The Slovenia Times

Govt Adopts Austerity Bill


Under the proposal, pensions, social transfers and public sector wages would not be adjusted to inflation as they typically are every year.

Moreover, even wages of judges would not increase despite a Constitutional Court decision to that effect, outgoing Development Minister Mitja Gaspari said.

The austerity bill is to save Slovenia EUR 102m in pensions, EUR 120m in public sector pay and EUR 75m in social transfers to individuals and households, amounting to a total of EUR 297m, according to outgoing Finance Minister Franc Krizanic.

If the bill is not implemented, the next government will have to introduce much more radical measures to get the same effect - reducing the budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP, said Krizanic.

Justice Minister Ales Zalar said that the government decided today to implement the ruling of the Constitutional Court from December 2010 to bring the salaries of judges on par with those of ministers and MPs, but to defer actually paying the raise until the end of the crisis.

This way, judges would be able to demand the raise to be paid retroactively.

Judges have already expressed disappointment over the bill. Supreme Court judge Miodrag Djordjevic said that they would examine the bill before deciding how to react.

The bill is scheduled to be discussed by the Economic and Social Council, Slovenia's main industrial forum, on Friday. But Gaspari does not believe that the social partners will be able to near their positions.

It seems that the lack of agreement among the social partners will not be the biggest hurdle for the bill, as both coalition deputy groups, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Liberal Democrats (LDS), said after the government session that they would not support it.

SD deputy group leader Dusan Kumer told the STA that the next parliament should take responsibility for the austerity bill. Moreover, he reiterated that the deputy group wanted the bill to have the support of all social partners.

Similarly, the LDS believes that it would be an illusion to discuss the bill in the National Assembly just before it is dissolved. According to deputy group leader Borut Sajovic, the LDS is not happy with the fact that the government failed to get the support of the social partners for the bill.

The two biggest trade union groups representing the majority of Slovenia's public servants, the KSJS association led by Branimir Strukelj and a negotiation group headed by Dusan Miscevic, reiterated today their threat to start collecting signatures for a referendum against the bill if the document is passed in parliament.


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