Fiscal Council finally formed
Ljubljana, 5. decembra - The Fiscal Council was set up in March as the apex of a long process of putting tighter reigns on government budget planning that started with amendments to the Constitution in 2013. Headed by economist and former Minister Davorin Kračun, the Fiscal Council has been tasked with assessing the sustainability of fiscal policy and its compliance with the fiscal rule throughout the budgeting process. The initial period indicates it faces an uphill struggle: in its first opinion on the budgeting plans for 2018 and 2019, it said the budget documents were only partially compliant with the fiscal rules and called on the government to take additional measures to shore up public finances. The government rejected its views and proposed that the National Assembly override its concerns. This illustrates the Fiscal Council's inherent weakness: its role is that of a watchdog without the power to take action; it has the power to wield the bully pulpit, but that was seriously undermined at the very beginning, when the council's members were appointed as part of a package vote along with Constitutional Court judges in order to secure the required two-thirds majority, in what the public perceived as political horse-trading.