20 Nov 2020, 15:22 PM

STA, 20 November 2020 - 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 yesterday, 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.

Offering some more detailed statistics at the daily press briefing in the morning, government spokesman Jelko Kacin expressed concern about an increase in infections in care homes.

The number of infected residents increased by 250 to what are currently 2,510 actively infected residents out of a total of 4,424 infections among the residents in aged care facilities in the second wave.

The number of infected care home staff rose by 81 in the past day to 905 actively infected, out of a total of 1,656 confirmed infections among care home staff in the second wave.

Data from tracker site show Slovenia has so far confirmed 62,580 coronavirus infections with the number of active infections dropping by 0.1% in the past day to 19,894. The rolling 14-day average per 100,000 residents dropped to 949.

Robert Carotta, the coordinator for Covid-19 hospital beds at the Health Ministry who also addressed the briefing, assessed that the coronavirus situation was stabilising although it remained tense.

"Luckily, the number of hospitalisations isn't increasing any more. It appears we've have reached a peak," he said, but warned that the health system was stretched to the limit.

He said though that there was a decreasing number of patient transfers between hospitals, which "indicates the hospitals are able to attend to patients in their area".

He also said that the number of infections among health staff was on the decrease; at Jesenice general hospital where he comes from, 37 staff are absent due to Covid-19, which was down from the peak of 72 or more than 20% of the staff at the hospital.

Slovenia's chief epidemiologist with mixed views about current measures

STA, 20 November 2020 - Mario Fafangel, Slovenia's chief epidemiologist, has mixed feelings about the current measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus. In an interview with Mladina, he singled out mandatory masks outdoor 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), Fafangel 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.

"When this period is over and the number of new infections is brought back to a manageable level, I would certainly do certain things very differently than so far," he said.

In spring Fafangel was one of the signatories of a letter by NIJZ epidemiologists who protested against their profession being sidelined.

"I don't have a problem saying that under my leadership, epidemiologists will not become a repressive body and will not issue binding quarantine decisions."

Asked which measures were currently least likely to contribute to curtailing the epidemic, he singled out mandatory masks outdoors saying there were no studies at this point showing that countries which instituted mandatory masks outdoor were more successful in fighting the epidemic.

He acknowledged, however, that such a blanket rule rendered it unnecessary to more precisely regulate mask use, and it made supervision of compliance easier.

One recent example that gained a lot of traction in media and on social networks was the fining of a food delivery worker who had lunch in the centre of Ljubljana and was fined for not wearing a mask.

"I think this is unproductive. Such a repressive approach may be effective in a situation that lasts a month or two at most, but what it mostly does is it triggers resistance to compliance."

In a similar vein, Fafangel thinks the ban on movement between municipalities does not make much sense.

"The epidemiological situation does not warrant restrictions on movement around the country since infections are spread fairly evenly and we don't have less affected areas that we would have to protect."

He noted, however, that the goal of this measure was "to reduce the movement and mingling of people in all possible ways".

Another questionable rule is the ban on some non-food products in grocery stores, a measure he said that only made people angry, even if it is designed to reduce contact between people and hence the probability of transmission.

Overall, he said the measures needed to be relaxed "very cautiously" while those that will remain in force longer must be more targeted.

A resident of Trieste, he said that having experienced the total lockdown in Italy, "in the end you only wait how to make up for everything you have missed and create extra reserves for the new lockdown".

He said the situation was particularly difficult for young adults, who feel very much deprived. "It is necessary to emphasise all the time that this is for the good of the community, for protecting the vulnerable, but at the same time we should not expect perfection from youths and be indignant at their irresponsibility every time they transgress."

All our stories on covid & Slovenia

20 Nov 2020, 12:55 PM

STA, 20 November 2020 - 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 on Friday. 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.

While the first motion to amend the mining act with a ban on what is also known as fracking, tabled by the opposition Left, was rejected at committee level last month, the renewed attempt, coming from the four left-leaning opposition parties, was rendered unfit for further reading at Friday's plenary.

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.

