Ljubljana related

08 Sep 2020, 13:00 PM

STA, 7 September 2020 - The Kobilarna Lipica stud farm expects this year to see only a third of last year's number of visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a business report which also shows that in the first half of the year, its operator recorded only 34% of the revenue from the same period in 2019.

The pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of a large number of planned events, a decline in visits by foreign guests and large organised groups from Slovenia and abroad, and the renovation of Hotel Maestoso, Holding Kobilarna Lipica told the STA on Monday.

However, the drop in revenue does not stand out when compared to the results of other comparable tourist destinations, the company's supervisory board has assessed, while adding that additional measures to cut costs and maximise the income needed to be nevertheless introduced.

Lay-offs are not envisaged for the time being and, considering the tourism trends and the situation related to Covid-19, the current number of employees is appropriate, the management has assessed.

The management has been tasked with coming up with a new marketing campaign, which will include the promotion of Hotel Maestoso, which is expected to reopen at the beginning of 2021 with a doubled number of rooms.

Holding Kobilarna Lipica also said that the medium-term goals also included taking a EUR 5 million bank loan to renovate the swimming pool and wellness complex of the hotel.

08 Sep 2020, 11:23 AM

STA, 8 September 2020 - Prime Minister Janez Janša and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for a joint approach to the new coronavirus and to illegal migration as they met in Ljubljana this morning.

Janša and Kurz agreed that a full lockdown because of coronavirus should be avoided this autumn, with Kurz stressing that a "light at the end of the tunnel" could already be seen in the fight against the virus.

The chancellor said Austria's goal was to keep schools open, and preserve normal life in all areas as much as possible but with certain rules and adjustments.

Janša warned that the danger of the epidemic was not over yet, as infection numbers were going up throughout Europe. But unlike in the spring, now fewer people develop the disease and die from it, which probably means "we've learned something" and that the protective measures work, he said.

The prime minister noted that Austria and Slovenia had worked closely when the pandemic started, and that Austria had been a kind of a role model for Slovenia in the first, worst weeks of the battle against the virus, being one of the few European countries that were well prepared for the pandemic.

The pair agreed such cooperation would continue.

Turning to illegal migration, Janša stressed that protecting the EU's external borders would be crucial. He called for a strengthening of border protection, a joint EU approach to the issue and assistance to the countries that could be hit the hardest so as to avoid the situation Europe was in in 2015.

He also said countries on the EU's external borders should be assisted. Janša and Kurz agreed that protecting the external borders was essential for removing check points on the EU's internal borders.

The Austrian chancellor, who is on his first visit abroad since the start of the pandemic in February, said "we need a stronger, more competitive Europe in the globalised world". He said today's visit to Slovenia was a sign of a special bond between the two countries.

The pair labelled bilateral relations between Slovenia and Austria as good. Austria is Slovenia's third most important economic partner and the biggest foreign investor.

Janša said the government was preparing measures to make Slovenia even more attractive to foreign investors. Kurz welcomed this, noting that Slovenia was an important economic partner of Austria and that several thousand Austrian companies operated in Slovenia.

The talks also touched on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite, after which a sizeable part of the Slovenian-speaking territory became Austria after World War I, and the plans for the Slovenian and Austrian presidents to mark the anniversary in Klagenfurt on 10 October together.

This will be the first time that the presidents of both countries will attend the ceremony, so Janša welcomed the initiative. He said several issues regarding the Slovenian minority in Austria remained open but that now they could be tackled easier than in the past.

Kurz also discussed this with President Borut Pahor today, who welcomed the programme of the Austrian government for tackling the issues of minorities and expressed hope that some of the measures discussed would become laws soon. Kurz expressed his genuine readiness for this, according to Pahor's office.

In talks with Janša, Kurz said that his government's programme for the anniversary did not envisage only a financial present for the minority to mark the anniversary but also other measures to support the Slovenian community in the future. He did not specify though when the minority is to receive this present.

Kurz also touched on the efforts to recognise the German-speaking community in Slovenia as a minority in the Constitution, saying Vienna was "grateful" for that.

Janša and Kurz are later scheduled to head to Triglav for a climbing adventure in the north face of Slovenia's highest mountain, with Kurz telling the press he was not worried as the Slovenian prime minister was an experienced climber.

07 Sep 2020, 16:46 PM

STA, 7 September 2020 - As the second week of school has started with a number of groups of children in quarantine due to coronavirus cases detected among classmates, the Education Ministry has announced it is developing an application which will contain all relevant information in one place.

The list of groups of primary and secondary pupils in quarantine is changing on a daily basis, and the ministry said on Monday it would start publishing data on a weekly basis on Friday.

The information about quarantine orders in relation to educational establishments are currently made public in a disorganised fashion, and there are no precise data yet.

For this reason, the ministry also announced that detailed insight in the number of infected children who attend kindergartens and primary and secondary schools would be enabled with an application containing all relevant data.

So far, several classes of children as well as teachers have been quarantined due to infections in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools around Slovenia as the new school year started on 1 September.

The ministry said quarantine for individual classes had been ordered in 13 out of the 497 Slovenian primary schools, and that 150 children out of the total of 191,726 were in isolation.

"The data show that the current situation is fully manageable," the ministry said, adding that schools and kindergartens were well prepared for the epidemiological situation and that the system was responsive.

Doctors have meanwhile also had the problem of how to differentiate between the symptoms of Covid-19 and other seasonal infections in school children, and whether every child with flu-like symptoms should be tested.

Paediatricians have already called for new guidelines for testing of small children, with Denis Baš telling the STA that experts and representatives of the Health Ministry would discuss it on Thursday.

Baš said that his clinic had been very busy with a lot of sick children, and that it was difficult to secure a Covid-19 testing spot. Paediatricians thus fear that the system would not be able to test such a large number of children.

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07 Sep 2020, 16:10 PM

STA, 7 September 2020 - Slovenia recorded 25 new coronavirus cases from 706 tests on Sunday, which brings the overall tally of cases to 3,190, out of which 525 remain active, according to combined data from the government and tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.

No new Covid-19-related fatalities were reported, while the number of hospitalisations rose by three to 26, four of whom require intensive treatment.

Data from the tracker site show that for almost a week now there have been no new infections among residents or staff at care homes, where most of Slovenia's 135 Covid-19-related fatalities have been recorded.

The number of new cases is down from 43 recorded on Saturday when 1,212 tests were performed.

Over the past week 307 new coronavirus infections were confirmed, 89 more than the week before.

Inspectors found no violations of face mask rule this weekend

STA, 7 September 2020 - Health inspectors did not detect any violations of the anti-coronavirus rules and hence did not issue any fines between Friday, when a decree imposing fines for failure to wear face masks and sanitise hands in public indoor venues came into force, and Sunday. No one was reported flouting the rules at the Franja Marathon.

During the past three days, the inspectors oversaw the implementation of the decree in more than 140 restaurants, pubs and cafes and at almost 50 events, including the Franja Marathon, the largest cycling event in Slovenia.

Altogether, they visited more than 200 facilities, including shops and public toilets. They also appeared at football matches, cultural events, weddings and picnic spots.

Apart from checking if everyone was heeding public health guidelines, they were mostly overseeing the implementation of the face mask and hand sanitising rules and found no one falling foul of them.

The Health Inspectorate employs 84 inspectors. Between 40 and 60 of them are in the field every day.

Last week, the government changed the legal basis for the mandatory wearing of face masks or other face coverings and compulsory hand sanitising in public indoor spaces to make it possible to actually fine those who flout the rules. The decree comes in the wake of increasing numbers of new coronavirus cases.

The fines for violating the decree range from EUR 400 and EUR 4,000.

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06 Sep 2020, 18:15 PM

STA, 6 September 2020 - Slovenia saw 43 coronavirus infections from 1,212 tests performed on Saturday, as many as the day before but what is a daily weekend high since the epidemic was formally declared over in the country at the end of May, fresh data from the government show.

This was as the number of tests was also at a weekend high after the country strongly ramped up testing this week.

The latest cases bring the overall case count to 3,165, of which 514 remain active infections, according to the tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.

The number of hospitalisations rose by one to 23, with three Covid-19 patients requiring intensive treatment, after one patient was discharged from hospital.

No new fatalities related to Covid-19 were reported, with the total at 135.

The latest cases were confirmed in 27 municipalities across the country, most of those, six, in Ljubljana, which now has 96 active infections.

Eleven of Saturday's cases were among the 25-34-year-olds and ten more among the 35-44-year-olds with five each in the cohorts of 45-54 years and 55-64 years and four among 65-74-year-olds.

Nine of the new cases are among persons who had already been in quarantine, while one of the imported cases caught the virus in Greece.

"Greece has become a country with a growing number of infections and we have quite a lot of tourists there. It's thus just a matter of time when we'll start telling them to come back," Milan Krek, the head of the National Institute of Public Health, told Radio Slovenija.

Since infections are moving into older age groups, hospitalisations will likely increase. Krek appealed on relatives of residents in aged care facilities to keep visits at the minimum and follow precaution to keep care homes free from Covid-19.

04 Sep 2020, 13:21 PM

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Cases - Masks - Graves Hungary

47 new coronavirus cases in 1,733 tests in Slovenia on Thursday

STA, 4 September 2020 - A record 1,733 tests conducted on Thursday confirmed 47 new Sars-CoV-2 infections in Slovenia, a slight drop on the 53 and 55 cases discovered on Wednesday and Tuesday. No new fatalities occurred, meaning the death toll remains at 134. The number of hospitalised patients decreased by two to 24, with three in intensive care.

The new cases put the total number of confirmed infections thus far at 3,079, 505 of which are active. The total number of quarantine orders currently in force exceeds 9,000.

Meanwhile, providing some cause for concern are reports of infections in staff from three kindergartens and pupils from several schools after the new school year started on Monday in-class for almost 191,000 primary and secondary pupils and almost 18,000 teachers.

Classes where cases were established are being quarantined and are mostly switching to remote learning. Schools with cases have remained open, an exception being a primary school in Braslovče where both the kindergarten and school were closed after four positive cases.

Government spokesman Jelko Kacin said today that the situation was no cause for alarm, as there are many schools and classes in Slovenia, meaning there will be cases. He explained that local epidemiologists have the final word about measures taken in individual cases.

Meanwhile, the new cases remain dispersed around the country. They were confirmed in 29 municipalities on Thursday, with Ljubljana again topping the chart with ten cases.

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Govt creates basis to fine those who flout face mask rules

STA, 3 September 2020 - The government has changed the legal basis for the mandatory wearing of face masks or other face coverings in public indoor spaces and for mandatory hand sanitising to make it possible to actually fine those who flout the rules.

The adoption of a new decree at today's government session was announced by government spokesman Jelko Kacin after Slovenia recorded a five-month spike in new coronavirus cases.

It comes after the human rights ombudsman, responding to a complaint by a member of the public, exposed a loophole that made it impossible to impose any sanctions on those violating the mandatory wearing of masks.

Kacin said the new rule on the mandatory of wearing masks will not apply to schools or sports and recreational activities where they will remain recommended. Unless schools were excluded, masks would also be mandatory in class, not just in common indoor areas.

However, masks will continue to be mandatory on public transport.

The new decree comes into effect from Friday when inspectors will start overseeing its implementation and will be able to issue penalty notices to violators.

Kacin said that masks would not be mandatory when sufficient distance between people can be kept. "If an office in a public space is big enough masks are not compulsory, especially when ventilation is possible."

Restrictions on gatherings in public places remain in place with the government Covid-19 advisory group warning that the restrictions must also apply to all private gatherings.

Slovenia recorded 53 new coronavirus infections for Wednesday after a five-month high of 55 the day before, which was on a record number of tests. Kacin noted that almost 50 more tests were performed on Wednesday than Tuesday.

The lab capacities are overstretched. "We fear there will be delays, that we'll be waiting for the results for the next day and that we won't have the real picture any longer," said Kacin.

Kacin said that many infected individuals would not tell the epidemiologists where they had caught the virus, so it was necessary to follow self-protective measures.

Turning to the deteriorating situation in other countries, he announced Slovenia would be forced to amend its quarantine list of countries.

The Covid-19 advisory group are currently discussing the possibility to let Croatian citizens living along the border visit their graves in Slovenia without mandatory quarantine ahead of All Saints Day, observed on 1 November.

However, Kacin noted that Croatia's coronavirus status was getting worse and would soon near 100 infections per 100,000 residents. This was after a public health official said yesterday that Slovenia's 14 day incidence was nearing 23 per 100,000.

Tatjana Lejko Zupanc, the head of the Infectious Disease Department of the Ljubljana UKC hospital, said that Covid-19 hospitalisations were on the rise and that an increasing number of patients required intensive care.

She reported that experience had shown the use of face masks as effective, including among health professions who avoided catching the virus from a family member because they were wearing a mask.

She urged everyone to follow the precautionary measures and act responsibly for the sake of themselves, their relatives and everyone else, in particular with the approach of autumn and winter when it will be no longer possible to see whether a person has a cold, flu or Covid-19.

Those hospitalised with Covid-19 are 63 years old on average, which is similar to the first wave of the epidemic. Patients with chronic conditions are hospitalised again, but this time around they do not have so grave chronic issues.

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Covid-19 makes it hard to visit relatives' graves across the border

STA, 3 September 2020 - The lives of some locals in border areas seem to be getting harder since Slovenia recently red-listed Croatia due to a rising number of Covid-19 cases. This prevents Croats from visiting the graves of their relatives across the border in Slovenia. Croatia would like the strict measures to be somewhat softened.

Croatia's Nova TV reported last evening that two Croatian citizens were not allowed to enter Slovenia to visit their relatives' graves in Jelšane, a Slovenian town just two kilometres from the Croatian town of Rupa.

There are some exceptions allowing Croatian citizens to enter Slovenia for a funeral of a relative or for business or some other urgent matters.

Slovenian and Croatian authorities have been notified of the difficulties by Croatian Mayor of Klana Željka Šarčević Grgić.

Although a meeting has been held in Slovenia's Ilirska Bistrica to discuss softer measures, she said the measures had in fact become stricter.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman told Nova TV that all open issues were being addressed, adding Croatia would appreciate if Croatians were allowed to visit their graves in Slovenia.

The locals would like to see a solution before 1 November, All Saints' Day, when Slovenians and Croats visit graves en masse.

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Hungary grants border opening appeals from Slovenian minority

STA, 4 September 2020 - The Hungarian authorities have granted an appeal from the Slovenian ethnic minority to open another border crossing for the locals, re-opening the Ketvolgy/Verica-Čepinci crossing as of Saturday between 6am and 6pm. A border crossing with Austria, important for Slovenian daily migrant workers, will also be reopened.

On Tuesday, Hungary closed its border for foreign citizens to contain the coronavirus, leaving only three border crossings with Slovenia operable - Pince (Tornyiszentmiklós on the Hungarian side), Dolga Vas (Hosszufalu) and Hodoš (Bajansenye).

The Slovenian minority on the other side of the border has been virtually cut off from Slovenia, and their representatives, as well as the Slovenian Foreign Ministry, have called on the Hungarian authorities to open one more small border crossing.

The Ketvolgy/Verica-Čepinci border crossing is very important for the minority, as travelling through other border crossings may prolong the journey by 100 kilometres or two hours.

Granting the appeal, Hungary also allowed parents who take their children to a bilingual school in Slovenia's Prosenjakovci to cross the local border crossing two times a day.

The restrictions on border travel have posed a problem for the primary school, which has 100 pupils, of whom 42 come from Hungary.

Erika Köleš Kiss, the minority's representative in Hungarian parliament, said that the representatives had strived for the border crossing to open even earlier, but were nevertheless happy with the outcome.

The Hungarian authorities also granted an appeal to reopen the border crossing with Austria at Alsószölnök, which is used by Slovenian daily migrant workers. It is expected to be opened on Saturday and stay opened between 7am and 7pm.

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02 Sep 2020, 13:27 PM

STA, 2 September 2020 - Slovenia has recorded a spike in coronavirus infections with the daily tally hitting 55 on Tuesday, a five month high, as one more Covid-19 patient died, government data show.

The latest cases come from 1,608 tests, the highest daily number so far.

The number of Covid-19 hospitalisations increased by one to 26 as two patients were discharged home yesterday. Four patients are intensive care, one more than the day before.

The latest infections bring Slovenia's overall tally of cases to 2,979, of which 486 are still active, and the death toll to 134, data from tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org show.

The government's chief Covid-19 advisor, Bojana Beović, is concerned about the spike in infections coinciding with the start of the new school year.

"That's what we had been trying to prevent, and we've obviously not been successful (...) as soon as infections spread in schools, classes, schools will have to be closed," she said, appealing on schools to exert caution and implement precautionary measures.

She believes the latest infections come from sources originating abroad.

She warned that restrictions would have to be stepped up if the infections continue to grow, suggesting those should best be imposed "where problems occur".

Concern about the high number of infections was also expressed by Health Minister Tomaž Gantar.

The latest cases include two residents of the Črneče care home in the northern Koroška region, which has now four infected elderly residents but no infections among staff, according to the facility director Srečko Mlačnik.

The infection was brought into the home, which takes care of about 255 elderly persons, by a newly admitted resident, who only developed symptoms later.

01 Sep 2020, 17:09 PM

STA, 1 September 2020 - After a drop in new daily coronavirus cases attributed to reduced testing at the weekend, Slovenia recorded 41 infections from 1,415 tests performed on Monday, fresh government data show.

With the latest cases, the overall case count has inched nearer to the 3,000 mark, and currently stands 2,924, out of which 468 remain active cases, according to the tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.

Hospitalisations remain stable at 25 after three Covid-19 patients were discharged yesterday. Two remain in intensive care, that is one fewer than the day before.

Addressing reporters at a coronavirus briefing, government spokesman Jelko Kacin said that five of the latest cases had been imported, one each from Croatia, Russia and Austria, and two from Bosnia.

Almost half of the cases, 16, are local transmissions, while the origin of 13 cases is unknown and seven more cases are still being looked at by epidemiologists.

Kacin said data were showing Slovenia successfully contained infection imports from abroad.

Nearly half of latest cases were in the middle age group with ten infections among among 35-44-year-olds and nine among those aged 45 to 54.

Regional-wise, five of the infections were recorded in Ljubljana, which now has 91 active cases, and four in Rogaška Slatina in the east, with further cases in 25 more municipalities country-wide.

No new fatalities have been reported since 24 August, leaving the national death toll from Covid-19 at 133.

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01 Sep 2020, 13:42 PM

STA, 1 September 2020 - For almost 191,000 primary and secondary school students in Slovenia, and their almost 18,000 teachers, the new school year will start on Tuesday the same way the previous school year ended: in-class but with many precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the wearing of face masks in common areas.

It came as a relief for many parents last week when the government decided that the school year should start in-class rather than remotely, even if the number of new coronavirus cases remains fairly high.

Students will not have to wear masks in class either, but the National Institute of Public Health has recommended that students of all ages wear masks when mixing in common areas, an upgrade of the earlier recommendation that only students 12 and older wear masks.

Schools are advised to follow a number of other precautions, including regular use of hand sanitizer, frequent hand washing, ventilation of classrooms, and keeping a safe distance whenever possible.

To what extent individual schools can follow these recommendations depends largely on school size and architecture. Large schools, for example, can simply not do the recommended distances in classrooms because there are too many children per class, a recommendation that is easier to follow for smaller schools with fewer students.

Education Minister Simona Kustec has said schools should follow the recommendations to the best of their abilities, but stressed that each school should use discretion in adapting the recommendations to the situation on the ground.

"Schools have my full confidence that they will do their best both in prevention and in terms of the teaching process," she has told the STA.

The overarching aim is to conduct as much of the teaching process normally, which means that if a student is confirmed to have coronavirus, the entire class is quarantined while the rest of the school continues instruction in-class.

The decision whether to step up precautionary measures or close schools will depend on the statistics: the daily and weekly number of infections, and the demographic profile of the infected persons, according to Kustec.

Quarantined students will be taught remotely, and the school system is seen as well prepared even if schools should have to close again like they did in spring.

Arnes, a public body which provides internet access to schools and other tools for remote teaching, has upgraded its infrastructure since the first wave of the epidemic.

Using additional state funding, the organisation has increased the capacity of its entire network and upgraded tools such as online classrooms and videoconferencing.

There is also money to buy up to 4,000 computers for students and teachers who do not have their own devices, and during the summer holiday dozens of online courses were organised to teach teachers how to use online tools in class and remotely.

As school starts, experts warn kids can become major vectors of infection

STA, 1 September 2020 - Children have not been considered a major factor in the spread of coronavirus, and they rarely develop severe symptoms. As school starts in-class for all students in Slovenia, experts warn that there is potential for children to not only spread coronavirus but become primary sources of infection in the family.

Mateja Logar, an infectologist at the UKC Ljubljana's clinic for communicable diseases, said on Tuesday that studies conducted after schools started to reopen in late spring shed new light on the role of children in the spread of coronavirus.

While children had initially not been considered a major source of infections, more recent studies have shown that older children and teenagers are much more likely to spread the disease.

