FRIDAY, 24 September
NEW YORK, US - President Borut Pahor addressed the general debate at the 76th UN General Assembly session, saying that "all challenges we face, are global" and that solutions to them could be found only in working together. He welcomed the intention of the UN Secretary General to hold a wide debate about common future, saying people needed to "engage in meaningful discussion and dialogue".
NEW YORK, US - President Borut Pahor met UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Pahor and Guterres discussed climate change and security challenges, while the meeting with Lavrov discussed Afghanistan, and EU-Russia relations, with Pahor saying there was a lack of trust on both sides.
BRDO PRI KRANJU - EU ministers in charge of consumer protection agreed at an informal session that the EU legislation on package holidays needs to be reviewed, as Covid-19 has shown that it is not suitable for extreme situations such as the pandemic, said the host, Slovenia's Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.
BRDO PRI KRANJU - European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said that before taking action regarding Slovenia's non-appointment of its two EU delegated prosecutors, the European Commission was awaiting a decision of a Slovenian administrative court on the suit filed by the two rejected prosecutors.
LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša appeared before the parliamentary inquiry commission dealing with the government's response to the Covid-19 epidemic. He was critical in his testimony of the preparedness of the public health authorities and noted the systemic problems in elderly care inherited by his government.
LJUBLJANA - The migration situation topped the agenda as Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamaček visited Slovenia, as part of which he and Slovenian counterpart Aleš Hojs toured the Slovenian Schengen border and met with Slovenian and Czech police officers who conduct joint patrols.
LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry said it had signed a EUR 33 million deal with the US government on the purchase of another 37 Oshkosh four-wheeled vehicles to be delivered in 2023-2024. The deal also envisages the purchase of 36 weapon stations M153, special tools, maintenance devices and spare parts, technical support and other equipment.
LJUBLJANA - The Covid pass mandate was relaxed with the requirement waived for those working from home and those filling up their cars as long as they do not enter the interior of petrol stations. The mandate remains in place for the vast majority of services and all other workplace settings.
LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Janez Poklular said the recovered-vaccinated rule would be expanded to all citizens if the epidemiological situation continued to deteriorate. In line with the proposal, the recovered-vaccinated (PC) rule, meaning omission of testing, would be introduced when two-thirds of ICU beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients.
BRNIK - Budget carrier FlyDubai launched scheduled flights between Ljubljana and Dubai in what is a culmination of ten-year efforts by the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport to get a direct link with Dubai. FlyDubai will operate three flights a week to offer the first direct flight connection between Slovenia and the UAE.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office corrected the assessment of Slovenia's general government deficit for last year, downgrading it by EUR 250 million compared to the previous assessment to EUR 3.618 billion or 7.7% of GDP.
SATURDAY, 25 September
LJUBLJANA - Police Commissioner Anton Olaj rejected allegations that the police is politicised. The situation is considerably better than one can gather from media reports, he said in an interview with the the newspaper Večer. He got the impression that police commissioners used to be led by the police.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Book Agency (JAK) acting director Dimitrij Rupel told the newspaper Delo that the JAK had signed a EUR 4.5 million contract in August to finance Slovenia's participation in the 2023 Frankfurt Book Fair from cohesion funds. JAK is currently working on a selection of books and writers that will be put forward to German publishers.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia announced it would become the world's first country to issue its own non-fungible tokens to promote the achievements of its businesses and its tourism destinations. The tokens will be gifted to visitors to Slovenia's pavilion at the Expo show in Dubai, which opens on 1 October.
LJUBLJANA - Environmental taxes paid into the national budget amounted to EUR 1.309 billion in 2020, 18.4% less than in the year before. Energy taxes represented more than four-fifths of the overall tax take, the Statistics Office said.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Slovenian kayaker Nejc Žnidaršič won the sprint event at the ICF's whitewater canoeing world championships to make history as the first whitewater competitor to win five world champion titles.
SUNDAY, 26 September
LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decree raising the lump sum which municipalities receive per resident from the state and which represents one of the main sources of local government funding. In 2022 the sum will rise from EUR 628 to EUR 645 and to EUR 647 in 2023.
MIRNA PEČ - The new bishop of Novo Mesto, Andrej Saje was ordained at a ceremony at the parish church of Mirna Peč before he formally took over from Andrej Glavan three days later. After the consecration ceremony, Saje addressed the congregation with an appal for fruitful cooperation and dialogue with everyone to create a society of peace and justice.
