The Slovenia Times

Disturbing Weakest Link of New Government: Economy Minister!


Petrovič stood for parliament on the ticket of the Party of Miro Cerar (SMC) in the July election, but failed to get elected. Having worked in the business sector for thirty years, that was his first attempt to enter politics.

Among other things, Petrovič has served as an executive director in charge of wholesale at energy company Petrol and chairman of newsstand operator Delo Prodaja. He is currently director of Unichem, a manufacturer of organic fertilisers and bio pest control products.

Media reports suggest Cerar has decided to propose a new name for economic development and technology minister at the last minute. What is more, Pfeifer did not attend today's introductory meeting between SMC ministerial candidates and MPs.

Pfeifer could have cast a shadow of doubt on the entire government for his past business record, according to public broadcaster Radio Slovenija, which cited his potentially problematic role in the NLB bank's building a business office in Sarajevo during his stint as head of the NLB centre for economics and organisation development until 2010.

The radio station also suggested that this could have been the reason why ex-state asset manager AUKN prevented his appointment to the helm of the country's railway company Slovenske železnice in 2011, and reported about his allegedly controversial ties with the construction sector.

The list of ministerial candidates features nine SMC nominees, four nominees put forward by the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and three from the Social Democrats (SD).

SMC nominees

Finance minister: Dušan Mramor - economics professor who served as finance minister in 2002-2004
Economic development and technology minister: Jožef Petrovič, entrepreneur
Interior minister: Vesna Györkös Žnidar, lawyer with a private law firm
Justice minister: Goran Klemenčič, former president of the anti-corruption watchdog
Health minister: Milojka Kolar, ex-state secretary at the Finance Ministry
Minister of education, science and sport: Stanka Setnikar Cankar, former dean of the Ljubljana Faculty for Administration
Infrastructure minister: Peter Gašperšič, a doctor of civil engineering
Public administration minister: Boris Koprivnikar, head of the Association of Social Institutions of Slovenia
Minister without portfolio for development, strategic projects and cohesion: Violeta Bulc, a businesswoman and innovator

DeSUS nominees

Foreign minister: Karl Erjavec, outgoing foreign minister, DeSUS leader
Minister for the environment and spatial planning: Irena Majcen, transport official from the Slovenska Bistrica administrative unit
Culture minister: Julijana Bizjak Mlakar, health management expert who co-founded the Movement for the Preservation of Public Healthcare
Minister without portfolio for Slovenians abroad: Gorazd Žmavc, outgoing minister for Slovenians abroad

SD nominees

Defence minister: Janko Veber, previously parliamentary speaker
Minister of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities: Anja Kopač Mrak, outgoing labour, family, social affairs and equal opp. minister
Minister for agriculture, forestry and food: Dejan Židan, outgoing minister for agriculture and the environment, SD leader

The nominees will undergo hearings before relevant parliamentary bodies, expectedly from Friday to Tuesday, before MPs vote on them in a package, which is expected to happen on Thursday, 18 September.


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