FRIDAY, 23 October
LJUBLJANA - A record 7,025 Sars-CoV-2 tests were performed, with a record 1,961 coming back positive, pushing the positivity rate to a record 27.91% in a strong upwards trend that continued throughout the week.
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša endorsed US President Donald Trump for re-election. Janša wrote Joseph Biden would be one of the weakest presidents in history in a time when a free world desperately needs a strong US. The endorsement sparked a Twitter exchange with Michael Carpenter, Biden's foreign policy advisor.
LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a routine test while not displaying any symptoms, becoming Slovenia's most senior official to test positive so far. Logar's counterparts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya went into self-isolation after meeting Logar during his tour of the Baltics.
LJUBLJANA - Defence Minister Matej Tonin told the press after a two-day virtual NATO ministerial that he expected a bill on a EUR 780 million defence investment by 2026 will be passed at the November session, which would allow the country to meet one of NATO targets.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Commenting on a planned merger of regulatory bodies in Slovenia, the European Commission stressed the importance of the independence of national regulatory authorities from political influence and market interest. It said EU law protects the mandates of the heads of such bodies, with mergers not deemed a sufficient ground for early termination.
LJUBLJANA - The return on capital owned by the state and controlled by Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) stood at 6.9% in 2019, 0.7 percentage points above the target. The goal was exceeded despite significant changes in the SSH portfolio, said a report for 2019, sent by the SSH to parliament.
LJUBLJANA - In the wake of the Culture Ministry's decision that a number of NGOs and independent producers need to move out a ministry-owned building, a group of culture workers staged another protest against the government's culture politics. The protest involved tables splashed with red paint and carrying the names of ministry officials, which Minister Vasko Simoniti interpreted as a death threat. Three Slovenian MEPs from the ranks of the European People's Party (EPP) asked European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova to issue a condemnation.
LJUBLJANA - Jože Spacal, the internationally acclaimed artist who for almost 30 years worked as a set designer for TV shows, died aged 81. A recipient of over 20 awards for his work abroad, Spacal created over 300 sets during his time with TV Ljubljana.
SATURDAY, 24 October
LJUBLJANA - Most establishments that offer their goods and services to customers in person shut down as new restrictions come into force in Slovenia to slow down the coronavirus outbreak. Establishments that had already been closed were joined by hotels, spas, beauty and hair salons, swimming pools, car washes, casinos, cinemas and other cultural institutions.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia welcomed the announced normalization of relations between Israel and Sudan. In a tweet, the Foreign Ministry labelled it an "important step towards Sudan's democratic transition as well as sustainable peace and stability in the Middle East".
SUNDAY, 25 October
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša announced a ban on movements between municipalities, coming after a ban on movement among regions and on top of a 9pm-6am curfew, will be imposed for the whole country starting from Tuesday in response to the surge in coronavirus.
LJUBLJANA - Most non-essential medical services were suspended under a decree issued by the Health Minister Tomaž Gantar to focus health resources on the battle against Covid-19. Services for pregnant women and newborns, vaccination and occupational medicine are exempt from the suspension.
LJUBLJANA - Addressing the nation on Sovereignty Day, 29 years to the day after the last Yugoslav troops left Slovenian soil, President Borut Pahor urged parliamentary parties to take their cue from their predecessors of the time, and commit to work together to defeat the coronavirus crisis. Similar calls were also made PM Janez Janša and National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič.
LJUBLJANA - It was the first Sunday seeing almost all shops closed in accordance with an amendment to the retail act that the National Assembly passed in late September. The exemptions to the blanket Sunday shopping ban include shops under 200 m2 at service stations, border crossings, ports, airports, train and bus stations, and hospitals.
LJUBLJANA - Sociologist, translator and publisher Neda Pagon died, aged 79, following a battle with illness. Pagon served as editor at the publisher Studia Humanitatis and is considered one of the top social scientists of the post-war era.
MONDAY, 26 October
LJUBLJANA - The government's chief Covid-19 adviser Bojana Beović annouced Slovenia would limit SARS-CoV-2 testing to persons who are expected to fall seriously ill with Covid-19, to care home and hospital staff, to those who have many contacts at work and those who live with individuals from vulnerable groups. The daily number of tests should thus be reduced from between 6,000 and 7,000 to between 4,000 and 5,000.
LJUBLJANA - In line with an updated government classification of coronavirus safe and unsafe countries, Serbia was removed from the green list, while a number of regions, including those neighbouring on Slovenia were red-listed, meaning that quarantine is required unless the passenger produces a recent negative test.
LJUBLJANA - More than 90% of kindergarten children stayed home or were put in other forms of care as kindergartens in Slovenia officially closed with the exception of urgent daycare. Municipalities are organising urgent daycare in different ways.
LJUBLJANA - Seasoned diplomat Stanislav Vidovič was recalled prematurely from the post of ambassador to the US to become the country's new ambassador to Ireland. It is not yet clear who will succeed him in Washington, DC.
LJUBLJANA - Banks in Slovenia were reported approving around EUR 472 million worth of loan payment deferrals under a law that entered into force at the end of March as part of the first government stimulus package. By 16 October, banks had also issued EUR 387.3 million worth of liquidity loans needed because of the crisis.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenian PEN elected writer and former politician Tone Peršak its new president to succeed Ifigenija Simonović, who served since March 2017. Peršak, 73, already served as Slovenian PEN president in the 2000s. He has also served as culture minister and the president of the Slovenian Writers' Association.
LJUBLJANA - The president of the Slovenian Football Association (NZS) Radenko Mijatović was appointed for another four-year term as the only candidate at an on-line assembly on the NZS.
TUESDAY, 27 October
LJUBLJANA - A total of 2,605 infections were confirmed in nearly 7,500 Covid-19 tests in Slovenia. Both figures yet again marked the highest daily numbers since the start of the epidemic.
LJUBLJANA - The ban on movement between municipalities entered into force, while rules on face masks outdoors were somewhat relaxed, as people walking or exercising in open green spaces are not required to wear them if they can keep a distance of at least three metres.
LJUBLJANA - Parliament rejected by 47 votes to 35 the petition by the opposition Left for a consultative referendum on EUR 780 million defence investment planned for 2021-2026. While most opposition parties spoke of bad timing and of the need for voters to have a say, the coalition stressed the need to invest in the army, security and honour international commitments.
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly launched an inquiry to determine possible political responsibility in actions of the government related with the coronavirus epidemic. Proposed by the four left-leaning opposition parties, the inquiry will focus on the incumbent government, while an existing inquiry, initiated by the coalition, is already looking into the actions of the previous government.
LJUBLJANA - A bill sponsored by the opposition Left to levy a 7% digital services tax on multinational tech companies was defeated in the National Assembly by 43 votes to 38.
LJUBLJANA - Poet Brane Mozetič won the Jenko Prize, the top national award for best poetry collection from the past two years, for his 2018 collection Dreams in Another Language.
LJUBLJANA - Timbuktu, Timbuktu, a children's book written by award-winning Peter Svetina and illustrated by Igor Šinkovec, won this year's Kristina Brenkova Award for best Slovenian illustrated book.
WEDNESDAY, 28 October
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's coronavirus total passed 30,000 and the number of active infections exceeded 20,000 after it reported a further 2,488 cases. The positivity rate was 34.55%.
LJUBLJANA - Twenty-two editors of a number of media outlets, including the STA, issued a statement committing not to yield to pressure, nor change their truthful stance or their obligation to the public. They say that the media, which have in recent months been subject to increased pressure and strong criticism levelled by PM Janez Janša, are aware of their responsibility in the current health crisis, but the latter cannot be a pretence for political interference in media independence.
LJUBLJANA - The Justice Ministry confirmed that Klemen Podobnik, Slovenia's nominee for one of the country's two spots at the EU's General Court in Luxembourg, was rejected by Committee 255, the Brussels body vetting the candidates. Podobnik said it was hard to say what had gone wrong and that he would not apply again.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenian MEPs welcomed the standards for setting adequate minimum wages the European Commission presented to the European Parliament in Brussels. They share the view that workers must receive decent pay for their work, but most believe that the amount of the wage should remain the domain of individual states.
LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor received Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina to discussing how human rights were respected and curbed during the coronavirus pandemic. The pair came to a conclusion that anti-corona measures in Slovenia were generally proportionate to the situation and based on experts' views
LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore urged people to observe all precautionary measures as they visit graves on All Saints' Day, adding that believers should visit graves in their municipality only and avoid socialising. In a separate statement, the Slovenian Bishops' Conference spoke of the danger of a growing culture of disregard for human life. It expressed support for everybody fighting for human lives in the coronavirus pandemic and criticism of a part of the political opposition.
LJUBLJANA - Kerstin Vesna Petrič, the head of the Health Ministry's public health directorate, was elected to the 34-member executive board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for 2021-2024.
THURSDAY, 29 October
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia joined the expressions of solidarity with France and the condemnation of the attack in Nice, in which one man stabbed at least three people to death. President Borut Pahor expressed on Twitter "profound condolences", while PM Janez Janša tweeted "stay strong, France, Tolérance zéro pour le terrorisme!". The Foreign Ministry also expressed support on Twitter in French to the French people and in defence of European values.
LJUBLJANA - Three junior coalition parties have been invited to join talks on the formation of an alternative government, after the original four opposition members of the Constitutional Arch Coalition reportedly reached a consensus on core priorities. All three said they were willing to talk in principle.
LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of rail operator Slovenske Železnice endorsed a strategic partnership with the Prague-based EP Holding in the cargo and logistics segment. The details of the deal have not been revealed beyond the company saying that a joint venture will be formed in which Slovenske Železnice will have a 51% stake and EP Holding 49%.
LJUBLJANA - The Health Inspectorate said people were generally abiding by the lockdown rules. The inspectorate conducted 1,420 inspections last week, issuing 141 fines to the tune of EUR 68,400, the bulk, EUR 36,800, for violations of restrictions in public outdoor spaces.
LJUBLJANA - Stories from the Chestnut Woods, an award-winning debut by director Gregor Božič, was selected as Slovenia's submission for a nomination for best international feature film award at the 93rd Oscars, scheduled for 25 April 2021.
LJUBLJANA - The government appointed Robert Repnik, a professor of physics, director of the Slovenian Research Agency, the body in charge of disbursing public funding for scientific research. His term is five years.