News

08 Jul 2020, 09:56 AM

STA, 7 July 2020 - National telco Telekom Slovenije signed a contract on Tuesday with Hungarian media company TV2 Media selling Planet TV, its subsidiary which produces the eponymous TV channel. TV2 Media will pay EUR 5 million for the 100% share, Telekom said in a press release. The deal is expected to be finalised by autumn.

Today's development confirms the previous media reports on the sale and the value of the deal.

Telekom's supervisors have already given the green light while all the other approvals are expected by the end of September.

TV2 Media is owned by Jozsef Vida, whom media associate with the business network of the Hungarian ruling party Fidesz. Speculation that TV2 is eyeing Planet TV started in early June, when reports also mentioned Croatian entrepreneur Ivan Ćaleta as a second candidate.

The news portal Necenzurirano.si also reported about unofficial plans to merge Planet TV and Nova24TV, the news portal and website associated with the ruling Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and also in the ownership of Hungarian individuals reportedly close to Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban.

Telekom launched Planet TV in 2012 under the then SDS-led Janez Janša government. It was reported that the telecoms incumbent had been looking for a strategic partner which would buy a 49% share in the TV production company already at the beginning of January, only to change its mind later on.

According to the newspaper Delo, Planet TV has cost Telekom Slovenije EUR 80 million in the form of capital injections, advertisements, loans and other services since it was launched in September 2012, and has operated in the red.

The latest blow was the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce ordering Telekom last year to pay a EUR 23 million buyout to Antenna Group, the Greek partner who wanted out of the joint venture.

Telekom, which thus became the sole owner of Planet TV, saw the buyout significantly reduce its profit last year, which reached a mere EUR 1.2 million.

After initially announcing the search for a strategic partner, Telekom said in mid-March that selling the outright stake in Planet TV was also an option.

According to Necenzurirano.si, some supervisors expressed great reservations about the sale at today's session. They argued they had been presented only the Hungarian bid, which was picked as the best by the Telekom management and a financial consultant.

Several bids had reportedly arrived, with the second and third best bidders allegedly offering only one euro for the company.

Unlike the other bidders, the Hungarians reportedly received an assurance from Telekom that it would continue to advertise on Planet TV. Telekom reportedly also pledged to turn EUR 30 million in loans into Planet TV's capital before the sale is completed.

Telekom also allegedly plans to write off some EUR 3 million in business claims and contribute another million to help keep Planet TV afloat.

The portal also says that Hungarians could extend the sales procedure until the end of the year, but in that case Telekom would have to transfer another EUR 2 million to cover Planet TV's loss.

All our stories on Slovenia and Hungary are here

08 Jul 2020, 04:07 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:

Flattening of curve urged as Slovenia turning Covid-19 yellow

LJUBLJANA - Officials announced ramped up inspections and testing and the possibility that gatherings could be limited to 10 people as the country recorded 23 new cases out of 1,325 tests conducted on Monday. Urging adherence to existing measures to flatten the curve, Mario Fafangel, the chief epidemiologist at the National Institute of Public Health, said the cumulative average infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two-weeks was 9.85, meaning at the 10 threshold "we've been using for other countries when designating them no longer safe" and coding them yellow. While the number of infections at the Vipava care home rose by one to 11 residents and seven staff, Fafangel revealed that another resident tested positive at a small care home in Kras. Cerknica, south of Ljubljana, is another hotspot after five residents tested positive Monday, having attended a private party of 30-40 people. Local authorities thus fear more infections.

Von der Leyen ready for dialogue with Slovenia on ECB archives

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission would like to keep the dialogue with Slovenia on ECB archives, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her response to a recent letter PM Janez Janša addressed to her over the suit the Commission has brought against Slovenia because of a 2016 seizure of ECB documents. Janša had inquired whether there was any chance the Commission withdraw the lawsuit, arguing it brought the investigation of alleged wrongdoing in the 2013 bank bailout in Slovenia to a standstill. Janša is scheduled to meet von der Leyen in Brussels on Thursday, so the issue could come up at the meeting.

