Monday, November 24, 2008

Slovenia unlikely to privatise big financial institutions

"Eurozone member Slovenia plans to retain large stakes in main financial institutions and companies, centre-left Prime Minister Borut Pahor said on Thursday.

'It is crucial that some important financial institutions, like Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) and Zavarovalnica Triglav, and some other companies remain in majority Slovenian ownership,' Pahor said at a financial conference.

The government and its investment funds own large or majority stakes in the country's largest bank NLB and the largest insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav.

'As it turned out it is very important particularly for small economies to have financial institutions that customers can count on,' Pahor added."


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slovenia parliament approves new centre-left cabinet

"Slovenia's parliament has approved the 18-member cabinet of new centre-left Prime Minister Borut Pahor, who has pledged his government will focus on dealing with the financial crisis.

'We will focus on overcoming the financial and economic crisis so as to beat it with a development policy rather than a passive one,' Pahor told parliament before the vote.

The assembly approved the cabinet by 56 votes to 30.

Pahor's Social Democrats (SD) ousted former conservative prime minister Janez Jansa in a closely contested parliamentary election in September.

Pahor, 45, formed a coalition with two centre-left parties, Zares and the Liberal Democracy (LDS), and the pensioners' party Desus, which had been a junior partner in the Jansa government. The four parties together hold 50 out of 90 seats in parliament.

Pahor told parliament he would enforce social dialogue with trade unions and employers, curb budget spending and raise investment incentives in order to boost the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy.

He also promised tax cuts and pointed out wage growth will have to lag behind productivity growth by at least one percentage point in order to keep the economy competitive."