The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 29 November
Mladina: Hopeful about abolition of top-up health insurance
STA, 29 November 2019 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that Wednesday's endorsement of legislation that would effectively introduce a fully-fledged single-payer system of health insurance by the parliamentary Health Committee is crucial. Slovenia has never been this close to abolishing top-up-health insurance, says editor-in-chief Grega Repovž.
When the coalition Social Democrats (SD) announced they would present their own proposal at the committee, introducing a solidarity-based system of payment although somewhat different than the one tabled by the opposition Left, this seemed like a diversion, given that three other coalition parties are not in favour of such a system.
But then after a whole day of uncertainty, an ad hoc coalition was formed among those parties, the SD, Marjan Šarec Party (LMŠ), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), and the Modern Centre Party (SMC), and the opposition Left and National Party (SNS).
This secured enough votes to endorse the Left's proposal, which was amended by the LMŠ and coalition, and thus put it on the agenda of the National Assembly. As expected, the opposition Democrats (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) voted against.
"We should remember that for next time, when the three parties talk about problems in health, because the legislative proposal (that was endorsed) is now so watered-down that it is only about whether insurers will continue to take EUR 60 million a year from insurants or the money will be spent in public healthcare," Repovž says.
"We've never been this close to having that money returned to healthcare. But we should not get overly excited yet. The insurers' lobby is really strong. But at least now we know who is on which side," concludes the commentary They Can Make It.
Demokracija: Attacks PM Šarec over holiday rentals
STA, 28 November 2019 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija delivers a scathing attack on Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in the latest editorial headlined Šarec Is Mad, Stop Him!, in response to his suggesting limiting holiday rentals.
Referring to the comments made by Šarec as part of the efforts to tackle the Slovenian housing crisis, Demokracija editor-in-chief Jože Biščak writes that he "is afraid because almost no one, and in particular no mainstream media, reacted strongly to Marjan Šarec's idea to time limit holiday rentals of flats".
"The prime minister would set down by law to whom and when you can rent out your flat. To put it otherwise: the government would assume the right to have your private property at its disposal ... It is not just madness, it is outright insanity owing to a complete lack of ability to govern."
Biščak likens the proposal to limitations imposed by the former Communist regime in the country, asserting that the very thought of such a flagrant interference in private property should send all alarm bells ringing.
"This is no longer democracy, it is a road to tyranny, perfidiously wrapped up in some kind of social justice, and it is all directed at a socialist utopia in which the state can take care of everything."
Biščak agrees that high prices make housing ever less affordable, in particular in big cities, and that rental housing especially is in short supply, the reason for which he says is demand outstripping supply.
He blames the state, which he says is meddling in the market with central planning measures; the legislative and executive branches are passing detrimental laws and the bureaucracy imposes ludicrous demands.
"The only solution is consistently respecting the law of the free market and capitalism," Biščak says, calling on people to raise their voice.
All our posts in this series are here