Today, humanity is facing serious challenges. The world after the pandemic is not the world we used to know. The war in Ukraine and its consequences will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the global economy. These circumstances, which are only comparable to the greatest hardships in the history of humankind, are also leaving their mark on this year’s celebrations of Labour Day.
When a little over two years ago we took over the government, we knew that hard work lay ahead of us. Despite these two years being a period of great trials, we learned a lot. Because a crisis can also be an opportunity. But only for those who are courageous and open to new knowledge and experience.
Much has been done and I am proud that our country is in good shape today. During the crisis and great changes, the government’s first responsibility is to its citizens. Recognising and addressing their needs, ensuring their security, protecting their rights and defending their values. For the past two years, we have been fulfilling this mission with all our knowledge, ardour and dedication.
By adopting ten anti-corona acts to remedy and mitigate the consequences of the epidemic, we succeeded in maintaining the healthy potentials of the economy, jobs and all vital elements of a social state. In the legislative packages, we earmarked more than EUR 6 billion for assistance. To date, more than EUR 4.5 billion was paid out for the uninterrupted operation of businesses in all industries. During the fight with the epidemic, more than EUR 730 million was allocated to maintaining more than 340,000 jobs. We devoted particular attention to the socially disadvantaged, older people and families with many children. No one was overlooked.
Today, Slovenia is among the top EU countries when it comes to its response to the crisis caused by the epidemic. According to OECD, our country ranked second in economic performance during the epidemic. In the second quarter, we have the highest employment rate growth in the EU. After our two-year term, Slovenia is recording a record low unemployment, i.e. 58,774 persons in April, and a record number of persons in the active working population, i.e. more than 912,000. The minimum wage increased from EUR 940 to EUR 1,074, and the average monthly gross salary went up from EUR 1,856 to EUR 1,923.
In addition to a record high economic growth, all of the indicated measures were further enhanced with the Personal Income Tax Act, which will contribute to an increase in the workers’ net salaries. A worker with an average salary will receive EUR 260 more in remuneration in the first year and EUR 1,000 more in net annual salary by 2025. As a result of this measure, economic growth will be felt by all workers by the state giving up a portion of collected taxes. When the government works for the people, the result is greater prosperity and security for everyone.
According to tradition, bonfires are lit across the country on the eve of 1 May; they not only drive away the darkness, but also bring a light of hope. The hope that we should not be afraid of the future. If we only know how to combine the best that we have as a nation, we will advance. Each of us, all of us together, a nation, a homeland. If we know how to listen to one another and work together for our homeland, for a successful Slovenia.
I would like to sincerely congratulate you all, particularly those living off your own current or past work and the management of your own resources, on 1 May, Labour Day and the feast day of St Joseph the Worker. Stay healthy and brave. Hold on to your hope.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia