The Slovenia Times

Ongoing political redistribution and the lack of a business approach and knowledge is slowly killing the remains of Slovenia's development potential



What is the main problem? More or less the same as the last governments. Nobody wants to tackle the real, structural problems of the Slovenian economy and the functioning of the public sector, from the government organisation, ministries, agencies... down. Nobody is prepared or able to confess to the public,the basic strategic mistakes of the past, to prepare an operational plan to fix those mistakes and prepare a new, bolder, clearer development strategy for the future. The political elite is stuck in a rigid, out of date organisational structure, political divisons, with conceptually shriveled bureaucrats and subsequently in the maze of political redistribution in state budgets until there will be some space to do that. Their only goal seems to be to not lose too many points in the public opinion ratings and their friends inside well established lobbies, including the trade unions. But the recipe is not working any more, not for them, not for Slovenia.

For now, the "new faces" in politics, which personifies PM Miro Cerar, don't bring anything new which is the main reason that his SMC party is experiencing a "free fall" in the political public opinions polls. He has made a lot of mistakes: from choosing the wrong coalition partners, he was obviously not able or strong enough to step past the classic Slovenian divisons of the left and right; he hasn't modernised the government organisational structure and is consequently trapped in a structure that brought Slovenia to its deep crisis (and now they are supposed to save Slovenia!!!); he has not been able to attract new, businesss oriented people to the government, cabinet, main agencies, other government bodies, his team is thus in fact weak, it's not even a team, it's a bunch of more or less capable individuals on their daily mission to manage their garden plots. The result is that the Ministry of Finance has become the "state within the state" and is governing all sorts of different areas including the health issues of the younger generations. In a normal country, a proposal for tax on sugary drinks would come from the Health Ministry not the Finance Ministry and so the goal of this tax is very clear and it has nothing to do with sugar or health.

But the biggest mistake by the PM is strategic and represents a worrying political position: with his implicit bureaucratic logic he has attacked the economy, stating that companies are not prepared to "give up" something in the public interest. He was referring to the goodwill of the public sector trade unions which signed an agreement which presumably contributes to stability. The PM will definitely have to understand better that the trade unions "contribute" something which does not exist, it's fairytale long gone in the recession, the economy is contributing every day, in real euro amounts, in global markets, in the daily struggle with competition.


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