New Slovene Govt Announces Policies on Conscription, Borders, Housing, Health, Taxes, Cannabis, EU & More (Feature)

By , 26 Feb 2020, 12:13 PM Politics
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STA, 26 February - The coalition government that is being formed by Janez Janša is planning to reintroduce military conscription, effectively secure the border, decentralise the country and increase local government funding, as well as introduce a general child benefit.

This follows from a 13-page draft coalition agreement obtained by the STA. The draft was initialled on Monday by Janša's Democrats (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi), Modern Centre Party (SMC) and Pensioners Party (DeSUS), but unofficial information indicates the parties have already signed the agreement.

Under the draft, the partners plan to gradually reintroduce conscription, which Slovenia abandoned in 2003, and a six-month military service. They also pledge to "tackle the situation" in the police force and consistently implement asylum procedures.

More on the conscription plans here

The parties have also committed to implement the Constitutional Court ruling mandating equal funding of private and public primary schools, and complete the system to fund science and research.

The per-capita funding of municipalities is to be raised to EUR 623.96 in 2020 and EUR 628.20 in 2021, which compares to EUR 589.11 and EUR 588.30, respectively, under the valid budget implementation act.

The coalition pledge to put in place a housing scheme for young families, build rental flats and establish a demographic and pension fund, headquartered in Maribor. Slovenia's second city will also host a government demographic fund. Pension rights are not to be changed.

The coalition also plan to reform social transfers policy and introduce free kindergarten for second or more children simultaneously enrolled in pre-school care and education. Family-friendly policies also include plans to introduce a universal child allowance.

The coalition pledge to secure extra financing from pubic and other funds in order to establish a financially sustainable and stable financing of the national health system and long-term care, and take effective measures to cut short waiting times in healthcare by engaging all staff resources.

The commitments include adopting legislation on long-term care and reforming the healthcare and health insurance act to change the management and functioning of the Health Insurance Institute and transform top-up health insurance.

Under the plans, employees will be able to take three days of sick leave without seeing a doctor, but only up to nine days a year. Measures are also planned to increase the vaccination rate and to set up an agency for quality of medical services.

The coalition have also committed to reduce taxes on performance bonuses and to reform the public sector wage system by pegging part of pay to performance.

Plans in the judiciary include making court rulings fully public and giving judges the option to pass dissenting opinions. Legislative changes are to affect the Judicial Council, state prosecution service, insolvency law and penal procedure.

The foreign policy agenda includes a pledge to support Western Balkan countries in their integration in the EU and NATO.

Other concrete projects include introducing e-motorway toll stickers and considering the option to transfer the Koper-Divača railway project and its manager 2TDK to the national railways operator.

The coalition would also like to reform land policies and the Farmland Fund, amend the co-operatives act and regulate production and use of cannabis in medicine and industry.

The coalition agreement sets out that the partners are taking the responsibility to manage the state according to voters' will, constitutional values, and rights and obligations as set forth in the agreement, based on the principles of equality and partnership.

The coalition pledges to focus on what connects and unites people in the country, and to advocate cooperation based on the willingness to work for the common good.

Under the draft, the SDS will be responsible for the departments of home and foreign affairs, finance, culture, which includes media, as well as the environment, diaspora and cohesion. The SMC was allocated the briefs of education, economy, public administration and justice, the NSi labour, infrastructure and defence, and DeSUS health, agriculture and the demographic fund.

This is the first in a series on the new government’s plans, to be posted in the next few days, with the whole set here

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