News roundup - Monday, 9 January, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 9 January - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 9 January, until 3pm local time:

Slovenia condemns Brazil riots

LJUBLJANA/BRASÍLIA, Brazil - Slovenia's Foreign Ministry condemned rioting in Brazil by supporters of the country's former President Jair Bolsonaro. In a tweet late on Sunday the ministry said it was following the developments with concern and expressed its support for "democratically elected Brazilian institutions and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva". Slovenia's Ambassador to Brazil Gorazd Renčelj tweeted the riots were unacceptable. Slovenians were advised against any non-essential travel to Brazil's capital.

Protest crackdown report says no reasoning provided for rubber bullets

LJUBLJANA - The full version of a report into the policing of anti-government protests in 2020 and 2021, obtained by the newspaper Večer, has shed additional light on the line of command in the operations. It shows that no proper reasoning was provided for what was the first ever use of rubber bullets in Slovenia's history and that the circumstances of the decision to fire them into the crowd or individuals are unclear. More than 70 were fired in 2021.

Nursing staff supports patients' protest

LJUBLJANA - The trade union and chamber of nursing staff in healthcare expressed support for tomorrow's nationwide protests in support of public healthcare dubbed a patients' strike. Both organisations stressed the importance of fully operational public healthcare, while the trade union also warned against privatisation. Several other trade unions, including the ZSSS and the KSJS confederations, have also expressed support for the strike.

Share of unemployment benefit recipients declining

LJUBLJANA - The share of the unemployed who are receiving unemployment benefits has been steadily declining since its latest peak in May 2020, reflecting improvements in the labour market after the end of lockdowns. The number of older recipients of benefits however remains high and many go on to receive welfare payments until retirement. As of November, the latest month for which data are available, there were just over 14,000 recipients accounting for just under 27% of all those registered as unemployed.

Helpline, assistants among ideas for better healthcare accessibility

LJUBLJANA - The Association of Patient Organisations presented ideas it believes will improve the accessibility of public healthcare, including a helpline for patients and special assistants in community health centres to help lower the burden of GPs. The NGO's representatives also underlined the importance of eNaročanje, an online tool for appointments which processes around 10,000 referrals a month, and wants waiting lists to be updated.

Wine maker Vinag's bankruptcy finalised after nine years

MARIBOR - The Maribor District Court has finalised the bankruptcy of Vinag, a once prominent Maribor's wine-making company, that had been in receivership for nearly nine years. The bankruptcy administrator Simon Prelogar has realised a bankruptcy estate comprising assets of EUR 2.3 million in addition to EUR 900,000 in turnover. Priority claims with interest at some EUR 0.5 million were paid out of the bankruptcy estate. Secured creditors received EUR 1.8 million.

Slovenian archaeologist finds Maya calendar over 3,000 years old

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Šprajc has played a key role in a groundbreaking study on the Maya calendar, in which researchers found that the Mayan timekeeping system is hundreds of years older than previous research indicated and might have been used as far back as in 1100 BC. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, the study used aerial laser scanning (lidar images) of buildings or sites in an extensive area along the south coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

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