Ascent Resources has begun procedures for an investor dispute against Slovenia over the decision of Slovenian authorities that an environmental impact assessment is needed before any permits can be issued for hydraulic fracturing.

While Sukič spoke of a "dirty technology that is also proving abroad as destructive for the environment and the health of local populations", the government disagrees with the proposed changes, which also stipulate that already issued permits and mining rights and applications for them would need to be "coordinated" with the ban as well.

Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Blaž Košorok argued that the motion was not worded appropriately and did not take into account the consequences of interference with obtained rights to use hydraulic fracturing to extract hydrocarbons, for which an environmental impact assessment needs to be conducted.

Franci Kepa of the senior coalition Democrats (SDS) said strategies needed to be thought through carefully also because of responsibilities toward potential investors in this field.

"The Infrastructure Ministry has been drawing up changes to the mining act for some time...It is not good to change the act just because of a single issue; instead, a comprehensive and complex approach is necessary," Kepa said.

A similar view was taken by other coalition parties, although the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and the Modern Centre Party (SMC) expressed support for a ban in principle, while Mihael Prevc of New Slovenia (NSi) argued hydraulic fracturing should be discussed by experts and not politics.

Gregor Perič of the SMC spoke of "a strange case of amnesia" on the part of those forgetting that the mining act and Slovenia's mining strategy consider hydrocarbons as resources of strategic importance. He added the changes proposed by the opposition brought more questions than answers.

All opposition parties begged to differ, rejecting the systemic or comprehensive solution argument and highlighting the right of the inhabitants of Petišovci to live in a healthy environment.

"We find it nonsensical for such a good legislative proposal to be rejected merely on the basis of the excuse we are waiting for a systemic of comprehensive solution," Soniboj Knežak of the SocDems said.

"The company wanting to frack in Petišovci comes from the UK, where fracking is banned. It has also been banned in France, Germany, Ireland as well as Bulgaria, and it is high time that this invasive and dangerous method...also be banned in Slovenia," Knežak added.

20 Nov 2020, 12:49 PM

STA, 20 November 2020 - 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.

Since its inclusion in the group Vita generated a profit of EUR 2.9 million and in addition EUR 7 million was one-off income from the excess of the fair value of the net assets acquired over the purchase price.

Growth in operating revenue was driven mainly by the inclusion of Vita, expansion of freedom of services business written by the insurer in EU member states, and greater volumes of Slovenian non-life business and international reinsurance business.

The inclusion of Vita contributed EUR 28 million to the growth in gross premiums written, with additional contribution from the insurance business written with various companies in the EU. Excluding that business, the growth in gross premiums written would have been 9.5%.

The net expense ratio improved by 1.6 percentage points y/y, also as the result of the integration of Vita, which operates at an even more favourable expense ratio compared to other group members.

Improved expense ratios were also achieved in the reinsurance and Slovenian non-life segments, mainly because income grew faster than expenses due to both the fixed nature of certain expenses and certain cost optimisation measures adopted to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the group's operations.

Profitability was also supported by a more favourable claims experience thanks to a lower loss rate in motor business and the absence of catastrophic loss events.

Despite the profitability, the insurer will not pay out dividends and the shareholders' meeting to take a decision on that was cancelled a few days ago due to increased risks detected relating to potential additional negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the operations.

"After the reporting date, Sava Re was informed of new circumstances that had arisen in certain EU insurance markets and in the United Kingdom related to potential additional adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the operations," the company's release reads

Based on current detailed analyses of its insurance exposure, the group has concluded that Covid-related business interruption claims are not covered under its policies written directly under freedom of services rules in the EU.

"Regarding its exposure under reinsurance contracts, there may be coverage in some cases. In line with preliminary estimates, in the last quarter of 2020, the group will most likely set a provision of up to EUR 10 million for potential legal expenses and reinsurance claims in this regard," it said.

Even with this provision for Covid claims, the management expects - in the absence of any major loss events - that the group will achieve its full-year 2020 plan, that is more than EUR 50 million in net profit and an operating revenue of up to EUR 640 million.

20 Nov 2020, 12:47 PM

STA, 20 November 2020 - 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 on Friday 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 has been 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".

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped by 25% year-on-year to EUR 114.4 million. This was, however, still better than Petrol's main competitors in the region, the company said.

About 44% of EBITDA was generated by petroleum product sales, 21% by merchandise sales and related services, 17% by the sale of other energy products such as natural gas, electricity and LPG, 15% by the sale of energy and environmental solutions, and 3% by renewable electricity production.

Petroleum product sales were down 21% to 2.3 million tonnes, liquefied petroleum gas sales totalled 114.3 thousand tonnes, which was 17% less than in the same period of the previous year. Electricity sales stood at 15.7 TWh and natural gas sales at 19.9 TWh.

The group generated EUR 345.2 million in merchandise sales, a 3% decrease compared to the same period of the previous year.

At the end of September, the group operated 510 service stations, of which 318 in Slovenia, 110 in Croatia, 42 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 15 in Serbia, 15 in Montenegro and 10 in Kosovo.

The group has drawn up different scenarios for operations this year due to the uncertain conditions. The projection is that amount of petroleum products sold will reach between 83% and 86% of last year's figure.

Gross operating profit could stand between 73% and 79% of last year's of between 77% and 84% when not factoring in one off events, with EUR 11 million worth of these having been excluded from last year's operating profit.

The Petrol group spent EUR 46.4 million on net investments in property, plant and equipment, intangible assets and long-term investments, which compares to EUR 84.3 million in the first nine months of 2019.

Out of the above amount, 33% was allocated for sales in Slovenia, 23% for energy and environmental solutions, 18% for sales in SE Europe, 10% for the upgrading of information and other infrastructure, 9% for renewable electricity production, and 7% for mobility.

The group had a 5,230-strong workforce at the end of September, 35% of which at subsidiaries abroad. The number of employees decreased by 45 compared to the end of 2019.

20 Nov 2020, 08:06 AM

Following a hard-fought draw against Greece on Wednesday night, the Slovenian men’s football team preserved their unbeaten run in this season’s UEFA Nations League to secure progression into League B of the next edition.

Slovenia produced a poor performance in the inaugural edition of the tournament two years ago, going winless with three draws and three losses in their six group games as they ended bottom of Group C3 behind Norway, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

Due a change in format of the tournament, Slovenia remained in League C in this year’s competition, lining up alongside Greece, Moldova and Kosovo this time around, with the winner of the group securing promotion to League B for the 2022/23 Nations League.

Still smarting over their failed European Championship qualification bid, Slovenia kicked off their Nations League campaign with a goalless draw at home to Greece in September, followed by a narrow 1-0 victory over Moldova three days later.

A 1-0 win over Kosovo and comfortable 4-0 victory over Moldova in October meant the Slovenians led the group heading into the final two fixtures, yet were just two points ahead of equally unbeaten Greece.

After warming up with an uninspiring goalless draw with Azerbaijan in a friendly played at Stožice Stadium last week, Slovenia found themselves a goal down to Kosovo in their penultimate Nations League encounter played on Sunday in Ljubljana, having started the game without influential captain and star goalkeeper Jan Oblak due to injury.

The home side rallied though, drawing level four minutes after conceding as Jasmin Kurtić tapped home his first international goal in over eight years. The game looked to be heading for a draw as the scoreline remained 1-1 at the 90 minute mark, yet draw unfolded in injury time after Kosovo’s Fidan Aliti handled the ball in the box, with Josip Iličić keeping his cool to convert from the spot to hand Slovenia a vital three points.

Greece’s victory over Moldova meant it was all to play for in Athens – a draw or victory for Slovenia guaranteed promotion, but a loss to the hosts meant the Greeks would leapfrog their opponents and win the group.

Oblak was back for the visitors, and he proved instrumental as Slovenia withstood a barrage of attacks from the home side, who had 16 attempts on goal the entire match opposed to Slovenia’s six, enjoying 61% ball possession as the searched for a way through. It was not to be, however, as the Slovenian defence stood firm, shutting out the Greeks as the game ended 0-0, with Slovenia ending as group winners and thus earning promotion to League B in the 2022/23 Nations League competition.

"It's a big reward for the guys who did a good job, they managed to make a team,” said Slovenia’s head coach Matjaž Kek, back in his second spell after leading the national team in their second World Cup campaign in South African 2010. “As a selector, I'm glad we laid the foundation, we introduced some new faces, so congratulations to the team and everyone in the relationship who are in these crazy sometimes we did a great job in organizing all this.

"We reminded Slovenia that football is still here. This is a respectable result, but it is not worth flying. I am satisfied, although it is probably the most difficult month in my coaching career for me.”

Ending the competition with four wins and two draws, Slovenia are now unbeaten in eight matches since their 3-2 Euro 2020 qualifying loss to Poland last year, and sit 62nd in the latest FIFA rankings.

20 Nov 2020, 04:00 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 2,000 new coronavirus cases logged again, 45 fatalities

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day running as a further 45 patients with Covid-19 died, bringing the death toll to 964. According to government spokesman Jelko Kacin, 2,064 of the 6,806 Sars-CoV-2 tests performed on Wednesday came back positive, which means as many as 30.33%, up almost four percentage points from the day before. While officials are "deeply worried, in particular doctors and other health personnel", Kacin said the situation in hospitals improved slightly; 1,238 patients with Covid-19 were being treated in hospitals yesterday, 42 fewer than the day before.

Budgets for 2021-2022 passed, bringing record expenditure and investments

LJUBLJANA - Parliament passed late on Wednesday 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. Around EUR 2 billion will be spent on investment in 2021 and in 2022, with Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj stressing "Slovenia has never before invested that much".

book cover cook eat slovenia.jpg

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.

No non-essential shops, cultural events for another week

LJUBLJANA - The government extended by seven days the closure of shops selling non-essential goods and the ban on cultural events, Covid-19 spokesman Jelko Kacin said. It also suspended the deadlines in court procedures, Kacin explained. The decision is based on the law on courts, which says the deadlines are suspended if courts cannot work due to an emergency. The suspension can last up to three months. The decision on the extension of other major measures, such as the night curfew or the movement between municipalities, is expected on Friday.

Logar says transatlantic relations should be strengthened

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister 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 cybernetic threats. The Foreign Ministry said many ministers, Logar included, agreed that effective multilateralism was still the best way to address global challenges, assessing that the EU has the political, economic and financial power to co-shape the multilateral order.

Speaker argues for efficient return of migrants ineligible for asylum

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 high-level inter-parliamentary conference on migration and asylum in Europe. The conference was organised by the European Parliament and the parliaments of the Trio Presidency comprising Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. Along with Zorčič, several other members of the National Assembly took part.

Motor vehicles tax to be reduced

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. Calculations from the Finance Ministry show the tax burden on buyers will be reduced by more than 65% on average. "It means lower tax on cars and motorbikes for most models," Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said. The bill also scraps an extra levy introduced in 2021 on luxury vehicles, that is those with an engine capacity of more than 2.5 litres, so that single tax will apply to all vehicles.

Employer club calls against further lockdown of businesses

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Business Club (SBC) urged steps to make it easier for businesses to continue to operate arguing the government must not tighten the lockdown any further. It also criticised the "excessive bureaucratic measures" in shops, where certain goods cannot be purchased while being on shelves, and the restrictions for hairdressers and beauty parlours, which it believes encourages undeclared work. The club believes that the regime on the borders is "nonsensical" as a relatively low number of infections has been imported from the non-EU countries.

Fearing collapse, meetings industry urges state aid

LJUBLJANA - Events organisers urged the government to provide state aid for the Slovenian meetings industry, which employs some 15,000 workers and generates almost EUR 900 million in revenue. In the opposite case, the meetings industry, at a standstill since the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic in March, could collapse. The meetings industry has drafted several proposals to be included into state aid packages, but its representatives said the government only heeded their calls with the sixth package, which is now in parliamentary procedure.

