The Slovenia Times

Reality check for everyone



Firstly, the government will have to face the harsh reality of its lack of credibility. Not because Janez Janša formed the cabinet as the relative loser of the last elections but because of the irrational, anti-reform populism which Janša's SDS so enthusiastically nurtered over the last three years of Pahor's government. The same populism is now a boomerang coming back at the new government. Otherwise rational and logical arguments about urgent austerity measures in the public sector, are tragically comical when heard from the mouths of SDS Ministers. The other important element to the low credibility is definitely the same system of political recruiting in the public sector that we saw in Janša's 2004-2008 mandate. Promises about professional recruitment methods again remain good night fairy stories. These, combined with a poor and to add fuel to the fire, arrogant PR strategy, are an excellent recipe for deeper economic and probably a new political crisis.
Secondly, the unions must ask themselves what their main purpose is and how or if, they understand the reality. If the goal of the Unions is to fight for the basic rights of employees and higher general employment, they cannot ignore the obvious, catastrophic situation in public finances. Being against every government measure, just because you don't like the current Prime Minister or his attitude or you do but just don't want to admit that we are spending a lot more than we can afford, is just not credible and represents a dangerous obstacle for changes that must be implemented as soon as possible. Threats of a general strike in the public sector because of goverment plans to lower wages is just the final proof that the unions are obviously living in the clouds or they simply don't care about the future of the country and its citizens. Endless talk about the need to preserve the welfare state and that the government must find other sources for filling up the empty budget is just shallow populism without real substance. For example, nobody asked workers of SCT , Vegrad and Primorje if they wanted to lose their jobs, it happened and Slovenia is now practically without a construction sector.
And thirdly, Slovenian citizens will just have to accept that in recent years we were simply living better than we could afford. And that applies to almost everyone, to companies, to public employees, workers in the private sector, students and possibly even the unemployed. The bill for all this has already been printed and is in the mail - nobody else will pay for us. For a very short period we can continue to avoid the postman but the bill will end up in our mailbox anyway. There is no hidden treasure inside the State banks or under the houses of former "tycoons". Our reserves are simply gone in the fog of a mismanaged transition. We must accept that this is not the issue of the government, the unions or political parties, this is our issue and must be resolved. Definitely it will not be resolved by irrational denial or the ignorance that we saw in the referendum for Family Law, where only 30 percent of citizens voted and expressed their opinion about an extremely important social issue. The other 70 percet of citizens were probably "too busy" with some "important" spring shopping or a picnic. Beautiful, until the banks inform them that they have exceeded their credit card limit.


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