News

27 Jul 2022, 15:55 PM

STA, 27 July 2022 - Firefighters kept putting out flames rekindled at the site of the huge wildfire in Kras for the third night running after the fire was contained on Sunday as a new fire broke out on the other side of Trstelj, the area's highest peak, and is now spreading in the peak's direction.

According to the regional Civil Protection headquarters, the new fire started at around 1am above the village of Šibelji in the Komen municipality, on the slope of a 567-metre hill called Veliki Ovčjak. The flames are being fanned by winds and are spreading toward the Železna Vrata pass and Trstelj (643m).

The new fire broke out on the part of the ridge that has so far not been affected by the wildfire that was contained on Sunday after destroying more than 3,500 hectares of brush, meadows and other types of farmland.

By the afternoon, firefighters had managed to contain the fire almost completely except for the northern side of the fire, which is not yet fully under control, the head of the intervention Blaž Turk told reporters.

Spanning about 20 hectares, the fire is being controlled by 179 firefighters and two army helicopters.

The firefighting in what is a steep terrain is obstructed by a strong bora wind. The head of the fire was localised about a kilometre away from the previous fire so the flames could not have jumped over.

Komen Mayor Erik Modic said the fire was obviously a case of arson. "The fire is not in the immediate vicinity of the previous fire site [...] The second indication is that, although we had a lightning storm here yesterday, the nearest lightning strike was some 100 metres away from the centre of this fire, so in all likelihood there is a human factor involved here."

Plain-clothes police are on the ground looking for potential evidence. "Those who are considering arson should now we're watching them," said the mayor.

The long-expected rain on Tuesday did little to help the firefighters keeping watch over the site of the largest fire in Slovenia's history. Just after 5am this morning a hot spot was detected above Miren and all the units active during the night were deployed there. During the night 58 firefighters were on the site after 143 battled the flames on Tuesday with the help of 44 fire engines.

In total, more than 10,000 firefighters have so far been involved in the effort to put out the Kras wildfire as well as aircraft from several countries.

27 Jul 2022, 12:15 PM

STA, 26 July 2022 - The government has approved co-financing of public rental housing from the recovery and resilience plan for a total of 34 projects as part of which a total of 1,036 housing units will be constructed. The total amount of grants is EUR 60 million.

Under the decision of the Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry, announced on Tuesday, the largest number of apartments will be constructed with the EU funds intended for post-Covid recovery in the Podravje region (404).

The number of housing units to be built in the Obalno-Kraška region is 166, followed by South-Eastern Slovenia (112), Koroška (101), Savinjska (82), Central Slovenia (80), Posavje (37), Goriška (24), Gorenjska (20) and Primorsko-Notranjska (10).

"All these apartments will be rented out to the beneficiaries through public calls for applications at a non-profit rent, with the investment making a significant contribution to facilitating access to suitable housing in Slovenia," the ministry said.

It added that investments that provide the most energy-efficient solutions had been preferred. Thus, 82% of the apartments to be built will meet the highest energy efficiency standards, ensuring low energy consumption and lower operating costs for tenants.

Projects in disadvantaged border areas were also prioritised from the aspect of the promotion of balanced regional development, the ministry said.

27 Jul 2022, 08:00 AM

STA, 26 July 2022 - The monitoring and comparison of retail prices of 15 basic foodstuffs at different retailers is expected to start in September, shows an open call for a price monitoring contractor. This is one of the government's measures to address the cost of living crisis that is aimed at preventing excessively steep price hikes.

The main objective of price monitoring is to provide consumers with information on the retail prices of comparable products between individual retailers and on the origin and quality of each product. This will make it easier for them to make choices in a time of price hikes, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food said in the open call documents.

The contractor is expected to set up a dedicated website to publish the current prices of this basic foodstuffs basket every fortnight over a seven-month period, from 1 September 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Three times during this period, the prices in Austria, Italy and Croatia will also be monitored.

