News roundup - Monday, 26 February, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 26 February - Below is a roundup of major events on Monday, 26 February, until 3pm local time:

Former Justice Minister Andreja Katič nominated to return to the post

LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Robert Golob put forward Andreja Katič as the candidate for justice minister. Katič, proposed as one of the options by the junior coalition SocDems, already served as justice minister between September 2018 and March 2020. The prime minister's office said Katič, who already met with Golob today, had been picked on the basis of her already having experience with the post. She currently serves as state secretary at the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development.

Slovenia wants more flexibility in common agriculture policy

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Slovenia welcomes the EU Commission's proposals for less red tape for farmers but would like to see more flexibility in the conditions for payments, Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Eva Knez said ahead of a key ministerial meeting. She singled out a proposal to exempt smaller farms from the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) checks that farmers must meet in order to receive direct payments.

Govt adopts measures as doctors refuse to work overtime

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted several measures in preparation for March, when some doctors will no longer be working overtime as part of an ongoing strike that entered its seventh week today. Among other things, emergency care providers will be able to pool resources to set up joint emergency centres. Healthcare institutions will be able to change their work regimes for doctors, possibly going from the current system of regular working hours topped off with on-call work to shift work, so as to allow uninterrupted services, said Health Ministry State Secretary Denis Kordež.

Foreign minister in hospital

LJUBLJANA - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon has been hospitalised due to what doctors suspect is a kidney infection, the STA learnt from the Foreign Ministry. The minister is feeling well and will likely remain at UKC Ljubljana hospital a few days. Fajon was hospitalised yesterday afternoon, after having returned from New York, where she attended sessions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council on Friday.

Regulated fuel prices further up still

LJUBLJANA - The prices of petrol sold outside the motorway network will increase on Tuesday. Regular petrol will be 4.6 cents dearer to reach EUR 1.491 per litre, diesel will add 2.5 cents per litre to reach EUR 1.523, and the price of heating oil will grow by 1.1 cents to EUR 1.170 a litre. The prices will stay in effect until 11 March, the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy said.

GZS says stricter posted workers rules causing major damage

LJUBLJANA - As many as 62% of about 4,500 Slovenian companies sending workers abroad plan to or have already moved abroad as a result of the EU-demanded removal of provisions that allowed them to reduce social contributions for certain posted workers, a survey presented on Monday by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) shows. The chamber said this would affect 14,900 workers and would cost the state EUR 145 million in tax revenue annually.

Pirc Musar again tops popularity ranking in POP TV poll

LJUBLJANA - The latest Mediana poll commissioned by commercial broadcaster POP TV shows that outgoing Justice Minister Dominika Švarc Pipan has pushed Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, her former party peer, to the brink of political survival, as Fajon's SocDems dropped from 8.7% to 3%. President Nataša Pirc Musar unseated Democrat MP Anže Logar in the politician popularity ranking. The Democrats (SDS) remain the best-polling party, while the government's approval rating did not drop considerably in the last month, standing at 30.4%.

Problems with driving licences for disabled likely to continue

LJUBLJANA - Some disabled persons have been unable to extend their driving licences due to the doctors' strike and their problems are likely to continue after Fides, the trade union of doctors, said this did not fall under the scope of tasks that doctors were required to perform during a strike. "There is no legal basis for that," Fides said on Sunday after it was urged by the Health Ministry to make sure disabled persons can extend their driving licences. "Until further notice, these patients will not be treated," as part of the strike rules, the clinic said today.

Maribor football team punished after stun grenade incident

LJUBLJANA - A disciplinary judge of the Football Association of Slovenia (NZS) imposed a fine of EUR 25,000 on football team Maribor after seven people were injured in a stun grenade explosion believed to be detonated by a fan of the team earlier this month. The judge also registered the match 3:0 in favour of Maribor's opponent Mura, the NZS announced. In addition to these penalties, Maribor will play their next four home games in front of empty stands.

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