Ljubljana – Prime Minister Janez Janša told the National Assembly on Wednesday as it debated an impeachment motion against him that Slovenia was not in for a disaster as claimed by the opposition, but very optimistic times. He believes that Slovenia could be back to the pre-crisis level in record time and faster than the EU on average.
“We can see a year of recovery ahead of us that will be faster than the average for EU member states and that will take Slovenia back to pre-crisis levels in record time,” Janša said.
He added that there is no “catastrophe or an iceberg ahead of us, as is painted in the impeachment motion, but a very optimistic time, unless we spoil it ourselves”.
The four centre-left opposition parties have accused Janša of violating several articles of the constitution and laws pertaining to healthcare, media, prosecution and human and constitutional rights.
The prime minister said that an optimistic scenario could be prevented by “nagging, shots in the back, organisation of rallies where thousands will hang out while not respecting measures, online calls on people not to get vaccinated.”
Janša added that this could perhaps slow down recovery and growth, but could not stop it, and called on MPs to cooperate, as recovery and resilience will be a great challenge.
One of his arguments against the impeachment motion is the number of vaccinated people and people who have recovered from Covid-19 and the overall epidemiological situation.
He said that, given the situation, it could be expected that the state of epidemic, in force until mid-June, would be suspended thereafter and that Slovenia could enter a transitional period when a majority of measures would be eliminated.
Overall, around 900,000 people in Slovenia are currently immune, and an additional few hundred thousand people need to be vaccinated to reach the required level of immunisation, he said, adding that this could become reality by the summer.
Janša noted that interest in vaccination still surpassed the number of available doses, unlike in some countries. Slovenia will get some 300,000 doses from one of these countries next week, he added.
While some restrictions will still be needed, he noted that a digital green certificate could become operational in mid-June, which would coincide with the expected formal end of the epidemic.
“From then on we can expect return to normality, at least the one that had been expected and that we had last summer,” he added.
As for the impeachment motion, he said it contained “so many absurd things that it does not make sense to answer all of them, and it does not make sense to quarrel about that”.
Janša said there would not have been 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in Slovenia had the previous government realised the instructions from the WHO and been prepared for the epidemic.
He said EUR 400 million had been invested in Slovenian hospitals in the last ten years, while more than a billion had been invested in the national broadcaster RTV Slovenija and the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) in the same period.
The figure probably refers to the licence fee for RTV Slovenija, which is not paid by the state but by taxpayers, and the public service fee for the STA, which has amounted to roughly 20 million euro over ten years.
“When you look at these numbers retroactively and when you weigh the development policy in a certain period, everything is clear and in this light the proposals from the impeachment motion sound very flabby,” Janša said.
He also pointed to the macroeconomic forecasts of the European Commission that place Slovenia 6th in terms of economic growth for this year, which means that the country has made it among the top quarter of EU member states.
This forecast also means that Slovenia could compensate for the economic downturn from the last year not later than at the beginning of 2022. Therefore, Slovenia could be back to pre-crisis level in terms of development and economic growth.