Contact tracing app step closer to being adopted

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Labour Committee endorsed late on Monday a legislative package in preparation for the second wave of Covid-19 which seeks to save jobs and create a legal basis for a contact tracing app. Since they have failed to get the latter removed from the bill, the opposition announced they would challenge the app at the Constitutional Court. The government wants to make the use of the app mandatory for persons who test positive for the novel coronavirus and those ordered to quarantine. The package, to be debated by the plenary later this week, also extends the furlough scheme and expands where residents can redeem government holiday vouchers, among other things. Today, the Ljubljana Law Faculty's Institute for Criminology joined calls against the mandatory introduction of the app, saying the solution was not transparent, and interfered with legally protected human rights.

Planet TV sold to Hungarian media company for EUR 5m

LJUBLJANA - National telco Telekom Slovenije signed a contract with Hungarian media company TV2 Media selling Planet TV, its subsidiary which produces the eponymous TV channel. TV2 will pay EUR 5 million for the 100% share. The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of September after its gets all clearances, Telekom said in a release. TV2 is owned by Jozsef Vida, whom media associate with the business network of Hungary's ruling party Fidesz. Media reports suggest Planet TV could merge with Nova24TV, the TV associated with the ruling Slovenian Democrats (SDS) and also owned by Hungarian individuals reportedly close to Hungarian PM Victor Orban. Planet TV was launched in 2012 under the then SDS-led Janez Janša government.

Pahor meeting Austrian, Croatian counterparts in Vienna

VIENNA, Austria - President Borut Pahor arrived in Vienna tonight for what is the 7th trilateral meeting with his Austrian and Croatian counterparts, Alexander Van der Bellen and Zoran Milanović. The main topic of the talks, which will be held tomorrow, will be Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic and after it. They will talk about their countries' experience in facing the pandemic, measures to mitigate its impact and relaxing restrictions, as well as the EU's action to tackle the fallout from the pandemic.

Brussels keeps Slovenia forecast for 2020 at -7%

BRUSSELS, Belgium - In its summer forecast, the European Commission kept its projection for Slovenia's economy to shrink by 7% this year, while downgrading its outlook for the country for 2021 by 0.6 of a percentage point compared to the May forecast to 6.1% growth. The economic outlook for Slovenia for this year is better than for the eurozone as a whole, which is projected to see a 8.7% drop in GDP, which is a full percentage point more than the contraction projected in the spring.

DeSUS Ljubljana loses confidence in party leader Pivec

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana members of the junior coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) passed on Monday a motion of no-confidence in DeSUS leader Aleksandra Pivec, accusing her of failure to react to contentious government actions, acting contrary to the party's platform and engaging in opaque staffing. It wants the matter to be discussed by the DeSUS council, which has the power to discuss support for the president. In a brief written statement for public broadcaster TV Slovenija, Pivec said this was a carefully orchestrated affair. TV Slovenija added the no-confidence motion reflected the opinion of a minority of DeSUS members and had practically no chance of success. Pivec has led DeSUS since defeating long-serving leader Karl Erjavec at a party congress in January.

Profit for banks halved in first five months of year

LJUBLJANA - Banks in Slovenia generated EUR 152 million in pre-tax profit in the first five months of the year, a 50% drop year-on-year. Growth in loans to households was halved and loans to companies are gradually declining too. Exposure to non-performing loans due to anti-coronavirus crisis measures is not increasing yet, Banka Slovenije said in its latest report. The total assets of the banking system rose to EUR 42.9 billion in May, which is 7.2% more than in May 2019.

Insurance sector well capitalised after a successful year

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian insurance sector performed successfully last year, while it is facing a demanding year in 2020, primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Insurance Supervision Agency's report for 2019 shows. The sector's capital adequacy nevertheless remains high, standing at 2.17 for insurers, and 2.82 for reinsurance companies. "The insurance sector is solid and is well capitalised," the agency's director Gorazd Čibej told the press, so it was well prepared for future challenges.

