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Slovenia’s govt drafts EUR 2 bln anti-coronavirus package

Slovenia’s government unveiled on Tuesday the main elements of an estimated EUR 2 billion stimulus package it is drafting with the aim of supporting local businesses and individuals to weather the ongoing coronavirus crisis, state news agency STA reported. 

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The measures for mitigating the consequences of COVID-19 epidemic are focused on preserving jobs, Prime Minister Janez Janša told a news conference. The government is stepping in to co-finance until the end of May the salaries and social contributions of all workers who have been sent home, awaiting to resume work, with an option to extend this period if the current state of affairs persists, Janša said.

Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj noted that the taskforce preparing the stimulus plan had estimated its value at around EUR 2 billion, adding that the Finance Ministry’s calculation of the financial impact of the measures would be ready by this evening, when the relevant bills are ready.

According to the draft legislation that is being prepared, all employees unable to work due to force majeure caused by the coronavirus crisis, such as urgent need to provide childcare, will be treated as equal to the above-mentioned workers.

In addition, workers who lose their jobs during the crisis will automatically start receiving unemployment benefits from the first day of their redundancy Janša said.

The country of 2.08 million people has so far confirmed 480 cases of coronavirus and four people have died, STA said.