The Slovenia Times

Defence investment plan passes first reading


Under the bill, the SAF will get EUR 100 million annually in 2021 and 2022, and then EUR 145 million a year in the next four years.

Effectively, the EUR 780 million is EUR 300-400 million more than the army would get without the special law.

The goal is to secure the funding to set up key military capabilities to allow the SAF to fulfil its tasks and take part in the system of collective defence.

The extra money will also help Slovenia approach the NATO objective defence spending as a share of GDP, an indicator which currently makes Slovenia one of the most underperforming NATO members.

At Thursday's debate the plan was endorsed by the coalition and the opposition National Party (SNS), whereas the other opposition parties either abstained or voted against. The final tally was 49 votes in favour and 16 against.

The Left are the most vocal opponents of the plan and claimed that the government quickly found money for weapons, even as there is a shortage of funds for student dormitories and hospitals.

The coalition, meanwhile, insisted Slovenia needed to spend more on defence if it wanted to remain a credible member of NATO.

"Slovenian soldiers cannot deployed in 30-year-old vehicles and outdated equipment," said Jožef Lenart, MP for the ruling Democrats (SDS).

New Slovenia (NSi) deputy Andrej Černigoj stressed that the extra spending would mean commitments Slovenia had made in the NATO framework would no longer remain unfulfilled.

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) stressed that more money would also mean better preparedness. As MP Franc Jurša put it, investing in the army meant investing in the country.


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