The basket will include wheat white flour type 500, white bread and a certain type of pasta (price per kg for each), beef steaks, pork steaks and chicken fillet (all unseasoned and packaged, with price per kg and per package), fresh whole milk with 3.5% milk fat (price per l), liquid yoghurt with 3.2% milk fat (price per kg), semi-hard and semi-fat cheese (price per kg and per packaging) and butter (price per kg and per 250 g), M-grade cage-free eggs (price per 10 pieces), class 1 apples of various varieties (price per kg), potatoes (price per kg), sunflower oil (price per l) and white sugar (price per kg).

The final list will be coordinated with the ministry and should be ready by 8 September.

The first price monitoring should be carried out no later than on 12 September, and the website should be launched on 15 September at the latest.

To mitigate the effects of price hikes the government said it would make public the past prices of a basic food basket as well, so the list is expected to include the prices from 1 April to see which retailers kept them low and which increased them. Making this public is intended to discourage them from increasing prices too sharply.

Prime Minister Robert Golob said in mid-June that retailers had widely varying prices and margins, so the government will establish a clear picture of where prices for a basic basket of products are low and where they are "clearly astronomical". They will not do negative publicity, but positive publicity for those who have the lowest prices and the lowest margins, he added.

27 Jul 2022, 07:49 AM

STA, 26 July 2022 - Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said there would be no rationing in the supply of natural gas to households in Slovenia this winter, as he attended a meeting of EU ministers in charge of energy in Brussels on Tuesday that agreed on rationing in gas consumption.

Many things would have to go wrong for gas supply disruptions to occur, Kumer said, adding that "if the only thing that happens is Russia stopping the supply of gas, there would be no serious challenges for supply in Slovenia".

This is especially true if the regulation on the reduction of gas consumption by 15% by March 2023, which was agreed on today, achieved its purpose, the minister added.

According to him, EU member states have made a very clear commitment to do more on a voluntary basis and express solidarity. "This positive approach truly fills us all with optimism."

Kumer noted that for the natural gas supply in Slovenia to be disrupted, "a lot of things would have to go wrong", including supply interruptions, a really severe winter and disruptions in the supply from liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

Slovenia is very well connected with its neighbouring countries and, due to its small size, has a very low gas consumption compared to Italy, Croatia and Austria.

"This means that at least this protected segment, which accounts for approximately 20% of the annual consumption, can be quickly covered and supplied with other systems," the minister added.

This means that, according to Kumer, there is no fear there will be rationing in the supply of natural gas to households in the coming winter. "Absolutely not."

The EU ministers today confirmed the proposed European Commission regulation that sets a target of voluntary cut in gas consumption from 1 August to 31 March 2023 by 15% compared to the average gas consumption between August and March in the last five years.

There is also the possibility of mandatory cuts, where several exceptions are envisaged, including for island and Baltic countries, as well as for countries that are heavily dependent on gas for electricity production.

Kumer said that, when it comes to exceptions, it is crucial for Slovenia that these do not result in Slovenia becoming less competitive in terms of reducing gas consumption.

Slovenia could exercise exceptions for the supply of protected categories, such as households, healthcare and social institutions, he said, noting that there was also the exception related to the use of gas for electricity production.

Substituting natural gas with other fuel in the production of electricity could be one in a combination of various measures with which Slovenia could reduce gas consumption by 15%, Kumer said, adding that businesses could substitute natural gas with LPG.

It is precisely industry and businesses that account for over 70% of total natural gas consumption in Slovenia, so the government will advocate for industry and businesses to organise themselves and limit consumption on a voluntary basis, the minister said.

In addition, the government has already adopted recommendations for the public sector to introduce less intensive cooling in the summer and less intensive heating in the winter.

As for possible mandatory measures, Kumer said responses on a voluntary basis should be seen first, which will also be a topic of discussion on Thursday of the crisis task force headed by the minister.

"If all these measures on a voluntary basis fail to work, tougher measures will probably have to be taken," he said, adding that this would be made possible by the emergency legislation that was being drafted.

At the meeting, the minister commended the solidarity expressed by Italy, with which Slovenia signed an agreement on solidarity measures to ensure the reliability of gas supply.

Slovenia is in talks for similar agreement with Croatia and Austria. Croatia's Davor Filipović told his Slovenian counterpart that internal procedures had been accelerated and that he saw no obstacles for the agreement to be signed by the autumn.