Police discover EUR 38m worth of tax evasion in two investigations

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana criminal police presented the successful completion of two lengthy investigations which discovered a total of EUR 38 million in evaded taxes. One involved trade in electronic equipment among companies from several European countries and one discovered massive tax evasion in trade with scrap metal. Martin Rupnik, the head of the Ljubljana Police Department's sector for corporate crime, told the press the separate investigations into crimes that carry prison sentences of one to eight years, lasted several years, having had an international dimension. Criminal complaints were filed against three Slovenian companies and 28 individuals, of whom six British and three Italian citizens.

HIT records 50% drop in visits as casinos reopen

NOVA GORICA - Slovenia's largest gaming company HIT, which reopened its facilities on 13 June, is recording half the visitors seen in the Nova Gorica area (W) the same period last year, while turnover in its establishments in Kranjska Gora and Šentilj is somewhat better. The Nova Gorica-based company told the STA, following the reopening after the anti-coronavirus measures had been lifted, visits to HIT casinos were in line with the expectations. Out of 1,660 employees, some 100 remain on furlough.

Slovenians acquire most properties in Croatia since it joined EU

ZAGREB, Croatia - Since Croatia entered the EU in 2013, Slovenian citizens purchased a total of 9,439 properties in the country, which makes them the most numerous foreign owners of real estate in Croatia in that period. Unofficial estimates meanwhile put the total number at 110,000, mostly houses or apartments on the coast, as the bulk of them had been bought during the time of the former Yugoslavia, writes the Croatian newspaper Večernji List, citing data from the Croatian Tax Administration.

Charter flights with Greece set up again

BRNIK - A consortium of travel agencies has relaunched charter flights connecting Slovenia to Croatia's Dubrovnik and ten Greek islands. The first passengers flew to Greece from Brnik airport last Friday, so now more than 1,000 people are already holidaying there. The charter flights by air carrier Trade Air are being organised by travel agencies Palma, Kompas and Relax. According to Palma CEO Matej Knaus, the demand for package holidays in Greece is in line with expectations, at some 30-40% of last year's bookings. Some 200 flights are planned in the second half of the year. The consortium plans to maintain Slovenia's connectivity the whole year around to replace the charter flights that were in the past in the domain of the bankrupt Adria Airways.

Newspaper publishers investigated over ownership of dealer

LJUBLJANA - Radio Slovenija reported the Competition Protection Agency (AVK) had investigated the newspaper publishing companies Delo, Dnevnik and Večer over their failure to notify their ownership of Izberi, a leading national distributor of print and packages. The investigation is based on a 2019 report in which the three newspaper publishers are suspected of having taken over Izberi without notification of concentration. Delo reportedly holds a 52% stake, while Dnevnik and Večer, which are in the process of merging, hold 24% each. Izberi supplies over 2,450 outlets with daily newspapers and magazines issued by Slovenian publishers, and distributes print to more than 100,000 households.

Slovenia's guest of honour appearance in Frankfurt and Bologna postponed

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Book Agency announced that Slovenia's stint as the guest of honour country at the Frankfurt Book Fair was postponed for a year to 2023 due to coronavirus ramifications. So was the country's planned guest of honour appearance at the Bologna Children's Book Fair moved forward to 2022. The move comes after Canada, the country that was expected to be in the spotlight at this year's Frankfurt Fair, requested to postpone its status due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Writer Boris Pahor to be conferred state orders as part of Trieste ceremony

LJUBLJANA - The 13 July commemoration marking 100 years since the burning down of the Slovenian National Hall in Trieste by Fascists will also see President Borut Pahor and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella confer the highest state orders on Trieste-born Slovenian author Boris Pahor, who witnessed the arson as a child. President Pahor is to confer on the 106-year-old concentration camp survivor the Order of Exceptional Merits for his life-long contribution to the understanding and connecting of European nations and for relentless efforts for Slovenianhood and democracy. Despite some initial reservations, the writer will accept the honours and dedicate them to everybody who died in concentration camps.

