Morning headlines for Slovenia: Tuesday, August 2, 2022



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This summary is provided by the STA:

Fajon urges Russia to withdraw from Ukraine at NPT conference

NEW YORK, United States – Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon addressed the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York, saying the war in Ukraine had caused the worst deterioration of security in Europe and urging Russia to cease hostilities and withdraw from Ukraine. She stressed that Slovenia will continue to support Ukraine and its right to self-defense, and welcomed the departure from Odessa of the first ship carrying wheat, which she said is a sign that dialogue is possible. Fajon was also scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Government to reverse parts of income tax reform next year

LJUBLJANA – Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič has announced that the government will partially cancel from 2023 the last income tax reform introduced by the previous government in the spring, as it significantly affects budget revenues. The centerpiece of the plan is to reverse both the increase in general tax relief and the cut in the top income tax rate from 50% to 45%. This means that the general tax relief, at 3,500 euros before the reform, will only increase to 5,000 euros by January 1, but no more than expected at 7,500 euros by 2025. Boštjančič said that this was due to inflation and the rising cost of living. Changes to general tax relief are expected to increase revenue by €180 million in 2024 and €170 million in 2025.

Impact of drought on crops calls for emergency legislation

LJUBLJANA – The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (KGZS) is still collecting data on the damage caused by the drought, but it is already clear that it will exceed the limit set for eligibility for state aid following natural disasters (0.03% of budget revenue) and therefore require emergency legislation. According to the head of the KGZS, Roman Žveglič, the situation is worse than in 2017, when the damage was estimated at 65 million euros. Virtually all crops are affected, especially vegetables, orchards, permanent cropland and field crops. The production of cereals and hay has decreased by 20 to 23% each. Žveglič also called for cutting red tape to allow more irrigation.

Petrol and diesel a few cents cheaper from Tuesday

LJUBLJANA – Regular gasoline and diesel sold at filling stations outside the motorway network in Slovenia will be cheaper from Tuesday, by 8.6 cents and 2.3 cents, respectively. A liter of gasoline will cost 1,534 euros and diesel 1,676 euros, announced the Ministry of Economy. The new rates will be in effect one day longer than usual, for 15 days, including Tuesday August 16, as Monday August 15 is a public holiday. They will include an environmental tax on CO2 emissions as the government today amended a relevant regulation to reintroduce the obligation to pay this tax on petrol, diesel, natural gas and fuel oil after temporarily lifting it to cushion the rise in retail fuel prices on June 21 when it introduced the new pricing model. Along the motorways, fuel prices are completely liberalized.

An internal audit finds major irregularities in the highway police

LJUBLJANA – An internal police audit has revealed major irregularities in contracts entered into by the highway police administration, which was established under the previous government. This also applies to the contract with the national highway operator DARS, which was referred to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the Budget Control Office and the State Attorney’s Office for suspected acts criminals. The Home Office said the contract intertwined the activities of the police and DARS to create suspicion about the independence and quality of police jurisdiction from DARS. Also today, the entire staff of three of the four existing highway police units were assigned to regular traffic police stations due to understaffing, which the media interpreted as their removal de facto.

Media: Olaj’s former assistant suspected of data falsification

LJUBLJANA – Police have initiated dismissal and disciplinary proceedings against an employee suspected of a work-related crime. According to the media, the person in question is Tomislav Habulin, a former assistant to former police commissioner Anton Olaj. According to the tabloid Slovenske Novice, Habulin is a former commander of the Murska Sobota police station and was suspected of falsifying data in connection with his work as a senior official in the police commissioner’s office. The specialized prosecution will be seized of the case.

Illegal migration up 80% in first seven months year-over-year

LJUBLJANA – Slovenian police handled just over 8,200 foreigners who entered the country illegally in the first seven months, up 80% from the same period last year. However, Tomaž Pavček from the Border Police Division told the press that this was an increase of less than 10% compared to the same periods in 2019 and 2020. From the point of view of nationality, the majority of illegal migrants were citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Police also apprehended 130 people suspected of helping migrants cross the border illegally, who came from 30 different countries, most of them from Serbia.

