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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid