Slovenia’s New Govt: Janša - New Coalition Will Focus on Common Aims

By , 03 Mar 2020, 16:04 PM Politics
Slovenia’s New Govt: Janša - New Coalition Will Focus on Common Aims Janez Janša's Facebook, 2018

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STA, 3 March 2020 - Democrats (SDS) head Janez Janša addressed the National Assembly ahead of the vote to appoint him prime minister-designate, stressing that the four parties entering a new coalition would focus on what brought them together. He said he would seek consensus while tackling challenges, adding that the opposition was also invited to cooperation.

 Janša, who in addition to the SDS has secured support of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), presented the guidelines of the future four-party coalition ahead of Tuesday's secret ballot.

He said that in the coalition agreement, the parties had used the current situation in Slovenia - the fact that the outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec has caused a government crisis with his resignation, as reference point.

According to Janša, the parties have agreed on a coalition contract which would also be the basis for the government programme, to be presented along with the minister line-up when and if he is confirmed as PM-designate.

As the new government has only two years left before the new election, the term will be a "compromise on the solutions which all coalition partners agree on", with the things that bring the parties together being emphasised.

When addressing challenges, the parties will try to reach agreement by looking for consensus, Janša said, adding that he would also invite the opposition and the two minority MPs to participate in the creation of solutions.

"Our door for cooperation for the common good stays open to everybody else as well. We exclude nobody," he said.

Janša noted that the main guideline of the new government was that Slovenia could do much better with measures which did not require additional financial investments, including debureaucratisation and decentralisation.

"There is a segment in the administrative part of the public sector which employs too many people, including quality staff," he said, suggesting that a "certain reassignment" should be made as businesses lacked quality staff.

Janša said that the number of regulations had increased ten-fold since 1992, resulting in an unconstitutional situation in which a citizen "is allowed to do only what is expressly prescribed". The excessive bureaucracy also generates huge state administration costs and protracts procedures.

As for decentralisation of Slovenia, he said that the emerging coalition had pledged that new institutions, if established, would be located outside the capital.

An ambition for the next term is to distribute certain institutions currently located in Ljubljana around the country, he said, adding that provinces should also be established so that the state is better organised when it came to investing EU funds.

Among the measures which require a considerable financial investment, Janša mentioned a public pension support fund, with the population ageing being a strategic problem. He admitted that these problems could not be solved in one term.

"But it is time to establish a fund which would absorb the remaining state assets and manage them with a profit for the benefit of the generation which has created these assets," so that pensions in the future are no longer an exclusive cost for the working population.

While speaking of demographics, Janša touched on migration, saying that those who came to Slovenia, if invited, were welcome, and if they were in trouble, they would also be helped.

"But they cannot expect that we will accept their habits, their manner of behaviour, their culture, but we justifiably expect that they will accept ours."

Janša also announced measures to create a better environment for economic growth, as this is a permanent basis for prosperity. He added that public education and healthcare needed competition, which ensured quality.

"Slovenia will never replace public education and healthcare with a private system, like some countries have, but it needs to be said that neither of the two would work if it is a given, if there is no competition and if there is no possibility of choice."

Janša believes that problems in healthcare are solvable, but not without some order being made there and without the wage system being changed, upgraded. This is also true for some other sub-systems, he added.

He noted that not only highly qualified experts, but highly profitable companies too were leaving Slovenia, and that many more would follow suit if competitive conditions were not created at home.

Janša believes that certain contribution rates would have to be raised, including for health insurance and long-term care. "But this raise will be unnoticed if we create more, if economic growth is higher, if we eliminate all these obstacles."

Turning to security, he said that the current structure of the defence system did not allow for its basic task, national defence, to be performed.

"If nothing changes, in two years we will not even be able to bluff," Janša said, adding that for this reason it was necessary to at least temporarily reintroduce mandatory conscription and military service.

As for international challenges, he pointed to Slovenia's presidency of the EU in the second half of 2021, and added that Brexit was a "strategic catastrophe for the EU, by far the largest since its formation", and that it was not time for experiments.

While large countries are pushing for the decision-making system in the EU to be changed, the Lisbon Treaty enables small countries to win equality, especially if they are skilful enough and if they are able to rally around common interests, Janša concluded.

A series of stories on the new coalition is here

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