Latest estimates value second stimulus package at EUR 2.8bn

Latest estimates value second stimulus package at EUR 2.8bn

Coming out of Monday's coordination meeting for the emerging new coronavirus emergency package, coalition members explained the current total value of the envisaged measures, focusing on securing liquidity for businesses, was EUR 2.8 billion.

Reports on the liquidity measures, coming after a EUR 3 billion stimulus package seeking to prevent job loss and protect vulnerable groups, so far mentioned EUR 900 million to be given at the disposal of companies in the form of loans, guarantees and guarantee schemes. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) spoke of EUR 2 billion in one statement.

The coalition discussed today changes to the first package and the new stimulus, both of which the government hopes to finalise today and on Tuesday and have ready for adoption in parliament on 28 and 29 April.

The deputy group head of the senior coalition Democrats (SDS) Danijel Krivec also announced a third package today saying "it will seek to kickstart growth while the measures will secure investment in infrastructure and might also include additional measures for tourism".

The Agriculture Ministry said today the third package was also to include measures for the agriculture and food sector, primarily focussing on new investment, plant production and boosting food self-sufficiency.

Coalition partners were mostly content today with the degree to which their proposals had been incorporated into the new package, but many raised the issue of tourism, which is likely to continue to struggle even after other sectors pick up.

Janja Sluga of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) said tourism should be approached "in a more comprehensive matter". She meanwhile also suggested not enough had been done for self-employed culture workers.

Still being coordinated are provisions laying down the extent to which loans taken out by companies to bridge the crisis are to be covered with state guarantees.

Franc Jurša of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) revealed that small companies would probably get 80% guarantee coverage and large companies 70%.

Coalition parties can still forward their proposals to the government today to be studied by government task forces. The government is expected to endorse amendments to the first corona package and the draft second corona bill on Tuesday, so they could be discussed by the parliamentary finance committee on Friday or Saturday. The motions should be put up for a vote in parliament on 28 and 29 April.

The part of the opposition which was critical of the first corona epidemic legislative package is displeased with the draft second package as well.

MPs of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD) and the Left pointed to the "still forgotten groups of citizens" and unclarity about state guarantees.

Brane Golubović of the LMŠ said the package did not bring solutions for the most problematic sector - the hospitality and tourism sector. He also wants to know whether the EUR 2 billion in planned state guarantees included those planned for the Koper-Divača rail project, the housing scheme and the north-south expressway.

Matjaž Han of the SD warned that all companies in need of aid would still not receive it. He too pointed to the problems of the hospitality and tourism sector, which would have long-term problems with hiring.

Miha Kordiš of the Left said that a large part of precarious workers, the unemployed and tenants were still being left out.

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