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News roundup - Friday, 13 August

Ljubljana, 13 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 13 August:

Nearly 200 coronavirus infections confirmed on Thursday

LJUBLJANA - A total of 199 coronavirus infections were confirmed in Slovenia on Thursday in 1,841 PCR tests for a positivity rate of 10.8%. The cumulative 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents continued to steadily increase to stand at 92, up four on the day before, and the 7-day average of new cases rose by eight to 161, show fresh data by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ). The NIJZ estimates there are currently 1,983 active cases in the country, up by 83. To increase the vaccination rate as the epidemiological situation is deteriorating, the NIJZ will call on people aged 50 or more to get vaccinated with an invitation letter.

Court rejects proposal to stay govt's decision not to appoint EDPs

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Administrative Court has rejected a request from prosecutors Tanja Frank Eler and Matej Oštir to stay the government's May decision not to get formally acquainted with their appointment as Slovenia's European delegated prosecutors (EDPs). It argues the request has not been sufficiently reasoned. In the decision, made on Thursday, the court says that the appellants have not demonstrated the need to issue a temporary injunction in this case, shows Friday's press release from the court. Frank Eler and Oštir filed a suit against the government's decision last week, the second after their first was rejected on procedural grounds. The court intends to treat it as an absolute priority.

Centre-left opposition urge action in wake of IPCC findings

LJUBLJANA - The four centre-left opposition factions said they had filed for an emergency session of parliament's Environment Committee to debate the alarming findings of the IPPC report for Slovenia and measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left, non-affiliated MPs and the Alenka Bratušek Party are concerned about the latest report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), from which it follows that Slovenia is warming twice as fast as global average.

Business want state to pay for staff testing

LJUBLJANA - A chamber representing small businesses called on the government to scrap the requirement of frequent testing of staff who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered from Covid-19, saying in any event the cost of testing should be covered by the state. The OZS noted harsh protective measures already in place for the services sector, "while there is also no evidence the services have ever been the source of infections". Meanwhile, Mitja Gorenšček, GZS executive director, told the newspaper Delo the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule should be made into a law, so that those who met the rule could move more freely and the economy would not have to be shut down.

Passenger numbers at Ljubljana airport in H1 plummet y/y

BRNIK - Fraport Slovenija, the operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, told the STA that 70,011 passengers and almost 6,800 aircraft movements were recorded in the first half of 2021, with the first figure being almost three times fewer than in the same period last year. An increased number of passengers was recorded in the last two months though. Drop in cargo traffic was much smaller. The operator is also happy with new links with Ljubljana being established.

Traffic extremely dense on eve of weekend

LJUBLJANA - Vehicles were waiting more than six hours to enter Slovenia from Croatia at Gruškovje border crossing as traffic was extremely heavy at border crossings this afternoon ahead of another very busy holiday weekend. More than two hours were needed to enter Slovenia from Croatia at Obrežje, while an 8km tailback meanwhile formed on the Slovenian side of the Karawanks tunnel towards Austria. Traffic was also slow on the Primorska section of the A1 motorway towards Ljubljana.

130 bears culled this year in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - 130 brown bears were culled in Slovenia this year until 11 August, of which 121 were hunted on the basis of the Environment Agency's (ARSO) permits and nine were found dead, the Environment Ministry told the STA after a brown bear attacked a local while he was jogging near the town of Pivka, SW, on Monday. The attack was examined by Forest Service experts, who established the 30-year-old must have surprised the she-bear, which had no other way to escape than in his direction. After inspecting the site of the attack, the Forest Service did not issue an opinion on culling, so ARSO has not issued a culling permit.

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus confirmed in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - The first case of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), a highly infectious plant virus that is jeopardising tomato and pepper crops, has been confirmed in Slovenia after a close encounter with the virus in spring. The virus was confirmed by the National Institute of Biology as part of national monitoring programme, and measures are under way to prevent the spread of the disease, the Agriculture Ministry said. The virus is not dangerous to people or animals.

© STA, 2021