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Prime Minister Janez Janša on Odmevi on TV Slovenija 1

The Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša was tonight's guest in the Odmevi TV programme broadcast on TV Slovenija 1, where he talked about various current topics, including the coalition meeting held at Brdo pri Kranju today.

The Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša was guest in the Odmevi

The Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša was guest in the Odmevi | Author Kabinet predsednika vlade

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"This was a consultation, an assessment of the term that is coming to an end," said the Prime Minister of today's meeting. He continued: "Much was said on local projects that the deputies were inquiring about and there was a sober consideration on the weeks that lie ahead and on unfinished projects that are yet to be discussed by the deputies."

"The coalition has decided to continue with the implementation of all important points from the coalition agreement. The Demographic Fund is important to ensure the stability of the pension system and reduce the burden on labour. We are even considering that, because the Personal Income Tax Act is, in a way, a reform act bringing higher salaries for all due to a reduced tax burden on salaries, senior relief and relief for green and digital incentives, we could eventually support the Left party's proposal to hold a consultative referendum in which the people would have the final say on whether they want higher wages or a higher budget for social transfers," explained the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister pointed out that acts concerning finances do not allow for a subsequent approval referendum, however, it is possible to hold a consultative referendum. "Several options are available in this regard, but because the elections are around the corner and if we are to discuss such an important matter with the voters, this should be done on the same day to avoid additional expenses and to let the people have the final say on such an important topic. This is not only a matter of a several percent salary increase, but a matter of policy, that is, whether we trust the people that they can better manage the money they earn or whether it is better for the state to manage this money. In my opinion, each person can better manage the money they earn," stressed the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that the rise in energy prices was also discussed today. "By the end of the month, ministries will have drafted an act concerning energy vouchers to help the socially weak, which were probably among the worst hit by the energy price and heating cost increases. Additional measures will be adopted to reduce the burden due to the energy price increase in general," stressed the Prime Minister.

"When it comes to the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS), there are several levels. I was sorry to hear that the party leaders decided to pursue such an unproductive policy, however, we are pleased that the deputies support good measures," said Mr Janša. He continued: "Never have so many good things for the benefit of pensioners been done as in this term. We welcome their support and we count on it in the future as well," said the Prime Minister.

"We will not introduce stricter measures as long as possible and we hope to overcome this wave of infections by a consistent implementation of the recovered/vaccinated/tested (RVT) rule," responded the Prime Minister when asked about adopting stricter measures due to the Omicron variant. "Most people support this approach and the attitude towards its implementation in the past weeks was more responsible than, say, in November," explained the Prime Minister. He also pointed out that, a few days ago, he held a telephone conversation with the Danish Prime Minister. "In the past three weeks, Denmark has seen more infections than Slovenia, however, their population has a higher vaccination coverage. Yet, the share of Slovenian population above the age of 50 who received at least one dose is nearly 80% and 70% for the adult population, which is not so bad. However, it could be better and then the risk would be smaller. The answer to the question on whether drastically stricter measures will be required depends on how much this vaccination coverage will help reduce the impact of the high number of cases. We estimate that we are somewhere at the tipping point and that, if all the recommendations and measures regarding the RVT rule are strictly adhered to, we can avoid drastically stricter measures.

As to the question on the introduction of mandatory vaccination, the Prime Minister explained that the Government does not pretend to know more about vaccination, virus and its impact and health measures than the experts. "If Slovenian experts reached a consensus on a certain measure and the same would apply for European experts, then the Government would support this decision. However, at the moment, opinions vary and the Government does not want to adopt a political decision that would affect some expert dilemmas," said the Prime Minister. He added that, in his opinion, vaccination is the only thing that helps at the moment and that science should be trusted. "This is why I call upon everyone to consider some mere facts. "Billions of people have been vaccinated and only a few have died due to the effects of the vaccination, while many have died because of the virus," said Mr Janša.

"Speaking about left-wing political parties, I believe that they are in a chaos, they have lost their compass, substance, identity. In such a case, a search for something or someone new, a kind of messiah, always begins. There is no talk about a programme, but rather about a certain someone who would come in and prevent disaster," said the Prime Minister as he commented on the situation of the left-wing political parties. "A deputy in today's meeting said that the atmosphere was better than at the beginning of the term when the coalition was being formed. We have endured a difficult term and we have all shown the will and wish to continue working together in the future. We invite everyone elected in the National Assembly in the next term to join us," said the Prime Minister as he replied to the question on possible collaboration with Robert Golob. He added: "Today no coalitions were directly discussed, however, one could tell that everyone participating in today's meeting believe that there is no better alternative than collaboration. Everyone who was present at today's meeting supports collaboration," concluded the Prime Minister.