Opposition rebukes some ministerial nominees, parts of coalition agreement

Ljubljana – The opposition has presented a critical take on some ministerial candidates in parliament on Wednesday while expressing fears about measures it sees as reminiscent of the socialist era.

Presenting the Democrat (SDS) deputy group’s position, Anže Logar, the outgoing foreign minister, noted that Robert Golob wanted to form a government quickly.

“But my personal opinion is that it’s better to think twice about some things,” he said, referring in particular to Golob’s selection of ministerial candidates.

Logar said that Left leader Luka Mesec will initially head the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and, following the announced changes to the government act, the Ministry for Solidarity-based Future.

“A solidarity-based future, self-management of companies and housing will be in the purview of someone who has not worked a single day in the private sector and who has made a name for himself in this field by saying that exporters are the Achilles’ heel of our economy.”

As for ex-PM Marjan Šarec, the new defence minister, Logar is bothered by him mentioning the use of guerilla tactics during his hearing before the Defence Committee.

Logar also believes that the media will be in favour of the new government, which will harm Slovenia.

He criticised the candidates who said in their hearings before parliamentary working bodies that they would lend an ear to the civil society.

“The same civil society which has helped Robert Golob come to power and which is financed by the government and was not directly elected in elections.”

This means, said Logar, that the only critical advocate of equal standards in the coming term will be the SDS.

Nevertheless, both the SDS and the New Slovenia (NSi) intend to back all good government-sponsored proposals.

NSi’s Vida Čadonič Špelič meanwhile said that with the challenges ahead, Slovenia needs a strong government and experienced ministers.

“The question is whether we will get such a government. In the NSi, we are afraid we won’t.”

Turning to the hearings, Čadonič Špelič said that some nominees had shown expertise while others lacked know-how and competences.

What is more, the hearings showed that there are several versions of the coalition agreement, or at minimum that some parts thereof can be interpreted in several ways.

Just like Logar, she was critical of “the announcement by the strongly leftist wing of the new government of new socialist experiments and silent nationalisation of assets”.

The NSi finds it problematic that the new coalition cites the introduction of a new tax as a solution for every problem.

The party is also critical of the coalition agreement for not mentioning NATO, while it welcomes the plan to introduce provinces, a pledge not to cut funds for municipalities, and the announcement that waiting lines in healthcare will be cut with all available means.