News

11 Jan 2022, 15:36 PM

STA, 11 January 2022 - Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and his two sons have been acquitted of tax evasion concerning the sale of shares of the retailer Mercator in 2006 as the court handed down its ruling after a month-long trial on Tuesday. Janković said the acquittal was expected.

Janković, CEO of Mercator until 2007, was charged with tax evasion in the sale of 47,000 Mercator shares to the family company, and his sons, Jure and Damjan, were charged with abetting.

The prosecution claimed he avoided paying roughly EUR 103,000 in capital gains tax via a series of transactions involving two companies owned by his family, Electa Holding and Electa Inženiring, and a bank loan.

The prosecution claimed that Janković had control over Electa Inženiring all along and was still the owner of the shares that were only parked with the company until the sale.

Janković has maintained his innocence. The linchpin of his defence was that the Financial Administration had revoked its decision that he owes tax after conducting a second round of tax inspection, because no irregularities had been found.

During the trial, he accused the prosecutor, Blanka Žgajnar, of "bullying" him and abusing the court.

The court ended up determining that Janković had sold the shares in 2004, before the capital gains tax entered into effect, whereas in 2006 the shares were sold on by Electa Inženiring.

It therefore ruled that these were not fictitious transactions between family members and companies since everything was clear in accounting terms. "It is impossible to say that this was a fictitious transaction for tax purposes," judge Mojca Kocjančič said.

Janković said he had expected an acquittal but described the procedure as "an encroachment of representatives of the authorities in the rights of my family."

He described as "unfathomable" the prosecutor's decision to proceed with the case despite the Financial Administration's decision, saying it was "sad and ridiculous" that the prosecutor today read from the Financial Administration's decision that had been revoked.

Žgajnar, the prosecutor, insisted that she had proved wrongdoing in the course of the trial and announced she would appeal the ruling.

11 Jan 2022, 15:29 PM

STA, 11 January 2022 - Slovenia's senior politicians and the country's members of the European Parliament (MEPs) took to Tweeter to express condolences upon the death of David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, who died this morning, labelling him as a great democrat, and a proud and sincere European.

National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič said he was honoured to have been able to work with Sassoli during Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of last year.

Prime Minister Janez Janša said, "We are sorry at the death of President Sassoli. At this difficult moment, our thoughts are with his family and friends."

President Borut Pahor labelled Sassoli as a great democrat and a sincere European. "Upon the death of European Parliament President and my dear friend David Sassoli, I express condolences to the family and the European Parliament on my own behalf and on behalf of the Republic of Slovenia."

The Foreign Ministry said that it was deeply saddened by Sassoli's death, and labelled the late official a man who strongly believed in Europe and "our common future".

"Sassoli's death is a big loss for our European family. Our thoughts and compassion are with his family and those closest to him," the ministry said on Tweeter.

Defence Minister Matej Tonin, the leader of New Slovenia (NSi), said that "we have lost a proud European who epitomised the true values of united Europe".

Some of Slovenia's MEPs have also already expressed their condolences, with Sassoli's S&D colleague Tanja Fajon saying her heart was broken. "The European Parliament has lost a true leader, democracy and the rule of law have lost a champion, and I have lost a dear friend ...".

"Grazie, Presidente, for your unrelenting faith in united Europe and for everything good you have done for Europe and all of us," tweeted MEP Milan Brglez (S&D).

MEP Ljudmila Novak from the EPP wrote that Sassoli "strongly believed in unified Europe where democracy is the key value. As an ex-journalist, he was a strong fighter for the freedom of expression."

Condolences were also expressed by Klemen Grošelj and Irena Joveva (Renew). "A sad day for the European Parliament and the EU at the much too premature death of a dedicated and resolute fighter for a better Europe at these demanding times for all of us and for our institution," wrote Grošelj.

Sassoli died in hospital in Aviano in Italy last night at the age of 65, after he was admitted on 26 December due to a serious complication with his immune system, while he also had health problems before. His term of European Parliament president was to expire next week.

