for 2 hour course. Buy:

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Under €200

Forge your own Slovenian Blade
Slovene blacksmith Emberborn runs courses where together, you’ll design and make a beautiful and completely unique knife. The entire experience takes around 8 hours and includes lunch and coffee at his forge in Cerknica. This is a fantastic gift experience that will leave you with a beautiful Slovenian ‘knife for life’. Check the Emberborn Instagram feed ( ) to sharpen your interest in these truly beautiful blades. Price: €160 for one person, dropping to €120pp if three people attend. Buy:

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Latte Art Workshop in Slovenia
The Mariposa Coffee Roasters offer several coffee-themed workshops including one on Latte Art. This is a brilliant and unusual gift for latte-lovers where you’ll be schooled in the finer points of the process including how to create contrast and symmetry, and how to perfect your ‘microfoam’. Price: €120. Buy:

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Over €300

A Slovenian Bike
The legendary Ljubljana bike brand – Rog – has returned and is producing several redesigned variations of their most-famous model: The Rog Pony. The fact that hundreds of original Rog bikes are still being ridden around Slovenia (despite the original factory closing in 1991) is testament to the build-quality of the Rog brand so if you want some true two-wheel Slovenian style – get yourself one of these new models. Price: starting €329. Buy:

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A Slovenian Snowboard
Who knew that Slovenia had one of the most interesting and unique snowboard-makers around? Moonchild make beautiful, handmade snowboards and splitboards, in highly unusual shapes. With some very experimental one-off designs as well as more standard production models, you get a uniquely Slovene snowboard when you purchase a Moonchild. Price: starting at €399. Buy It:

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Sam Baldwin is the creator of Slovenia-inspired t-shirts, and owner of GrowMyStartup [https://GrowMyStartup.Business] consultancy.

22 Nov 2020, 13:11 PM

STA, 22 November 2020 - Slovenia recorded 1,024 new coronavirus cases for Saturday as the test positivity rate reached nearly 30%. Another 26 patients with Covid-19 died, bringing the overall death toll to 1,052, data from the government show.

A total of 3,432 tests for the novel coronavirus were performed yesterday, which means the test positivity rate climbed to 29.84%, up form 25.68% the day before.

The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 rose by 25 from the day before to 1,244 as the number of those requiring intensive treatment increased by one to 198. 39 patients were discharged home.

According to tracker site, the country has currently 20,119 active infections, out of the total of 65,308 so far confirmed. The rolling 14-day average per 100,000 residents has risen to 960.

Covid-19 mortality higher in second wave

STA, 21 November 2020 - More than eight months after the first Covid-19 fatality was recorded in Slovenia on 14 March, the number of deaths exceeded 1,000 on Saturday. While a total of 108 people died of coronavirus in the first wave, the figures have been much higher the second time round, with more than 600 people dying in November alone.

The second wave started in late summer and escalated in October, with data showing that nearly 900 people died since the start of September.

The highest weekly toll was recorded between 9 and 15 November, when 253 people died, while the highest daily number of deaths was 45, recorded on 16 November. So far, 638 people died this month.

Data from the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) show that mortality per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks in Slovenia was at 12.9, putting Slovenia in place 7 among EU members. Higher mortality rates were recorded in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Lichtenstein.

But while the mortality rate for the entire population is higher in the second wave, the mortality rate for those who test positive seems to be lower.

Between 1 September and 20 November, 1.4% of those who tested positive died, while in the first wave 108 people died out of a total of fewer than 1,500 who tested positive, putting the mortality rate among those infected at 7.3%.

Mortality rates are also lower among patients requiring intensive treatment. The head of intensive therapy at the infections clinic of the Ljubljana UKC hospital, Matjaž Jereb, said a week ago that the mortality rate of ICU patients was currently at about 15%, compared to 30% in the first wave.

He said it was impossible to predict the outcome for any of the patients requiring intensive care, and also warned against comparisons of Covid-19 with the flu.

Mortality estimates for Covid-19 and the flu vary, he said, but it is indisputable that mortality in Covid-19 patients is at least ten times as high as in flu. The number of patients requiring intensive care is also ten times higher than in flu.

Jereb told the STA that Covid-19 patients died due to organ failure that developed in addition to severely affected lungs. Most die following pulmonary embolism complications, with lung failure due to pneumonia the second most common cause.

In younger patients the cause of death is usually complications from underlying chronic diseases, especially heart disease.

Most of the fatalities in Slovenia were people over the age of 85, as mortality increases with age. The youngest fatality in Slovenia was a patient aged between 35 and 44, who died in October.

