Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Janez Jansa Will Lead the New Slovenian Government

Dessislava Dimitrova, January 30, 2012

Almost two months after the snap elections in the country, the Slovenian parliament has on Saturday (January 28) given a mandate to Janez Jansa, leader of the Democratic Party of Slovenia (SDS) to form a new government. Once the members of the cabinet proposed by Jansa are approved this will be the second government, led by the right-wing politician. He was head of the cabinet between 2004 and 2008, when Borut Pahor, who resigned last year, became prime minister. Despite the fact that all polls suggested a victory for Jansa, eventually Ljubljana’s ex-mayor Zoran Jankovic won the vote. He was backed by the Positive Slovenia party, which was established just a few weeks before the elections.

Jankovic won 28 seats in the 90-seat parliament on the December 4 elections, thus becoming the only candidate to receive a mandate and form a government. However, he only got 42 votes in Parliament who were in favour of his candidacy, while he needed 46 to pass, thus paving the way for Jansa to replace him. Jansa won the support of all parties in Parliament, except those led by Zoran Jankovic and former PM Borut Pahor.

The five parties that backed him have already signed a coalition agreement and now Jansa has 15 days to propose the ministers in the new cabinet, which means that the new government can be formed by February 10.

Because of the tough financial crisis, however, it is broadly expected the number of the ministers to be cut to 11 from 15 and they will have the hard task to implement all the reforms which Pahor’s government did not manage to, which led to his resignation as well. Just a few days ago Slovenia was one of the five eurozone countries whose sovereign rating was downgraded by the Fitch credit rating agency. Now the country’s rating is lowered to ‘A from ‘AA-‘, which means that the economic situation in the country has been already impacting its financial system.

Earlier this month the country was among the nine Eurozone states, the rating of which was downgraded by Standard and Poor’s, while last December Moody’s too lowered Slovenia’s sovereign rating. According to an estimate, released by Slovenia’s office for macroeconomic analysis a few days ago, the country’ s economy is heading toward stagnation as the growth forecast for this year is just 0.2% due to the expected slowdown in exports and decreased domestic consumption. To compare, last year the country's economy grew by 0.5% and in 2010 by 1.4%.

Jansa himself said that the new government would have hard times ahead of it: “We are facing serious challenges, which we can only overcome if we are united. If you hear my voice to act together, we will be able to meet our goals,” he told Parliament. As key priorities of the new government he pointed out: strengthening the public finances and taking measures that lead to economic growth, based on which new jobs will be created.