11 Jan 2022, 11:44 AM

STA, 10 January 2022 - The European Research Council (ERC) has granted EUR 2.2 million in funding to the project PHAGECONTROL - Development of Host Manipulation by Bacteriophage, led by Anna Dragoš from the Biotechnical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana, a prominent researcher in the field of virus-bacteria interaction.

Out of the total funding awarded, around EUR 700,000 will be allocated for a precision microscope, which will be used to study viruses that enter bacteria and change their properties by inserting viral DNA into bacterial DNA.

Some of the altered properties of bacteria may be beneficial for humans, while others may change from harmless bacteria to pathogens. The project will establish new methods and create new molecular tools to study virus transmission, which could also improve predictions of the spread of epidemics in the future.

"We will study how viruses can change the behaviour of bacteria in the first phase, the second phase will cover the molecular mechanisms responsible for these changes, and in the third phase, we will test whether viruses change the behaviour of bacteria because they are cooperating or because they are manipulators," Dragoš explained.

"There is great potential in this project to discover a significant part of the genetic 'black box' of viruses, as well as new antimicrobial compounds carried by viruses. These could eventually find medical applications, for example as alternatives to antibiotics," she added.

Dragoš is the third University of Ljubljana researcher that managed to secure an ERC grant for her project. The first one was awarded in 2011 to Nedjeljka Žagar, a researcher in the field of meteorology, and the second one went to Marta Verginella from the Faculty of Arts in 2016.

11 Jan 2022, 11:25 AM

STA, 11 January 2022 - While the cost for the state for tackling the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020 amounted to EUR 2 billion, expenditure only grew in 2021 by a further EUR 800 million. In 2020, the state spent the most money on preserving jobs and providing liquidity to companies, and last year expenditure was dominated by bonuses for public sector employees.

The direct cost of the epidemic-related measures from the spring of 2020 to the end of 2021 amounted to EUR 4.8 billion, as another EUR 2.8 billion was added to the cost last year.

The first package of measures was adopted by the National Assembly at the end of March 2020, followed by eight anti-coronavirus laws and an emergency law to assist the tourism sector and related industries in July last year.

Just before the start of 2022, another emergency law was passed in parliament, introducing some new bonuses and compensations in the event of complications related to vaccination against Covid-19.

In order to prevent lay-offs in companies in the face of declining revenue and restrictions of business, the government started taking a number of measures to preserve jobs immediately after the epidemic was declared almost two years ago.

EUR 1.1 billion in such measures was paid to companies in 2020, which is more than half of the total expenditure in the first year of the epidemic, and an additional EUR 633 million was paid last year.

The best received by employees was the measure of subsidised furlough, which expired at the end of last June, while employers also had the measure of subsidised part-time work at their disposal until the end of last September.

The state will also cover for the costs of wages related to quarantine or force majeure related to the epidemic until the end of February this year, if the measure is not extended.

The state also financed the universal monthly basic income for the self-employed and other eligible groups in the first wave of the epidemic and again in the second wave until the end of last June, with EUR 238 million paid last out year for this purpose.

A total of EUR 630 million was spent in 2021 for job-preserving measures, which is almost 50% less than in 2020. This is due to business being restricted for a longer period in 2020 than last year, and partly due to the quicker economic recovery.

Measures for maintaining liquidity were also available to companies, including deferral of taxes or payment of taxes in instalments, a loan guarantee scheme and reimbursement of fixed costs.

The latter measure was implemented at the beginning of last year retroactively for as of September 2020 and has so far cost the state EUR 309 million.

The amount of paid bonuses to employees under the anti-coronavirus legislation adopted so far increased sharply last year in comparison to 2020 - from EUR 204 million to EUR 822 million.

The largest amount, EUR 745 million, was earmarked for bonuses for work in hazardous conditions under the collective agreement for the public sector, which amount to 65% of the hourly rate of the basic salary of public sector employee.

