STA, 13 July 2019 - The Left (Levica), an opposition party that supports Prime Minister Marjan Šarec's minority government, has threatened to withhold its support for the crucial 2020-2021 budget bills in autumn unless the government implements the agreement is signed with the Left and "gives up rightist policies".
This was the conclusion of a meeting of the party's governing council on Saturday, convened due to mounting dissatisfaction with with the government's performance.
"The Left will not support a right government. But it's not just a Janez Janša government that's right, actions are what determines a government's character," party leader Luka Mesec said, lamenting the current government's "strong neoliberal and authoritarian tendencies".
The Left wanted to implement before the summer at least four of the projects enshrined in a pact that it signed with the government in exchange for votes in parliament, but that did not pan out: it claims only one of 13 agreed projects had been realised.
The party's biggest concern is a healthcare act that would effectively prevent privatisation in the sector, higher minimum wage for student work, and transfer of land from the bad bank to the National Housing Fund as a way to boost the construction of social housing.
Mesec said the party had decided to support the government because it expected agreements would be honoured and that its priorities would be realised.
It also thought that "after years of neoliberal governments Slovenia will finally get a centre-left government that would not save money on the poor, that would tackle fundamental developmental and social issues, and have an environmental programme."
"These goals have not been accomplished," according to Mesec.
Šarec has repeatedly dismissed the claim that the agreed projects were not being realised and there are indications he will make the budget vote in autumn a vote of confidence in the government.
Left votes have been indispensable for the government, most recently in the passage of a controversial act on the financing of primary schools that would have collapsed were it not for backing from the Left.
The party has threatened to withhold its support several times before, but it never carried out its threat.