The Slovenia Times

PM Downplays Reports about Tensions in Coalition


Today's meeting of coalition leaders was "perfectly normal", "no less or more problematic" than several such meetings before, Bratušek told reports during a visit to Nova Gorica on Monday in response to unofficial information suggesting Karl Erjavec threatened his Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) would quit the coalition in case of pension cuts.

"If everyone who says that political stability is important is also aware of that, then we should have no problem taking measures that are good for this country," Bratušek said.

Asked whether Erjavec made his party's stay in the coalition conditional on refraining from cuts to pensioners' incomes, the PM said: "There was no conditioning, but there have been a few statements in the media".

She noted that Erjavec repeatedly underscored the importance of political stability. "If Mr Erjavec, who at this table at least often says he is aware of that, then we should be able to agree on what needs to be done to take Slovenia where it belongs, that is among the better ones again and then among the best."

Commenting on reports about the Citizens' List's (DL) opposition to new taxes, the PM said only one tax was being discussed at the moment, i.e. the real-estate tax, which she said had been agreed with the DL and its president Gregor Virant.

Bratušek also briefly commented on the central bank's decision to wind down Factor banka and Probanka through a supervised liquidation, noting that that step represented the beginning of restructuring of the banking system. "We believe this should now stabilise or help to stabilise our banking system," she said.

She also argued that her government "has done everything in its power" for the bank system's consolidation to start sooner, but that operations had to be agreed with the European Commission. Slovenia is currently waiting for Brussels's go-ahead for the transfer of non-performing loans on the Bank Asset Management Company.


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