By: Gašper Blažič
We spoke with NSi MP Aleksandar Reberšek, the deputy leader of the NSi parliamentary group. He joined the parliamentary group after the 2018 elections and is considered a propulsive speaker. As he says, the current situation requires people who are able to make decisions in times of crisis and also take responsibility for them.
DEMOCRACIJA: We have entered the year 2021, which is also a jubilee year for Slovenia. As a member of the younger generation, how do you view the independence of Slovenia and related events after 30 years?
REBERŠEK. For me, Slovenia’s independence is the greatest achievement of the Slovenian nation in history. The unity and willingness of all Slovenes to participate has laid a good foundation for building a democratic society in Slovenia. Unfortunately, the wishes and expectations of that time did not come true, as we were not yet able to implement some of the changes we wanted. I would like us to be able to stand together on important issues for our community and our future today as we did 30 years ago.
DEMOCRACY: Two years ago, you became a member of the National Assembly, which contrary to the general opinion that in parliament they “just quarrel and do nothing”, is a great responsibility. Now, in the second half of your term, you are also the deputy leader of the parliamentary group.
REBERŠEK: My wish at the election as a deputy was to be the voice of the people of Savinjska and those who were often ignored. The belief that we are just fighting in parliament is wrong. Parliament, as the legislative branch of power, is by definition a place of confrontation and finding the right solutions to problems. Unfortunately, there are indeed too many inappropriate verbal duels in the National Assembly, but this is a matter of the culture of each individual. Everyone should strive so that the level of parliamentary debates could be an example to others.
As for my work in parliament, I can say that it shows a lot that NSi is in government. As a coalition MP, I can take a more concrete and active part in changing the legislation. At this time, I see the government as very operational and the only one capable of governing in this situation. When I talk to people, they also tell me that they notice positive changes. Mayors point to higher amount allocated by the state to the municipality to finance its operation and relief of municipalities, and pensioners to the pension supplements. The dismantling of the Slovenian Army has ended, and road and railway infrastructure is being built throughout the country. Among other things, new homes for the elderly, which have not been built for 13 years, will also be built. We also did not forget about people with special needs nor fire brigades, and we helped many others as well. We tried not to forget anyone. As a coalition MP, I therefore do not agree with the claims that we are not doing anything in the corona crisis, but I believe that our results can be seen and are also known in action.
DEMOCRACIJA: Some media noticed your performance in 2019, in which you said that a healthy person needs work, not receive social assistance …
REBERŠEK: Exactly! I still stand behind those words! I am constantly striving to regulate the field of social assistance. Employees should be paid well and fairly for their work. However, social assistance should not be a permanent income for healthy, able-bodied people. In other words: those who cannot work would be entitled to the amount, which is at least the poverty threshold. Those who work, however, should receive higher wages. The state should give up its piece of cake here to leave more work for employees.
Our Minister Janez Cigler Kralj is already working in this direction, and we have also regulated something in this area in the anti-corona bundle of measures (PKP).