In the first wave, 80% of those who died (87 people) were nursing home residents. Preliminary data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) show that 471 nursing home residents have died so far in the second wave, with total deaths in this wave nearing 900.

The Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), a top research facility, has projected that at least another 400 people will die in the second wave.

In case that restrictions fail to show effect and reproduction number remained at around one, Slovenia can expect to see the death tally to reach 2,500 by the end of the year, says IJS. If, however, reproduction number drops to 0.5, 2,000 people are projected to die by the end of January.

All out stories on Covid and Slovenia

22 Nov 2020, 11:45 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, 13 November
        LJUBLJANA - New restrictions concerning public gatherings and border crossing entered into force as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus. All gatherings were banned, unless people who gather are family or members of the same household. While all events were banned, couples are able to wed with a special permission from the relevant ministry, although without a reception.
        LJUBLJANA - The government debated a draft national Covid-19 vaccination programme, which will form the basis for a vaccination strategy once a vaccine is available. Health Minister Tomaž Gantar indicated Slovenia might get the first doses of the vaccine in December.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs highlighted as part of an EU ministerial on the proposed migration pact a "very, very problematic grey zone" related to Slovenia's border with Croatia, the external Schengen border but not also the EU's external border. It is not clear if Slovenia will still be able to return migrants to Croatia, he said.
        LJUBLJANA - The government relieved Tone Kajzer of his duties as Foreign Ministry state secretary as he is leaving for Washington to serve as Slovenia's ambassador to the US. He will succeed Stanislav Vidovič, who was appointed Slovenia's new ambassador to Ireland.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said the right balance should be found between technological progress and broader social development as he attended a Paris Peace Forum debate on risks posed by unethical use of artificial intelligence and its role in fighting the coronavirus and the climate change.
        LJUBLJANA - The government submitted to the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee an initiative for a cooperation agreement between Slovenia and Hungary in the construction and management of the new rail track to the port of Koper.
        LJUBLJANA - The council of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) decided that its election congress will be held between 20 November and 5 December and will see the junior coalition party's new president selected through ballots cast by mail. Karl Erjavec and Srečko Felix Krope are vying for the top post.
        LJUBLJANA - Modern Centre Party (SMC) leader Zdravko Počivalšek met economist Jože P. Damijan only to turn down his offer to form an alternative government to Janez Janša's. The party said after the meeting that it wanted to dispel any doubts and speculation about its potential exit from the current government.
        LJUBLJANA - The government's macroeconomic forecaster IMAD said that sentiment indicators for September and October showed economic recovery is uncertain as the Covid-19 epidemic is worsening. The country's economy is losing momentum, as it saw a drop in business sentiment in October following a several-month improvement.
        LJUBLJANA - Insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav reported consolidated gross written premium of EUR 960.9 million for the first nine months of the year, a 6% year-on-year increase. Net profit declined by 14% to EUR 50.8 million. The combined ratio, an insurance industry benchmark, stood at 91.4%, which the company says is favourable.
        LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed the appointment of Boštjan Zalar as the new head of the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), Slovenia's leading science and research institute. Zalar will start his five-year term on 1 December.
        LJUBLJANA - The government dismissed the head of the Slovenian Book Agency, Renata Zamida, who started her five-year term on 1 January 2018. Zamida, who has been on the chopping block since January amidst allegations of imprudent spending, told the STA the move was illegitimate.

SATURDAY, 14 November
        LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj told the parliamentary Finance Committee the government did not plan to raise any taxes in 2021 or introduce new levies, such as real estate tax. Some taxes would even be cut, starting with the tax on vehicles.
        LJUBLJANA - The SOVA intelligence agency denied statements by opposition Left MP Miha Kordiš that the police and political leadership had known what kind of a protest had been in the making for 5 November and could have prevented the escalation of violence. SOVA said this interpretation was false and inaccurate.
        BLED/RADOVLJICA - Legendary Slovenian inventor Peter Florjančič was reported dead at the age of 101. He patented about 400 inventions, of which 43 reached the production phase. Some of his most popular inventions include plastic slide frames, a perfume atomiser and a plastic injection molding machine.

SUNDAY, 15 November
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor told the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija there was still time for the government to congratulate US president-elect Joe Biden, as he commented on PM Janez Janša's tweets on the US election.
        LJUBLJANA - The Democrats' (SDS) deputy group said its leader Danijel Krivec had tested positive for coronavirus, and has been self-isolating since 11 November. Showing no Covid-19 symptoms, he feels well and will remain in quarantine, the ruling party added.

