Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Slovenia Even Closer to Snap Elections

Dessislava Dimitrova, September 22, 2011

Slovenia is facing snap elections after the government of Borut Pahor lost a confidence vote sought by him on Tuesday. In fact, the non-confidence vote came as a result of Parliament’s refusal to back the appointment of five new ministers in the cabinet. Pahor will continue to act as a prime minister until a new one is nominated and chosen but if this does not happen within a month President Danilo Turk will have to call snap elections. According to Turk, the non-confidence vote would only deepen the political crisis in the country.

The political situation is serious and requires responsible behaviour from everyone – both from politicians and from media,” an official statement, released by the president’s office read. Тhe president, who is New York to attend the UN General Assembly Meeting, will return earlier to Slovenia to call consultations with the political parties to form a new government, the statement added. Pahor himself told Parliament before the start of the vote that it would be better for the country that his government gained support so that a political crisis was avoided but this could not help him keep his post.

How deep the political crisis would be is just a matter of time but what is more important is that this process would go along with the economic crisis in the country, which is also going deeper. Following the unsuccessful attempts to reform the pension and labour system in the country, last week Pahor’s government had to reduce its forecast for Slovenia’s economic growth this year to 1.5% from 2.2%

Despite the optimistic forecast that next year the economy will expand to 2.5%, it is expected, because of the impact of the political crisis, Slovenia to have difficulties with the ratification of the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism which all eurozone members have to approve by the beginning of the next month. According to local analysts, the fall of the current government, on the other side, paves the way for a new government to implement the needed economic reforms.

The path towards such a government, in my opinion, are only new elections, as having a new government for just a year is meaningless,” local economist Janez Sustaric was quoted saying by local media. “The stalemate in which the government has been for some time is gone and maybe this would lead to some new initiatives,” Saso Polanec, a professor with the Economic faculty of the Ljubljana University, adds.

According to him, the fall of Pahor’s cabinet would not trigger a downgrade of Slovenia’s credit rating if the international credit rating agencies take it as a positive signal for reforms. Whether the end of the deadlock has come and whether the country would overcome the crisis is yet to be shown by the elections which, according to most analysts, would be snap.

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