Morning Headlines for Slovenia: Friday, 22 July 2022

By , 22 Jul 2022, 06:45 AM News
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This summary is provided by the STA:

Govt caps gas prices, commissions plan for weaning off Russian gas

LJUBLJANA - The government decided to cap as of 1 September gas prices for households, small companies and basic social service providers. Excise duty remains halved, while VAT will be reduced from 22% to 9.5%. The government also tasked the country's main gas supplier to draft an action plan for complete suspension of Russian gas in three years. The prices of gas for households will be capped at EUR 0.07300 per kW7/h excluding VAT, while the cap for small commercial users and social services providers will be set at EUR 0.07900 per kW/h excluding VAT.

Govt approves EU-funded anti-poverty programme

LJUBLJANA - The government adopted a 2021-2027 programme aiming to address material deprivation, making available EUR 32.6 million in funds, of which EUR 29.4 million will come from the European Social Fund (ESF+), the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said in a press release. The key objective is to provide help to people most at risk of poverty with food and other measures so as to boost social inclusion and contribute to poverty eradication.

Govt extends low excise duties

LJUBLJANA - The government extended the reduction of energy excise duties, the government Communications Office said in a press release. The reduced duties will be in place until the government decides otherwise. The excise duty for petrol will remain at EUR 0.359 a litre, for diesel at EUR 0.330 a litre, for heating oil at EUR 0.07875 a litre and natural gas for heating at EUR 0.86 per MWh.

MPs move to delay implementation of long-term care act

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly decided in a 51:24 vote to change the long-term care act to postpone its entry into force by over a year to April 2024. The opposition, which sponsored the act in the previous term, was critical of the fact that the motion was fast-tracked through parliament. In presenting the motion, Labour Ministry State Secretary Simon Maljevac said the changes would enable better pay for care home employees and new hiring. The additional money will also be used to prevent the care home residents and their relatives to be affected by price hikes.

Changes to the RTV Slovenija act passed in re-vote, SDS seeks referendum

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly passed in a re-vote changes to the RTV Slovenija act that overhaul the governing bodies of the public broadcaster so that their members will no longer be appointed by parliament, political parties or the government. The vote comes after the lower chamber of parliament vetoed the changes on Wednesday. 50 MPs voted for the changes and 24 against. To override the veto 46 votes were needed. The opposition Democrats (SDS) filed some 6,200 voter signatures to initiate proceedings for a referendum.

MPs overturn omnibus bill veto

LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly has overridden the National Assembly's veto of an omnibus bill amending 11 acts to reverse what have been deemed harmful legislative changes passed by the previous government. The move came with a 49 to 24 vote, a day after the upper chamber's veto. The bill was passed by the lower chamber last week with 52 votes in favour.

Kras blaze intensifies again

KOSTANJEVICA NA KRASU - After subsiding during the night, the wildfire in the Kras region intensified again in the morning in three separate locations. Three villages were evacuated due to the smoke. In the evening, the people from the villages of Temnica, Vojščica and Novela were told they can return to their homes, while firefighters continue to fight the blaze in three separate locations near the villages of Nova Vas, Vojščica and between Cerje and Trstelje. This is largest fire in history of independent Slovenia with more than 2,000 hectares of land affected.

President Pahor to visit Turkey in August

LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will make a state visit to Turkey on 9 and 10 August at the invitation of his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president's office announced. Apart from holding talks with Erdogan, Pahor will also address the annual meeting of Turkish diplomats to discuss security challenges in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The presidents will exchange views on the war in Ukraine and the future development of EU-Turkey relations, among other things.

Coronavirus curve to reach peak next week

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 1,829 new cases of coronavirus for Wednesday, an increase of almost 5% from the same day week ago, and five deaths among patients with Covid-19, which is the highest daily death toll since 4 May. Janez Žibert, a modelling expert of the Ljubljana Faculty of Health Sciences who is a member of the Covid-19 task force affiliated with the NIJZ, projected that the summer wave of infections to peak next week before it will either plateau or start falling.

Consumer confidence lowest since outset of Covid epidemic

LJUBLJANA - Consumer confidence in Slovenia in July was at its lowest point since April 2020, the first month after the outset of the Covid-19 epidemic, with the value of the relevant indicator dropping by six percentage points compared to June to -39 points. Statistics Office data shows the drop was caused mainly by the considerably more pessimistic expectations about the economic situation in the country, which was down by 12 percentage points on a monthly basis.

S&P places Petrol on credit watch over fuel prices regulation

LJUBLJANA - The ratings firm Standard & Poor's (S&P) has placed Petrol, Slovenia's motor fuel market leader, on credit watch with a negative outlook after the government intervened on the motor fuel market. This could lead to a downgrade in the company's credit rating by one notch from BBB- to BB+ in the coming months. The ratings agency assessed that, given the current situation, the company's financial risk has not deteriorated.

Eight get a total of 28 years in prison for drug trafficking

LJUBLJANA - The Ljubljana District Court found eight people guilty of drug trafficking and related criminal acts and sentenced them to a total of 28 years in prison on Wednesday. The ruling is not yet final, and the sentencing of the alleged leader of the ring has been postponed to autumn after both him and his defence counsel fell ill. The ring planned to transport 30 kilos of cocaine from Ecuador to the Slovenian port of Koper and the Croatian port of Rijeka, but the plan had not been fully implemented.

More than 50 events at Arsana music festival in Ptuj

PTUJ - The 14th annual Arsana festival is getting under way on Thursday in Ptuj, Slovenia's oldest city, to feature more than 50 events and more than 250 musicians and other artists until 3 September. The festival will open with an admission-free concert in Slovenski Trg, the town's central square, performed by participants in the summer music workshop, followed by an electro opera by Raiven in Muzikafe.

Maribor with goalless draw against Sheriff

MARIBOR - The Slovenian football champions Maribor opened the second round of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League with the Moldovan champions FC Sheriff with a goalless draw at home on Wednesday evening. Who will travel to the next round will be decided next week in Tiraspol. The second leg will be played next Tuesday in Tiraspol, the capital of the Transnistria region. The winner will advance to the third round.

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