MONDAY, 16 November
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to extend the Covid-19 epidemic declared as of 18 October for 30 days by another 30 days - until 17 December, as stricter lockdown measures, including the closure of non-essential shops and stoppage of public transport, kicked in. Government spokesman Jelko Kacin said the latest statistics showed the virus was still spreading too fast.
        LJUBLJANA - The State Attorney's Office said Slovenia would not challenge the decision of the EU General Court to dismiss the country's appeal to annul the European Commission delegated regulation of May 2017 that allows Croatian wine producers to use Teran, the name of a red wine protected by Slovenia, on their wine labels.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša said during questions' time in parliament he would be happy to congratulate whoever is elected US president, while adding that the election in the US was not yet over, which happened either when a side conceded a defeat or the official results were proclaimed.
        LJUBLJANA - Miro Cerar, a former prime minister and foreign minister, told the magazine Reporter he expected a more balanced US foreign policy and a return to multilateralism under Joseph Biden. He argued PM Janez Janša's tweets on the US election hurt Slovenia. "We probably will not even notice it... They simply ignore you."
        LJUBLJANA - More than half of Slovenians do not intend (26%) or are not likely (31%) to get vaccinated when a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available in Slovenia because of their mistrust of the vaccine, a Valicon survey showed, indicating people were more likely to get a Covid-19 jab if they were at a greater risk of infection.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša announced in parliament support for the relaxing of rules on the growing of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, saying the changes being drawn up by the Agriculture Ministry were expected to be confirmed in the spring.
        LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR - The approval rating of the government and the majority of the coalition parties declined in the latest Vox Populi poll, while the opposition remained stagnant as the share of undecided voters ticked up. Slightly under 30% of respondents assessed the government's work in November as successful compared to 41% in October.

TUESDAY, 17 November
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša indicated that some of the restrictive measures may remain in place until Christmas, but he was hopeful they will not have to be as strict. "It is already certain...immunisation will not make enough of a difference by the end of the year to allow us to relax all measures," he said in an interview for Planet TV.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša rejected during a budget debate in parliament reports that a blockade by Poland and Hungary had occurred with respect to the new EU budget and Covid recovery fund. The situation is not what the media are portraying it to be, he added.
        LJUBLJANA - The US Embassy said Slovenia was not currently a part of the US's troop reassignment, after PM Janez Janša had indicated that Slovenia was open to hosting a US rotation unit. "US Forces welcome every opportunity to train in Slovenia...but the country is not part of the current force posture realignment at this time," the embassy said.
        LJUBLJANA - FM Anže Logar said a free-trade agreement between the EU and US should be concluded as soon as possible as he discussed the future of transatlantic relations with his Swedish and Lithuanian counterparts in an online ministerial.
        LJUBLJANA - Nova24TV reported that the Supreme Court had annulled a ruling upholding the dismissal of a damages claim by the now ruling Democratic Party (SDS) against the state over the Patria defence corruption trial, returning the case to the Maribor Higher Court for a retrial.
        LJUBLJANA - In the latest development following the May dismissal of Darko Muženič as the head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Labour Court altered its original ruling to assert that Muženič remains the NBI head and that the appointment procedure for his successor must be halted, several media reported.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Catholic Church updated its guidelines for the protection of minors and vulnerable individuals against sexual abuse, explicitly ordering all who work for the Church, clergy and lay volunteers, to report any suspicion of sexual abuse to the authorities.

WEDNESDAY, 18 November
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša draw widespread criticism from the ranks of coalition and opposition after addressing a letter to EU leaders in which he called for a return to the July EU summit agreement on the next financial budget, which is, he said, now undermined by a recent deal between the EU Council and Parliament tying the rule of law to the EU funds eligibility. He argued that "numerous media and some political groups in the European Parliament are openly threatening to use the instrument wrongly called 'the rule of law' in order to discipline individual EU Member States." The European Commission would not comment on the letter.
        LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed the budgets for 2021 and 2022, which bring expenditure of EUR 13.5 billion and EUR 12.6 billion, respectively, and record investments amid the coronavirus pandemic. The opposition expressed concern over how increasing expenditure would be financed and the debt, raised to fund stimulus measures, repaid even if the deficit is to fall gradually.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša received Mathias Cormann, who until recently served as Australia's finance minister and is bidding to be the next secretary general of the OECD. They discussed the organisation's role and mission in the global situation and exchanged experience in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
        PRAGUE, Czechia - FM Anže Logar called for a rethink on how to make the EU better, stronger and more resilient, as he took part in the Prague European Summit. He argued the EU should assume a more decisive role in the global political arena while facing challenges such as changed international economic relations and the changing global security environment.
        LJUBLJANA/HOČE - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec presented a new vision for the Maribor airport, which has been idle for some time. He told MPs that he had been working with local mayors on plans to turn it into a smart hub by the end of the year.
        LJUBLJANA - The Celje District Court approved an agreement on financial restructuring for the heavily indebted retail group Tuš. Thus the Alfi fund, which owns more than 80% of all claims to the group, is gradually taking over the managing of the Celje-based group, which has 100 stores with more than 3,100 employees.

THURSDAY, 19 November
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row and further 45 patients with Covid-19 died, bringing the death toll to 964. Government spokesman Jelko Kacin said 2,064 of the 6,806 Sars-CoV-2 tests performed a day earlier came back positive, which means as many as 30.33%, up almost four percentage points from the day before. The situation in hospitals improved slightly.
        LJUBLJANA - FM Anže Logar stressed the importance of strengthening transatlantic relations across the board as he attended a session of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council. He said cooperation needed to be strengthened in areas including security, critical infrastructure and addressing hybrid and cyber threats.
        LJUBLJANA - National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič argued for an efficient return of migrants not eligible for asylum and for tackling the causes of illegal migration as he addressed a virtual inter-parliamentary conference on migration and asylum in Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed a reform bill on motor vehicles tax as a result of which most car and motorbike buyers will pay less tax. The levy will depend mostly on emissions, while plug-in vehicles will not be taxed. The Finance Ministry expects the tax burden on buyers to be reduced by more than 65% on average
        LJUBLJANA - The group around the drug maker Krka generated EUR 1.16 billion in sales revenue in the first nine months of the year, which is 6% more than in the same period last year. Net profit was up by 22% to EUR 210.14 million.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed acting director of the national Statistics Office Tomaž Smrekar for a full five-year term. He succeeds Bojan Nastav, who was appointed by the previous government in August 2019 and dismissed by the current government this May.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food said it was planning to check samples from previous seasons to see whether the novel coronavirus may have circulated in Slovenia before the first infection was confirmed on 4 March this year.
        LJUBLJANA - A Statistics Office study showed that the services sector has been heavily affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. In Slovenia, the biggest monthly drop in services income was recorded in April, a 18.4% decrease.
        LJUBLJANA - The spouses Iza and Samo Login remain the wealthiest Slovenia, topping the list of the Manager magazine for the seventh year running. The total assets of the 100 wealthiest Slovenians amount to an estimated EUR 5.8 billion, EUR 147 million more than last year. The threshold for the list fell by 6% to EUR 20.9 million.


22 Nov 2020, 04:36 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Border crossing restrictions relaxed, Canada red-listed

LJUBLJANA - The government decided to relax border crossing restrictions for people living near the border. As of Monday, they will be able to cross into a neighbouring country without having to quarantine upon return to go to a store or to use another service if it is closer to their home than the nearest in Slovenia. Such trips abroad to red-listed countries will be limited to two hours. At the same time, Slovenia will allow the same exception to citizens and residents of neighbouring countries seeking services in Slovenia. The government also expanded the list of red countries with Canada and several administrative units across Europe.

Curfew, gatherings ban extended

LJUBLJANA - The government extended by another seven days coronavirus restrictions related to gatherings and movement of people as it conducted its periodic review of the measures. This means that the complete ban on all gatherings and the 9pm-6am curfew will remain in place, the government said after a correspondence session on Saturday, adding that the decision is based on the assessment of its Covid-19 task force. The curfew has been in place since 19 October and the gatherings ban since 13 November, gatherings having already been severely restricted before.

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Slovenia's Covid-19 death toll exceeds 1,000

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia' death toll from the Covid-19 epidemic exceeded 1,000 after 31 deaths were reported for Friday. A total of 1,690 cases were confirmed in 6,580 tests, the government announced on Twitter. As the number of new cases remained below the 2,000-plus, the situation in hospitals appeared to be stabilising. There were 1,219 people in hospital after 129 were discharged, down from 1,254 the day before, of which 197 in intensive care, four fewer. Positivity rate dropped continues to drop yesterday, reaching 25.68%.

Slovenia starts gearing up for mass testing

LJUBLJANA - Government departments in Slovenia have been instructed to prepare a mass testing of the population for coronavirus by 5 December and the registration of candidates for voluntary vaccination, Prime Minister Janez Janša announced on Twitter Friday night. Janša said the decision was made based on the state of the epidemic and consultation at EU level. Slovakia was the first country in Europe to mass test its population in early November using rapid tests. Two-thirds of the population were tested and one percent tested positive. A new round of testing is scheduled for 2 December.

