Ljubljana related

24 Jan 2022, 04:45 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

New record of nearly 14,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday

LJUBLJANA - A new daily record number of coronavirus infection cases was recorded in Slovenia on Saturday as 13,911 PCR tests were positive, with Radio Slovenija reporting that the figures included the results of the samples taken on Thursday and Friday that had come back for Germany, as a certain number of samples are being sent there as Slovenia has reached full capacity. The positivity rate standing at 75.5%, data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) show. Total hospitalisations were up by seven to 608 today, while the number of patients in intensive care was down by one to 135. A total of 18 people with Covid-19 died yesterday, which is the highest daily death toll since 18 December.

Slovenian minority grateful to Matarella as his terms runs out

TRIESTE - An umbrella organisation of the Slovenian minority in Italy has expressed gratitude to Italian President Sergio Matarella as his term is running out, noting his important institutional stance. It said this stance had played played an essential role both nationally and locally in building mutual respect and strengthening the country's reputation. The Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ) said that when it comes to the cross-border relations, Mattarella and Slovenian President Borut Pahor had been able to provide a "decisive stamp to the good neighbourly relations".

Ski jumper Lanišek scores two second place finishes in World Cup

TITISEE-NEUSTADT, Germany - Slovenia's Anže Lanišek scored two second place finishes in the Ski Jumping World Cup event in Germany's Titisee-Neustadt on Saturday and Sunday, with German Karl Geiger outclassing him both times. This was the third podium finish for the 25-year-old in a row in the current season and the 11th career podium finish. As Lanišek climbed to the 5th in the overall World Cup rankings, another two events will be held next week in Willingen before the Olympic break.

Bear attacks and injures a hunter in Postojna area

POSTOJNA - A bear attacked a man in the Postojna area, between the Baba and Mali Javornik hills, during a hunting drive. The 63-year-old hunter was taken to the local community health centre with a broken arm, injured ribs and several wounds on his back. Reporting the incident, the Koper Police Department said that the man had been attacked by a female brown bear that had two cubs. Police advised caution as the area is a popular hiking destination.


23 Jan 2022, 05:29 AM

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Four injured in hot air balloon accident near Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - Four persons, of whom one Slovenian and three Belgian citizens, were injured in a hot air balloon accident on the Ljubljana Marshes around 10am this morning. The injured persons were taken to the UKC Ljubljana hospital, three of them with severe yet not life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. Police spokesperson Tomaž Tomaževic said that upon landing, the basket hit the meadow. Grega Trček from the Barje Balloon Centre told the STA that strong winds were blowing upon landing and four persons fell out of the basket.

Almost 9,950 Covid infections confirmed on Friday

LJUBLJANA - 9,945 infections were confirmed in Slovenia for Friday, a daily rise of 5,479 and a weekly rise of 2,365, shows data from the Institute of Public Health, which estimates there are currently almost 102,000 active infections in the country. The 7-day average of confirmed infections is at 8,825 and the two-week incidence per 100,000 population at 4,827. Government data shows that 11 Covid patients died yesterday and that 601 patients were in hospital this morning.

Almost 70 kids with inflammatory syndrome treated since start of epidemic

LJUBLJANA - 69 children suffering from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children have been treated at Slovenia's only children's hospital since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in March 2020. Immunologist Tadej Avčin from the Ljubljana Paediatric Clinic says this makes the two-million nation a world leader per capita, saying this is a good indicator of how spread the coronavirus is in the general population. He said in an interview with N1 news portal that MIS-C has been the most frequent systemic immune disease his department has treated in the past two years, with an absolute record of 17 cases last December alone.

Shops no longer obligated to give clients paper receipts

LJUBLJANA - As of today, retail businesses are no longer obligated to automatically produce a paper receipt unless a client explicitly asks for it. Until now, businesses selling goods or services had to give clients a receipt on paper, or in the electronic form if the client agreed with this option. This is no longer required as the changes to the VAT act kicked in today, transposing four EU directives and also bringing some simplifications for businesses.

Austrian skier found dead in Mt Stol area

KRANJ - An Austrian skier who went missing on Friday while skiing off piste in the area of Mt Stol in the Karawanken mountain range in northern Slovenia was found dead this morning some 200 metres below the Stol ridge. He apparently fell in the ridge in his ski boots, and died on the spot, the Kranj Police Department said.


22 Jan 2022, 05:02 AM

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Self-isolation cut to seven days from Monday

LJUBLJANA - The self-isolation time frame in Slovenia will be cut from at least ten to seven days from Monday, health officials said. This will apply to most of infected people, except for those with weakened immune systems or those with a severe Covid-19. A person may stop self-isolating provided they will not have fever or any other Covid symptoms 24 hours before the end of self-isolation and will test negative on the seventh day.

Thursday with nearly 9,900 confirmed coronavirus cases

LJUBLJANA - A total of 9,858 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Thursday, show fresh official figures. The estimated total of actively infected people is nearing 100,000, meaning almost 5% of the population is infected. Hospitalisations increased to 599 this morning, whereas the number of ICU cases dropped to 144. Another twelve people with Covid died.

Committee agrees with tweaks to health insurance act

LJUBLJANA - The Health Committee endorsed on Thursday amendments to the health insurance act that would cut the period of sick leave for which employees receive compensation from their employer from 30 to 20 working days. The proposal, tabled by the opposition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), received support of the coalition MPs. Meanwhile, the government does not support the changes.

Speaker Zorčič, Minister Tonin test positive for coronavirus

LJUBLJANA - Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič has tested positive for coronavirus and is in self-isolation, the parliament said, while Defence Minister Matej Tonin, the president of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), also said on Twitter he has tested positive. Zorčič tested positive on Thursday and was thus among the 9,858 infections confirmed in Slovenia that day. Tonin meanwhile tweeted: "I am positive. Currently without any symptoms. Vaccination works. Take care of yourselves, stay healthy."

Pundits critical of Janša's statements about Taiwan, China

LJUBLJANA - Ana Bojinović Fenko, a professor of international relations, and Marta Kos, Slovenia's ex-ambassador to Germany and Switzerland, have criticised PM Janez Janša's recent statements about China and Taiwan, as they spoke to the STA about the country's new foreign policy strategy, which will be discussed in parliament next week. The centre-right opposition National Party (SNS), which often supports the current government's policies, meanwhile labelled Janša's statements as "a mistake".

Supreme State Prosecutor opposes proposed penal code changes

LJUBLJANA - The Supreme State Prosecutor's Office expressed opposition to proposed changes to the penal code that seek to shorten periods of limitation in white-collar crime cases, saying this was an ill-advised and unjustified interference in criminal law with no basis in statistical analyses of the duration of criminal proceedings. The NGO Institute 8th March also weighed in with its opinion, saying that it would launch the procedure to initiate a referendum on the matter if the changes were to be adopted.

Hojs attends two-day conference on migrations in Lithuania

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs concluded a two-day conference on migrations in Vilnius, which discussed the issues of using migrations for political gains and common measures to strengthen surveillance at the EU's external borders in light of increased migrations. Hojs said that modern surveillance systems and physical barriers should be used where necessary to improve border protection, as they have proven to be a useful measure in the past, the Interior Ministry said in a press release.

Kangler denies allegations of interference in police work

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary commission investigating suspicion of political interference in the work of police interviewed Interior Ministry State Secretary Franc Kangler, who denied during a four-hour session allegations about his unwarranted interfering in either the work of police or staffing decisions. He was heard after the inquiry adopted an interim report on 10 January, proposing that Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and both state secretaries should resign.

Real estate fund Equinox to be listed on 31 January

LJUBLJANA - Equinox, a real estate fund created last year with the split of the real estate branch from the rest of the Group Union Hoteli, will be listed on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange (LJSE) on 31 January. All existing shares of the company will be listed and their reference price will be published on 28 January. Equinox will be the first ever private real estate company on the LJSE.

Tourism Chamber calls for aid to tourism sector

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's Tourism and Hospitality Chamber (TGZS) called for immediate additional support for the tourism sector due to the Covid crisis, urging the government to pay out the previously promised financial aid to companies with the biggest revenue losses. They have been waiting for this aid for ten months already, the TGZS said.

Ministers visit Slovenian minority in Croatia

LJUBLJANA - Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek and Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch met the members of the Slovenian community living in Croatia's Gorski Kotar region, discussing positive developments in the region. They also inspected the construction of the Gorski Kotar tourist-educational farm in the village of Prezid, planned as a multifunctional community centre where the the minority will pursue various activities.

Slovenian spas saw a rise in visitor numbers last year

CELJE - Slovenian spas recorded more visitors in 2021 than the year before, although not as many as in 2019. "2022 will also be exceptionally demanding for the entire tourism sector," the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas said. The 13 members of the association recorded 583,607 guests last year and over 2.2 million nights. The number of guests was up by 22.4% compared to 2020, while nights were up by 18.1%, with a majority of the guests being domestic ones, and only 100,690 or 17% coming from abroad.

Micro companies and SMEs receive EUR 30m for digitalisation

LJUBLJANA - The Economy Ministry and the Slovenian Enterprise Fund have awarded EUR 30 million to 311 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for digital transformation of their business and production processes, the ministry said. A total of 668 companies, including 316 from the eastern cohesion region and 352 from the western region, applied to the P4D ReactEU call for applications that will be fully funded from the ReactEU mechanism. Companies with at least five employees received EUR 30,000-100,000 in grants with the state covering up to 60% of eligible costs of the project.

AmCham debate discusses challenges in economy

LJUBLJANA - The global economy, including Slovenia, is currently experiencing major changes, and to succeed in this tumultuous period, adaptation and cooperation will be key, said the participants of AmCham's business breakfast. The debate was attended by Foreign Minister Anže Logar, who highlighted Slovenia's size as an advantage.

Contemporary History Museum puts on outdoor exhibit on migration

LJUBLJANA - The National Museum of Contemporary History has set up an outdoor exhibition in front of its building in the Tivoli park, presenting the migration processes in Europe in the 20th century that have shaped the identities of millions of people. The exhibition reveals intimate stories of migrants and their descendants.

Consumer confidence unchanged in January

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's consumer confidence indicator remained the same on the monthly level in January, while it increased by five percentage points year-on-year, the Statistics Office said. Compared to January 2021, the consumer confidence indicator improved this month in all components except expectations about household finances.

ARSO releases climate change projections until 2100

LJUBLJANA - The country's Environment Agency (ARSO) has released an atlas of climate projections for Slovenia until the end of the 21st century to help stakeholders adapt to climate change. The new tool is intended for all those who are or will be involved in planning adjustments to the climate change in various areas, ARSO has said. Almost 2,250 graphic simulations for various meteorological, hydrological and agrometeorological variables are available at ARSO's website.

Ljubljana Castle visitor numbers up in 2021

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Castle, one of the most popular landmarks in Slovenia, was visited by over 460,000 tourists in 2021, of whom some 142,000 used the funicular. Both figures are higher than in the first coronavirus year 2020, but still significantly below the record year 2019 for the castle's operator. The number of visitors was 32% higher than in 2020 and the number of those who took the funicular by 45%, Ljubljanski Grad said. As many as 63% of the visitors came from abroad, mostly from Germany.


21 Jan 2022, 04:11 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Pahor to call general election for 24 April

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor formally informed the National Electoral Commission (DVK) that he would sign a presidential decree for a general election on 9 February, setting Sunday, 24 April, as the election date. This is in line with his earlier announcement that he would call this year's election at the earliest possible date. He believes that despite the Covid epidemic, the DVK has enough time to prepare and organise the election.

More than 10,000 Covid cases on Wednesday, Slovenia sending PCR samples to Germany

LJUBLJANA - A total of 10,288 new coronavirus cases were reported in Slovenia for Wednesday, a day after a record of more than 12,000 infections was confirmed, show official data. Roughly three weeks into the Omicron-driven wave, hospitals are gradually starting to fill up, with 580 Covid-19 patients hospitalised this morning. Seven patients with Covid-19 died yesterday. Overwhelmed with PCR test samples, the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food started sending part of the samples to Germany for analysis. The Eurofins lab processes them in 48 hours, which is in line with the new PCR testing protocol that kicked in yesterday.

EU Parliament endorses Slovenian candidate for Court of Auditors

STRASBOURG, France - The European Parliament endorsed on Wednesday Jorg Kristijan Petrovič, Slovenia's candidate for the European Court of Auditors. The non-binding vote was 487 in favour and 196 against, with 11 abstentions. The endorsement came after Petrovič, currently the first deputy president of the Slovenian Court of Audit, assured MEPs of his political independence and impartiality.

Pahor says Slovenia advocates One-China principle

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor said as he responded to PM Janez Janša's statements about China and Taiwan that ever since Slovenia and China established diplomatic relations, Slovenia had consistently advocated the One-China principle, a principle the EU is also bound to. "Taipei has representation offices in 20 EU member states. The idea to open one such representation office in Slovenia is not new. The president sees it as an encouragement to economic relations," Pahor's office said and made a point noting the difference between Taipei as Taiwan's capital and Taiwan as a country.

Business council says companies feel consequences of Janša's Taiwan statements

LJUBLJANA - After calling for stable political relations following PM Janez Janša's statements on closer ties with Taiwan, the Slovenian-Chinese Business Council said that Slovenian companies in the Chinese market were already facing a response from Chinese partners, some of them terminating contracts and exiting the agreed investments. Janša's statements prompted three centre-left opposition parties to request an emergency session of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee today, as they believe these could have long-term consequences for relations with Asian countries.

Počivalšek urges Janša to bear economy in mind in relations with China

LJUBLJANA - In the aftermath of PM Janez Janša's recent comments about Taiwan, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said on Wednesday Slovenia's foreign policy must keep the country's economic interests a priority, as China was one of Slovenia's largest economic partners outside the EU. "Personal views, even if given with the best of intentions, must take into account the economic reality," he said.

NLB management board expanded from three to six members

LJUBLJANA - The supervisory board of the NLB bank appointed Hedvika Usenik, Antonio Argir and Andrej Lasič to the management board to expand it from three to six members. Their five-year terms will start after approval from banking regulator, and they will continue to serve as assistants to the management board until then.

FURS head Simič new chief supervisor of SSH

LJUBLJANA - Ivan Simič, director general of Slovenia's Financial Administration (FURS), was appointed the chief of the supervisory board at Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), taking over on Friday, SSH said. At the same session today, the supervisory board dismissed Simič's predecessor at the helm of the supervisory board Karmen Dietner, who however remains on the board.

Hungarian fund reportedly eyeing Sava stake

LJUBLJANA - Diofa Asset Management, a Hungarian asset manager, is the most likely buyer of a 43% stake in Sava, Delo and POP TV reported on Wednesday. The stake is held by York Global Finance Offshore, which is reportedly willing to sell it for EUR 35 million. The state assets guardian meanwhile dismissed today speculations that a sale of the state stake was on the horizon. Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said in a response that it would be detrimental for the tourism sector if the state sold its stake in Sava in the state it was today.

Car maker Revoz cutting production further

NOVO MESTO - After switching from two shifts to one and a half in mid-November due to uncertainties in the car industry associated with the global semiconductor crisis, the Novo Mesto-based Revoz, Renault's Slovenian subsidiary, continues to shrink its production by switching to a single shift in April. Around 450 workers will be affected.

Government extends regulation of heating oil prices

LJUBLJANA - The government decided to extend the administered pricing of heating oil through the regulation on the pricing of petroleum products that was introduced last year, under which the distributors' margin has been limited to a maximum of six cents per litre of heating oil.

IMAD says productivity is rising, but progress is too slow

LJUBLJANA - The report by the government macroeconomic think thank IMAD on productivity in Slovenia, presented today, shows that while progress exists, it is not significant enough. Slovenia is lagging behind the top EU countries and is being caught up with by its rivals from Central and Eastern Europe, the think thank said.

Govt adopts negotiating position for pay talks with doctors

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted its negotiating position for pay talks with trade unions representing medical doctors, estimated at EUR 111.57 million annually. The negotiating position says that the top pay bracket for doctors could rise by six brackets to the 63rd under the public sector pay system.

Ex-CEO ordered to pay EUR 13 million in damages

NOVA GORICA - Former CEO of brewer Pivovarna Laško, Boško Šrot, and his family business Atka-Prima have been ordered to pay EUR 13 million in damages to fruit drinks producer Fructal over several deals dating back to 2008 and 2009, Primorske Novice reported. Šrot's lawyer Uroš Pogačnik told the paper that they would appeal the ruling.

Culture Ministry denies NGOs not awarded funds for political reasons

LJUBLJANA - The Culture Ministry has denied the allegations that the distribution of funds among independent culture producers for 2022-2025 was politically motivated, as it responded to criticism that certain producers have not received state funds as part of the four-year scheme worth EUR 14.4 million because they are critical of the government.

Slovenia's Expo pavilion hosted over 200 businesses in 2021

LJUBLJANA/DUBAI, UAE - The Slovenian Expo pavilion in Dubai has hosted 211 Slovenian companies up until the end of December and was visited by almost 400,000 people during that period, which is a fair number given the Covid-19 restrictions, said Matic Volk, Slovenia's Expo commissioner. "We are planning for a total of 350 companies to present themselves individually or through delegations at the Slovenian pavilion by the end of the Expo," he added.

Survey shows energy price rises putting companies at risk

LJUBLJANA - A survey by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) has shown that almost half of the 148 participating companies find the steep energy prices to be threatening to their long-term viability. The GZS has called for measures that would mitigate the situation, at least in the short term.


20 Jan 2022, 04:12 AM

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New daily record in Slovenia as case count tops 12,000

LJUBLJANA - The number of new coronavirus cases spiked even further in Slovenia on Tuesday, with as many as 12,286 coronavirus infections recorded. 63.2% of PCR tests came back positive. The 7-day average of daily cases increased by 694 to 7,575 and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population is up by 390 to 3,982. Hospitalisations were down by ten to 566 Covid-19 patients today, 151 of whom require intensive care, which is four fewer than yesterday. Eight people with Covid-19 died.

China labels Janša's statements on Taiwan as dangerous

BEIJING, China - The Chinese Foreign Ministry described PM Janez Janša's statements about Taiwan as "dangerous", and expressed strong opposition, after Janša said that Slovenia and Taiwan were discussing setting up mutual representation offices. "Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's territory. The government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China, and the one-China principle is the universally recognised norm of international relations," ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. Janša's statements were also criticised by two opposition parties, the SD and LMŠ, while the Slovenian-Chinese Business Council said that economic relations should remain "non-politicised".

Logar: EU integration of Western Balkans opportunity for Slovenian businesses

LJUBLJANA - The EU integration of Western Balkan countries is important for the bloc's strategic position in the world. It is also an opportunity for Slovenian businesses, Foreign Minister Anže Logar told an event on the Balkans, noting that Slovenian companies had a chance to take part in the implementation projects for which the European Commission set aside EUR 9 billion. The US plan to bring some large investors to the Western Balkans is also an excellent opportunity, he said.

New exceptions to quarantine, PCR testing rules kick in

LJUBLJANA - New quarantine rules kicked in for schools and staff at health care and social care institutions, who are now exempt from quarantine if they had a high-risk contact, although they will have to get tested every day for seven consecutive days with a rapid antigen test and use a FFP2 face mask at work. The rules for PCR testing also changed as labs are being overwhelmed with huge numbers of tests. From now on, persons who have no Covid-19 symptoms do a rapid test or self-test, and only if it is positive are they referred to a PCR test.

Committee backs penal code changes designed to shorten proceedings

LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Justice Committed endorsed in a 7:6 vote a bill sponsored by the National Party (SNS) that seeks to shorten or limit "unreasonably long pre-trial and criminal proceedings in white-collar crime cases" and could result in ongoing cases becoming statute-barred. The amendments were confirmed by coalition MPs despite criticism from the parliament's legal service, upper chamber of parliament and even the Justice Ministry.

Parliamentary committee votes down full fracking ban

LJUBLJANA - The Infrastructure Committee voted down in a 10:9 vote an opposition-sponsored bill to fully ban hydraulic fracturing. This was the fifth attempt at banning fracking in Slovenia to prevent British company Ascent Resources to extract hydrocarbons in the north-eastern Prekmurje region. Nataša Sukič of the Left said after the repeated rejection of the motion that the initiators would not give up as there was enough overall support for the motion.

MP Tomić quits the Left

LJUBLJANA - MP Violeta Tomić resigned from the opposition Left party. The party's executive committee said it decided not to field Tomić in the Ljubljana-Center district, the Left's heartland, whereupon she declined an offer to run in another district. It also quoted a "partial loss of trust". Tomić said the Left was "far from the party we built at the beginning," noting that intergenerational differences regarding the party's conduct and thinking had gone "beyond the limit of my tolerance".

Initiative presents 138 demands to political parties

LJUBLJANA - The Voice of the People, an initiative of over 1,800 individuals and 100 civil society organisations, presented a list of 138 demands that they wish political parties take a position on in the run-up to election day. They see this as a contribution to political discourse and voter turnout. Tea Jarc from the Mladi Plus trade union said it was not expected that all parties would sign up to all the demands, but they hope to endorse at least some and then work to implement them.

National Council rejects higher language standard for bilingual schools

LJUBLJANA - The National Council vetoed amendments to the act on special rights for minorities in education which would set a higher Italian language standard for staff working in Slovenian-Italian bilingual kindergartens and schools. The near-unanimous vote came after councillors said it was wrong for administrative staff to be subjected to the same strict requirements regarding Italian language skills as teachers.

FinMin state secretary appointed bad bank executive director

LJUBLJANA - The non-executive directors of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) appointed Finance Ministry State Secretary Kristina Šteblaj an executive director of the bad bank. She will join Matej Pirc and Andrej Lazar on 1 February, and will serve as a BAMC executive director until the end of the year, BAMC said in a press release.

Judges' association urges action after repeated assault on judge

LJUBLJANA . The Slovenian Association of Judges noted that a judge at the Ljutomer Local Court had once again the victim of an assault, as a known perpetrator vandalised his car, which was parked in front of the courthouse. The organisation said it was shocked and outraged by the news and called on the authorities to take action, noting that it was the second attack on judge Gorazd Tivadar in a relatively short period of time that is related to his job. Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič and the Supreme Court joined the call.

Firefighters displeased with govt firefighting bill

LJUBLJANA - The Trade Union of Professional Firefighters criticised the government-proposed changes to the fire service act, as it said it was not involved in the drafting of the changes. Some of the proposals that had already been coordinated with the relevant ministry have been dropped from the latest version, it added. The government rejected the claim saying the bill had been harmonised over five years of talks.

Handball coach out after Euro Champs fail

LJUBLJANA - Ljubomir Vranješ wasdismissed as the head coach of the national handball team after Slovenia failed to make it past the preliminary round at the European Handball Championship. The National Handball Association said it was just as unsatisfied with the Swedish coach's performance as Slovenian spectators were.


19 Jan 2022, 04:07 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Janša says talks under way on "exchanging representatives" with Taiwan

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Janez Janša revealed in an interview with the Indian broadcaster Doordarshan that Slovenia and Taiwan are working on "exchanging representatives". The exchange of representatives would not take place at the level of embassies but the "same level that many EU countries already have." He also called China to account over its handling of the Covid outbreak saying that it was necessary to "make the Chinese accountable" for "not acting in good faith" when it comes to notifying the rest of the world about the threat of the novel coronavirus in a timely manner.

Absolute daily record of 8,681 coronavirus cases on Monday

LJUBLJANA - An absolute daily record of 8,681 new coronavirus cases was confirmed in Slovenia on Monday as the positivity rate reached almost 63%. The weekly increase in new cases was nearly 17%. Government data show hospitalisations remain stable, but the head of the Institute for Microbiology and Immunology, Miroslav Petrovec, said labs could no longer cope with this quantity of samples.

Only vulnerable groups to be automatically tested with PCR method

LJUBLJANA - Due to an overwhelming number of coronavirus infections, labs in Slovenia are swamped so the country is switching to a new regime of Covid testing. As of tomorrow, only vulnerable groups with Covid symptoms will automatically be tested with the PCR method, while the rest will need to use rapid tests or self-tests first. PCR testing as a payable service for people without symptoms may still be available only with private providers.

Minister promises coal regions not to be left on their own

LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec reiterated his promise that the state would help the coal-mining regions through transition as he responded to misgivings aired by those dependent on the industry over the strategy to exit coal in 2033. Vrtovec said 2033 when Slovenia was to exit coal to generate power was an ambitious but also very realistic goal. "The Šalek region won't be left on its own, the state will help a lot through legislation," he said.

Treasury official nominated for central bank vice-governor

LJUBLJANA - Marjan Divjak, who has served as director general of the Finance Ministry's treasury directorate since 2013, has been put forward by President Borut Pahor to succeed Primož Dolenc as one of four vice-governors of the Slovenian central bank. The president submitted the nomination to the National Assembly today after examining the bids and consulting deputy factions, his office said.

Slovenian MEPs welcome Metsola's election

STRASBOURG, France - Roberta Metsola's election as European Parliament president was hailed by Slovenian MEPs from the ranks of her European family, the EPP, but also others as Renew and S&D members expressed the expectation for her to represent the Parliament's common position on issues such as the right to abortion. The Maltese, who was the candidate of the European People's Party (EPP), mustered 458 votes to win the election in the first round.

Slovenia's request for new recovery funds likely in spring

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia is expected to submit a request to get further EU recovery funds in the spring, Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj said. It is not possible to talk about the amount of the new funds, he said, as it is not yet clear how many or which objectives will be achieved by the time the request is submitted.

Agriculture Minister Podgoršek to run on NSi slate in election

LJUBLJANA - Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek announced he would run in the general election on the slate of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), saying that the party provided political stability. NSi president Matej Tonin said the NSi was open to experts and people who want to implement its platform. Podgoršek had already cooperated with the NSi in the past, serving as a municipal councillor in Vodice, and participating in the party's campaign for the 2018 general election.

Left against holding tax referendum along with election

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Left opposes the idea floated by PM Janez Janša to hold a referendum on amendments to the income tax act along with the general election in April and is considering withdrawing its petition for such a referendum. "We reject the initiative for a referendum on a single issue, that is the income tax, to obscure the weight of the future we will decide in this election," said Left leader Luka Mesec.

Electoral Commission seeks input on pandemic voting

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The National Electoral Commission discussed ways of making sure people can cast their ballots in an election even if they have to isolate or quarantine due to coronavirus. It plans to seek additional inputs from health authorities before proceeding with the debate. A meeting will be organised next week, National Electoral Commission director Dušan Vučko told the STA.

Committee rejects proposal to further raise minimum wage

LJUBLJANA - The Labour Committee rejected a proposal for an increase in minimum wage beyond the 4.9% rise set by the labour minister. The opposition Social Democrats (SD) and Left, which had requested the sessions, respectively, called for the higher increase, arguing that the 4.9% spike was by far insufficient in light of rising living costs, but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

Orthopaedist gets three years for accepting bribe

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court has sentenced orthopaedic surgeon Gregor Kavčič of the Novo Mesto hospital to three years in prison, media report today. A three-member panel of judges agreed with the prosecution that he had accepted bribes from medical supplier Emporio Medical in exchange for having the company supply knee replacement products by Biomet to the Novo Mesto hospital. Kavčič has announced an appeal.

Separate university quota introduced for Slovenians from abroad

LJUBLJANA - The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport has introduced a separate quota for the enrolment of Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship in universities in Slovenia. The separate quota has been advocated by Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch, who has welcomed the change. The rules have so far stipulated a joint quota for Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship and for all other non-EU nationals.

GZS urges easing of quarantine rules in business

LJUBLJANA - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) called on the government to loosen quarantine rules along the lines of changes that will be put in place in some critical infrastructure sectors from Wednesday. This would mitigate the situation, as companies are facing problems with quarantine-related staff shortages. "We expect the same for all sectors of the economy," GZS director Aleš Cantarutti said.

36 people in Šentjur mistakenly given saline instead of Covid shot

ŠENTJUR - Out of 126 persons who were vaccinated for Covid-19 in the Šentjur Community Health Centre last Friday, 36 were mistakenly given a shot of saline solution that had been put in empty vials. All 36 persons were contacted, with 34 responding immediately, and the remaining two persons, who had not been reachable at first, being informed about the mistake later. All of them have subsequently received shots of the Pfizer vaccine, except one person, who will be vaccinated next week.

Over 40 athletes to represent Slovenia in Beijing

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will be fielding a total of 41 athletes at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, a group featuring a number of established Olympians as well as some potential dark horses. Based on the season so far, the women's and men's ski jumping teams are seen as having the best chance of winning an Olympic medal. The athletes had been picked out of the 53 candidates by the Slovenian Ski Association, and the decision was cleared Slovenian Olympic Committee.


18 Jan 2022, 04:22 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Minister Logar urged to brief MPs over fisheries deal

LJUBLJANA - The opposition Social Democrats (SD) wants the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee to meet behind closed doors for Foreign Minister Anže Logar to provide explanations over Slovenia and Croatia allegedly reaching a fisheries deal. Croatian media have recently reported the two countries reached agreement that would allow Slovenian fishermen to fish in Croatian waters down to Umag and Croatia's in Slovenia's waters all the way up to Koper, but the Slovenian Foreign Ministry has neither corroborated nor denied the reports. MP Matjaž Nemec said the question was whether this deal implements the arbitration agreement or resigns from it.

SDS, a Golob-led party tied in exit poll-format Vox Populi

LJUBLJANA - 15.5% would vote for the ruling Democrats (SDS) in April's general election and 15.4% for a new party that would be led by Robert Golob, the former CEO of energy company GEN-I, shows a Vox Populi survey Mediana carried out in the format of an exit poll for newspapers Dnevnik and Večer. However, the standard opinion poll, which is based on a smaller sample and a slightly different question about party support, shows the SDS would win 18.1% of the vote if elections were held this Sunday, while Golob's party would garner 2.4%, below the 4% needed to enter parliament. In both types of the poll, third place went to the opposition Social Democrats (SD).

Quarantine rules updated as of Wednesday

LJUBLJANA - Employees in health, social affairs and education as well as students will be exempted from quarantine under certain conditions as of Wednesday. Entire classes will be quarantined only if more than 30% of the students are infected in the span of 14 days, the government decided at a correspondence session, at which the quarantine rules were revised at the initiative of the public health authorities based on the epidemiological situation in the country.

Almost 5,000 new coronavirus cases in Slovenia on Sunday

LJUBLJANA - A total of 4,967 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Slovenia on Sunday, double the figure recorded a week ago. The test positivity rate rose to a record 62.9%, according to the National Institute of Public Health. The latest figures bring the number of confirmed cases last week to almost 45,000, which is more than 2% of the country's population. This marks an increase of 74% on the week before. Despite the huge caseload, the situation in hospitals remains stable.

Dikaučič praises EU presidency despite EPPO appointments saga

LJUBLJANA - Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič highlighted the progress in the digitalisation of the justice system as he presented the achievements of Slovenia's EU presidency, while rating the presidency as a whole as "excellent" despite the delays in nominating Slovenia's European delegated prosecutors. Slovenia was the last EU country to propose its two candidates for delegated prosecutors of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) last year, after months of delays and numerous calls and expressions of concern from Brussels.

Slovenian communities abroad present their challenges to MPs

LJUBLJANA - The challenges faced by Slovenian ethnic communities in neighbouring countries were discussed as the parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad met at the behest of the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), which urged the government to draw up a new strategy of relations with Slovenians living outside of Slovenia with an emphasis on bettering the circumstances of young people and their links with Slovenia. Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch presented her office's activities and efforts to help boost Slovenian communities abroad, also noting the increase in funding.

Illegal migrations down 31% last year

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian police recorded 10,067 attempts at illegal crossing of the border last year, down 31% on 2020, while asylum applications rose substantially, official police statistics show. The number of migrants from Pakistan, Morocco and Bangladesh, among the top four source countries last year, dropped substantially, but there were slightly more migrants from Afghanistan, which became the biggest source country with 3,208 migrants registered.

Over EUR 31 million spent on Croatia border surveillance

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia spent almost EUR 31.5 million on setting up fences and on other costs related to the increased surveillance of its border with Croatia between November 2015 and the end of 2020, as 85.5 kilometres of razor wire fences were installed along the border, and are now gradually being replaced by panel fences. The government provided the figure in response to a question from Matej T. Vatovec, an MP for the opposition Left who believes the purchase and installation of the razor wire fences was completely non-transparent and riddled with suspicion of corruption and clientelism.

Measures to staff up SAF to resume this year

LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry announced it will resume measures aimed at staffing up and rejuvenating the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) after the changes introduced last year whipped up interest in the service, both for army jobs and training. Valter Vrečar, the head of the military affairs directorate, told the press the new concept of 13-week basic military and technical training, which is now the single entry point to attract new staff, produced concrete results.

Three medical professionals receive Order of Merit

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor awarded the Order of Merit to three medical doctors for their outstanding achievements or their institutions' outstanding performance - to Postojna Maternity Hospital director Aleksander Merlo, head of the intensive care unit at UKC Ljubljana Marko Noč, and head of the vascular diseases department at UKC Ljubljana Aleš Blinc.

Velenje, miners oppose coal exit strategy

VELENJE - The Velenje municipality, home to the country's only functioning coal mine, rejected the coal exit year 2033 as "unrealistic" and called for a more ambitious jobs strategy. Similarly, the trade union of coal miners expressed disappointment, describing the decision as "political, unprofessional and ill-conceived", having been adopted without the participation of employees who will be affected by the coal phase-out.

Ljubljana airport records 46.4% more passengers in 2021

BRNIK - Slovenia's Jože Pučnik Airport Ljubljana saw a total of around 422,000 passengers last year, up 46.4% compared to 2020, according to data released by the airport's German operator Fraport, which operates the Slovenian airport through its subsidiary Fraport Slovenija. The Jože Pučnik Airport recorded 75.5% less passengers in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Media company Pro Plus gets new director general

LJUBLJANA - Branko Čakarmiš, programming director at Pro Plus, is taking over as the media company's director general on 1 February, succeeding Pavel Vrabec, who is moving to the post of president of Slovenia's business operations at CME, the group which operates 30 TV programmes in Central and SE Europe. Pro Plus runs the Slovenian TV channels POP TV, Kanal A, Brio and Kino, as well as the video on-demand service Voyo. It also publishes the popular news portal 24.ur.com.

Taxes collected last year up on 2020 and 2019

LJUBLJANA - While much less tax revenue was collected due to the epidemic in 2020, last year again saw an upward trend, as the amount was significantly up on both 2020 and the pre-Covid year 2019. The Financial Administration collected 18% more taxes and other levies than in 2020, and 9.3% more than in 2019. Last year, the tax authorities collected EUR 19.2 billion in revenue, according to preliminary figures.

Minority organisation proposes new standing committee

KLAGENFURT, Austria - The National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS), one of the main Slovenian minority organisations in Austria, proposes establishing a standing committee of representatives from Austria, Slovenia and the Slovenian minority in Austria, following the Austrian-Italian example. The NSKS presented the proposal as it extended congratulations upon the 30th anniversary of the international recognition of Slovenia's independence.

Sara Kern's feature to compete at Berlinale

LJUBLJANA - Sara Kern's debut feature Moja Vesna (My Vesna) will have its world premiere at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival, where it will vie for the Crystal Bear in the Generation Kplus competition. The first-ever Slovenian-Australian co-production was written and directed by Kern, 32, a Slovenian-born writer and director based in Melbourne. The film is a quiet and poetic character-driven story of family love and grief that changes the dynamics of a fragmented family.

Slovenia end European Men's Handball Championship campaign

DEBRECEN, Hungary - Slovenia lost 32:33 to Montenegro to end their European Championship campaign in the group stage, placing third in Group A. After winning against North Macedonia (27:25) and losing against world champions Denmark (23:34) in the first two rounds, the team would need to win today's match to advance to the main round. Their performance was rather poor throughout with too many mistakes in key moments. This is the second time Slovenia failed to advance to the main round of the European men's handball championships, the first time in Poland in 2016.

Marco Bonitta new coach of Slovenian women's volleyball team

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian women's volleyball team has a new coach, Italian expert Marco Bonitta, who has signed a two-year contract with the Slovenian Volleyball Federation. His main task will be to lead the Slovenian team to qualify for the European Championship. "As soon as the opportunity came up to work with such an eminent name in volleyball, we grabbed it with both hands," the federation's president Metod Ropret said at the presentation of the new coach.

Mountains claimed 5 lives at weekend

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian mountains claimed five lives over the past two days in one of the deadliest weekends in years. Discounting those, a total of 179 people have been killed in accidents in the mountains in the past ten years, show data from the Mountain Rescue Association. Last year, the Slovenian mountains took 22 lives, as many as in 2019. The highest death toll, at 23, was recorded in 2016. The largest number of mountain rescue interventions was in 2021, at 626.

17 Jan 2022, 04:37 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

Record weekend Covid case count confirmed on Saturday

LJUBLJANA - A total of 6,012 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Saturday in what is a record daily case count confirmed over the weekend since the start of the pandemic, showed fresh government data. Hospitalisations stood at 549 this morning, up by 35 on the day before. The total of ICU cases remained level at 156. One Covid-19 patient died yesterday.

Baerbock marks 30 years of Germany's recognition of Slovenia

LJUBLJANA/BERLIN, Germany - Marking the 30th anniversary of Germany's recognition of Slovenian independence, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Saturday that this jubilee in German-Slovenian relations was an incentive "to continue to advocate European interests and values consistently and to shape our future in the EU together and in a positive way", reads a press release by the German Embassy in Ljubljana.

Slovenia, Croatia reportedly seal deal on fishing in Piran Bay

LJUBLJANA/ZAGREB, Croatia - Croatian media have reported that Slovenia and Croatia are said to have reached an agreement under which Slovenian fishers would be allowed to fish in the Gulf of Piran in the Croatian territorial waters as far as the town of Umag, and Croatian fishers in Slovenian waters as far as Koper. Slovenia has neither confirmed nor denied these reports.

Prominent politicians receive threat mail, report says

LJUBLJANA - A number of high-profile politicians, most of them from the ruling Democratic Party (SDS), have received threatening letters, including Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj, media have reported. They received a letter in the post reading "We know where you live" and featuring a drawing of a gallows and a bullet. Some of them have already reported the incident to the police.

Maribor WWII bomb deactivated

MARIBOR - Authorities successfully neutralised an unexploded WWII aerial bomb that was found in Maribor earlier this week. A part of Slovenia's second largest city had to be evacuated until roughly 1:30pm when sirens marked the end of danger. Some 150 members of various teams in the field of civil defence, rescue and safety took part in today's deactivation effort, said the Maribor Civil Defence.


16 Jan 2022, 10:29 AM

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This summary is provided by the STA

PM Janša sees India as strategic partner

MUMBAI, India - Prime Minister Janez Janša told The Economic Times, an Indian newspaper, that Slovenia saw India as an "important global, indeed, strategic partner of Slovenia and the EU as a whole." He said the informal EU-India summit in May 2021 had "reinforced the EU-India strategic partnership, which is underpinned by the shared values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights." "We are aware that the EU is one of India's largest trading partners and foreign investor and we know that in the new digital era, we need close cooperation on global digital standards and also in relation to and beyond 5G."

Golob to stake out his political future by end of moth

LJUBLJANA - Robert Golob, the former chairman of electricity trader Gen-I, told Večer it will be clear by the end of January if he will enter the election race and if he does, whether he would form a new party or have a go with one of the existing parties. He said he was in talks almost on a daily basis with representatives of various parties and movements, but noted that particracy was one of the reasons why Slovenia is in its current position and "taking over any of the established parties is not the right path."

New daily record, hospital figures stable

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 7,580 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, an increase of nearly 70% on the week before and a new daily record two weeks into the omicron-driven surge. The caseload has not caused an uptick in hospitalisations yet. Hospitals treated 514 patients with Covid, down by ten on the day before, with intensive care cases rising by one to 156. Nine patients died, government figures show. The PCR test positivity rate hit 53%.

New quarantine rule on border as of Monday

LJUBLJANA - Travellers who are ordered on entry to Slovenia to quarantine will no longer be able to cut their quarantine short with a PCR test under new rules adopted by the government last night that will take effect on Monday. The decision comes after quarantine was cut short from ten to seven days this week, the Government Communications Office said.

Food company Proconi acquired by Eta Kamnik

MURSKA SOBOTA/KAMNIK - Slovenian food processing company Eta Kamnik has recently acquired the Murska Sobota-based food company Proconi from its sole owner, the French agri-food firm Fleury Michon. Eta Kamnik plans additional investments in Proconi, which is primarily known for its ready-made meals. Eta's director Marko Konič told the STA that Eta Kamnik, best known for its pickled foods under the brand Natureta, acquired Proconi as a strategic owner with the intentions of continuing the company's core business in Murska Sobota.

Slovenian mutual funds managing record-high assets

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian mutual funds managed assets worth a record EUR 4.337 billion at the end of 2021, up by a record EUR 1.101 billion annually, as investors seem to have increasingly opted for alternatives to bank deposits at a time of extremely low interest rates and newly-introduced fees for deposits of over EUR 100,000. The last time payments into mutual funds increased at such a brisk rate was before the economic and financial crisis, in 2007, when they reached almost a billion euro.

Surge in environmental investment in 2020

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia saw its gross investment in environmental protection surge by almost 70% to EUR 412 million in 2020, nearly half of which (EUR 200 million) went toward protecting ambient air and climate. According to a report from the Statistics Office, current expenditure for environmental protection in 2020 amounted to EUR 698 million, up 1.6% from the year before. Over 56% (EUR 393 million) was spent on waste management.

Slovenia win team event at ski jumping World Cup in Zakopane

ZAKOPANE- Slovenia won the ski jumping World Cup meet in Zakopane, beating second-placed Germany and third-placed Japan by almost seventy points. Lovro Kos, Peter Prevc, Timi Zajc in Anže Lanišek finished the first round almost thirty points ahead of Germany after Prevc landed at 133.5 metres and Lanišek added a 129-metre jump. In the second series, Prevc wowed with a 140.5-metre jump, only for Lanišek to finish the job as the last jumper with the same distance.


15 Jan 2022, 11:26 AM

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FRIDAY, 7 January
        LJUBLJANA - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec doubled down on Slovenia's support for making nuclear energy a part of the EU's taxonomy of sustainable energy sources, telling the press that nuclear was crucial to Slovenia's and EU efforts to carry out the green transition.
        LJUBLJANA - Doctors entrusted with monitoring, warning and raising awareness of the health risks of pollution voiced opposition to proposed regulation on waste incineration. The regulation should set emission limit values as low as possible, they said, warning that waste incineration should be a last resort.
        LJUBLJANA - The Trade Union of Slovenian Police (SPS) tabled a bill backed by over 7,000 voter signatures to give employees better protection when they receive a warning before termination, a system they say would protect workers against abuse of this disciplinary sanction.
SATURDAY, 8 January
        LJUBLJANA - Jaša Jenull, one of the figureheads of Friday's bicycle protests, was reported facing a lawsuit in which the Interior Ministry alleges he is responsible for the costs of policing a 2020 anti-government rally. Jenull described the lawsuit as a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful protest.
        KRANJSKA GORA - Sara Hector of Sweden won the women's Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom in Kranjska Gora ahead of France's Tessa Worley in second and Italian Marta Bassino in third. The best Slovenian was Tina Robnik in 8th.

SUNDAY, 9 January
        DRAŽGOŠE - Former President Milan Kučan stressed the importance of resistance and warned of a proliferation of signs of revival of Fascism as he addressed a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the WWII Battle of Dražgoše.
        IZOLA - Voters in the coastal municipality of Izola rejected a spatial plan that would have opened up large swathes of the coastal municipality to development, including on prime agricultural land. Sunday's referendum vote was 72% against and 28% in favour.
        KRANJSKA GORA - Petra Vlhova from Slovakia won the women's Alpine Ski World Cup slalom event in Kranjska Gora. Swiss Wendy Holdener, who was in the lead after the first run, was second, and Anna Swenn Larsson from Sweden finished third.

MONDAY, 10 January
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary commission investigating suspicion of political interference in the work of police adopted an interim report and a resolution proposing the National Assembly urge Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and both of his state secretaries, Franc Kangler and Božo Predalič, to resign, its chair citing evidence that politicians are dictating the work of the police force.
        ŠENTJUR - 57 of Slovenia's 212 mayors gathered in Šentjur, east of Celje, to form a Club of Independent Mayors upon the initiative of Kočevje Mayor Vladimir Prebilič. The idea is to form an alliance to make a mark in this year's super election year in Slovenia, but the club is yet to decide how to take part in each of the three elections.
        LJUBLJANA - The 8 March Institute, one of the NGOs that initiated a referendum on changes to the waters act last year, presented a proposal to repeal eleven pieces of legislation that it describes as harmful. The goal is to collect 60,000 signatures in the course of the campaign.
        LJUBLJANA - The European Research Council (ERC) has granted EUR 2.2 million in funding to a project in which Anna Dragoš from the Biotechnical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana will research the virus-bacteria interaction.

TUESDAY, 11 January
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted amendments to the mining act under which low-volume hydraulic fracturing would be allowed but high-volume fracturing banned, legislation that paves the way for fracturing in the only location in Slovenia where it is currently being explored, the Petišovci gas field in the east.
        LJUBLJANA - The alliance of four centre-left opposition parties, the Marjan Šarec Party (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), the Left and the SAB, discussed election campaigning and their joint efforts. They expressed willingness to discuss the potential cooperation with ex-GEN-I director Robert Golob.
        LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and his two sons were acquitted of tax evasion concerning the sale of shares of the retailer Mercator in 2006 as the court handed down its ruling after a month-long trial. Janković said he had expected an acquittal. The prosecutor announced an appeal.
        KOPER - The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Primorska has been awarded the UNESCO chair in partnership with the Škocjan Cave Park, joining another three UNESCO chairs in Slovenia. The Škocjan Cave has been on UNESCO's world heritage list since 1986.

WEDNESDAY, 12 January
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported a new record of 7,420 new daily coronavirus cases, a wave driven by the Omicron variant. Hospital numbers remained low, but massive quarantining was becoming an increasing problem: 10% of primary school children and 16% of secondary students were self-isolating.
        LJUBLJANA - The news web portal N1 cited unofficial sources in reporting that Slovenia is to appoint several ambassadors and consuls this year with the list of candidates to include several closest aides of Foreign Minister Anže Logar. State Secretary Gregor Dovžan is to be appointed new ambassador to Croatia, while State Secretary Stanislav Raščan is to serve in Bratislava.
        LJUBLJANA - The Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy called on Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik to draft changes to electoral legislation to ensure that those who may be ill with Covid-19 or self-isolating during elections could still cast their vote.
        LJUBLJANA - A new party called Liberal Democrats (LIDE) was founded with National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič elected as one of up to three leaders in a move showing the party is open to alliances. Promoting liberal values, the party will seek to strengthen the middle class.
        LJUBLJANA - MP Željko Cigler left the deputy group of the opposition Left to join the Social Democrats (SD). The head of the SD's deputy group, Matjaž Han, said this did not affect the relations within the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL), whose members are both the Left and SD.
        LJUBLJANA - Representatives of the Bank Association urged the lifting of restrictions that the central bank imposed on consumer lending in 2019, calling them illogical and not giving the banks a level-playing field. The association's director Stanislava Zadravec Caprirolo argued that Slovenian households were among the least indebted in Europe.
        LJUBLJANA - Toyota Yaris Cross was selected the Slovenian Car of 2022 in what is the first time in the 30-year history of the contest that the title went to the Japanese car maker. A total of 15 models vied for the title.

THURSDAY, 13 January
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a national strategy to phase out coal and restructure coal regions in line with the just transition principles. The document envisages that coal used for electricity production will be fully phased out by 2033 at the latest. Environmental NGOs believe Slovenia should phase out coal by 2030.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium/BREST, France - Defence Minister Matej Tonin attended an informal meeting of EU defence ministers, warning that while focussing on Ukraine and Mali, the EU must not forget about the Western Balkans, especially Bosnia-Herzegovina, because Russia had certain interests in the region, which could deteriorate the situation there.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly confirmed amendments to the pension and disability insurance act that provide a tiered indexation of pensions, of between 1.7% and 3.5%, as a means of bridging the gap between pensions and wages caused by austerity measures during the economic and financial crisis.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed changes to public procurement legislation that regulate purchase of medical devices by introducing a system of reference prices. The coalition said this would result in lower prices, while the opposition warned that more taxpayer money would be channelled into private pockets.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a proposal for a resolution on the national social protection programme 2022-2030, with development of the welfare system, reduction of the risk of poverty and higher social inclusion among the key goals.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a resolution on the 2030 national programme for higher education, terming it a key strategic document for forming quality goals, standards, measures and policies in Slovenian higher education.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) plans a 5% return on assets in the portfolio under its management for this year, which is slightly less than the estimated return for 2021, shows the annual plan for 2022, which was approved by the government. A slight increase in return is expected in 2023.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce has declared Slovenia's glass manufacturer Steklarna Hrastnik the winner of its award for innovation for 2021. The prize is given out together with the German Embassy in Slovenia and WISE Institute.


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