The Slovenia Times

Business to Send to Govt Its Proposal of Crisis Measures


Head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) Samo Hribar Milič, addressing reporters after the meeting, said that the joint assessment was that the current conditions did not enable economic growth.

Since the government and business currently do not see eye to eye on the measures to stimulate growth, but are willing to cooperate, they agreed to meet again in August in a bid to put together a programme of measures.

The government and business are quite on the same bank when it comes to the assessment of the situation but Hribar Milič said the problem was politicians "have no ear" for the need to deal with the expenditure side.

"The priority is to tackle the expenditure, that is public administration on all levels," the GZS boss said, expressing his colleagues' view that the government should find savings in the public sector.

He said the main difference of opinion was that that business thought the burden needed to be taken off the economy, while the government thought it should secure funding for the public sector.

Most ministers came out of the meeting without comment, arguing that they would first want to see proposals from the economy.

The PM's office issued a press release saying that Bratušek expressed satisfaction with the "hand offered" by business representatives.

She expressed desire for close cooperation also in the future as this was the only way out of the crisis, and that the government, employers and trade unions agreed on a path to achieve the desired goal.

Health Minister Tomaž Gantar announced more meetings with business representatives to follow. "We need to harmonise views, data and figures first so we all know we are talking about the same thing."

He said that no concrete measures were discussed today, which was echoed by Hribar Milič.

"Our general position was that there is a lot of potential in grey economy," Hribar Milič said. Curbing the informal economy and more efficient tax collection could considerably improve the financial picture.

Head of the Employers' Association Jože Smole said that the meetings like the one today could not solve all problems, but he said the first step in that direction had definitely be taken today.

Since business ans politics are rather wide apart on how to tackle the situation, Smole believes effective measures can only be formed through cooperation like the meeting today.

Branko Meh of the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) highlighted new taxes, payment default, credit crunch, unlawful competition and redundancies as the biggest problems of small enterprises.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Uroš Čufer and Economy Minister Stanko Stepišnik, who expressed understanding for business's grievances upon arrival, but said that money for social transfers and public administration, education and health "has to be taken from somewhere".

Also participating in the meeting was the Manager Association, the Chamber of Trade and the Association of Employers in Trade Crafts and Entrepreneurs.


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