What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Govt Spending vs White House Access

By , 31 Aug 2019, 14:55 PM Politics
What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Govt Spending vs White House Access From the weeklies' respective Facebook pages

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 30 August

Mladina: Support for the Left’s spending proposals

STA, 30 August 2019 - The left-leaning weekly Mladina criticises the government's dismissive attitude towards the Left's (Levica) spending proposals, saying that instead of preparing for the global economic slowdown and possible recession as numerous other countries are doing, Slovenia has been recklessly ignoring indicators of the coming downturn.

The draft budget for 2020 is lacklustre and "threatens the country's stability in the short run if the international situation changes", editor-in-chief Grega Repovž writes in Friday's editorial The Government's Grave Mistake.

So instead of wondering if the draft budget will be endorsed in parliament or not, the question that should be asked it how to improve it.

The Marjan Šarec government has been haughtily rejecting any ideas that would prepare Slovenia for the worst-case scenario, including investments in new social housing.

"Apart from supporting the construction of the second rail track - which benefits only the port of Koper - the state has not planned any major investments or secured any safety net for companies which will be affected by Germany's economy cooling down.

"In the government's first year in power there has been no considerable progress in any key areas, not a step has been taken to enable society and the economy to start keeping up with growing new climate standards which actually constitute an industrial revolution."

Saying that the 2020 budget draft would be appropriate for 2019, but not for the year of economic downturn, Mladina notes that all the progressive parts of the coalition agreement have been left forgotten - healthcare privatisation has not been curbed, on the contrary, insurers are raising premiums with the government turning a blind eye.

It seems that the state will continue down this path in 2020, while Germany, on the other hand, is getting ready for the possibility of another financial crisis by investing in education, social housing, digital technologies, infrastructure and jobs of the future.

It is only right that the Left has decided not to support the budget bill for 2020 and 2021 if the coalition does not endorse its proposal to abolish top-up health insurance.

The government's dismissive attitude towards the Left's proposals for ideological reasons needs to stop since those plans are the projects currently carried out by progressive and prudent countries.

Slovenia still has time to change course and prevent its economic and political collapse, but the magazine concludes on a rather pessimistic note, saying that the faces in politics are new, but their attitudes and deeds have been seen before and do not inspire trust.

Reporter: When Slovenia will get access to the White House?

STA, 26 August - Wondering where Slovenia is on the global map, the right-leaning weekly Reporter says in its latest commentary that Slovenia would perhaps get the opportunity for one of its officials crossing the doorstep of the White House now that PM Marjan Šarec has announced plans for a second reactor at the NEK nuclear power plant.

In the commentary headlined Washington-Beijing-Moscow, editor-in-chief Silvester Šurla initially notes that Šarec will pay in the autumn an official visit to Moscow, not Washington.

"It is probably also because of Slovenia's pro-Russian foreign policy that no Slovenian politician crossed the doorstep of the White House in the last eight years."

Even in the last three years, with the US being presided by Donald Trump, and him having as many as four Slovenians by his side - his wife Melania, son Barron and his father-in-law and mother-in law Viktor and Amalija Knavs - the door has remained firmly shut.

But Šurla wonders if Trump, who is always ready to do business, will change his mind now that Šarec has announced the construction of a new reactor at NEK, which operates with US technology.

"If the deal gets won by their Westinghouse, Slovenia would probably get something in return. Something more concrete than just a courtesy visit to the White House?", concludes the commentary.

All the posts in this series can be found here, while all our stories on Slovenian politics are here

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