News in English
Overall rating: Your rating:
Rating 0.0 with 0 votes Rate this news article!
Sarec, who is currently mayor of the Alpine town of Kamnik, said he would aim as prime minister to speed up court procedures, which can drag on for years, by limiting the mandate of judges. Foto: BoBo

Share

Slovenian PM hopeful aims to slash red tape, reform courts

Interview with Marjan Sarec
6. March 2018 ob 21:00
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO, Reuters

A former comedian tipped to become Slovenia's next prime minister said on Tuesday he would slash red tape to boost investment and shake up the electoral and judicial systems if his party wins June's national election.

Marjan Sarec, 40, a newcomer to national politics, stunned Slovenians last November when he won 47 percent of the vote in a presidential run-off won by a former prime minister and acting president, Borut Pahor.

His centre-left party, The List of Marjan Sarec, formed in 2014, has only about 300 members, but opinion polls show it winning up to 19 percent of the vote, ahead of its rivals.

"We absolutely need to reduce bureaucracy," Sarec told Reuters in an interview, adding that he wanted to devolve more power to local communities to facilitate new construction.

Slovenia, a tiny ex-Yugoslav republic of two million people, joined the European Union 14 years ago and has seen strong economic growth that is expected to reach at least 3.9 percent this year.

But many Slovenians are disappointed with established parties over corruption and other issues, especially since their country narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in 2013.

Sarec, who is currently mayor of the Alpine town of Kamnik, said he would aim as prime minister to speed up court procedures, which can drag on for years, by limiting the mandate of judges. Most judges in Slovenia have unlimited mandates.

Sarec said he also wanted to raise the threshold for a party to enter parliament to "at least five percent" from the current four percent, a level he said resulted in weak coalition governments of at least three parties.

"We have a weak state so we need a strong government," he said.

Privatisations
The International Monetary Fund says Slovenia, where the state still controls about 50 percent of the economy, should speed up privatisations, but the government has refused to sell major companies over the past decade.

"We need to keep strategic firms in state hands, like (telecoms operator) Telekom Slovenije and (port operator) Luka Koper," he said, adding the state should also not sell minority stakes in companies such as fuel retailer Petrol and pharmaceutical producer Krka.

However, Sarec said Slovenia should sell majority state stakes in its two largest banks, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) and Abanka, in line with promises made to the European Commission. But the state should retain at least 25 percent of NLB to have a say in key business decisions, he added.

Slovenia has promised to sell the two banks in return for the Commission's approval of state aid to them in 2013.

Sarec said his government would try to run a balanced budget and reduce public debt towards 60 percent of national output, which is the maximum level allowed for eurozone members, adding that this would hinge on future economic growth.

He said the new government would have to introduce pension reform, including further promotion of private pension schemes, to ease the burden of a rapidly ageing population on the budget.

Sarec did not disclose possible candidates for cabinet jobs but said he favoured independent professionals for some top posts such as finance minister.

Reuters
TV & Radio
NIGHTLY NEWS IN ENGLISH 25.09 00:01:51, 25.09.2018
NEWS DEUTSCH 25.09.2018 00:03:03, 25.09.2018
A couple from Paris in Bled 00:06:41, 18.09.2018
News in English 24.09.2018 00:03:30, 24.09.2018
NEWS DEUTSCH 24. 9. 2018 00:03:52, 24.09.2018
DEUTSCHE NEWS 23.9.2018 00:04:11, 23.09.2018
News English 23.9. 00:03:44, 23.09.2018
NEWS AT 7 P.M. 00:02:42, 22.09.2018
News Deutsch 22.09.2018 00:03:03, 22.09.2018
NEWS DEUTSCH 21. 9. 2018 00:03:46, 21.09.2018
News English 20.09.2018 00:03:01, 20.09.2018
News Deutsch 20.09.2018 00:03:35, 20.09.2018
NEWS ENGLISH, 19.09.2018 00:03:37, 19.09.2018
News Deutsch 19.9.2018 00:02:48, 19.09.2018
ENGLISH NIGHTLY NEWS 18.9. 00:02:21, 18.09.2018
NEWS DEUTSCH 18.09.2018 00:02:44, 18.09.2018
News in English 17.09.2018 00:03:20, 17.09.2018
News Deutsch 17.9.2018 00:04:14, 17.09.2018
News English 16.9. 00:03:37, 16.09.2018