Finance: Lockdown would be defeat for Janša government

Ljubljana – The business daily Finance says a new lockdown would mark a defeat for the Janša government as it argued in Wednesday’s commentary that Slovenia should have been well past the point where lockdowns are needed given that vaccines are now abundant and that much more about the virus is now known.

The paper dismisses the argument that hospitals are filling up and comparisons with the Italian city of Bergamo, as it notes that in October 2021, the health system should be capable of withstanding corona shocks or at least of dealing with more cases than a year ago.

“Forgive me for over-generalising a little bit, but the government has spent a billion euro over the past year for hazard pay in the public sector. It threw the money around everywhere, many if not most of the recipients were never even near hospitals.

“A billion euros is a lot of money and with prudent management a lot could have been done. Should nurses have been better compensated to they don’t run away to other jobs?”

Turning to vaccination, the commentator says that some simply do not want to get vaccinated, other associate vaccines with aversion to the Janša government, and some have decided to believe conspiracy theories.

“True, everyone is individually responsible for vaccination. But nearly a year since vaccination started, we must ask this: has the Janez Janša government, with its expert group and vaccination coordinator, done enough to popularise vaccination. Would it have made sense to have a somewhat more positive approach to vaccination?”

The bottom line, according to the paper, is that it is unclear what the purpose of a new lockdown would be given the experience with last year’s lockdown, which was supposed to last seven days but ended up dragging into spring.

“The impression is that people will respect rules set by the Janez Janša government even less than they did last year, and the fear that kept people at home in March 2020 is long gone. And mind you, if there is a lockdown, it will apply to everyone. This is far from being a good selling point for vaccines,” the paper concludes in New Lockdown = New Defeat for the Janša Government.