The Slovenia Times

Centre-Right Coalition Finalises Agreement


The new cabinet will have 11 ministries, down from 16, and one minister without portfolio. Parliament will therefore first adopt a new act on the government, appoint a PM-elect and only then will staffing issues be put on the table, Janša told reporters.

He believes the new cabinet could be in place by 20 February. "This is a realistic term, but it is nevertheless long due to the procedures that we must follow.

In order not to "lose precious time", the partners have already started drawing up a framework supplementary budget for 2012. Janša called that "the government's most important task in the short term".

Commentators have suggested that Janša would have a tough time pushing through austerity measures with the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) on board; the DeSUS has been opposing pension reform and its recalcitrance helped bring down the current government.

The party entered the coalition talks with the demand that pensions do not fall below 60% of the average wage. But Janša noted that this was, in fact, the situation already. The coalition therefore made the commitment "not to make it worse".

Janez Šušteršič, the vice-president of the Virant List, said it was clear to all partners that spending needs to be curbed. "The goal is to keep the deficit in check and finish the term with a balanced budget," he said.

According to him, DeSUS agreed with that. "DeSUS turned out to be quite reasonable in the negotiations."

The potential coalition partners will reach final decisions on whether to join the coalition tomorrow. By Wednesday nominees for PM-designate need to be put forward and parliament will vote on Saturday, 28 January.


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