Kranjska Gora Prepares for Winter of Artificial Snow & Family Holidays

After a relatively successful summer season at Slovenia's leading alpine resort, Kranjska Gora ski-lift operators are preparing for winter. They have further improved the artificial snow system, hoping to begin the skiing season in late November. They will try to entice families with new attractions and cheaper tickets.

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Finance Committee backs 2% rise in pensions

The parliamentary Finance Committee has backed a proposal for a 2% rise in pensions in December regardless of the amount of GDP growth in the past year, which would come at the cost of EUR 94 million.

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EU Commission green-lights EUR 80 million for Koper-Divača track

The EU Commission has given a go-ahead for an investment worth EUR 80 million out of the cohesion fund to co-finance the new rail section from Divača to Koper, said the Commission on Tuesday. The funds will be spent on building a tunnel and two viaducts on the track, which is to improve rail interconnection.

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Janša and Kurz in parallel with politics striked out to the mountains (PHOTOS)

Just like in private life, so in politics, close mutual and friendly ties open many doors. After today's official visit of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, the guest and host went to the mountains.

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(Photo: Gov.si/Twitter - Dragan Tatic/BKA)

Their plan is to climb the northern wall of Triglav. In the afternoon, they reported from the heart of the Slovenian mountains. They seem to be motivated and in a good mood. Undoubtedly, they will get to know each other better in person and open some perhaps a little heavier door.

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(Photo: Gov.si/Twitter - Dragan Tatic/BKA)

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(Photo: Twitter/JanezJansa)

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(Photo: Twitter/JanezJansa)

»The Slovenian route in S Triglavska stena is climbed. Wonderful weather at the top. Excellent company of a great mountaineer and @sebastiankurz and substantive conversations,« Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša wrote on Twitter after the climb.

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(Photo: Twitter/JanezJansa)

300+ New Jobs at Ikea's Ljubljana Store

Ikea is looking for more than 300 staff for its first Slovenia store, due to open in Ljubljana later this year. Candidates for various positions in sales, logistics, customer relations and customer support, restaurants and other departments can apply for a job by the end of September.

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Cigarette Prices to Increase 4.8% in October

The Finance Ministry has proposed a raising of excise duties that entails a 4.8% increase in the average price of a pack of cigarettes in October. The prices of other tobacco products will also go up, while heat-not-burn products and electronic cigarettes will not be affected. The rise is expected to bring in an additional EUR 18 million a year.

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Topic for the show Tarča: This is how the comrades divided the funds among their people (SD) – based on incorrect data in the bibliography

In the tender for the distributing of 16 million euros, Slovenian Research Agency chose its former boss Rado Bohinc, an opponent of independence and a signatory of the petition of the 75 “academics” against Janša’s government, who entered a chapter in the bibliography as a book four times, but no library actually has the book.

Search for Industry 4.0 experts

In scope of the HIA project, funded by the European Comission and coordinated by TECOS with the help of SRIP FoF, SRIP FoF is launching an open call for the international expert group, where they invite Industry 4.0 experts to apply. This is the first of the overall three open calls within this project.

Austrian Chancellor Kurz due in Ljubljana on Tuesday

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is to visit Ljubljana next Tuesday for talks with his Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša, the prime minister's office confirmed for the STA on Wednesday. The talks are expected to focus on topical EU issues, as well as bilateral cooperation in the light of Covid-19 and illegal migrations.

The Austrian press agency APA reported that Kurz will travel to Ljubljana to coordinate with Janša ahead of the EU summit scheduled for 24 and 25 September. This will be Kurz's first bilateral meeting abroad since late February.

The chancellor and the prime minister are also expected to talk about Slovenia's presidency of the EU council coming up in the second half of 2021.

Moreover, Slovenian and Austrian officials will also discuss the Slovenian minority in Austria and the German-speaking community in Slovenia.

Kurz and Janša are also likely to discuss the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Carinthia plebiscite that drew the modern-day border between the countries. The anniversary ceremony planned for 10 October is to be attended by Slovenia and Austrian presidents.

Relations between Austria and Slovenia are considered excellent, with Austria being Slovenia's third economic partner and the biggest investor in Slovenia.

