Solutions sought as Covid-19 situation in nursing homes escalates

Nearly a fifth of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Slovenia have been in nursing homes, which have been described by a health official as a "battlefield" that would determine the future course of the epidemic. Authorities are looking for solutions and have also urged families of nursing home residents to secure domestic care if possible.

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Janez Jansa to the Social Democrats of Dejan Zidan: I ask you to withstand the calls for violence

»So please refrain from calling for violence in the future,« prime minister of the center-right government Janez Jansa told the far-left Social Democrats (SD) of Dejan Zidan on the social network Twitter.

Recently, former secretary general Uros Jausevec threatened to rebel on Twitter. »But the quarantine will be over. See you then,« he announced.

Following a series of protests against such a threat of street violence, SD reported on Twitter: »We are a democratic society. As long as it is so, everyone also has the right to protest, which is not a violence, but a democratic expression of distrust and disapproval. We are not (yet) a dictatorship to ban this. Therefore, have zero tolerance for restricting freedom, lies, hatred and violence.«

Janez Jansa answered them:

»Unfortunately we do not believe you, because during your last ’rebellion’ and ’revolt’ in 2012 and 2013, more than 90 police officers (and not even one protestor) were injured by granite cubes and molotovs in a single night. So please refrain from calling for violence in the future.«

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The government rejects and condemns the case of alleged harassment of journalist Blaz Zgaga

The Slovenian government has responded to a top-level warning regarding the harassment of journalist Blaz Zgaga, published on Friday by the Council of Europe, on their platform for the protection of journalism and journalist safety. In response, the government "rejects and condemns the case of alleged harassment" by a journalist. They add also, that so far there is no evidence of how this happened.

In the Government's response, also published on the Council of Europe's platform, further emphasized that it has always defended the freedom and independence of journalists and strongly opposed any type of communication that could be considered a threat to their work. They added that the government would continue to provide suitable conditions for free and independent work of journalists.

"It should be emphasized, that objective media coverage is of paramount importance in the fight against fake news, which is a great threat to the democratic development and pluralism of the society, which are both protected by the constitutional values of the Republic of Slovenia and the fundamental values of the Council of Europe," on 27 March, the ambassador at the Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the Council of Europe, Andrej Slapnicar, prepared it in an answer, on behalf of the Government and addressed it to the Head of the Directorate for Democratic Participation of the Council of Europe, Matjaz Gruden.

In response, the government emphasizes, that there have also been so many false news and stories regarding the work of Prime Minister Janez Jansa in various positions and many legal proceedings have also been initiated against him. "But the fact is that none of these processes has resulted in a final conviction that would stand the test of competent institutions. It is also a fact that in the past, court judgments have often violated Prime Minister Jansa's human rights, including his right to liberty," it is also written in response to the warning.

The Council of Europe, in its warning of the 1st, the highest level of the most serious violations of media freedom, describes that investigative journalist Zgaga has been the target of a hate campaign since March 15 and also received many death threats.

The source of the harassment is, according to the platform, a tweet, shared by the government, through a Crisis Staff account, in which the journalist and three other intellectuals are referred to as patients who have "escaped from psychiatry" and "have covid-marks / lenin virus". This tweet was later deleted by Crisis Staff from their account, but later reported about by Nova24TV, it is also written in the warning.

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Banka Slovenije expects 6-16% GDP contraction in 2020

Slovenia's central bank Banka Slovenije said that the the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Slovenian economy will likely be higher than in the last global financial crisis.

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Trade unions and businesses have welcomed the EUR 3 billion bill

Trade unions and businesses have welcomed the EUR 3 billion bill to help the economy and society cope with the coronavirus crisis as a step in the right direction meant to avert massive layoffs. However, the unions say certain groups have been left out and criticise the government for ignoring social dialogue in adopting it.

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Stricter measures to fight coronavirus in effect in Slovenia

Strict new measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic entered into force on Monday, as movement has been additionally restricted and shopping rules tightened to protect the most vulnerable groups.

