Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Saturday May 29, 2021
This summary is provided by the STA:
Another attempt to impeach President Zorčič fails
LJUBLJANA – Igor Zorčič remained Speaker of Parliament as only 45 MPs voted to remove him by secret ballot, one less than the majority needed, as in the first attempt on March 30 after leaving the Modern Center Party (SMC) coalition . Two ballots were invalid, while no MPs voted against, as the center-left opposition and unaffiliated MPs obstructed the vote. Zorčič said the National Assembly “had once again proven itself to be a sovereign institution”, adding that it would be better to hold early elections. The ruling Democrats (SDS) have announced that a third attempt should be made to replace Zorčič.
Logar and Lavrov for the improvement of EU-Russia relations
MOSCOW, Russia – As President of the EU, Slovenia will work to reduce tensions in relations with Russia, Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar announced in Moscow after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov also wants EU-Russia relations to be normalized, but on the basis of equality on both sides. “Slovenia regrets the expulsion of diplomats and expresses its solidarity with the EU member states which have been affected by Russia’s retaliatory measures,” Logar said, quoted by the ministry. He also expressed concern about Russia’s military activities along the border with Ukraine. Lavrov said the couple agreed to Russia and Slovenia strengthening the legal basis to protect investments, according to Russian news agency Tass.
Over one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered in Slovenia
LJUBLJANA – More than one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Slovenia, with 653,310 people receiving a first vaccine and 381,619 fully inoculated, according to data from the National Institute of Public Health. The figures mean that just over 31% of the entire Slovenian population have received at least one dose and just over 18% have been fully immunized. The vaccination rate is highest among people aged 70 to 89.
Mass anti-government protest calls for early elections
LJUBLJANA – Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the capital to protest against government actions and demand early elections. The rally included various groups and movements and was supported by unions and part of the opposition. Amnesty International Slovenia, the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy and the Human Rights Ombudsman monitored law enforcement during the protests. Prime Minister Janez Janša has declared the spread of Covid-19 with unregistered mass gatherings a crime.
New coronavirus cases still below 300
LJUBLJANA – Slovenia recorded 288 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the 7-day moving average further down to 282. Four more patients with Covid-19 have died, according to the latest government figures. Out of 3,585 PCR tests performed yesterday, 8% came back positive. Hospitalizations fell from 13 more yesterday to 252, including 78 in intensive care, one less than yesterday.
Government and public sector unions sign wage agreement
LJUBLJANA – The government and ten of the more than 40 public sector unions have signed an agreement that scraps some of the remaining austerity measures introduced during the financial crisis, delays pay and increases vacation pay. It is estimated at 65 million euros, said Minister of Public Administration Boštjan Koritnik. Several unions decided not to sign the agreement today, arguing that they did not have enough time to study the annexes to collective agreements, which are usually signed with the wage agreement. Koritnik explained that the deal remained open for signature until Wednesday.
Prime Minister of Montenegro visits Ljubljana
LJUBLJANA – Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić was on a working visit to Slovenia to meet Prime Minister Janez Janša to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral relations and Montenegro’s European outlook. Krivokapić also met with President Igor Zorčič and President Borut Pahor. Janša and Krivokapić pledged to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation and called on the Joint Economic Commission to meet as soon as possible, Janša’s office said. Krivokapić took to Twitter saying that Slovenia’s experience and support as an EU member state means a lot to Montenegro.
Logar talks about EU presidency and Portuguese News Agency media
LISBON, Portugal – Foreign Minister Anže Logar spoke to Portuguese news agency Lusa on Thursday as part of his visit to the country, saying Slovenia, as the next EU president, wanted put enlargement to the countries of the Western Balkans back on the agenda as “a strategic opportunity”. He also referred to media freedom in Slovenia, saying the government guarantees that the media are “completely independent”.
Minister discusses efforts to strengthen EU-NATO partnership with peers
LISBON, Portugal – Defense Minister Matej Tonin highlighted the importance of the European Defense Agency as he participated in a virtual informal meeting of EU defense ministers. Discussing efforts to strengthen the EU-NATO strategic partnership, Slovenia joined the EU’s calls for coordination of the forward-looking defense processes of the two alliances. For Tonin, it is essential to streamline procedures and coordinate EU capability planning with NATO’s defense planning process.
Minority MPs will continue to cooperate with the government
LJUBLJANA – Members of the Italian and Hungarian minorities will continue to support the government in principle. But when it comes to possible layoffs in parliament, this support is not “absolute”, they will decide on a case-by-case basis, Felice Žiža, who represents the Italian minority, told STA. Žiža noted that the deputies of the Italian and Hungarian minorities invoked Article 82 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the deputies of the National Assembly are representatives of all the people and are not bound by any instructions.
CoE says Slovenia has made progress in the fight against money laundering
STRASBOURG, France – Slovenia has made progress in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing since the last assessment in 2017, shows the Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL report. But gaps remain, the most important being its progress in mitigating risks associated with virtual currencies, as a result of which Slovenia’s rating on the implementation of the new requirements for virtual assets was downgraded from “compliant”. “To” partially compliant “.
Koper Port Operator Reports Higher Quarterly Revenue and Profits
KOPER – Luka Koper, operator of Slovenia’s only commercial port, saw year-over-year growth in the first quarter of the year, with net sales increasing 4% to 57.5 Million euros and net profit of 15% to 8.6 million euros. Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 15% compared to the first quarter of 2020 to 9.8 million euros and earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation increased by 10% to 17.1 million euros, according to an unaudited report. The company said the results outweighed projections by virtually every indicator.
Slovenia and North Macedonia seek to boost economic cooperation
LJUBLJANA – Noting that bilateral economic relations are at a high level, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia and North Macedonia called for enhanced cooperation between their countries by chairing a virtual session of the bilateral commission of economic cooperation.
Bia separations – Sartorius increases production
AJDOVŠČINA – Biotechnology company BIA Separations – Sartorius has launched a new production plant in Ajdovščina, which increases the company’s production capacity five-fold. Addressing the event, Prime Minister Janez Janša said he was happy that new, well-paying jobs were created. The new 3,200 square meter production unit will be used to produce chromatographic columns for cleaning new generations of drugs. According to Janša’s office, the expansion of production will allow the company to meet demand for Covid-related projects.
Unemployment rate from the survey in the first quarter up to 5.6%
LJUBLJANA – The survey unemployment rate in Slovenia in the first quarter of the year was 5.6%, half a percentage point higher than in the previous quarter, the Bureau of Statistics said. He estimated that there were around 56,000 unemployed and 928,000 active in the country in the first quarter.
Commission clears € 6 million state aid for cattle farmers
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Commission has approved a six million euro program to support Slovenian breeders affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Beneficiaries will be entitled to direct subsidies of up to 225,000 euros or 76 euros per head of cattle.