The largest amount of such bonuses was paid to employees in public institutions owned by municipalities, followed by healthcare employees.

The state also spent more money last year for other costs related to the management of the epidemic, including costs of protective equipment, tests and research. These costs amounted to EUR 385 million or almost three times more than in 2020.

Also included in the anti-coronavirus legislation were bonuses for various social groups aimed at maintaining consumption and improving their social situation. EUR 287 million was provided for these measures last year, which is on a par with 2020.

Another EUR 630 million has been secured in the 2022 budget for anti-coronavirus measures. This is not the final figure, as the amount could be increased depending on the pace of vaccination and the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

11 Jan 2022, 11:11 AM

STA, 10 January 2021 - Health Minister Janez Poklukar announced a new vaccination campaign for later this week as the country braces for a surge in the Omicron-driven wave of infections and potential disruption after the new extremely infectious variant has prevailed.

"Omicron has practically supplanted Delta in a good fortnight. It no longer makes sense counting the cases as all confirmed cases are likely infected with the Omicron variant," Poklukar told reporters on Monday.

Slovenia reported a record 5,164 new cases of coronavirus for Monday, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic. The case positivity rate exceeded 50%, according to the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).

He said microbiologists and virologists had not yet seen such rapid replacement by a more virulent variant, warning the country would be put to organisational challenges in the coming weeks as the virus "floods the population".

He repeated that the best defence against Omicron and hospitalisation is vaccination, noting that 73% of the 572 patients currently hospitalised with Covid-19 and 85% of the 157 in intensive care were unvaccinated. He also noted the risk of long Covid.

"We're entering the 5th wave with a low vaccination rate, overstretched hospitals and exhausted staff," he said.

In a bid to get as many people as possible vaccinated with first, second and booster jabs, vaccination centres will be again open from 8am to 8pm between Thursday and Saturday with no prior appointments required.

Like in the similar campaign ahead of Christmas, the effort will be joined by public and private health care providers, dentists, local communities, civil protection and the Red Cross.

The new vaccination campaign comes before the Covid pass becomes limited to 9 months starting from 1 February, so the minister urged people to take up the invitation to avoid crowds at the end of the month.

Franc Strle, an expert on internal medicine and infectious diseases, said vaccination was not expected to "convincingly reduce the spread of the virus, but it will convincingly reduce the share of those who will need treatment in hospital".

According to Poklukar, nine patients with Omicron are being treated in hospitals with at least four of them requiring hospitalisation due to other conditions than Covid-19.

Vaccination is also recommended to those who have recovered from Covid-19 with the National Advisory Committee on Immunisation advising a jab within one to six months after recovery and within three to six months for the vaccinated recovered.

The fully vaccinated who have not had Covid yet are now advised to get a booster after a three-month break following the full inoculation.

Data from the National Institute of Public Health shows 57% of Slovenia's population has been fully vaccinated and 59% have had their first shot. Almost 505,000 have had boosters, according to the government.

Asked about the cost of testing, Poklukar said rapid tests would likely be made self-paid following the peak of the fifth wave. "The concept proposed will be the one we had before the fourth wave when the rapid tests were payable [...] save for exemptions."

Rapid and PCR tests have so far cost the state almost EUR 160 million, money that could be spent on investment in healthcare. The minister noted the planned new department of infectious diseases at UKC Ljubljana would come at the cost of EUR 100 million to the state budget.

11 Jan 2022, 04:28 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

New coronavirus cases more than double on Sunday to 2,515

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 2,515 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, an increase of 150% on the week before and the highest Sunday figure since the start of the pandemic. About 48% of all PCR tests were positive, the highest case positivity rate in the current wave of the pandemic. The 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people was up by 85 to 1,719. The number of Covid patients in hospital rose by 35 to 572, whereas ICU cases dropped by four to 157.

