Review Hari Stefanatos
The latest draft of the new government coalition agreement caused quite a commotion in the slovenian press, since an entire chapter referring to the inquiry into the bank bailout was crossed out, a fact that pundits considered as proof that the new government plans to shield the ones responsible. The soon to be formed coalition referred to the incident as a mere “error”.
Matjaž Han (photo), the deputy group leader for the Social Democrats (SD), a party that is expected to be part of the new government coalition, told reporters on Friday that “this is a technical error that we will correct”, adding that his party had insisted in coalition talks on a public inquiry based on Iceland’s, a proposal that the winning party of Prime Minister-elect Miro Cerar (SMC) agreed with.
Han continued saying that “Cerar has seen that there was a purely technical error and he is disappointed that this media spin occurred”. His saying was backed by a statement by the SMC saying that “The commitment about the bank capital shortfall inquiry was omitted due to a technical error. The commitment remains a part of the coalition agreement”.
Several journalist concentrated their criticism at the SD, arguing that it was trying to shield those responsible by working behind the scenes.
Vinko Gorenak, MP for the Democrats (SDS) for example said on his blog that an inquiry into the causes of the bailout was “not in the interest of the SD and even less so in the interest of [Former President Milan] Kučan.”
Transparency International Slovenia also weighed in, saying it the latest draft of the coalition was “a negative surprise” since a “public and transparent” inquiry should be a priority for the new government.
The issue of the inquiry is a sensitive matter in Slovenia considering the country has spent over 10% of its GDP on the bailing out and renationalisation of banks. For this reason the previous Parliament had ordered an inquiry to examine theaccountability of the supervisory and management boards of the bailed out banks, but it ended when the Parliament was dissolved following the collapse of the coalition government.