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek discussed the need to preserve and increase biodiversity as a task of present and future generations as he addressed an international hunting and nature fair. He also held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the event.
LJUBLJANA - The total debt of Slovenia's 212 municipalities and their utilities increased by a further EUR 47.5 million last year to EUR 971.2 million, or 2.1% of GDP. Average total debt per capita thus increased to EUR 473 in 2020 from EUR 449 in 2019, a report from the Finance Ministry showed.
MONDAY, 27 September
BRDO PRI KRANJU - Speaker Igor Zorčič hosted a meeting of parliamentary speakers from the Western Balkans, saying that the EU must give the region a clear signal on when it could expect EU accession." The speakers of the Serbian and Montenegrin parliaments also called for more clarity regarding the EU enlargement.
LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption said it had established a breach of integrity by former Economy Ministry State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti as part of an investigation into the procurement of personal protective equipment.
LJUBLJANA - The Health Ministry said the government had so far earmarked EUR 56.97 million for vaccination against Covid-19, of which EUR 39.79 million for the purchase of vaccines and EUR 17.17 million to organise and carry out the vaccination.
TRIESTE, Italy - Primorski Dnevnik reported that Senator Tatjana Rojc, a member of the Slovenian ethnic community in Italy, had proposed an amendment to the Italian Constitution as a way of guaranteeing that the Slovenian minority is represented in the Italian parliament.
MARIBOR - Some 200 representatives of young policy-makers and youth experts from all EU countries gathered for a four-day virtual EU Youth Conference to discuss the post-Covid future of Europe. It was the largest youth event of Slovenia's EU presidency.
LJUBLJANA - The OECD said it its latest digital government review for Slovenia that the country should reinforce leadership and coordination of digital governance in the public sector and enhance cooperation of various stakeholders. The report adds that "more is needed to govern the digital transformation across the public sector".
LJUBLJANA - The council of UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest hospital, endorsed acting director Jože Golobič, who took over in February after Janez Poklukar left to become health minister, for a full term. Government approval is required before he can formally start his four-year term.
LEMONT, US - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch wrapped up her 11-day tour of the US as part of which she visited Slovenian communities in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Bethlehem, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Joliet and Lemont.
TUESDAY, 28 September
LJUBLJANA - The heads of the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) signed an agreement on post-election cooperation in which they commit to forming a government together after the election. Each party will run individually in the election with its own candidates and platforms.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor received his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits, with the pair highlighting the similarity of their views, excellent bilateral relations, and the importance of Europe. They both believe that the situation in the Western Balkans calls for accelerating EU enlargement to the region.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The EU ministers responsible for research adopted resolutions on a global approach to research and innovation. Their aim is greater resilience and competitiveness of the EU, said Minister of Education Simona Kustec.
ZAGORJE OB SAVI/HRASTNIK/TRBOVLJE - Government officials were briefed on challenges that Zasavje faces as a region that used to be a mining and energy heavyweight but which is now lagging behind despite a strong high-tech cluster, as they visited the region. In Trbovlje, government officials were picketed by several hundred protesters.
LJUBLJANA - The government decided to purchase an additional 100,000 doses of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine from Hungary, whose stock of the Janssen vaccine currently exceeds the actual demand.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia will get EUR 4.8 million under an EUR 5 billion adjustment instrument for member states hit by Brexit approved by the Council. Slovenia's allocation is the lowest among all member states.
LJUBLJANA - The prosecution confirmed having pressed charges against two individuals at the Ljubljana Local Court for publicly inciting hatred, violence or intolerance in an article published in the weekly Demokracija in December 2020 that was widely condemned as racist.
WEDNESDAY, 29 September
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia suspended the use of the single-shot coronavirus vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson after a twenty-year-old woman died within a fortnight after receiving the shot. Bojana Beović, the head of the vaccination advisory group, said it would take at least a week to investigate the death.
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly endorsed a government-sponsored bill that will secure about EUR 2 billion in investment in Slovenia's health system over the next ten years. Investment is planned at all three levels of healthcare; a total of EUR 763 million is earmarked for the country's two medical centres.
LJUBLJANA - Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj highlighted a substantial increase in investments, in particular in healthcare, as he presented the budget documents for the coming two years after the government session. The government proposes the general government spending ceiling increases to EUR 26.1 billion in 2022 and to EUR 25.98 billion in 2023.
LJUBLJANA - A group of several thousand protesters again gathered in Ljubljana to protest against the Covid pass mandate in what was the third such protest. Starting in Republic Square, the rally moved to the ring road, which was closed for a while, as the police tried to break up the crowd, including by using a water canon.
