The Slovenia Times

Final proposal on NLB could be ready next week


Slovenia is negotiating terms with the European Commission after it failed to sell the bank in line with the commitments it had made in exchange for the Commission's approval of state aid in 2013.

The outgoing minister expects that after Slovenia files its new proposal with the European Commission, the Commission's decision would follow relatively quickly.

Talking to press after today's meeting of heads of parliamentary parties, Vraničar Erman said that the officials had discussed today the ministry's latest proposal on how to shield NLB from claims in Croatia over Yugoslav-era savings deposits.

"There was more support for the idea that the issue be solved with an appropriate bill," she said.

According to Vraničar Erman, the ministry will now go through all the documents again and complement them with the arguments from the meeting before putting forward a bill, which is expected soon.

While refusing to speculate on future procedures regarding the sale of NLB, Vraničar Erman said that financial markets' data suggested that the bank could still be sold at an appropriate price this year.

"The preparatory proceedings are running smoothly and the main element of preparations is the bank's good business results," Vraničar Erman said.

Outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar said it was important for Slovenia to retain stability, which would positively affect sales processes.

Heads of parliamentary parties agreed that NLB needed to be preserved as an important regional institution, that the value of state assets in NLB must be preserved, and that solutions must be sought to the benefit of taxpayers and NLB.

Cerar could not reveal the details of today's talks on NLB but he noted that the government would need to make some important decisions next week with regards to negotiations with the European Commission.

"I'm convinced that we'll make decisions that will be good for NLB and taxpayers and that will look for ways to shield the bank from Croatian lawsuits, and that a possible sales procedure will not be such that it would harm taxpayers."


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