Tuesday

26th May 2020

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 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson: Shops in UK will reopen on 15 June
  2. German doctors: Summer holidays could cause second wave
  3. EU forced to choose between China and US: Borrell
  4. Spain to lift two-week arrival quarantine from July
  5. Germany gives Lufthansa €9bn bailout for equity stake
  6. Volkswagen ordered to pay in landmark 'dieselgate' case
  7. 40 million health workers urge more G20 investment
  8. Jourova: Budget rule-of-law link 'more needed than ever'

Coronavirus

ECB promises (almost) whatever it takes

The eurozone's central bank has promised to buy up to €750bn of government and private bonds in new pandemic counter-measures.

Opinion

What does coronavirus 'Black Swan' mean for markets?

Falling demand and prices for oil and raw materials will revive the risk of deflation. The collapse in international trade and long-term rethinking of China's role as the major hub for the production of consumer goods and electronics is inevitable.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  3. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic co-operation on COVID-19
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic research collaboration on pandemics

Latest News

  1. How Kaczyński ruined Poland, judges tell MEPs
  2. EU data protection rules abused to censor media
  3. Draft EU 'green recovery' plan amid clash over natural gas
  4. Clock is ticking: 300,000 vs 3.3m Covid-19 Africa deaths?
  5. Recovery plans unveiled This WEEK
  6. EU and UK stumbling into Irish border crisis
  7. Malta patrol boat 'intimidates' capsized migrants
  8. How coronavirus might hit EU defence spending

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us