The Slovenia Times

Minister Outraged over Differences in Figures in NLB Reports


Žerjav, the head of the coalition People's Party (SLS), made the statement as he was leaving a morning meeting of coalition parties dedicated to the bill introducing a holding that would oversee state assets and take over bad claims of Slovenia's banks.

"The numbers we are seeing from Banka Slovenije on the one hand and from the due diligence on the other are being manipulated... The government cannot make serious and responsible decisions based on numbers that are worlds apart," said Žerjav.

The government can nonetheless adopt the Slovenia Sovereign Holding bill today, Žerjav said, adding that complete data must however be provided by the time NLB's bad claims were to be transferred onto the holding.

"The government must know and wants to know the sum of bad credit the NLB will never get back,...who got the loans and how much," said Žerjav.

The minister wonders whether somebody was trying to hide the actual state NLB was in and why. He told the press that the due diligence had been commissioned and paid for by NLB and conducted by a foreign company.

He was moreover critical of the central bank and governor Marko Kranjec. One would expect that if the government phoned the governor, the info would be on the table in 24 hours, said Žerjav.

Prime Minister Janez Janša phoned Kranjec several times but had to wait for several months to get "at least some sort of approximate data," according to Žerjav.

The head of the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Karl Erjavec, was also critical of the due diligence, blaming Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič for the fact that the cabinet still did not get any concrete numbers.

Like Žerjav, Erjavec also believes that the government could go ahead and adopt the holding bill today, as there was still time to discuss NLB figures before the National Assembly votes on the bill.

Šušteršič refused to respond to the statements by Erjavec and Žerjav would not comment on any of the reports for the press before they are discussed by the cabinet.

Meanwhile, the business daily Finance reported today that unofficially the due diligence at NLB included three scenarios for the bank, with recapitalisation figures ranging from EUR 100m to as much as EUR 2bn.

The paper moreover alleges that the due diligence is not yet complete, although Šušteršič has claimed the opposite.


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