Survey finds distance learning more challenging for pupils and teachers

LJUBLJANA - Half of the Slovenian pupils think that remote learning poses more challenges than in-classroom learning, shows a survey presented by the National Education Institute. Teachers concur with that, highlighting that most targets have been achieved despite taxing circumstances. The study on the functioning of the educational system during the coronavirus epidemic involved some 10% of all primary and secondary school children, a third of Slovenian teachers and two thirds of head teachers. As many as 70% of teachers believe that remote work produced worse results than in-classroom teaching.

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

07 Jul 2020, 19:25 PM

STA, 7 July 2020 - Slovenia's count of active coronavirus cases has increased to 205 after 23 of the 1,325 tests for Sars-CoV-2 came back positive on Monday, fresh official statistics show. The total case count stands at 1,739.

Twelve patients are hospitalised with Covid-19, one more than the day before after one patient was discharged and two more were admitted yesterday, government data show. None of them need intensive care.

According to the tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org, most of the new cases were recorded in Cerknica (5) and Maribor (4) with 11 further municipalities recording one or two cases each.

With Cerknica apparently a new hotspot, Radio Slovenija reported that Covid-19 had been transmitted at a private party with some 30-40 people aged around 30.

The local authorities fear there are more infections in the municipality since, following National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) instructions, the party goers who had no signs of infection were allowed to go to work, except those working in healthcare and education.

The municipality has already advised locals against using playgrounds, benches and sports facilities to prevent the youth, who seem to be the most affected group in the second Covid-19 wave in the country, from socialising.

One of the latest cases in Slovenia was also a resident of the Vipava care home, discovered from 81 tests there. This brings the number of infections in that outbreak to 11 residents and seven staff members, Martin Kopatin, the facility's director, told the STA on Tuesday.

All 108 residents of the Pristan home for the elderly and 45 staff have been tested, but tests will be repeated.

Five of the 11 infected elderly residents have been moved to the Ljubljana UKC hospital's department of infections diseases. Only one of them has some health problems, while the others feel fine.

The remaining six residents are isolated in the care home and other residents need to remain in their rooms.

Meanwhile, Mario Fafangel, the chief epidemiologist at the NIJZ, told today's press briefing that a resident of a small Kras care home unit in Postojna had also tested positive.

Slovenia has not recorded Covid-19 related fatalities for over a month now when the death toll reached 111. A large majority of those fatalities were at homes for the elderly.

07 Jul 2020, 15:33 PM

This Sunday locals informed the Krško Firefighting Unit that the wooden statue of America’s First Lady Melania Trump, which had been erected in in Rožno, was on fire.

The wooden sculpture of Trump in a blue dress was raised on July 5th 2019 in a settlement not far from her hometown of Sevnica.

The sculpture was a work of local sculptor and craftsman Aleš Župevc Maxi and commissioned by American artist Brad Downey, who also filmed a documentary about the making of the statue.

The sculpture was met with mixed responses from the public and received a great amount of attention from local and international press.  

The Novo Mesto Police have been informed about the incident, and are currently investigating the circumstances of the event.  

trump on fire screenshot.jpg

Earlier this year, a wooden statue of President Donald Trump was also burned, this time entirely, in Moravče, some 30 kilometres east of Ljubljana.

All our stories on Melania Trump and Slovenia can be found here

07 Jul 2020, 13:33 PM

STA, 7 July 2020 - Since Croatia entered the EU in 2013, Slovenian citizens purchased a total of 9,439 properties in the country, which makes them the most numerous foreign owners of real estate in Croatia in that period.

Unofficial estimates meanwhile put the total number at 110,000, mostly houses or apartments on the Croatian coast, as the bulk of them were bought during the times of the former Yugoslavia.

Citing data from the Croatian Tax Administration, Večernji List says that there should be no concern in Croatia that the Slovenian government would prohibit its citizens from entering Croatia.

Slovenia will not be restricting its citizens in going to the neighbouring country during the Covid-19 pandemic because it will protect the interest of property owners, the Croatian newspaper adds in a report on Tuesday.

When it comes to purchases of real estate in Croatia in the last seven years, Slovenians are followed by Germans (4,969), Austrians (2,867), Italians (1,612), Swedes (1,232) and Hungarians (949).

