News roundup - Friday, 7 April

Ljubljana, 7 April - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 7 April:

Foreign Ministry target of cyberattack

LJUBLJANA - The Foreign Ministry was targeted by a cyberattack. Appropriate security protocols have been launched and the scale of the attack is still being assessed. Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon told the portal that the attack had been launched from a third country, adding that it seemed that it "has been going on for quite some time". The targets have been foreign ministries and diplomatic networks of most EU countries, she said. The portal describes the attack as "severe" but did not provide additional details. The relevant authorities did not want to comment on the incident.

Slovenia calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem

LJUBLJANA - Concerned about recent violent incidents in Jerusalem, Slovenia has called for de-escalation of the situation there. "In sacred places, the status quo must be respected. We also condemn missile attacks on Israel and call for de-escalation to prevent further violence during the holidays," the Foreign Ministry said in the wake of fights that broke out after Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem during Ramadan evening prayers Wednesday night.

Minister announces solution for health insurance premium this month

LJUBLJANA - Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan announced a solution by 1 May to prevent raises in premiums of top-up health insurance after meeting representatives of the three top-up insurers. While the Insurance Supervision Agency said that the premiums were last raised in 2019, so the move had been expected, given the rising costs, the minister assessed the move was unjustified. He said the insurance representatives had told him that the EUR 74 million of funds set aside for health services in an emergency law have been "virtually all spent" according to their calculations. Meanwhile, President Nataša Pirc Musar called on the government to examine the possibilities of abolishing top-up health insurance even before the announced increase in premiums kicked in.

Voice of the People stages march for public healthcare

LJUBLJANA - The Voice of the People civil initiative held what it labelled a march for public healthcare to call for the situation in the sector to be improved, also proposing changes to three laws. Prime Minister Robert Golob and the coalition MPs are expected to file the proposals in parliament by 26 April. The group that participated in the 2020-2022 anti-government protests said in a statement on the occasion that the "healthcare system is collapsing before our eyes. Enough of timelines that keep being delayed and lead nowhere."

New network security requirements and restrictions unveiled

LJUBLJANA - A proposal for additional security requirements and restrictions for network equipment has been unveiled in the form of an implementing act to the new law on electronic communications. The proposal sets out guidelines for mobile communications network operators in their dealings with IT and network equipment providers and in risk assessment. It will affect primarily purchases of gear for 5G mobile networks.

More seats for NSi to ensure public finance commission is opposition-led

LJUBLJANA - The Freedom Movement has temporarily renounced two seats on the parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Public Finances and gave them to the New Slovenia (NSi). In line with the rules of procedure, the opposition now has the majority there. The move comes amid the Democrats' (SDS) ongoing refusal to appoint its members to the commission because it was not granted its wish to get the chairmanship.

Survey unemployment lowest in 30 years

LJUBLJANA - The survey unemployment rate in Slovenia dropped by 0.7 percentage points year-on-year to 4% in 2022, the lowest level in at least 30 years. The number of people who worked was the highest in the last decade, and the number of the unemployed the lowest, the Statistics Office said. Some 41,000 people were jobless or 15% fewer than the year before. The shares of men and women among the unemployed were virtually equal.

Slovenian businesses, tourism presented in Texas

DALLAS, US - Representatives of the Slovenian economy and tourism met with potential US business partners at the Texas Feels Slovenia business and investment conference in Dallas on Thursday. US and Slovenian companies and destinations held bilateral meetings to explore the possibility for business cooperation, the Economy Ministry, the Slovenian Tourism Board and the agency Spirit Slovenia said in a press release. Among the more than 170 participants were representatives of a number of leading US companies in various fields.

Valicon poll: Support for govt continues to fall

LJUBLJANA - The latest poll by Valicon has shown that the trust in the government continues to decrease, having dropped 40 points lower than the at its peak in June 2022. A year after the war in Ukraine started, fewer Slovenians seem to blame Russia for the war. The rate of trust in the government's work has been on the decline since late last year, but the first serious drop into the negative zone, meaning that more people said they do not trust the government than those who said they trusted the government, was seen in early 2023. In February, the value was at -12 and in March it was at -18, the lowest so far.

Almost EUR 3m available for forest fire protection projects

LJUBLJANA - The government published a EUR 2.8 million call for applications for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of protection of infrastructure for fire protection of forests. The funds are available, among other things, for forest roads, paths and tracks, fire walls and landing areas for helicopters. Funds can also be obtained for the development of water sources for the supply of fire-fighting helicopters, fire engines and firefighters.

Woman in Brežice hospital mistakenly pronounced dead

BREŽICE - An 80-year-old woman was mistakenly pronounced dead at the Brežice general hospital two weeks ago. Relatives were informed of her death but then received another call with a doctor explaining his mistake. The doctor assessed the patient has died but later she spoke out, saying she was cold. "The unfortunate incident occurred because the attending physician did not follow the protocol for determining the patient's death," Anica Hribar, director of the Brežice hospital, told Slovenske Novice.

First aid specialist named Onaplus's woman of the year

LJUBLJANA - The women's magazine Onaplus has chosen doctor Eva Pogačar as the winner of the Ona 365 award among ten inspirational women who have been pillars of the community and led by example in the past year. Pogačar is a specialist in anaesthesiology and resuscitation, a mountain rescuer, and the president of the First Aid Centre at the Slovenian Red Cross.

© STA, 2023