LJUBLJANA, July 28 Slovenia's outgoing
government said on Monday that it would restart its
privatisation programme before the new government takes office,
after suspending it ahead of the national election earlier this
Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek's centre-left government
halted the programme to allow the incoming government to
reconsider the privatisation process. Analysts, however, said
the suspension could deter investors or bring down the prices of
the companies on sale.
Selling off state-owned companies is seen as a key component
of Slovenia's ability to stabilise its finances and its economy
after the government had to spend 3 billion euros last year to
rescue troubled banks and narrowly avoided having to seek an
Bratusek's government has earmarked 15 companies for
privatisation, and already sold two of them. Others on the list
include Slovenia's second-largest bank Nova KBM, airport
Aerodrom Ljubljana and telecom firm Telekom.
A recently formed centre-left party SMC, led by Miro Cerar,
won the election but has yet to complete talks with coalition
partners on forming the new cabinet.
The outgoing cabinet's statement on Monday did not elaborate
on the reversal of its earlier decision.
"At the proposal of the Slovenian State Holding (SDH) the
government decided to change its decision from July 3 that SDH
would neither complete the ongoing nor begin the new
privatisation procedures before the new government is formed,"
the government said.
SDH is in charge of running the sale of state assets.
Slovenia, which joined the European Union in 2004 and the
euro zone in 2007, has for years been reluctant to sell
major companies, citing national interests. Its economy is still
largely state run.
Following the election results Cerar suggested he might
revisit the former cabinet's plans and that he hoped to have
their privatisation programme in place this year.
(Reporting by Almir Demirovic, writing by Igor Ilic in Zagreb;
Editing by Susan Fenton)