News

04 Aug 2020, 04:33 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA:

One new coronavirus infection confirmed on Sunday, two persons die

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed one new coronavirus infection on Sunday after conducting 272 tests, show fresh official data. Two Covid-19 related fatalities were recorded, raising the national death toll to 122. A total of 22 persons were hospitalised with Covid-19, including two in intensive care, with both figures staying level on Saturday. There were 228 active cases in Slovenia yesterday, six fewer than the day before.

Social institutions pull out of Covid-19 task force

LJUBLJANA - The Association of Social Institutions left the government task force for Covid-19 after their demands regarding the treatment of infected residents of care homes off-site have not been met. The association has long been warning that most care homes do not have the capacity to set up three separate zones in case of confirmed Covid-19 as envisaged by the current protocols. It hopes the decision is only temporary and is prepared to take part in informal meetings.

Jančar receives major Austrian literature prize

SALZBURG, Austria - Drago Jančar, arguably Slovenia's leading contemporary writer, formally received the Austrian State Prize for European Literature 2020. The life-time achievement award is awarded to writers with a strong international presence. "Taking an individual to penetratingly render understandable the delusions of our history: this is one of the big strengths of his literature," the jury wrote about the 72-year-old. The ward ceremony also featured Nobel laureate Peter Handke, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Austrian Culture Ministry State Secretary Andrea Mayer.

Treasury extends three-year bond issue by EUR 50m

LJUBLJANA - The treasury has extended an existing three-year bond by EUR 50 million following demand by an investor. The yield to maturity was -0.492%, the lowest on record and just 27 basis points over a comparable German bond. The issue was completed at the end of June and is an indication of investor trust in the government's policies in the fight against Covid-19, the Finance Ministry said.

DeSUS MPs request explanation from Pivec over corruption allegations

LJUBLJANA - The pressure is building for Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec to give her side of the story about allegations of integrity breach or conflict of interest made against her. The MPs of her Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) said they expected to hear her explanations on Friday, however Pivec plans to do that next week.

Roma Holocaust Memorial Day marked

MURSKA SOBOTA - The European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day was marked, with keynote speaker Boštjan Žekš, an advisor to President Borut Pahor, saying he felt ashamed over the suffering of the Roma being almost forgotten. He also said that the Roma did not have it easy in modern-day Slovenia. What is more, it took a long time before the world started paying respect to the victims killed on the night of 2 August 1944 in Auschwitz-Birkenau when all the Roma prisoners had been killed, he said.

Italian, Danish pairs win beach volley World Tour in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - The Italian men's pair Andrea Abbiati and Tiziano Andreatta and the Danish women's pair Clara Windeleff and Line Trans Hansen are the winners of the fourth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament held in Ljubljana's Congress Square over the weekend. This was the first international beach volleyball competition after the four-month break imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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

03 Aug 2020, 19:29 PM

Cycling has become a common activity among many people in Slovenia. For many, cycling presents for casual recreational activity and for many, a more serious sports activity. A number of cycling events, which annually take place, invite many to Slovenia. Cycling events which also present cyclists with the picturesque diversity one can find in Slovenia. In the past, Robert Posl, an active cyclist in Slovenia, shared what it is like taking part in the most challenging cycling event in Slovenia, the Marathon of the Alps.

Yet some cyclists come to Slovenia for a more casual ride through Slovenia, at their own pace. Thus, not taking part in cycling events. To get to know more about the diversity one can experience through Slovenia, Robert agreed to share more about the diversity one can experience through Slovenia.

Living in Slovenia, now already over 25 years, I am still fascinated by the diversity one can meet with, in Slovenia. Coming from South Africa, a much larger country, and a country with a much more uniform landscape, it only fascinates me more.

I enjoy taking part in cycling events, which annually take place in Slovenia. One year, I decided to take part in one event, the “Marathon of three borders”; Though this cycling marathon took place more than 200km away, in the province of Prekmurje, which is in the extreme east of Slovenia; I decided that after I completed with the marathon that I would take on the challenge of cycling through Slovenia. A tour, which would take me much further than just getting home, but a tour crossing the borders of every country neighbouring Slovenia.

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On the road from Murska Sobota. I thought I would never experience riding down roads like this in Slovenia; straight and absolutely no hills. And also, in the dry climate as it often is here, and relatively unvegetated

My tour started by going to Murska Sobota by train, the only larger city in the Prekmurje province. This was the first time I had ever been to this area of Slovenia. My first stretch of cycling was to get to Lendava, a town in the absolute corner of Slovenia, in almost walking distance from both Croatia and Hungary.

