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News roundup - Tuesday, 24 August

Ljubljana, 24 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 24 August:

Logar discusses cooperation, situation in region with Palestinian FM

RAMALLAH, Palestine - Foreign Minister Anže Logar met his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki he visited Ramallah. Bilateral and EU-Palestine cooperation, the situation in Palestine, current developments in the region, and Slovenia's EU presidency topped the agenda. He also met Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeas. The meeting with Prime Minister Shtayyeas focussed on the role of the EU in the Middle East peace process, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said.

Commission says EU, countries have duty to take care of Afghans at risk

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The EU maintains that the Union and the countries which have taken part in the NATO mission in Afghanistan have a duty to take care of the Afghans at risk following the Taliban seizure of the country, the European Commission's spokesperson Eric Mamer said when asked to comment on PM Janez Janša's recent statement that there would be no humanitarian corridors to the EU for Afghans. He said this duty extended in particular to example journalists, human rights advocates, judges and lawyers, and women and young girls.

Migrations top agenda as Hojs hosts Lower Austria governor

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs held talks on with Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the governor of the Austrian state of Lower Austria. Migrations and the Western Balkans topped the agenda along with the work of the Slovenian EU presidency. Cooperation with the Western Balkans has to be strengthened in the fight against child abuse, migrations and in procedures for the return of migrants to their countries of origin, Hojs said according to the Interior Ministry. He also emphasised the need to help Western Balkan countries join the EU and NATO.

Number of new coronavirus infections up to 477

LJUBLJANA - The number of daily reported new coronavirus infections in Slovenia is currently similar to the numbers recorded in mid-May, with 477 new cases confirmed in 2,489 PCR tests on Monday, according to data provided by the National Institute of Public Health. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population rose by 12 to 175, and the 7-day average of confirmed daily cases was up by 24 to 328.

Slovenia starts using monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19 patients

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia has started using monoclonal antibody treatment for some patients with Covid-19, having received a shipment of 1,000 doses of a drug as part of an EU contract. The combination of two antibody treatments, casirivimab and imdevimab, is used at the request of attending physicians under a temporary permit from the Slovenian Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, the Health Ministry said.

Illegal migration down by 40% in first seven months y/y

LJUBLJANA - Police dealt with 4,495 illegal crossings of the border in the first seven months of 2021, some 40% fewer than in the same period last year, when there were 7,577. The most frequently processed illegal migrants were from Afghanistan (975), Pakistan (806) and Bangladesh (522).

Construction of Koroška section of expressway begins

SLOVENJ GRADEC - Construction work began near Slovenj Gradec on a vital expressway to link the Koroška region in the north with the national motorway network. This is a second section on the Third Development Axis, the largest road projects under way in Slovenia linking Koroška and Bela Krajina in the south, on which work has started. The section is valued at EUR 37.4 million and should be completed in 30 months.

Bad bank selling footwear maker Alpina

LJUBLJANA/ŽIRI - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) initiated procedures to sell its 100% share in the footwear producer Alpina and all of related liabilities worth EUR 28 million. The bad bank said on the time was right for the sale as it has done all it could to stabilise the Žiri-based company and now was the time for the company to get a private owner.

Conventa Week kicks off in hybrid form

LJUBLJANA - Conventa Week started in Ljubljana today, combining the Conventa Trade Show and the 2021 Conventa Crossover conference. The event will bring together 75 exhibitors from 13 countries and 126 guests from 24 countries and will simultaneously take place live and online until Friday.

Festival of poetry and wine celebrating 25th anniversary

PTUJ - The city of Ptuj is hosting the 25th Days of Poetry and Wine from 24 to 28 August. Czech and Portuguese poets Petr Borkovec and Ana Luisa Amaral will be the guests of honour and the Open Letter to Europe will be written and read by German poet Durs Grünbein.

© STA, 2021