Travel and hospitality services hit worst in first Covid-19 wave

LJUBLJANA - 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. Pub, restaurant or cafe owners and travel agencies were hit worst in the months following the first epidemic declaration, a Statistics Office study showed. Following the April drop, income figures were rising for three consecutive months and in July they were higher by 6.6% on June. However, services income dropped again in August, this time by 2% on the month before.

Krka sees 6% nine-month revenue rise, net profit up by 22%

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. Sales were up the most in Eastern Europe, where the most revenue was generated. Operating profit jumped by 57% to EUR 300.75 million and EBITDA increased by 40% to EUR 384.6 million. Sales were up compared to the same period last year in all regional markets, except Turkmenistan, but the crucial growth was that in Russia, Krka's largest individual market.

Cinkarna Celje records 3% drop in nine-month revenue, net profit down 27%

CELJE - Chemicals company Cinkarna Celje generated EUR 130.4 million in sales revenue in the first nine months of this year, a 3% decrease year-on-year. Net profit fell by 27% to EUR 13.8 million. Sales of titanium dioxide pigment, Cinkarna Celje's flagship product, were up by 4.8% compared to the same period last year, but average selling prices were 4.6% below those in the comparable period in 2019, the company said.

Intereuropa profit, revenue drop due to pandemic

LJUBLJANA - The logistics group Intereuropa generated EUR 111.6 million in revenue in the nine ten months of the year, a 7% drop over the same period last year but still 6% above business plans. Profit dropped by 42% to EUR 2.4 million. The group said the performance drop was due to the coronavirus pandemic, which affected particularly the second quarter. While figures declined in all segments, the biggest drop was seen in land transport, where revenue dropped by 11% in the first three quarters year-on-year.

Accounting firm Unija expands in Croatia

LJUBLJANA - Unija, one of the biggest accounting service firms in Slovenia, said it hadmerged with Croatia's biggest accounting firm Data-Link. The merger is in line with its plan to become the most progressive and the best accounting service in its field in the region by 2022. The group now expects to increase its revenue by EUR 2 million to EUR 10 million a year and employs more than 250 people. The Croatian company has been renamed Data-Link Unija and has more than 80 employees.

PM endorses planned Ljubljana passenger terminal and rail upgrade

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša met with Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković on Wednesday to discuss the future of rail infrastructure in the country. Janša gave his support to the revived plans to upgrade the capital's rail infrastructure and set up a new bus and train terminal. "It is time to relaunch and implement the project," the prime minister said about the EUR 100m-plus project, which was stalled almost ten years ago due to the financial crisis but was listed among the 2020-2023 development investments strategy by the government in September.

Smrekar gets full term at helm of Statistics Office

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 for a full term by the previous government in August 2019 and dismissed by the current government this May due to difficulties with the office's responsiveness as the government required certain data to prepare anti-coronavirus measures.

Total assets of 100 wealthiest Slovenian increase, Logins firmly on top

LJUBLJANA - The spouses Iza and Samo Login remain the wealthiest Slovenia, topping the list of the Manager magazine for the seventh year running. The Logins were the main founders of popular apps company Outfit7 that was sold to China's United Luck Group for US$1 billion in 2017. 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.

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


19 Nov 2020, 20:09 PM

STA, 19 November 2020 - The government has extended by seven days the closure of shops selling non-essential goods and the ban on cultural events, its Covid-19 spokesman Jelko Kacin said on Thursday. It will decide whether to extend other measures, such as the night curfew or the movement between municipalities, at a correspondence session on Friday.

The seven-day extension also applies to driving school lessons.

The exceptions to the shop ban are groceries, shops selling personal care and cleaning products or farm produce, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks and insurers, post offices, car repair shops as well as delivery services.

Clothing, shoe and tech stores are not listed among the exceptions and even grocery stores are not allowed to sell technical goods, clothes or shoes.

The government also decided that multi-apartment buildings have to provide hand sanitiser at the entrance for another 14 days.

It suspended the deadlines in court procedures, Kacin explained. The decision is based on the law on courts, which says the deadlines are suspended if courts cannot work due to an emergency. The suspension can last up to three months.

On 16 November, all courts in Slovenia switched to lockdown mode until further notice to help fight the coronavirus.

This means court hearings are held only in some half a dozen urgent matters, whereas all the others have been cancelled, except if held via video call.

19 Nov 2020, 17:14 PM

STA, 19 November 2020 - 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. Pub, restaurant or cafe owners and travel agencies were hit worst in the months following the first epidemic declaration, a Statistics Office study shows.

Following the April drop, income figures were rising for three consecutive months and in July they were higher by 6.6% on June. However, services income dropped again in August, this time by 2% on the month before.

The August figure also indicated a 10.7% decrease year-on-year, a smaller drop compared to downward trends at the annual level in the first months after the epidemic was declared in March - for example, in April, the year-on-year drop was 28.9%.

Restaurants, bars and cafes closed in mid-March and some of them were open again for business in early May. Food deliveries and take-aways were their only options in the lockdown period.

Their income in March was already lower by 57.7% compared to February and they recorded a 62.4% monthly drop in April, the study, released on Thursday, shows.

In May, when restrictions were mainly lifted, the figure increased by 214.9% on April, however it was still 45.1% below the figure recorded in May 2019.

The summer months brought some relief, but income was still reduced by 10%-20% compared to the same period in 2019.

Travel agencies or other travel-related services have had it even worse though, having suffered the biggest decrease in income in the services sector. They recorded a 71.7% monthly drop in March and a 83% decrease month-on-month in April.

Following May the situation improved, however a year-on-year analysis again shows that 2020 has been a difficult year for them. The biggest annual drop was recorded in April - by 95.5% and during the May-August period year-on-year decreases were always above 70%.

The study provides further data indicating that Slovenian tourism was completely crippled in March and April. Between mid-March and mid-May there were none tourist arrivals and virtually zero overnight stays.

In June, the numbers of arrivals and overnight stays were at some 35% of the figures in June 2019.

Accommodation services recorded a 78.1% monthly drop in April. In June, the figure rose by 185.8% on May, likely due to the government measure introducing holiday vouchers, however it was still reduced by 60.8% on June 2019.

When it comes to annual comparisons, a Covid-related drop in income was less significant in summer. In July, the year-on-year decrease was 21.8% and in August 15.8%.

All our stories on Slovenia and covid

19 Nov 2020, 15:39 PM

STA, 19 November 2020 - Slovenia has logged more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day running as a further 45 patients with Covid-19 have died, bringing the death toll to 964.

According to government spokesman Jelko Kacin, 2,064 of the 6,806 Sars-CoV-2 tests performed on Wednesday came back positive, which means as many as 30.33%, up almost four percentage points from the day before.

"We're all deeply worried, in particular doctors and other health personnel, what the situation will be in a few days," Kacin said at the morning press briefing on Thursday, urging on everyone to stay at home as much as possible.

He said though that the situation in hospitals improved slightly; 1,238 patients with Covid-19 were being treated in hospitals yesterday, 42 fewer than the day before, 205 of them in intensive care, four fewer than the day before, as 78 were discharged home.

The country's overall coronavirus case count has now passed 61,000 as the number of active cases has inched up again to 19,911, according to tracker site

The rolling 14-day average per 100,000 residents has risen again to 950.

The region with the highest infection rate remains Pomurje in the north-easternmost part of the country, at 1,628 infections per 100,000 residents as of 17 November, while infections are also rising in Korška in the north and Podravje in the north-east.

All our stories on Slovenia and covid

19 Nov 2020, 12:49 PM

STA, 19 November 2020 - The spouses Iza and Samo Login remain the wealthiest Slovenia, topping the list of the Manager magazine for the seventh years 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.

The Logins, the main founders of popular apps company Outfit7 that was sold to China's United Luck Group for US$1 billion in 2017, are estimated to have EUR 689 million worth of assets, the same as in 2019.

Commenting on the Logins, Manager magazine argued that while the time to sell Outfit7 seemed ideal in 2017, "we find that Outfit7 could be worth two or three times as much today".

There has also been no change in second spot, but the gap of Sandi Češko and his partner Livija Dolanc, who sold their 55% stake in omni-channel retailer Studio Moderna in 2019, to the Logins has been reduced by about EUR 50 million, with Češko and Dolanc estimated to be sitting on EUR 345 million, 17% more than last year.

Holding on to third place is Marko Pistotnik, another former owner of Outfit7, whose assets are believed to have remained unchanged at EUR 210 million.

Placing fourth again is the Lah family of financial investors with EUR 164 million, down 3%, followed by Damian Merlak, who sold his cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp in 2018 and is estimated to be worth EUR 148 million, up 19% on 2019.

The biggest climb has been recorded for Jure Knez, the owner of measuring instruments maker Dewesoft, who doubled his assets to EUR 73.8 million.

There are six new members of the TOP 100, among them NBA veteran Goran Dragić with an estimated EUR 51.4 million and NHL star Anže Kopitar with EUR 31.5 million. Slovenia's new NBA sensation Luka Dončić, still on his first contract, made the list of the wealthiest young millionaires this year. He is estimated to be worth EUR 16.5 million.

Top 10 wealthiest Slovenian according to Manager magazine

1 Samo and Iza Login         EUR 689m (+ 0%)
   ex-owners of app developer Outfit7

2 Sandi Češko, Livija Dolanc EUR 345m (+17%)
   ex-owners of omni-channel retailer Studio Moderna

3 Marko Pistotnik            EUR 270m (+ 0%)
   ex-owner of app developer Outfit7

4 Lah family                 EUR 164m (- 3%)
   financial investors

5 Damian Merlak              EUR 148m (+19%)
   ex-owner of cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp

6 Igor Akrapovič             EUR 139m (+ 3%)
   owner of exhaust maker Akrapovič

7 Tatjana and Albin Doberšek EUR 123m (- 2%)
   founders of Engineering Doberšek

8 Franc Frelih               EUR 123m (+10%)
   owner of a number of companies, including Oil maker Gea

9 Šešok family               EUR 120m (+38%)
   owners of electronics group Iskra

10 Tone Strnad                EUR 118m (+36%)
   owner of pharmaceutical company Medis
19 Nov 2020, 12:41 PM

STA, 17 November 2020 - The Supreme Court has annulled a ruling upholding the dismissal of a damages claim by the now ruling Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) against the state over the Patria defence corruption trial, returning the case to the Maribor Higher Court for a retrial, the news web portal Nova24TV has reported.

The party claimed EUR 886,000 in pecuniary damages because its leader Janez Janša was sentenced to prison ahead of the 2014 general election over a 2006 defence procurement deal. His and co-defendants' convictions were overturned by the Constitutional Court in 2015.

The party argued it sustained irreparable damage through the conviction, alleging that "unlawful conduct" by the judiciary in the Patria case affected the party's results in the general elections in 2011 and 2014 as the events related to the trial coincided with the election campaign and elections. Janša was ordered to report in prison shortly before the snap election in 2014.

The damages suit was dismissed by the Ljubljana District Court in May 2018 on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to prove unlawful conduct by judges in the trial. The judgement was then upheld by the Higher Court in Maribor.

However, in a decision that Nova24TV reports has been unanimous the Supreme Court has granted an appeal on a point of law over the question whether the second-instance court may have breached constitutional provisions on equal protection of rights and right to judicial protection and the contentious civil procedure act due to insufficient explanation of the judgement.

The party's counsel Franci Matoz is convinced the Maribor Higher Court will now be obliged to take their arguments into consideration, according to Nova24TV.

Janša also claims EUR 900,000 in damages himself. The case has recently been moved by the Supreme Court from the district court in Celje to the one in Kranj, after Janša's lawyer initially demanded a transfer from the Ljubljana District Court.

Meanwhile, co-defendants have already reached settlements with the state on their claims for wrongful imprisonment.

Photo galleries and videos

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