NSi will continue to look for cooperation possibilities, Tonin says

LJUBLJANA - Matej Tonin, the head of New Slovenia (NSi) and the only candidate for the job at the election congress that started on Saturday, said in his address to the event that he would continue to look for cooperation possibilities. He also said that "any coalition bow can snap if pulled too tight". He also advised the opposition to cooperate, adding that attempts by the Coalition of Constitutional Arch (KUL) to bring down the government "were not cool at all" while the country faces one of the greatest challenges since gaining independence. The congress was suspended until Thursday, when election results will be announced.

Railways operator takes over first new passenger trains

LJUBLJANA - Railways operator Slovenske Železnice has officially taken over the first five Stadler trains, marking the start of a highly awaited modernisation of passenger transport. The diesel trains will be put to use on the links between Ljubljana and Kočevje, Novo Mesto and Kamnik once passenger transport is relaunched. Slovenske Železnice said it also expected to start gradually incorporating into traffic electric trains, which are also a part of the multi-million order to Stadler. The operator expects that all of the 52 trains ordered will be in use by the end of 2022. Slovenia has order 21 single-deck and 10 double-deck electric trains and 21 single-deck diesel trains.

Apples wins LIFFe Kingfisher Award

LJUBLJANA - The winner of this year's Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) is Apples, a Greek-Polish-Slovenian co-production directed by Christos Nikou. The Best Short Film Award went to Portuguese-French co-production Invisible Hero by Cristele Alves Meira and the FIPRESCI Award given out by the international jury of the International Federation of Film Critics went to Exile, a co-production of Kosovo, German and Belgium, by Visar Morina. The Art Kino Network Award went to Italian-French co-production Martin Eden by Pietro Marcello.

Goran Dragić announces he is staying with Miami Heat

LJUBLJANA/MIAMI, US - Goran Dragić, one of the only two Slovenian players in the National Basketball Association (NBA), has announced that he is staying with the Miami Heat, reportedly for another two years. "I'm glad that I can announce that I'm staying with my Miami Heat. Let's finish the job we started!" he said on Twitter. With his five-year, US$90 million contract with the Miami Heat having expired, the 34-year-old from Ljubljana became a free agent at midnight, but only for a few moments.

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21 Nov 2020, 14:00 PM

STA, 21 November 2020 - Slovenia' death toll from the Covid-19 epidemic exceeded 1,000 after 31 deaths were reported for Friday. A total of 1,690 cases were confirmed in 6,580 tests, the government announced on Twitter.

As the number of new cases remains below the 2,000-plus, the situation in hospitals appears to be stabilising.

There were 1,219 people in hospital after 129 were discharged, down from 1,254 the day before, of which 197 in intensive care, four fewer.

Positivity rate dropped continues to drop yesterday, reaching 25.68%. Government speaker Jelko Kacin tweeted that "daily fluctuations can be seen, but this week the trend was notably negative nevertheless."

A total of 64,270 people tested positive in Slovenia so far and 1,026 died. There are currently 19,972 active cases of infection in the country and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 is at 953, according to tracker covid-19.sledilnik.

Data from the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities show that 12 nursing home residents were among the fatalities recorded on Friday. This brings the total number of deaths among nursing home residents in the second wave to 471.

The number of new infections among nursing home residents reached 120, bringing the number of total infections to 2,650 out of a total of some 19,000 residents. Among staff, the number of infections climbed by 44 to 927 active infections out of a total of 12,300.

Border crossing restrictions relaxed, Canada red-listed

STA, 21 November - The government decided on Saturday to relax somewhat border crossing restrictions for people living near the border and expanded the red-list of high-risk countries with Canada.

As of Monday, Slovenians will be able to cross into a neighbouring country without having to quarantine upon return to go to a store or to use another service if it is closer to their home than the nearest in Slovenia.

Such trips abroad to red-listed countries will be limited to two hours, the Interior Ministry said after the government's correspondence session. It will apply to citizens and residents of Slovenia.

At the same time, Slovenia will allow the same exception to citizens and residents of neighbouring countries seeking services in Slovenia.

The government also expanded the list of red countries with Canada, meaning that persons arriving in Slovenia from Canada will have to quarantine unless they present a negative coronavirus test.

The red list was also expanded with three Estonian administrative units (Harju, Hiiu and Rapla), French Polynesia, Greek administrative units North Aegean Islands and Peloponnesus, Latvian administrative unit Zemgala and Norwegian administrative units Vestland and Viken. Moreover, Switzerland in its entirety will also be red as of Monday.

