Stricter mask rules, temperature screenings, bar curfew

Responding to a sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases in Slovenia, the government has tightened rules for wearing face masks outdoors and at schools, introduced temperature screenings in the workplace and limited opening hours or bars and restaurants, coronavirus spokesperson Jelko Kacin told the press after Thursday's government session.

Wearing masks in the open-air will apply as of Saturday at places frequented by many people such as marketplaces and city centres.

The compulsory face mask wearing in the classroom will apply to primary school children from 7th class on, who now wear them only in shared school areas.

The rule will also apply to secondary school pupils and students, as well as to teachers in all classes, including at kindergartens.

"The assessment of the epidemiological situation shows this measure could significantly contribute to schools continuing to function without any special disturbances."

As of next week, changes to working hours of bars and restaurants will enter into force, expectedly to be limited to between 6am and 10pm, Kacin also said.

The OZS chamber of small business expressed opposition to this measure yesterday, arguing such curbs would further aggravate the situation in this line of business.


The OZS believes that closing bars and restaurants at 10pm will result in more uncontrolled socialising as people find alternative meeting places where they will not necessarily observe the recommended precautionary measures.

The government also decided today that upon entering their workplace, workers as well as visitors will have to have their body temperature taken, but it is not yet known when the measure will kick in.

The government also plans to change legislation to allow workers being on a sick leave for up to three days without having to visit the doctor.

Also in the pipeline are changes governing entry to Slovenia should the coronavirus situation escalate in neighbouring and other countries.

The government is also working on measures that would be put in place after the EU reaches a deal on the movement of people within the union, said Kacin.

The agreement could entail switching from quarantine to testing to be able to travel within the EU and could be reached in the middle of next week.

The government moreover prepared several measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus that would be implemented if the number of new cases continues to rise.

They concern public transport services, shops, pharmacies, post offices, banks and healthcare establishments in a bid to protect vulnerable groups, said Kacin.

The Infrastructure Ministry is for instance working on a regulation to allow certain vulnerable groups to use public transport in dedicated hours.

The measure would be introduced when the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) assessed public transport was no longer safe, the spokesperson explained.

The number of people allowed to assemble could also be further limited, from the current ten to expectedly six, as some countries have already done, said Kacin.

It has not yet been decided when the measure would be implemented.

The government also issued a number of recommendations, ranging from distance work and organising public events without catering to doing shopping only when really needed and postponing parties or celebrations of various anniversaries.

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Presidents or leading members of parliamentary parties were invited to Tarča to discuss the current situation in the country - but they do not want to see Hojs, who will be the TARGET of tonight's Tarča

Once one of the best research shows on RTV Slovenia, the Tarča show is returning to the small screens. Presidents or leading members of political parties (SDS, SMC, DeSUS, NSi, LMŠ, SAB and SD) were invited to the show taking place today at 8 pm. Last week, the show was canceled, allegedly due to the illness of one of the crew members, despite the fact that a replacement could have been found quickly among the 2,200 employees at RTV Slovenia. However, it seems that the creators of the show Tarča are afraid that the Minister of the Interior from the ranks of the Slovenian Democratic Party, Aleš Hojs, would come to the studio again. He completely verbally demolished the host of the show two weeks ago.

 "I hear that producers of Tarča fear the SDS representative and member of the SDS Executive Board, Aleš Hojs, whom they are preventing from appearing on the show. The comrades from RTV Slovenia are now even taking the right to decide who will represent the party,” Prime Minister Janez Janša wrote on Twitter. During the last show, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs proved that the television segment prepared by investigative journalist Nataša Markovič on the politicisation of police in the show  was full of lies and media discredits, thus embarrassing the show Tarča leader Erika Žnidaršič.

After the shock two weeks ago, Žnidaršič and the company are ready for a new show. But it seems that Žnidaršič is still suffering from a headache called Hojs, as she needed a fourteen-day rest. Our RTV Slovenia, with an annual budget of 120 million euros and 2,200 employees, likes to present itself as objective, clear and independent. However, it seems that democratic rules apply only when they fit the leading staff of RTV Slovenia.

The Tarča show is plotting a media assassination of Hojs and does not let him defend himself!

“Presidents or leaders of: SDS, SMC, DeSUS, NSi, LMŠ, SAB and SD are invited to Tarča at 8 pm. See you!" they wrote on RTV Slovenia's account on Twitter. But when they found out that SDS intends to send a member of the SDS Executive Board to Tarča again, i.e. someone from a leading position in a party that meets all the criteria of RTV Slovenia, they changed their minds.

Given that the topic in tonight's Target will be the current situation in the country, Hojs is undoubtedly the most suitable guest. His interpellation is on the agenda tomorrow. Anyone who thinks that both the leader of Tarča and the representatives of the opposition will not use the time on the air for the last attacks on Hojs is naive. The target of tonight's Tarča (translation Target) is Hojs, whose comrades on RTV Slovenia do not let him perform on his own and break down their network of lies and deceptions.

Cowards from RTV Slovenia live in fear that Hojs would expose their lies on the spot once again. A lie about the concert of the Croatian musician Thompson in Maribor is expected to be repeated. They will ignore the law and continue freely along party lines. RTV Slovenia, Tarča, the opposition and its comrades do not care what the Administrative Court has decided.

Hoys merely followed lawful procedures. Therefore, it will be interesting to listen to the fighters for the rule of law from the ranks of SD, SAB and LMŠ, when they will argue that Hojs should have violated the existing Slovenian legislation. The leaders of Tarča, do not even have enough integrity to have the victim of a planned media murder in front of their eyes as they carry out their dirty work.

