The Slovenia Times

Fiscal Rule Bill Expected in Two Weeks


Party leaders agreed in a meeting with Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek today to examine all comments on the bill within 14 days, whereupon a new meeting will be held to iron out the final kings.

Parliament amended the Constitution with a fiscal rule in late May 2013 with the stipulation that the implementing act laying out the details must be adopted within six months.

The fiscal rule, stipulating that budgets must be balanced or in surplus in all but extraordinary circumstances, was originally expected to kick in in 2015, but Bratušek suggested this would not come to pass.

The Constitution determines that budgets must be balanced in the medium term, not in 2015. "This bill determines such a gradual consolidation," she said.

Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša said the move was designed to win the government more time.

There are many parties which still think Slovenia can continue with opulent spending and they are looking for ways to "water down" the bill so the requirement never kicks in, he said.

The SDS recently said it would seek an impeachment against the government if the fiscal rule is not implemented and Janša said the move was still on the table, though he would not specify when the SDS could go ahead with it.

As Janša noted, the current budget for 2015 is not balanced and if implementation thereof starts, the country will be "in an unconstitutional position".

The constitutional law implementing the fiscal rule determines that the relevant provisions of the Constitution apply as of the budget for 2015, but it does allow for "gradual adjustment".

The Alenka Bratušek government has opposed the fiscal rule from the start despite commitments at EU level, while the SDS has been pushing hard for its implementation and got the process going in 2012 when it was still in government as part of its austerity drive.

The Constitution was finally amended with the fiscal rule in May last year as part of a broader bipartisan deal that also severely restricted voters' recourse to referenda, which was in the government's interest.


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