Cycling in this area, I experienced something I only ever experienced in South Africa. Cycling on absolutely flat terrain, with straight roads, which disappear off into the distance, as far as one can see. The next day was the marathon, which took us first into Croatia, then into Hungary, and finally back into Slovenia.  

But that was not the end of cycling for the day for me, because I planned to cycle to Rogatec. This meant cycling out of Prekmurje, off the hot and dry Prekmurje plateau, as many call it, and into the Styria province where my parents live. This brought on a considerable drop in altitude above sea level and into terrain, which brought on a gradual change in the climate.

After a day’s break, I took on the next stage of the challenge, which took me, at first South, to the Lower Carniola province and to the Sava river, and then West towards Ljubljana. The Lower Carniola province is known for its unique quinze and whines.  This was one stage where I faced the greatest transition in the countryside and in the climate. Even before getting close to the Sava river, I gradually came into more vegetated landscape, which I am more used to in Slovenia. Heading West, towards Ljubljana, I gradually met up with more forested countryside. After almost reaching Ljubljana, I headed North for Kamnik, and back towards the Alps region of Slovenia.

The next day, I went on a short round trip out of Kamnik. For many, Kamnik is that picturesque town at the foot of the Alps. For those visiting, they soon find out what that means. From Kamnik, there are many directions a cyclist can choose from. I decided to head west and up to a cabin known by most cyclists in the region, “The 902”. It’s a pub, which is located on a mountain pass, at 902 meters above sea-level. This is very much different cycling than that I had faced in the 400km so far, across from the East of Slovenia to here. The presence of the mountain ranges is so persistent; with roads winding through the mountains, crossing and following mountain streams from one woodland and into the next.

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Kamnik, almost wedged in between the Kamnik, Savinj Alps. Makes for excellent mountain riding, which attracts many, to this alive and vibrant town

After another day’s break, I took on the most daunting stage of my tour. It was into the Upper Carniola province. Going into the Upper Carniola region, you get that feeling, that you are now really in Europe. The first section of the day was to get up to the border with Austria. This involved following through another river valley, to get up and over another Alpine pass, and across the border into Austria. In Austria, I followed yet more mountain roads and into the river basin of the great Drava river. I then turned South to Italy and in Italy, back to Slovenia. I was in Italy for a short time, as I followed the road back into Slovenia. I crossed back into Slovenia, near the renowned Planica ski-jumping centre. One of the highest, if not the highest or largest known ski-flying hill.

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One of the many mountain passes, along one of those mountain roads

Even though I had come into the mountainous region of Slovenia, cycling back to Kamnik did not involve any more cycling along mountain roads. All thankyou to the Sava River, which has carved its way out through the land already in Austria, through the Carniola province, passed Ljubljana and further through Slovenia.

Taking on this cycling challenge across and through Slovenia, I experienced first-hand the diversity you can find in Slovenia. Various provinces of Slovenia, which are all unique and known for their individual countrysides.

More by Robert Posl: See Slovenia by bike, with the marathon of the Alps

03 Aug 2020, 17:28 PM

STA, 3 August 2020 - The pressure is building for Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec to give her side of the story about allegations of integrity breach or conflict of interest made against her. The MPs of her Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) said on Monday they expected to hear her explanations on Friday, however Pivec plans to do that next week.

The MPs are unanimous in asking for concrete explanations for Pivec's conduct and expect to hear them at the party's meeting on Friday.

The DeSUS deputy faction discussed today what the next steps should be in the wake of the media reports alleging Pivec's professional misconduct and risk of corruption in regard to her recent visits to winemaker Vinakras in the Kras region and the town of Izola, which have raised questions about who paid for them and whether there was potential payment of services for private purposes or family members.

Pivec has denied the allegations and announced that she would provide explanations after she returned from her annual leave. Her party peers expect explanations already on Friday and have requested DeSUS council vice-president Tomaž Gantar to convene a party council session by 25 August at the latest.

"Due to leave of absence, I am to meet DeSUS deputy faction MPs as soon as I return to Ljubljana (presumably next Monday) where I will provide them with all the explanations related to my work," said the DeSUS leader on Twitter today.

Meanwhile, some Izola municipality officials have raised questions about the way the town has been spending its municipal funds, reported Radio Slovenija.

Izola deputy mayor Aleksej Skok, a SocDems town councillor, believes that accommodation cost incurred during the minister's visit should be looked into by the town's supervisory board. The board's chair meanwhile said that the matter was outside the board's competence, according to Radio Slovenija.

The coalition parties have so far been reserved in their comments on the developments, whereas the opposition is critical of Pivec's actions, with the Marjan Šarec Party (LMŠ) and the Left going as far as demanding her resignation.

