The Slovenia Times

Seeking Moratorium on Public Finances Measures


The union believes the issue should be discussed by the Economic and Social Council (ESS), Slovenia's industrial relations forum, which is why it proposes an urgent session of the ESS.

According to Pergam head Janez Posedi, the agreements reached would then be upgraded to a bill which would be valid for six months and would prevent anything that would harm the public finances.

Asked whether he considered harmful the raising of wages of public office holders, pensions and social transfers and the reintroduction of promotions for public sector employees, which will be possible after the austerity act from 2010 expires at the end of 2011, Posedi answered in the affirmative. "I think there's no one in this country who'd think otherwise."

The latest attempt by the government and the Zares party to secure the passage of an austerity bill that would curb public sector spending in 2012 failed on Friday, as the Democrats (SDS) and National Party (SNS) opposed putting the emergency bill on the agenda of the parliamentary session on 17 November.

Commenting on the failed proposal, Posedi said he resented the fact "that no talks have been conducted with the representatives of the pensioners, unemployed or those eligible for social benefits". Pergam had also opposed an earlier government proposal that would extend the validity of the 2010 act to 2012.

The crisis is obviously here to stay, which is why new foundations will need to be built on a consensus, the Pergam head stressed, adding that cutting the rights of specific groups of the population was unacceptable in the long run.

"We need to reach an agreement regarding structural reforms and set the criteria for pensioners, social transfers, public sector, the development of the economy..."

Posedi denied being in any kind of agreement with the SDS, which today presented a bill that would temporarily cut the salaries of public office holders. The SDS said the bill would be the first in a series of austerity measures.

Pergam plans to present its proposal to all relevant political parties and other social groups. It has already held talks with outgoing PM Borut Pahor, President Danilo Tuerk and heads of several parliamentary parties.

Branimir Strukelj, the head of the KSJS association, which was in favour of the Zares emergency bill proposal, told the STA today that Pergam's and SDS's proposals showed that politics had prevailed over the interests of public sector employees.

The new proposals show that the union and the SDS had a hidden agenda when they rejected the latest austerity bill from Zares, Strukelj said. He added that the new proposals were harsher than the failed Zares proposal.


More from Nekategorizirano