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Slovenia Business Week no. 50/2004: Janez Jansa Government Appointed

The new Slovenian government has 15 ministers

The Janez Jansa government appointed on Friday, 3 December, has 15 ministers:

Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, 58, is back at his old post, which he has held for six years and nine months all together. A prominent figure among those who were pushing for democratic changes throughout the 1980s, Rupel became Slovenia's first foreign minister after the first multi-party elections were held in 1990. His second term as the country's chief diplomat came at the end of 2000, when he entered the centre-left government of the Liberal Democrats' leader Janez Drnovsek. However, he was dismissed by the prime minister in June 2004 for siding all too openly with an opposition-sponsored forum. He then left the LDS, returned to his seat in parliament and joined the deputy faction of Janez Jansa's Slovenian Democrats (SDS).

Interior Minister Dragutin Mate, 41, has a degree in defence studies. Mate (SDS) has been employed at the Defence Ministry since 1990, first working at the civil protection and counter-intelligence departments. In 1996 he became resident military and air force attache to Bosnia-Herzegovina. After returning to Slovenia he was deputy head of the Defence Ministry's Military Affairs Administration and a military inspector. In 2000 he headed the ministry's personnel department and later on became director of the Ljubljana Defence Administration.

Finance Minister Andrej Bajuk, the founding president of the centre-right NSi, is best known for his six-month stint as prime minister in the second half of 2000, and his vocal appearances in the ranks of the parliamentary opposition between 2000 and 2004. Bajuk, born in Slovenia in 1943, grew up in Argentina, where he spent most of his life. A doctor of economics, Bajuk has worked for the World Bank and later for the Inter-American Development Bank, where he was the director of the chair's staff for five years. He served six more years as a special representative at the Bank's European headquarters. His name was first mentioned in Slovenia after the 1996 general election, when three centre-right parties signed an agreement to form a government coalition. That coalition fell through, however, when one of the parties reached an agreement to enter a different coalition, led by the LDS of the opposite bloc.

The Defence Ministry is in charge of Karl Erjavec of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS). Erjavec, 44, has been a state secretary at the Justice Ministry. A lawyer by profession, Erjavec was employed in the private sector until 1990. His public-sector career began in the office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights in 1995, during which time he extensively dealt with the protection of human rights.

Lovro Sturm of the NSi, 66, was appointed justice minister. A Constitutional Court judge between 1990 and 1998, Sturm has been a professor at the Ljubljana Faculty of Law and chairman of the Slovenian section of the International Commission of Jurists. Sturm is also the director of the Ljubljana Human Rights Law Institute, and he was the minister of education for a brief period in 2000 in the centre-right government of Andrej Bajuk. In September 2004, Sturm was nominated by President Janez Drnovsek to the post of ad hoc judge for personal data safety at the joint supervisory body of Eurojust.

The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs will be headed by Janez Drobnic, vice-president of the NSi since 2002. Drobnic, 47, has a master's degree in sociology and is currently an NSi MP.

SDS member Andrej Vizjak, 40, was appointed economics minister. He was a state secretary in charge of employment at the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs in 2000. An electrical and computer-science engineer, Vizjak worked as researcher between 1998 and 1994 and was a national labour inspector between 1994 and 2000. In 2002 he was elected mayor of Brezice.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food will be headed by SDS member Marija Lukacic, a geological engineer. Lukacic, 55, has been the Agriculture Ministry state undersecretary in charge of natural disasters since 2001. She was also the director of the government denationalisation office (1999-2001) and the director of the state fund for agricultural land and forests (1993-1999).

Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti, 53, is a member of the SDS. He has a Ph.D. in history and has been a lecturer at the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts. He is also a member of the board of Slovenska matica, an association promoting Slovenian national awareness and heritage.