Presidential candidate raises dust with comment on ‘media buying’

LJUBLJANA – Lawyer Nataša Pirc Musar, who is set to run in the October 23 presidential election, stirred up dust with a statement for news portal Siol.net about “the media are paid to attack those who think differently “. The former information commissioner said in a recent interview that it was “something that is practiced by Požareport, Nova24TV and now also Reporter and Necenzurirano. Is it journalism? The answer is no”. The media blamed him for encroaching on their reputation and demanded an apology. Some have even announced lawsuits.

Extended weekend Covid case counts down 10% per week, ten deaths

LJUBLJANA – A total of 2,835 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Slovenia from Friday to Sunday, down 10% from the same period a week ago, according to new data released by the Ministry of Health . Hospitalizations remained stable compared to last Thursday, and ten patients with Covid-19 died between Friday and Sunday. There are now about 22,694 actively infected people in the country, and the incidence rate of 14 per 100,000 people is 1,072.

Slovenia will receive 750,000 vaccines in the event of an influenza pandemic

LJUBLJANA – In accordance with an agreement that the European Commission signed with the pharmaceutical company GSK on behalf of a dozen EU countries, including Slovenia, last week Slovenia will receive 750,000 injections of the pandemic flu vaccine Adjupanrix if an influenza pandemic is declared, the Ministry of Health tells the STA. Under the agreement on a joint order, EU countries will be able to buy up to 85 million doses of vaccine if needed, but the vaccine will only be supplied if the WHO declares an influenza pandemic.

Hottest July on record in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA – This month of July was the hottest month on record in Ljubljana in terms of the average monthly temperature, which stood at 24.4 degrees Celsius, the Environment Agency (ARSO) announced. Record temperatures for July were also recorded in many other places in Slovenia. Last month was 2 to 3 degrees warmer than the 1981-2010 average across most of the country, and was also quite dry, with some stations receiving only a third to half of the forecast rainfall, said ARSO’s Veronika Hladnik Zakotnik.

Pellet demand surges, heat pumps

ŠKOFJA LOKA/MARIBOR – Amid the energy crisis, prices for wood pellets and heat pumps in Slovenia have surged. While the demand for pellets has increased by around 35%, the price has almost doubled and supply has become an issue. Škofja Loka-based wood pellet producer Energija Narave told the STA that the price of pellets has increased by 95% due to rising raw material prices and more expensive production. Energy company Elektro Maribor Energija Plus told the STA that demand for heat pumps has also increased due to fears of price hikes and disruptions in oil and gas supplies.

Opening of a new 5-star hotel in Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA – The Slovenian capital has a new five-star hotel as the Grand Plaza has just opened opposite the InterContinental Ljubljana to become the city’s largest hotel to date. Located in the Bavarski Dvor district, the 22-story hotel has 354 rooms, more than double the number of its counterpart across the street, which opened in August 2017 as the first five-star hotel. stars of Ljubljana. The Grand Plaza Hotel & Congress Center, as it is officially named according to a Facebook post, is an investment by Slovenian jeweler Zlatarna Celje.

The Slovenian pavilion of EXPO 2020 will remain in Dubai

LJUBLJANA – Slovenia’s EXPO 2020 pavilion will remain at the EXPO site in Dubai, the government decided during a correspondence session. The pavilion will remain in its original location, becoming part of District 2020 Dubai, to continue promoting the Slovenian economy and tourism for another five years. The Ministry of Economy hopes that this decision will help Slovenia to seize the potential of Middle Eastern markets.

Slovenia top FIBA ​​ranking ahead of EuroBasket

LJUBLJANA – Slovenia top the first power rankings planned by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) ahead of the European Basketball Championship in September. The defending champions are placed ahead of France and Greece. FIBA says “Luka Dončić is the elite and the ‘supporting players’ more than proved their worth last summer on the Olympic journey”. The “big question is whether 2017 FIBA ​​EuroBasket MVP Goran Dragić” joins the national team this time around as he is expected to announce his decision this week. Slovenia are currently in training camp and will play warm-up matches with the Netherlands and Montenegro this week.