Slovenian PM attempts to avoid new protests in the public sector

Slovenian PM attempts to avoid new protests in the public sector

 

Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos

Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek and Finance Minister will present to trade unions and employers on Tuesday a set of measures to consolidate public finances. She is also to discuss the measures proposed by the unions and the public sector.

The eight trade union associations involved in the social partners’ talks want to see Slovenia change its course from saving to sustainable development. They want the government to introduce tax-certified cash registers, employ more tax inspectors and introduce a single procurement system for the entire public sector.

The trade unions moreover want the government to impose a financial transactions tax and increase corporate income tax to 20% as well as reduce the number of municipalities and establish regions. It is also vital that Slovenia speed up phasing of EU funds.

The employers on the other hand propose measures to relieve the tax burden and boost development and competitiveness. They also want to see structural reforms and reconstruction of the banking system.

Employers moreover prefer a more efficient and rational public sector to higher taxes. They want the government to cap social contributions, and take additional reforms in the labour market and pension system, as well as mini jobs.

The meeting, which will also be attended by economists, is scheduled a week prior to the deadline for the government to submit to the National Assembly the 2014 supplementary budget. Unofficially, Bratušek will present it to coalition partners on Wednesday.

She told public broadcaster late on Monday that she will present the document to the Economic and Social Council, Slovenia’s main industrial relations forum, on Friday before adopting the document on Monday.

The PM has previously said that the measures would be presented to the public by 25 September. Before a public presentation, the PM is also to present the document to the opposition. The document has been “more or less” agreed upon at Wednesday’s meeting of coalition partners, according to Finance Minister Uroš Čufer.

Source: Slovenia Times