The Slovenia Times

Four Parties Continue Coalition Talks with SMC



The most likely PM-designate Cerar told the press after today's talks with five parties that the talks were "full of content", adding that it is a good sign that the ZL wants to be a constructive opposition party and cooperate in certain projects.

The three-party coalition ZL, Slovenia's new socialist parliamentary faction, made official today that it would spend its first term in parliament in the opposition as its radical programme is not compatible with the election winner.

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Social Democrats (SD), New Slovenia (NSi) and the Alenka Bratušek Alliance (ZaAB) will meanwhile continue talks with the winner of the 13 July general elections.

DeSUS joining a coalition with the SMC seems to be quite certain, as party president Karl Erjavec expects to be elected speaker at the parliament maiden session on Friday. Cerar said that his party will propose Erjavec for the post.

SD president Dejan Židan meanwhile said that the draft coalition agreement in its present form is an appropriate basis for further negotiations, although it lacks certain essential elements of welfare state.

NSi president Ljudmila Novak believes that the draft agreement, which the parties received in the morning, should be more reform-oriented and that it lacked concrete solutions addressing the recommendations from the European Commission.

The NSi will provide proposals for the draft agreement by next week, but the decision on whether to enter a coalition would be taken by the party council, Novak added, while Židan said that the SD presidency will decide whether to continue talks on Thursday.

Cerar told the press that talks are expected to be deepened next week, after Friday's maiden session of the National Assembly. "All these parties are open to the possibility of a coalition agreement, but the road towards this is still long."

Cerar has invited representatives of the Democrats (SDS), the runner-up in the 13 July election, for a meeting on Thursday, but has not received an official response so far. Both parties have already excluded the chance of a grand coalition.

Cerar said he wanted to talk about Friday's session of parliament and exchange views on further work. The SMC wants to have a constructive opposition and it will also be constructive in its attitude towards the opposition, he added.

The party of outgoing Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek meanwhile said that the document lacks concrete measures to restart the economy and fails to specify the time frame and manner of public finance consolidation.

The main points of the draft agreement are a controlled privatisation, health reform, a real estate tax and changes to the electoral system.

The document identifies five basic ideas such as the rule of law, a predictable and simple business environment, and one that would create the conditions for quality public services.


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