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News roundup - Saturday, 7 August

Ljubljana, 7 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Saturday, 7 August:

Slovenia lose to Australia to finish 4th at Olympic basketball tournament

TOKYO, Japan - Slovenia's men's basketball team lost to Australia 93:107 at the Tokyo Olympics to settle for the fourth place in what is the nation's first Olympic appearance, as Australia proved too strong throughout the bronze medal match. This is nevertheless an excellent result, as Slovenia had put in an exceptional performance and was the only team in the semi-finals that had to go through qualifications. The country had 54 athletes competing in Tokyo, who are returning home with five medals - three golds, a silver and a bronze. Slovenian Olympic Committee vice-president Tomaž Barada said "the medal tally is more than satisfactory". Sports climber Janja Garnbret, who won gold in the women's combined sport climbing on Friday, will carry the Slovenian flag at the closing ceremony on Sunday.

133 new Covid cases confirmed on Friday, one death

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 133 new coronavirus cases on Friday as 1,575 PCR tests came back positive, putting the positivity rate at 8.4%. This compares to 135 new cases and a positivity rate of 8.1% a week ago. One Covid patient died. The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) estimates there are 1,418 active cases in the country, a daily rise of 39. The 7-day average of new cases dropped by 2 to 114 and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents rose by 1 to 65 on Friday over Thursday.

Govt ensures vaccine for foreign citizens

LJUBLJANA - The government decided on Friday to make the vaccine against Covid-19 available to foreign citizens temporarily residing in Slovenia who are not entitled to it under the national vaccination strategy. 5,000 doses will be available for this purpose. Foreigners who do not have permanent or temporary residence here, have no medical insurance, are not employed with a company seated in Slovenia, and are not diplomats accredited to Slovenia will now be able to get vaccinated. The cost of vaccination will however not be covered by the state, but by the foreigners themselves.

Govt says Slovenia complies with directive on non-EU citizens and property

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted on Friday a response to the European Commission's June warning that Slovenia does not comply with a directive on the status of non-EU citizens who are long-term residents and their right to buy property. The government argues the Slovenian law is not in breach of the directive as it allows this group to rent housing, whereas several conditions need to be met before they can buy housing or land.

Debate hears Roma across Europe still subject to discrimination and hatred

MURSKA SOBOTA - Marking the 2 August Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, a panel debate held in Murska Sobota on Friday heard that it was important to remember the Nazi genocide against the Roma as a reminder because Roma were still subjected to discrimination and hate crimes across Europe. Miha Lobnik, the advocate of the principle of equality, noted that apart from other victims, half a million of Romany people lost their lives during the Third Reich, and many more were persecuted. Jožek Horvat Muc, the head of the Slovenian Roma Association, said the situation of the Roma in Europe was deteriorating.

Delays at border with Croatia, MEP addresses question to EU Commission

LJUBLJANA - Heavy traffic was reported from Slovenian roads towards Croatia, with long waiting times at border crossings to exit or enter Slovenia, including up to four hours. Worried about the congestions on the Slovenian-Croatian border, Slovenian MEP Klemen Grošelj (Renew) has asked the European Commission how it will address the situation to bring it in line with the goals set when the EU's digital Covid certificate was adopted. In his view, the situation shows the goals of the certificate have not been achieved.

Two Slovenian products win best local food gifts awards

LJUBLJANA - Two Slovenian local products have won awards for best European food or food-related gifts as part of a European Food Gift Challenge, a competition organised by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) for the second time. Both winning products are from Slovenia's Mediterranean and Karst area. "Karst Commons in a Mug" features a herbal tea, a mini jar of acacia honey with designated origin, a handmade cup with a tea strainer, all wrapped in a small bundle. Luka Boltar's WoodLoveStone Collection includes four kitchen utensils made of stone and wood.

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