According to the Croatian Tax Administration, only around 4,400 foreign owners are officially leasing their real estate to tourists and pay tax for that.

Večernji List says that the state body has no complete data on real estate owners in one place, and that precise data will be obtained after a census, which is planned in Croatia next year.

07 Jul 2020, 10:52 AM

STA, 7 July 2020 - Storms raged across swathes of Slovenia last night as fierce winds uprooted trees and unroofed buildings and heavy rain flooded premises and roads in particular in central and eastern parts of the country.

Firefighters were busy throughout the night, including in Ljubljana, where the railway underpasses in Celovška and Drenikova streets and Šentvid were flooded, leaving three cars stranded in Šentvid.

According to the duty meteorologist at the notification centre of the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, the Ljubljana Bežigrad weather monitoring station recorded 28.84 millimetre of rain per half an hour and winds gusting at speeds of up to 90 kilometres an hour. The Moste station recorded 23.5 millimetre of rain per half an hour.

Almost as high rates were measured at the monitoring stations in Logarska Dolina in the north of the country and Sora Suha in the north-west.

Flash floods disrupted traffic not only in Ljubljana but also in several other areas, with reports of floods closing down roads in the north-east of the country.

The winds ripped off the roofing and toppled trees on cars in several communities across the country, there have been reports of landslides and flooded premises, including at a police station and the Slovenj Gradec hospital.

A lightning struck a house in the Slovenj Gradec municipality, uncovering the roof. Despite some smoke there was no fire.

07 Jul 2020, 10:39 AM

STA, 7 July 2020 - The Ljubljana city council has confirmed changes to the municipal spatial plan for a former industrial area in the borough of Vič, where a residential complex is planned to be built. Several councillors have raised the issue of the investors including Mihael Karner, a Slovenian who is wanted by the US.

The council confirmed the project in a 21:15 vote on Monday to transform the site of the former Tovil factory in the south-western borough into a complex featuring 140 apartments, including up to 60 assisted living apartments.

The approximate location of the project

www.state.gov Mihael Karner.JPG

state.gov

The main investor in the Urban Oasis project is entrepreneur Mihael Karner, who is being sought by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with an international warrant for alleged distribution and import of anabolic steroids and money laundering.

Gregor Slabe of the Democrats said he was convinced that the US services were monitoring today's session and that they would certainly make a record of which councillors had endorsed Karner's project.

"The US is requesting extradition of Karner, his wife and brother. Since you failed to support our proposal to withdraw this disputable item from the agenda, you will be the ones held responsible for international diplomatic consequences," he added.

Igor Horvat (SDS) noted that, according to the media, the investors were companies which had not had any revenue recently, and no employees. He added that the plan's approval might jeopardise Slovenia's international reputation.

There is concern that Ljubljana will only get another construction pit, said Ksenija Sever, also of the SDS. "The investors will get loans, sell apartments, and then vanish, so that taxpayers can pay for another banking hole."

Asta Vrečko of the Left added that the investors were problematic and that the "municipality is doing favours to very disputable companies".

Vice Mayor Aleš Čerin, who chaired the session due to the absence of Mayor Zoran Janković, who is in quarantine after having a contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, said that the spatial plan was not about an individual investor, but spatial planning.

"Nowhere is written that the gentlemen you spoke about will be the actual investors", he said, adding that they were Slovenian citizens who had no criminal record in Slovenia.

07 Jul 2020, 03:51 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:

Sixteen new coronavirus cases, including Vipava care home outbreak

LJUBLJANA/VIPAVA - Slovenia recorded 16 new coronavirus cases after 530 tests on Sunday, including seven in an outbreak at the Vipava care home where nine elderly residents and seven staff are now infected, the latest data from the government and the care home show. The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 has increased to 11 after four residents from the Vipava facility were hospitalised. Slovenia now has 195 active cases, out of the total of 1,716. More testing will be conducted at the Vipava care home, which plans to test all 108 residents and 45 staff.