The Finnish administrative unit Österbotten was meanwhile removed from the red list, making the entire Finland orange. There are no restrictions in place for orange countries.

21 Nov 2020, 12:00 PM

STA, 20 November 2020 - The suspension of the real estate services in the spring lockdown has had no impact on property prices since the housing market was swiftly revived after the restrictions were lifted. The prices even went up a bit. The commercial property market has been slower to pick up though, a report by the Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS) says.

The semi-annual report notes that Slovenia's property market was deeply impacted by the epidemic in the first half of 2020.

Property trade was virtually brought to a halt for two months in spring. There were significantly fewer transactions, however it transpired that the developments have not affected property price trends.

Following May, when most anti-corona restrictions were lifted, the situation soon went back to the pre-epidemic levels.

The prices mostly rose to a certain extent in the first six months of 2020 despite a decline in transactions.

GURS recorded some 13,300 property transactions totalling some EUR 900 million in this period, a more than 25% drop in the number of transactions and down by a third regarding their total value compared to the second half of 2019.

Taking into account the same period last year, that is the first half of 2019, a drop in the number of sales/purchases is also more than a quarter, whereas a decrease recorded in the total value is bigger, by 37%.

The downward trends are not as strong as expected given the epidemic and record figures in 2019, GURS said.

The number of flat transactions totalled some 6,300 in the first half of 2020, down by 28% on the second half of 2019 and 26% on the first half of 2019. The total value of the deals made in the first half of 2020 was EUR 614 million.

The average price of a second-hand flat exceeded the threshold of EUR 1,900 per m2 for the first time at the national level in the first half of 2020, up by 3% on the second half of 2019 and a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Ljubljana remains a hotbed of record-high flat prices, with the average price of a second-hand flat topping EUR 2,900 per m2 for the first time, a 3% rise compared to the second half of 2019 and up by 5% on the first half of 2019.

The prices went up the most in Kranj in the north where the average price of a resale flat rose by 7% on the second half of 2019 and 6% on the first half of 2019.

The only area where the prices went down a bit on average is the seaside, a trend which is a result of fewer holiday flats transactions, according to GURS.

The average price of a house with land attached stood at EUR 130,000 in the first half of 2020, down by 2% on the second half of 2019 and up by 4% on the first half of 2019.

The most expensive houses on the market are still seen in Ljubljana, where the average price was more than EUR 300,000, followed by the coast, Koper excluded.

The commercial property market has been hit worst by the epidemic, GURS said. Price growth continued to stagnate in this sector, with over 700 transactions recorded in the first half of 2020, down by 42% on the second half of 2019 and down by 36% on the first half of 2019. Their total value was estimated at EUR 93 million.

The impact of the second epidemic wave will depend on the duration of lockdown restrictions and further epidemiological developments as well as on stimulus measures, GURS said, adding that even if the market went through a major crisis, the prices would not plummet anytime soon.

21 Nov 2020, 10:05 AM

STA, 20 November 2020 - The financial situation of many Slovenian households has deteriorated since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, shows the latest Valicon survey. While in March 13% of respondents said things were tougher, in November this share is over 20%. Almost three-quarters said they had or would reduce spending.

Some 21% of the respondents in Valicon's survey conducted among 527 respondents between 13 and 15 November said their financial situation had deteriorated and that they had reduced spending.

Another 23% expect their financial situation to deteriorate and just 28% said they had not and did not intend to cut their spending.

The survey has also shown that the share of workers on furlough has risen significantly, to 14%, which is similar as at the end of May, just before the first wave of the epidemic was declared over and the share started dropping again.

During the spring epidemic, the share of workers on furlough stood at 20-30%. At the moment, one in four employed Slovenians is not working. The share of people on sick leave has also gone up, to 5%.

Exactly three-quarters of staff is working, whereas 44% of them have the same workload as before the virus, a quarter has bigger workload and 6% work shorter hours.

The authors of the survey say that optimism which was detected two weeks ago is picking up. The share of those who believe things are looking up is now the same as the share of those who think the situation is deteriorating. Two weeks ago, almost two-thirds saw no silver lining.

Currently, 63% of respondents assessed the situation the country is in now as negative and only 37% as positive. Three-quarters are concerned about the virus, which is a little less than two weeks ago.

21 Nov 2020, 04:20 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

PM willing to offer ideas for compromise on recovery package

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša called for a compromise on the EU's recovery package that will match the agreement EU leaders reached in July, as the EU Council debated on Thursday the blockade of the recovery package by Hungary and Poland. Janša said that in rule of law conditionality, "the final judgement must always be from the EU Court, otherwise this would be a political decision, which is not in line with rule of law principles," his office said after the meeting. It said Slovenia was willing to offer "concrete ideas" as a compromise is sought and noted that Council president Charles Michel had stressed an agreement involving all member states was needed.

