The Slovenia Times

Slovenia to Make Formal EU Request for Deferral of Bank Sale



The ministry said it would ask the Commission to avoid setting deadlines and making references to bank privatisation in its recommendations for Slovenia at Friday's meeting of EU finance ministers.

While Slovenia has no problem with the recommendations issued to Slovenia as part of the European Commission's review of its reform documents, it wants to highlight the circumstances brought about by the need for early elections.

As a result of the collapse of government and calling of early elections, Slovenia "will have difficulty in carrying out some of the recommendations and meeting the deadlines before the formation of a new parliament and government", the ministry said on Thursday.

Earlier this month the European Commission gave Slovenia eight recommendations with set deadlines as part of efforts to fix its public finances and implement reforms.

In a segment dealing with the banks, the Commission called on Slovenia to privatise the No. 2 state-owned bank, NKBM, by the end of 2014 and prepare No. 3 bank Abanka Vipa for privatisation in 2015.

It also demanded the drafting of an action plan for the banking sector and the formation of a strategy for the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC), the bad bank, by September 2014.

The request by the Finance Ministry will be made at the highest level to date, after it emerged earlier this week that Slovenia had already attempted to secure softer recommendations regarding the banks at lower levels.

On Monday an EU source indicated that it was unlikely that Slovenia would get what it wanted, including for the NKBM privatisation to be put off until 2015.

According to the source, Slovenian representatives wanted all deadlines in the bank recommendations removed, arguing this was market-sensitive information.

The source described this as ridiculous, saying that this information was available on all web pages and known to hundreds of thousands of people.


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