Slovenia pleased with outcome of EU budget talks
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša said Slovenia was pleased with the outcome of the EU budget talks as EU leaders wrapped up negotiations Tuesday morning on a new multi-annual financial framework and post-coronavirus recovery fund. The deal instils optimism before the autumn and the continuation of the epidemic. "After the outbreak of the pandemic one could almost give up on the EU. We're all glad that bright moments have also come. This agreement is certainly one such moment." Janša stressed that Slovenia was eligible for EUR 10.5 billion over the next seven years, of which EUR 6.6 billion in grants, and had realised its strategic objective of achieving agreement while securing all the key negotiating goals.
Any rule of law discussion beyond Lisbon Treaty scholastic, says Janša
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša rejected the perception that the rule of law discussion at the EU summit was about Slovenia siding with Hungary and Poland. Instead, he said it was about clarifying the notion of the rule of law and that looking at how it was defined in the Lisbon Treaty, everyone agreed all debate beyond that was scholastic. Janša said the compromise proposal on the rule of law triggered no reaction at the plenary session, having been agreed beforehand. Unlike the outward impression that this was a major topic, it was a topic at just one of the dinner meetings, he said, describing the discussion as useful.
Janša singles out digital tax as biggest potential own EU resource
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prime Minister Janez Janša described decisions on the EU's own resources as one of the biggest achievements of the latest marathon summit of the bloc's leaders. In his view digital tax will likely make the biggest potential own resource of the EU. "The subsidies will have to be repaid. One of the major shifts is those few words about own EU resources, because in seven years' time when we negotiate the next budget this will be key," he said. Janša also emphasized that no single member state could tackle the digital tax and only the EU was big and strong enough to negotiate a global deal for the benefit of all.
Positive reactions in Slovenia to EU budget deal
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian political leaders welcomed the deal on the new seven-year EU budget and a coronavirus recovery fund. Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said it inspired "tangible hope for the plans we have in business, knowledge and innovation", while Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec pointed to a major rise in rural development funds Slovenia had managed to achieve and Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj described the deal as a good compromise enabling his ministry to carry out some of the planned projects. While welcoming the deal, the opposition was also critical. Economist Mojmir Mrak and foreign policy analyst Marko Lovec also believe the deal is good, with the latter adding it reflected average ambitions.
One Covid-19 death, 24 new infections confirmed on Monday
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 24 new coronavirus infections from 914 tests on Monday, the highest daily increase since 10 July. One Covid-19 patient died, bringing the death toll to 114. There are currently 22 patients in hospital, up from 19 the day before, as two were discharged from hospital and five new patients were admitted. The number of patients in intensive care remained at three. According to the national Covid-19 tracker site, there are now 238 active cases out of the total of 1,977 cases recorded since the state of the pandemic. The vast majority of infections in the past week were transmitted locally and there are now multiple clusters around the country.
Registered unemployment rate up slightly in May to 9.3%
LJUBLJANA - The registered unemployment rate in Slovenia in May, when some of the lockdown measures related to the coronavirus epidemic were relaxed, stood at 9.3%, which is 0.2 of a percentage point more than in April, the Employment Service said. The registered unemployment rate in May was up by 1.4 percentage points compared to February, the last full month before the restrictive anti-epidemic measures were introduced. In May, the registered rate was at 8.4% for men, and 10.3% for women. The rate for people who have been unemployed for more than a year was 3.9%, and for people who have been unemployed for more than two years was 2.5%.
Court says deportation of a Cameroonian was unlawful
LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court granted last week an appeal by a Cameroonian citizen who was deported to Croatia last August and is currently in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Slovenia must allow him to enter the country and file an asylum application, and pay a EUR 5,000 compensation, the court said. The decision will be appealed by the Interior Ministry. Announcing the decision, the civil initiative Info Kolpa said that the Administrative Court found that Slovenia violated the applicant's right to asylum and the principle of non-refoulement.
Austria launches honorary consulate in Koper
KOPER - Austria launched an honorary consulate in the city of Koper, its second after Maribor. It will be headed by Honorary Consul Urška Svetlik, a business executive. The opening of the consulate illustrates the importance Austria attributes to Koper and the entire western region of Primorska, Austrian Ambassador to Slovenia Sigrid Berka said.
Over EUR 11 million available to help Slovenia's wine sector
LJUBLJANA - The government has made available over 11 million euro to finance three different measures to help Slovenia's wine sector cope with a crisis resulting from low wine sales amid the coronavirus pandemic. While green harvest is already being implemented after the Agency for Agricultural Markets and Rural Development received 296 applications for 328 hectares of vineyards, the two crisis measures - distillation of wine and wine storage - are yet to be launched.
Strabag selected to overhaul Karavanke railway tunnel
LJUBLJANA - An upgrade of the Karavanke railway tunnel to bring it in line with latest safety standards in the north-west of Slovenia will be carried out by Strabag. The Austrian construction company bid to carry out the construction work, to be launched in August and financed by Slovenia and Austria, for EUR 68.4 million, VAT excluded. The work to be done on the Slovenian side of the railway tunnel is estimated at EUR 33.7 million, the Slovenian Infrastructure Agency said in a press release. The tunnel will be closed completely between October 2020 and July 2021. It is to reopen in September 2021 when speeds will be increased as a result of the upgrade from the current 50km/h to 120km/h.
Portal presenting outdoor experiences in Slovenia launched
LJUBLJANA - A new web portal has been launched to present outdoor experiences as one of the leading tourism products in Slovenia, including opportunities to enjoy hiking, cycling, mountaineering, winter sports and many other activities all around the country. Outdoor Slovenia brings products including trekking and cycling, services provided by mountain resorts, winter sports, water sports, golf, fly fishing and extreme sports.