Bill on EUR 780m defence investments passed

LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed a bill which earmarks EUR 780 million in additional defence spending in a six-year period between 2021 and 2026. The bulk of the money will be spent on purchasing armoured personnel vehicles and setting up a medium infantry battalion group, while an aircraft and two helicopters are also to be bought. Defence Minster Matej Tonin and President Borut Pahor, the supreme commander, welcomed the passage of the investment package, while the opposition Left said it would start collecting signatures for a referendum. The Ministry of Defence said the act could not be challenged in a referendum.

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Daily coronavirus case count and positivity rate drop

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's daily coronavirus case count dropped to 1,546 on Thursday from over 2,000 recorded on the previous two days, as the test positivity rate dropped slightly, fresh data from the government show. With another 31 fatalities, the Covid-19 death toll rose to 995. A total of 5,673 tests for Sars-CoV-2 were performed on Thursday, which means 27.25% of the tests came back positive, three percentage points down from the day before. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 rose by 16 to 1,254 but the number of those requiring intensive care dropped by four to 201, as 68 patients were discharged home yesterday.

Schools reopening priority, Janša says in televised interview

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša assessed the government opted for remote schooling too late into the second wave of coronavirus, but he also told TV Slovenija in an interview aired last night that reopening schools and kindergartens would be a priority now, but classes would have to be held under stringent conditions. He repeated his view that the government had prepared well for the second wave, including by expanding hospital capacities and securing enough personal protective equipment. He concurred though that it was always possible to respond sooner and better.

Logar strengthening ties with Brazilian counterpart

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar spoke with his Brazilian counterpart Ernesto Araujo via video call, reaffirming the traditionally good relations between Slovenia and Brazil, the Foreign Ministry said. Brazil is one of Slovenia's key political and economic partners in Latin America and the only country from the region to have a residential embassy in Ljubljana, it added. Logar and Araujo confirmed that the two countries have developed successful bilateral cooperation in the last 28 years, but both sides agree there is still a lot of potential for further strengthening of ties. They particularly noted the interest in the strengthening of political dialogue and business cooperation.

EU court ruling on ECB archives case to be delivered in mid-December

LJUBLJANA/LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - The European Court of Justice will deliver a ruling on the European Central Bank (ECB) archives case on 17 December, the court's online judicial calendar shows. The lawsuit was brought against Slovenia by the European Commission over a 2016 police search of the ECB archives at Slovenia's central bank. The court's decision will set a precedent spelling out the privileges and immunities of EU institutions and explaining in which cases the inviolability of EU archives applies.

Centre-left opposition decries govt communication, epidemic efforts

LJUBLJANA - The leaders of centre-left opposition parties voiced sharp criticism about the government's communication strategy in a group interview for TV Slovenija, arguing that this is hampering efforts to fight the epidemic. All restrictive measures are for nothing if they are wrongly communicated, LMŠ leader Marjan Šarec said, urging the government to replace coronavirus spokesman Jelko Kacin and the head of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) Milan Krek. Tanja Fajon, the leader of the Social Democrats (SD), accused Janša of trying to shift the blame for the epidemiological situation instead of providing calming communication.

Slovenia's chief epidemiologist with mixed views about current measures

LJUBLJANA - Mario Fafangel, Slovenia's chief epidemiologist, expressed mixed feelings about the current measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in an interview for the weekly Mladina. He singled out mandatory masks outdoors and ban on movement between municipalities as having questionable utility, but warned that overall, the measures must be relaxed gradually. The chair of the Centre for Communicable Diseases at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) said it was "very difficult to take a position on which measures may be excessive" since there is no room for error at this point.

SocDems seek expansion of latest stimulus package, unions threaten referendum over minimum wage

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Social Democrats (SD) presented a list of measures they believe should be included in the sixth stimulus package, to be discussed in parliament next week, including those to improve company liquidity. Milan Cvikl, the head of the SD expert council on finance, a sort of shadow finance minister, argued that companies had exhausted their reserves, so there was no time to wait for amendments to the current measures or for new stimulus packages. Meanwhile, trade unions threatened a referendum should parliament freeze the minimum wage.

Authorities say public increasingly abiding by restrictions

LJUBLJANA - The health and police authorities find that members of the public are increasingly sticking to coronavirus restrictions with the number of fines issued down last week compared to the couple of weeks earlier. Inspectors issued 104 fines totalling EUR 56,400, plus 263 warnings and 120 administrative measures between 9 and 15 November in 2,578 checks related to coronavirus measures. One of the issues that remain is punters lingering when picking up food or drinks.

