Coalition partners review government projects

Janja Sluga, the head of the deputy group of the Modern Centre Party, spoke to reporters after a coalition meeting .

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Brdo pri Kranju – Coalition officials reviewed the implementation of the coalition agreement and discussed further steps as they met at Brdu pri Kranju on Thursday. Details were sketchy but statements after the meeting suggest there are no major differences between the partners in the ruling coalition.

The leaders of the four coalition parties met first after which they were joined by the whole of the government team and coalition MPs.

Only the heads of the deputy factions of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) and New Slovenia (NSi) addressed reporters after the meeting, but not members of the Democrats (SDS) and Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS).

Janja Sluga (SMC) said: “We went very constructively through individual points of the coalition agreement implementation plan”.

She said they were in agreement that the document needed to be reviewed again so the partners iron out the contents. Deputy groups are to submit their remarks in writing.

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Jožef Horvat (NSi) said the focus was on a review of what had been implemented and the timeline of future projects. “Effectively, there’s a good half year, thus some projects must be stepped up.”

He identified the bills on the demographic fund and on long-term care as those that needed to be sped up, while Sluga added tackling housing, cannabis use and brownfield sites.

Asked about any major problems, Sluga said “there’s no problem really” with Horvat adding that there were no major differences between the partners.

According to Sluga, Health Minister Tomaž Gantar briefed them on the coronavirus situation, explaining why measures to contain the epidemic could not be lifted just yet.

“However, we all have great hopes for next week, that it may get better by then,” she said, adding that the main criteria in easing the restrictions would be hospital capacity occupancy.

Sluga also said that now that the budget implementation had been passed, the parliamentary procedure on the demographic fund would resume, but added that readjustments were needed on details.

Asked whether Prime Minister Janez Janša could peg a vote of confidence to a bill, for example the one on the demographic fund, Sluga said Janša did not mention any such idea and such an issue was not discussed.

Asked whether the party was happy with the implementation of the coalition agreement, she said there was still room for improvement and the SMC needed to aspire for contents that mattered to the party.

“They haven’t yet reached a point that we’d want. But we trust they will,” she added.

The party leaders also discussed electoral law reform but no details were given.

Other topical issues do not appear to have been addressed.

Earlier this week the coalition of four left-leaning opposition parties headed by economist Jože P. Damijan said they were still seven votes short to call a vote of no confidence in the government.

Damijan indicated this could happen after DeSUS gets a new leader on 5 December.

Karl Erjavec, who is tipped as the favourite for the post, met SMC leader Zdravko Počivalšek today. Počivalšek is said to have presented work in the incumbent government.

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