The Slovenia Times

PM expects profound societal change as result of pandemic


Janša said "far-reaching change in our thinking and response to the challenges of the time" will be required as the challenges of the present are significantly different than when workers fought for fundamental labour rights such as an eight-hour work day 134 years ago.

"In the battle with the consequences of the epidemic, countries capable of thinking outside established methods and frameworks will be the most successful countries.

"In this context we are facing a refreshing and updating of our tax and social systems, including examination of the concept of universal basic income," he said.

The prime minister stressed that the coronavirus epidemic had upended daily life and forced countries around the world to look for answers on how to proceed.

In the initial stages of the crisis the first priority for the government was to stop the spread of the disease and preserve the health system, now efforts are focusing on managing the consequences of the epidemic on the economy and life in general.

He stressed that stimulus measures adopted so far were worth EUR 6 billion, "by far the biggest state aid to the people, workers and companies ever adopted in the history of this country."

According to Janša, the experience of the past month shows that nothing should be taken for granted and that change is the only constant in the world, but he also stressed that some fundamental things remain as important as they have ever been.

"These are doubtlessly the values of freedom, justice and solidarity. Without justice there is no lasting peace and no genuine solidarity. Without justice there is no fundamental order that is the basis of individual liberty.

"Only a space that is home to justice is a space recognised by free people as our home. Only a space governed by the rule of law, only a house in which justice resides, facilitates genuine solidarity, which is the soft connective tissue of every normal human community."

Noting that the coming months would be a test of the nation's maturity, Janša said Slovenians' proverbial enterprising spirit, flexibility and ability to adapt, and the "cruel lessons of recent historical tests" were a great advantage for Slovenia.

"It allows us to react quickly to circumstances that change on a daily basis. Because it adopted the right measures, Slovenia is currently among the most successful countries in managing the virus. There is no reason, save for a lack of confidence and excessive doubt in our abilities, why we should not be successful everywhere else."


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