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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Golob’s reforms do not actually exist

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv.si

After Prime Minister Robert Golob spoke about the success of his government’s work at the celebration of the Independence and Statehood Day, where he praised both the response to the high cost of food and energy products and care for pensioners, he now announced in his New Year’s message how the year 2023 should represent a year of reforms with which his government will expectedly manage the challenges that had accumulated over the past 30 years. Given that the current government is not as responsive as we were used to in the previous mandate and has so far not demonstrated anything tangible that would be beneficial to a wide range of citizens, it is not surprising that people look at the forecast with scepticism.

“We want to completely change the operating system of public health, introduce reform in both justice and education. We are preparing a reform of the pension system and housing policy. After all, also the tax reform,” Prime Minister Robert Golob announced, adding that everything is the basis of the modernisation of our country in such a way that Slovenia will become a modern European country that we can all be proud of.

“Oh no, Golob is promising us many reforms… I just imagine these reforms and my head immediately starts to hurt…” is just one of the comments that came out after Prime Minister Golob announced that many reforms are awaiting us, which will contribute to mastering the challenges of the past 30 years. Of course, a comment such as this is not surprising, as it is clear that the current government so far cannot boast of being up-to-date or efficient. Golob, of course, insists that our response to the energy and food crisis is something Europe should be envious of. “Our response is considered one of the most successful responses in the whole of Europe,” said Golob.

We believe that there is no one who does not want our country to be successful in navigating through the crisis. But unfortunately, it is definitely not so. Already at the very beginning of taking power, when Golob announced a new compromise between fuel sellers and consumers, this brought us higher fuel prices both on highways and at gas stations along regional roads. With his actions, he caused an immediate rush to gas stations, the announcement of a price increase happened almost overnight, which logically encouraged a rush to the pumps so that consumers could fill up their tanks at a lower price than the day later. Prices are lower now, but that is because prices for a barrel of crude oil have fallen on world markets.

Golob is far from Dončić in the field of energy, let alone anywhere else

High electricity prices prove that Robert Golob’s government is more than clearly incapable of limiting the earnings of energy traders. The companies that represent the engine of our country pay dearly for this. It is impossible to be competitive with companies from abroad, where they have more reasonable authority. If one would have expected that the ruling party would listen to criticism from the economy, that did not happen either, because Golob clearly believes that Luka Dončić is in the field of energy. Households, like the economy, are forced to pay for more expensive energy, natural gas, not to mention skyrocketing prices for food and services. Let’s not forget that the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia revealed a few days ago that annual inflation reached 10.3 percent in December, while it was 4.9 percent in the same period last year. Of course, annual inflation was most marked by higher prices of food and electricity, gas, and other fuels. In one year, goods rose in price by as much as 11.5 percent, and services by 7.7 percent. So much for the success of the basket price project, with which the government “forced” retailers to set lower prices.

Because pensioners will receive lower pensions in January, and on top of that, with Golob’s tax reform, lower salaries will be awarded to all those who work, thus cancelling all the progress made in this area by the government of Janez Janša. That is why it is really bizarre that someone brags about being successful, let alone bragging about what good things are supposed to be waiting for us in the form of reforms. “I read that in the country, raising taxes and contributions and introducing new taxes, increasing public spending, new agencies and offices, and setting salaries by decrees is from now on called reform,” political analyst Tomaž Štih commented critically.

The Prime Minister already said in a missive that his government supposedly brought a sense of normalcy to Slovenian society in the last six months. “Normalcy, such as can only be provided by an open society that believes in the rule of law. An open society that bets on respect for human rights and the dignity of every individual. It is precisely such an atmosphere that allows us to release the best in ourselves. To unlock all the capabilities, we combine all our virtues in order to help the community in a better future,” he said. Given that even Minister Tatjana Bobnar, whom Golob himself invited to the team, criticised the politicisation of the police, talking about the normalisation of the country is truly beyond criticism, as it is a serious matter! After all, there is no place in a democracy for the government to shut down anyone it does not like. Not to mention the empty arguments of the government team, the performance of the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, who thinks she is walking on the red carpet, and not at the state celebration event, the inappropriate rhetoric of the Prime Minister, who acts as if we can all be blessed to have him and that we should not even accidentally ask ourselves the purpose of certain actions and dare to criticise ourselves, even if they are justified. Perhaps this can at most be normalisation according to the criterion of Svoboda party, but not normalisation in the true sense of the word. The fact that there are departures in their own ranks is telling enough.

Let’s be realistic, it would be too late for Golob’s government to start concrete work today, after all, the health care system is collapsing, and there are a lot of people who pay into the health fund, but they do not even get a personal doctor. It is no wonder that there have been no changes if the Minister of Health is more concerned with arguing with doctors and trade unionists than with solving the big problems. It is already clear why Golob, who says that the rescue of healthcare is a priority for him, has not already intervened in order to take faster action. He trusts and even admires the Minister of Health unconditionally. Unreasonable moves in difficult times, such as insisting on a larger number of ministries, only further prove that the government’s compass is broken, so it really makes no sense to have any hopes, even if Golob really has ideal conditions for changes for the better. He has a guaranteed sufficient number of votes in the parliament. But, of course, one must know how and what.

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