The Slovenia Times

FinMin Wants Restrictive Aid to Companies, End to Tax Hikes


"I think too much had been expected of company restructuring in the government. These expectations have been toned down now, but initially it was expected we'd bail out everyone," he said.

The government has already granted direct state aid to several companies, including automotive group Cimos and kitchen maker Svea, but Čufer said he wonders "how many companies that we bailed out...will remain standing and not ask for aid again."

He has the impression that current aid proposals were not so much about salvaging firms as about getting the government to prevent losses by lenders and shareholders, which he says cannot be the goal of state aid.

"I do not advocate the position that we have to bail out all overindebted companies, on the contrary, decisions on state aid must be very restrictive," he stressed.

Turning to public finances, Čufer said debt needed to be "stabilised".

The limit has been reached on the revenue side and "it no longer makes sense to raise taxes". It will be necessary to make deeper cuts to public sector wages, social transfers and pensions, he said.

Asked whether the government would have to undertake additional borrowing this year, he said there was currently enough money for all liabilities.

Čufer acknowledged that Slovenia's economic sovereignty was already limited due to EU demands, with the recommendations by the European Commission being "in reality much more than recommendations".

"But the pressure from Brussels is welcome sometimes, it gives us courage to take less popular measures," he said.


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