* Parliament confirms Cerar as PM by 57 votes to 11
* Cerar pledges "strategically considered privatisation"
* Has to present his cabinet within 15 days
(Updates with vote result, details)
By Marja Novak
LJUBLJANA, Aug 25 Slovenia's new prime minister
hinted on Monday he might scale back the country's privatisation
program once he forms a coalition with two parties opposed to
large-scale sell-offs of state assets.
Law professor and political novice Miro Cerar also told
parliament he would work to strengthen the banking system, whose
fragility brought the euro zone country to the verge of an
international bailout last year.
Parliament confirmed Cerar, 51, as the new prime minister by
57 votes to 11. Cerar now has 15 days to nominate his cabinet,
which also has to be confirmed by parliament.
He told deputies before the vote his government would pursue
"strategically considered privatisation", without elaborating.
Analysts think Cerar's government might delay privatisation
and public sector reform, both seen as crucial for Slovenia to
steady its public finances after narrowly avoiding a bailout for
its banks in December.
"Given the electorate's opposition to privatization and cuts
in public sector spending, the next government will dilute and
delay these reforms," said Tsveta Petrova, an analyst at
political risk research firm Eurasia Group.
Policy differences within Cerar's coalition would "generate
continued government instability over the next year," she added.
Cerar's centre-left SMC party is expected to sign in the
coming days a coalition deal with the pensioners' party Desus
and the Social Democrats, which both oppose large-scale
The three parties together will hold 52 of the 90 seats in
the new parliament following a snap election in July that gave
the SMC a mandate to restore stability and steer the country out
of its economic crisis.
The government's main task will be to reduce the budget
deficit to 3 percent of GDP, as agreed with the European
Commission, from some 4.2 percent seen this year.
Cerar said the government would tightly control public
spending and not allow an increase of social transfers, like
unemployment and welfare benefits, until economic growth reaches
The country expects growth of 0.5 percent this year after
two consecutive years of recession.
"We will work towards establishing a stable banking and
financial system that will support the development and
restructuring of the economy, which will improve competitiveness
and enable the creation of new jobs," he said.
Cerar's SMC was formed less than three months ago after the
resignation of outgoing Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek triggered
early election. Bratusek resigned in May because she lost the
battle for the leadership of the Positive Slovenia party.
(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Toby