The Slovenia Times

Meeting Agrees Sovereign Holding Supervisors Must Be Independent


Virant, who has called for a broad consensus on the supervisors, stressed after the meeting that he would only back competent candidates, regardless of party affiliation or coalition agreements.

The head of the Parliamentary Public Finance Oversight Commission, Alenka Bratušek of the opposition Positive Slovenia (PS), added that she hoped that candidates would not get politically discredited from any side.

The statutory conditions for candidates will be tough to start with so there should be no room for discrediting based on who is the proponent, she explained.

Bratušek and Virant said the candidates may have party affiliation as long as they meet all the conditions. However, they should not be party officials and must act independently, they stressed.

Although the deadlines are short - the candidate list should be known by 28 January at the latest - Virant pointed out the supervisors should not be chosen without due consideration or without a broad cross-party support, since the institution will watch over EUR 10bn of state assets.

The speaker noted that the proponents, especially deputy groups, may hold further informal talks ahead of 28 January to come together on appropriate candidates, but he does not believe the procedure will be prolonged due to the tense political situation.

The proponents present at the meeting also agreed that the supervisory board of the holding should be complementary so that the members are able to cover different relevant fields.

Virant and Bratušek also spoke about the changes to the act introducing the holding proposed by the PS earlier this week, aimed at increasing transparency of the holding.

Commenting on the provision giving a bigger role in the choice of supervisors to the opposition, they agreed that the expertise of candidates was more important that the structure of proponents.

Virant said the changes, which will probably be debated in the National Assembly in February or March, had good chances to get majority support in parliament.

Along with deputy group representatives, except for the senior coalition Democrats (SDS) and the opposition Social Democrats (SD), the meeting called by Virant was attended by Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič, trade unionist Janez Posedi and Irena Prijović of the Directors' Association.

Also linked to the issue of the Sovereign Holding was today's debate of the investment conference of finance group ALTA, where Matej Runjak of the Public Property and Financial System Directorate stressed that the holding concept was not aimed at selling off state property but at consolidating state investments and reducing political influence on the economy.

Moreover, Runjak stressed that the establishment of the holding was also a signal to foreigners that it was reasonable to invest in the Slovenian capital market, which has much potential.


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