PM says no govt reshuffle in the works

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Robert Golob has said there has been no agreement in the coalition on a cabinet reshuffle after Labour Minister Luka Mesec recently told the STA his portfolio was not going to be transformed into one for solidarity-based future.

Talking with reporters after his party met over the presidential election on Thursday, Golob noted that there can be no changes to the government act anyway as long as it is subject of a referendum initiative.

The ruling coalition was planning to change the government make-up through changes to the names of portfolios and three new departments, but after the amendments were passed in parliament the opposition Democrats (SDS) filed for a referendum and is now collecting 40,000 signatures needed to hold it.

If the signatures are collected, the coalition will campaign for the new government act. “Nothing has changed, regardless of what some people may say,” Golob said.

He said a wrong impression was needlessly created that the government act was only about three new ministries.

“This law is much more,” he said, adding that the essence of the act was a reorganisation of the cabinet and a whole range of departments, merging some and splitting up others, including those associated with housing and long-term care, “regardless of the person in that ministry”.

“Once the law comes into effect, we’ll have to appoint ministers. That’s it,” the prime minister said, adding that a decision on a potential reshuffle would be taken later. “There has been absolutely no agreement on that in the coalition.”

In a recent interview with the STA, Mesec said that regardless of the referendum outcome, there would be no ministry for solidarity-based future as planned and he would remain the minister for labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities.

He said housing, long-term care and economic democracy, which were to make part of the new ministry’s brief, would be transferred to his ministry. He also said that he had notified Golob of his decision.