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Slovenia Business Week no. 47: PM Jansa Believes Now is the Right Time for Reforms

PM Janez Jansa told the National Council that the Slovenian economy is doing relatively well, however the time had come to give it more oxygen, thus allowing companies to start breathing with full lungs

PM Janez Jansa told the National Council on Wednesday, 16 November that the Slovenian economy is doing relatively well, however the time had come to give it more oxygen, thus allowing companies to start breathing with full lungs.

Jansa added that Slovenia must develop new programmes and create jobs with a future. Furthermore, it "has to do it now, and not wait for the favourable economic environment to turn".

Jansa, speaking at a session where the councillors are to debate the government reforms, named Germany as an example of a country which missed its opportunity to implement social and economic reforms in time.

Moreover, Slovenia is not the only country that is discussing reforms, Jansa continued. Beside 20 other countries which are debating similar issues, the EU's Lisbon Strategy also discusses possible answers to today's crucial EU problems, namely dwindling competitiveness and the effects of globalisation.

"Sustainable growth cannot be achieved without economic growth", added Jansa, explaining that reform-minded countries all consider steps that would "reduce the taxation of labour and increase taxes on consumption and wealth".

At the session, Damijan presented the framework of the social and economic reforms and stressed their urgency. He also pointed out the importance of tax reform, as labour is overly taxed.

He furthermore outlined the withdrawal of the state from the economy, and presented the reforms to the educational and pension system including the changes to social transfers.

Councillors in general agreed with him, but criticised the proposed flat tax. President of the employers interest group Jozko Cuk claimed that a flat tax would hurt several business sectors.

Farmers' representative Peter Vrisk agreed, saying that the flat tax will cause a loss of income to a significant part of Slovenia's population.

Culture and sports representative Tone Persak pointed out that flat tax would have a detrimental effect on culture and sport, while trade unionist Dusan Semolic called flat tax a "socially unacceptable approach".

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA