SD president want to ease tension between Left and coalition


In a Facebook post published on Saturday, Židan, who is also the speaker of the National Assembly, noted that the coalition and the partnership with the Left was being "broken on the back of the most vulnerable ones".

He refers to the tax package put forward by the cabinet and the go-ahead for a bonus for welfare recipients engaged in work on the parliamentary Labour Committee yesterday, which prompted Left leader Luka Mesec to announce an "and of cooperation".

"We are quarrelling about EUR 16 million. I too personally think that abolishing the bonus is a wrong move, which would take away aid for single mothers, long-term unemployed and people on the social margins who are included in society by working in NGOs and humanitarian organisations."

Židan added that the conflict was unnecessary and detrimental to the coalition and government, with political parties behaving as if elections will be held tomorrow.

"If all of us don't take a step back in the coming days and talk calmly at the joint table, we will be unnecessarily undermining this coalition and government, which is useful for Slovenia," the SocDem head added.

Židan noted that the party had been trying to balance out for months the Left on one side and the liberal majority on the other. "We care about this project succeeding because it may be beneficial for people and the country."

Speaking to the press on Friday, Mesec accused the government of leading anti-social policies, and forming alliances with the opposition National Party and Democrats (SDS) in order to get things not of Left's liking passed in parliament.

He reiterated today that the latest developments showed that the government was leading "typical politics of a centre-right, neo-liberal government", which was contrary of what the Left had expected to happen.

"It is impossible to cooperate with such a government. It's not over yet, however, because the coalition can reject all these proposals adopted by the government or relevant committee. But this possibility is shrinking," he said.

Mesec said regarding Židan's call that everybody needed to calm down, but what needed to be done first was to reverse the decisions which were not "leftist and social", as it had been agreed that the parties would "work for the good of the majority."

The statement comes as Mesec launched in Ljubljana today a campaign to collect signatures for a petition supporting the party's own motion to abolish top-up health insurance, which was recently filed for parliamentary procedure.

Abolishment of top-up health insurance is one of the conditions of the Left for further cooperation with the minority coalition, including the party's support for the draft budgets for 2020 and 2021.

Mesec's allegation of coordination with SDS leader Janez Janša was denied in the strongest terms by Brane Golubović, the head of the deputy faction of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), who said yesterday that "this is a lie."

Meanwhile, Zmago Jelinčič indicated that his SNS party would support budget documents for the coming two years in parliament, despite some grievances, saying the decision was guided by "common sense".

The five coalition parties have 43 deputies in the 90-member National Assembly. Together with the four SNS deputies, an absolute majority is secured to pass the budget, even in case of the upper chamber's veto.