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Slovenian report Slovenian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-07-06 09:57:00
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Minority cabinet won’t rule until term-end.

Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor’s minority government probably won’t complete its term in office, which ends in the second half of 2012, a poll showed. Some 64 percent of those surveyed said the government, which has 33 lawmakers in the 90-member parliament, won’t last until the end of its term, with 27 percent saying it will, according Delo newspaper, which today published a poll by its Delo Stik Company. The survey of 402 adults was carried out from June 27 to June 30. No margin of error was given.

Also, 52 percent of those polled said they expect early elections in September or October, while 32 percent said the ballot will take place in the second half of next year, according to the poll. Pahor’s administration, which is struggling to boost the economic recovery and cut the budget deficit, was abandoned by two coalition partners in the last three months. Desus, the pensioners’ party, left the ruling group in May because of its opposition to the pension overhaul. Zares party quit last month over a number of issues including early elections.

The largest opposition group, the Slovenian Democratic Party led by former Premier Janez Jansa, has been pushing for an early vote since June 5, when Slovenians in a referendum rejected the pension changes that would extend the retirement age to 65.


Slovenian bank NLB plans 250 ml euro capital hike

Slovenia's largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) plans a capital hike of 250 million Euros ($354 million), the second this year, in order to meet Bank of Slovenia capital requirements, NLB said on Thursday. The unlisted bank, which barely passed the EU stress test last year, also raised its capital by 250 million Euros in March ahead of this year's EU stress tests.

"The Bank of Slovenia demanded that NLB raises its capital adequacy by the end of 2011," NLB said in a statement. At present the bank has Tier 1 capital of 7.8 percent and core Tier 1 capital of 6.5 percent. Slovenia's Finance Minister Franc Krizanic told a news conference earlier on Thursday he expected the European Commission would approve another state financial injection in NLB if the government failed to attract private investment into the bank.

The government, which owns 55 percent of NLB, injected 243 million Euros in NLB as a part of its March capital hike, which caused the central government deficit to jump to 10.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from 8.8 percent in the same period of 2010. In spite of that, Krizanic expects the budget deficit this year to remain at 5.5 percent of GDP, unchanged from 2010, on account of planned government savings measures not yet revealed. NLB, which is 25-percent owned by Belgian banking and insurance group KBC, ended 2010 with a loss for the second year in a row, burdened by non-performing loans to local companies. (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.7062 Euro)


Remembering the birth of Slovenia

Twenty years ago this weekend Slovenia held its independence ceremony. The sound of jets roaring overhead and the defiant jeers of the celebrating crowds in Ljubljana's Republic Square marked the start of more than four years of conflict as Socialist Yugoslavia collapsed.

Hundreds of thousands would lose their lives. Even today, that Yugoslav War stands only at a ceasefire. In Bosnia and Kosovo, people still fear a return to violence. There were not many foreign journalists in Republic Square that warm June night in 1991.

I went because I believed Slovenia would become a successful new European nation at the other end of the scale from the new united Germany, whose birth I had also witnessed a few months earlier. I thought I should be there to record it and that would be all. None of the editors I approached to pitch the story were much interested.

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