What follows is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia, as prepared by the STA.
FRIDAY, 1 January
LJUBLJANA - Dušan Jovanović, one of the most prolific and acclaimed contemporary Slovenian theatre directors and playwrights, died aged 81. A prominent public intellectual, he directed over 90 theatre pieces and wrote over two dozen plays as well as essays and poetry in a career that spanned five decades. Jovanović also received numerous awards for his oeuvre including the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievements and the Golden Order of Merit.
SATURDAY, 2 January
LJUBLJANA - Rapid coronavirus testing became available for a limited time at five border crossings with Croatia and Ljubljana airport as a new government decree took effect expanding the list of quarantine exemptions.
SUNDAY, 3 January
KOČEVJE/RIBNICA - The first Kočevje-bound passenger train since 1971 departed from the Ljubljana Rail Terminal as passenger service on the route resumed. Ten trains per day run between Ljubljana and Kočevje on workdays and eleven in the opposite direction. The journey lasts between an hour and ten minutes to an hour and 25 minutes.
SLOVENSKA BISTRICA - President Borut Pahor laid a wreath at a memorial on the Pohorje Plateau dedicated to a Partisan unit slain by Nazi forces in 1943. He said this was an expression of gratitude to the fighters who sacrificed their lives for liberty.
MONDAY, 4 January
LJUBLJANA - A new shipment of 16,575 doses of Covid-19 vaccines meant for health staff arrived in Slovenia, while community health centres around the country started providing rapid antigen testing.
LJUBLJANA - Gyms and swimming pools reopened under strict conditions under a government decree that also allowed younger registered athletes who are members of national teams to train.
LJUBLJANA - A number of large companies rolled out rapid testing for their employees. Some performed the tests in-house, others referred workers to community health centres.
LJUBLJANA - Ski resorts demanded that the government abolish obligatory coronavirus tests for skiers. Unless the testing requirement is abolished, the resorts plan to mount a Constitutional Court challenge.
TUESDAY, 5 January
LJUBLJANA - Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec, tipped for a prime minister-designate, announced five centre-left opposition parties would file a motion of no-confidence in the Janez Janša government on 15 January. He counts on MPs from the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) to provide additional three votes the opposition lacks to succeed.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged a record 3,354 coronavirus infections from a combined 22,194 PCR and rapid antigen tests performed on Tuesday, as the positivity rate for PCR tests hit a record high.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia issued a new ten-year bond of EUR 1.75 billion due in 2031 and extended the existing 30-year bond issue due in 2050 by another EUR 250 million, the Finance Ministry said.
LJUBLJANA - Children with special needs returned to classrooms after nearly three months of remote schooling a daj after after employees were tested for coronavirus.
LJUBLJANA - Two members of the management board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), Boštjan Koler and Boris Medica, and supervisory board member Igor Kržan resigned over irregularities established in the sale of a 49% stake in the venture capital fund Meta Ingenium. They all stepped down in what was a mutual agreement with SSH, the state asset custodian said.
LJUBLJANA - NLB, Slovenia's largest bank, announced it will introduce fees for combined deposits by individuals which exceed EUR 250,000 in April. The monthly fee will amount to 0.04% and will be first charged in May.
WEDNESDAY, 6 January
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's top officials and MEPs condemned the storming of the US Capitol building. Prime Minister Janez Janša expressed the hope that the US democracy would overcome the crisis, while President Borut Pahor on Thursday described the storming as an "attack on the symbol of US democracy" and called for a peaceful transfer of power. The Foreign Ministry said it was looking forward to cooperating with the new US administration.
LJUBLJANA - The newspaper Delo disclosed findings from the still confidential draft audit report on PPE procurement during the spring wave of coronavirus, which found that the purchases were inefficient due to failings by both the current and previous governments. Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said the findings showed the allegations of massive corruption were baseless.
LJUBLJANA - Matej Tonin, the defence minister and leader of New Slovenia (NSi), said the ruling coalition had "solid" 47 MP votes even after the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) quit the coalition. He is convinced the government will finish the term without major difficulties, adding he would not be surprised if the opposition failed to seek the planned vote of no confidence in the end.
LJUBLJANA - The council of the opposition Left expressed support to a motion of no-confidence in the Janez Janša government with Karl Erjavec, the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), as candidate for prime minister-designate, the party said. Other opposition parties from the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL) have already backed Erjavec's candidacy.
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša spoke in his capacity as interim health minister with Chen Shih-chung, the minister of health and welfare of Taiwan, via videolink to exchange views on the Covid-19 pandemic and share good practices. Janša thanked Chen for Taiwan's donation of protective masks in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic last April.
LJUBLJANA - The Covid-19 pandemic pushed up Slovenia's registered unemployment total to 87,283 at the end of December 2020, up 15.9% year-on-year, and 3.7% more than at the end of November last year. The Employment Service noted the growth in unemployment would have been even higher had it not been for the government's job retention schemes.
LJUBLJANA - The government extended the shutdown of non-essential shops and services by another week until 13 January despite appeals by the Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) and the Chamber of Commerce (TZS) to reopen small businesses and non-essential shops, respectively.
THURSDAY, 7 January
LJUBLJANA - The government decided that schools and kindergartens will remain closed at least until 18 January, also extending the existing restrictions in place and shutting down ski lifts.
LJUBLJANA - An expert commission has found the death of a nursing home resident soon after she received the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be associated with the vaccination. The woman died because of comorbidities, Jelko Kacin, the government's Covid-19 spokesman, summed up the commission's findings.
LJUBLJANA - Mass antigen rapid testing was suspended in Ljubljana due to unsuitable swabs, the Ljubljana Health Community Centre announced, adding that the step was based on a decision by the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, which found the swabs unsuitable because their producer is not known and the swabs have no required markings.
VELENJE - Gorenje started the launch of TV sets in Velenje this week. More than 350 workers were already working at the Hisense Europe Electronic factory, and their number is to increase to 520 by the end of the month. As of next week, around 800 TV sets are to be produced a day.