New push for vaccination as Omicron prevails

LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Janez Poklukar announced a new vaccination campaign for later this week as the country braces for a surge in the Omicron-driven wave of infections and potential disruption. In a bid to get as many people as possible vaccinated with first, second and booster jabs, vaccination centres will be again open from 8am to 8pm between Thursday and Saturday with no prior appointments required. "Omicron has practically supplanted Delta in a good fortnight," Poklukar said.

Digital markets agreement among presidency top achievements

LJUBLJANA - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek considers a political agreement on the digital markets act as the crowning achievement of the Slovenian EU presidency in areas under his purview. The legislation is a milestone in creating a more open, competitive and fair digital market in the EU, he said at a news conference. The proposal still needs to be endorsed by the European Parliament, and the agreement, reached last November, is a starting point for talks between EU member states and the European Parliament.

Improving working conditions seen as major achievement of EU presidency

LJUBLJANA - Contribution to improving working conditions in the EU was highlighted as Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj presented the achievements of Slovenia's EU presidency in his department. He noted that a final agreement had been reached on the protection of workers against carcinogens, and major steps taken on two directives on wages. "The Slovenian presidency put people at the centre when it comes to employment, social policy and equal opportunities," he said.

Inquiry urges resignations of interior minister, both state secretaries

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary commission investigating suspicion of political interference in the work of police adopted an interim report and a resolution proposing the National Assembly urge Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and both of his state secretaries, Franc Kangler and Božo Predalič, to resign, as it met behind closed doors. Over the past six months, the commission has interviewed 20 witnesses. Its chair Rudi Medved from the opposition LMŠ told the press after today's session the interviews and the documents the commission obtained had confirmed that in the Slovenian police, things are done under the dictate of politics.

Šarec denies previous govt was slow in responding to epidemic

LJUBLJANA - Former PM Marjan Šarec, now an opposition MP, denied the allegations about his government being slow to react to Covid-19 developments in early 2020, as he appeared before a coalition-led parliamentary inquiry looking into the Marjan šarec government's handling of the first stages of the coronavirus epidemic. Asked whether his government had declared epidemic too late , he said it had acted in line with the little information on the coronavirus available at the time. The epidemic was declared on 12 March 2020, a day after a new government was sworn in.

Slovenian ECA candidate assures MEPs of political independence

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Jorg Kristijan Petrovič, Slovenia's candidate for the European Court of Auditors (ECA), assured MEPs of his political independence and impartiality as his hearing before the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control focused on why his bid was turned down on a Slovenian parliamentary committee in October. Petrovič, who has served as first deputy president of the Slovenian Court of Audit since 2013, was nominated by the government for the post in October even though the parliamentary EU Affairs Committee voted against the proposal.

Mayors considering own party, not ruling out general election bid

ŠENTJUR - 57 of Slovenia's 212 mayors gathered in Šentjur, east of Celje, to form a Club of Independent Mayors upon the initiative of Kočevje Mayor Vladimir Prebilič. The idea is to form an alliance to make a mark in this year's super election year in Slovenia, but the club is yet to decide how to take part in each of the three elections. Hrastnik Mayor Marko Funkl said their ambition was to become the largest such group in Slovenia and a major factor in bringing together the three existing associations of local communities. They also intend to push to scrap the ban on mayors to serve as MPs.

NGO pushing for repeal of several recent laws

LJUBLJANA - The 8 March Institute, one of the NGOs that initiated a referendum on changes to the waters act last year, presented a proposal to "do away with harmful government measures" in education, police, environment protection and transport. The NGO will collect signatures in support of a bill repealing eleven pieces of legislation. Signatures of support will be collected in a six-week campaign, and the goal is to collect at least 60,000 signatures, said the NGO's head Nika Kovač.

