Slovenia. Measures to mitigate and eliminate the impact of the epidemic, 3 sets of laws.
At yesterday's meeting the government completed the consideration of the draft law "On measures to mitigate and eliminate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the citizens and the country's economy“.
The government has presented the law to the coalition, and it will be adopted by Parliament.
To cope with the consequences of the epidemic, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has prepared the third anticoronvirus package of laws. The subsidization of part-time work, 20-35 hours a week, is the main measure of this law. An employee receives full salary for the time he or she works and 80 per cent compensation for the time he or she is out of work. An employer who compensates his employee for his work will receive partial compensation from the state.
The employer may use this law between 1 June and 31 December 2020. All companies whose business is affected, i.e. if the company cannot provide at least 10% of its employees with 90% of the work, are entitled to these benefits. Employers must send employees on hold until June 30, 2020. During this time the employee can work no more than 7 days per month. Wage compensation may not be lower than the minimum wage in the Republic of Slovenia.
The amount of partial wage compensation paid by the Republic of Slovenia is 80% of the wage. However, it is limited to the maximum amount of unemployment benefit.
The employer covers the remaining amount of the partial wage replacement up to 20 per cent of the wage. The procedure is conducted by the ZRSZ (Labour Exchange of the Republic of Slovenia).
The government has also given the green light to measures to assist tourism, an area that is in a critical situation. In the initial stage of recovery, tourism will not be able to exist without state aid. The tourism business includes hotels, holiday homes, car campsites, restaurants, travel agencies, organizers of exhibitions and fairs, facilities for cultural events, casinos and tourist transport.
Tourist coupons for all residents of Slovenia
That is why the second measure adopted was tourist coupons for all inhabitants of Slovenia. Those over 18 years of age receive coupons worth 200 Euros, and those under 18 years of age receive 50 Euros respectively. The coupons can be used for tourist services, which include accommodation "overnight and breakfast" in hotels, holiday homes, camping sites, tourist farms and other similar short-term accommodation facilities.
Citizens can use the coupon until December 31 this year. FURS will reimburse the amount of the tourist coupon to the service provider within 8 days of its granting.
The amount of state aid through tourist vouchers is estimated at 345 million euros. The use of these coupons will generate additional revenue for tourism, which is estimated at 172 million euros.
To ensure the liquidity of companies, the Slovene Entrepreneurship Fund and the Slovene Regional Development Fund will provide soft and fast loans. The funds have already been provided for in the budget of the Republic of Slovenia, namely:
10 milli EUR za SPS and 14.4 milli EUR za SRRS
This is approximately 40 million Euros of soft loans for business. Loans will range from 5.000 to 50.000 Euros. In this way, the state can support about 900 companies.
In addition, two other investment measures will be allocated. It was proposed to soften the conditions for investment. These measures imply the preservation of existing jobs.
A foreign investment mechanism has been established in the Republic of Slovenia. The foreign investor must notify the MGRT about the investment no later than 15 days after the conclusion of the merger agreement or announcement of the takeover bid. A contact point has been established and the investment review process has been defined. Conditions for prohibiting or cancelling foreign investments if they pose a threat to security or public order in the Republic of Slovenia have also been defined.
Everyone understands that no anti-crisis measures can solve all problems that have arisen. However, the measures that the Government is taking are the most feasible. The purpose of these measures is to change the situation in the economy and tourism, prevent redundancies and ensure safety and preservation of jobs for people.
Tourism is the sector most affected by the changes and will continue to feel the effects of the epidemic for a long time to come. Tourism today cannot be compared to any other industry, as the problems faced by the tourism industry are not comparable to other problems.
Zdravko Pochiwalshk, Minister of Economy:
"I would like to see our measures to strengthen tourism, in particular tourist coupons, make the flywheel of the tourism business spin again. With the help of tourist coupons we pass the decision on the choice of tourist destination into the hands of citizens, and create motivation for tourism workers in attracting customers.
I believe that this decision, regardless of the investment and results of this work is better than just providing financial assistance. Everyone should understand that the future will be different - our priorities, habits and needs will change. I want people to be aware of the importance of home production and to support home business. This is also important in terms of supporting natural, clean, safe and stable Slovenian tourism. This is our unique value, which we must preserve.
That is why I turn to citizens at the end: let us seize our opportunities and support Slovenian tourism service providers. We will all benefit from it. Let this support be a reflection of our national consciousness.“