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Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 30 July-5 August

Ljubljana, 6 August - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 30 July to 5 August:

FRIDAY, 30 July
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenian and Italian police resumed the joint patrolling of the border in a bid to prevent illegal migrations on the Balkan route after they were suspended more than a year ago due to Covid-19.
        LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health launched a new mobile app enabling event organisers and service providers to check the validity of EU digital Covid certificates. The app scans QR codes on the certificates to check whether the person has been tested for, recovered from or vaccinated against Covid-19 without getting access to personal or health information of the person.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's national budget recorded a EUR 1.946 billion deficit in the first six months of the year, slightly more than in the same period in 2020, when it reached EUR 1.917 billion. Contributing the most to the deficit was an 18% growth in expenditure, which was mitigated by a 25.3% growth in revenue.
        LJUBLJANA - Annual inflation in Slovenia in July ran at 2%, mostly on the account of more expensive petroleum products. Petroleum products accounted for 1.2 percentage points of the annual inflation rate in July, as the prices of liquid fuels were up by 25.2%, diesel by 29.2% and petrol by 24.4%.
        LJUBLJANA - The Medical Chamber is investigating two doctors due to their contentious statements about Covid-19 vaccination and vaccines. Unofficially, one of them is a member of a prominent anti-vaccine doctors' movement and another is Nada Hiti, a GP who published a recording on social media after diluting an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine with water and urine and sending the sample to the laboratory for analysis.

SATURDAY, 31 July
        KRANJSKA GORA - Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek offered up Slovenia as a broker in geopolitical issues as he addressed an annual ceremony dedicated to Russian prisoners of WWI. "Our country has enough knowledge and even more economic results to get actively involved in the game of big players," he said at the Russian Chapel under the Vršič mountain pass.
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenian discuss thrower Kristjan Čeh crowned his maiden appearance at the Olympics with fifth place after he was considered one of the top contenders for a medal. "This is my first Olympic appearance, I was fifth, this is awesome," he said.
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenian shooter Živa Dvoršak achieved her best ever result at Olympic Games after finishing seventh in the rifle three position, the most prestigious shooting discipline.

SUNDAY, 1 August
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called on EU member states to provide aid to Lithuania in the face of "ongoing critical security situation" on the Lithuania-Belarus border due to illegal migration. Protection of the EU's external border is our common responsibility, Janša tweeted.
        LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša tweeted "Krystsina is welcome in Slovenia" as he offered refuge to Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya amid reports that she was planning to seek asylum after the Belarusian Olympic Committee removed her from the national team for publicly criticising the coaches.
        MARIBOR - The 32nd Summer Puppet Pier festival dedicated to puppetry got under way in Maribor, putting Slovenian independent puppeteers in spotlight in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

MONDAY, 2 August
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian central bank announced that stress tests conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB) and Banka Slovenije confirmed the stability of the Slovenian banking system. It pointed out that Slovenian banks would fare well even under unfavourable economic scenarios.
        LJUBLJANA - Telecommunications provider Telemach is suing telecoms incumbent Telekom Slovenije over alleged violations of regulatory decisions, demanding the payment of EUR 28.8 million in damages with default interest from 1 June until payment, according to a posting on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission approved a EUR 22.8 million Slovenian scheme to support companies in various sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictions implemented to limit the spread of the virus. The measure was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework.
        BRNIK - Spanish flag carrier Iberia launched scheduled flights between Madrid and Ljubljana, with two weekly flights planned until the end of August. Madrid is the 12th destination available from Ljubljana airport, with at least three more expected by the end of September.
        PIVKA - Center Dina opened in Pivka to present three species of large carnivores living in Slovenia - the brown bear, wolf and lynx. It is a continuation of a European project Carnivora Dinarica, which is aimed at protecting the carnivores and promoting co-existence.