Care homes say no systemic solutions found after first Covid-19 wave

VIPAVA - Responding to the coronavirus outbreak at the Vipava care home, the first such case after care home bore the brunt of Covid-19 deaths in Slovenia in the first wave of the pandemic, the Association of Welfare Institutions said no systemic measures had been put in place that would allow infected residents to be isolated effectively. "Despite our warnings that most care homes are without even basic conditions to implement full isolation," the association said. Meanwhile, an expert team from the nearby Šempteter hospital begged to differ, saying after a visit to the Vipava home that the solutions there were appropriate and that a transfer to hospital was not necessary.

France and almost entire Czechia reinstated to green list

LJUBLJANA - The government has re-instated France and the Czech Republic, with the exception of the Moravian-Silesian Region, to the green list of the epidemiologically safe countries, with the decision effective as of Tuesday. Announcing the news, the Government Communication Office said that the decision had been made following a briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the two countries by the National Public Health Institute.

Couple face sanctions for breaching quarantine rules

LJUBLJANA - Government spokesman Jelko Kacin revealed that a couple had breached quarantine rules and now face a fine or even prison on suspicion they spread coronavirus out of negligence. A 37-year-old woman was notified her husband had Covid-19, but failed to inform healthcare staff about the infection right away, whereby she jeopardised other people's health. Her husband kept going to work despite being ordered to self-isolate. The government might discuss sanctions for breach of quarantine rules later today. Kacin said 1,213 quarantine orders were issued to arrivals at the border.

Fiscal Council puts budgets costs of crisis measures at EUR 1.1bn so far

LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council, a government advisory body, estimates the public budget costs of coronacrisis stimulus measures by the start of July at around of EUR 1.1 billion, well below the government's initial estimate of EUR 4 billion and subsequent correction to EUR 2.8 billion. The body overseeing Slovenia's adherence to the fiscal compact initially estimated the first and third stimulus package - the two that were implemented so far - at EUR 2.3 billion in total or 5.1% of GDP.

Opposition insists on own inquiry into coronavirus measures

LJUBLJANA - The four left-leaning opposition parties have filed for a parliamentary inquiry to check financial (in)efficiency of government measures taken to contain the Covid-19 epidemic and mitigate its consequences. They would also like to examine potential violations of human rights and freedoms. The motion by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the Social Democrats (SD), the Left and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) also takes aim at the legal basis used to appoint advisory groups and the general appropriateness of the anti-epidemic measures.

Prosecutors deem Janša's letter inadmissible pressure

LJUBLJANA - The State Prosecutors' Council condemned a letter PM Janez Janša recently addressed to the state prosecutor general, criticising alleged inaction in prosecuting death threats expressed at anti-government protests and attacks on the police taking place as part of them. It labelled the letter an "unacceptable and political pressure". In the 19 June letter to Drago Šketa, Janša said the prosecution was neglecting its legal role in relation to the anti-government protests for failing to respond to incitement to violence and that Šketa would be responsible if the violence escalated.

Logar vows Slovenia's support for Albania's EU accession

LJUBLJANA - Meeting Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj, Foreign Minister Anže Logar vowed that Slovenia would provide support for Albania on the latter's path to the EU. The pair focussed on the country's progress in fulfilling requirements for starting accession negotiations with the bloc. The ministers also talked about the Covid-19 pandemic and the response of both countries, with Cakaj lauding Slovenia's response, and efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation, most notably in business.

Concerns aplenty as contact tracing app hits parliament

LJUBLJANA - A debate in parliament at the committee level on the emergency bill in preparation for the second wave of Covid-19 turned into a discussion on a contact tracing app. The opposition has accused the government of hiding "control over citizens and repression" among welfare measures. The fourth stimulus package, adopted by the government a week ago, includes a legal basis for introducing an app tracing contacts of persons infected with the new coronavirus and of persons who have been quarantined.