A hit to the opponents of the measures: The Constitutional Court ruled that restricting movement to municipalities during the epidemic was in line with the Slovenian constitution, as coronavirus was an unknown disease that could break down the health

The Constitutional Court ruled that the temporary restriction of movement to municipalities in the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic was not unconstitutional. In the opinion of the Constitutional Court, the disputed provisions, which interfered with the right to freedom of movement by prohibiting movement outside the municipality of residence, pursued a constitutionally permissible goal and were not excessive.

NLB chairman named AmCham Slovenia president

Blaž Brodnjak, the CEO of NLB bank, has been appointed new president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia (AmCham Slovenia) for a two-year term in office. He succeeds Sašo Berger.

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Outlines of new Demographic Fund emerging

The coalition partners appear to have agreed the outlines of a new Demographic Fund, which would manage state assets and provide an extra source of financing of public pensions. The bulk of partially or wholly state-owned companies would come under the control of the new entity.

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Slovenia should be smart in spending EU funds, debate hears

A webinar on how to effectively draw EU funds in 2021-2027 on Tuesday heard that a serious reflection was needed in Slovenia on how to use the money. Digitalisation, green and circular economy, investments in R&D and transition to sustainable society were singled out as some of the most promising fields.

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Minister Simoniti: The new media legislation urges RTV to make financial and structural changes

“The Ministry of Culture does not want to harm the public institution in any way with the proposed changes in the legislation. However, it does want RTV Slovenija to become a modern, plural, and financially rational media outlet, and at the same time, it wants to ensure that other media outlets also develop, which also strengthens trust in the media,” Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti emphasized at a meeting with the President of the Republic Borut Pahor in the Presidential Palace, regarding the existing media legislation. Given the loss that RTV has generated, the Minister does not want to increase the mandatory RTV contribution but would rather see RTV become more competitive in the advertising market.

FDI in Slovenia up 5% in 2019

Foreign direct investment in Slovenia amounted to EUR 16 billion at the end of 2019, a 4.9% increase on 2018. Meanwhile, Slovenia's outbound FDI rose by 8.7% to EUR 6.6 billion, show data released by Banka Slovenije on Monday.

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Pahor steps up calls for electoral reform, fears democracy in peril

President Borut Pahor has reiterated his concerns about a potential failure of parliament to implement an electoral reform as ordered by the Constitutional Court, saying that "from the moment of elections onwards, we will no longer be talking about coronavirus and other topics but only about whether we have a legal and legitimate leadership".

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Friday's anti-government protesters with torches in their hands and Svetlana Makarovič behind the microphone called for "activation" of individuals, opposition parties and NGOs!

Anti-government protesters once again gathered on the streets of Ljubljana last Friday to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation. With torches in their hands, they called on individuals, opposition parties and civil society organizations to activate. They announced that they wanted to live and not scrape by. The frontman of the illegal protests, Jaša Jenull, was also present this time, alongside Svetlana Makarovič who wore a red star on her chest.

Lipica stud farm expects only a third of last year's visitor numbers

The Kobilarna Lipica stud farm expects this year to see only a third of last year's number of visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a business report which also shows that in the first half of the year, its operator recorded only 34% of the revenue from the same period in 2019.

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Key govt adviser named deputy chief supervisor of Krka

The supervisory board of pharma company Krka appointed on Wednesday Jože Mermal for another term as chief supervisor. Matej Lahovnik, the economist who heads a special task force of economists and business executives advising the government during the Covid-19 crisis, was appointed his deputy.

Apart from Lahovnik, who represents shareholders on the board, Franc Šašek, employee representative, was also named deputy chief supervisor.

Krka shareholders appointed four new members to the nine-member board in July. Existing supervisors Julijana Kristl, Boris Žnidarič and Jože Mermal were put forward for the appointment along with a new name, Peter Filipič.

However, Slovenian Sovereign Holding tabled a counter proposal at the shareholders meeting, proposing Lahovnik instead of Filipič.

Thus, Kristl, Žnidarič, Mermal and Lahovnik were appointed for a five-year term on the board that also includes Borut Jamnik, Mojca Osolnik Videmšek, Mateja Vrečer and Tomaž Sever.

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Conde Nast Traveler picks Slovenia as best 2021 holiday destination

US luxury and lifestyle travel web portal Conde Nast Traveler has picked Slovenia as the top holiday destination for 2021.

Tucked between old favourites Italy and Croatia, Slovenia offers Michelin-starred food, excellent wine, turquoise rivers, glacier-fed lakes and soaring, snow-capped peaks, it says on its web site.

The country's most famous landmark, Lake Bled, is described as being "more peaceful than any of Europe's better-known lakes". "For now, at least, it remains blissfully unbusy; a place of wide-open spaces, splendid solace and restoratively pristine air."

Conde Nast Traveler further highlights the country's cuisine and wine, and the Michelin-starred restaurants - Hiša Franko led by chef Ana Roš and the Strelec restaurant at Ljubljana Castle.

Slovenia is followed on the list of best places to visit in 2021 by England's Yorkshire, Portugal's Melides, the United Arab Emirates and Canary Islands.

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July exports down by 2.9% y/y, imports by 10.9%

Slovenia's exports amounted to EUR 2.94 billion in July, a 2.9% year-on-year decrease, while imports were down by 10.9% to EUR 2.74 billion, which made for the second highest external trade surplus in a decade. In the first seven months of 2020, exports declined by 4.3% and imports by 10.0%, but a surplus was generated each month.

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