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News roundup - Monday, 23 August, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 23 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 23 August, until 3pm local time:

Highest Sunday case count since mid-May

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 116 coronavirus infections for Sunday in what is the highest Sunday case count since 10 May. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population continued to rise, by four to 163, show fresh official figures. The latest cases come from 754 PCR tests for a positivity rate of 15.4%, which is more than double the figure a week ago. Hospitalisations increased to 75 and the number of ICU cases stayed level at 18. One person with Covid died yesterday.

Sassoli says not up to presidency to say what EU will do on Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Parliament President David Sassoli countered on Sunday PM Janez Janša's statement that the EU would not open any humanitarian or migration corridors to Afghanistan by saying it was "not for to the current presidency of the Council to say what the EU will do". "We invite Prime Minister Janša to discuss with the European institutions so we can decide what the next steps should be. All of our countries feel involved in the situation unfolding in Afghanistan and it's clear that we need to show solidarity."

Officials warn against Nazi and totalitarian regimes

LJUBLJANA - PM Janez Janša and parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič marked Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, warning against glorification of Nazi and other totalitarian regimes' symbols. Zorčič called for prosecution of such acts, which he deems extremely dangerous and inadmissible. Janša stressed that unless the society learned from history it would be condemned to repetition.

For majority, rapid tests no longer free

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has discontinued free mass testing for coronavirus effective today. Only staff working in sectors where testing is mandatory for the unvaccinated will still have access to free rapid antigen tests, all others will have to pay. Free testing will thus continue to be available to teachers across the educational, healthcare and social care systems, and workers in retail and event organisation.

Govt support dips to a record low ahead of new wave of epidemic

LJUBLJANA - Just over a quarter of respondents in the latest public opinion poll conducted by Mediana for commercial broadcaster POP TV support the work of the Janez Janša government, which is the lowest support in this term. The senior coalition Democrats (SDS) continue to top party rankings, however the party has lost ground, with its support dropping by almost two percentage points to 16.1%. It is followed by the opposition Social Democrats (SD).

National plan for higher education announcing changes in financing

LJUBLJANA - The draft 2021-2030 National Programme for Higher Education, which will be up for public debate until 20 September, envisages changes to the granting of concessions and financing of higher education institutions. In line with the programme, the key strategic goals are to raise the level and quality of higher education in Slovenia, and increase the flexibility and appeal of the higher education system in relation to the needs of the economy and society at large.

Average June pay lower than in May

LJUBLJANA - The average gross pay in Slovenia in June stood at EUR 1,952, down 2.8% nominally on May and down 3.4% in real terms. Totalling EUR 1,256, the average net pay in June was down 2.4% in nominal terms and down 3% in real terms, the Statistics Office said. The public sector saw an 8.9% monthly decrease in the average gross pay. Meanwhile, there was a 1,6% increase in the private sector.

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