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Friday, January 27, 2023

President of the Club of Slovenian Entrepreneurs Joc Pečečnik: Before we were threatened by crises, external competitors, now we are afraid that our own government will kill us

By: C. R., STA

The dialogue between the government and representatives of the economy is satisfactory, but the final government measures sometimes make it look as if it did not exist at all, according to the Club of Slovenian Entrepreneurs (SBC). They emphasise that their goal is not to act against the government, but they expect it to listen and take good measures, not populist solutions. They are particularly critical of measures in healthcare.

As SBC president Joc Pečečnik said at today’s press conference in Ljubljana, the time has come to end the “logic of hard socialism”, which does not work anywhere in the developed world. According to him, the club is aware that it is difficult to make unpopular decisions in politics, “but a good politician must be able to take less popular measures as well”.

“SBC members talk to every government in the same way. Our goal is not conflict, but long-term prosperity in Slovenia. We want to contribute good proposals that will be set for a period longer than the mandate of one government,” he emphasised.

Entrepreneurs often get the impression that successful business is something they should be ashamed of, and that the state perceives them as “cash cows”, he said. “The truth is that only good and successful companies will create a rich country that can provide people with good public service,” he said.

In doing so, he pointed out the situation in public health care, which, according to the SBC, is unacceptable. “The fact that the elderly are waiting in lines to be diagnosed by a doctor is undoubtedly unacceptable,” emphasised Pečečnik. He is convinced that the main reason for the problems cannot be a lack of money, but poor organisation.

SBC board member and director of Kirurgija Bitenc Marko Bitenc described the problems as “a logical consequence of the fact that no one has undertaken health reform in 30 years”. He understands public protests as a consequence of misunderstanding the concept of public health care. “In none of the developed countries does this consist only of institutions that are publicly owned,” he emphasised.

He is convinced that the reform of the health care system should therefore be based on a mixed system in which state and local health service providers and private providers would be connected.

The director of Celjske mesnine Izidor Krivec focused on the conditions in agriculture and the food industry, which, according to him, are also challenging due to the bad attitude of the state. “Opposition to the use of meat based on ideological assumptions and not on factual analysis cannot bring any benefit. Talking about the fact that Slovenian livestock farming causes a carbon footprint is the result of complete ignorance,” he emphasised.

The director of the company Soltec Miroslav Požar warned against generalisations due to a handful of entrepreneurs who treat workers inappropriately. “We cannot survive without satisfied customers, and we cannot survive without satisfied employees. Allegations of general exploitation of workers are therefore offensive,” he said.

Partner in Law Firm Sibinčič Križanec Novak Jan Sibinčič called on the government to adopt a predictable tax policy without too rapid changes and to reduce capital and labour taxation. “Otherwise, foreign companies will continue to choose other countries too often,” he said.

As the members of the club emphasised, for a developed country that is a member of the EU and other international organisations, making the business environment more difficult should be unacceptable. “Once upon a time, the former state prevented us from succeeding, but today we are afraid that our own government will kill us,” added Pečečnik.

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