Wednesday

17th Jul 2019

Slovenian government collapses

  • Slovenia's ousted prime minister Janez Jansa (l) faces allegations of corruption (Photo: Slovenian EU Presidency, Thierry Monasse)

Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Jansa was ousted from office in a no-confidence vote on Wednesday (28 February) amid economic gloom compounded by persistent allegations of corruption.

The tiny Alpine ex-Yugoslav republic is beset by an economic crisis, a banking system in shambles, and an unemployment rate of just over 12 percent.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Hit with a deep recession, Slovenia’s economy is expected to contract more than any other member state, except for Greece and Cyprus.

The scandals and the economic problems have since caught up with Jansa’s minority government as junior coalition partners, the centre-right Civic List and pensioners' party Desus, abandoned the pro-austerity party bloc.

The state’s anti-graft watchdog accused Jansa of hiding away €210,000 of personal assets to avoid paying tax. In early February, some 20,000 took to the streets to protest the political corruption, rising unemployment, and erosion of social benefits.

Jansa maintains his innocence but lawmakers on Wednesday voted him out anyway.

His replacement is 42-year old centre-left opposition leader Alenka Bratusek who is now tasked by the deputies to form a new government.

Bratusek oversaw the state budget during a six-year stint in the ministry of finance. She joined the parliament in December 2011 and will now become Slovenia’s first woman head of government.

“Today marks a watershed moment for Slovenia,” said Bratusek, reports AFP.

The tasks ahead included reforming an ailing banking system that has accrued around €7 billion of bad loans, reports Reuters.

A €2 billion debt will also mature in mid-2013, adding further complications to a state trying to avoid becoming the sixth eurozone country to ask for a bailout.

Bratusek, who has voiced her opposition to austerity in the past, said the priorities are creating growth and jobs.

She told parliament following the no-confidence vote that “there will be no Greek scenario in Slovenia,” reports BBC.

The European Commission, for its part, noted in its 2012 country specific recommendations, that Slovenia had not undertaken any major structural reforms in 2011.

The country operated without a full budget until mid-May last year “creating uncertainty, notably over the achievement of the 2012 deficit target”, says the Brussels executive.

Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and the euro in 2007.

EU hesitates to back France over US tariff threat

France has passed a new tax on tech companies that will affect US global giants like Facebook. Donald Trump has threatened retaliatory tariffs over it. The EU commission says it will "coordinate closely with French" on the next steps.

EU banks more vulnerable to shocks than feared

Eurozone banks, such as Deutsche Bank, might be much more vulnerable to a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis than EU "stress-tests" have said, according to a new audit.

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  2. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts
  3. EU proposes yearly rule-of-law 'reviews'
  4. Poland 'optimistic' despite new EU law checks
  5. What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?
  6. Is Golden Dawn's MEP head of a criminal organisation?
  7. Finland rejects call to end sponsorship of EU presidency
  8. MH17 five years on: when will Russia be punished?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us