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News roundup - Monday, 30 August

Ljubljana, 30 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 30 August:

143 new cases of coronavirus confirmed as hospital numbers surge

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia confirmed 143 cases of coronavirus on Sunday, a quarter more than in the week before, as 16% of all PCR tests came back positive and hospitals continued to fill up amidst an exponential growth in new cases. There were 141 patients with Covid-19 in hospital this morning, up by twelve, whereas the number of ICU cases rose by four to 27, show data by the tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population rose by four to 241 and the number of active cases is estimated at 5,156, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

Slovenian shooter Tiršek wins silver at Tokyo Paralympics

TOKYO, Japan - Shooter Franček Gorazd Tiršek won the silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics in the men's 10m air rifle standing competition in what is the first medal for Slovenia at the games. The gold was won by Philip Jonsson of Sweden with a new Paralympic Games record of 252.8 points, while bronze went to Andrea Liverani of Italy. For Tiršek, who was only 0.4 points behind the winner, this is the third medal at the Summer Paralympics, as he also won silver medals in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 in the same discipline.

Logar talks migration and Afghanistan with Spanish counterpart

MADRID, Spain - FM Anže Logar met his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares in Madrid to exchange views on current EU and international issues. The pair discussed migration, the situation in Afghanistan, the security situation in the region, climate change, efforts to tackle the impact of Covid-19 and economic recovery. Slovenia and Spain have similar views when it comes to efforts to prevent illegal migration, and similar concerns over how the developments in Afghanistan might affect illegal migration trends, Logar's ministry said.

Defence Ministry's efforts to evacuate Afghan who helped Slovenia continue

LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry continues with its efforts to evacuate an Afghan who worked for the Slovenian Armed Forces and his family from Kabul. According to the army's spokesman Marjan Sirk, evacuation is now possible only through a UN humanitarian convoy or one of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries as virtually all of them offered to help. The family has been offered several options, but the final decision will be theirs, Sirk said.

Slovenia to allocate EUR 83m for digital transformation in healthcare

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will allocate EUR 83 million for achieving goals in digital transformation of healthcare, according to Health Ministry State Secretary Robert Cugelj. The focus will be on four areas - users and providers of health services, healthcare decision-makers and designers and those who pay for the services. The goal is to improve the transparency of waiting times, and enable good policies and decision making while providing for quality, Cugelj said at a conference entitled Days of E-Health.

FURS proposes special tax on cryptocurrencies

LJUBLJANA - The Financial Administration (FURS) has proposed changing how income from cryptocurrencies is being taxed so that a 10% tax rate would be imposed when the cryptocurrency is spent or turned into cash. They are proposing adopting the new system to tax cryptocurrencies by passing a new law. It would be a major simplification for FURS as they would no longer need to examine the many transactions the taxpayer has performed in between or how many cryptocurrencies they have bought or sold.

Qatari delegation visits Foreign Ministry, Ljubljana mosque

LJUBLJANA - A delegation of Qatari Foreign Ministry officials was in Ljubljana for a visit to the Muslim Cultural Centre, which was built with substantial financial support from Qatar, and for political consultations at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry. A press release by the ministry said the delegation was led by Ahmad Hassen Al-Hammadi, secretary-general at the Qatari Foreign Ministry. The Qatari official and his Slovenian counterpart Jernej Müller reviewed bilateral political and economic relations and ways to upgrade them.

Peter Geršak reassigned state secretary for digitalisation

LJUBLJANA - Peter Geršak was relieved of his duties as a state secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration by the government and appointed state secretary at the new Government Office for Digital Transformation effective from Tuesday. A release issued after the government's correspondence session said that Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik will put forward the name of a new state secretary at his ministry to the government shortly.

Centre-left opposition rejects possibility of cooperation with SDS

LJUBLJANA - After the ruling Democrats (SDS) presented their terms of cooperation in the next coalition, most parties responded to these proposals with the centre-left opposition ruling out cooperation with the SDS. The coalition New Slovenia (NSi) said it was open to cooperation with parties with whom it shared the country's development vision. The opposition National Party (SNS), which has signed a cooperation agreement with the current government, is in favour of part of the proposals.

Nine out of ten hospital doctors inoculated against Covid-19

LJUBLJANA - Nearly 90% of doctors working at Slovenian hospitals have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, data from the Slovenian Medical Chamber shows. The vaccination rate among other health staff is lower. Over 90% have also been jabbed at UKC Maribor, Slovenia's second largest medical centre, at the Oncology Institute in Ljubljana and the general hospitals in Brežice and Slovenj Gradec. At UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest medical centre, 87% of over 1,300 doctors working there have been vaccinated.

DARS revenue, profit up in first six months

LJUBLJANA - The National Motorway Company (DARS) generated EUR 218.8 million in revenue in the first six months of the year, which is 16% more than in the same period last year. Net profit was up 55% to EUR 43.9 million, according to the company's unaudited report. DARS sold little more than 2.5 million 2021 toll stickers in the first half of the year, up slightly year-on-year, but still significantly lower than in 2019, before the Covid-19 epidemic.

Profit of Slovenian Henkel subsidiaries slightly down last year

MARIBOR - The two Slovenia-based subsidiaries of German chemical group Henkel recorded a combined EUR 81 million in revenue and over EUR 4 million in net profit last year. While the production company Henkel Maribor saw a slight drop in revenue, the revenue of the sales company Henkel Slovenija increased. Profit was down in both companies, with Henkel Maribor posting a net profit of almost EUR 2 million, and Henkel Slovenija recording a net profit of almost EUR 2.3 million.

Slovenian, international PEN centres urge govt to restore STA funding

LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian PEN centre again called on the government to immediately settle its financial liabilities to the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), saying that the "STA is undoubtedly an autonomous and unbiased source of information about events in Slovenia and abroad" and that its "financial revenue is clearly defined by law." The head of the International PEN Centre, Jennifer Clement, and several PEN centres from other countries joined the call.

Only part of e-tolling to be ready by December

LJUBLJANA - E-tolling system for cars will not be fully up and running by December as planned. Only annual electronic vignettes for cars and semi-annual e-vignettes for motorbikes will be available from December, while weekly and monthly e-vignettes will not be available until February 2022. The delay follows from amendments to the e-tolling act that have been published on the government website as matters under consideration and still need to get endorsed by the cabinet.

Slovenian top football referee Damir Skomina retires

BRDO PRI KRANJU - The most successful Slovenian football referee Damir Skomina, whose record includes refereeing at the European championships, World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the 2019 Champions League final, officially announced the end of his career at a press conference. "Damir Skomina's successes should be a challenge to the many young football referees who are following his path," the Football Association of Slovenia (NZS) noted on the occasion. Skomina said he wanted to stay in football, revealing that he would run for the presidency of the third division team Izola.

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