Health Ministry says care homes, healthcare staff among first to get vaccine
LJUBLJANA - The Health Ministry announced that a strategy for vaccination against Covid-19 would be ready within three weeks. Presenting some outlines, it said the plan was to first provide vaccination in care homes, for those above 60 with chronic conditions, and for staff in healthcare and critical infrastructure. The ministry said the strategy would be flexible, being upgraded with each new certified vaccine. It will be divided into three sub-segments, with conditions of distribution, storage and vaccine preparation differing for each of the vaccine platforms.
FM calls for even greater cooperation in the Mediterranean
LJUBLJANA - Taking part in a virtual ministerial of the Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean on Friday, Foreign Minister Anže Logar expressed support for further strengthening of relations and cooperation as part of the alliance, and for greater security, stability and development of the Mediterranean region. Logar called for the strengthening of political dialogue and closer cooperation of member states of the Union for the Mediterranean when it comes to social, cultural and human ties, the Foreign Ministry said.
Slovenian, Icelandic FMs for strong transatlantic cooperation
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar and Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson discussed a number of topics via a video call on Friday, supporting a strong and united EU, and strong transatlantic ties. Views on priorities during Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of 2021 were also in the focus, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
Parliament declares referendum on defence investment inadmissible
LJUBLJANA - Responding to an ongoing opposition Left and SocDems-led referendum initiative against an act envisaging EUR 780 million in additional defence spending in 2021-2026, parliament adopted in a 51:33 vote a decree that declares such a referendum inadmissible. The Left said it would turn to the Constitutional Court. The Left's leader Luka Mesec suggested this was a dangerous precedent where anti-referendum provisions inserted in the referendum act during the epidemic to prevent referenda on coronacrisis legislation were being used outside this framework.
Report finds systemic lack of transparency in political decisions
LJUBLJANA - Transparency International Slovenia issued a report on political integrity in Slovenia on Thursday that points to systemic shortcomings related to the transparency of decisions affecting the public. In response, the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption expressed concern in particular over the high number of decisions adopted in emergency procedure. Also frequent are violations of the prescribed 30 to 60-day deadline for consultation or public presentation, the commission said.
Friday anti-govt protesters hit streets, this time in cars
Ljubljana - After a break of a few weeks, the Friday anti-government protesters hit the streets of Ljubljana again, this time in cars and not on bicycles as usual, as public gatherings are banned under a government anti-coronavirus decree. The protesters were circling the streets around the National Assembly building, and the police have beefed up security in the area, the public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported.
Luka Koper's operating profit down 44% in first nine months
LJUBLJANA - The Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact the global flow of goods in the third quarter of the year, affecting the nine-month results of Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's sole maritime port, which saw its sales revenue drop by 11% year-on-year to EUR 155 and operating profit by 44% to EUR 22 million. This is a result of the Koper port recording a 16% drop in transshipment in the January-September period year-on-year, Luka Koper said.
State secures Ankaran municipality plots for Koper port development
ANKARAN/LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and Ankaran Mayor Gregor Strmčnik signed on Friday a set of contracts that grant the state access to around 120,000 square metres of land slated for the development of the Koper port. Commenting on the EUR 9.3 million deal with Koper's neighbouring municipality, Vrtovec said that after years of negotiations a breakthrough had been achieved on the path to the long-term development of the state-controlled Koper port.
After slump Unior revenue picking up
ZREČE - The state-owned tool maker and automotive supplier Unior saw its group sales revenue drop by about 20% year-on-year to EUR 150 million in the first three quarters. However, sales in September were up 3.6% y/y. Due to a negative impact of the pandemic and revaluation of real estate in Maribor, the group posted a loss of EUR 4.9 million. However, the property sale will allow it to reduce debt to banks by a further EUR 8.5 million, after it had already lowered it by EUR 4.1 million.
