The Slovenia Times

Mesec says solidarity-based future portfolio will not be established


Ljubljana - Minister of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Luka Mesec has told the STA that he had a change of heart about establishing a new portfolio for solidarity-based future. He will thus keep his portfolio, which will be expanded with housing, long-term care and economic democracy.

"This is what I decided and have already told the prime minister," Mesec said in an interview with the STA. When taking over in June, Prime Minister Robert Golob wanted to expand his cabinet with a total of three new portfolios.

The expansion from 17 to 20 ministries is being challenged by the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the activist Vili Kovačič, who are in the process of collecting voter signatures to call a referendum on the matter.

Mesec was set to run the new portfolio for solidarity-based future but was appointed to head the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities when the legislative changes allowing the cabinet expansion could not take effect. Now, he says the new portfolio will not be established regardless of the referendum outcome.

It would have made sense to establish it at the beginning of the government's term, but Mesec sees no point in doing so after several months. This decision will require new changes to the relevant government act.

Instead of the new portfolio, the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities will be expanded to incorporate housing, long-term care and economic democracy, which was to be in the domain of the solidarity-based future ministry.

State Secretary Simon Maljevac, who was set to become the labour minister under the government's initial plan, will remain in his existing post.

Mesec also talked about work in the coalition in the interview, which the STA will run in full next week. He said disagreements among partners existed, as "this is politics", but the partners were resolving them well.

"I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. Before I was used to parliamentary culture, rants, 'auctioning', the things you see on TV, but there is none of this in the government. We don't 'auction', nobody has ever threatened anybody or called them names or any such thing.

"We discuss arguments, debate and even if the debate is tough, it is conducted respectfully and without snarky comments," he said about speculations about strained relations.

Mesec said that he saw no reason for his Left party to leave the coalition and is confident about remaining its leader.


More from Politics