The Slovenia Times

Automotive industry welcomes extension of furlough scheme


"Covid-19 has practically stopped sales and thus also the production of vehicles. In April it was down by 80%, and in May and June the extremely steep drops continue, so about a quarter of all jobs is at risk, in Slovenia this is 10,000 jobs," the ACS-led Strategic research and innovation partnership in mobility (SRIP) said on Monday.

Apart from the subsidised part-time work, the industry also urgently needs subsidies for idled workers to have more flexibility when relaunching production. The measures must be at least partly comparable to the measures introduced in the markets of key buyers and rivals.

In Germany, the part-time work scheme includes a 24-month subsidising of idled workers.

The Slovenian automotive chain of suppliers contributes 10% of GDP and generates more than 20% of merchandise exports. It employs 40,000 people and contributes more than EUR 400 million in budget receipts a year, the partnership said, noting that an exit strategy for the sector would be drawn up in the coming weeks.

"We believe that in devising the strategy and its subsequent implementation, both the state and the SID Banka will form appropriate measures to support it," the SRIP ACS said, pointing to such measures in France and Italy.

The government initially planned to extend the scheme for idled workers only for tourism and hospitality in the third coronavirus act, but following pressure from the industries that would be left out it decided to extend it for all employers.

The third stimulus package, seen as an exit strategy from the Covid-19 crunch, was passed last Friday.


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