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to pension legislation to remedy injustices done to persons who voluntarily continued to pay mandatory pension and disability insurance contributions despite being for instance unemployed after 1 January 2013, not being aware that this would not count towards their pensionable years.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's ILO-compatible survey unemployment rate fell further in August, to 3.9%, down 0.1 percentage points from July and 1.4 points down from August a year ago, the Statistics Office said.
LJUBLJANA - The government somewhat relaxed the mask wearing rule. The masks will thus no longer be needed in indoor public places where food and drinks are being served under adherence to the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said after a session of EU ministers in charge of competitiveness that decarbonisation of the economy must be evenly spread across sectors and EU countries.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia hosted an informal meeting of EU non-proliferation and disarmament directors as part of its EU presidency, the Foreign Ministry said. It focussed on strategic issues and the challenges of the global regime of oversight over weapons of mass destruction.
KLAGENFURT, Austria - FM Anže Logar and Carinthia Governor Peter Kaiser chaired a session of the Slovenia-Carinthia Committee, which set out the course for future cooperation between Slovenia and the Austrian state of Carinthia in several areas of joint interest.
LJUBLJANA - The government decided to donate 40 km of border fence to Lithuania, which started erecting a 508-kilometre fence on its border with Belarus as it has faced illegal migration from there since the beginning of the year.
LJUBLJANA - The government appointed acting head of the Environment Agency, Joško Knez, for a full term, with his five-year term starting on 1 October. Knez was already at the helm of the agency between March 2013 and November 2018.
LJUBLJANA - Record rains that pummelled Ljubljana caused extensive flooding, with basements flooded in hundreds of residential, industrial and educational buildings. In just one hour one weather station in Ljubljana recorded 94 mm of rain, the highest ever recorded in the capital, overwhelming the sewage systems.
THURSDAY, 30 September
LJUBLJANA - STA director Bojan Veselinovič resigned after turning down a draft public service agreement proposed by the Government Communication Office that he described as damaging for the agency. The bodies representing staff at the STA urged those responsible to reinstate public funding in full compliance with law while preserving the agency's autonomy. The Trade Union of Journalists said it will start preparing for a strike should funding not be restored.
LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court stayed the government's regulation under which state administration employees would have to be either Covid-19 reconvalescent or vaccinated to come to work starting from Friday. PM Janez Janša and Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said the decision meant the majority on the court assumed responsibility for the spread of Covid-19 and deaths.
LONDON, UK - PM Janez Janša paid a working visit to the UK for talks his British counterpart Boris Johnson. Bilateral political ties, fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and the EU-UK relations topped the agenda.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Health Committee confirmed changes to the pharmacy practice act, albeit in a significantly changed format than originally envisaged. Many of the articles were deleted from the wording, while the proposal to lift the ban on vertical integration of pharmacies and drug wholesalers was retained.
KLAGENFURT, Austria - Speaker Igor Zorčič attended a conference on development of ethnic minority rights to stress that Slovenia supported efforts by the Slovenian minority to have its minority rights regulated systemically.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs noted good cooperation between Slovenia and Europol as he addressed a convention of European police commissioners. He said the Slovenian EU presidency was seeking to reach an agreement with the European Parliament on a regulation that would give Europol additional powers.
PORTOROŽ - The Managers' Association presented the Manager of the Year award to Adrian Ježina, the president of the management board of Telemach, the fastest-growing mobile operator in Slovenia. The association credits him with an "exceptional transformation" of the company that improved its business results and increased market share.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office said that Slovenia's public finances improved significantly in the second quarter of 2021 due to faster economic growth and higher revenue. The general government deficit narrowed to 5.8% of GDP from 8.3% in the first quarter, whereas consolidated debt was down by six percentage points to 80% of GDP.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office reported that annual inflation rate in Slovenia in September reached 2.4% as the prices of petroleum products continued to rise. On the monthly level a deflation of 0.1% was recorded, largely due to lower prices of package holidays.
MARIBOR - A renovated 1941 railway wagon was inaugurated to mark 80 years since first prisoners from Nazi camps were brought to Slovenia aboard such trains. The Train of Memory opened in front of the WWII International Research Centre, located at a former Nazi camp for prisoners of war.
BREŽICE - Brežice became the first Slovenian municipality to win the title of European City of Sport in the category of communities with fewer than 25,000 residents, awarded by the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation.