The Slovenia Times

Italy Very Interested in Slovenian Privatisation


The prime ministers labelled today's talks as "fruitful and useful", adding that the countries were determined to additionally enhance the "already exemplary bilateral cooperation", especially in business.

"Italy has expressed interest in the process of privatisation that is currently under way in Slovenia," Letta said, adding that they would "work on getting Italian companies included in the process".

The Italian PM said the issue deserved special attention as it "is in the interest of both public and private companies" to get involved, which was why some government officials will be assigned to the matter.

Bratušek meanwhile did not wish to reveal any details about the planned second privatisation package or the expected outcome of the first package.

She said only that the government had made an assessment as to what the sales of state-owned companies should bring but that she did not wish to speak about that publicly.

As regards the government's plans for the future, she said that a comprehensive strategy for the management of state assets was being drawn up and should be ready by September or October.

This strategy will "very precisely determine what are the state's strategic assets that will not be put on sale, what will be sold in full and where the state will perhaps keep a stake".

Bratušek said she and Letta highlighted the need to enhance economic and infrastructural cooperation between Slovenia and Italy today and agreed to set up a business council to deal with this.

According to Letta, the prime ministers reaffirmed the ties both between the two countries and their respective minorities.

Bratušek and Letta also met representatives of the Slovenian minority in Italy and the Italian minority in Slovenia today in the first ever such meeting.

"I think this is one more proof of our will to additionally reaffirm ties between our countries," Letta said.

Bratušek said she was happy that a permanent consulting body through which the Slovenian minority is to directly address open issues with the authorities in Rome, established in September 2012, will soon resume its work.

One of the minority officials present at the meeting with the two PMs, Tamara Blažina, a member of the lower chamber of the Italian parliament, expressed satisfaction with the sensitivity the two governments had manifested to minority issues.

Drago Štoka of the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO) labelled the meeting as an historic event that would enable the two minorities to join the European model.

The pair said that the main themes of the meeting were education and reform of electoral legislation which the Slovenian minority hopes will give it a permanent seat in the Italian parliament.

Meanwhile, Letta and Bratušek also discussed cooperation within the EU, establishing that their countries shared the same position on the two key issues of the upcoming EU summit - that the summit must give concrete results regarding unemployment among the young, and that it must complement existing commitments regarding the setting up of a banking union.

Bratušek said the prime ministers also exchanged views on measures to exit the current economic and financial crisis.

Letta added he had been invited to several events taking place in Slovenia in the autumn, including the European Basketball Championship. Slovenia and Italy are also to hold a bilateral meeting in Ljubljana at the end of the year.

Bratušek, who is on her first working visit to Rome, also met President Giorgio Napolitano. Aside from discussing cooperation between the countries, the pair also talked about the crisis as an opportunity to remove corruption from politics, and the need to boost trust in the EU.

Bratušek thanked the Italian President for his care for the Slovenian minority, according to the PM's office.

Prior to the meeting with Napolitano, both prime ministers attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Italian ICE agency and Slovenia's investment and tourism promotion agency, SPIRIT.

The Slovenian prime minister will wrap up the visit today in the Vatican, where she will meet State Secretary Tarcisio Bertone and be received for an audience by Pope Francis.


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