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Govt Adopts Six Major Bills to Break Deadlock (adds)

Ljubljana, 12 January (STA) - Faced with a deadlock in parliament after the failed appointment of a new prime minister, the outgoing government adopted on Thursday six bills it deems necessary to $protect the national interest$. $It is now up to parliament to decide what to do with them,$ Prime Minister Borut Pahor said.

The government adopted new bills on public finances and development planning, and amendments to the acts on the energy sector, takeovers, financial transactions and mortgage bonds.

"These are laws we deem urgent considering the financial, economic and social situation," Pahor said. He plans to meet the presidents of all parties in the coming days to muster support.

"The government...is convinced that it would be useful for interests of the state to pass this package," said the outgoing prime minister, who believes the laws create better mechanisms for the management of public finances, for improving the economic environment, and for aligning energy market rules with EU regulations.

Assessing Slovenia's position following the failure of Positive Slovenia leader Zoran Jankovic to secure a majority in parliament, Pahor said Slovenia was still financially and economically sound but its political ability to overcome the crisis is questionable.

"The world is spinning faster and faster but Slovenia remains stuck in place even more firmly," he said. The legislative package proposed today is something, but it is "not enough to change the opinion of rating agencies, the European Central Bank or the European Commission."

Despite the reforms that failed under the outgoing government, Slovenia was "at the edge of the healthy core...But if this situation continues, we will slip to the financial margin of the eurozone," he said.

Development and European Affairs Minister Mitja Gaspari, meanwhile, stressed that Slovenia had a credibility problem rating agencies notwithstanding.

"If you say you will adopt a measure worth EUR 300m but end up adopting one worth EUR 65m, it will be difficult to convince anyone you did it in good faith," he said about the recent passage of the public sector austerity bill.

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