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News roundup - Wednesday, 25 August

Ljubljana, 25 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Wednesday, 25 August:

Number of new coronavirus cases tops 500

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia logged 508 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the highest number since 18 May. The new cases were confirmed in 2,805 PCR tests for a positivity rate of 18.1%. There are now an estimated 4,015 active cases in the country, according to fresh data from the National Institute of Public Health. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population continued to rise, going from 175 to 187, and the 7-day average of confirmed daily cases was up from 328 to 345.

New Covid traffic light expected next week

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia is likely to get a new Covid traffic light system next week with tiers of restrictions defined based on the number of cases in hospital rather than the number of new positive cases, senior health officials said. Health Minister Janez Poklukar said the focus would by on the occupancy of hospital beds in general and intensive care beds in particular. The final details are being ironed out in talks with health experts, he said.

Day of Slovenian-American Friendship marked

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor hosted a delegation of the United States Senate for the Slovenian-American Friendship Day, an annual celebration of bilateral ties. He stressed that the two countries shared the same values. The ceremony in Ljubljana featured senators Richard Shelby, Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Deb Fischer, John Kennedy and Roger Marshall, and senior Slovenian officials including Defence Minister Matej Tonin and National Council President Alojz Kovšca.

FM Logar and Maltese colleague Bartolo agree on migration issue

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Anže Logar and his Maltese counterpart Evarist Bartolo, who is on an official visit to Slovenia, said that reforms in the EU's migration policy were necessary. The pair agreed that migration issues should be tackled primarily in countries of origin, adding the same applied to the situation in Afghanistan.

Hojs talks Afghanistan situation with UNHCR official

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs met via videolink Roland Sebastian Schilling, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Central Europe. The pair discussed the situation in Afghanistan, including potential migration and security threats, the ministry said. Hojs highlighted the need for comprehensive migration management which aims to eliminate the root causes of migration and forced displacement and fight migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Schools, kindergartens will be able to fire staff over Covid-19 requirements

LJUBLJANA - Schools and kindergartens have received instructions on how to act if staff does not adhere to the recovered-vaccinated-tested rule. The Education Ministry document obtained by the STA shows that a refusal to get tested for coronavirus will be sufficient ground for a lay-off.

Intel oversight commission debates right-wing extremism

LJUBLJANA - The Commission for Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services launched a debate on right-wing extremism and potential ties between far-right groups and government officials. The session will continue since its chair wants to interview Prime Minister Janez Janša. "This topic is extraordinarily important for Slovenian society. We are witnessing an unprecedented phenomenon," said commission chair Matjaž Nemec, a deputy for the opposition Social Democrats (SD).

Farmers protest against CAP strategic plan

GORNJA RADGONA - Several organisations of farmers staged a protest against solutions contained in the draft national strategic plan for the implementation of the EU's common agricultural policy, which involves a shift from direct payments to farmers towards the financing of rural development policy. Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek noted that the government had already pledged an extra EUR 100 million for farm payments, which largely addressed farmers' concerns.

Domestic and foreign tourist figures even out in July

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's tourist accommodation providers recorded some 767,500 arrivals in July and 2.3 million overnight stays, show fresh data by the Statistics Office. The figures for overnight stays by domestic and foreign tourists have evened out as the latter total was up by 55% in July year-on-year. Slovenian tourists accounted for 54% of all July overnight stays and foreign tourists 46%, show data released today.

Business sentiment improves in August

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's business sentiment improved again in August after a period of decline. The indicator is now at 6.4 percentage points, up 0.8 points from July and up 12.4 points year-on-year, the Statistics Office reported. On a monthly level, business sentiment and confidence improved in services (+0.7 points), retail (+0.3 points) and manufacturing (+0.1 points).

Hoteliers believe tourism recovery will take longer than expected

LJUBLJANA - The recovery of tourism from the current crisis will take much longer than expected and may even take a generation, warned Gregor Jamnik, head of the Slovenian Hoteliers' Association. He also pointed to the difficulties in recruiting staff, especially young people, and the uncertainty in the tourism and hospitality industry during a debate We Are All Tourism, hosted by the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) Slovenia.

Aeroflot cancels Ljubljana-Moscow winter route

LJUBLJANA - Russian airline Aeroflot will apparently not operate flights between Slovenia and the Russian capital in the winter season, the Ex-Yu Aviation web portal has reported. Aeroflot currently flies from Ljubljana Airport to Moscow three times a week. Aeroflot has suspended ticket sales for the Ljubljana-Moscow route during the winter season, i.e. between 31 October and 26 March 2022, reportedly due to the coronavirus situation.

Ventilation window supplier MIK posts higher revenue, profit in 2020

VOJNIK - MIK, a company producing and supplying doors and windows, generated EUR 24.4 million in revenue in 2020, up by more than 40% on 2019, and EUR 1.2 million in net profit, up by some 50% year-on-year. The Vojnik-based company expects a 10% growth this year. MIK also plans to start building an institute to develop ventilation systems as well as a manufacturing facility where these development ideas will be brought to life.

Roglič wins 11th stage of Vuelta, remains third overall

CIUDAD REAL, Spain - Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič won the 11th, hilly stage of the Vuelta a Espana from Antequera and Valdepenas de Jaen to claim his second stage win in the race. There is however no change in the overall standings for Roglič, as he remains in third place. Overall, the member of the Dutch Team Jumbo-Visma is a minute and 56 seconds behind the leading Odd Christian Eiking and 58 seconds behind Guillaume Martin of France.

© STA, 2021