By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
“It would be time for the judges to decide. Because the government does not know whether it can act in this direction, in which those who are more successful in fighting the epidemic, such as Austria, are taking action, or whether we just come to terms with the situation as it will be, it will be” said Prime Minister Janez Janša. If the trend of interest in vaccination, which arose before the decision of the Constitutional Court, continued, we would be in a situation where the EU average is today, the Prime Minister explained, adding that as a result there would be several hundred fewer patients in hospitals and intensive care unit would not be bursting at the seams.
The National Assembly (NA) began a regular monthly session with parliamentary questions to Prime Minister Janez Janša and the Ministers. Questions to the Prime Minister were related to the payment of taxes, corruption, the proposal for extraordinary harmonisation of pensions and epidemiological measures to further prevent the spread of covid-19. The leader of the Levica party MPs, Matej Tašner Vatovec, announced the issue of “corruption and mafia management of the state” for the Prime Minister. Within the question itself, he mentioned the behavioural and corrupt abilities of the government and the connection with Rok Snežič, who is also supposedly a staff member in the Gen-i administration. He also mentioned ministers talking about how they will subjugate judges, trucks with Tonin’s masks, attempts to privatise public health, tax gifts for those who already have the most anyway. He remarked that the government of Janez Janša is creating the most corrupt scandals.
Corruption should be looked for in a parallel mechanism
The Prime Minister replied to Vatovec that he had listed the titles of various articles in newspapers and reiterated that Snežič was neither his adviser nor a government adviser. Among other things, he told him about the mafia management of the country, that the parallel mechanism controls large parts of systems and subsystems. He recalled how during the first and second rounds of elections in 1990, 90 percent of state archives were destroyed, territorial defence was disarmed, 100,000 state-owned apartments were privatised, and all central print media were privatised. He also reminded of Moskovič’s villa, which was exchanged for the building of the former ZKS Central Committee on Tomšičeva in Ljubljana. “The largest state-owned bank has laundered 700 million dollars of Iranian money to support terrorism, build nuclear weapons and pay for Iran’s secret service,” the Prime Minister said, and emphasised that no one was convicted for this, even worse, no one was accused. Moreover, 300 million commissions were paid in this deal – Prime Minister told Vatovec to look for corruption here, not in sandwiches, and added that during that time everything that was possible according to the principle of negative personnel selection was staffed.
Marko Bandelli (SAB) asked the Prime Minister about his position on the payment of taxes and those who “avoid paying taxes while benefiting from all the benefits of taxes paid by others”. He said we all pay taxes; we want a competitive tax environment without abolishing the welfare state. No one is happy to pay taxes, but this is the basis of an orderly community. He also mentioned the saying “Give the emperor what is the emperor’s, and God what is God’s” and listed what all the money from taxes is spent on – with him, according to the MP, the economy was saved, we could not have afforded the lockdown without this money. “What is your view on paying taxes and on those who do not pay taxes but still benefit,” he asked the Prime Minister.
If we create more, we can also accumulate more in common coffers with lower tax rates.
Janša replied that Bandelli had given many quotations and that he could have done the same. He stressed that every tax is something you take from someone, another person sorts it to what you have created yourself, and that taxes should be fair if at all possible. He said that within the Strategic Council of the Government for Bureaucratisation, led by Ivan Simič, many bureaucratic obstacles had been removed, but there were some more extensive proposals – which, however, depends on the enactment of the relevant legislation. Concrete results have also been shown – almost as much has been collected from taxes as in the whole of last year, and at the end of the year it will probably significantly exceed last year’s tax revenue without raising taxes. According to Janša, the basic interest is for the country to have high economic growth, high added value and employment, in order to create as much as possible. “If we create more, we can also collect more in common coffers with lower tax rates for common needs,” he said, adding that this has always proved to be the right way, even in other countries.
Minister Vizjak’s statement did not in any way affect the payment of taxes
Bandelli was, of course, more interested in the statement of Minister Andrej Vizjak from 14 years ago – saying that paying taxes is stupid. The MP pointed out that the Minister persuaded the businessman not to pay taxes and asked the Prime Minister if he approved such moves. The Prime Minister said that he did not support calls for non-payment of taxes, but in the mentioned story, taxes were not the basic problem. Bojan Petan paid taxes, but he also made more than 100 million euros of hole in public finances, which was then covered by taxpayers. There was no lawsuit against him, he is still a reputable businessman. Minister Vizjak’s statement did not affect the payment of taxes in any way, the Prime Minister pointed out, who also checked these data. However, he once again pointed out that it is quite common in this country for an economist from political logos, to whom Bandelli also belongs, to make a hole in public finances, for which he does not suffer any consequences.
The injustice must be corrected, but the compensation must not lead to new differences
Branko Simonovič from the DeSUS party also asked a parliamentary question, asking how the government would provide funds in the budget for the realisation of the extraordinary adjustment of pensions. Namely, DeSUS MPs submitted a bill in May this year, with which they want to finally eliminate the consequences of austerity measures suffered by pensioners due to the economic crisis. As they explain, with additional adjustments after 2016, they only partially “returned to pensioners what belongs to them”, so they are proposing that the pensions of all pensioners be adjusted in the amount of 3.5 percent in December. “I am interested in whether you will make every effort to accept our proposal, so that it will be accepted,” Simonovič asked the Prime Minister. Janša replied that the government would, within the limits of its strength and capabilities, strive for the law to be adopted in time and for funds to be provided. “The purpose pursued by the law will be achieved if pensions are adjusted for pensioners who retired up to and including 2011 but were not in the same position. Not all pensioners are harmed by 3.5 percent,” he explained, stressing that not all pensioners are in the same situation. It is a matter of redressing injustice, but this compensation must not lead to new differences. The government therefore supports the purpose of the law, but in a way that equalisation is made and that everyone, regardless of when they retire, will be in the same position. Janša also replied that, of course, given that not enough is collected in the pension fund and that contributions are made from the budget every year, these additional funds that need to be provided will also come from the budget.
The dictator in our country is a virus, and its dictatorship is supported by some
Anja Bah Žibert from the SDS party asked the Prime Minister what his position was on epidemiological measures taken after consultation with the profession, and what government measures Slovenia could expect to further prevent the spread of infections. “We often hear from left wing politicians that there is a dictatorship in this country. If anyone is a dictator in Slovenia, it is a virus, and it is maintained in a dictatorship by a coalition of opponents of protective measures with the support of the Constitutional Court, well-known organisers and participants of unregistered rallies, and inciting media that create additional problems for health workers. And this is where anti-vaccinators also found their place. Because of all these people on the other side, people are dying,” stressed Žibert. The Prime Minister replied that the government addresses additional measures every day, based on the proposals of the profession and the situation. Additional measures will certainly be needed, but which measures are needed very much depends on the extent to which they are enforced so far. Janša also said that interest in vaccination is now increasing, the numbers are similar to those at the beginning of September, when the PCT (recovered, vaccinated, tested) condition was introduced. He appealed to the Constitutional Court to finally decide. Namely, the Constitutional Court withheld the measure of the obligatory PC condition in the state administration but has not yet ruled on anything in this regard. “The Constitutional Court has not yet annulled the decree, that is, it is not deciding, I do not know what it is waiting for. I take the opportunity to appeal to the Constitutional Court to decide. They just detained the decree; a measure that they are taking elsewhere in Europe in a milder situation than we have, as we can see,” said the Prime Minister.
“It would be time for the judges to decide. Because the government does not know whether it can act in the direction in which those who are more successful in fighting the epidemic, such as Austria, act, or whether we just come to terms with the situation as it will be, it will be,” said the Prime Minister. He also accused the courts of depriving the government and the profession to take action with some of their decisions, when it comes to dealing with instruments used everywhere else. If the trend of interest in vaccination, which arose before the decision of the Constitutional Court, continued, we would be in a situation today where the EU average is, Janša explained, adding that consequently hospitals would have a few hundred fewer patients, and intensive care units would not be bursting at the seams. “When we counted the calls of the opposition that went in support of the measures and the calls that went against, the ratio was 4 to 96 – four in support of the measures and 96 in opposition and bullying,” the Prime Minister further criticised the left opposition, which does not want to take part in the joint fight against the virus but prefers to annoy.
The joint broadcast of public and commercial television has contributed to making us even more at odds with each other
“As far as facilities and technology are concerned, Slovenian healthcare has significantly strengthened its capacities since the beginning of its health, but it has not strengthened them in terms of staff, because you cannot train nurses and doctors in one year or import them,” added Prime Minister Janša, adding that these are the limitations that threaten us today, that we will have to seek reserves and help, which is already happening. He also commented on the joint broadcast of RTVS and POP TV, which finally took place after a year and a half of the epidemic. “We were happy when the joint broadcast of the largest commercial television and national television was announced,” said Janša, who concluded that the show only contributed to making us even more at odds with each other. “We do not need such help from the mainstream media in the fight against the epidemic, because then people are even more quarrelsome, and we are politically divided in the fight against the virus. I think it is high time we sobered up,” he said firmly. In the end, the SDS MP called on all citizens to get vaccinated, protect themselves and others and help the country to get out of this – and not to further deplete medical staff.
At this session, the National Assembly will also discuss the draft budgets for 2022 and 2023, while MPs are awaiting interpellations of Minister of Education, Science and Sport Simona Kustec and Minister of Justice Marjan Dikaučič.