Finance advises PM to hold his horses

Ljubljana, 24 August - The business newspaper Finance is critical in its commentary on Thursday of some moves by Prime Minister Robert Golob, saying that ultimatums, the threat of new taxes and ideas from the former Yugoslavia are far from necessary.

Extraordinary events such as the pandemic, floods and other disasters always bring with them unnecessary and inappropriate things that seem to have no other purpose than to build one's political base under the guise of solidarity.

The paper points to what seems to be an ultimatum by Golob to banks, allegedly giving bankers 48 hours to decide how they would help. It is unclear what was discussed in the meeting and Pablo Escobar-style ultimatums always beg the question, what if the bankers do not provide an answer in the time demanded. "Such communication is completely inappropriate."

Moreover, the government is thinking about a new tax on banks, which Finance opposes. "This has nothing to do with the floods and one can only wonder what would be the purpose of such a tax," the paper says, adding that selective taxation is a dangerous strategy.

Maybe the government is out to punish banks for very low deposit interest rates. The paper is doubtful that a new tax would result in banks increasing deposit interest rates, but it would likely lead to higher prices of bank services.

Another move the paper takes an issue with is the idea that after what was deemed Solidarity Day, Monday last week, Slovenia would now have solidarity Saturdays. "It is not entirely clear who will have to work, how and how much money will flow into the budget."

It seems that somebody thought of working Saturdays that existed in Yugoslavia. It is unclear whether the government is just testing a response from the public or what the proposal entails. "But it is clear that any sort of coercion is inappropriate."

The paper says that none of the ideas are exactly "normal". It finds it odd that Golob, when working in "(para)state economy, prided himself on profits and capital returns," but now wants to impose windfall taxes. "It would be good he held his horses a little."

© STA, 2023