"We have to realise that it is possible children develop only mild symptoms but infect other family members," she said.

The latest findings are probably a result of the fact that schools closed around the world when coronavirus first hit, which is why children were not a major factor in the spread.

But as schools reopened more data and more studies poured in showing that "children do get sick as well, it is only that they have different symptoms than adults."

The younger children are, the less specific their symptoms. While the most common symptoms in adults are fever and cough, children tend to develop digestive problems such as diarrhoea or vomiting.

Under the current guidelines for schools, children are not required to wear masks in class but have to put them on while in common areas. Social distancing, frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and ventilation of classrooms is advised.

Logar said it was important that these guidelines be followed as much as possible, in particular since coronavirus spreads much more easily indoor than outdoors.

01 Sep 2020, 11:21 AM

STA, 31 August 2020 - Slovenia's economy has been hammered hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown with fresh data from the Statistics Office showing the country's output contracted by 13% in real terms in the second quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The second straight quarter of negative growth puts Slovenia in a technical recession.

Seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 9.6% compared with the first quarter, and by 12.9% year-on-year. This means that the country's economy shrunk at an annual rate of 7.9% in the first half of the year.

Revised data from the Statistics Office show the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of decline in the first quarter, at the end of which Slovenia declared the epidemic and put public life on hold, was 3.7%, which compares to an earlier estimate of 3.4%.

The year-on-year contraction posted by Slovenia in the second quarter is somewhat lesser than the average for the eurozone and the EU running at -15.0% and -14.1%, respectively.

Fresh statistics show the country's shutdown imposed in mid-March had the biggest impact on domestic consumption, which slumped by 12% due to a 11.8% drop in final consumption expenditure and a 12.8% fall in gross capital formation.

Household final consumption expenditure slumped by 16.6%, of which 21.2% on the domestic market, with the highest decrease seen in consumption of fuels and services.

Gross fixed capital formation declined by 16.7% as construction investment decreased by 14.1% and investment in machinery and equipment slumped by 26.2%.

Due to a slump in external demand, exports fell by 24.5% compared with the second quarter of 2019; exports of goods decreased by 21.9% and exports of services fell by 35%.

Imports declined by 25%. Like in the case of exports, the slump in services was mainly observed in the travel industry.

The value added also declined, in particular in the hospitality sector, but the biggest negative impact was from manufacturing, said Romana Korenič from the Statistics Office.

Employment also fell in the second quarter, with the total of those in employment falling by 2% year-on-year to 1,023,200. Hit hardest were administrative and support services, manufacturing, and accommodation and food service activities.

On the upside, the situation started to improve in swathes of the economy the third quarter of the year, judging by macroeconomic data and survey among businesses and consumers.

Considering forecasts by domestic and international institutions, Slovenia's economy is not expected to contract by more than 8% this year, provided there are no new major shocks.

Signs of improvement were also noted by the Slovenian central bank in its response to the contraction in the output in the second quarter, which it said had been expectedly strong.

It said available data such as electricity consumption, tax revenue, the purchasing managers' index or business confidence suggest a considerable economic recovery in the summer.

As the coronavirus crisis set in, the central bank forecast a contraction of between 6% and 16% for the year depending on which of the three scenarios it had proposed would unfold.

"The current situation in the economy indicates the fall in the economic growth this year will be closer to the less adverse scenario, that is in accordance with our central forecast (of -6.5%)," said Banka Slovenije.

However, the central bank also noted that the situation is uncertain and that the recovery will largely depend on the development of the coronavirus pandemic and on how countries respond to a potential major outbreak.

"Due to the uncertainty, companies will keep postponing investment and households will remain cautiously frugal," a release from Banka Slovenije reads.

Similarly, IMAD, the government macroeconomic think-tank whose forecasts serve as a basis for state budgeting, said the contraction was within its expectations, with an improvement expected in the third quarter.

Noting that business sentiment and consumer confidence have been picking up since May, IMAD said they were still below the levels seen prior to the global coronavirus outbreak.

"In the third quarter we can expect a quarterly improvement or a lesser year-on-year decline in economic activity. With the presence of the virus and a new increase in infections in recent weeks, the situation remains uncertain, thus further fluctuation in economic activity is expected," commented IMAD director Maja Bednaš.

More data on this can be found on SURS

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