Last Week in Slovenia: 23 - 29 July, 2021

By , 31 Jul 2021, 07:32 AM Politics
Last Week in Slovenia: 23 - 29 July, 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, 23 July
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - European Commissioner Janez Lenarčič rejected the accusation by Prime Minister Janez Janša that he was acting against Slovenia's interests, as he arrived for an EU ministerial, saying "Slovenia is being harmed by those who undermine the rule of law and media freedom, rather than those of us who warn of such conduct being problematic".
        BRDO PRI KRANJU - After an informal meeting of EU ministers for European affairs, Slovenian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Gašper Dovžan and European Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič noted that it had been agreed that the EU must be integrated and coordinated in the time of crises. The pair also stressed the importance of cooperation with the Western Balkan countries.
        LJUBLJANA - Franci Matoz, a prominent lawyer best known as a long-time legal representative of PM Janez Janša and his Democratic Party (SDS), was named chairman of the board of directors of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC), Slovenia's bad bank, just a day after the government appointed him a non-executive director to replace a director who stepped down last week.
        LJUBLJANA - Organisers of public events and gatherings became obligated to check visitors' Covid certificates. A mobile app was released and not long after deleted due to privacy concerns and a new one is in the works. Hospitality providers in Slovenia have been required to check guests' Covid certificates from Monday.
        LJUBLJANA - Web portal Necenzurirano reported that PM Janez Janša had been holidaying in Mauritius for almost 20 years, playing golf and socialising with lobbyist Božo Dimnik and entrepreneur Andrej Marčič, representatives of the largest healthcare suppliers in Slovenia. Part of the opposition demanded a debate in parliament.
        LJUBLJANA - The Health Ministry made EUR 65 million available for the reduction in waiting times for health services. More than 20,000 patients are expected to benefit, according to Health Minister Janez Poklukar.
        LJUBLJANA - Fresh statistics showed Slovenia's tourism is picking up with visitor numbers and nights spent at accommodation facilities rising substantially year-on-year in June. Arrivals were up by 54.7% to over 375,000 and nights spent rose by 66.7% to over a million, data from the Statistics Office showed.
        NOVO MESTO - Revoz, Renault's Novo Mesto-based assembly plant, said it would have two sets of collective leave this summer due to a shortage of chips that has plagued the automotive industry worldwide. The company said it would be difficult to meet production targets.

        TOKYO, Japan - Reigning Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar won the bronze medal in the men's cycling road race at the Tokyo Olympics in what was the first Olympic medal in cycling for Slovenia and the first medal for Slovenia at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
        BOVEC - Addressing the annual gathering of the ruling Democrats (SDS), the party leader, Janez Janša, called on the party members to step up in the 2022 election campaign. The PM said the party had been successfully steering Slovenia through the Covid-19 epidemic for almost a year and a half.
        LJUBLJANA - A EUR 15 million contract on the purchase of a multi-purpose helicopter for the police was signed by Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and representatives of Italy's Leonardo Helicopters. The contract also includes delivery and maintenance of the AgustaWestland AW169, a twin-engine, 10-seat multi-purpose transport helicopter.
        ORMOŽ - Yummy, a 2019 Belgian comedy horror by Dutch director Lars Damoiseaux, won the Vicious Cat award as the 17th Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival came to a close.

