PM Bratušek Formally Takes over Duties from Janša

Janša highlighted the pension and labour reforms and a cut in the public deficit as key achievements. According to Janša, most of the reform measures by his government were carried out in agreement with the social partners, some even with the opposition, which gives them much more weight.

The reform programme was realised 150%, said Janša, adding his government had initially not expected all of the implemented reforms could be realised within a year.

The budget deficit, which was the biggest obstacle for the country, was also lowered during the term of his government, he said.

The country's public finances were improved so much that "Slovenia could get a relatively cheap loan on the international financial markets last October", which eliminated the threat that it might be forced to request international aid.

This first step, which was taken with the act on the balancing of the public finances, was also largely coordinated with social partners, which "proves not only the maturity of the social dialogue but also the maturity of most social partners".

Similarly, the labour and pension reforms helped improve Slovenia's position in OECD's rankings, he said.

Janša is also happy that his government managed to pass the acts on the bad bank and the Slovenia Sovereign Holding by the end of last year.

The former prime minister also highlighted the passage of a memorandum defining the subject matter of the border dispute with Croatia that is to be resolved by an arbitration tribunal and the agreement reached with Croatia on the means of resolving the LB bank issue, which paved the way for the ratification of Croatia's EU Accession Treaty.

Janša stressed that the situation was still not rosy though, but that the new government had "every opportunity to conduct work normally".

After briefing Bratušek on the situation in the public finances and the national budget, Janša said all elements of a reform programme that Slovenia must send to Brussels were ready.

The report on the work of Janša's government also includes an assessment of the situation in the country, which was endorsed by all members of the eurozone at the last summit earlier this month.

According to Janša, this assessment shows that Slovenia has made progress in the past year and that if it sticks to the same course reform-wise, the country has good potential for growth.

Janša also congratulated Bratušek on her appointment today, adding that he had called former Positive Slovenia (PS) head Zoran Janković an hour before the meeting with Bratušek to congratulate him on finally "managing to form a government after a year". "He told me I have a sense of humour," Janša said.

Positive Slovenia won the 2011 election, but failed to form a government at the time.

Bratušek returned the gratitude, saying that the good things Janša's government had done for Slovenia would be continued.

"We are also aware that just by changing the team the problems are not over…But things must be turned in the right direction. Slovenia needs an economy boost, new jobs, optimism, hope and cooperation," she said.

She expressed confidence that the opposition will back the key projects, "just like we showed we can join in when it comes to crucial issues".

Bratušek said her team was young, educated and optimistic. The fact that some of its members do not have a lot of experience in politics might prove an advantage not a disadvantage in the time when politicians do not enjoy a lot of trust in Slovenia, she added.

Bratušek's 14-member cabinet was sworn in last night in parliament after receiving the support of 52 MPs in the 90-member legislature.