Slovenia is halting all privatizations until a new government is formed after a snap election on July 13, outgoing Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said on Thursday, drawing a sharp response from the finance minister in her own government. Analysts said the move was aimed at raising Bratusek’s popularity with voters, who generally oppose attempts to sell local companies. Finance Minister Uros Cufer called the decision a part of “pre-election hysteria”. The decision could ultimately deter investors or bring down the prices of companies sold, analysts said, and delay much needed revenue for a country that had to inject 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) into its banks in December to avoid an international bailout.
“We decided that no privatization can be completed and no new privatization can start until a new government is formed,” Bratusek told a press conference after a regular government meeting.
“Privatization processes can continue, but privatizations cannot be completed before the new government is formed so that the new government will have a chance to reconsider them.”
She said foreign investors were welcome in Slovenia but added the government took this step because privatization was “the hottest pre-election topic”.
Full Article: Slovenia PM halts privatizations before election | Reuters.