The Slovenia Times

Seeking Agreement on Reforms


The working group will be led by the PM's State Secretary Milos Pavlica, Svetlik said after the meeting with social partners, called by Prime Minister Borut Pahor, adding that the group will be formed when all social partners arive given their mandates by their members.

According to the minister, the group will check to what extent the government can open individual burning issues that need the consent of social partners, like the pension reform and changes to labour legislation, which were both defeated in a landslide in referenda on 5 June.

Svetlik said pension reform talks would not be based on the government-sponsored reform that was rejected in the referendum, but would start anew. He stressed that this would require "both sides being ready for certain changes".

Dismissing the claims of trade unions that he was no longer a credible negotiator for the pension reform after the heavy referendum defeat, Svetlik said he still had the mandate of the government and would perform his role.

Progress was made at the meeting because the attempt to revive social dialogue continues, he noted, adding that the circumstances called for looking for solutions regardless of the current political situation in Slovenia.

Dusan Semolic of the ZSSS trade union confederation meanwhile said the association was ready for new talks on the health, labour market and pension reforms, as they would benefit workers, but negotiations need to be based differently than so far.

Regarding the pension reform, the ZSSS remains firm in its position that 40 years of service for men must suffice for the right to a full pension.

Semolic further noted that there was little hope for success in future negotiations according to the government's attitude, but added that it was worth giving talks a try, hoping that the referendum sobered at least some people up.

Pergam union association head Dusan Rebolj however stressed that the current minority government did not have the necessary support and was unable to carry out any serious reforms.

He said that trade unions would not just sit quietly at such meetings with social partners and that future meetings would only make sense if they feature discussions on issues like development, the economy and tycoons.

If everything stars revolving only around the pension reform, because of pressure from abroad, Rebolj said Pergam would probably not take part in the ESS meetings, as he sees no point in doing so.

The first meeting of Pahor with social partners after the 5 June referendum was held 17 June in an attempt to reestablish social dialogue.


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