The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Will Probably Get Centre-Left Coalition



The NSi is "not exactly on the way into the coalition" but it has "not closed the door yet", party leader Ljudmila Novak told reporters after the talks with election winner, the Party of Miro Cerar (SMC).

The party says the conceptual differences were "too wide", in particular when it comes to taxes, health reform and the cap on social security contributions.

Moreover, the SMC appears to want the vaguest possible wording in the coalition agreement while the NSi wants specific commitments, added NSi deputy group leader Matej Tonin.

If the NSi decided not to join in, Miro Cerar, the likely PM-designate, would still have a comfortable majority in parliament with the other prospective partners, but he would not be able to form a "rainbow coalition", his stated goal.

Instead, he appears on track to forging a centre-left coalition with the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Social Democrats (SD) and the Alenka Bratušek Alliance (ZaAB).

DeSUS officials came out of talks with Cerar today claiming that all major programming issues had been resolved.

Similarly, the SD said the talks were good, with party president Dejan Židan optimistic about the successful closure of talks.

One of the biggest problems the SD had was the NSi proposal for a cap on social contributions, which would benefit high earners.

The party is still against the idea, but it is willing to consider a reform of the tax brackets, according to Židan.

The ZaAB appears on board as well, as the chair of the party's council, Stojan Pelko, said after the talks that "we tried hard to find differences but we could not."

Pelko said there was a "high degree of kinship" between the two parties, though some details are yet to be discussed, for example youth policy and tourism.

Cerar himself labelled the talks as "constructive" and a good basis for the decisive next stage of the talks, which will start on Tuesday, when the SMC will put forward a "more serious basis for the final text of the coalition agreement".

He acknowledged that none of the parties had made a final decision, but he noted that there was "high probability that we will join forces in a coalition".

Turning to the NSi, Cerar said there were some differences, but he does not deem them impossible to overcome.

"The NSi must obviously verify among its rank-and-file how much will there actually is to join the coalition...If there is a sincere desire, there will be a way," he said.


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