MONDAY, 26 July
        TOKYO, Japan - Canoeist Benjamin Savšek convincingly won the men's C-1 slalom to earn the first gold medal for Slovenia at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the second overall medal for the country.
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenian superstar Luka Dončić scored 48 points as the basketball team cruised past Argentina to open their campaign at the Olympics with a 118:100 win. The first Olympics win for Slovenia came against the runners-up from the last World Cup.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - EU finance ministers endorsed another four national recovery and resilience plans, including Slovenia's, which the European Commission approved at the beginning of the month. Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said Slovenia would get the first funds, EUR 231 million of the EUR 2.5 billion plan, in September at the latest.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian state-owned development bank SID, its Croatian counterpart HBOR and the European Investment Fund (EIF) signed an agreement to establish a regional technology transfer platform under which universities and public research institutions will be able to tap on EUR 40 million to start up and commercialise their development projects.
        LJUBLJANA - An inquiry into police handling of an incident in front of the Parliament House in which several MPs were harassed by a group of anti-maskers in early July has found several flaws, including a lack of coordination and a plan of response and subsequent failure to protect the site.
TUESDAY, 27 July
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenian judoka Tina Trstenjak won the silver medal in the 63kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. The second-best-ranked in the category had to concede to the top-ranked Clarisse Agbegnenou of France in what was a replay of the gold medal match from the previous Olympics where Trstenjak won.
        LJUBLJANA - Matej Oštir and Tanja Frank Eler, the candidates picked by the State Prosecution Council for Slovenia's two European delegated prosecutors before the nomination process was annulled by the government, also applied in a repeat call for the posts. The Justice Ministry later confirmed it had received two applications for the posts.
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry shared on Twitter a statement by the EU condemning Turkey's unilateral steps regarding the town of Varosha in Cyprus. Slovenia supports all endeavours towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue in line with UN resolutions and European Union values, the ministry wrote.

        TOKYO, Japan - Bouncing back from difficulties in the Olympic road race, cycling star Primož Roglič outclassed the competition by more than a minute in the men's Olympic time trial to win the second gold for Slovenia in Tokyo and the second medal for Slovenian cycling at the ongoing Games.
        LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana's landmarks designed by architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957), including the Triple Bridge, Congress Square and Žale Cemetery, have been included in UNESCO's World Heritage List in line with a decision adopted by the World Heritage Committee.
        LJUBLJANA - The annual ceremony in memory of Russian POWs who died building the Vršič pass during WWI that will be held on Saturday will mark a number of anniversaries, including 30 years of Slovenia's independence. Slovenian president Borut Pahor and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to declare the day of the annual ceremony Slovenia-Russia Friendship Day.
        LJUBLJANA - The list of countries whose PCR and rapid antigen tests for coronavirus are recognised by Slovenia was expanded to include Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tests from countries not on the list will be also accepted if they are of the standard compatible with tests in EU and Schengen countries.
        LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Finance Ministry official Janez Mravljak to head the newly founded Recovery and Resilience Office as acting director starting from 2 August. The office was founded on 3 June under the Finance Ministry to coordinate and manage the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plan.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian PEN centre expressed support to the Montenegrin PEN centre and called on the international community, the EU and Slovenia's EU presidency to condemn what it sees as the violence inflicted on the Montenegrin nation and culture by the current Montenegrin government in cooperation with the Serbian Orthodox Church and pro-Serbian players.
        NOVO MESTO - Pharma group Krka Group saw its net profit rise by 11% to EUR 177.4 million in the first six months on record sales revenue of EUR 808.6 million, according to unaudited data. Sales revenue was up by 1% compared with the same period last year and up 6% from the first half of 2019.
        LJUBLJANA - The group Telekom Slovenije generated EUR 317.6 million in sales revenue in the first half of the year, down 1% from the same period in 2020. Net profit was up by 44% to EUR 21.3 million.
        JESENICE - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and his Austrian counterpart Leonore Gewessler took part in a ceremony marking the reopening of the Karavanke railway tunnel following a safety and technical upgrade. Vrtovec noted the upgrade would improve Slovenia's link with Austria. The ministers said that railways represented the backbone of the future of mobility.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's ILO-compatible survey unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in June, down 0.2 percentage points from May and half a point down from June a year ago, showed data released by the Statistics Office.
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenia made it to the quarter-finals of the basketball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics after defeating the hosts Japan 116:81 for what is their second win in as many matches. Led by the NBA All-Star Luka Dončić, Slovenia were in the lead throughout the game.

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