News / Europe

Political Row Threatens Slovenia Government

FILE - Ljubljana mayor and opposition leader Zoran Jankovic talks to the media in front of the city hall in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
FILE - Ljubljana mayor and opposition leader Zoran Jankovic talks to the media in front of the city hall in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Reuters
A dispute over the leadership of Slovenia's ruling party erupted on Wednesday, posing a threat to the euro zone state's four-party coalition government and its efforts to avert an international bailout.
 
The mayor of Slovenia's capital Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic, announced he would run for the leadership of the center-left Positive Slovenia (PS), the main ruling party, in a move that prompted dismay among the other coalition parties.
 
Jankovic, who set up the PS in 2011, resigned from its helm in February, enabling his successor, Alenka Bratusek, to form a coalition government with the three other parties and to become prime minister of the tiny Alpine country.
 
The parties had refused to join a coalition if Jankovic remained PS leader. They cited a state anti-corruption commission report which said in January Jankovic could not explain the origin of a big part of his income in past years.
 
“I decided to be a candidate for the president of Positive Slovenia. This was a difficult decision. I will explain my reasons... at the congress,” Jankovic told a news conference, referring to a party gathering planned for Oct. 19.
 
Bratusek has said she will seek re-election as PS leader.
 
“This is not good for Slovenia. Jankovic has a better chance of winning and if that happens the government will collapse,” said Meta Roglic, a political analyst at daily Dnevnik.
 
A government collapse would force Slovenia to lose precious time in preparing early elections and increase the likelihood of it having to seek outside funding help, she said.
 
There is growing speculation among investors that Slovenia may become the next euro zone member to seek a bailout because of a rising amount of bad loans in its banking system.
 
Uncertainty
 
“This is disappointing news... The market is now re-assured by this coalition and does not need uncertainty over the future leadership of PS and the future of Bratusek and the ruling coalition,” said Timothy Ash, an analyst at Standard Bank.
 
Reaction from PS's coalition partners was negative.
 
“I hope the PS congress shows responsibility for the state. I  appeal to members to think about Slovenia and not only their private business when voting,” said Igor Luksic, head of the Social Democrats, the second biggest party in the coalition.
 
Interior Minister Gregor Virant, who heads the third largest coalition party, Civic List, was even more outspoken.
 
“We are not cooperating and will not cooperate with parties that are led by individuals who are burdened by corruption,” he told the Finance daily.
 
PS is the strongest party in parliament with 27 out of 90 parliamentary seats but is very unlikely to form a coalition with any of the three center-right opposition parties.
 
Slovenia's banks, mostly state-owned, are nursing some 7.9 billion euros ($10.69 billion) of bad loans, equalling as much as 22.5 percent of national output. The government cannot recapitalise them until it gets the results of an international audit ordered by the European Commission and due in November.
 
Slovenia bought some time in May when it issued 2 bonds worth $3.5 billion. It will have to tap the markets again before its 5-year 1.5 billion euros bond expires on April 2.
 
Slovenia was the euro zone's most robust economy in 2007 but buckled under the global crisis due to its reliance on exports.
 
The deep recession revealed a culture of corruption and cronyism in the Slovenian state, which has so far refused to sell its major banks and a number of other firms, leaving the government in control of about 50 percent of the economy.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More