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Slovenska nyheter by keralaguest

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									Slovenia to Get Public Procurement Agency
Ljubljana, 20 May (STA) - The government adopted a bill on Thursday to set up an agency for public
procurement which would order goods and services for the entire state administration. The
government hopes to cut down on the costs of purchases.
The agency would also be responsible for public contracting topping the threshold value for publication
on the EU portal, Public Administration Minister Irma Pavlinic Krebs said in presenting the bill after the
cabinet session.
"With this law, the government would like to avoid all of those who should have nothing to do with
decisions concerning the transparency, economy and efficiency of the use of the taxpayer's money in
public procurement," Prime Minister Borut said.
The agency will be responsible for the establishment, management and maintenance of the
information system for catalogue ordering by state administration and local communities. The agency
will conclude framework contracts on their behalf so they can make purchases daily, mainly of goods.
The minister noted that Slovenia signed as early as 2005 a declaration whereby it pledged to conduct
public procurement solely in electronic form. This requirement should have been met by 2010, but
since it has not, the new agency's primary task in 2011 would be to set up the information backup.
To help inexperienced contracting authorities, the agency would draw up sample documentation for
standard types of public procurement and create a database of information on prices, goods and
services and commodities specific for procurement by public administration which are hard to get on
the market.
Pavlinic Krebs said that the agency would also see to the implementation of green public contracting,
advising contracting authorities and standardisation of orders.
Joint public procurement would be obligatory for all state administration bodies and would be
conducted according to the subject of procurement, such as mobile telecommunications, air flights,
cars, computers.
Public procurement in Slovenia amounts to EUR 4.5bn or nearly 13% of GDP a year. The bulk of
orders, worth more than EUR 700m, are placed by government departments, services and
administrative units. There about 1,500 public employees currently dealing with public procurements.
ep/sm
20.05.2010 20:55



National Assembly Passes Laws to Help the Economy
Ljubljana, 20 May (STA) - Deputies amended on Thursday three tax laws introducing new tax breaks
in a bid to spur the recovery of the Slovenian economy. They also passed an act on state guarantees
for corporate lending which aims to boost liquidity and help companies squeezed by the credit crunch
to fund development projects.
Changes to the tax procedure act, the corporate income tax act and the personal income tax act,
which were passed unanimously, introduce new tax breaks for employment of people younger than 26
and older than 55. The general tax break for investments in research and development will rise from
20% to 40%.
Both will apply already for 2010, State Secretary at the Finance Ministry Mateja Vranicar told deputies.
The coalition pointed out during the debate that the amendments and the new bill were a part of the
governments anti-crisis measures.
The opposition welcomed this, but noted that the government parties opposed similar motions when
they were put forward by the opposition last year.
Andrej Vizjak of the Democrats (SDS) expressed concern that solutions were therefore coming too
late. "We can see the results on the front pages of all newspapers today. Slovenia lost 20 spots on
competitiveness rankings."
Radovan Zerjav of the opposition People's Party (SLS) welcomed the incentives for investments in
R&D, but criticised the government for opposing them a year ago.
Vizjak and Bogdan Barovic of the opposition National Party (SNS) proposed that the tax breaks
encompass more people who are at a disadvantage at the labour market.
Vizjak also said that tax breaks for investments should not be limited to investments in R&D, but
Vranicar responded that in that case the state budget would lose EUR 50m in tax revenues.
During the debate on the bill providing EUR 1bn in state guarantees for corporate lending, which was
passed in a 72:2 vote, deputies clashed over amendments proposed by the SDS which would scrap
the part excluding loans intended for paying off debts to suppliers, banks or other creditors.
Vranicar said this kind of amendment would change the basic purpose of the law. She said extensions
of loans were already regulated by the guarantee scheme act.
Deputies however supported an amendment proposed by the SD that only top-rated banks can grant
loans with state guarantees.
mab/bdo/sm
20.05.2010 15:34




Slovenia Down 20 Spots on IMD Global Competitiveness
Rankings
Ljubljana, 19 May (STA) - Slovenia lost 20 spots to finish 52nd on the competitiveness rankings of the
International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Slovenia recorded the biggest drop among
the 58 countries included in the survey.
The reasons for Slovenia's poor ranking are a big drop in GDP and pessimism among business
executives, director of the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI) Igor
Plestenjak said at Wednesday's presentation of the report.
The only countries ranked lower than Slovenia are Bulgaria, Romania, Argentina, Croatia, Ukraine and
Venezuela. At the top spot in the yearbook Singapore replaced the US, which was also preceded by
Hong-Kong.
The IMD survey, which measures competitiveness based on statistical data for 2009 and estimations
by business executives from January, has both an objective component and a subjective one.
Unlike a similar report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) it focuses on short-term appeal
of businesses and their dynamics, which is why fluctuation is not unusual, explained Peter Stanovnik
of the Ljubljana Institute for Economic Research (IER).
Slovenia lost the most spots in the economic success category, where it plummeted from 21st to 42nd
place, mostly due to last year's drop in BDP and exports, and low outflow and inflow of FDI.
In the government efficiency section, it fell from 38th to 53rd place due to the bad shape of public
finances and public disapproval of the government's policies, especially regrading taxation and labour
market.
As far as business efficiency is concerned, Slovenia was down 18 places to finish 57th. The main
reasons for this are poor companies' results, a drop of GDP per employee, a surge in market
capitalisation and poor results in polls on the atmosphere within Slovenian companies.
According to Sonja Ursic of the IER, the results show that Slovenians are very critical of themselves
and more pessimistic than their counterparts abroad.
Slovenia's drop was the least drastic in the infrastructure section (from 27th to 34th place). The
weakest point were polls on the support to technological development, innovation and
entrepreneurship, the effect of health problems on companies' business results and the availability of
well-trained engineers.
Stanovnik said this year's IMD report was a serious warning to social partners to introduce and
implement timely, concrete and transparent measures and structural reforms to improve the economic
situation.
mab/jes/gz
19.05.2010 18:18




