At press conference in Ljubljana, Prime Minister Janez Janša and Deputy Prime Ministers Zdravko Počivalšek and Matej Tonin spoke about the current epidemiological situation and other current topics.
As Prime Minister Janez Janša said in the introduction, every week and even today the government discussed the epidemiological situation in the country, the threats posed by new variants of the virus and the situation regarding the vaccination of the population. “Our view is that now that we have enough vaccine, when people can choose the vaccine, it is the responsibility of each individual to protect themselves and their loved ones and at the same time the openness of public life. We have enough instruments at our disposal to prevent the closure of public life, to restrict movements, economic activities, especially services, and to join forces in order to achieve the highest possible vaccination of the population,” said the Prime Minister and announced amendments to regulations, proposed in this direction by the Ministry of Health.
“We welcome the statement of all parliamentary groups in the National Assembly, which today were able to sign the statement of all political groups in the Slovenian Parliament, calling for vaccination and unanimously joining these efforts. I think that this is a great thing and it came at the right time,” said the Prime Minister. He added that also in relation to this statement and the efforts that were successful to achieve unity here, the coalition decided that the amendments to the Infectious Diseases Act, which is in the process and the final vote are probably not necessary at this stage. “Therefore, the coalition MPs will vote against the amendment we submitted and the government will take the time to reconsider some comments from the debate in the National Assembly and the National Council and propose a new amendment to the Infectious Diseases Act,” said the Prime Minister, adding that otherwise the deadline of the Constitutional Court for change will not be taken into account. “The government was in a hurry with this amendment to the law precisely because of this deadline set by the Constitutional Court, it was not our choice, so the old law is still in force and in our opinion provides enough instruments to deal effectively with the epidemic at this stage, especially if this unified call of parliamentary groups for vaccination is taken into account,” said the Prime Minister. He also pointed out that in this way the coalition wants to relieve the burden of the time in the coming weeks, which is crucial for Slovenia to achieve sufficient vaccination to stop the epidemic.
“Discussions on the amendment to the Infectious Diseases Act, possible collection of signatures for the referendum, constitutional review, all announced by the opposition, would be linked to opposition to vaccination and would have a negative effect, which we do not want,” he said. The Prime Minister also emphasised that at the moment, Slovenia’s key priority is to achieve sufficient vaccination so that we can have open schools and kindergartens, unlimited public life and normal activities in the autumn, taking into account the PCT conditions.
“The coalition has also decided to propose postponing the vote on the National Demographic Fund Act in the third reading. We do not want this important decision to be taken in a politically overheated atmosphere: this is one of the strategic decisions on how to ensure stable pensions in the future, and since attempts to pass this law are more than a decade old, we do not believe that if this opportunity is wasted, there will be more here in the near future,” stressed the Prime Minister and added that this would also mean that the management of state property continues to be fragmented, and the resources for ensuring the stability of the pension system and pensions are smaller than they could be given Slovenia’s options.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Janez Janša also highlighted tomorrow’s decision of the National Assembly on the proposal for the appointment of the Minister of Digital Transformation. “When I sent the proposal to the National Assembly, there were some comments in terms of why propose a new ministry in the last year of the mandate. Firstly: it is not a new ministry, it is a new service and a minister who will coordinate the existing ministries. The reason is that the European Commission has approved a recovery plan for Slovenia, in which there is a lot of money for the digital transformation of the Slovenian economy, public administration, services and everything in general, where digitalisation enables faster procedures, smaller queues for people, and this money will start inflowing to Slovenia in the coming months. These are not funds for the next seven years, but funds that will be available as early as this year, and it is very important that these investments, when it comes to digital transformation, are coordinated so that departments do not make decisions on the same thing at different levels. This ministry is something that many other European countries are also introducing at this time, countries that are also awaiting digital transformation,” said the Prime Minister. He also pointed out that the candidate we proposed proved to be at the head of the Strategic Digitisation Council. “In record time, this body has prepared practical proposals that have been approved by the government, and we need coordination in order to start implementing them as soon as possible. This is not about years and decades, but weeks and months to come, and we therefore believe that this proposal will be supported by the National Assembly tomorrow,” said the Prime Minister.
At the end, the Prime Minister once again thanked all the representatives of the parliamentary groups who signed a joint statement for the highest possible vaccination coverage. “This is a very important political step that joins Slovenia to those European countries that have so far been able to take a joint stand on the epidemic,” concluded Prime Minister Janez Janša.