Full support for speeding up the procedures to sign a relevant agreement with Austria has also been expressed by Minister of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler, the minister said.

27 Jul 2022, 06:20 AM

Check the date at the top of the page, and you can find all the "morning headlines" stories here. You can also follow us on Facebook and get all the news in your feed.

This summary is provided by the STA:

Minister says no gas rationing for households in the winter

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said there would be no rationing in the supply of natural gas to households in Slovenia this winter, as he attended a meeting of EU ministers in charge of energy that agreed on rationing in gas consumption. Many things would have to go wrong, including supply interruptions, a really severe winter and disruptions in the supply from liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals for gas supply disruptions to occur, Kumer said, adding that "if the only thing that happens is Russia stopping the supply of gas, there would be no serious challenges for supply in Slovenia".

Tackling staff shortages and restoring autonomy to be priorities for new police commissioner

LJUBLJANA - Staff shortages in the police force, both among front-line police and crime investigators and for office jobs, will be one of the challenges that acting Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav plans to take on. Talking with the STA, he also promised to restore the autonomy of the uniformed and criminal police and the National Bureau of Investigation. "The modern police is not just the guardian of the ruler, that's a medieval notion about it," Lindav says, adding that the police force needs safeguards as to how far it can follow the desires of those in power at each time.

Low-profile memorial event to be held at Russian Chapel on Sunday

LJUBLJANA - Due to the war in Ukraine, only a low-profile memorial event will be held at the Russian Chapel below the Vršič mountain pass on Sunday in memory of Russian POWs who perished while building the pass during the First World War. Only members and friends of the Slovenia-Russia Association are expected to attend. While traditionally, a high-profile ceremony was held at the chapel every summer, featuring state officials and church dignitaries from both countries, this year only a brief event will be held with no other accompanying programme, the association said.

Nearly 3,000 Covid cases confirmed on Monday

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 2,939 new coronavirus cases on Monday in what is a nearly-four-month high. The figure was up 6% week-on-week. One Covid patient died, shows fresh official data. Yesterday's case count is the highest since 4 April. There are currently 86 patients hospitalised with Covid as their primary condition, down by eight in daily comparison, including eight in intensive care, same as the day before. Janez Žibert from the Ljubljana Faculty of Health Sciences assessed that the summer epidemic wave has plateaued in Slovenia, since the 7-day average has been around 1,600 for a week now.

State approves funding for over 1,000 non-profit flats

LJUBLJANA - The government has approved co-financing of public rental housing from the recovery and resilience plan for a total of 34 projects as part of which a total of 1,036 housing units will be constructed. The total amount of grants is EUR 60 million. The largest number of apartments will be constructed with the EU funds intended for post-Covid recovery in the Podravje region (404). Investments that provide the most energy-efficient solutions had been preferred, and Projects in disadvantaged border areas were also prioritised from the aspect of balanced regional development, the Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry said.

STA

News roundup - Tuesday, 26 July

Ljubljana, 26 July - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 26 July:

Minister says no gas rationing for households in the winter

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer said there would be no rationing in the supply of natural gas to households in Slovenia this winter, as he attended a meeting of EU ministers in charge of energy that agreed on rationing in gas consumption. Many things would have to go wrong, including supply interruptions, a really severe winter and disruptions in the supply from liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals for gas supply disruptions to occur, Kumer said, adding that "if the only thing that happens is Russia stopping the supply of gas, there would be no serious challenges for supply in Slovenia".

Tackling staff shortages and restoring autonomy to be priorities for new police commissioner

LJUBLJANA - Staff shortages in the police force, both among front-line police and crime investigators and for office jobs, will be one of the challenges that acting Police Commissioner Boštjan Lindav plans to take on. Talking with the STA, he also promised to restore the autonomy of the uniformed and criminal police and the National Bureau of Investigation. "The modern police is not just the guardian of the ruler, that's a medieval notion about it," Lindav says, adding that the police force needs safeguards as to how far it can follow the desires of those in power at each time.

