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Friday, January 27, 2023

During the crisis, Janša’s government reduced the salaries of officials, while Golob’s would raise them for itself and the judges

By Sara Kovač (Nova24tv.si)

During the covid-19 epidemic, the government of Janez Janša reduced the salaries of all officials in Slovenia by 30 percent, while all those who were particularly burdened and exposed to danger during the epidemic were granted an allowance for danger and special burdens, pensioners and the other most vulnerable groups were paid a crisis allowance. But interestingly, only judges were exempted from salary cuts, as the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia decided so. It seems that now Prime Minister Robert Golob will take care of them.

While the government, which proclaims itself to be extremely solidary, is forgetting about pensioners in the middle of the worst costliness, who are undoubtedly one of the most vulnerable groups due to the miserable pensions, Prime Minister Robert Golob announced without any hesitation that the officials in the justice system, so judges and prosecutors, will be receiving a monthly allowance of 600 euros gross starting January. A 100% salary increase for the highest state officials is also announced. Let’s also not ignore the forecasts of economists that an economic crisis is coming and that, according to the Fiscal Council of the Republic of Slovenia, the budget is unrealistic and too favourable to spending.

Janša’s government was accused of ruling with decrees, but they promise supplements without laws?

“In March 2020, for the duration of the covid-19 epidemic, we reduced the salaries of all officials in Slovenia by 30 percent by law, except for judges. The judges were exempted by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia. Saying they are something special. Now the government is promising them a 600-euro allowance without a law. And they blamed us for ruling by decrees,” commented the president of the largest opposition party and former prime minister Janez Janša in relation to the matter. With this statement, Janša faced the accusations of the rulers, who accused the former government of passing decrees during the epidemic, the purpose of which was to contain the epidemic, thereby saving lives. The new government created the path to freedom through various legal innovations – not decrees, but orders. For example, an order was passed on temporary measures in the health sector due to covid-19. Of course, none of the mainstream media or political bikers were bothered by this.

It is interesting, however, that in the case of salary increases for officials in the judicial system, they do not have a legal basis for paying the allowance. After Golob announced at the extraordinary general meeting of judges that he would provide a monthly gross allowance of 600 euros to each judge and prosecutor already in January, the Ministry of Justice replied that “the government is still preparing the normative basis” and that 1,093 judges and prosecutors will receive the bonus. On an annual basis, they estimated, the whole thing will cost 9.1 million euros.

It is really interesting how some people are full of criticism, while they do not even have the necessary legal basis to increase the salaries of judges and prosecutors. As it turns out, in our country, some people are allowed to do everything, they are protected from criticism like a kind of Kočevje bears. Because the increase in salaries for judicial officials happened so easily, many people wondered if it happened because prosecutors were tasked with investigating Golob in the Gen-I case for suspected criminal activity.

Everyone’s appetite for higher wages grew 

If the predictions of some media are true and the Minister of Public Administration, Sanja Ajanović Hovnik, will indeed present a draft of changes to the salaries of the highest officials in the country today, with which the basic salaries are supposed to be doubled, the government of Robert Golob will show in black and white how much it really cares for the people who struggle to make ends meet in a time of rampant inflation. Janša’s government undoubtedly acted in a completely different way in times of crisis and reduced the salaries of all officials by 30 percent.

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