Slovenia losing US$ 213.9m in tax revenue a year to tax abuse

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia loses US$213.9 million in tax revenue a year because of tax abuse, an international study by the Tax Justice Network, Public Services International and Global Alliance for Tax Justice.showed. The 2020 report assessed that multinational companies account for US$973 million (EUR 822 million), causing a direct loss of revenue in the amount of US$97 million according to data obtained by the OECD, while rich individuals contribute US$117 million (EUR 99 million) to the loss. In Slovenia, the money lost due to tax abuse equals the annual pay of 4,848 nurses, and on the global level it equals 34 million annual nurses' wages.

National tourism holding plans hit financial snag

LJUBLJANA - Plans for the creation of a national state-owned tourism holding appear to have hit a snag since epidemic-related outlays have crowded out budget funds needed for a key portion of the plan - the purchase of a 43% stake in tourism company Sava, Delo reported. The paper received confirmation from the Finance Ministry that the budget for next year does not include funds - roughly EUR 40 million - needed to buy the Sava stake held by the private equity fund York. Sava, which owns hotels and spas around the country, was a linchpin of Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek's plan, in the making for several years, to pool together tourism assets and create a national holding that would have sufficient capital to undertake much needed investments.

Petrol group profit halved in Jan-Sept y/y

LJUBLJANA - The energy group Petrol saw its revenue drop by 30% year-on-year in the first nine months of the year to EUR 2.29 billion. Its net profit was at EUR 40.5 million, a 49% drop compared to the same period in 2019, the core company said in a press release following a supervisory board meeting. The group's adjusted gross profit for the first nine months stood at EUR 301.9 million, a drop of 13% year-on-year. The drop in performance is attributed to "a drop in petroleum product sales resulting from movement restrictions introduced by governments to contain the pandemic and from the economic downturn the pandemic had caused".

Insurer Sava Re reports 26% higher Jan-Sep profit

LJUBLJANA - Insurance group Sava Re, Slovenia's second largest, reported a net profit of EUR 47.6 million for the nine months to the end of September, an increase of 26.4% year-on-year, as gross premiums written rose by 12.4% to EUR 527.1 million. The unaudited financial report, filed with the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, shows the group's operating revenue rising by 16.4% year-on-year to EUR 489.5 million. The growth in profit, operating revenue and gross premiums is attributed in great part to the acquisition of life insurer Vita, consolidated in the group accounts as of 31 May 2020. The acquisition contributed EUR 9.9 million to the increase in profit, and without this effect group net profit would have broadly been at the same level as in the same period last year.

Law passed to protect privacy in criminal procedures

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed unanimously a bill regulating the processing and protection of personal data in procedures before law enforcement authorities, transposing the relevant EU directive into the national law. The directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties should have been implemented in Slovenian legislation by May 2018. The law mainly concerns the police, state prosecution, correction facilities and to an extent criminal justice.

Motion to ban fracking voted down, ministry announcing systemic solution

LJUBLJANA - A renewed attempt by the opposition to ban the extraction of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing in Slovenia, was rejected in a 39:40 vote in parliament. While some coalition members agree with a ban, they want to wait for what was described as comprehensive solution being drawn up by the Infrastructure Ministry. Thursday's discussion saw the Left's Nataša Sukič highlight the dispute with British company Ascent Resources, which she said has been pushing to introduce fracking at the Petišovci gas field in the north-east of Slovenia for decades.

Energy companies planning EUR 2.5bn investment in seven years

LJUBLJANA - Energy companies in Slovenia plan at least EUR 2.5 billion in investments in the 2021-2027 EU multiyear budget, according to a survey by the Energy Chamber, which also shows that EUR 937 million worth are planned in the next four years. The investments planned are to be in line with the EU's Green Deal, focusing on environmentally friendly energy sources. Just under EUR 1.5 billion investments are planned in east Slovenia and just over EUR 1 billion in west Slovenia.

Police bust migrant smuggling ring

LJUBLJANA - The police have arrested seven and filed criminal complaints against 12 persons in total following an 18-month long investigation of a suspected international migrant smuggling ring which is also believed to have involved Slovenian citizens in charge of security at Ljubljana's Asylum Home. The Ljubljana Criminal Police Department said it had completed after 18 months an investigation of a criminal ring that enabled foreigners at Ljubljana's asylum centre transfers to other European countries. Seven persons were arrested as house searches were conducted on Wednesday.

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