The Slovenia Times

National Assembly appoints Boštjan Vasle C-bank governor


Vasle served as the director of the government's macroeconomic think-tank IMAD for eleven years. When he laid out his bid in a public presentation in early December, he stressed his commitment to have Banka Slovenije operate as an open institution.

He has called for effective coordination of policies as economic growth is about to cool off and for the EU banking union to be completed as soon as possible.

While he emerged as the surprise frontrunner for the post after it became clear that other candidates would not get an absolute majority in parliament, the outcome of the vote had been unclear until the very end.

In the debate before the vote, Vasle appeared to have secured the votes of MPs from the Modern Centre Party (SMC), Social Democrats (SD), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), which have a total of 30 MPs between them.

SAB deputy Maša Kociper said that he had not been the party's first pick, but once economist Igor Masten was out of the game, the party had to choose among the others, with Vasle coming out as a very good candidate.

However, Vasle was not backed by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the biggest coalition party, whose deputy group head Brane Golubović said he had never been their pick.

Likewise, the Left, the minority government's partner in the opposition, refused to back the candidate whom Luka Mesec, the leader of the Left, described as an advocate of neoliberal policies.

According to Mesec, Vasle sees the world "through the eyes of a capitalist and not a worker". The party also said that he had failed to distance himself from the actions of previous governors.

"Two governors of the past ten years are to blame for the banking hole and its tackling just as much as the governments," Mesec said in reference to the 2013 bank bailout.

The conservative opposition, the SDS, New Slovenia (NSi) and the National Party (SNS) had not disclosed in the debate whether they would endorse Vasle or not.

Banka Slovenije has been without a governor since April, when the former boss, Boštjan Jazbec, left for a job on the EU's Single Resolution Board. The central bank has since been led by acting governor Primož Dolenc, who failed to get appointed full-fledged governor in October.

Vasle will become the fifth central bank governor, following in the footsteps of Jazbec, Marko Kranjec, Mitja Gaspari and France Arhar.


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