Ljubljana related

06 Jul 2020, 19:25 PM

STA, 6 July 2020 - The government has re-instated France and the Czech Republic, with the exception of the Moravian-Silesian Region, to the green list of the epidemiologically safe countries, with the decision effective as of Tuesday.

Announcing the news, the Government Communication Office said that the decision had been made following a briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the two countries by the National Public Health Institute.

France and the Czech Republic were put on the so-called yellow list along with Croatia on Saturday. The Moravian-Silesian Region in the east of the Czech Republic remains on the list.

Slovenian citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia arriving from yellow-listed EU or Schengen zone members are not quarantined under certain conditions.

These include proving they own a piece of property or a vessel there or producing an original bill for accommodation etc.

If they are not able to prove this, they are considered as arriving in Slovenia from a high-risk country and subjected to two-week quarantine.

Slovenian citizens and foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia arriving from green-listed EU or Schengen zone members are not quarantined.

Persons who have temporary or permanent residence in these countries are free to enter Slovenia without any restrictions or quarantine either.

More details on the green, yellow and red lists here - but be sure to click the links for updates

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02 Jul 2020, 19:28 PM

STA, 2 July 2020 - Croatia, France and Czechia will be removed on Saturday from the green list of countries considered epidemiologically safe by Slovenia, government coronavirus spokesperson Jelko Kacin said on Thursday. Belgium and the Netherlands will on the other hand be green-listed. Kacin also announced efforts to serve quarantine orders already on the border.

Being put on the yellow list means that most foreign citizens arriving in Slovenia from these countries need to subject themselves to a two-week quarantine, while this does not apply to Slovenians [ed. or those with a residence card] returning from yellow-listed countries.

Kacin said that the SarS-CoV-2 situation was improving in some countries, in particular in western Europe, with the the number of infected persons falling below 10 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is why Belgium and the Netherlands will be put on the green list.

However, there are also countries where things are deteriorating, which is why the government is to decide at today's correspondence session that Croatia, Czechia and France be put on the yellow list, effective Saturday.

Kacin said that Slovenians returning from Croatia will not have to go into isolation, but he stressed they would be asked at the border if they are really returning from Croatia and not from other Western Balkan countries that are on the red list and entail quarantine in Slovenia also for Slovenian citizens.

"There has been too much misleading. Police will get instructions and our travellers should get ready to reveal a little more about where they have been," Kacin said, explaining it will also be necessary to provide evidence.

He again urged against travel to Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kosovo, where the virus is spreading fast. "Everywhere where they had elections and election rallies, the number of infected persons is rising," he added.

As for Croatian citizens planning a holiday in Slovenia, Kacin said that bookings made before Saturday will allow a holiday without quarantine.

Kacin moreover announced the government would examine today the border regime with a focus on putting in place conditions for the effective serving of quarantine orders and strict controls at entry points into Slovenia.

"The government will do all it can so that these quarantine orders are served already on the border to prevent delays and have everybody informed - the National Institute of Public Health, the Health Ministry, the health inspection and, if needed, the police as well," Kacin said, explaining those affected will have to drive directly to their quarantine location.

Referring to administrative rules that have been preventing an effective serving of quarantine orders and thereby enforcement, he said "it will no longer be the case that the quarantine passes before people even receive the order". He added the relevant ministries and other institutions have until Saturday to organise and adapt.

Kacin said more oversight will also be necessary at health institutions and nursing homes and that instructions will be sent out on Friday on how to avoid infections there.

He did not directly comment on Moravče Mayor Milan Balažic issuing today a decree that prohibits any public gatherings as well as private parties or Church mass in this municipality north-east of Ljubljana.

He said the government is trying to prevent the entering of the virus from abroad, expecting the measures to be effective and thus eliminate any need for individual mayors to take action. "But if such gatherings are really happening in their territory, we understand people's concern," Kacin added.

17 Jul 2019, 11:46 AM

STA, 16 July 2019 - Orpea, a French multinational that specialises in assisted living services, has entered the Slovenian market via its Austrian subsidiary Senecura by purchasing a retirement home in Radenci, eastern Slovenia, called Dosor.

Senecura purchased the facility earlier this year from Radenci municipality and the Austrian bad bank Heta and plans to use it as a springboard for Slovenia, having previously acquired the licence to build several small retirement homes around the country with a total of 310 beds.

The company, the biggest private operator of retirement homes in Austria, acquired Dosor because of the quality of care it provides, favourable location and its reputation in Slovenia, Senecura board member Anton Kellner told the press on Tuesday.

Radenci municipality sold its 50% stake for EUR 1.5 million, while the rest was acquired with the purchase of Heta's EUR 7.6 million in claims to Dosor.

Dosor has 178 beds and 100 employees. It was built as a public-private project in 2008.

Together with the planned network of small retirement homes, the acquisition puts Senecura on track to compete with the biggest Slovenian private provider of elderly care, Deos, which has eight facilities in Slovenia.

There are currently over 100 elderly care facilities in Slovenia offering just over 20,000 places, most of which are publicly owned and operated by municipalities.

All our stories on the elderly in Slovenia are here

03 Jul 2019, 10:05 AM

STA, 2 July 2019 - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian signed in Paris on Tuesday a new action plan for a strategic partnership between the two countries in the 2019-2022 period. The pair also broached the appointment process for the EU's top posts and the Western Balkans, the Foreign Ministry said.