Ethnic Slovenian elected to Croatian parliament for first time ever

ZAGREB, Croatia - Barbara Antolić Vupora, an ethnic Slovenian running on the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) in Sunday's elections, has made it to the Croatian parliament. She has become the first member of the Slovenian minority in Croatia to enter Sabor in its 30-year history. The Slovenian minority did not have its candidate in the special electoral unit for ethnic minorities in Croatia, with Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj being re-elected as the joint representative of the Albanian, Bosniak, Montenegrin, Macedonian and Slovenian minorities.

Outlawed in Ormož, Štajerska Ward still plans new campaigns

ORMOŽ - The municipal council in Ormož (NE) has decided to deny hospitality to members of the self-styled Štajerska Ward as the first Slovenian municipality to do so. The paramilitary group nevertheless plans to organise its summer camp there and claims that the decision was unlawful. Last week, the municipal council unanimously endorsed the proposal from the local list Building Future Together, who said that "reason, moral criteria and ethics of all members" had prevailed, as it announced the vote on Facebook on Monday.

Labour Inspectorate issues fines worth over EUR 4m

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Inspectorate conducted almost 14,120 inspections in 2019, finding over 25,220 violations and imposing fines worth EUR 4.1 million. The inspectorate reported suspected offences in 40 cases. The number of alleged violations reported to the inspectorate increased, from almost 6,400 in 2018 to over 7,200. "If there were more inspectors, we could carry out more inspections, and undoubtedly discover even more violations," the inspectorate report for 2019 says.

Slovenia will see fewer residents, more elderly in 2100, says Eurostat

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's population will total more than 1,888,000 residents in the year of 2100 or 207,000 fewer than at the beginning of 2020, show recent Eurostat projections. Senior citizens will represent almost a third of the population in 80 years' time. The life expectancy at birth is expected to get longer and the elderly, aged 65 or more, will account for more than 31% of the population, compared to almost 20% in 2019, the Statistics Office reported based on the EUROPOP2019 projections.

Slovenia to host European Ladies Amateur Golf Championship

LJUBLJANA - The European Golf Association (EGA) has picked Slovenia to host the European Ladies Amateur Championship, which will be one of the largest international sporting events in Slovenia this year. It will take place on the Cubo course in Smlednik, north-west of Ljubljana, between 30 September and 3 October. The events, which had been originally planned to take place in Finland, has been awarded to Slovenia as a Covid-19 safe country.

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

06 Jul 2020, 19:25 PM

STA, 6 July 2020 - The government has re-instated France and the Czech Republic, with the exception of the Moravian-Silesian Region, to the green list of the epidemiologically safe countries, with the decision effective as of Tuesday.

Announcing the news, the Government Communication Office said that the decision had been made following a briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the two countries by the National Public Health Institute.

France and the Czech Republic were put on the so-called yellow list along with Croatia on Saturday. The Moravian-Silesian Region in the east of the Czech Republic remains on the list.

Slovenian citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia arriving from yellow-listed EU or Schengen zone members are not quarantined under certain conditions.

These include proving they own a piece of property or a vessel there or producing an original bill for accommodation etc.

If they are not able to prove this, they are considered as arriving in Slovenia from a high-risk country and subjected to two-week quarantine.

Slovenian citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia arriving from green-listed EU or Schengen zone members are not quarantined.

Persons who have temporary or permanent residence in these countries are free to enter Slovenia without any restrictions or quarantine either.

More details on the green, yellow and red lists here - but be sure to click the links for updates

slovenia coronavirus who can enter.jpg

06 Jul 2020, 14:57 PM

STA, 6 July 2020 - The State Prosecutors' Council condemned a letter PM Janez Janša recently addressed to the state prosecutor general, criticising alleged inaction in prosecuting death threats expressed at anti-government protests and attacks on the police taking place as part of them. It labelled the letter an "unacceptable and political pressure".

In the 19 June letter to Drago Šketa, Janša said the prosecution was neglecting its legal role in relation to the anti-government protests for failing to respond to incitement to violence.

Janša also said that Šketa would be responsible if the violence escalated. "You will be directly responsible for any potential victims of the organised threats," Janša wrote, referring to slogans and banners such as Death to Janšism.

