PM Cerar to invite Luka Koper employees for talks
Cerar made the announcement on Wednesday after the Luka Koper resumed normal operations late last night when port operator Luka Koper reached an agreement with workers to end a five-day blockade that has caused massive backlogs of cargo and damage.
Workers started to block the port on Friday morning due to a dispute with the government over new supervisors at the company and, more broadly, the future plans for the country's only port.
Cerar, speaking on the margins of an event he attended in Mengeš, said he was sorry to see the workers being manipulated, which was why he would like to present them the facts and government plans about Luka Koper in person.
He reiterated though that he would not agree to any of their ultimatums.
Apart from demanding that Cerar come to Koper, the workers also want him to dismiss Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič and Finance Ministry State Secretary Metod Dragonja.
"I'm terribly sorry that Luka Koper workers are obviously still being misinformed. Somebody is obviously manipulating them and encouraging them for something that is unnecessary," Cerar said on the margins of today's opening of a Lek facility in Mengeš.
He reiterated that the government was striving for the development of the port also by taking steps for the construction of a second rail track from inland hub Divača to Koper, seen as key to the long-term development of the port.
Privatisation was never planned, he emphasised once again.
"If my repeated statements in the media about what is the truth do not help, and they (the workers) are still being manipulated and lied to, then it is right that we meet," said Cerar.
The prime minister sees no reason for revolt at Luka Koper and believes the management should not tolerate protests. "This creates economic damage, damages the reputation of Slovenia and Luka Koper and somebody will definitely need to answer for the damage."