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Social Partners Agree on Basis for New Social Contract

Ljubljana, 30 March (STA) - Social partners agreed at a session of the Economic and Social Council (ESS) on the outlines for a new social pact, which most partners are expected to sign on Tuesday. The government also announced a package of measures for budget revenue, to complement the austerity measures and the supplementary budget.

Economic Development and Technology Minister Radovan Žerjav told the press after the meeting of the country's main labour relations forum that the government would discuss the new package at its next regular session on Thursday, and the ESS immediately after that.

Pergam trade union association president Janez Posedi said that the outlines for the social contract are expected to face no problems in the main bodies of trade unions, which need to back them before the document is signed.

He said they would comment on the bulk of measures for consolidation of public finances when the newly announced measures for budget income are revealed, but he added that the unions' main reproach so far has been that the proposed measures were limited to cost cutting.

Alenka Avberšek of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) said that today's meeting was a huge step forward, as the social partners reached the broadest possible consensus, which is a good start for negotiations on the contents and changes necessary for exiting the crisis.

She marked the government-proposed austerity measures as positive, but pointed out that they should not stop new investments, as this would slow down the economic growth.

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