The Slovenia Times

Presidential elections 2017: Borut Pahor and Marjan Šarec



Q: Would you support a universal basic income (UBI) in Slovenia?

Borut Pahor
"When these debates began in the European space, I was very reserved about the idea and I still am because it is not sufficiently developed to persuade me, although I like it more than I did at the beginning. We do not know exactly what will happen in the future. We are witnessing many indicators that predict paradigm changes, not only in the labour market but in life in general. The question that arises is whether the concept of liberal development and the socio-market economy is a paradigm that will withstand the controversies of the century which is ahead of us or if there will be breaks. Possibly digitisation and new technologies will further replace the work of man, especially physical work. What will a person do in life, how will he create himself in the future if not through work? I have no answers, perhaps one of the possible answers could also be a UBI."

Marjan Šarec
"I believe it is necessary to consider the introduction of a UBI at the European level. Some countries have already deployed an experimental UBI. The development of technology brings many new opportunities, many positive things. New ways, new jobs will be created - jobs that look nothing like those that exist today. But, on the other hand, many jobs will be also lost because of the developments in technology. It is therefore important that the EU begins planning for the introduction of a UBI. The introduction of a UBI does not mean the abolition of the minimum wage in Slovenia that is regulated by the Minimum Wages Act. As president, I will absolutely defend this acquired right."

Q: With regard to the ageing population, how will Slovenian taxpayers generate pensions in the long run?

Borut Pahor
"The current pension system, with the predicted long-term demographic trends, will not be sustainable and therefore it will have to be changed so that those who are joining the labour market today will know what is awaiting them in old age so that they can adapt accordingly. It is very likely that future generations will have to partially self-fund their retirement from their savings. It probably seems that, for a while, we will have two pension schemes from the compulsory insurance, one for current and one for future pensioners."

Marjan Šarec
"Each generation works for a certain period of time before leaving that work to move to the next phase. The responsibility of every next active generation is to continue the work of the former generation with the aim of raising the quality of life for all generations. This should be the basic rule of any community. We therefore need to reach a social agreement to determine the minimum pension amount that will allow hard-working Slovenians to live a decent life."

Q: What, in your view, is the hidden potential of Slovenia and how will you seek to uncover it?

Borut Pahor
"Slovenia has at least three, if not more, hidden potentials that have not yet been fully exploited. The first is our nature which gives many great opportunities for green and healthy tourism and for the production of healthy food. The second is the well-educated people - both the current and potential employees who have great innovation potential that can provide exceptional economic results in a stimulating environment. The third is the companies that produce products with high added value and can quickly adapt to the needs of the market, in particular with customised products."

Marjan Šarec
"If we Slovenians want to be in charge of our own future, we must focus on continuous economic development, strive for food and energy self-sufficiency, unify our tourism strategy, trust the younger generations and most of all, encourage the participation of all citizens. As individuals, we are very successful and recognised in many different fields globally. I believe one of president's main goals should be to link this potential, to promote science, technology and investment in research and development, and to raise public awareness for our natural resources including the development of boutique tourism in Slovenia."


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