SDS and NSi oppose Golob as PM, leave door open for cooperation

Ljubljana – Deputies of the Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi), who are to be in the opposition in the new term, said that Robert Golob could not count on their support as the National Assembly is taking a vote on the prime minister nominee on Wednesday. They nevertheless said constructive cooperation with the new government was a possibility.

The SDS and NSi deputies criticised both Golob and his coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Left, especially the role of the latter in the future government.

The head of the SDS deputy group Jelka Godec assessed that the recently signed coalition agreement was a diametrical opposite to the positions of the coalition parties, as well as of the ministerial candidates, in many aspects.

“It is therefore difficult to expect at least a bit of harmony within the government and the coalition,” she said, adding that this would reflect in “stagnation or even a return to the past, when companies moved their headquarters abroad”.

Godec noted Golob’s announcement of an “experiment” in the public healthcare system with stress tests to determine its capabilities. “We fear that both the patient and the healthcare system will die after the experiment.”

The SDS deputies are also bothered by the SD taking over government departments that in their opinion have almost nothing to do with the main values of social democracy, which “obviously means that the party has given in to the Left”, she added.

Godec also noted the fast pace with which Golob is forming his government. “In these times, it is not speed that is important, but wisdom, sound decisions that will contribute to security, stability and further development of Slovenia.”

The SDS does not see these qualities in the president of the Freedom Movement, but this does not mean that the party is “closing the door for constructive cooperation in the future.”

Golob will not be endorsed by the NSi either, with the party president and MP Matej Tonin, the outgoing defence minister, expressing disagreement with certain provisions of the coalition agreement.

“We share many concerns of businesses, doctors, trade unions and ordinary people,” Tonin said, assessing that the coalition agreement excessively follows the ideas of the Left, whose programme is, in the opinion of the NSi, detrimental.

Golob thus cannot count on the party’s support. “However, we are not malicious and we are not politicking. We wish the new government to work successfully. If the government works well, this will be good for all of us,” he said.

The NSi will be constructive opposition, which does not mean the party will be “docile and silent”. The NSi will use all democratic means to “prevent various socialist experiments, silent nationalisations and additional taxations.”

The MPs of the Freedom Movement, SD and the Left, as well as the Italian and Hungarian minority MPs meanwhile said they see Prime Minister-designate Golob as a person who will end the dismantling of democracy and offer a clear long-term vision.

SD deputy group head Jani Prednik said that, with a 71% turnout, voters had told that they wanted Slovenia to be a welfare state for all and an environment of equality, solidarity and mutual respect.

Prednik said that voters had sent the clear message that they did not want any more “political games, disregard of rules, interference of politics in independent institutions and violations of human rights.”

He added that the common goal of the coalition was to ensure a strong economy for social security of all and balanced regional development, “to show that Slovenia is not only Ljubljana”.

Matej T. Vatovec, the head of the Left deputy group, said that the 24 April election was ground-breaking, as it did away with “failed experiments of privatisation and austerity that have controlled the state since 2008.”

The head of the Freedom Movement deputy group, Borut Sajovic, noted that more than a third of all voters had voted for the Freedom Movement, which he understands people opting against the “dismantling of democracy and the rule of law”.

Sajovic believes that voters have recognised in Golob someone who understands the future and development challenges and knows how to solve the energy and food crises. He sees Golob as a person with a sovereign, determined, but also kind approach.

Italian MP Felice Žiža welcomed the announcement of transition to renewable energy sources, and Hungarian MP Ferenc Horvath welcomed Golob’s call on the young people to stay at home, as brain drain is a large problem in Horvath’s Prekmurje region.