Ljubljana – The four centre-left opposition parties associated in an informal Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL) presented some key points of their election programmes at an event on Wednesday, advocating public education and healthcare, accessible housing and stable public finances, while also calling on people to go vote.
The leaders of the four parties – Marjan Šarec of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Tanja Fajon of the Social Democrats (SD), Alenka Bratušek of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and Luka Mesec of the Left – presented their views and solutions to problems and challenges facing Slovenia in the future.
They also outlined some key points of their programmes, starting with emphasising their joint commitment to effective public healthcare.
In addition, they mentioned abolishing supplementary health insurance, the problem of the “amphibian system” in Slovenia’s healthcare in which doctors work both for public and private institutions, and unacceptable waiting times for procedures.
Mesec also proposed the creation of a public procurement agency, which would be guided by reference prices from other countries, while Šarec highlighted digitisation and the need to reform the public Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS).
Šarec added that the extent of the crisis in Slovenia’s healthcare system will only be seen after the epidemic subsides, as he believes some have been behaving for the last two years as if diseases other than Covid-19 did not exist.
In response to recent price hikes, Mesec stressed that measures to counteract them must be systematic and not “election candies”, as the current government is doing.
The four party leaders also touched on the prices of housing, saying that a public housing policy needs to be put in place and that building non-profit public housing is necessary, as well as considering the introduction of a property tax.
“Young people struggle to understand how they are unable to get a loan for which they would pay EUR 500 a month, but they can be charged EUR 600 a month for rent,” Bratušek stressed.
Public finances, where the KUL leaders estimate the current government has dug out a EUR 10 billion hole, would be tackled by rethinking fiscal rules and putting more sustainable rules in place, with better management of state assets.
They stressed that they will promote a strong economy, as this is the only way to ensure the welfare state. “It is necessary to build up the welfare state and to enforce a fiscal rule that will improve the standard of living every year,” said Mesec.
The KUL leaders also touched on science and research, which they believe to be a prerequisite for progress. Šarec said that the aim will be to allocate an additional EUR 100 million to science each year and to create a ministry that would cover higher education, development and digitalisation.
Bratušek stressed that everyone should have access to knowledge, and that Slovenia’s society will have to learn how to better implement the knowledge developed by institutes and scientific institutions in practice.
The four party leaders also advocated digital transformation and green policies, which they said will require the help of business too. They also called for Slovenia to become an energy-independent country through developing green energy.
Šarec added that he expects “blood, sweat and tears” until the elections on 24 April, but after the election results are in, as they all pointed out, hard work awaits.