TUESDAY, 3 August
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenia advanced to the semi-finals of the Olympic basketball tournament in a historic feat by defeating Germany 94:70, going unbeaten since the start of the Olympics in what is their Olympic debut.
        LJUBLJANA - The latest coronavirus figures showed that Slovenia's daily coronavirus count hit 181, the highest daily increase since 9 June, as the test positivity rate exceeded 10%. Commenting, Health Ministry State Secretary Franc Vinidšar said Slovenia is in the fourth wave of the epidemic, urging people to get vaccinated to stop the wave as soon as possible.
        LJUBLJANA - A tweet in which a member of the pro-Nazi Yellow Jackets who is also editor-in-chief of the recently established National Press Agency (NTA) labelled Adolf Hitler a hero caused an outcry, with opposition parties demanding a response from the government and law enforcement. The tweet by Urban Purgar, who is also the head of the recently-established Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values, will be investigated by the prosecution.

WEDNESDAY, 4 August
        LJUBLJANA - The Culture Ministry condemned the tweet labelling Adolf Hitler a hero by Urban Purgar, the president of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values, to which the ministry awarded the status of an NGO in public interest in June. It also said the status had been awarded in line with relevant rules.
        LJUBLJANA - The General Police Department confirmed three officers of the Ljubljana Police Department had been given written warnings before termination of employment due to legislation violation in relation to two separate protests - an alternative celebration of Statehood Day in Ljubljana on 25 June by anti-government protesters and a rally by anti-maskers in front of parliament from 5 to 7 July. Reportedly, all three officers hold senior positions.
        LJUBLJANA - Prosecutors Tanja Frank Eler and Matej Oštir filed another suit against the government over its May decision not to appoint them Slovenia's European delegated prosecutors as proposed by the Justice Ministry after they were vetted by the Prosecution Council.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a decree setting down the method of checking compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule. To prevent personal data abuse, the user scanning the Covid certificate QR code using a relevant app will have access only to the certificate holder's name and year of birth. The Information Commissioner said personal data processing required a law, so she will ask the Constitutional Court to review the decree.
        LJUBLJANA - A total of 70,655 people were registered as unemployed in July, down 0.6% from June and as much as 21% from July 2020. The total kept falling despite the number of the newly registered rising by 54% from June to 5,443. The latter figure was still nearly 34% below last year's.
        TOKYO, Japan - Slovenian sailors Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol finished fifth in the 470 class at the Tokyo Olympics, and Maruša Mišmaš Zrimšek placed sixth in the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase, improving her personal best and Slovenia's national record.

THURSDAY, 5 August
        TOKYO, Japan - The Slovenian men's basketball team lost 89:90 to France in the semi-finals of the Olympic basketball tournament and will play for the bronze medal against Australia on Saturday. This is Slovenia's first loss at what is the debut Olympics for the team.
        WARSAW, Poland - PM Janez Janša discussed the judiciary and the issue of primacy of EU law in an interview with the Polish news agency PAP, saying that EU law is above national laws, but not above member states' constitutions. He talked of the importance of understanding the countries' historical circumstances and starting positions.
        KLAGENFURT, Austria - The National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS) is critical of Austria's report to the Council of Europe on the implementation of the CoE Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The report suggests that everything is fine with ethnic minorities, which is not the case, said lawyer Rudi Vouk, the author of the NSKS response to the report.
        LJUBLJANA - SID Banka, Slovenia's development and export bank, announced it will get a new management in January 2022 as the term of the management board led by Sibil Svilan expires at the end of 2021. The fully state-owned bank will be led by Damijan Dolinar, with Gašpar Ogris Martič and Stanka Šarc Majdič serving as board members.
        TOKYO, Japan - Tina Šutej placed fifth in the women's pole vault at the Summer Olympics. The 32-year-old national record holder cleared 4.50 metres in the final but then failed to clear 4.70 metres to join the top four.
        LJUBLJANA - Property prices kept rising in Slovenia in 2020 while transactions on the property market decreased. Transactions rose in early 2021 to reach approximately the pre-pandemic 2019 levels in April, as prices keep rising, the Mapping and Surveying Authority said.
        TRIESTE, Italy - The first ever public demonstration of fully encrypted quantum communication between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia took place during a meeting of G20 digital economy ministers. It was the first time in history that fully quantum encrypted communication was made possible by means of optical fibres connecting three nodes.

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© STA, 2021