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News roundup - Friday, 20 August, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 20 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 20 August, until 3pm local time:

Logar promises Austria full transparency about nuclear plans

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar assured his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg Slovenia would be completely transparent about its plans to build a second unit at the Krško nuclear power station, in particular when it comes to environmental impact assessment. Dialogue with Slovenia's neighbouring countries regarding this issue will be "inclusive to the maximum extent", Logar said at a joint press conference in Ljubljana. Schallenberg said that an open dialogue was very important and that Austria respected decisions by other countries on what kind of an energy mix they would have.

Rapid testing remains free for certain sectors

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia was expected to phase out on 23 August free rapid testing for all but the most high-risk professions, but the government has now changed course. Employees in healthcare, education, retail and the events industry will continue to have access to free tests. Students in the last three years of primary school and all secondary-school students will have to wear masks, whereas weekly self-testing will be voluntary. The tests will be free, Health Minister Janez Poklukar said.

333 coronavirus infections confirmed on Thursday

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 333 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, up almost 70% on the week before and the fourth day that infections exceeded the 300-mark. The PCR test positivity rate was 13.4%, better than in recent days but still comparatively high, show data by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ). The 14-day case notification rate rose by nine to 139. The number of active cases is now estimated at almost 3,000.

Plan confirmed for major new water source in Istria

LJUBLJANA - Earlier this week, the government confirmed a plan for a major new water source for the water-starved Istria region on the coast, a decision that was welcomed today by municipalities in the region as a major step towards improving the reliability of supply, but decried by local environmentalists as damaging to the environment. The EUR 134 million project involves building a reservoir on the Suhorca stream, and a smaller reservoir on the Padež, a larger stream of which the Suhorca is a tributary.

NGOs urge authorities to resolve water source issue in Anhovo immediately

LJUBLJANA - Environmental NGOs appealed to the authorities to immediately make sure that the region around Anhovo, western Slovenia, gets its water supply from a new source as the risk of pollution has still not been eliminated after last year's contamination incident. They also urged the local mayor to resign over corruption allegations involving the Kanal municipality and Salonit Anhovo company.

Consumer confidence worsens further in August

LJUBLJANA - Consumer confidence in Slovenia deteriorated for the second month in a row in August as the relevant indicator was down by two percentage points compared to July. It was still higher than the long-term average though, by one point. The figure rose by two points year-on-year, the Statistics Office said. Consumers' expectations dropped the most month-on-month in three areas: expectations related to major purchases (down seven points), expectations about the financial situation in households (two points) and the current such situation (two points).

Mladi Levi ambitious despite epidemic, founder's death

LJUBLJANA - Several venues in Ljubljana will host from today until 29 August the 24th Mladi Levi (Young Lions) international festival, which the organisers have billed as ambitious despite the epidemic and the recent death of its founder Nevenka Koprivšek. Three shows are planned for the first day apart from socialising and a concert by Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian group Maika this evening.

Mura lose first leg in Europa League last qualifying round

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian football champions Mura lost 1:3 (1:1) at home to Austrian Sturm Graz in the first leg of the play-off round of Europa League qualification on Thursday evening. The only goal for Mura was scored by Žiga Škoflek in the third minute. The return leg will be played in Graz next Thursday. Even if Mura drop out of the UEFA Europa League, they have a guaranteed spot in the third-tier UEFA Europa Conference League.

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