Skip to main content »

Press Release

21.12.17

Government on privatisation of NLB, implementation of the arbitration ruling and recognition of Palestine

At today's regular session the Government of the Republic of Slovenia discussed and adopted decisions relating to the request to the European Commission to amend Slovenia's commitments regarding NLB, the continuation of preparations for implementation of the arbitration agreement, and the process of recognising Palestine.

Photo: Bor Slata/STA

 
 
Government requests postponement of NLB sale

In a statement following the Government session, Finance Minister Mateja Vraničar Erman said that the Government had informed itself about progress on drafting an unofficial request to amend the commitments made during the process of approving state aid to Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) and decided that Slovenia will officially submit this request to the European Commission. 

The request will be based on the proposal to appoint an independent administrator for NLB for the period until privatisation and the simultaneous postponement of the final deadline for privatisation. In connection with the postponement of privatisation, the minister explained that Slovenia will propose that the sale of the bank begin in 2018 and end in 2019. She also underlined that the independent administrator will have no powers regarding the sale of the bank. The Ministry of Finance has been authorised by the Government to submit an official request today to the European Commission to open the procedure of assessing permitted state aid to NLB.

Under its current commitments, Slovenia would be required to reduce its stake in NLB by at least 50% by the end of 2017 and to divest itself of a further 25% minus one share by the end of 2018. Given that the Government halted the process of selling NLB in June this year because of the excessive impact on price caused by the issue of transferred foreign currency deposits in Croatia, meaning that Slovenia will not meet its commitment to sell by the end of this year, the Government is proposing a number of amendments to the commitment to sell. 

The official request will contain a proposal that the sale process for NLB, the aim of which is to reduce the state's stake in NLB to a maximum of 25% plus one share, should begin in 2018 and end no later than by the end of 2019. Until the state's stake has been reduced to a maximum of 25% plus one share, an independent administrative trustee selected through an open international selection process will administer 100% of the stake.

Under the terms of Slovenia's proposal, the administrative trustee will not be authorised to undertake any activities in connection with the sale of NLB shares. Consent or non-opposition to the selected administrative trustee will also have to be given by the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Regarding any additional compensatory measures, in its talks with the European Commission Slovenia will follow above all the goal of long-term sustainable operations for the bank, which was also the main reason for the commitments to sell, and the maintenance of its regional character.

The European Commission has assured Slovenia that the submission of an official request to amend commitments represents a new legal framework for the continuation of talks on amending them, or for further decisions by the Commission. Talks with the Commission will thus continue. 

The Government's key aims in further talks remain the retention of a controlling interest of 25% plus one share, the implementation of privatisation under market conditions that will enable a maximum return of the taxpayers' money used to rescue the bank in 2013, and the maintenance of NLB as a strong regional financial institution. 

 

Government continues preparations for implementation of the arbitration ruling

In a statement following the Government session, Government Secretary General Lilijana Kozlovič said that the Government adopted a number of decisions and regulations for the implementation of the arbitration ruling at today's session. 

The Government adopted a decision on recording the national border, by which the border between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia was recorded in the national border record. This will be the basis for the entry and regulation of the relevant land in cadastral maps and the land register. It will also represent activation of the provisions of the so-called arbitration laws. These provisions begin to apply on the day following their publication in the official gazette. The Government also confirmed the cartographic representation of the border between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal.

The Secretary General explained that the Government also adopted four implementing regulations in connection with the implementation of the arbitration ruling, namely decrees covering the fisheries sector.  

The Decree on the provision and financing of legal aid for fishermen will allow Slovenia to offer assistance to natural persons and legal entities who are citizens of the Republic of Slovenia or are established in the Republic of Slovenia and hold commercial fishing permits, against whom the authorities of the Republic of Croatia have brought administrative offence or criminal proceedings in connection with the ruling.

The Decree implementing the Regulation (EU) on the Common Fisheries Policy concerning access to waters lays down implementing rules on the Common Fisheries Policy in connection with the bilateral access of fishermen to the waters of both countries.

An amendment to the Decree implementing the Regulation (EEC), Regulations (EC) and the Regulation (EU) for the determination of infringements and sanctions in the field of the Common Fisheries Policy determines infringements and sanctions in the field of the Common Fisheries Policy.

An amendment to the Decree on the implementation of the Regulations (EC) establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing was also adopted.

At the legislative level, the Government has thus made all the necessary preparations for implementation of the arbitration ruling, or at least the part it is able to implement on its own, without Croatia. All the steps that Slovenia will take after 29 December, when the deadline for preparations for implementation of the arbitration ruling ends, have been well thought out and prepared. All of them are based on respect for international law and good neighbourly relations.

As Prime Minister Miro Cerar underlined during his recent meeting in Zagreb, the exercise of the jurisdiction of both countries in accordance with the arbitration ruling is the best way to ensure that incidents and unnecessary tensions are avoided.

Government in favour of continuing the process of recognising Palestine

In a statement to the media following today's session of the Government, Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said that the Government had considered information on the current situation as regards the recognition of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state. The Government has agreed to submit the information to the National Assembly for further consideration and proposes a continuation of the process of recognising Palestine as an independent and sovereign state.

This decision is based on Slovenia's key principles in international relations, namely respect for international law and human rights. It is also consistent with Slovenia's clearly expressed position that it recognises the fundamental right of the Palestinians, like other nations, to self-determination and to establish their own state. Recognition of Palestine also underlines the Republic of Slovenia's attitude to resolution of the Palestinian issue through negotiations in the direction of the two-state solution.


Browse by time

Submit