Cerar said the new agreement would enrich existing cooperation and provide a new momentum. He noted it also covered the time when Slovenia and France would successively preside over the EU in 2021 and 2022.

Cerar is confident the action plan, which focuses on cooperation in science and innovation, information, communication technology and AI, will contribute to closer economic cooperation, with France already being Slovenia no. 5 trading partner.

The Foreign Ministry added that an important part of the talks had been dedicated to the strengthening of multilateralism. France plays a key role here as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The pair also talked about current European topics, notably the Western Balkans. Cerar stressed the region needed to be given a European future and urged a clear and credible answer by October as regards the launch of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

Also broached were migration, terrorism and climate change, with Cerar calling for European solutions to migration issues.

Meanwhile, the head of the Slovenian diplomacy also met OECD secretary general Angel Gurria. Cerar explained Slovenia wanted to use its preparations for the EU presidency in 2021 to examine topics where it can work closer with the OECD.

Slovenia is already participating in an OECD expert group on AI and has participated in the drafting of OECD recommendations in the this field, the first such document on the global level.

Next year, the country will host an OECD summit that will serve as a chance for a debate on lifelong learning in a time when society and the economy are undergoing a digital transformation, the ministry wrote.

Cerar also met the chairs of the European Affairs Committees of the French parliament's lower and upper houses, Sabine Thillaye and Jean Bizet, respectively. He also discussed European topics and areas covered by the action plan with them.

All our stories on France are here

30 Apr 2019, 12:24 PM

The regional aviation website Ex-Yu Aviation reports that Air France’s winter schedule for 2019/2020 will more than double the number of weekly flights between Paris and Ljubljana, rising from six to thirteen. This will see two flights a day, except for Saturdays, with the route being served by the Air France HOP! brand. Visitors to and from the French capital will also have more choice from Adria Airways, which is planning to increase its scheduled service from five days a week to seven.

22 Feb 2019, 15:49 PM

Mladina: Šarec's popularity result of well-placed ideology

STASTA, 22 February 2019 - The weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that the growing popularity of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, his party and the government is a success of an ideology which avoids declaring the state of emergency and portraying leaders as messiahs.

The high popularity "deserves a serious analysis: what we can see is not popularity, not someone being sympathetic, but a success of an ideology of a certain authority, which is fitting very well with the state of society."

In order to understand what is going on, one needs to use political and ideological glasses, not marketing or some other glasses used by the media. "It is about politics and ideology," editor-in-chief Grega Repovž adds in Victory of an Ideology.

He notes that Šarec has, probably not deliberately, abandoned certain concepts which had marked the work of governments for a long time, including in particular portraying the situation as catastrophic while at the same time playing messiahs.

"Up to and including the government of Miro Cerar (2014-2018), all governments were building their image on attempts to normalise allegedly horrific situations which they had inherited, to prevent the worst from happening, to save us, the country and the world, to be our saviours."

This concept is always comfortable and comes in handy, but people actually do not like to live in an abnormal state, as this causes stress and anxiety. What is more, they feel it as a threat, an actual political mobbing of the nation, Repovž writes.

He argues that the Šarec government has not significantly changed the ideological framework of operation, it is still a slightly leftist government, but predominantly neo-liberal. The essential difference is that it does not harass the citizens and create a state of emergency.

"What people feel and how they respond is the ideological framework of that government. Only when one acknowledges this enables the understanding of the political changes we are witnessing. This is why the first catastrophist in the country is losing support," Repovž says in reference to Democrat (SDS) president Janez Janša.

Demokracija: Macron & Merkel Threaten EU

STA, 21 February 2019 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija claims in the latest issue that the only real danger to Europe at the moment is the "multi-cultural axis Berlin-Paris", arguing that the only way for the EU to survive is as a formation of nation states whose sole interest is to create prosperity based on economic cooperation.

Writing under the headline Sixth Reich, editor-in-chief Jože Biščak dismisses the controversy provoked by Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament, in his Foibe Victims Remembrance Day address, asserting that no one in the EU truly cares about what he said.

Instead, Biščak is more concerned about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's stating that "Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty".

He says that few expressed indignation or protest at her statement and that "no one warned that they will not push their nation into dependence from a new, so far still imaginary sixth reich ... which would give rise to new Europeans, a mix of natives, camel shepherds and Negroids."

Biščak launches an attack on the Brussels bureaucracy, European Council President Donald Tusk and French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he says the nationally minded French consider to be a German vassal.

"Macron is a man who, without asking anyone, put Germany in a position to lead the EU. And the European army. This means that he will hand over to it nuclear arms that only France and the UK among EU countries posses."

Biščak says that the obstacle to these plans is Brexit, arguing that the UK saw through it on time and decided to leave the EU. He says that it will be no disaster for Britain regardless of whether it will be a hard or soft Brexit.

"They can merely encourage to leave the countries which are resisting the senseless EU bureaucracy even now. These are Italy, Hungary and Poland, the targets of the strongest desire for control.

"Only a thorough change of priorities and a rethink about the future can save the EU. It can only be a formation of free nation states whose sole interest is to create prosperity based on economic cooperation."

All our posts in this series can be found here

19 Oct 2018, 12:50 PM

STA, 18 October 2018 - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec met French President Emmanuel Macron for about half-an-hour long bilateral meeting in Brussels on Thursday which focused on cooperation at the EU level and the fight against populism. 

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