Coalition Agreement: New” Wish list” Without Substance

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The statement came after senior members of the coalition spent Tuesday afternoon discussing the wording of the agreement that the coalition will use for the remainder of its term. Statements by the party leaders suggest the accord is largely finalised.

One of the biggest unknowns was whether the government would move towards putting the handbrake on the almost finished generator six at the Šoštanj thermal power plant, which is owned by the state-owned utility HSE. Bratušek indicated that would not happen.

"We don't have the privilege to decide today whether this project can still be stopped. The data we have show stopping it would be more expensive than completion." according to her.

Instead, the government plans to draft legislation that will allow for an in-depth review of the EUR 1.4bn project. The government will also make sure that transactions between companies in the group will be optimised so the project is economical, according to Bratušek.

The coalition agreement will also involve the commitment that there will be no additional taxes this year and next, a demand advocated by the Citizens' List (DL), and there will be no pension cuts, which the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) has been adamant about.

"Pretty much everyone" also agreed it does not make sense to undertake major organisational changes in the cabinet, according to Bratušek. Nevertheless, the portion of the Economy Ministry dealing with cohesion funds will be shifted to the prime minister's office.

Statements by other coalition party heads suggest the agreement will pass muster.

DL president Gregor Virant said it was crucial competitiveness was front-and-centre and that taxes will not be raised. He also highlighted the fight against corruption.

DeSUS president Karl Erjavec meanwhile said his party was "exceptionally satisfied" with the commitment that pensions will not be cut.

The coalition leaders did not discuss the filling of the two vacant cabinet posts, but Bratušek said new health and economy ministers would be named soon.

The partners will now spend several weeks ironing out the details of the agreement.