Slovenia announces 2-bln-euro stimulus package to fight COVID-19

The Slovenian government announced on Tuesday a package of economic stimulus measures worth roughly 2 billion euros (2.15 billion U.S. dollars) to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

The measures include loan guarantees for companies, purchase of claims to companies, co-financing of social contributions, temporary basic income for the self-employed and allowances for pensioners.

Prime Minister Janez Jansa said the measures were designed to protect jobs and keep society in general functioning through the crisis.

To keep companies functioning, the government plans to step in and cover the employer and employee pension contributions of private sector workers who remain working during the crisis, according to the Slovenian Press Agency STA.

Jansa also announced what he called a “financial cannon”: a guarantee scheme for companies and purchases of corporate claims, and extra funding for scientific and research institutions helping to develop coronavirus vaccines, drugs to alleviate coronavirus symptoms, as well as for protective equipment.

The self-employed will get a waiver of contributions and a monthly basic income of 70 percent of minimum pay. To be eligible, all they will have to do is to submit statements that their business has been affected by the crisis.

The measure will be in place until May 31 but may be extended if necessary, according to Jansa.

Slovenia issued 850 million euros (913.8 million U.S. dollars) three-year bonds on the same day and increased by 250 million euros (268.8 million U.S. dollars) the existing 10-year bond issue with a maturity date on March 14, 2029, according to the Slovenian newspaper Finance.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Slovenia rose by 38 to 480 by 10 a.m. on Tuesday. And the fourth coronavirus-related death was recorded as an elderly woman with multiple underlying chronic conditions died “at a very advanced age,” according to STA.