Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša announced the next stimulus package would continue to focus on job preservation and would target those who have not benefited from previous rounds of stimulus measures.
“We think it is cheaper to preserve employment than to have an economy affected with lower income paying, lower wages and lower taxes, while parallelly needing to provide money for the unemployed”, he told Planet TV on Tuesday evening.
He added that some of the emergency measures from previous aid packages with the most vulnerable citizens as target-groups would resume. Funds will be allocated to some branches of the industry and society that have so far not been prioritized, including sports, hotels and retail.
Pensioners – who received one-off payments in spring – will now be receiving additional support.
The government just recently adopted the sixth stimulus package and sent it to Parliament. These measures would partly form a seventh aid package.
Janša explained that previous measures, including furlough subsidies, short-time work and payment of contributions, had helped save around 150,000 jobs. “Many of these measures have already been or will be introduced in the second wave”.
Briefing on the pandemic development in Slovenia and the measures undertaken to stop the spread of the virus, Janša indicated that some of the restrictive measures may remain in place until Christmas, however he remained hopeful they will not have to be as draconian.
“It is already certain that, notwithstanding the speed of production of vaccines, immunisation will not make enough of a difference by the end of the year that would allow us to relax all measures.
“Some of the measures will definitely remain in place. We hope they will not be as strict”, he said in an interview for Planet TV when asked what kind of Christmas celebrations people could expect.
On Monday, Slovenia tightened existing measures, including shutting down all non-essential stores and suspending public transportation. The government also decided to extend the formal declaration of the epidemic by a month, until mid-December.
Janša once again urged all citizens to respect the restrictions which, as he said, have saved lives. “You cannot stop the virus with a law or a measure; we can only stop it with reason and solidarity”.
He expressed hope that, with the latest number of fatalities, people will “sober up”, while noting that there is no European country in which the second wave of the epidemic would be felt more mildly than the first.