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Dnevnik finds government corona crisis package modest

Ljubljana, 25 March - The newspaper Dnevnik finds the coronavirus crisis package set out by the Slovenian government a step in the right direction but it also finds it modest compared to Germany's 750 billion rescue plan and points to some shortcomings.

The government package is valued at EUR 2 billion in addition to measures worth EU 1 billion adopted by the previous government, which combined equals to one sixteenth of Slovenia's GDP. The government is promising further measures with up to EUR 5 billion in additional funds mentioned.

"To put it differently, while the German government has taken action based on the worst-case scenario at the moment, the assumption of a 20% fall in GDP, Slovenia picked IMAD's most favourable outlook as a starting point," writes the paper under the headline Reserved Step in the Right Direction.

The paper hopes that the government will clear up some uncertainties such as how long individual measures will be valid, suggesting most should last for at least since the closure of schools.

It also suggests the government should fully cover the cost of pay of temporarily laid-off workers.

The government should also state its position as to the realistic possibility that some company loans would have to be transformed into ownership stakes and that some companies may need to be nationalised to be defended against takeovers in particular by companies outside Europe.

"This is why the government would do best to consult not only select individuals in drawing up the next package, but also representatives of systemic institutions such as Banka Slovenije, Bank Assets Management Company, Slovenian Sovereign Holding, SID Bank and IMAD. Even if their leaderships were appointed by the previous coalition."

© STA, 2020