Ljubljana, 27 March (STA) - Finance Minister Uroš Čufer told parliament on Wednesday that the new government would continue with privatisation, indicating that it may be more open to selling off state-owned companies than critics thought.
"We've set the goal of privatising enough to secure money to kick-start the economy...in order to neutralize the impact on public debt. We want Slovenia to have below-average debt in the long term," Čufer said.
His statement comes amidst much speculation about the government's willingness to privatise state-owned firms, with fears driven by the advocacy of the Social Democrats (SD) for a strong role of the state in the economy.
The coalition contract signed by the four parties of the current coalition says one major company at minimum would be privatized.
Media reports suggest that the ailing flag carrier Adria Airways could be the first major company to be sold off.
The daily Dnevnik reported Monday that Adria was on the verge of being sold, with German company Intro Aviation, reportedly a conduit for Air Berlin, apparently the favourite.
Business daily Finance described the potential Adria sale today as a test of the new government's willingness to privatize.