Last year, trade between the two countries amounted to EUR 5.7 billion, according to data from Slovenia's Statistics Office. Slovenia exported EUR 2.3 billion worth of goods and services and imported EUR 3.4 billion worth.

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COVID-19 & Slovenia, Fri 04/09: 47 Cases

A record 1,733 tests conducted on Thursday confirmed 47 new Sars-CoV-2 infections in Slovenia, a slight drop on the 53 and 55 cases discovered on Wednesday and Tuesday. No new fatalities occurred, meaning the death toll remains at 134. The number of hospitalised patients decreased by two to 24, with three in intensive care.

The new cases put the total number of confirmed infections thus far at 3,079, 505 of which are active. The total number of quarantine orders currently in force exceeds 9,000.

Meanwhile, providing some cause for concern are reports of infections in staff from three kindergartens and pupils from several schools after the new school year started on Monday in-class for almost 191,000 primary and secondary pupils and almost 18,000 teachers.

Classes where cases were established are being quarantined and are mostly switching to remote learning. Schools with cases have remained open, an exception being a primary school in Braslovče where both the kindergarten and school were closed after four positive cases.

Government spokesman Jelko Kacin said today that the situation was no cause for alarm, as there are many schools and classes in Slovenia, meaning there will be cases. He explained that local epidemiologists have the final word about measures taken in individual cases.

Meanwhile, the new cases remain dispersed around the country. They were confirmed in 29 municipalities on Thursday, with Ljubljana again topping the chart with ten cases.

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Is the deep state preparing a new attack on Počivalšek?

Once again, POP TV has had a serious slip-up. On the show 24ur (24 hours), there was a report on the first day of school, and during the report, a banner popped up, which read: “Počivalšek detained.” Minister Počivalšek immediately let everyone know that he was not detained and that he was on his way home. At the same time, he also wondered whether this was a threat and if he would get a visit on the next day. Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs believes that the media house has gone completely insane, and he even wondered whether POP TV had received any information from hidden correspondents that even he, more than obviously, does not know about. 

After the failure of Uroš Slak, who wanted to challenge Anže Logar on his evening show, and after the releasing of untrue information about the protests at Bled, while Jaša Jenull had his performance, the show 24ur now allowed itself another slip-up. While reporting on the first day of school, they put a banner on the screen that read: “Počivalšek detained.”

Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek immediately responded to the banner, as he informed the public and the media outlet that he was, in fact, not detained. “24ur, I have just finished a meeting and am heading back home; right now, I am on the Štajerska highway. Is this a warning that I am to expect a visit tomorrow, or are these pious wishes that you are starting to believe?” Minister Počivalšek wrote on his Twitter profile.

Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, also responded to the false information that was published. He believes that 24ur has gone completely insane, and he even wondered whether 24ur had any information from the police correspondents. “The 24ur banner that was put on the screen during the report on the first day of school states that Počivalšek was detained. Have you gone completely insane during this media overthrowing of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, did you forget about what you had prepared and it did not come true, or do you have any information from your correspondents from the police?” Hojs wondered on Twitter.

The slip-up in question became the subject of ridicule; among other things, one user responded with a Tweet, writing that the slip-up reminds him of a bad joke. He wrote: “It reminds me of that dark humour joke, in which the Russian Foreign Minister forgets about the time difference and calls his Polish colleague to offer his condolences for the plane crash of the airplane that was carrying the President, to which the Polish Minister responds by saying that the plane has not even taken off yet.”
We addressed several questions to the Proplus media house, including whether this was a deliberate mistake and whether they intend to publicly apologize to the Minister. In addition, we wanted to know whether a media house like ProPlus could afford such a mistake at all, who was responsible for this mistake, and if the team on the ground was already prepared, waiting to record Počivalšek being detained.

The wish for the current government to fall is apparently very strong. Lately, the media outlets ProPlus and RTV have been practically competing in who will post a “better poor joke”. Let’s just think back to last month, when RTV tried to lynch Aleksandra Pivec in the media, as they published a shot of a nutria and a flock of ducks from Livada by the Ljubljanica river, in their report on the DeSUS party’s council. The shot in question was deemed extremely unsuitable for national television by the journalists as well. At the time, one of our journalists also sent some questions to the RTV media house and asked them whether they wanted to compare the minister to a rat, and what exactly was the intention of their report.

