The SDS Faces Social Partners
The Pergam confederation of trade unions called on the Democrats (SDS), the biggest party of the centre-right coalition, to access to the agreement between parliamentary parties and social partners which was the condition for the trade unions' support for the extension of austerity measures to the first half of 2012.
The measures were extended with an austerity bill, which was passed in parliament on 22 December and under which pensions, public sector pay and social transfers bar unemployment benefits will be frozen in the first half of 2012.
Trade unions agreed to the measures under the condition that parliamentary parties prepare in the first half of the year a package of austerity measures, present them to the social partners and agree with them on the necessary reforms and development-oriented legislative changes.
"Unfortunately, a month after the signing of the agreement, we have to establish that the party of the prime minister-elect Janez Janša has still not signed the agreement," Pergam president Janez Posedi told the press.
Pergam called on Janša to sign the agreement and confirm his devotion to social dialogue. If the SDS does not think it should stick to the agreement, which was the basis for social peace, then Pergam will not be obliged to respect it either, Posedi stressed.
The confederation also assessed that the coalition agreement agreed on by the SDS, Virant List, People's Party (SLS), Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and New Slovenia (NSi) has no realistic economic foundations.
The coalition agreement, which should be the main guideline for the adoption of measures to exit the crisis, is contradictory in many aspects and is "unclear and rough" in the key points, according to Posedi.
It is not clear how the coalition will balance the public finances, he said, adding that the "golden fiscal rule" capping the general government debt does not belong into the legislation and the Constitution.
Pergam moreover thinks that the planned elimination of concessions for public services undermines the availability and quality of such services and that the coalition's plans regarding health care and pensions are about eliminating institutional solidarity.
Pergam secretary general Jakob Počivavšek noted that the labour market chapter was "rather unclear" and that it lacked the note that all proposed solutions should be agreed on with social partners.
Posedi called on Janša to take the opportunity of the upcoming presentation of ministerial candidates to "present clear answers to the inconsistencies in the coalition agreement".
The SDS said in a response it would "immediately join the social and inter-generational dialogue" in order to achieve consolidation of public finances which would be based on "economical operation of the state and public sector".
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