The Slovenia Times

Janša: Slovenia Still Has Some Credibility in Europe's Eyes


The worse thing is to embellish the situation, as it happened in the case of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, Janša said in a interview with a local TV station at the outset of the government's tour of the Koroško region on Tuesday evening.

The Spanish government assured the public that the country would not ask for help only two weeks before it did and from that moment on this government and the prime minister are facing the problem of credibility, Janša told VTV, adding that he would not want to be in such a position himself.

"That's why we try to describe the situation as serious; we know what needs to be done so that aid won't be needed, but we don't rule out such a possibility," the PM said.

He went on to say that much in Slovenia depended on "those who can demand a referendum and those who can secure enough votes for measures that need two-thirds majority".

"Not everything is in our hands, which is how we explain the situation to our partners in Europe and worldwide. Even if it were necessary to ask for aid, this government will do it with a full measure of credibility because everyone knows we aren't hiding anything."

Janša rejected the opposition's calls for his resignation in the aftermath of statements that they argue harmed Slovenia by saying that they should propose a constructive no-confidence vote if they thought the government was not doing a good job and if they believed they had a majority.

He repeated that his statements were merely summing up the situation as it is, adding that if the omnibus fiscal consolidation act had not been passed, Slovenia would have been illiquid by now. Had the actual situation been kept hidden, this would be irresponsible to the Slovenian public and European partners.

"I understand a large part of the opposition though as they are used to it, having done it for three years of their term. Had they not, we would be on a faster road out of the crisis today," Janša said.

Commenting on the pension and labour market reforms, Janša said that the current labour legislation was harmful for the economy and unfair on the citizens. He promised that the government would not take sides in the negotiations starting today and would accept solutions where trade unions and employers build consensus.

Janša disagrees that his government's proposal for pension reform is similar to the one that his Democratic Party (SDS) helped defeat in last year's referendum.

For one thing, this government is proposing cleansing the pension system, while the other major difference is that the current solutions aim for prolonging the period of employment and not so much raising pension age, Janša said, satisfied that the unions have announced they are ready to negotiate on the proposal.

Commenting on local issues, the PM criticised the previous government for failing to invest part of the EUR 8bn in state borrowing in that period in the third development axis, an expressway linking the north and south of the country. He promised that his government would resume work on the project.


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