The Slovenia Times

PM Bratušek on New PR Tour in Brussels



Bratušek had already held talks with European Economic and Monetary Policy Commissioner Olli Rehn in Brussels earlier today as part of a meeting of the European Liberals (ALDE) group.

She rejected having been given any indications regarding the Commission's assessment of Slovenia's budget for the next two years at that meeting.

Nevertheless, it is already clear that the Commission has not found major faults, as these would be raised within two weeks after Slovenia forwarded its budget proposals to Brussels in early October.

The final verdict on the budget will be published by the Commission in a report in mid-November, Bratušek said.

"But we also have a number of comments from the European Commission which are encouraging and raise hope that the assessments will be positive," she said.

One of the priorities for Bratušek at the summit will be convincing her colleagues that Slovenia should not be made to repeat stress tests at its systemic banks as part of the EU-wide bank reviews scheduled for next year.

Slovenia is currently conducting stress tests at eight of its banks under EU guidance and the country believes that the tests scheduled to be conducted at 130 systemic banks in the EU should be carried out under the same criteria.

As such it also believes that Slovenian banks should not have to undergo the process again, as this would be costly and inefficient.

"I'm confident that I'll be able to convince my colleagues that this is so and that the results we will get this year should be sufficient," she said.

This is also expected to be a topic of her talks with European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi this evening. Bratušek is scheduled to meet Draghi on the sidelines of the summit, after a dinner dedicated to the banking union.

While the stress test for Slovenia's largest bank is reportedly already completed, Bratušek rejected speculation about what it may have found, highlighting that the results will be available when tests for all eight banks are completed.

Nobody has seen the results, which means that "any numbers being floated are complete and utter speculation", she said.

This was echoed by Banka Slovenije, which rejected speculation that the liquidation of Factor Banka and Probanka may not be the last needed in Slovenia's banking sector.

"The results of the comprehensive review of the banking system are not known yet, which makes all comments on the results complete speculation," the central bank said in a statement.


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