Politics

27 Sep 2021, 09:10 AM

STA, 25 September 2021 - The top bodies of three of the four centre-left opposition parties which have finalised an agreement on post-election cooperation unanimously endorsed the document at their respective sessions on Saturday, while the fourth party did so earlier this week.

The Alenka Bratušek Party's (SAB) council unanimously endorsed the agreement on cooperation after the next general election on Tuesday, when it was initialled by all four party leaders. Today, the top bodies of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the Left and the Social Democrats (SD) followed suit.

The content of the agreement has not been revealed yet. It will be presented at a news conference on Tuesday following its signing, the Left said in Saturday's release.

The idea for a post-election alliance was put forward by LMŠ leader and former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in August.

He proposed three main points the parties should agree on: to normalise Slovenia, to form a government without the Democrats (SDS) and the parties supporting them, and that a prime minister-designate will be put forward by the participating party which has won the most votes.

The Left's leader Luka Mesec said in today's release that "the agreement is the foundation stone on which to form a government which will have to take the country out of the chaos in which it found itself due to the Janez Janša government's destructive, anti-democratic and far-right policies".

He believes the deal is also the basis to "decisively set out social change to boost democracy, decarbonisation and green transition, and economic and social justice".

SD leader Fajon said in a statement to the press that the SD unanimously decided today to strike a political agreement on cooperation with the opposition parties. She would like the parties to jointly and responsibly lead Slovenia towards a better and more sincere future.

"We cannot reconcile that we have lost so many people in the epidemic due to the destructive and hostile government which has pushed Slovenia into chaos," said Fajon, adding that the party would present its election platform in two weeks' time.

25 Sep 2021, 11:11 AM

What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.

If you’d like to keep up on the daily headlines then follow those here, or get all our stories in your feed on Facebook.

FRIDAY, 17 September
        ATHENS, Greece - Slovenia officially joined the club of Mediterranean EU countries henceforth known as EU Med, which grew from seven to nine members with the inclusion of Slovenia and Croatia at a summit in Athens. PM Janez Janša said it was a great honour for Slovenia to join the group, which was expanding at a crucial time during Slovenia's presidency of the EU.
        LJUBLJANA - The European Commission paid out the first, EUR 231 million batch of EU funds to Slovenia as part of the recovery and resilience plan, which is 13% of the total amount the country is to receive. The money will be allocated for sustainable mobility and digital transformation projects.
        PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Defence Minister Matej Tonin meet his Czech counterpart Lubomir Metnar on the sidelines of NATO Days to discuss cooperation in international operations and bilateral cooperation in defence, including in mountain warfare.
        LJUBLJANA - The government announced it will introduce on 1 October a stricter Covid pass mandate for 31,500 of the 170,000 public sector employees working in the public administration. Staff at government departments, inspection services, police and army will need to be either Covid-19 reconvalescent or vaccinated to work there, a rule the Trade Union of State Bodies plans to challenge at the Constitutional Court.
        LJUBLJANA - Friday protestors who have protested against the Janez Janša government for over a year and a half filed a criminal complaint over corruption against PM Janša. The protest organisers said the corruption and nepotism that had marked every Janša government had reached new proportions in the last year and a half.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission announced the Slovenian Zero Waste House project was one of the winners of the New European Bauhaus Rising Stars awards, given to concepts that exemplify sustainability, aesthetics and inclusiveness.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian police processed over 5,830 illegal crossings of the border in the first eight months of 2021, down 43% from the same period last year. The most frequently processed illegal migrants were from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, accounting for around a half of the total.
        LJUBLJANA - Three persons were injured in a shooting in a bar at the BTC shopping district. Two were wounded with fire arms and the third sustained injuries from a blow with an object, the Ljubljana Police Department said, but did not provide other details beyond saying all three were in hospital, but their lives were not in danger.

SATURDAY, 18 September
        LJUBLJANA - It was announced that Fraport Slovenija, the company managing the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, will get a new CEO as Babett Stapel, currently managing director, takes over in October from Zmago Skobir, whose term expires at the end of September.
        MARIBOR - Author Sebastijan Pregelj won this year's Večernica prize for best youth and children's book written in the past year. He won the award given out by the newspaper Večer for his book Vrnitev (Return), the sixth in a series of stories on life in the late Stone Age in the Ljubljana marshes.
        STIČNA - Youth Stična, a gathering of Catholic youths, focussed on the issue of fear and insecurity among the young as it marked its 40th anniversary. The event was addressed by President Borut Pahor and Maribor Archbishop Alojzij Cvikl.

SUNDAY, 19 September
        KATOWICE, Poland - Slovenia won the second consecutive silver at the European Volleyball Championship after losing to Italy 2:3. With silver medals from the 2015 and 2019 tournaments, Slovenia were hoping to take it one step further this time, but Italy proved too strong.
        PORTOROŽ - Italian tennis player Jasmine Paolini won the WTA tournament in Portorož, defeating Alison Riske of the US in straight sets 7:6 (4), 6:2 to clinch her maiden WTA title. Paolini knocked out four seeded players, including Dayana Yastremska, Sorana Cirstea and Yulia Putintseva, on the way to her first final.
        LJUBLJANA - The pay gap between men and women in Slovenia narrowed slightly in 2020, by 3.6 points annually to 2.2%, preliminary figures released by the Statistics Office showed. The gap in the private sector stood at 6.5% and at 10.7% in the public sector.

MONDAY, 20 September
        NEW YORK, US - FM Anže Logar urged his EU counterparts to stick with the agreement they reached at an informal meeting in Slovenia earlier this month regarding Afghanistan, as EU foreign ministers held a meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly. He said the EU should pursue a single, coordinated approach to the management of migrations and the provision of humanitarian aid.
        NEW YORK, US - President Borut Pahor and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in exchanged state decorations as they held talks on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting. Moon received the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service, while Pahor was given the Grand Order of Mugunghwa.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša said the erasure of shareholders and subordinated bondholders as part of Slovenia's 2013/14 bank bailout could pose a risk of potentially high compensations, but added that government was working towards mitigating these risks.
        LJUBLJANA - The government removed a controversial cap on social security contributions from the omnibus debureaucratisation bill due to a lack of support. The employer organisations regretted the move, announcing to try to persuade trade unions to support it as a measure to benefit everyone.
        LJUBLJANA - The programming council of RTV Slovenija endorsed Valentin Areh as acting director of the public broadcaster's TV programmes, TV Slovenija. The 50-year-old journalist and editor had been put forward by the director general after dismissing Natalija Gorščak in late August.

TUESDAY, 21 September
        NEW YORK, US - President Borut Pahor, in New York for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, held several bilateral meetings, including with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss cooperation, Afghanistan and migrations. The pair assessed Slovenia-Turkey relations as very good, especially since 2011 when the countries signed a strategic partnership.
        PORTOROŽ - The situation on the EU's external border, in particular on the border with Belarus, was high on the agenda as the management board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) started a two-day meeting in Slovenia. Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said Frontex had to help EU member states as well as third countries
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The issue of the Aukus pact between Australia, the UK and US was brought up by some EU member states at a session of the General Affairs Council, chaired by Gašper Dovžan, a state secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry. Dovžan said the issue was expected to be discussed at future meetings, including EU summit.
        LJUBLJANA - Four centre-left opposition parties, the LMŠ, SD, Left and SAB, initialled an agreement on post-election cooperation. The SAB council unanimously endorsed the pact on the same say, with the remaining parties yet to provide the final stamp of approval.
        LJUBLJANA - Budget funding for research and development (R&D) stood at EUR 243.5 million in 2020, up 11% over the year before and the fifth consecutive annual increase, show Statistics Office data. Spending increased in relative terms as well, amounting to 0.52% of GDP.
        LJUBLJANA - Sanremo, a film about life in a nursing home and dementia, by Miroslav Mandić was selected by a group of experts as the Slovenian entry for a nomination for the best international feature film award at the Oscars 2022.
        MOSCOW, Russia - Luka Potočar won silver in the men's lead event at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in what is the best career achievement for the 19-year-old and the 19th medal for Slovenia ever at the competition, the first in the lead event for men.

WEDNESDAY, 22 September
        LJUBLJANA - Parliament turned down in a 44:43 vote a controversial bill that would have introduced fines for indecent behaviour when detected by a police officer. Originally, the amendments to the protection of public order act envisaged fines of EUR 500-1,000 for insulting senior officials and their families, but after a backlash in the public, the definition was expanded to make indecent behaviour towards anyone punishable by a fine.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - EU energy ministers discussed ways to tackle rising power and gas prices. Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the European Commission could clear certain short-term measures to curb price growth. Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec meanwhile described the Commission's Fit for 55 package as a much needed step forward. The general consensus is that the package was good, but there is quite a bit of work ahead, he said.
        NEW YORK, US - Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stanislav Raščan called for an increase in aid for Yemen as he took part in a special event on the humanitarian crisis in the country on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
        LJUBLJANA - The government endorsed a bill amending the budget implementation act for 2021-2022 to create a legal basis for effective use of EU funds for projects included in the national recovery and resilience plan, under which the country is to get EUR 1.8 billion in grants and EUR 705 million in loans.
        LJUBLJANA - An audiovisual services act whose core provision was a 6% levy on content providers to finance a new fund for the production of domestic content fell two votes short in a parliamentary vote after it was vetoed by the upper chamber over sharp criticism by content providers and the Association of Slovenian Journalists.
        LJUBLJANA - The government approved a donation of 100,620 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Health Ministry said the donation was Slovenia's humanitarian aid to help the country cope with the pandemic.
        LJUBLJANA - Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill that seeks to better protect pets, increase their well-being and enhance the responsibility of their owners.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) reported its half-year net profit increasing more than five-fold year-on-year to EUR 26 million, chiefly as a result of much higher dividend entitlements. Return on equity rose to 6.4% from 4% in the first half of last year, and assets and capital increased by EUR 125 million.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian tobacco prices will rise in November and again in April next year under changes to the excise duty regulation adopted by the government, which should increase annual budget receipts by EUR 15.6 million.
        BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Slovenian kayak and canoe teams won two bronze medals at the outset of the Canoe Slalom World Championships, in the men's team slalom and the men's team whitewater event. Peter Kauzer, Martin Srabotnik and Niko Testen won the bronze medal in the men's team slalom behind France and Slovakia. In the whitewater event, Anže Urankar, Simon Oven and Nejc Žnidarčič were bested only by the surprise winners Germany and France.

THURSDAY, 23 September
        BUDAPEST, Hungary - PM Janez Janša attended the Demographic Summit in Budapest, which he labelled as one of the most important events in the debate on the future of Europe, as demographics is one of the most important issues in the EU. A joint statement adopted at the summit said family policies should remain in the domain of member states.
        VIENNA, Austria/NEW YORK, US - Slovenia was elected a member of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for 2021-2023. Foreign Minister Anže Logar said that membership was particularly important in the light of the return to the Iranian nuclear agreement.
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - EU transport ministers discussed infrastructure for alternative fuels with Slovenia's Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec noting there were quite a few differences between the countries on the issue, but the "essential thing is not to lose the primary momentum and to keep the required level of ambition".
        STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The whole of Slovenia was dark red on the latest Covid-19 colour-coded map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as the only country or region on the map with such an epidemiological situation. Areas change to dark red when the 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents exceeds 500, with Slovenia's at almost 650.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council warned that the continued existence of exceptional circumstances should not be used to adopt measures that reflect the final stage of the political cycle, as it warned the government not to overdo stimulus spending considering that the economy is expanding fast.
        LJUBLJANA - Residential property prices rose by 4.5% in the second quarter of 2021 on the quarter before in the most substantial hike in ten years, the Statistics Office said. The value of transactions was the highest on record.
        LJUBLJANA - Retail group Mercator posted a net profit of EUR 10.6 million in the first half of the year after reporting a loss of EUR 69 million in the same period a year ago due to property revaluation and writedowns. Sales revenue was down 0.4% to EUR 1.1 billion.
        LJUBLJANA - Chef Ana Roš of Hiša Franko kept her two stars in the new edition of the Michelin Guide Slovenia and all five one-starred restaurants kept theirs as Gostišče Grič in Horjul, led by chef Luka Košir, won its first. The coveted stars were awarded to Slovenian restaurants for the second time.

25 Sep 2021, 10:34 AM

STA, 24 September 2021 - A teacher from a primary school in Maribor opposing the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) rule and campaigning against Covid measures has been fired, media have reported. Firing staff over non-compliance with the PCT rule is possible under a government decision adopted at the end of summer.

The leadership of the France Rozman - Stane Primary School urged the teacher to get tested for Covid-19 twice and since she did not comply, she was banned from conducting her work and subsequently fired.

Schools and kindergartens received instructions from the Education Ministry on how to act if staff does not adhere to the PCT rule just before the start of the school year.

The ministry said that those who were not vaccinated or reconvalescent and refused to get tested did not meet the obligations from their employment contract, and could thus be fired.

The teacher argued that the government decree on the PCT rule was unconstitutional, and the appeal process is still under way.

The school's decision was backed by both the Maribor municipality and the Education Ministry.

The former teacher is a vocal opponent of Covid-19 measures. She is a member of the group of coronavirus deniers and anti-vaccination protesters who stormed the headquarters of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija at the beginning of the month.

On social media she posted a video urging parents not to send children to school because they would be forcedly vaccinated there.

24 Sep 2021, 10:53 AM

STA, 24 September 2021 - The Covid pass mandate has been relaxed starting on Friday, with the requirement waived for those working from home and those filling up their cars as long as they do not enter the interior of petrol stations.

This is under a government decree adopted late last night that comes after sharp criticism of the Covid pass mandate for those working from home, in particular the self-employed.

The mandate remains in place for the vast majority of services and all other workplace settings.

In a related easing of restrictions, the government decided that indoor and outdoor sports practice can be conducted without masks or distancing as long as the participants have a valid Covid pass.

24 Sep 2021, 09:30 AM

STA, 23 September 2021 - Prime Minister Janez Janša attended on Thursday the Demographic Summit in Budapest, which he labelled as one of the most important events in the debate on the future of Europe, as demographics is one of the most important issues in the EU.

He emphasised the importance of the family and said that the EU needed a bolder family policy, the prime minister's office said in a press release.

Janša participated in a panel on family as a key to sustainability alongside his Polish, Czech and Hungarian counterparts Mateusz Morawiecki, Andrej Babiš and Viktor Orban, ex-US Vice President Mike Pence and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

"Due to the negative trends, demography is one of the important issues faced by the entire Europe. There is currently no country in the world that does not depend on demographic issues," the Slovenian prime minister said at the panel.

Slovenia had a negative natural increase last year, and the same is true for other European countries.

"When trends in the economy are worsening, we immediately hold a lot of crisis meetings. And when we have a demographic crisis, the numbers are bad and this lasts for years or decades, almost no one notices."

Janša stressed that the EU needed a bold family policy, as financial issues, while having an impact on the creation of family, were only a part of the picture.

"We cannot talk only about the economic circumstances for starting a family, because family policies of individual states also affect this," he said, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic had also contributed to the declining birth rates.

Janša argued that young people should be assisted in creating a family, which should be supported as the fundamental cell of society, because "family needs to be in the forefront, as families are the core of a state and string society."

He welcomed the European Commission creating a demography and democracy portfolio and a European commissioner dealing solely with these issues in the current term. "We are still waiting for bold decisions that would put family first," he added.

The Demographic Summit was also attended by Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj, who participated in a panel on best practice in demography and family policy, the release adds.

23 Sep 2021, 11:57 AM

STA, 23 September 2021 - A total of 1,011 new coronavirus infections were confirmed on Wednesday, down 75 from Tuesday, as the test positivity rate dropped by two percentage points to 18%, data released by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) on Thursday shows. The number of estimated active cases in Slovenia thus dropped by nine to 13,734.

The 7-day average of new cases also dropped yesterday, by 46 to 955 from Tuesday, and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents was down by one to 648, NIJZ data also shows.

According to the government, there were four Covid-19 deaths yesterday.

The number of hospitalised Covid patients this morning stands at 391, seven more than yesterday, of whom 102 are in intensive care, three more than yesterday.

According to NIJZ, 976,963 residents, or 46.3% of the population, have received all the doses of the vaccine to be fully immunised against Covid-19.

Infectologist Matjaž Jereb said at a press conference that it an estimated 350-400 Covid-19 patients would require standard hospital care and up to 140 patients would require intensive care at the end of September.

He said that the projections of development of the epidemic had been somewhat more favourable in the last week, but "we are far from being able to be carefree".

Jereb noted that the bulk of Covid-19 patients in hospitals were persons who had not been vaccinated, while attributing a low average age of patients in intensive care units to a lower vaccination rate among the younger population.

The youngest Covid-19 patient in standard units of the UKC Ljubljana hospital is aged 41, and the youngest patient in intensive care is aged 27. Neither of them has been vaccinated against Covid-19, he said.

"We need to be aware that our hospital capacities are limited," Jereb said, adding that the "more the number of Covid patients grows, the more we will limit activities in non-Covid units and the greater risk for non-Covid patients."

You can see the latest data here

22 Sep 2021, 07:24 AM

STA, 21 September 2021 - Urban Purgar, a high-profile member of the far-right Yellow Jackets movement who sparked controversy in Slovenia with a tweet glorifying Hitler, is in prison, allegedly for committing the crime of violence, the newspaper Večer reports online.

The report says that Purgar had to report to Ljubljana prison on Monday to start serving his five-month sentence, allegedly for the crime of violence.

Večer writes that Purgar has also been sentenced to seven months in prison in a conviction that is not yet final.

Purgar resigned as the head of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values earlier this month in the wake of controversy after he posted a tweet reading "Hitler is #hero" on 1 August.

The centre-left opposition has demanded for the Culture Ministry to strip the association of the status of an association in the public interest.

A group called the Legal Network for Protection of Democracy brought a complaint with the supreme state prosecution on 17 August demanding judicial procedure to be opened to ban the association.

The prosecution told the online edition of the magazine Demokracija that there was no basis for the complaint to be acted on.

21 Sep 2021, 14:19 PM

STA, 21 September 2021 - Four centre-left opposition parties have finalised an agreement on cooperation after the election. Party leaders initialled the agreement on Tuesday and will sign it next week pending approval by the top decision-making bodies of each of the parties.

The agreement involves the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB).

The SAB council unanimously endorsed the pact tonight as the first of the four. The remaining parties will hold sessions at the weekend.

The content of the agreement has not been revealed in today's press releases circulated by all four parties.

The idea for a post-election alliance was put forward by LMŠ leader Marjan Šarec in mid-August. He said such a pact was necessary to "return Slovenia to normalcy and to democracy".

"After Covid-19, government terror and disregard for the rule of law and after the hole they dug in public finances, Slovenia will need a normalisation," Bratušek said after the party council session, pledging for the four parties to deliver that after the election.

She promised the party would do all in its power for Slovenia to have a stable and strong economy as a basis for the welfare state, listing pensioners, healthcare and public education as SAB's top priorities.

21 Sep 2021, 11:41 AM

STA, 20 September 2021 - Prime Minister Janez Janša has dismissed allegations about improper lobbying contacts, telling MPs on Monday that businessmen do not lobby with him "because they know I'm not a target" for lobbying.

"Whenever we are in the opposition, all your media write that the SDS will never be in government again, that Janez Janša will never be prime minister again. Why then should they lobby with someone who will not have any power," he said during questions time in parliament.

Janša was quizzed about contacts after several media released photos of Janša playing golf with lobbyist Božo Dimnik and businessman Andrej Marčič in 2003. Subsequently released photos showed both Janša and Dimnik on Marčič's yacht, reportedly in 2016, and Dimnik hanging around with Janša in Janša's home.

PM Janša Reported to Have Been Vacationing in Mauritius with Healthcare Lobbyists for Almost 20 Years

Left leader said MPs entitled to explanations given that Janša has held a number of senior posts in the past twenty years, in particular contacts with Marčič and Dimnik given their extensive deals with public institutions.

Janša said he had met with Dimnik several times in the past but had never discussed business with him, noting that Dimnik had helped Slovenia win international recognition during independence efforts and had chaired the Association of Slovenian-Croatian Friendship during his first government.

He pointed out that companies with links to Dimnik and Marčič had concluded the biggest deals with the state during the terms of leftist governments, and urged the opposition to back a coalition-sponsored bill on public procurement in health that he said would systemically preclude the kinds of accusations levelled at him now.

Healthcare Lobbyist Claims Repeated Meetings With Janša Were Accidental

"The gentlemen who used to be respected businessmen and have become tycoons now that you have published photos of them with me have never concluded any deals with me... I have spent perhaps ten hours on various yachts in my life. I think I also spent half an hour on a sailboat with [former president] Milan Kučan, but there was no lobbying involved."

Janša also accused the opposition of dwelling on the past instead of focusing on the future. "A lot of things are going on in Slovenia and I think given that important elections are coming up next year, it is time we start competing with platforms and concepts."

And given Slovenia's rapid GDP growth and low unemployment, it is time to "start competing in who will best leverage these opportunities that have been created instead of wasting time," he said.

Janša was also criticised for failing to attend sessions of the parliamentary Commission for the Oversight of Public Finances, which has been discussed the lobbying accusations twice.

"Your persistent silence, your avoidance of inconvenient questions, your dismissive attitude to the National Assembly and its constitutional role - all this has forced us to ... face you with at least one question today," Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) deputy Robert Pavšič said.

Janša retorted that he had no problem attending commission sessions and that he had never avoided that. "I received the invitation for Friday and am working on being able to attend. But my calendar is full. I have more European and international obligations in a week than your prime minister had in a year."

20 Sep 2021, 11:49 AM

STA, 20 September 2021 - The Covid pass mandate introduced last week has led to a surge in vaccination. Almost 84,000 shots were administered last week, the highest weekly figure since early June, show data from the national vaccination registry.

The rate of vaccine uptake is however still significantly below the peak of the vaccination drive, when 100,000-plus jabs were delivered into arms each week, according to data published by the tracker covid-19.sledilnik.org.

Going to Gatherings of 50+ People Now Needs COVID Pass

The structure of vaccines has changed substantially as well. The Pfizer/BioNTech jab remains in high demand, but in the past two weeks people have sought out the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires a single jab.

At the same time, demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine, where eight weeks at a minimum must pass between the first and second shot, has plummeted and the vaccine now accounts for a tiny fraction of all shots delivered.

From October 1 Slovenian Civil Servants Must Be Recovered or Vaccinated, Negative COVID Test No Longer an Option

At present 46% of Slovenia's population is fully vaccinated and 52% have received at least one jab. Among adults, the rates are 55% and 61%, respectively.

Official data show Slovenia still has roughly a million doses in stock, enough to deliver at least the first shot to all those who have not been vaccinated yet.

See the latest data on COVID and Slovenia

18 Sep 2021, 08:19 AM

What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.

If you’d like to keep up on the daily headlines then follow those here, or get all our stories in your feed on Facebook.

 

FRIDAY, 10 September
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - EU finance ministers meeting to discuss the health and economic situation in the EU and eurozone, expressed optimism about the developments, noting the situation was significantly better than expected months ago. However, they also cautioned that the danger was not over yet.
        KARPACZ, Poland - Prime Minister Janez Janša received the award for person of the year in Central and Eastern Europe at the Economic Forum in Karpacz, Poland. In his speech, he underlined the region's key role in the bloc and its Christian heritage.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša and IMF executive director Kristalina Georgieva and OECD secretary general Mathias Cormann discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy and recovery plans. The meeting with Cormann also focussed on other challenges of OECD members. Cormann also met Foreign Minister Anže Logar, with the pair expressing optimism about the global economic recovery.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted a meeting with Health Minister Janez Poklukar and members of the government Covid advisory group over the coronavirus outbreak to call for vaccination, especially for all over 50 years of age.
        LJUBLJANA - The Government Office for Slovenians Abroad announced that a total of 63 ethnic-Slovenian residents of Venezuela had so far been repatriated to Slovenia. All of them are doing well, with many of them already in employment, and students included in the education system.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor offered his condolences to his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on the death of the country's former President Jorge Sampaio. In a post on his Twitter profile Pahor described Sampaio as a great statesman who promoted dialogue, solidarity and freedom.
        LJUBLJANA - The KSJS confederation of public sector trade unions called on the government to meet its obligations towards the public media, chiefly to pay for the public service performed by the STA and provide adequate funding for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.

SATURDAY, 11 September
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - EU finance ministers spoke in favour of a continuation of the bloc's current investment cycle. Slovenia's Andrej Šircelj said everyone showed a great desire for Europe to continue with this investment cycle and to become stronger after the pandemic.
        LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar said Slovenia remained deeply committed to the prevention and terrorism and radicalisation, placing special emphasis on the fight against terrorism in Western Balkans, noting that Slovenia would continue to work closely with the US and other allies as he paid tribute to the victims of the 11 September terrorist attacks.
        IDRIJA - The main ceremony remembering the return of the western Primorska region to the homeland was held in Idrija with Mayor Tomaž Vencelj saying it was important the event was held in Idrija, which had been an important part of Primorska for half a century and made the region richer with its natural beauty, heritage and successful economy.

SUNDAY, 12 September
        BASOVIZZA, Italy - A ceremony for four victims of Fascism executed in September 1930, known among Slovenians as the Basovizza Heroes, was held at the memorial site, with Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch saying that it was a reminder of how much misery and pain humans and authorities could cause if they let hatred and exclusion win.
        ŽUŽEMBERK - The coalition New Slovenia (NSi) held its annual informal gathering, with its president Matej Tonin saying that it was not possible to build a stable government without cooperation through the political centre and without the NSi.
        BOLOGNA, Italy - Slovenian President Borut Pahor addressed a meeting of the G20 Interfaith Forum, saying that divisions, in particular political and ideological, were one of the societal wounds that need to be urgently healed. He also proposed a meeting of senior religious representatives in the Western Balkan region.
        PTUJ - The poultry group Perutnina Ptuj, which was taken over by Ukrainian Holding MHP in early 2019, reported EUR 294 million in sales revenue for 2020, a new record and 3% increase on the year before. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up 7% to EUR 47.7 million.

MONDAY, 13 September
        GENEVA, Switzerland/LJUBLJANA - FM Anže Logar announced at the international donor conference for Afghanistan that Slovenia will donate EUR 300,000 in aid to help the country amid a deteriorating humanitarian crisis.
        NEW YORK, US - Darja Bavdaž Kuret, a seasoned diplomat who served as Slovenia's former permanent representative to the UN, was appointed special adviser to Abdulla Shahid, the president of the 76th UN General Assembly to take the second highest post ever held by a Slovenian representative to the UN after Danilo Türk served as UN assistant secretary general for political affairs from 2000 to 2005.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša addressed a session of the WHO Regional Office for Europe to stress the importance of preparedness and effective responsiveness to future health crises. He also discussed the importance of science and solidarity in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
        BOLOGNA, Italy - President Borut Pahor was awarded Sigillum Magnum, the highest recognition from the University of Bologna given to influential figures. Pahor said he understood the honour as recognition of his efforts for dialogue, reconciliation and better future.
        LJUBLJANA - A panel held as part of the Future Unlocked online conference agreed the creative and culture sector plays an important role in generating economic growth. The main topics of the two-day online conference hosted by Slovenia as the EU presiding country is the role of the creative sector in the green transition, social innovation and economic growth, and in attaining sustainable goals.
        BLED - The rights and obligations of small shareholders were in the focus of an international investors' conference in Bled, with panellists highlighting access to information, cross-border share holdings and sustainable corporate governance as some of the key issues.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Damjan Žugelj a full-fledged director of the Office for Money Laundering Prevention, after he led it as acting head since 15 March. He will take over on 15 September for a five-year term, with the option of reappointment.
        LJUBLJANA - The ruling Democrats (SDS) continued to top the party rankings at 18.3% in the latest monthly Mediana poll conducted for the newspaper Delo, with their support rising 1.2 percentage points compared to August. The SDS was followed by the opposition Social Democrats (SD), whose support dropped by 2.4 points to 10.3%.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Armed Forces estimated the interest in voluntary service has increased by 40% to 50% this year as a new concept of voluntary service was introduced on 5 July.
        
TUESDAY, 14 September
        STRASBOURG, France - The European Court of Human Rights ruled Slovenia violated Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights in dispossessing holders of shares and subordinated bonds as part of the 2013/14 bank bailout, finding they had no reasonable opportunity to challenge or seek compensation for the Slovenian central bank's measure.
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition demanded answers after POP TV released photos showing Prime Minister Janez Janša spending time with the lobbyist Božo Dimnik on a yacht owned by the businessmen Andrej Marčič in 2016. The POP TV report said this showed Janša and Marčič had not been meeting accidentally, as Marčič claimed back when photos were published of the two playing golf in Mauritius almost two decades ago. Janša said his playing golf with Dimnik and Marčič had nothing to do with lobbying and he denied doing any deals with them. later in the week, Janša failed to attend a session of a parliamentary commission that wanted to debate allegations of his improper lobbying contacts.
        MILAN, Italy - President Borut Pahor met Attilio Fontana, the president of the Italian region of Lombardy, for what his office said were talks about cooperation, in particularly economic ties, and opportunities to develop and enhance bilateral relations.
        CELJE - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs announced Slovenia planned to erect several dozen kilometres of new fencing on the border with Croatia in an effort to crack down on illegal migrations. The construction work should start within two or three weeks.
        LJUBLJANA - Economy Ministry State Secretary Simon Zajc said Slovenia had been recording solid tourism figures this year but the sector was not expected to bounce back before 2023 or, more likely, 2024. Asian guests are unlikely to return before 2023, he said.
        LJUBLJANA - The steel group SIJ generated EUR 451.6 million in sales revenue in the first half of the year, or 24.4% more year-on-year, while bouncing from a loss in the first half of 2020 to more than EUR 10 million in net profit.