Unemployment Edges Lower in March
Ljubljana, 18 May (STA) - Slovenia's registered unemployment rate edged 0.1 percentage points lower
to 10.6% in March, the first decrease since August 2009, the Statistics Office said Tuesday.
The jobless total dropped by 900 to 98,900 whereas the number of persons in paid employment rose
by about 0.1 percent to 837,000.
Unemployment among men and women alike decreased by 0.1 percentage points over the month
before, to 10% and 11.2% respectively.
The Statistics Office said it was encouraging that unemployment in Pomurje, the region with the
highest registered unemployment rate in the country, fell for the second month in a row.
sm/jb/gj
18.05.2010 11:47




Pahor Says No Deficit Reduction This Year
Ljubljana, 13 May (STA) - The government adopted on Thursday guidelines for drafting the
supplementary budget for 2010, but decided to keep the budget deficit just under 5% of GDP because
its reduction would need drastic cuts in expenditure, Prime Minister Borut Pahor told the press.
He noted after the government session that the cabinet had intended to cut the budget deficit by half a
percentage point this year.
"But at the moment this would mean a drastic cut in budget expenditure," Pahor said, adding that the
predominant opinion within the government was that interventions in expenses should be more
modest.
According to a press release from the government, the main reasons for the proposed supplementary
budget are worse macroeconomic projections in comparison with those on which the budget is based,
a drop in tax revenues and the EUR 145m loan to Greece this year.
Noting that the government had a clear policy, Pahor said this meant that the budgets for 2011 and
2012 would need to be heavily restructured. "This was not an easy decision, because protests are
being announced."
He believes that there are no reasons for protests, as negotiations are under way both with trade
unions and students.
With the supplementary budget, the government will make certain cuts in investments but for the time
being it will not make interventions in the wages nor rights of public sector employees, according to
Pahor.
He believes that a 5% deficit is a sustainable and respectable number. This means that the EU will not
take measures against Slovenia, he said, adding that Slovenia had so far dealt with its problems on its
own.
In part, the supplementary budget is necessary because of the decision to help Greece, but this will
not affect the budget deficit, added the prime minister.
The Finance Ministry will draft instructions for the drafting of the supplementary budget by Monday,
while budget users have to draft their financial plans by 28 May.
zm/eho
13.05.2010 15:00



Gorenje Seeking to Acquire Sweden's Asko
Velenje, 13 May (STA) - Household appliances maker Gorenje is planning to acquire Swedish rival
Asko, business daily Finance reported on Thursday. The Slovenian firm would neither confirm nor
deny the report, but Asko said it was indeed in talks with Gorenje.
Gorenje board member Mirjana Dimc Perko confirmed for Finance that the company was looking to
acquire a "maker of high-end laundry appliances", but the company would not comment on any details
for the STA.
Asko, however, confirmed for Finance that it was in takeover talks with Gorenje. "We are indeed in the
middle of talks, but I cannot say more," the paper quotes Asko spokesperson Lotta Walngdahl as
saying.
Asko is part of the bankrupt Italian group Antonio Merloni, which has been up for sale since mid-2009.
According to Finance, the company has 900 employees and exports 80% of its production.
The news comes just weeks after Gorenje announced a capital rising in a bid to secure money for
acquisitions.
The proposal for a EUR 9.4m capital increase provided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
and EUR 6.3m from existing shareholders will be put to shareholders at the 28 May annual general
meeting.
The purchase of Asko would be the third major foreign acquisition for Gorenje, which bought Czech
rival Mora Moravia in 2004 and Dutch appliance maker Atag in late 2008.
Gorenje posted a net profit of EUR 517,000 for the first quarter of 2010, up from a loss of EUR 14.7m
a year ago. Sales were up 1.5% to EUR 291m.
sm/lpc/eho
13.05.2010 10:02




Slovenia to Sign OECD Accession Treaty on 1 June
Ljubljana, 12 May (STA) - Slovenia will join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) at a ministerial meeting in Paris on 27 May, but the accession treaty will be
signed in Ljubljana on 1 June, the Government Communications Office said.
The treaty will have to be ratified by the Slovenian parliament and the procedure will wrap up with a
special OECD resolution.
The ratification procedure has already started, as the parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee rubber-
stamped the ratification law on Wednesday.
Along with Israel and Estonia, Slovenia was formally invited to join the OECD on 10 May.
sm/bdo/mab
12.05.2010 19:28




Brussels Projects 1.1% Growth for Slovenia
Brussels, 5 May (STA) - Slovenia's economy is to expand by 1.1% this year and its general
government deficit is projected to rise to 6.1% of GDP, the European Commission said in its spring
economic forecast, released in Brussels on Wednesday.
While the growth forecast was downgraded by 0.2 percentage points compared with the Commission's
autumn forecast, the projection for the deficit was upgraded by 0.9 percentage points.
Slovenia's central bank projected a 1.3% growth, while the government Institute for Macroeconomic
Analysis and Development (IMAD) forecast the economy will expand by 0.6% this year.
Both the growth and deficit projections for Slovenia are slightly better than those for the eurozone. The
average growth for euro countries is to stand at 0.9% and the general government deficit at 6.6% of
GDP.
Brussels also upgraded the forecast for Slovenia's unemployment rate for 2010, from 8.3% in the
autumn to 7%, which is below the average for the EU and the eurozone.
ep/eho
05.05.2010 10:50

								
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