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Cerar wishes changes could be made faster

By   /   21/11/2016  /   Comments Off on Cerar wishes changes could be made faster

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The government will not yield to pressure from public sector trade unions any more than the public finances allow it to, Prime Minister Miro Cerar said in an interview with the business daily Finance.

“We will not give in any more than the public financial constraints allow us to. We will insist on this,” Cerar said about the ongoing talks with the public sector trade unions.

“If we make any more concessions, they will have to be to the benefit of the J group, meaning those with the lowest pay,” he added.

The prime minister believes the doctors’ strike should end immediately to the benefit of the patients. Regarding the health reform, he reiterated that legislative motions for key changes should be ready by the end of the year.

But the government is faced with “many obstacles” in its effort to make changes, Cerar stressed.

He moreover talked about the sale of NLB and about two major infrastructural projects aimed at giving a boost to the economy, notably the planned Koper-Divača rail project and the planned industrial zone in the north-east of the country.

Cerar said the government would honour its commitment to sell the country’s biggest bank, NLB. The sale has been delayed due to unfavourable situation in the banking sector, but Slovenia still needs to get the green light for the postponement from the European Commission, he said.

Touching on the second rail track, seen by many as key for the development of the port of Koper, he said the preparations for the project were taking a bit longer because the government wanted to prevent any abuses.

“We want a clear-cut and verified financial plan so as to avoid issues such as those that happened with motorways, TEŠ6, etc,” he said, referring to projects whose value ballooned far over their initial estimates.

He also reiterated that port operator Luka Koper must stay in majority state-ownership. There could only be a discussion on the privatisation of its minority stake, if there was sufficient political will, he said.

The prime minister also commented on a bill on the industrial zone near Maribor that is to pave the way for a major investment by automotive giant Magna. He said the bill had been drawn up because there was not enough time for systemic changes.

Magna’s investment is to create many jobs, which is why the project is of extreme importance for the region, he said./IBNA

Source: The Slovenia Times

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