WEDNESDAY, 15 September
        LJUBLJANA - As the Covid pass mandate came into effect, a crowd of about 8,000 people gathered for a rally in front of the parliament building to protest against the new rules. The protest turned into a riot and police had to use a water canon and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Seven police officers were injured. In response officials and politicians from both sides of the isle condemned the violence.
        CELJE - Prime Minister Janez Janša and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban were on hand for the launch of the the 53rd Celje International Trade Fair as Hungary is featured as the partner country. They both expressed optimism about the post-Covid economic recovery and the future.
        CELJE - The governments of Slovenia and Hungary held a joint session with officials conducting an overview of existing cooperation and signing a letter of intent on a joint fund for Prekmurje and Porabje, the border regions populated by the Hungarian and Slovenian ethnic minorities, and a memorandum of understanding on development cooperation.
        CELJE - The home affairs ministers of Slovenia and Hungary, Aleš Hojs and Sandor Pinter, agreed at a meeting about the urgent need to prevent mass migration flows in the EU and pressure on the bloc's external borders. Meanwhile, the two defence ministers, Matej Tonin and Tibor Benko, discussed bilateral military and defence cooperation.
        ROME, Italy - President Borut Pahor upheld the key points from the State of the Union address by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as addressed a meeting in Rome with the heads of state of 15 EU countries as part of the Arraiolos initiative discussing the path to strategic autonomy.
        LJUBLJANA - In assessing the annual address to the European Parliament by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Slovenian MEPs said her speech was realistic but lacked concrete proposals, including on social policy. Some welcomed the announced legislation on media freedom.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary foreign policy and defence committees took note of Slovenia's plans to increase the number of personnel in NATO's mission in Iraq to up to 15 soldiers and civilian experts under a decision adopted by the government in the summer.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia was allotted a diplomatic apartment in Rome as part of the succession process after the break-up of Yugoslavia. The country already uses the apartment as a residence of the ambassador to the Holy See.
        LJUBLJANA - UNESCO, the United Nations educational scientific and cultural organisation, formally declared a biosphere reserve spanning the Mura, Drava and Danube rivers, the first five-country biosphere in the world.
        CELJE - Slovenian maker of ultralight aircraft Pipistrel signed an aircraft manufacturing agreement with Hungary's Genevation Aircraft on the manufacture, marketing and provision of after-sales support for select markets, a deal the company says is worth in excess of EUR 100 million over ten years.
        LJUBLJANA - Spanish company Glovo announced it had finalised the acquisition of the food delivery platform Ehrana, after announcing in May that it would take over one of the largest home delivery providers in Slovenia.
        
THURSDAY, 16 September
        LJUBLJANA - The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, the government's economic forecaster, upgraded Slovenia's growth forecast for the year to 6.1%, 1.5 percentage points up from its spring outlook. It projects for GDP growth to then ease off to 4.7% in 2022 and 3.3% in 2023.
        PORTOROŽ - A two-day meeting of the management board of the European Asylum Support Office started, with one of the topics being reforming the office into a European agency for asylum, with which it would assume new obligations and tasks.
        CLEVELAND, US - Helena Jaklitsch, the minister for Slovenians abroad, started a 10-day visit to Slovenians in the USA, beginning in Cleveland, Ohio and concluding in Lemont, Illinois. The overarching theme is the 30th anniversary of Slovenian independence.
        CELJE - Delegates of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) gave party leader Zdravko Počivalšek the mandate for a merger, a tie-up and cooperation with other related parties and lists at the next general election. The party is to merge with the Economically Active Party (GAS), a pro-business party headed by National Council President Alojz Kovšca, possibly before the end of the year.
        NAZARJE - The Nazarje-based home appliance maker BSH Hišni aparati, a Slovenian subsidiary of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, was approved a state subsidy worth EUR 7.7 million to support an investment that will create 62 new jobs.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Michelin starred chef Ana Roš from Hiša Franko placed seventh in the rankings of the world's top chefs compiled by The Best Chef Awards 2021, climbing 11 spots from last year, according to The Best Chef Awards website.
        LJUBLJANA - The recipient of this year's Badjura Award, given out for lifetime achievements in film since 1995, is the innovator and film sound engineer Emilija Soklič, one of the first Slovenian professional female film industry workers and an innovator in sound design.
        LJUBLJANA - Robert Simonišek, an author and art historian born in Celje in 1977, has won the 2021 Rožanc Prize for best collection of essays for Pejsaži - Sanjati na Soncu (Landscapes - Dreaming in the Sun).

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