The anti-graft watchdog is looking into the matter to determine whether there are grounds for a more in-depth investigation.

03 Aug 2020, 14:17 PM

STA, 3 August 2020 - During the past few years public orchards have been planted across Ljubljana in the desire to make fruit available to locals from midsummer to autumn and create a pleasant environment for bees. Alas, the orchards have often been a target of vandalism and are not thriving as planned, according to the city.

Most of the orchards were planted near urban community gardens in Ljubljana, however the process has been slowed down due to vandalism. The city authorities will carry on planning and planting the orchards when the existing trees are old enough to bear fruit.

The orchards were meant to be venues promoting food self-sufficiency and for educational activities, for example pruning workshops.

The first orchard was created in autumn 2015, featuring 128 trees, only to be vandalised three times in 2016. No saplings survived the incidents unscathed. Young trees in most of the orchards are not developing as planned due to acts of vandalism, said the city.

The saplings are either uprooted and stolen or damaged. Ljubljana has replaced all the missing or broken saplings and reported the damage to the police, but the perpetrators remain unknown.

Last year and this year so far no saplings were hurt as the city imposed deterrent measures, including traffic warden patrols and campaigns raising awareness about the need to respect public space.

A total of some 600 fruit-bearing trees have been planted in Ljubljana so far, most notably trees producing apples, pears, plums, but also rarer types of fruit, such as persimmons, medlars, and quinces.

The trees will require a few years to develop their final size and bear fruit, but they are also hardier than those in modern orchards and need no support.

03 Aug 2020, 11:49 AM

STA, 3 August 2020 - A festival starting on Monday evening will bring contemporary circus, an art form rarely seen in Slovenia, to Ljubljana this week. The 13th international Klovnbuf Festival will feature both Slovenian and foreign artists, and focus on the art of juggling, the organisers say.

Apart from acclaimed artists, the festival will also present some up-and-coming Slovenian and Slovak performers. The best foreign productions which cannot be performed live because of the coronavirus will be screened on-line at the Metelkova museum platform.

In the opening show this evening entitled What Have I Found in the Attic, Slovenian dancer Ana Lekše, who works at the Youth Circus in Leuven, Belgium, will show her mastery of aerial rope at the Stara Elektrarna (Old Power Station), the main venue of the festival.

On Tuesday, two young Slovenian artists, Luka Piletić and Jan Podbrežnik, will explore the difficult questions artists ask themselves during the creative process.

Slovakian circus and performance artist Roman Škadra will present circus as a potentially joyful, yet endlessly futile endeavour in a humorist and metaphoric show Absurd Hero on Thursday.

A highlight of the festival according to the organisers will be an award-winning performance Tangram, featuring juggling master from Belgium Stefan Sing and a ballerina, Cristiana Casadio from Italy.

The weekend part of the festival will be held outdoors at the Metelkova museum platform, and near-by parks.

On Saturday, Branko Potočan and Jana Menger, the founders of the Fourklor physical theatre will offer an overview of their joint dance history in the show entitled Down Memory Lane.

The festival will close with performances by young Slovenian artists and juggling concert Mismo Nismo featuring Tjaž Juvan, Oton Korošec, Eva Zibler, who combine contemporary circus and improvisation with various art genres and formats.

The last day will be reserved for children, featuring The Lion with a Grey Beard by Zavod Bufeto & EX-teater, and several other performances held at Špica Park and Tabor Park.

All events will be admission free.

The website is here, and the programme is below

MONDAY, 3rd August

-

8:00 PM

work-in-progress

What have I found in the Attic

Ana Lekše (SI)

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

-

8:30 PM

talk back

Ana Lekše

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

​​

TUESDAY, 4th August

-

8:00 PM

work-in-progress

!

Luka Piletič & Jan Podbrežnik (SI)

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

-

8:45 PM

talk back

Luka Piletič & Jan Podbrežnik

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

 

THURSDAY, 6th August

-

8:00 PM

work-in-progress

Absurd Hero

Roman Škadra (SK)

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

-

9:00 PM

talk back

Roman Škadra

@ Old City Power Station - Elektro Ljubljana

FRIDAY, 7th August

-

4:00 - 7:00 PM

workshop

Walking Globe

Roman Škadra (SK)

@ Zavod Salesianum OE SKALA

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

-

8:30 PM

Tangram

Stefan Sing & Cristiana Casadio (DE, IT)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

-

10:00 PM

public screening

Smashed

Gandini Juggling (UK)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

SATURDAY, 8th August

-

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

workshop

Organic Juggling meets Dance

Stefan Sing & Cristiana Casadio (DE, IT)