Requests for constitutional review of Sunday shop ban incoming
LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court has so far received three initiatives to review the amendment to the retail act that stipulates that almost all shops must be closed on Sunday, one of them having been filed by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (TZS). The website of Slovenia's top court shows that three initiatives have been filed against the measure which entered into force in late October after the National Assembly passed the relevant changes in late September.
Unemployment rate at 5.1% in Q3
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's unemployment rate in the third quarter stood at 5.1%, which is on par with the second quarter and 0.4 percentage points more than in the same period last year, data from the Statistics Office show. The employment rate was 54.9%, a 0.5 percentage points increase on the second quarter and 0.4 percentage points down year-on-year. Among employed persons, the number of self-employed persons decreased by 12% year-on-year.
First case of plasma treatment for Covid-19 patient in Slovenia a success
LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Blood Transfusion Centre confirmed that it issued the first two units of plasma for the treatment of a Covid-19 patient a few days ago. The centre was later informed by UKC Ljubljana's clinic for infectious diseases that the condition of the patient, who had developed pneumonia as part of Covid-19, had improved after the plasma treatment.
Slovenia's Christmas tree on its way to the Vatican
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will this year provide a Christmas tree that will be put up in St Peter's Square in the Vatican, in what the government considers a major opportunity for promotion ahead of several important events and anniversaries in 2021. "The tree is 75 years old, weighs seven tonnes, was cut on Monday and is already on the way to the Vatican," Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Jože Podgoršek told the press
Slovenian gets Austrian award for Holocaust remembrance
VIENNA, Austria - The Austrian Service Abroad has conferred this year's Austrian Holocaust Memorial Award to Slovenian Dušan Stefančič for his contribution to preserving the remembrance of the Holocaust, the Austrian press agency APA reported. The 93-year-old former president of the International Mauthausen Committee and president of the Slovenian Mauthausen Committee survived six Nazi concentration camps, including Dachau, Mauthausen and Gusen.
Journalist Jožica Grgič wins lifetime achievement award
Ljubljana - Newspaper Delo journalist Jožica Grgič won the lifetime achievement award given out annually by the Slovenian Journalist Association (DNS) in what was the final event of its five-day Naprej/Forward media festival. The jury said that for Grgič, facts were more sacred than the Pope and that she understood them in a very broad context. In her 40-year career, which she started as a student at Delo's sports desk, Grgič has become one of the leading Slovenian journalists.
Videmšek's Plan B declared Book of the Year
LJUBLJANA - Reporter Boštjan Videmšek's book about climate change, Plan B, which he made together with photographer Matjaž Krivic, was declared the 2020 Book of the Year at the Slovenian Book Fair. Plan B took the pair around the globe to bring stories of unusual visionaries who are each in their own right fighting against the climate crisis.
Researchers Night moves online
LJUBLJANA - The European Researchers' Night - Humanities Rock! moved to the virtual realm this year due to Covid-19. For a third year in a row researchers of twelve University of Ljubljana faculties and academies are holding events, workshops, debates and video presentations. Running under the slogan Sciences about People, Sciences for People, the event presents scientific efforts and achievements in a bid to boost interest in research careers.
First Hollywood film by Slovenian director on Amazon Prime
LOS ANGELES, US - Life in a Year, a new film by Slovenian director Mitja Okorn starring Cara Delevingne and Jaden Smith, starts streaming on Amazon Prime today. Okorn, who has made a name for himself in Poland, told the news web portal Backstage that he had always wished to direct a Hollywood film. The film reflects on the meaning of true love, with Delevingne starring as a spirited young woman who only has one more year to live. Smith is the young man who falls in love with her.
Holiday spirit descends upon Slovenian cities
LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR/CELJE - Christmas light displays were turned on in a number of Slovenian cities and towns. The epidemiological situation permitting, scaled-down on-site events are planned in some cities in December, however, most will be held online. A leisurely stroll through the festively illuminated streets is another way to get into the holiday mood though. The Christmas lights of Ljubljana were switched on today without a mass event celebrating the occasion.