SDS MP Milan Zver, 42, was appointed minister of education and sport. Holding a doctoral degree in political science, Zver has been a lecturer of sociology at the Maribor Faculty of Management and Economics. He was a government adviser between 1992-1994, as well as a member of the National Council and an MP.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Jurij Zupan (NSi) is a doctor of quantum chemistry. Zupan, 61, has worked for the Faculty of Chemistry, where he headed a laboratory at the National Institute of Chemistry since 1974. He was head of the national science and research council from 1998 to 2001, a member of the higher education council from 1998 to 2002, and its president from 2001 to 2004.

SDS member Andrej Brucan is the new health minister. A medical doctor, Brucan, 61, has already headed the Health Ministry under the brief Andrej Bajuk-led government in 2000. Brucan has also headed the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical Center Ljubljana, is a member of the council of the European Society for Emergency Medicine and chairs the Slovenian Society for Emergency Medicine.

Gregor Virant, a senior SDS official, was appointed minister of public administration. Virant, 35, has a Ph.D. in law and works as a senior lecturer at the Ljubljana Faculty of Law. He was a Constitutional Court adviser on referenda, elections and public administration. He has been state secretary in charge of public administration at the Interior Ministry since 2000.

President of the Slovenian People's Party (SLS) Janez Podobnik is the new minister of environment and spatial planning. A medical doctor by profession, Podobnik, 45, served as an MP from 1992-2004, but failed to be elected to parliament in this year's general election. He was speaker of parliament between 1996 and 2000 and was mayor of Cerkno from 1994 to 1998.

The CEO of the Slovenian Motorways' Company DARS, Janez Bozic, was appointed transport minister (SLS). Bozic, 50, has headed DARS since 1999. He obtained a master's degree at the Faculty of Organisational Sciences with a thesis about organisation and information system of construction projects in 1992. He worked at two construction companies before being appointed the head of DARS.

Holding its maiden session on Friday, 3 December, the centre-right government of Janez Jansa appointed 13 state secretaries tasked to assist the ministers and 3 state secretaries to work in the cabinet.

The new state secretary in the Finance Ministry has become Bogomir Spiletic, who has previously worked for the Slovenian Chamber of Pharmacy.

Adrijana Kosem Starina, who has experience in capital and investment fund management, was appointed state secretary at the Economics Ministry.

Vinko Gorenak, home policy expert, became the new secretary in the Interior Ministry.

Gorazd Perenic, a business consultant, was appointed deputy minister in the Ministry of Public Administration.

Franci Znidarsic was named state secretary in the Defence Ministry, a post he had already held before.

Bozo Cerar, currently Slovenian ambassador to Warsaw, was appointed the Foreign Ministry state secretary.

Magdalena Sverc, lecturer at the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology, will work for the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Marjeta Cotman, so far working for the parliamentary commission for petitions, was named state secretary at the Ministry of Work, Family and Social Affairs.

Janez Mozina, professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, will work for the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

Dorjan Marusic will keep his post of state secretary at the Ministry of Health.

The new state secretary at the Culture Ministry became Jelka Pirkovic, already the ministry's employee.

Peter Verlic, who has worked as representative of the workers' council at the Slovenian Railways, has become the Transport Ministry state secretary.

Marko Starman, who already worked as state secretary at the Justice Ministry, has now been appointed state secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

Prime Minister Jansa announced he would name state secretaries at the ministries of agriculture and justice later.

Three state secretaries have been appointed to work for Jansa's cabinet: Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Anton Rous, SDS lawmaker France Puksic and publicist Aleksander Zorn.

Rous is to supervise the implementation of the coalition agreement, Puksic is to run the government office for Slovenians abroad, while Zorn is to preside over the strategic council for culture, education and science.

Mateja Tamara Fajs was named the secretary general of the government.

In addition the government set up a government committee for public affairs, to be run by Education Minister Milan Zver, an economics committee, to be run by Finance Minister Andrej Bajuk, and a personnel and administrative affairs commission, to be presided by the Public Administration Minister Gregor Virant.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA