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Weekly review of events involving Slovenia, 13-19 August

Ljubljana, 20 August - Below is a weekly review of events involving Slovenia from 13 to 19 August:

FRIDAY, 13 August
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided that passengers transiting through Slovenia will not be required to produce a Covid certificate only until 22 August, but from 23 August they will have to produce a certificate proving that they have either recovered from Covid-19, or been tested or vaccinated.
        LJUBLJANA - The government decided that people attending public cultural events will have to wear face masks as of 16 August, with the exception of performers. There are no changes regarding restrictions of public gatherings.
        LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana Administrative Court said it had 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). However, it effectively acknowledged that the government made a formal decision about which it may now decide on the merits.
        LJUBLJANA - The four centre-left opposition parties 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, after the report showed Slovenia was warming at twice the rate of the global average.
        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.
        BRNIK - Fraport Slovenija, the operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, said 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.

SATURDAY, 14 August
        VALLADOLID, Spain - Slovenian Olympic champion in time trial Primož Roglič won the first stage of the 2021 Vuelta a Espana, another time trial, to take the red jersey already at the start of his bid to defend the 2020 Vuelta title. His compatriot Jan Tratnik finished third.

SUNDAY, 15 August
        BREZJE - Marking Assumption of Mary, Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore called for open-mindedness, acceptance and mutual respect as he said mass at Brezje, Slovenia's biggest pilgrimage site. Zore urged people to get vaccinated and pilgrims to Brezje indeed had a chance to get a jab on the spot.
MONDAY, 16 August
        LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan saying that violence should be ended, the civilian population, in particular women and children, be protected, and basic human rights standards upheld. PM Janez Janša described the chaos in Afghanistan and the handover of modern weapons to the Taliban as "the greatest defeat for NATO in history".
        LJUBLJANA - A group of Slovenian environmental NGOs called on Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec as a representative of the Slovenian EU presidency to propose a political discussion on the EU exiting the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) at the September informal meeting of ministers in charge of energy. They said the Energy Charter Treaty was an obstacle in the transition to clean energy.
        LJUBLJANA - Education Minister Simona Kustec announced she had tested positive for coronavirus, saying on Twitter she had been isolating since Saturday. All activities for the safe start of the school year continue, she added. Kustec is fully vaccinated.

TUESDAY, 17 August
        LJUBLJANA - Four centre-left parties said they were planning to file a motion to vote Education Minister Simona Kustec out of office, arguing that two weeks before the start of the new school year, it was still not clear how primary and secondary schools will organise the education process while the epidemiological situation in the country is deteriorating.
        ISTANBUL, Turkey - Defence Minister Matej Tonin attended the opening of the IDEF International Defence Industry Fair, where he also met his counterparts from Turkey and Kosovo, Hulusi Akar and Armend Mehaj.
        LJUBLJANA - Police have filed a criminal complaint against actor and drama teacher Matjaž Tribušon, 58, after young actress Mia Skrbinac publicly accused him of sexually harassing her while she was a student in 2014-2016 and filed a sexual harassment complaint at the University of Ljubljana last spring, Delo reported.
        LJUBLJANA - Insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav saw group net profit rise by 40% to EUR 47 million in the first half of the year as premium revenue rose across all segments and all markets. The company expects to hit end-year profit targets.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission has approved state aid worth EUR 1.3 million for the operator of the Postojna Cave, a global tourist attraction, to help it cope with the damage resulting from the closure due to the coronavirus. The aid covers the period between 26 October 2020 and 1 June 2021, when the Postojna Cave and the cave under Predjama Castle were closed.
WEDNESDAY, 18 August
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - EU home affair ministers agreed to send additional help in the form of experts and technical support to EU member states bordering Belarus, which have been facing a wave of illegal migrants. They also urged the EU to provide additional financial aid, calling for better control on the bloc's external border.
        LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is ready to accept up to five members of the Afghan staff that worked with the EU, to show solidarity with other EU member states, FM Anže Logar said, adding that, for the time being, Slovenia will not offer to take in additional refugees from Afghanistan.
        LJUBLJANA - The opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) announced motions of no confidence in the environment and justice ministers, Andrej Vizjak and Marjan Dikaučič. The motions will be formally tabled once the remaining opposition parties have had their say.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a regulation banning the sale of single-use plastic products including plastic cutlery, plates and straws, ear swabs, stir sticks and balloon sticks. There are exemptions for industrial and medical use.
        LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a watered-down version of amendments to the act on value added tax (VAT) after its first proposal was defeated in parliament in July. The new version preserves some of the key solutions but is narrower.

THURSDAY, 19 August
        LJUBLJANA - The latest reported daily figure of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Slovenia reached 381, down slightly from the almost three-month high registered on the day before. The positivity rate remained high, at 17%. The situation in hospitals remained broadly stable with 56 patients in hospital, of whom 10 were in intensive care.
        PORTOROŽ - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs met his Slovak counterpart Roman Mikulec to talk, among other things, about the issue of illegal migration from Belarus. Hojs said that Slovenia had already donated 10 kilometres of "technical obstacles" to Lithuania, and that two Slovenian police officers would be deployed there soon.
        MARIBOR - Andrej Rihter and Vinko Filipič quit the three-member management board of national postal operator Pošta Slovenije, and so did supervisors Franci Mihelič and Aleš Buležan. The former two are on the board together with Tomaž Kokot, who took over as interim director general on 1 April after long-serving Boris Novak resigned on 30 March.
        LJUBLJANA - Insurer Sava Re said it had generated a net profit of EUR 43.5 million in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 35.3% compared to the same period last year. The group collected gross premiums of EUR 414.5 million, a growth of 10.9%, show unaudited interim results.
        LJUBLJANA - Answering an appeal from the Trade Union of Hospitality and Tourism Workers, Slovenia's equal opportunities ombudsman assessed that the requirement for people to meet the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) rule to access services, goods or venues is not discriminatory against the unvaccinated who could get vaccinated but have not.
        KOČEVJE - The state-owned forestry company SiDG, which has been managing state forests since July 2016, reported revenue of EUR 56 million and a net profit of EUR 7.5 million for 2020, a drop of 15% and 34%, respectively, compared to the previous year.

© STA, 2021