STA, 8 December 2021 - Just days after the government imposed a ban on the serving of food and drinks at outdoor stalls, these reopened in the square by Ljubljana's main produce market on Wednesday, having been given the go-ahead from the city authorities.
Addressing a press conference, Andrej Orač, director of the utility operating the Ljubljana open-air markets, said market activity in Pogačar Square was allowed back in business, including hospitality.
He said the ban on sale at Ljubljana's open-air markets was incomprehensible as the goods involved were sold there throughout the year, which included the food court and stalls selling garments.
The city appears to have found a loophole, arguing that the ban affected hospitality at fairs rather than markets. The ban was imposed to prevent socialising and spread of coronavirus at Christmas markets.
Mojca Škrinjar, an MP for the ruling Democratic Party (SDS), accused the city authorities of "bending the rules", and Mayor Zoran Janković of sinking to a "new low" having demonstrated before "he doesn't care about Ljubljana people's health".
Both Orač and Janković urged residents and visitors to comply with precautionary measures and get vaccinated against Covid-19 even as Janković criticised restrictions imposed on Christmas markets.
Commenting on a tweet in which PM Janez Janša accused him of trying hard to get as many people as possible sick, Janković said the city administration had recently received a letter from the local branch of the National Institute of Public Health thanking them for their contribution to the combat against the pandemic.