The Slovenia Times

GAS and SMC parties merge into Concretely


Celje - The coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) and the non-parliamentary Economically Active Party (GAS) merged at a congress on Saturday into a new party called Concretely that will focus on the social and economic development of Slovenia.

The new party promises a policy of cooperation and inclusion. Concretely will be a political partner of business, and the economic and social development will be its key priority, heard the merging congress on Saturday.

The head of the new party, SMC president and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, said after the congress that Concretely was a defender from deviations to any side and a protector of Slovenian liberalism. The party offers a breakaway from the old politics that focusses on the past, he asserted.

The ideological divide in Slovenian politics has been undermining the country's development potential for decades and today "we have laid the foundations for a new political story that will play a concretely important role in the next election", Počivalšek said.

The party's vice-president, president of the National Council and GAS head Alojz Kovša, also stressed the importance of cooperation in his address. There are no friends and foes in politics, only rivals and allies, he said, adding that Concretely would be looking for allies.

Other priorities of the newly founded party include efforts for Slovenia's green transition, which the party believes should be subsidised. A reform of the energy sector with the transition to renewable energy sources is also planned. The party will advocate the closing of the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant (TEŠ) by 2038.

De-bureaucratisation is another priority, as the red tape is slowing down Slovenia's development in all levels, the new party believes.

In this context, Concretely will promote projects that will facilitate obtaining of documents, consents and permits and introduce e-identity. A key point of the party's programme is digitalisation in spacial planning.

The new party will also strive for the development of all regions. "Our programme's priority is to enable young people to live in their home town, go to work or open their business there," the party said.

To solve the housing problem of the young, the party would introduce higher housing subsidies, speed up the construction of state-owned smaller apartments as a first solution for the young, favourable loans with state guarantees, subsidised loan interests for renovation and more funds for housing policy.

The party also plans to tackle the demographic policy to "create conditions for quality living of all citizens" and "strengthen and develop our culture and the Slovenian way of life".

In the coming years, Slovenia's economy will be faced with many challenges, so it will be crucial that it focuses on the sectors where it can achieve higher added value, the party said, adding that Slovenia's strategic potentials include its geostrategic location, which allows the country to develop into a logistic platform for central Europe, and focus on production and processing of cannabis for medical purposes and wood as a key resource.


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