Last Week in Slovenia: 2 - 8 April, 2021

By , 10 Apr 2021, 08:40 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 2 - 8 April, 2021

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

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FRIDAY, 2 April
        LJUBLJANA - Four centre-left opposition parties tabled a motion asking the National Assembly to impeach Prime Minister Janez Janša before the Constitutional Court. They accused him of violating several articles of the Constitution and laws, pertaining to healthcare, the media, prosecution, and human and constitutional rights.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia will get its pro rata share from a package of 10 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine whose delivery has been pushed forward from the first to the second quarter of the year. Under the plan agreed by EU member states, this means approximately 47,000 doses of the vaccine, of which 10,000 doses will reportedly be donated to the Czech Republic under a bilateral agreement.
        LJUBLJANA - The Health Ministry picked Sanolabor as the supplier of a million rapid antigen test for mass testing for coronavirus. Sanolabor offered EUR 1.37 per test, with the total cost for the state amounting to EUR 1.137 million.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council noted that at least one of the two conditions enabling the government to depart from the obligation of medium-term fiscal balance under exceptional circumstances would be met next year, and advised caution.

        LJUBLJANA - The head of Slovenia's vaccination advisory group, Bojana Beović, told POP TV that the group had proposed suspending vaccination of younger people with the AstraZeneca vaccine until all dilemmas about serious undesired side effects are clarified.
        MARIBOR - Several hundred protesters gathered in the Maribor city centre to protest against anti-coronavirus measures. The rally was organised through social networks. The protesters did not wear face masks and ignored distancing recommendations.
        LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Janez Poklukar ordered an emergency oversight over the payment of epidemic bonuses following media reports about excessively high payouts, in particular to doctors.

SUNDAY, 4 April
        LJUBLJANA/MARIBOR - PM Janez Janša said in his Easter message the coronavirus pandemic had fully exposed society's vulnerability and weaknesses, but expressed confidence Slovenia would overcome this trial.

MONDAY, 5 April
        NAZARJE - Appliances maker BSH Hišni Aparati generated almost EUR 380 million in revenue last year, a rise of almost 10% over 2019. The company did not reveal the profit figure, while telling the STA it was planning to increase revenue to EUR 487 million this year.
TUESDAY, 6 April
        LJUBLJANA - As part of the EU presidency trio format, the defence ministers of Slovenia, Portugal and Germany discussed the Strategic Compass process, EU-NATO cooperation, military mobility, and the bloc's support for stabilisation efforts in Mozambique. Minister Matej Tonin stressed the Strategic Compass would be a priority during Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of the year.
        LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar held a video conference with Bavarian State Minister for European and International Affairs Melanie Huml in preparation of his visit to the German state on 22 June. The pair discussed ways to enhance cooperation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and Slovenia's upcoming EU presidency.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court announced having annulled in an unanimous decision the implementation of a provision from one of the legislative packages for mitigating the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic that extends accreditations to higher education institutions. The provision was stayed in late January.
        LJUBLJANA - Two groups of petitioners submitted their respective initiatives for a referendum on the contentious amendments to the water act after they had collected over 9,000 and 33,000 signatures, respectively. The upper chamber of parliament voted against a veto on the amendments.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council noted that, according to preliminary data, the national budget deficit in the first three months amounted to EUR 1.29 billion, which is almost half of the deficit planned for the entire year.
        LJUBLJANA - The registered jobless total was down for the second consecutive month in March, standing at 82,638, or 6.1% less than in February. The number is nevertheless 6.1% higher year-on-year.

        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša urged countries to join the EU's efforts to provide anti-coronavirus vaccines to less prosperous countries, as he took part in a virtual conference hosted by the World Forum for Ethics in Business to mark World Health Day, which discussed the changing paradigms during the pandemic.
        LJUBLJANA - Bojana Beović, the head of the national advisory committee on immunisation, said Slovenia would not change its Covid-19 vaccination strategy for the time being after the European Medicines Agency announced that unusual blood clots should be listed as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia denied asylum-seekers access to asylum in 2020, while forcibly returning migrants to Croatia, Amnesty International said in its latest human rights report. The country was criticised for limiting freedom of assembly during the pandemic, handling Covid infections at care homes inadequately, and failing to resolve Roma issues.
        LJUBLJANA - The European Court of Human Rights admitted an application against Slovenia over an alleged violation of the right to a fair hearing. The case concerns Constitutional Court judge Rok Čeferin's failure to exclude himself from a case.
        LJUBLJANA - Preliminary inquiries by the Education Ministry into the sentiment towards the announced self-testing of students showed that around 22% of pupils of the final three years of primary school and 18.5% of secondary school students would self-test. Several parents' initiatives oppose the plan.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning published a resolution on Slovenia's long-term climate strategy until 2050 with one of the goals being climate neutrality and resilience to climate change.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia woke up to an unseasonably cold morning with temperatures dipping into the 20s below zero in the south of the country in what was the coldest April morning on record.
        LJUBLJANA - Education Minister Simona Kustec announced pupils would return to schools and children to kindergartens following an 11-day circuit-breaker lockdown 12 April, which is in line with the promise made before the country entered its third coronavirus lockdown. Universities remain shut.
        LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court stayed a provision of a government decree which restricts travel to countries on Slovenia's red list of high-risk countries due to Covid-19, pending its final decision. It invoked its right to stay legislation to prevent the occurrence of irreparable damage.
        LJUBLJANA - The government said it expected that this year's budget expenditure will be EUR 800 million higher than planned in the current budget documents, arguing the situation regarding Covid-19 had deteriorated significantly since the budgeting process was completed.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor congratulated Vjosa Osmani on being elected president of Kosovo and wished her successful work as they had a telephone conversation, focussing on the epidemiological situation and cooperation between the countries and in the region.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided to donate Covid-19 protective equipment to several Western Balkan countries following a request for aid through the EU civil protection mechanism. Montenegro will receive EUR 107,350 worth of equipment, North Macedonia EUR 115,000, and Serbia EUR 120,300.
        LJUBLJANA - The Fiscal Council said that public investment that is to increase in the coming years could help drive economic growth and development, but that the institutional framework should be improved if investment is to be efficient.
        STRASBOURG, France - The latest Council of Europe report on penal statistics in its 52 member states showed Slovenia had 109 prisoners per 100 prison beds in 2020, which made it one of the CoE member states with the most crowded prisons; it placed the 9th most prison-crowded country. The Justice Ministry said it was aware of the situation and that two new prisons were planned.
        LJUBLJANA - Five exchange traded funds (ETF) by Bulgarian Expat Capital were listed on the Ljubljana stock market, following years of efforts by the Ljubljana Stock Exchange to attract ETFs there once again.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a new decree on packaging and waste packaging under which all producers of packaging, not just those that put more than 15 tonnes of packaging on the market in Slovenia annually, are liable for waste treatment fees.

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