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Slovenia Weekly

Yes to reform, but carefully considered

30.01.2015

Editorial

The government's goal for this year is clear - sustainable economic growth, which can be achieved with the right combination of responsible fiscal policy, future-oriented structural reforms and smart investments. Photo: Mostphotos
The government's goal for this year is clear. Slovenia must continue to implement structural measures if we wish to achieve long-term growth and more high-skilled jobs. Sustainable economic growth can be achieved only with the right combination of responsible fiscal policy, future-oriented structural reforms and smart investments. According to the Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, we have stepped on the road from the crisis and with great effort – particularly in the last few months – have managed to achieve great progress. “Reinstated market trust is further proof, which is supported by a better credit rating and the fact that regardless of the fluctuations on financial markets a record low yield on Slovenia’s bond has been achieved, which makes borrowing cheaper,” said the PM in his speech in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

In order to be more competitive, we are determined to markedly improve business environment. We have many small, young and energetic enterprises, which must be given an opportunity at home. We are known for innovations, technological progress and research results, which we sometimes do not know how to take advantage of. Slovenia has every opportunity to become an attractive destination for successful foreign investment and tourists. Therefore, according to minister for the economy Počivalšek we need a revolution in the promotion of tourism.

Evidently, the reform of the health-care system is a crucial matter. The PM has announced that a resolution on the national health care programme in the 2016-2025 period will be adopted this year. The government promotes public discussion on what kind of health care we want in Slovenia and has invited all crucial stakeholders – the chamber of physicians, physicians, nurses and health consumers to participate. The PM stressed that health-care reform would not be rushed, but carefully considered. Therefore, and particularly due to the extent of the reform, it cannot be realised in one year, although first sign of improvement in the health-care system should be visible this year.

Today, the National Assembly is discussing the draft act, with which the government proposes a strict fiscal policy framework. The proposed fiscal rule requires structural balance of public finances in the medium-term. According to Mramor, the structural deficit will be eliminated gradually, as we would otherwise compromise economic growth. While implementing fiscal rule, Slovenia should not forget to preserve the social state.

The government approves the revised budget with emphasis on investments

The government approved the draft revised budget for 2015, which raises the deficit to 1.39 billion euros. According to the European methodology, this is 2.89 per cent of GDP, said the finance minister Dušan Mramor after government session. He added that the revision is very investment focused, as the funds for investments have increased by 30 per cent on average. more...

Slovenia among financially stable countries again

“Recent upgrade of Slovenia's credit rating puts Slovenia among countries attractive to investors,” said PM Cerar in the National Assembly and also stressed high growth and lower unemployment in the recent period. Moody's rating agency, which upgraded the government bond rating of Slovenia to Baa3 from Ba1 with a stable outlook on Friday, 23 January, stated that one of the main drivers for the upgrade is the obvious progress in fiscal consolidation and an improved policy-making environment, which enables the implementation further economic and fiscal policy reform. more...

NATO's Centre of Excellence for Mountain Warfare opens its doors

NATO’s Centre of Excellence for Mountain Warfare (NATO CEMW) in the Slovenian town of Poljče will officially start operating on 1 March 2015, when courses for members of the US and British armed forces are set to begin. The multi-national centre already provides training for individuals and units for operations in the mountains and other difficult terrains. Establishing an international military organisation is a novelty in Slovenia both in terms of the political and military levels of the defence system. more...

Many opportunities to strengthen cooperation with Turkmenistan

At the beginning of the week, at the invitation of his Slovenian counterpart, Karl Erjavec, Turkmenistan foreign minister, Rashid Meredov, came on a two-day visit. The foreign ministers called for strengthened economic cooperation between the countries. The visit coincided with the first meeting of the Slovenian-Turkmen intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation. Mr Erjavec said that Turkmenistan was a major political and economic partner of Slovenia. more...

We should not forget the horrors of the Holocaust

To mark National and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Slovenia has been commemorating the victims and survivors and focusing on raising awareness and learning about the Holocaust. This year's 27 January marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where between 1.1 and 1.6 million people, mostly Jews, were killed in gas chambers or died due to medical experiments carried out by Nazi scientists during World War II. Some 63,000 Slovenians were among those interned in German Nazi and Italian Fascist concentration camps, 12,000 of whom never returned home. more...



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