@ Zavod Salesianum OE SKALA

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

-

8:30 PM

Down Memory Lane

Branko Potočan & Jana Menger (SI)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

-

10:00 PM

public screening

Queen Have & Miss Haven't

Thick & Tight (UK)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

SUNDAY, 9th August

-

11:00 AM

The Lion with a Grey Beard

Zavod Bufeto & EX-teater (SI)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

-

11:00 AM

Labyrinth

Laboratorij Bufeto & Teatro Matita (SI)

@ Špica Park

-

12:00 PM

Duo Terasa

Globus Hystericus (SI)

@ Špica Park

-

6:00 PM

Labyrinth

Laboratorij Bufeto & Teatro Matita (SI)

@ Tabor Park

-

7:15 PM

Duo Terasa

Globus Hystericus (SI)

@ Tabor Park

-

7:30 PM

Old & Bold

Tolpa Lutkalica (SI)

@ Tabor Park

-

8:30 PM

Juggling Concert

Mismo Nismo (SI)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

-

10:00 PM

public screening

Shorts by Thick & Tight:

Engel

Edd Arnold, Thick & Tight (UK)

Soup

Harry Alexander, Thick & Tight (UK)

Empire

Vidya Patel, Thick & Tight (UK)

Pomp

Gary Clarke, Thick & Tight (UK)

@ Odprti oder Muzejska ploščad Metelkova

​​

FREE ENTRANCE FOR ALL EVENTS

DONATIONS ARE WELCOME

03 Aug 2020, 10:54 AM

STA, 3 August 2020 - Drago Jančar, arguably Slovenia's leading contemporary writer, will formally receive on Monday the Austrian State Prize for European Literature 2020. The life-time achievement award is awarded to writers with a strong international presence.

"Taking an individual to penetratingly render understandable the delusions of our history: this is one of the big strengths of his literature," the jury wrote about the 71-year-old.

Jančar is well known in the German-speaking world and a number of his works have been translated into the German, among them the 2017 novel And Love Itself (In Ljubezen tudi)

His works often deal with individual's struggles with society and some delve into post-WWII events in Slovenia, a source of many present-day political fault lines.

Jančar, a novelist, playwright and essayist, is the most widely translated Slovenian writer and has received an unparalleled number of awards in Slovenia and abroad.

He has written eleven novels; one of the most celebrated ones, I Saw Her That Night (To Noč Sem Jo Videl; 2010) has been translated into at least ten languages.

He is the only Slovenian writer to have won the prestigious Slovenian Kresnik Prize for the best novel of the year four times, most recently with And Love Itself in 2018.

The Austrian State Prize for European Literature is handed out annually for the oeuvre of a European author that has won international acclaim and has been translated into German.

Some of the previous winners include French writer Michel Houellebecq (2019), English novelist Zadie Smith (2018) and Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano (2012).

03 Aug 2020, 04:19 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:

Slovenia records nine new coronavirus infections, one death

LJUBLJANA - Nine of the 374 coronavirus tests performed in Slovenia on Saturday have come back positive, the latest government data show. One Covid-19 fatality was reported for a death toll of 120. There were 22 persons in hospital, the same as the day before, while only two required intensive care, down from five. The number of active cases rose slightly, to 234 from 231 the day before, according to data collected by Covid-19.sledilnik.org, a tracking website.

Bojan Kontič, prominent SocDem politician, dead at 59

VELENJE - Social democratic politician Bojan Kontič, who spent nearly a decade as mayor of Velenje and served as member both of the lower and upper chamber of parliament, died on Sunday aged 59. Kontič served three stints as MP between 1996 and 2008, during which time he was also deputy mayor of Velenje. Since 2010 he served as the mayor.

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

02 Aug 2020, 13:18 PM

STA, 2 August 2020 - Growing interest in wine tourism in the south-eastern Dolenjska region among Slovenians, sparked by introduction of holiday vouchers, will help improve the tourist season in the region, Dolenjska tourism providers who base their services on vineyard cottages known as zidanice have said.

 The zidanice, regionally well-known simple houses with wine cellars surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards, have been the mainstay of the region's tourism for years, apart from spa resorts.

The increased interest, brought about by the vouchers, the government measure designed to boost Slovenian tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic, will have a long-term positive effect in terms of promoting these rural retreats.

Petra Štukelj, a representative of the Zidanice Tourism Consortium Association, told the STA that at the beginning of the epidemic, up to 90% of zidanice bookings were cancelled, mostly by foreign tourists, who had accounted for the majority of guests in previous years.

