Last Week in Slovenia: 24 - 30 July, 2020

By , 01 Aug 2020, 11:07 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 24 - 30 July, 2020

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

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FRIDAY, 24 July
        LJUBLJANA - The Jožef Stefan Institute warned the number of new coronavirus cases in the country was growing exponentially with the effective reproduction number higher than 1, which meant the epidemic might be getting out of hand.
        LJUBLJANA - The number of overnight stays generated by tourists in Slovenia in June dropped by 63.2% to nearly 610,000 compared to the same period last year, the Statistics Office said. As many as 67% of overnight stays were by Slovenians.
        LONDON, UK - Slovenia was added to the UK's list of air bridges, which allows travel to England without needing to self-isolate effective from 28 July after Slovenia had earlier placed the UK as the last on its green list of safe countries.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian capital witnessed anti-government protests for the 14th consecutive Friday, with a new focus this time on women's rights. Protest campaigns were also held in Maribor, Piran and Velenje.

        KRANJSKA GORA - The traditional Russian Chapel commemoration was held below the Vršič Pass, drawing much thinner crowds than usual due to the coronavirus restrictions.
        MARIBOR - Russian Ambassador to Slovenia Timur Eyvazov said in an interview with Večer he disagreed with assessments that Slovenia's former government was pro-Russian.

SUNDAY, 26 July
        LJUBLJANA - Several major retailers opened their stores after being closed on Sunday for four months due to coronavirus restrictions.
        LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša endorsed Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec's appearance in a promotional video of a wine maker made during a trip to the Kras region after questions arose of a potential breach of integrity legislation and ethics code. Pivec and the winemaker later denied the allegations of impropriety and said she had paid for private accommodation during her trip.

MONDAY, 27 July
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Prosecutor Jaka Brezigar was appointed the Slovenian member of the European Public Prosecutor's Office by the Council of the EU, along with prosecutors of 21 other participating member countries.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor received the credentials of newly appointed German Ambassadors Natalie Kauther and Adrian Pollman. Credentials were also presented by Algerian Ambassador Ali Mokrani, the Sultanate of Oman's Ambassador Yousuf Ahmed Hamed Aljabri and the Dominican Republic's Ambassador Lourdes Gisela Antonia Victoria-Kruse.
        LJUBLJANA - The Human Rights Ombudsman assessed that the failure to comply with the government decree on the mandatory use of face masks in public indoor spaces cannot be penalised.
        LJUBLJANA - Retail sales in Slovenia declined by 9.6% year-on-year from January to June as the coronavirus epidemic shut down most stores for several weeks in spring. The figures for June suggest the sector is slowly picking up.
        LJUBLJANA - A survey carried out by the Slovenian Marketing Association and the pollster Valicon showed that the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted Slovenian companies much more unevenly than the recession in 2009; 58% of the surveyed companies have had negative effects, while 17% had positive.
        LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry said a member of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) serving at the Allied Joint Force Command Naples had been involved in a car accident in which one person died. Italian media reports said the man had caused the accident in which the wife of an Italian law enforcement officer died.
        DOBROVNIK - Bicycle maker Spiegel Bikes announced that Slovenian ultra cyclist Marko Baloh had set a new 1,000-km time trial world record with 28 hours, 50 minutes and 14 seconds.

TUESDAY, 28 July
        LJUBLJANA - Foreign minister Anže Logar and his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman discussed measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and the EU Council presidency, agreeing that there was no need for stepping up border restrictions.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health reported that the majority of coronavirus cases in the past two months had been in care homes (80), followed by schools (54), shops (37), health institutions (32) and restaurants, pubs and cafes (13).
        KLAGENFURT, Austria - 23 villages in Austria near the border with Slovenia will get bilingual signposts, according to decisions of the town councils of Sankt Jakob im Rosental and Sittersdorf. The Slovenian minority welcomed the move and expressed hope that other municipalities would follow suit.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Dnevnik reported that jurist Andraž Teršek, who failed to get elected a Constitutional Court judge by parliament June, had turned to the Constitutional Court asking it to annul the vote and order a new vote on his bid.

        LJUBLJANA - The Supreme Court ordered the Competition Protection Agency to release 70% of shares of retailer Mercator it seized from Croatian Agrokor in December 2019. It said that the AVK did not have legal grounds to seize the shares.
        LJUBLJANA - Uroš Lepoša was appointed new acting director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to replace Igor Lamberger after less than three months on the job.
        LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Delo reported that Alfi, a Slovenian equity fund, had acquired over 80% of the debt owed by Tuš, one of the largest grocers in Slovenia, saying that a framework restructuring agreement to deleverage the grocer would be signed soon.
        LJUBLJANA - Newsmapper, an advanced article-tracking tool developed by the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) made the European Commission's list of the best European innovations as part of the Innovation Radar platform.
        LJUBLJANA - The Administrative Court stayed the government decision to dismiss early three members of the supervisory board of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija until adopting a final ruling in the matter.
        LJUBLJANA - The Competition Protection Agency (AVK) warned about the drawbacks of changes to the media act regarding concentration monitoring. The agency advocates a strict separation of monitoring the public interest in media, which should not be in the domain of the AVK, and assessing concentration in line with the competition law.
        LJUBLJANA - Violent storms with strong winds, downpours and hail caused substantial damage and disruption across central, eastern, northeastern and southeastern Slovenia. The hardest hit was the Domžale area in central Slovenia, where hail the size of an egg caused around EUR 2.5 million in damage.

        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana University Medical Centre (UKC), the country's largest hospital, said it was preparing for an expected surge in coronavirus infections with the arrival of autumn and winter. This was after 24 persons tested positive for the day before, taking the national case count to 2,139, including 242 active cases. The death toll rose to 118.
        NOVO MESTO - The pharma group Krka reported EUR 803.8 million in sales revenue for the first half of the year, a 6% increase year-on-year, as net profit rose by 15% year-on-year to EUR 160.3 million. The management said the results were record-breaking.
        LJUBLJANA - The telecoms group Telekom Slovenije reported EUR 335.4 million in operating revenue for the first half of the year, a decline of 2% year-on-year, while net profit was down 24% to EUR 14.8 million, which was blamed on the pandemic and the effects of the agreement on the sale of Planet TV.
        IDRIJA - The industrial conglomerate Hidria, a major car industry supplier, announced it had signed a EUR 15 million deal with Germany's Audi and Porsche and Italy's Lamborghini under which it will develop and supply them with key aluminium engine parts.
        LJUBLJANA - A poll conducted by Mediana and run by the newspaper Delo showed that more than half of respondents do not believe a potential attempt by the opposition to vote out the Janez Janša government would succeed.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court ruled that the 2019 supplementary budget documents were not in conflict with the Constitution. This was after the then opposition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) petitioned the court in April 2019, claiming the budget expenditure planned was so high it violated the fiscal rule.

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