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News roundup - Thursday, 19 August

Ljubljana, 19 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 19 August:

Positivity rate remains high as 381 new cases of coronavirus confirmed

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 381 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, down slightly from the almost three-month high registered on Tuesday. The positivity rate remained high, at 17%. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population jumped by 12 to 130. The situation in hospitals remains broadly stable with 56 patients in hospital, of whom 10 are in intensive care. Two persons with Covid died, government data showed.

Sale of most single-use plastics banned

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted on Wednesday a regulation banning the sale of single-use plastic products bar a few exceptions. Products to be banned include plastic cutlery, plates and straws as well as ear swabs, except for those used as medical equipment. Also banned are plastic stir sticks and balloon sticks with the exception of those intended for industrial use and not for customers. The regulation, which will enter into force 15 days after it is published in the Official Gazette, also prescribes the labelling of certain permitted single-use plastic items to raise awareness about recycling.

Govt adopts watered-down amendments to VAT act

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted on Wednesday 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. For example, zero-emission vehicles for business purposes will be eligible for full VAT deduction, hardcopy receipts will be printed out by merchants only at the request of customers, and foreign businesses selling goods and services in Slovenia will not have to register in the country if they only sell to other businesses that are registered for VAT purposes.

Hojs announces police assistance to Lithuania in facing migration

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. The Interior Ministry added in the press release that Slovenian police officers would thus help their Lithuanian colleagues control the border with Belarus.

Two board members, two supervisors of national postal company quit

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, with the former to coming to an agreement with the supervisory board to leave the management and terminate their employment contracts on Wednesday. The pair 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 by mutual agreement with the new supervisory board.

Insurer Sava Re posts 35% profit growth in first six months

LJUBLJANA - Insurer Sava Re 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. This 10.9% year-on-year premium growth was predominantly driven by the Slovenian life business (96.8% growth) as a result of the acquisition of Vita, which contributed EUR 54.7 million in gross premiums written.

Equality ombudsman says PCT does not discriminate unvaccinated

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. Miha Lobnik noted that discrimination meant treating somebody unequally for their personal circumstances which they cannot choose.

State forest company's revenue, profit down last year

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. The volume of logging decreased as SiDG cut 1.14 million cubic metres of timber last year, compared to 1.29 million cubic metres in 2019, according to documents prepared for the company's annual general meeting.

© STA, 2021