Slovenian PEN centre expresses support to Assange

LJUBLJANA - The board of the Slovenian PEN centre unanimously elected Julian Assange an honorary member of the centre on 3 January, saying today that this step had been taken in the hope that its backing, alongside international support, will help Assange on his judicial journey. PEN Slovenia praised Assange as "the most courageous journalist and publicist of the last two decades, for which he is paying an extremely high personal and professional price".

Voter approval rating for govt at 14-month high in Delo poll

LJUBLJANA - The voter approval rating for the government has improved to the highest level since November 2020 in the latest Delo poll, which also shows a third of respondents undecided or unhappy about the given choice of parliamentary parties. Among the parties that won at least 1% in the previous election, the ruling Democrats (SDS) continue to be the preferred choice (18.4%, followed by the opposition Social Democrats (10.7%), the Left (7.6%), the Marjan Šarec List (6.1%), the Alenka Bratušek Party (5.2%) and the junior coalition New Slovenia (4.7%).

Slovenia one of safest countries in terms of murder rate

LJUBLJANA - A total of 32 murders or attempted murders were recorded in Slovenia last year, one of the lowest numbers in recent years. Statistics and surveys show that Slovenia remains one of the safest countries in Europe and globally in terms of murder. In the 1990s, criminal investigators dealt with up to 100 murders and attempted murders a year. After 2000, the number dropped to 60 to 80 cases, while it has been at around 40 cases per year since 2007.

Izola voters reject sweeping spatial plan

IZOLA - Voters in the coastal municipality of Izola rejected a spatial plan that would have opened up large swathes of the coastal municipality to development, including on prime agricultural land. Sunday's referendum vote was 72% against and 28% in favour. The key points of the plan were construction of housing and public space on the site of two former factories, expansion of the local hospital, and, most controversially, the development of about seven hectares of agricultural land just outside the city limits.

Slovenian researcher gets EUR 2.2 million ERC grant

LJUBLJANA - The European Research Council (ERC) has granted EUR 2.2 million in funding to a project in which Anna Dragoš from the Biotechnical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana will research the virus-bacteria interaction. The project PHAGECONTROL - Development of Host Manipulation by Bacteriophage will study how viruses can change the behaviour of bacteria, the molecular mechanisms responsible for these changes, and whether viruses change the behaviour of bacteria because they are cooperating or because they are manipulators.

Industrial output up in November

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's industrial output was up by 2.8% in November compared to October, by 10.1% compared to November 2020, and by 8.7% compared to the pre-pandemic November 2019. Output was up in mining and quarrying, and in manufacturing, the Statistics Office said.

Cross-Country World Cup events in Planica cancelled

LJUBLJANA - The organising committee for the FIS Cross-Country World Cup events scheduled to take place in the Planica Nordic Centre in Slovenia on 22 and 23 January cancelled the competition, citing the steep rise in coronavirus infections in the country as the reason. The venue in north-western Slovenia was scheduled to host the men's and women's classical sprint on 22 January and the men's 30km and women's 15km skiathlon on 23 January.

Pogačar to compete in France and Spain this year, eyeing Giro in 2023

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar, currently the best in the world, confirmed he will be defending his two consecutive Tour de France titles this year and compete in the Vuelta a Espana, and could perhaps appear in another Grand Tour race, the Giro d'Italia, next year. Speaking at a videoconference, the 23-year-old his UAE Team Emirates had filled up his competitive calendar to the "maximum". The first test for him this year will be the UAE Tour on 20-26 February.

10 Jan 2022, 18:37 PM

STA, 10 January 2022 - The organising committee for the FIS Cross-Country World Cup events scheduled to take place in the Planica Nordic Centre in Slovenia on 22 and 23 January has cancelled the competition, citing the steep rise in coronavirus infections in the country as the reason.

The venue in north-western Slovenia was scheduled to host the men's and women's classical sprint on 22 January and the men's 30km and women's 15km skiathlon on 23 January.

The Planica organising committee said on Monday that the decision to cancel the events had been made in cooperation with all partners as the number of infections with Covid-19 continues to rise steeply.