The Prosecutorial Council sees the latter as unacceptable and political pressure by the most senior representative of the executive branch of power on the state prosecutor general.

It believes that by referring to Šketa's direct responsibility, the letter expects him to act in contradiction with his legal powers, or the systemic arrangement of the state prosecution in Slovenia, which would result in an unacceptable encroachment on the independence of state prosecutors.

The council stressed that state prosecutors were independent under the law, bound only by the law and the constitution, and that the head of the state prosecution could not force a state prosecutor to take a specific decision in a specific case.

The council moreover referred to the Constitutional Court arguing in one of its rulings that an arrangement enabling unacceptable pressure on a state prosecutor to act in a certain manner would be in contradiction with the Constitution.

A similar response came from Šketa, who said last week that the state prosecution and state prosecutors worked efficiently and in line with the law. Janša's letter was also criticised by part of the opposition, with the Social Democrats (SD) saying they could file an impeachment motion against the prime minister.

06 Jul 2020, 12:17 PM

STA, 6 July 2020 - Government spokesman Jelko Kacin said that a couple had breached quarantine rules, so they had been reported to police for suspected spreading of the coronavirus out of negligence. They face a fine or even prison, he said at Monday's coronavirus briefing.

A 37-year-old woman was notified her husband had Covid-19 on 20 June, but when calling the 122 emergency number on 3 July for stomach ache she did not inform healthcare staff about the infection. She only did so only after appearing at the UKC Ljubljana hospital's emergency department five hours later, thereby jeopardising other people's health.

Her 40-year-old husband, working for a larger Slovenian company, meanwhile kept going to work despite being sent into quarantine, said Kacin, adding that "a criminal complaint has been filed against both persons for spreading the new disease out of negligence". The couple are foreign citizens residing in Ljubljana.

Under the law on contagious disease, a violation of isolation or quarantine rules is fined with EUR 400-4,000, whereas the penal code carries a prison sentence from six months to up to eight years in case it results in death.

Kacin also presented the latest figures about quarantine orders issued on the border since Saturday. A total of 1,213 such decision were issued at the six border crossings designated for this purpose on the border with Croatia, Hungary and at Ljubljana airport.

Kacin did not say how many people were currently in quarantine, but Health Ministry data as of 29 June show that 7,190 quarantine orders were issued in June.

The spokesperson also said that based on the latest quarantine checks by health inspectors, "the majority of people do stick to quarantine restrictions".

Health inspectors visited over 60 persons in the areas of Maribor and Ljubljana on Sunday, finding quarantine breaches in only four cases.

Two persons were not at the address they had given to authorities, while another two seem to have provided a false address, explained Kacin.

The government's coronavirus task force will discuss the violations this evening while the government is expected to discus changes to its plans to manage the spread of the virus.

The priority is to prevent the spread of the virus to care homes and transmissions from abroad.

Kacin labelled the situation at homes for the elderly a reason for concern. This is after 16 residents and staff of a nursing home in Vipava tested positive for the virus.

"Homes for the elderly are an area at risk, for which we have to introduce a special system. We need to make sure that staff and all their residents are aware of that."

Sixteen new coronavirus cases confirmed, including Vipava care home outbreak

STASTA, 6 July 2020 - Slovenia recorded 16 new coronavirus cases after 530 tests on Sunday, including seven in an outbreak at the Vipava care home where nine elderly residents and seven staff are now infected, the latest data from the government and the care home show.

The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 has increased to 11 after four residents from the Vipava care home were moved to the Department of Infectious Disease at the UKC Ljubljana hospital.

None of the patients require intensive treatment.

The latest cases bring the country's total of coronavirus cases to 1,716. The death toll remains unchanged at 111.

Testing will continue today at the Vipava care home; 40 more residents and 12 staff are to be tested in the morning with the results due later today.

The home's director Martin Kopatin said the remaining 20 residents are to be tested late in the afternoon or tomorrow.

The facility accommodates 108 residents and 45 staff. The infection there was first confirmed on Friday with one of the residents. The origin of the transmission is still not known.

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