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Slovenia Business Week no. 13: CCIS: Development Minister Damijan Resigns

PM claimed reforms would continue despite Damijan's resignation

Development Minister Joze P. Damijan tendered his unconditional resignation on Tuesday 21 March after heading the government's newly-established Development Office for less than three months.

Damijan of the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics, who officially assumed the new post on 1 January, stepped down for personal reasons, his Office said in a press release.

PM Janez Jansa "regrets, but respects" the decision by Development Minister Joze P. Damijan to step down for personal reasons. Jansa told the press on Tuesday, 21 March that "due to its nature, it is difficult to comment on the resignation".

Jansa added that the comprehensive structural reforms would proceed as planned, also thanks to Damijan, without whom the reforms proposals would have been drafted much more slowly.

Jansa also said that he is not planning to put forward a new minister without portfolio, with Damijan's deputy, State Secretary Andrej Horvat, slated to head the Development Office for the moment.

The PM moreover stressed that a lot of work on reforms has been done so far, such as the continuation of social dialogue, and informing the public on the necessity and effects of the reforms.

He also denied that Damijan had stepped down because of his disagreements with Finance Minister Andrej Bajuk over the continued privatisation of Slovenia's leading bank NLB.

According to Jansa, talks between Belgian banking and insurance group KBC and the state on the increase of KBC's stake in NLB from its current 34% are still going on.

The cabinet's position on the issue has been harmonised with Damijan, Jansa revealed, adding that no decision has yet been taken.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA