Slovenia politics

After a week of will-she, won’t-she, Alenka Bratusek, Slovenia’s prime minister, resigned on Monday. Her departure looks certain to trigger an election just as the country seemed to be returning to a more stable footing following its banking and fiscal crisis.

Bratusek’s resignation raises several questions. When will the election happen? What will happen between now and then? What is the likely political outcome? And what are the prospects for Slovenia’s privatisation and reform programmes? Continue reading »

It's goodbye from Bratusek

Just as all seemed to be going rather well, Slovenia has been thrown into uncertainty again by a palace coup and a likely snap election. Will investors now back away from the Slovenian bonds they have been hoovering up with such alacrity this year?

On April 29, Alenka Bratusek, the embattled prime minister, said she would stand aside for early elections she wants held before July after losing the leadership of her left-of-centre Positive Slovenia (PS) party. Continue reading »

The court verdict that this week found Janez Jansa, the former prime minister, guilty of accepting bribes in the long-running “Patria” procurement scandal surprised many and has further polarised the Slovene population.

For many outside observers, including European Union officials, it was a step in the country’s much-needed fight against corruption. But for Jansa’s conservative faithful, it was a shock – as shown in this video where one ardent supporter outside the courthouse castigates the “crazy judges”.

But will the verdict make any difference to the practical ethics of doing business in Slovenia? Continue reading »

By Luka Orešković of Provectus Capital

Last week, political change captured the global headlines. Pope Francis took over leadership of 1.2bn Catholics, matched by Xi Jinping, with his official ascendance to the presidency over 1.3bn in the People’s Republic of China. In between Beijing and the Vatican, and somewhat less noticed, the 2m people of Slovenia were also facing a change in government, with the center-right premier Janez Janša set to be replaced by Alenka Bratušek, the center-left head of Positive Slovenia.

With the European Commission forecasting an economic contraction of 2 per cent this year, and increasing talk of a bailout, the new government will face a challenging 12 months. Continue reading »

Slovenia’s political crisis has moved into a new phase after parliament ousted the centre-right government of prime minister Janez Janša and gave Alenka Bratusek (pictured), acting leader of the centre-left Positive Slovenia party, two weeks to win parliamentary approval for a new cabinet.

While the move creates an opportunity for Bratusek to forge the political stability Slovenia needs to tackle its mounting economic difficulties, there’s no guarantee of success. As Citigroup said in a note, “the key game-changer for the current political stalemate will be the formation of a new government.” Continue reading »

By Primož Cencelj of KD Funds, Ljubljana

News clips broadcast around the world in the past fortnight of police and protesters clashing violently on the streets of Slovenia do not fit well with either the image nor the usual reality of this small Alpine state, the only fragment of former Yugoslavia (so far) to become a member of the European Union. Continue reading »

Slovenia’s president Danilo Turk has become the latest European politician to be voted out of office amid tension over the handling of the eurozone crisis.

Turk was defeated in Sunday’s presidential election by the opposition candidate Borut Pahor, the former prime minister, who followed his surprising lead in the first round with a sweeping victory in the second, taking 67 per cent of the vote against Turk’s 32 per cent. Continue reading »

Cooperative bank, LjulbljanaBy Luka Oresković and Sašo Stanovnik

On Sunday, Slovenians vote for a new head of state in the second round of presidential elections. Although the incumbent, Danilo Türk, seemed a certain winner before the first round in November, Borut Pahor, the former centre-left prime minister, surprised pundits and pollsters by winning 40 per cent of the vote – leaving the two to fight it out again alone.

While the president’s role is largely ceremonial, the people’s choice this time could be critical for Slovenia’s long-term development. Continue reading »

More cracks in the rock that once was Slovenia. A shock win for the opposition candidate in the first round of the presidential election and a possible trade union-backed referendum on the government’s economic restructuring plans.

It’s not what Ljubljana needs in its efforts to reassure markets that it won’t require an international bailout. Continue reading »

The Slovenian presidency is generally seen as predominantly ceremonial. But the 2012 presidential election, with its first round on Sunday, could prove more important than first impressions suggest.

Slovenia is in serious economic trouble, as the country endures a second year of recession, a banking crisis, and a looming fiscal crunch. Politically, the country is divided between left and right, with new forces fracturing the picture. The election could complicate the politics and make economic decision-making even harder. Continue reading »

By Andraž Grahek, financial analyst

How do you bring an OECD country with a public debt to GDP of less than 60 per cent and a budget deficit that could range between 3 and 4 per cent of GDP to the brink of losing all access to capital markets and filling a request for a bail-out with the European Commission?

Easy. Just ask the Slovenian political leadership. Continue reading »

By Andraž Grahek of KD Funds

On Saturday, a full eight weeks after parliamentary elections in Slovenia, Janez Janša, the leader of the centre-right SDS, finally secured parliamentary backing for his appointment as prime minister and a mandate to form a five-party coalition government.

Janša has got the job after some tortuous political manouvering and bungling by his chief challenger, Zoran Jankovic, mayor of Ljubljana and ex-CEO of Mercator, the largest hypermarket chain in the Balkans. But given the economic mess the new government faces, it may be Jankovic, who eventually gets the last laugh. Continue reading »