The decision comes as the snow conditions in the Planica Centre are ideal and the venue and accompanying infrastructure is undergoing final preparations.

With the dates for the events being close to the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, some of the foreign teams said that their appearance in Planica was questionable or decided to register members of their B teams for the events.

The organising committee noted the "critical epidemiological situation in Slovenia and Europe" and the "sharp rise in Covid-19 infections and projections of an additional increase in the coming days".

It added that this made it even more difficult to provide a safe environment for the competitors and staff and that, according to experts, it was not possible to provide sufficient protection at such a large event.

"The epidemiological situation is bad and we are trying to maintain the functioning of critical infrastructure, so we advise against events that pose additional risk," said epidemiologist Irena Grmek Košnik, the Covid-19 coordinator in the committee.

10 Jan 2022, 14:38 PM

STA, 10 January 2022 - A total of 32 murders or attempted murders were recorded in Slovenia last year, one of the lowest numbers in recent years. Statistics and surveys show that Slovenia remains one of the safest countries in Europe and globally in terms of murder.

Damjan Miklič of the murder and sexual offences department of the General Police Administration has told the STA that this was also shown by a global survey of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime from 2019.

American and African countries are at the top of this list in terms of the number of murders, followed by Asian countries, while Europe accounted for less than 5%.

"On this list, Slovenia ranks 8th in the world in terms of the number of murders per 100,000 residents, which puts us among the safest countries in Europe," Miklič said, noting that the number of murders in Slovenia had been steadily declining.

In the 1990s, criminal investigators dealt with up to 100 murders and attempted murders a year. After 2000 the number dropped to 60 to 80 cases, and since 2007 it has been at around 40 cases per year.

There were some departures from this average in 2015, 2018 and 2020, when there were 45 or more such cases, while in 2016 there were only 26 such cases.

Although the general belief is that the vast majority of the bloodiest crimes occur within the family, Miklič notes that such cases represent 30-35% of all cases. Standing out were 2018 and 2021, when the share of such cases was 40%.

About one-fifth of such cases occur between spouses, former spouses or cohabitating partners, he said, adding that at least 40% of murders were committed out of revenge or hatred.

Around 15% of murders in Slovenia are committed for personal gain, about 15% are committed without any real motive, possibly due to mental illness, 10% due to jealousy, and about the same share as a consequence of other criminal acts.

A vast majority of severe criminal acts against life and limb has been successfully investigated, with slightly more than one percent of such cases in the last three decades remaining unresolved.

Nine murders or manslaughters committed after 2000 remain unresolved, while there are 14 such cases that happened earlier. The oldest unresolved case is murder with a firearm in the Ljubljana borough of Kodeljevo from December 1991.

10 Jan 2022, 11:49 AM

STA, 10 January - Voters in Izola have rejected a spatial plan that would have opened up large swathes of the coastal municipality to development, including on prime agricultural land. Sunday's referendum vote was 72% against and 28% in favour on a turnout of 31.6%, well above the 20% quorum.

The municipal council adopted the spatial plan in July as a foundation for the municipality's long-term spatial development.

Its key points were construction of housing and public space on the site of two former factories, expansion of the local hospital, and flood protection measures.

The most controversial part of the plan was the development of about seven hectares of agricultural land just outside the city limits. In exchange, farmers would get land further away from developed areas, plots that are currently overgrowing.

The referendum was initiated by a civil initiative called Movement for Izola, which argued the spatial plan was too heavy on development and did not consider the wishes of the local farmers.

A rival civil initiative called Together for the Benefit of Izola campaigned in favour. Their main argument was that there would be new rental housing for young families and more parking for locals.

10 Jan 2022, 11:43 AM

STA, 10 January 2022 - Several changes to the regulation on measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid entered into force on Monday, cutting the duration of quarantine and validity of tests, and reducing the number of passengers in public transport in line with guidelines issued by the National Institute of Public Health.

From today, quarantine after a high risk contact or when entering the country without a Covid pass is cut from ten to seven days.

Under the new rules, to avoid quarantine when entering Slovenia, passengers who are vaccinated or recovered will need to present a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours or a rapid test no older than 24 hours.

The quarantine ordered at the border can be cut short with a negative PCR tests at least five days after arrival.

Buses will be allowed to accept only as many passengers as the vehicle has been registered for with the seats right of the driver and behind the driver empty.

Passengers will be allowed to stand in city buses if they stand at least one metre apart, except for persons from the same household. The standing spots must be clearly marked.

Passengers will only be allowed to enter at the front door, while other bus doors will only be used to exit.

Trains will be allowed to accept only as many passengers as they have seats, while the same rules as for buses are in place for standing room.

Special transport vehicles with up to eight seats will accept only six passengers, with the seat right of the driver free.

10 Jan 2022, 04:44 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

Daily coronavirus cases spike week-on-week

LJUBLJANA - The number of new daily coronavirus cases in Slovenia on Saturday was four times higher than a week ago, at 3,349, data from the National Institute for Public Health (NIJZ) show. The test positivity rate exceeded 45%. According to data provided by the government, 537 Covid-19 patients are currently in hospital, one fewer than the day before, including 161 in intensive care, five more than yesterday. Five patients have died.

Kučan warns of signs of Fascism revival

DRAŽGOŠE - A ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the WWII Battle of Dražgoše was held today, with former President Milan Kučan as the keynote speaker. He stressed the importance of resistance and warned of increasingly many signs of revival of Fascism. Despite the epidemiological situation, a large number of people gathered. Representatives of several political parties also attended along with parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič and President Borut Pahor, who laid a wreath to the nine Partisans and 41 locals who were killed in the Dražgoše battle. Yesterday, Pahor also laid a wreath at a memorial on the Pohorje Plateau dedicated to a Partisan unit slain by Nazi forces in 1943, the site of a major annual ceremony that was cancelled this year due to coronavirus.

Golden Fox Cup: Slovakia'S Vlhova wins slalom, Bucik fifth

KRANJSKA GORA - Petra Vlhova from Slovakia won the women's Alpine Ski World Cup slalom event in Kranjska Gora. Swiss Wendy Holdener, who was in the lead after the first run, was second, 0.23 seconds behind the winner. Anna Swenn Larsson from Sweden was third (+1.06 seconds). Slovenia's Ana Bucik was fifth, in what is her best result in slalom so far

Poll shows SDS followed by Robert Golob List

LJUBLJANA - A public opinion poll conducted by pollster Parsifal for commercial broadcaster Planet TV shows that the ruling Democrats (SDS) enjoy the support of 31.9% of decided voters, up 1.7 percentage point from last month. The Robert Golob List comes second on 12.6% support. Despite losing more than 7 percentage points, the SD ranks third on 12%. The opposition Left comes in fourth, with its support dropping from 9.2% to 9.1%. The coalition New Slovenia (NSi) follows with 8.8%, a significant rise from 4.8% last month.

Kočevje-based Intersocks posted record results last year despite epidemic

KOČEVJE - The Kočevje-based manufacturer of sport socks and footwear distributor Intersocks posted its best results in 2021 despite the epidemic. CEO Marjan Kočila is optimistic about the future despite uncertainty in business. The revenue of the company, employing 170 people in Kočevje, topped EUR 50 million last year, and profit is estimated at EUR 4 million, which exceeds the record year of 2019, when revenue exceeded EUR 45 million and profit reached EUR 2.4 million.

Covid caused work from home to increase more than 100-fold

LJUBLJANA - Covid-19 has had a major impact on work processes, as 217,428 people were registered to work from home in Slovenia last year, which is a hundred times more than in the pre-Covid year of 2019. With the new Omicron variant, this trend is expected to continue, while major legislative changes are not yet in sight.

 

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