Low-profile memorial event to be held at Russian Chapel on Sunday

LJUBLJANA - Due to the war in Ukraine, only a low-profile memorial event will be held at the Russian Chapel below the Vršič mountain pass on Sunday in memory of Russian POWs who perished while building the pass during the First World War. Only members and friends of the Slovenia-Russia Association are expected to attend. While traditionally, a high-profile ceremony was held at the chapel every summer, featuring state officials and church dignitaries from both countries, this year only a brief event will be held with no other accompanying programme, the association said.

Nearly 3,000 Covid cases confirmed on Monday

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 2,939 new coronavirus cases on Monday in what is a nearly-four-month high. The figure was up 6% week-on-week. One Covid patient died, shows fresh official data. Yesterday's case count is the highest since 4 April. There are currently 86 patients hospitalised with Covid as their primary condition, down by eight in daily comparison, including eight in intensive care, same as the day before. Janez Žibert from the Ljubljana Faculty of Health Sciences assessed that the summer epidemic wave has plateaued in Slovenia, since the 7-day average has been around 1,600 for a week now.

State approves funding for over 1,000 non-profit flats

LJUBLJANA - The government has approved co-financing of public rental housing from the recovery and resilience plan for a total of 34 projects as part of which a total of 1,036 housing units will be constructed. The total amount of grants is EUR 60 million. The largest number of apartments will be constructed with the EU funds intended for post-Covid recovery in the Podravje region (404). Investments that provide the most energy-efficient solutions had been preferred, and Projects in disadvantaged border areas were also prioritised from the aspect of balanced regional development, the Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry said.

Basic food prices under scrutiny expectedly from September

LJUBLJANA - The monitoring and comparison of retail prices of 15 basic foodstuffs at different retailers, one of the government's measures to address the cost of living crisis that is aimed at preventing excessively steep price hikes, is expected to start in September, shows an open call for a price monitoring contractor. The contractor is expected to set up a dedicated website to publish the current prices of this basic foodstuffs basket every fortnight over a seven-month period, from 1 September 2022 to 31 March 2023. Three times during this period, the prices in Austria, Italy and Croatia will also be monitored.

Pirate Party endorses Pirc Musar for president

LJUBLJANA - The Pirate Party will endorse lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar in the 23 October presidential election under a decision taken by this non-parliamentary party in Saturday's congress. Announcing the decision, the party said the former information commissioner had been battling for the Pirate Party's core values and for individuals' information literacy through her work. Pirc Musar welcomed the support, saying she shared a similar beliefs and system of values with the Pirate Party and supported their platform points on "human rights, privacy and data protection, a free and neutral internet and transparency of state."

Hisense building new factory in Serbia

VELENJE - The Chinese-owned group Hisense Europe, which includes the Velenje-based maker of household appliances and TV sets Gorenje, has started building a new plant in the Serbian city of Valjevo for the production of Hisense, Gorenje, and Asko refrigerators. The EUR 40 million plant is expected to open in February 2023 and create 1000 jobs. The new plant Valjevo 3 is projected to produce 750,000 side-by-side refrigerators a year, while the total annual output of all three Gorenje plants in Valjevo should reach EUR 1.7 million by 2025.

Settlement reached over SSH's sale of Meta Ingenium

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) and investment firm Meta Ventures have reached an out-of-court settlement in a dispute over SSH's sale in 2020 of the state's 49% stake in Meta Ingenium, a company that at the time owned 10.8% of biotech firm Bia Separations. SSH will get an additional EUR 2.09 million for the stake and will contiue to receive variable part of the proceeds in the next three years based on Bia Separations' results. The irregularities established in the sale resulted in two SSH board members resigning alongside Igor Kržan, a supervisor who was interim SSH chairman at the time of the sale.

Cycling ace Pogačar to skip Vuelta a Espana

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar, two-time Tour de France winner, will not race the 2022 Vuelta a Espana as he intends to focus on the coming World Championships and one-day races. Pogačar was initially expected to compete in the Spanish Grand Tour, but his team, UAE Emirates, confirmed on Tuesday that he had opted out of the race. The 23-year-old finished second at this year's Tour de France, which wrapped up on Sunday, conceding defeat to Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

Lufthansa flights from Ljubljana cancelled due to strike

LJUBLJANA - German flag carrier Lufthansa will cancel more than 1,000 flights from and to Munich and Frankfurt on Wednesday, including all of its flights to and from Ljubljana, due to a strike by ground staff. Fraport Slovenija, the company managing Ljubljana airport, said Lufthansa also cancelled Wednesday's scheduled flights to Frankfurt and Munich from Ljubljana. The cancellations will affect the departure for Frankfurt in the morning, the arrival from Munich and departure in the afternoon, the afternoon arrival from and departure to Frankfurt and the evening arrival from Frankfurt.

Slovenia condemns execution of democracy activists in Myanmar

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian authorities strongly condemned the executions of four democracy activists in Myanmar, with the Foreign Ministry tweeted that the actions of Myanmar's military junta represent an escalation of repression and contempt for human rights. The Myanmar authorities did not specify when or how the four, among them Phyo Zeyar Thaw, a former MP of the National League for Democracy party, were executed. A Myanmar state news outlet said they were executed because they "gave directives, made arrangements and committed conspiracies for brutal and inhumane terror acts", such as murder.

Case of sexual abuse by priest becomes statute barred

KOPER - After being defrocked by the Vatican church court over sexual abuse of a minor, former priest Anton Kmet will not be tried as the case has become statute barred, according to newspaper Primorske Novice. In September 2021, the prosecutor's office in Koper pressed charges against Kmet for alleged sexual abuse, but now the Koper District Court's judicial chamber found the case has become statute barred.

More than dozen injured in mining accident in Velenje

VELENJE - Fourteen miners were injured as a stope collapsed at the Velenje coal mine on Monday, but they managed to get out of the pit by themselves. They all sustained light injuries and are recovering at home, Janez Rošer, the CEO of the mining company Premogovnik Velenje, told reporters. According to Rošer, the miners mostly suffered injuries such as bumps, and some had twisted ankles, and there were also cases where they inhaled dust. They got medical attendance at the community health centre.

Maribor ousted from UEFA Champions League qualifying

CHISINAU, Moldova - The Slovenian football champions Maribor were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League qualifying as the lost to the Moldovan champions FC Sheriff by losing 0:1 in the second leg of the second round of qualifying. The only goal in the match was scored by Momo Yansane in the closing minutes of the match. Maribor were relegated to the UEFA Europa League, where they will play in the third qualifying round with HJK Helsinki of Finland. The first match will be played on 4 August in Maribor.

26 Jul 2022, 16:13 PM

STA, 26 July 2022 - German flag carrier Lufthansa will cancel more than 1,000 flights from and to Munich and Frankfurt on Wednesday, including all of its flights to and from Ljubljana, due to a strike by ground staff.

Fraport Slovenija, the company managing Ljubljana airport, said Lufthansa also cancelled Wednesday's scheduled flights to Frankfurt and Munich from Ljubljana.

The cancellations will affect the departure for Frankfurt in the morning, the arrival from Munich and departure in the afternoon, the afternoon arrival from and departure to Frankfurt and the evening arrival from Frankfurt.

Verdi, the trade union which called on the ground staff to take part in the strike, said the industrial action will start on Wednesday at 3:45am and continue until Thursday 4am.

26 Jul 2022, 10:39 AM

STA, 25 July 2022 - The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food has temporarily protected at the national level a type of sheep milk cheese from the Istria region, Istrski ovčji sir/Istarski ovčji sir, using a protected designation of origin. The move was initiated by Slovenian and Croatian sheep breeders.

The Istrian cheese is made from raw or pasteurised sheep milk produced by sheep bred in Slovenian and Croatian Istria, including the Croatian islands of Cres and Lošinj, the smaller islands of Unije, Ilovik, Susak, Vele Srakane and a number of uninhabited islands.

The sheep are bred in semi-extensive type of farming, which involves grazing on pastures with typical Mediterranean plants, the ministry said.

It noted that the Istrian sheep milk cheese was a hard, full-fat cheese, cylindrical in shape, with a diameter of between 16 and 22 centimetres. It is between 6 and 9 centimetres high and weighs between 1.8 and 4.5 kilograms.

The cheese must be matured for at least 60 days. It is characterised by its high dry matter content (60%) so it can be stored at higher temperatures as well.

The rind is smooth, lemon-yellow to dark yellow, uniform in colour. The cheese is straw to golden yellow in cross-section, usually without holes, although it may have irregularly spaced openings of up to 4 millimetres in size.

The cheese must be not only produced but also packaged in Istria and must carry a special label.

Before producers start producing Istrski ovčji sir/Istarski ovčji sir, they must obtain a certificate that their production is in line with the specification, the ministry added.

26 Jul 2022, 10:20 AM

STA, 25 July 2022 - A Swiss citizen who had gone missing while swimming in Lake Bled was pulled out of the water dead around 6pm on Monday by divers of the local civil protection unit.

The man went swimming with an acquaintance to the Bled Island, and he started drowning on the way back to the shore. The acquaintance tried to save him, but could not see him under the surface as the water was very muddy.

The divers pulled out the Swiss from a depth of 14 metres, the Kranj Police Department said. According to the information obtained so far, no foul play was involved.

26 Jul 2022, 06:47 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.es

This summary is provided by the STA:

Foreign air forces withdraw from Kras fire site

KOSTANJEVICA NA KRASU - All foreign air force units that have been helping fighting a huge wildfire in the western region of Kras for over a week, have withdrawn after the blaze was brought under control on Sunday. 240 firefighters remain on the ground monitoring the site for potential rekindling of the fire and cleaning up and watering the edges of the site of burning. They are also keeping an eye on two hotspots on the northern side of Trstelj, the highest peak in the area. In total, more than 10,000 voluntary and professional firefighters have been involved in the effort so far. They were helped by some 1,200 members of various support units. The fire, the largest Slovenia has ever had to face, spread over some 3,000-3,500 hectares.

Rain not to alleviate drought

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will get some of the much needed rain on Tuesday as a weather system passes the country. However, even though rain is expected throughout the country it will do little to alleviate drought or improve the extremely dry conditions in the south-west of the country because the bora wind will quickly dry it up. Blaž Šter, a forecaster at the Environment Agency, says the rain will help firefighters in Kras, but it will not be sufficient to alleviate the drought or replenish water resources in the long run.

Pahor thanks countries that helped with firefighting in Kras

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor has thanked presidents of countries that have helped Slovenia in the effort to contain a devastating ten-day blaze in the Kras region, the president's office said. Over the past two days, Pahor had telephone conversations with the presidents of Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Romania to thank them for the various forms of assistance their countries provided to Slovenia.

Since Friday 15 deaths among Covid patients

LJUBLJANA - As many as 15 patients with Covid-19 died over the past three days, including eight on Sunday, fresh data released by the Health Ministry shows. A total of 1,236 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed at the weekend, up 15% from on the weekend before. Friday included, a total of 3,158 cases were confirmed. On Sunday, 348 patients with Covid-19 were treated in hospitals, including 19 in intensive care. Sunday's death toll was the highest since 13 April.

POP TV poll shows over half supporting Golob govt

LJUBLJANA - Three months after the election, the voter approval rating for the Robert Golob government stands at 51%, down two percentage points from a month ago, according to a poll commissioned by the commercial broadcaster POP TV. Golob's Freedom Movement polled at 27.8%, slightly down from the month before, which suggests merging with the LMŠ and SAB brought it no additional support. The opposition Democrats (SDS) are level at 18.8%. Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan tops the popularity ranking.

Gas supply situation under control, says operator CEO

LJUBLJANA - Marjan Eberlinc, CEO of the gas transmission system operator Plinovodi, told Radio Slovenija that Slovenia was managing the gas supply situation very well given the developments in the wake of the war in Ukraine. So far, there have been no supply disruptions, and the situation is not as pessimistic as it might seem, he noted. Eberlinc, who is also the head of the Energy Chamber, said there would be quite a few options for Slovenia if Russia indeed cut off gas supply to Europe, hence cutting off Slovenia's predominant supply source.

Ex-minister proposes solutions for emergency medicine network

LJUBLJANA - As some community health centres face staff shortages in their emergency medical care units, former Health Minister Janez Poklukar proposed that all doctors of age up to 60 should join the system or else be stripped of their licences. Poklukar said in a statement for the STA that a solution to the issue would be involving doctors from all levels of healthcare, not only the primary level, in the system. This comes after the government announced that the issue will be tackled after the local elections in the autumn.

June tourism figures reach pre-epidemic levels

LJUBLJANA - The number of nights spent by visitors in Slovenia's tourism accommodation facilities reached almost two million in June, which is nearly double year-on-year and a third of the total figure for the first half of 2022, when 2.3 million visitors spent more than 6 million nights in the country. The figures thus virtually reached pre-epidemic levels. A total of 795,000 visitors were recorded in June. Just over 351,000 were Slovenians and almost 444,000 were foreigners.

Sava's revenue, profit up last year

LJUBLJANA - The tourism holding Sava generated EUR 70.1 million in sales revenue last year, which is 27% more than the year before. Net profit reached EUR 2.2 million after the holding posted a net loss of EUR 10.5 million in 2020, Sava says on its website. As tourist facilities reopened after the epidemic, sales of Sava's tourist arm Sava Turizem reached the 2019 level last year and even exceeded them in some destinations. The arm generated a net profit of EUR 6.1 million, also thanks to state subsidies.

Hrastnik glassworks ups profit by 62% last year to EUR 11m

HRASTNIK - The Steklarna Hrastnik glassworks generated EUR 77 million in sales revenue last year, or 37% more than in 2020, while net profit was up by 62% to EUR 11 million. This enabled the company to continue to invest, with total investments amounting to EUR 22 million in 2021. The management of the Hrastnik-based company told the STA that last year's results were a product of digitalisation, development and innovation, and the successful core activity of production of glass bottles of various sizes.

Bad bank suspends sale of two batches of claims

LJUBLJANA - The Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) has suspended the sale of two packages of claims against 28 companies in the total value of some EUR 474 million. According to BAMC, the bids did not reach market value. The newspaper Finance reported that no major sales were expected by the time BAMC ends its operations at the end of the year. Around half a billion euros of unsold assets are to be transferred to Slovenian State Holding. However, BAMC published a call today for binding bids for the purchase of EUR 3.9 million debt owed by the textile company Beti.

Sheep milk cheese from Istria protected

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food has temporarily protected at the national level a type of sheep milk cheese from the Istria region, Istrski ovčji sir/Istarski ovčji sir, using a protected designation of origin. The move was initiated by Slovenian and Croatian sheep breeders. The Istrian cheese is made from raw or pasteurised sheep milk produced by sheep bred in Slovenian and Croatian Istria, including on some of the Croatian islands. The cheese must be not only produced but also packaged in Istria and must carry a special label.

Slovenia sees negative birth-to-death rate for 5th year

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia saw a natural decrease in population for the fifth consecutive year in 2021 as the number of births dropped to just 18,984, and 23,261 people died, fresh data from the Statistics Office shows. This is due to a higher death rate throughout the year, with the exception of summer. Most people died in the last quarter of 2021 when the death rate was highest with 6,721 people dying, while the fewest deaths were recorded in the third quarter with 4,840 people passing away.

Survey: One in three girls considering plastic surgery

LJUBLJANA - Social media posts affect body perception among teenage girls, show findings from the safe-internet use portal Safe.si. Their survey showed that one out of three female secondary school students, and one out of four girls at primary schools aged 12-15 have considered getting plastic surgery. "Teenagers are exposed to unachievable beauty standards on the internet and sexualised images of people and their lives," the portal said, pointing to the impact on their mental health and well-being.

Another fish die-off in Gradaščica river canal

LJUBLJANA - Another fish die-off occurred on Saturday in Mali Graben, a river canal of the Gradaščica river in Ljubljana, according to a report by the public broadcaster TV Slovenija. The Barje Angling Club said that around a tonne and a half of fish were dead with the club's head Bojan Pregovnik describing the incident as a horrendous ecological disaster. This is the second major incident in the Gradaščica river recently after decomposing pork was found in the water a fortnight ago.