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Slovenia reports 53 new coronavirus cases

Slovenia recorded 53 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, down slightly from a five-month high the day before but still among the highest daily tallies since the start of the pandemic.

There were no new fatalities.

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First Slovenian Satellites Finally in Space

Following a number of cancellations due to poor weather, the launch of Slovenia's first satellites, Trisat and Nemo HD, as part of a project by the European space company Arianespace, was successfully executed this morning.

Arianespace's Vega rocket, which carried a record 53 satellites from 13 countries, was successfully launched from French Guiana at 3:51am CET.

Both Slovenian satellites, which are an important milestone for the country's as well as European space technology efforts, have already been placed in the orbit, with Nemo HD circulating at 515 kilometres and Trisat at 530 kilometres above Earth.

Their first contacts with stations in Ljubljana and Maribor are expected to be established at 10:43am and 10:50am, respectively.

The head of the Trisat project Iztok Kramberger of the Maribor Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science told the STA a group of researchers had gathered at the faculty to follow the launch that had gone very smoothly.

"We're happy that this first hurdle is beaten. But now the real work only starts, we're only at the beginning," Kramberger said about the 4.4 kilo nanosatellite that is capable of taking multispectral images of Earth in short-wave infrared spectrum with a camera unlike any other in space at the moment.

It will primarily bring insights about how robust this new space technology is, while its images could help monitor things like sea pollution with oil stains or plastics, major fires or volcanic ash in the atmosphere for the needs of the aviation industry.

The Nemo HD is a 65-kilo micro-satellite, which will be producing panchromatic and multispectral images and will be able to do so in an interactive fashion.

It was developed by the Ljubljana-based Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies (SPACE-SI) and will for instance help monitor the Earth for agricultural, forestry, urbanistic and maritime transport purposes.

The Slovenian satellites are part of the first test of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) concept, which will allow larger number of satellites to be deployed in one go, meaning at a smaller cost.

Kramberger spoke of a confirmation that Slovenia focused on the right size and technology and "caught the right development wave".

SPACE-SI head Tomaž Rodič agrees: "It is above all a confirmation that our development strategy in the field of micro-satellites, drawn up over a decade ago, was right and allowed us to be part of a pioneering mission of the European Space Agency."

Amsterdam-based Slovenian astrophysicist Jure Japelj echoed this view as well, stressing that Trisat was built almost exclusively in Slovenia.

"Foreigners can notice this and in time this leads to bigger projects," said Japelj, while explaining the primary focus of the two satellites would for now be the testing of new technologies.

A response has also come from Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, who tweeted that "Slovenia has joined the group of countries with operative satellites in space, a top achievement that should make us extremely proud".

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Slovenia's Q2 GDP Falls 13% Due to Covid

Slovenia's economy has been hammered hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown with fresh data from the Statistics Office showing the country's output contracted by 13% in real terms in the second quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The second straight quarter of negative growth puts Slovenia in a technical recession.

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Loan guarantee scheme uptake at 1%

Out of two billion euro in state loan guarantees offered to businesses as a stimulus measure passed in April to revive production in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, only about 1% has been tapped.

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Fajon is very bothered by the fact that socialists Josep Borell and Giuseppe Conte also attended the Bled Strategic Forum

It was hard for Tanja Fajon to accept the fact that the 15th Bled Strategic Forum was also attended by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, Spaniard Josep Borell from the Party of European Socialists, which Tanja Fajon is also a member of. This makes it obvious that her saying that she is concerned about Slovenia moving away from the core of the EU, does not make sense. In addition, she herself also attended the international forum.

Where Are Slovenians Spending Their Tourist Vouchers?

According to the latest report on tourist voucher consumption by the Financial Administration (FURS), 25% of all beneficiaries had used their voucher or part of it by August 23, which amounts to 69,797,643 EUR spent, or 19,6% of the entire 356,858,450 EUR sum value. On average people spent 136.43 EUR of the voucher and were on average 38.4 years old.

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