The Slovenia Times

Slovenia With New Government


Addressing the press after the swearing-in ceremony, Cerar said his 16-strong government - which consists of the Party of Miro Cerar (SMC), Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and Social Democrats (SD) - was aware of the great responsibility to get Slovenia out of the crisis.

"We are aware that Slovenia needs political stability, economic development, consolidation of public finance, a lot of social sensitivity and many other things which we have set as a mission and a goal."

Addressing MPs before the vote, he announced a restrictive fiscal policy so that the country could regain fiscal independence, saying one of the first tasks would be to see if a supplementary budget for 2014 was needed.

Cerar dedicated a large portion of his speech to foreign policy and national security, after he was criticized by the opposition that the coalition agreement pores over defence policy and does not even mention NATO.

In a ten-hour debate that followed, a lot of criticism was directed against the ministerial team, with opposition parties announcing not to endorse the cabinet, but nevertheless promising to act constructively.

Democrats (SDS) leader Janez Janša said some of the goals Cerar outlined were acceptable, in particular his announcement of restrictive fiscal policy, but stressed the ministerial hearings had showed the team was an "orchestra out of tune" and lacked ambition.

This was echoed by the United Left (ZL), whose deputy group leader Luka Mesec said the cabinet had no new ideas or concepts, it would merely continue the policies that had swept the three previous governments from power: privatisation and spending cuts.

Opposition criticism also targeted incoming Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič, whose statement about Slovenia not needing the rail upgrade on the Divača-Koper section for another 30-40 years severely upset politics and the transport sector.

While assessing that Gašperšič somehow detoured from the coalition's position with the statement, Cerar assured the MPs that the second track, planned for at least ten years, remained on the government's priority list.

Meanwhile, Cerar's predecessor Alenka Bratušek, who led the country since March 2013, handed the office over to the new prime minister, stressing she was leaving the country to Cerar in a much better position than it was when she took over.

She pointed to the the difficult situation at the time when the country was in recession, unemployment was growing by the day and nobody was willing to lend money, while "people took to the streets to protest against the arrogant authorities".

While she admitted that not everything was done since then, "we have managed to get Slovenia back on track". Last but not least, Bratušek stressed the government bailout of the banking system (of over EUR 3bn) was not cheap, but vital for the economy to slowly recover.


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