The Slovenia Times

Coalition Talks in Full Swing


After receiving the cold shoulder from the Social Democrats (SD), the People's Party (SLS) said Tuesday it would not join the coalition if Jankovic insisted on raising value added tax.

"There is no chance at this point that we enter the coalition," SLS president Radovan Zerjav told reporters after a meeting of the party's leadership. He said that people and businesses should not be additionally burdened with higher taxes.

Nevertheless, he said he had received an invitation for talks from Jankovic and would oblige. Any final decisions regarding the party joining the coalition will be adopted by the party's main committee, which will hold a meeting next week.

Zerjav's statement comes after SocDem leader Borut Pahor yesterday suggested after a meeting with Jankovic that his party would not join the coalition. However, he took a step back today, deciding that the party would enter coalition talks.

But Pahor said he would not accept Jankovic's campaign promise to abolish the controversial State Capital Assets Management Agency (AUKN). He also took issue with Jankovic's leadership style, saying it was "partially autocratic".

Analysts speculate that the tough stance by Zerjav and Pahor is a negotiating tactic, as both parties are considered natural fits for Jankovic's Positive Slovenia but are trying to squeeze out as many concessions as possible.

However, even the three combined do not have enough votes to secure a majority in parliament, which brings the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and the Citizens' List of Gregor Virant into the game.

DeSUS said after talks with Jankovic today that they were keen on joining the coalition as long as common ground can be found on the party's signature issue, pensions.


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