A Balanced Budget Within This Govt Term
"All representatives of parliamentary parties confirmed today that they are ready to debate and also support enshrining the balanced budget rule in the Constitution. We also agreed to ratify the European fiscal compact as soon as possible," Janša said, labelling the meeting as productive.
The golden fiscal rule, agreed as part of the fiscal compact signed in Brussels last week, stipulates that budgets of eurozone members need to be balanced or in surplus, which in practice means a structural deficit of less than 0.5% of GDP.
Setting the fiscal rule into the Slovenian Constitution will require the support of at least two-thirds of the MPs. The fiscal rule will be further defined in a constitutional law, which will also set out sanctions and the time frame for implementation, Janša explained. The constitutional law also needs to be passed with a two-thirds majority.
"Here we want to follow the EU's bright example, Germany, which reduced its budget deficit to 0.5% of GDP in a record time, while at the same time maintaining enviable growth and keeping unemployment at record lows," Janša said.
Today's meeting continued the debate from mid-January, when the heads of parliamentary parties agreed to push for the changes to the Constitution to introduce the fiscal rule.
In Slovenia, the idea to include the golden rule into the Constitution stems from the term of the previous government led by Borut Pahor.
Slovenia's public debt has grown during the crisis, but remains under the 60% of GDP limit set by the European Stability and Growth Pact. In 2011, Slovenia's public debt was estimated at about 43% of GDP.