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Prime Minister Janez Janša was a keynote speaker at the solemn event at the Chamber of Craft and Entrepreneurship of Slovenia

Yesterday in Brdo pri Kranju, Prime Minister Janez Janša attended a solemn event of the Chamber of Craft and Entrepreneurship of Slovenia, at which he was the keynote speaker. At the ceremony, the awards Craftsman of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year for 2020 and 2021 and the Oldest Craftsman in 2020 were presented.

In his keynote speech, the Prime Minister spoke about the pandemic, about the difficult times for the economy, which we have overcome well in terms of results. “Last year’s economic growth, which was achieved mainly by you, was more than 8% in real terms. Nominally, if we consider inflation, almost 11%. We made up for the fall from the epidemic in June last year, we have real growth and the highest employment in our history.”

In his speech, he reminded that meetings with representatives of the economy were held in Brdo during the pandemic. “Thanks again to everyone for their patience and all the suggestions. Many proposals in anti-corona law packages have come from your side. We have acted in a timely and effective manner, which is reflected in the economic results.” In his speech, the Prime Minister said that crafts, entrepreneurship, and the economy are the basis of everything, but that the normal functioning of the state also requires the public sector, which must provide efficient and friendly public services that are not too expensive. He emphasised that a balance is needed between the economy and the public sector, but that if you do not create anything, you cannot share anything and use it for services. “Just creating, to have economic growth, is the real basis of prosperity that is lasting.”

In his speech, the Prime Minister recalled the war in Ukraine, which changed everything. “The world changed on February 24th, more than we were aware of then and more than most are aware of today. It is human nature to believe in the good and find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that something bad will happen, so we are ill-prepared for such moments.” He said that the reaction now was that the Western world had proved more connected and united during the war in Ukraine than it had showed before.

In his speech, he also reminded of government visits to Slovenian regions. “In this context, the government visited many Slovenian companies. A very big problem with many activities is the high price of electricity. It is incomprehensible for many that the price has risen so much, given that Slovenia is largely self-sufficient in terms of electricity.” He pointed out that Slovenia is part of the European energy market, where certain rules apply. A formula has been established according to which the price of gas is the main factor that also determines the price of electricity. “Already during the presidency of the EU Council last year, Slovenia insisted on starting procedures to change this formula.” The European Commission did not give in at first, but last week it received a single order from the European Council to prepare a revised formula, which should come into force in May at the latest.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also recalled the government’s visit to Israel, the third most innovative country in the world. “Slovenia is not bad in terms of innovation, but we are not excellent, at the top.” According to the president of the Israeli Innovation Agency, the difference between Slovenia and Israel in terms of innovation and entrepreneurial mindset is that in Israel, for decades, in addition to the debate on success, they have also encouraged the debate on failure, whereas, in Slovenia and Europe we are shyer about it. The Prime Minister said that failures, ups and downs are also part of the entrepreneurial path.

The Prime Minister concluded his speech by saying that we also need large companies in Slovenia, but that the backbone of the Slovenian economy is small and medium-sized enterprises, craftsmen. “You who are here have succeeded in life, because of you Slovenia is a country of the developed world. Thank you for contributing to prosperity. I wish you a lot of entrepreneurial courage.”

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