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Housing prices up another 5.2% in 2019, new sales modest

Housing prices increased by 5.2% in 2019 in what was the fifth consecutive year of growth, show data released by the Statistics Office on Monday. The number of real estate transactions was up 4%, mostly on account of sold used flats, while the value of the deals amounted to EUR 1.3 billion, an increase of roughly 6% on 2018.

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Minister Vrtovec urges stepping up of infrastructure projects

Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec argued on Monday for a stepping up of ongoing and planned infrastructure investments in Slovenia, pointing to the economic benefits and the fact the empty streets allowed work to be executed fast.

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Spas' revenue could drop by a third due to coronavirus

Slovenian spas have been closed since the middle of the month due to the coronavirus epidemic, and estimate "an alarming 30-35% loss of revenue this year", Association of Slovenian Natural Spas director Iztok Altbauer has told the STA. "Nobody knows how we'll cover such a loss of revenue."

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Group evacuated from Spain quarantined in Postojna

A group of 40 Slovenian nationals was flown in from Spain Saturday night on the latest evacuation flight organised by the Foreign Ministry. They have been placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine in a hotel in Postojna.

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First prisoner with Covid-19 confirmedin in Slovenia

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in a prisoner in Slovenia has been confirmed as Slovenia's largest incarceration facility in Dob has said one inmate has fallen ill.

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Over 80 residents in six nusing homes infected

83 residents of six nursing homes and 23 staff were infected with Covid-19 in Slovenia as of Friday, government figures show.

A nusing home in Postojna could become a hotspot after an employee tested positive for the virus yesterday; all residents - there are some 40 - and staff are being tested today. Nine infected persons have so far died in Slovenia, all of them elderly persons with underlaying conditions, and several of them residents of nusing homes. The government announced that a special body bringing together directors of hospitals, community health centres and nursing homes would be set up in the coming days to see what else could be done to prevent the virus from spreading to nursing homes.

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8-10am Now Reserved for Pensioners, Vulnerable in Stores, Elderly Limited to Those Hours

Pensioners in Slovenia will only be allowed into stores between 8am and 10am as of Monday as new shopping restrictions have been put in place to protect the most vulnerable groups against coronavirus.

Under a previous decree that took effect on 19 March, shops had to give priority during the 8-10am slot to older persons, the disabled and pregnant women.

Now, this time slow will be reserved exclusively for these vulnerable groups while pensioners will not be allowed into shops after 10am at all.

The government said the best way to additionally protect vulnerable groups was to separate them physically from other consumers.

Other restrictions that shops are subject to remain in place. Most shops except those selling food, pharmacies and petrol stations remain closed until further notice. Those that are open operate from 8am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, a restriction that does not apply to petrol stations and pharmacies.

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Teleworking taking centre stage due to coronavirus outbreak

The novel coronavirus epidemic has prompted many companies as well as public administration organisations in Slovenia to switch to telework to protect their staff and continue with operations. Experts believe that the crisis will accelerate the development of digital services, despite some being unprepared for the transition.

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Nation-wide applause for those on Covid-19 front line

This morning at 10am, virtually all radio stations in the country joined in a live campaign with the intention of getting listeners to their balconies and gardens to applaud for the people on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

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Electricity consumption in Republic of Slovenia down

In the wake of production shutdowns and public life grinding to a halt, electricity consumption in Slovenia has seen a downward trend in the past two weeks, show the latest data from SODO, the state-owned electricity distribution system operator.

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Government to continue work on stimulus package on Saturday

The government convened a session to finalise a economic stimulus package estimated at EUR 2 billion, but later announced that it would take a vote on it on Saturday after conducting further talks due to its complexity.

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Slovenian MEPs support EU coronavirus measures

Brussels - Slovenian MEPs expressed on Thursday full support for the first set of EU measures aiming to take on the coronovirus crisis, but several of them have also expressed criticism of the bloc's slow initial reaction.

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