Launching the vouchers has mitigated the situation, with Slovenians opting for discovering their own country amid coronavirus concerns and travel restrictions, she said.

In April, vineyard cottages were virtually empty, whereas in May, the situation started turning for the better. June compared to the same period last year and in July, the occupancy rate increased by as much as some 40% on July 2019.

The providers expect to see the upward trend carry on into the following months.

The share of domestic guests was less than 25% last year, whereas this year it has climbed to 75%. Summer months and September are the busiest, with the zidanice being perfect for smaller groups of visitors.

Apart from Dolenjska, the consortium also provides accommodation services in wine-growing regions of Posavje, Bela Krajina and Obsotelje in south-eastern and eastern Slovenia.

Holidaying zidanice-style comes with wine-tasting and culinary experiences, countryside hospitality, gorgeous views of rural landscape and a plethora of sports activity options, the association said.g

02 Aug 2020, 12:26 PM

STA, 2 August 2020 - Sunday shopping will again resemble the pre-corona times as all major retailers in Slovenia are to be open this Sunday. After Mercator, Tuš, Hofer and Eurospin decided to reopen last Sunday, today shoppers can also flock to Spar, Lidl, Leclerc and Jager.

Shopping centres operated by SES will also reopen today, including the Ljubljana Citypark, Aleja and Vič shopping centres, Celje Citycenter and Maribor Europark.

Sunday shopping returns after the government revoked a temporary ban on Sunday shopping last week, a measure that was put in place in the earliest stages of the coronavirus epidemic.

The Sunday shopping ban was reversed effective last Friday, with the decision coming just a week after legislation that would permanently close shops on Sunday stalled in parliament.

The government has withheld its support for the bill, which remains in parliamentary procedure, and suggested retailers and trade unions try and reach an agreement.

02 Aug 2020, 11:02 AM

STA, 31 July 2020 - On 1 April, Slovenia had a total of 2,097,195 residents, which is 12,894 or 0.6% more than on the same date last year, show data from the Statistics Office (SURS). In the first quarter of the year, the number of Slovenian citizens fell, while the number of foreigners residing in Slovenia increased.

In the first quarter, the number of residents was up by 1,334 year-on-year, but the number of Slovenian citizens decreased by 1,900 or 0.1%.

On the other hand, the number of foreign citizens residing in Slovenia was up by 3,200 or 2.1% to 159,582, which represented 7.6% of Slovenia's total population.

foreigners in slovenia 2019 01.JPG

At the beginning of April, there were 1,052,649 men and 1,044,546 women residing in Slovenia, but the share of women among Slovenian citizens alone was 51.2%. The SURS has noted that this share has been slowly declining for years.

Among the foreign citizens residing in Slovenia, women represented only 33.4%. After growing for several years, this share has been down since the beginning of 2018 by 1.9 percentage points.

In the first quarter of 2020, immigration to Slovenia was down by 2% compared to the same period last year.

While 7,622 persons moved to Slovenia in the first quarter, 4,941 moved out of Slovenia, which is 66% more than in the same period in 2019.

Slovenian citizens who moved out of the country (1,599) represented around 50% of the number of foreign citizens who left Slovenia in this period (3,342).

According to SURS, a total of 4,364 births were recorded in Slovenia in the first quarter, while 5,711 residents died, which is 201 and 269 fewer compared to the same period last year, respectively.

In the last year, the rate of natural increase, the difference between the number of births and deaths per 1,000 residents, changed from -2.8 to -2.6.

More on this data

All our stories on demographics and Slovenia

02 Aug 2020, 04:13 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:

15 new coronavirus cases from 892 tests on Friday

LJUBLJANA - Out of 892 coronavirus tests conducted in Slovenia on Friday, 15 came back positive, fresh official data show. No Covid-19 related fatalities were recorded, with the death toll remaining unchanged at 119. A total of 22 persons were hospitalised with Covid-19, down by two on the day before as two persons were discharged from hospital. Five patients remain in intensive care. The latest cases are dispersed across Slovenia, with as much as 12 municipalities confirming infections. One case of infection was also detected in a foreign citizen.

Anti-govt protesters say Janša creating divisions

LJUBLJANA - Anti-government protests resumed for the 15th Friday running in Ljubljana and some other Slovenian towns, with some 2,000 protesters mostly targeting Prime Minister Janez Janša this time. Also a target of criticism was Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec. Protesters called on Janša to step down, saying he was creating divisions among citizens. There was also a smaller open mic protest in Republic Square, with anti-government rallies held in other Slovenian towns as well.

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