By: Mitja Grmovšek
This time we invited a young and aspiring lawyer Barbara Klajderič, who also expresses her positive energy in society. Family and homeland come first for her. She comes from Zgornja Polskava. She is also a registered candidate for an MP in this year’s parliamentary elections.
DEMOKRACIJA: To start our conversation, I would first like to ask you who Barbara Klajderič is.
Klajderič: I am a positive person, a lawyer who strives to achieve good results in my work, a mother who proudly watches the growth and development of her children, and a woman who strives with her heart to find solutions to problems. I have a very rich and diverse work experience both in the economy and in the public sector. I am employed in a larger company. Despite the fact that I perform a professional and time-consuming profession, I always take time for leisure activities, especially sports. I spend a lot of time on the football fields, where I encourage my sons in matches, and I also do sports as an amateur.
DEMOKRACIJA: Where did your interest in politics come from?
Klajderič: I can say for myself that I “grew up with politics”. And it was this “homeliness” in politics that led me to take an active part in political events. I believe that a lot can be achieved with hard work, perseverance and a little courage with the support of politics. I know how to listen to people and I have the will to fulfil the wishes and needs of others. Whether it is our youngest or those with more life experience, in the autumn of life.
DEMOKRACIJA: You are a registered candidate for a member of the National Assembly. What do you think needs to change in politics?
Klajderič: I am a registered candidate for a member of the National Assembly, which I am extremely proud of. I think we need to change the mindset of over-commitment in the sense of “let’s annoy”. This time we have a government that is doing great. Not just on paper, the excellence of this work is reflected in several areas. During the epidemic, many anti-corona measures were taken, which included aid for all citizens of the Republic of Slovenia. Financial incentives were given to the economy, jobs were maintained. Municipality averages per citizen have increased, and we have the lowest unemployment rate and one of the highest economic growth rates. Infrastructure is being built, we have received tourist vouchers and I could go on and on. The logic of many political actors, however, is that the good work of the government must be demolished. This logic needs to be changed, cooperated and the most optimal solutions sought.
DEMOKRACIJA: What will you strive for in your election campaign?
Klajderič: In my election campaign, as part of the excellent programme of the Slovenian Democratic Party, I will primarily strive to ensure that the achievements of our government so far will continue to be realised, as this is the only way to successfully continue work and complete projects. Investments are needed in education, both in infrastructure and in the education system. It is necessary to build sports facilities, expand and build kindergartens, which are often limited in space and children therefore do not get a place in the kindergarten in the place where they live. Young parents need to be provided with work and housing in the immediate vicinity of kindergartens and schools, as this will make it easier for them to reconcile work with private life. And family, as we know, is one of the most important values. I think it would be easier for many young people to choose to have children if they knew that their offspring had a stable future ahead of them, that they would be financially stable on their own.
I will strive to develop local entrepreneurship. The focus will primarily be on mitigation measures. An effective supportive environment at local and national level is needed; strive to create awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship for economic development and realise the creative potential of citizens, increase opportunities for new businesses, promote their growth and create new jobs, accelerate the exploitation of entrepreneurial and innovation potential and establish an effective supportive environment for potential entrepreneurs. I will advocate for the development of entrepreneurship, especially in terms of providing favourable and direct loans to companies for interest rate subsidies, lending costs, for subsidies to individuals, for the establishment and start-up of companies, for subsidies for business development projects.
I will also work for rural development and tourism. Agriculture certainly plays an important role, with increasing importance being given to self-sufficiency. Farmers must be provided with financial resources in the form of subsidies, and it needs to be taken care that various beneficiaries of rural development payments will be provided with loans or guarantees to cover operating costs under favourable conditions, such as very low interest rates or a favourable payment schedule. Action is needed to award grants to beneficiaries.
DEMOKRACIJA: The policy of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) is based on helping the elderly by building new homes for the elderly and also on the policy for young people by building new housing and homes. What is your opinion on this?
Klajderič: The policy of the Slovenian Democratic Party always takes care of all generations. One of the most important priorities of the government led by Janez Janša is to take care of the most vulnerable, which is reflected in investments in homes for the elderly, either in the form of building new homes or expanding existing facilities, which means raising the quality of living in the elderly homes in terms of solving the space shortage.
In any case, the achievements of the current government in the mandate should be highlighted, such as the provision of budget funds for investments in old people’s homes in 2021 and 2022 in the total amount of 30 million euros, 93 million euros in grants for better living quality and additional funds in the amount of 59 million euros for 850 additional places in nursing homes.
The policy of the Slovenian Democratic Party is based on helping young people by building new housing. It is difficult for young people today to decide to buy real estate, as most of them are not creditworthy or find it easier for them to live with their parents. It often happens that young people want to rent an apartment, but these apartments are not on the market or do not meet their needs or desires.
In many cases, young people are unable to afford a rental apartment, mainly due to excessive rental prices. Many young people are therefore faced with the dilemma of why rent an apartment if they cannot buy the apartment in such a way that the rent already paid is included in the price of the property.
The government of Janez Janša provided concrete solutions to this problem. Based on projects that are already underway, the Housing Fund will put almost 4,000 rental apartments on the market. The government has raised averages municipalities get per citizen, so that municipal and city housing funds can also provide more than 1,500 apartments from these funds. And more than 5,000 apartments will be built in the coming years from projects that are already underway, from funds that are planned and largely provided. Apartments are being built all over the country, not only in Ljubljana, the policy of balanced development and not centralisation is being followed. Housing will be available to young people not only in Ljubljana, but also in their place of residence, school, workplace or simply in the place where they want to live.
DEMOKRACIJA: What is your opinion on local entrepreneurship, how would you tackle it successfully?
Klajderič: It is important to ensure that it is easier for individuals to choose an entrepreneurial path, and to encourage those who are on the right path. Despite the fact that the state offers many instruments to help entrepreneurship, the vast majority do not take advantage of this aid, as they do not know the aid instruments or simply do not trust them. The development of local entrepreneurship should definitely be encouraged, especially in these “corona times”. Entrepreneurs or those opting for entrepreneurship need to be presented with concrete opportunities to help, as entrepreneurship is important for economic and social development. It is the source of the progress of all social life. This year, the Slovenian Enterprise Fund reopened vouchers – simple small value incentives that can be used by micro, small and medium-sized companies for various business services. Entrepreneurs can use these for a variety of business services. They are very simple small value incentives that are available throughout the year. Submitting an application is easy and fully digitised, and the processing of vouchers itself is fast. The state also supports the growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises through financial incentives from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and institutions specialising in corporate financing. It is worth mentioning the platform of the Slovenian start-up ecosystem, which supports innovative entrepreneurship in Slovenia, so-called Start up Slovenija. There is a financial risk in every business. It is most dangerous at the beginning of the company’s development due to personal investments of entrepreneurs’ savings or personal borrowing. Entrepreneurs therefore need to be specifically introduced to the possibilities of aid in order to make it easier for them to decide to start a business or to use this aid in their operations.
Entrepreneurs also face too many administrative barriers. Efforts need to be made to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to operate and for bureaucracy not to bring additional complications, and procedures need to be simplified.
DEMOKRACIJA: In your opinion, how is Janez Janša leading the Slovenian government?
Klajderič: My opinion on Janša’s leadership of the Slovenian government is certainly positive. I think he leads it great, he is achieving the set goals, and with his head held high. He successfully manages any attempt to overthrow the government, he acts ethically, sovereignly, and he successfully chaired the presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the mandate of this government, the citizens of Slovenia have been given concrete solutions, such that are actually reflected in everyday life. At the time of the epidemic, no individual was forgotten in terms of the various forms of aid, as many anti-corona measures were adapted, which included aid for each of us. And this is what makes the Slovenian government under the leadership of Janez Janša excellent, determined, heartfelt and trustworthy.
DEMOKRACIJA: What do you think about the policy pursued by the left-wing KUL opposition?
Klajderič: The logic of many KUL political actors is that the good work of the government should be nullified, that government representatives should be presented to the public as unsuccessful actors or as puppets. Of course, two political poles are needed to create contradictions. However, these two opposing poles should be able to cooperate constructively and support ideas that are good for the state and citizens. Now is not the time to play “who will get who” game, but it is the time to stand together, work together and find the most optimal solutions for us. And this is what the so-called KUL opposition should be particularly aware of, but unfortunately it is acting all but constructive and supportive. Above all, it should be emphasised that this opposition is behaving arrogantly during the epidemic of the new coronavirus and is not helping to improve the situation.
DEMOKRACIJA: Why do you think it would be important for this government’s policy to continue after the elections?
Klajderič: The citizens of the Republic of Slovenia need concrete solutions, such as those implemented under our government. That is why it is important that the policy of this government continues even after the elections, because that is the only way we will successfully carry out the projects to the end.
Moreover, people need to be encouraged to go to the polls, because every vote is important so that we can continue to build Slovenia successfully!
Barbara Klajderič comes from Zgornja Polskava. She is married and a mother of two children, ages 5 and 7. She has a master’s degree in law and is employed in a large company. Courage, justice, pluck is her motto, which she always sticks to.