21st regular session of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia
The Government was briefed on points of departure for the preparation of intervention measures to limit the rise in retirement home fees, and the early pension increase. It also laid down the draft text of the Whistleblower Protection Act, and was briefed on the report on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The Government was briefed on information concerning the points of departure for the preparation of intervention measures to limit the rise in retirement home fees, and the preparation of measures for an early pension increase. The Government agrees with the points of departure. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has proceeded to prepare emergency legislation that will determine the early pension increase and provide funds for the co-financing of institutional care costs.
The Whistleblower Protection Act comprehensively regulates the area of providing protection for persons who report breaches of the law. The proposed arrangements follow the approach set out in Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, which comprehensively addresses the provision of protection to persons reporting breaches of EU law, and transposes it into Slovenian legislation with the proposed Act. This is an “umbrella” approach, which respects the established systems and supervisory mechanisms in different areas, upgrading and supplementing them to ensure equal legal protection to persons reporting breaches of both national and EU law. The draft Act defines the establishment of internal and external reporting channels and the public disclosure of breaches of law. It also forbids retaliatory measures and determines protection and support measures for whistleblowers.
The Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) is a national programme of reforms and investments, financed by grants from the European Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Facility is, in financial terms, the largest part of the NextGenerationEU package for European recovery and resilience. In compliance with the aim of these funds, Slovenia will as part of its plan implement measures to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Slovenia, while at the same time addressing the challenges of the green and digital transitions. The planned measures will be implemented by the end of 2026. In the current version of the Slovenian RRP, which the EU Council confirmed in July 2021, the planned measures are worth EUR 1.78 billion in grants and EUR 705 million in loans. According to the latest calculations reported by the European Commission (EC) in June this year, Slovenia will be entitled to EUR 286 million less grants – thus reduced to EUR 1.49 billion in total – because of its better GDP in 2021. In September 2021, Slovenia already received a grant down payment worth EUR 231 million from the Facility. Of that amount, ministries have already received EUR 156.2 million for the implementation of certain measures. The majority of funds are earmarked for the implementation of projects to renovate railway infrastructure (the upgrading of the Ljubljana-Jesenice and Ljubljana-Divača lines, and the upgrading of the railway station in Grosuplje).
The Government was briefed today on the agreement with the FIDES Union of Doctors and Dentists, concerning the temporary interruption of strike activities. It authorised the Minister of Health Danijel Bešič Loredan to sign the agreement.
The Government was also briefed on the reply to the interpellation concerning work and responsibility that was submitted against the Minister of the Interior Tatjana Bobnar, and expressed support for the minister’s response. The Minister of the Interior rejects all the allegations contained in the interpellation as unfounded.
At the press conference following the Government session, the Minister of Infrastructure Bojan Kumer responded to misleading statements concerning the price of electricity and explained it was not true that Slovenia has the highest electricity prices in the EU, and that in 2022 the Slovenian daily price – as in recent years – was roughly the same as the prices in nearby markets, or somewhere between the prices in Austria and north Italy. At the same time he explained that electricity bills already reflect the Government’s prompt regulation of electricity prices. He gave the example of a major supplier, where the consumption was greater but the household customer paid less than in August.