New Ljubljana city bus marks Plečnik's Year

LJUBLJANA - As part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of architecture mastermind Jože Plečnik, Ljubljana will see a new city bus cruising past his landmarks, as well as renovation of the laundry-washing terraces along the Gradaščica river in the Trnovo borough. The new all-black city bus, adorned with the architect's portrait and signature, will be operational for 150 days. It will run on the number 2 city line to take passengers past 28 of the best known Ljubljana landmarks designed by Plečnik.

Metalheads flocking to Tolmin for Metaldays

TOLMIN - Metaldays, a large festival dedicated to metal music, is taking place near Tolmin in the north-west of the country where the Tolminka and Soča rivers meet. More than 50 bands will perform until Friday, including Incantation, a veteran death metal band from the US, French band Celeste, which fuses black metal, sludge metal and post-hardcore, and English grindcore band Napalm Death. To protect the area and keep the original spirit of the festival alive, the number of visitors is capped at 12,000.

Swiss man drowns in Lake Bled

BLED - A Swiss citizen who had gone missing while swimming in Lake Bled was pulled out of the water dead around 6pm by divers of the local civil protection unit. The man went swimming with an acquaintance to the Bled Island, and he started drowning on the way back to the shore. The acquaintance tried to save him, but could not see him under the surface as the water was very muddy. According to the information obtained so far, no foul play was involved.

25 Jul 2022, 13:39 PM

STA, 25 July 2022 - The number of nights spent in tourist accommodation facilities in Slovenia reached almost two million in June, which is nearly double year-on-year and a third of the total figure for the first half of 2022, when 2.3 million tourists spent more than 6 million nights in the country. The figures thus virtually reached pre-epidemic level.

A total of 795,000 visitors were recorded in June. Just over 351,000 were Slovenians and they spent 878,000 nights at tourist facilities, which is about a quarter more than a year ago. The almost 444,000 foreigners generated just under 1.1 million nights or 56% of total nights.

Most foreign visitors came from Germany (almost 272,900), followed by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Czechia.

In June, the most popular destination for tourists were mountain regions, where they spent 32% or 632,300 of all nights. The coast followed with 432,100 nights or 22% and spas with 18%.

Hotels are still the most popular type of tourist accommodation (738,700 nights were generated there or 37%). Private rooms, apartments and houses follow with 24%, while 18% of nights were spent at campsites.

In the first six months, 2.3 million visitors spent more than 6 million nights in Slovenia, which is about 4.3 million more than in the same period last year. Ljubljana is the leading destination with 729,400 nights, followed by the coastal town of Piran (703,300), the mountain resort Kranjska Gora (402,700) and the lakeside resort Bled (325,300).

Visitors from Slovenia generated 2.8 million nights in the first half of the year or 47%, while tourists from other countries spent 3.2 million nights or 53%. While Slovenians mostly stayed in Piran, foreigners preferred Ljubljana.

More on this data

25 Jul 2022, 12:02 PM

STA, 25 July - Metaldays, a large festival dedicated to metal music, is taking place near Tolmin in the north-west of the country where the Tolminka and Soča rivers meet. More than 50 bands will perform this year, including Napalm Death, Incantation and Celeste.

The line-up includes Incantation, a veteran death metal band from the US, French band Celeste that fuses black metal, sludge metal and post-hardcore, English grindcore band Napalm Death, Slovenian heavy-stoner metal band Britof, and Sick of It All, a veteran of the New York hardcore punk scene.

The organisers warn on the festival's website of a new parking regime due to the construction of a bypass road that will run through a part of the festival area.

Since Covid restrictions relaxed this year, allowing music festivals to return to the Sotočje area, the Tolmin municipality decided in the spring to introduce new rules for organisers.

Under the new regime, organisers must ensure free access to the riverside area during the day and the duration of the music programme is limited to eight hours a day and should wrap up by 1am at the latest.

To protect the area and keep the original spirit of the festival alive, the number of visitors is capped at 12,000. The festival will run until Friday.

The past two summers, the organisers of Metaldays had to cancel the largest festival at the Sotočje area due to the pandemic. Last year, a scaled-down iteration was held though at the end of July under the slogan Weekend of Consolation.

Learn more at the official website

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