Five Slovenian parties have agreed to form a government following drawn-out coalition negotiations. The December 4th elections produced a surprise victory for Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic’s Positive Slovenia party. However, he failed to form a government after his coalition was rejected by parliament on 11th January.
There were no such problems yesterday: the new coalition was supported by 50 of Slovenia’s 90 members, a comfortable majority which should enable the government to push through tough austerity measures. However, there is considerable ideological variation within the coalition, which brings together four centre right parties (SDS, SLS, Virant List and New Slovenia) with the centre-left pensioners’ party DeSUS. The Virant List is keen to reign in public spending, while DeSUS have resisted cuts in pensions.
Slovenia’s previous government fell when a referendum in June 2011 rejected proposals to gradually raise the retirement age from 57 (58 for men) to 65. DeSUS left the coalition early. Since then, the small nation’s economic problems have worsened, with the EBRD predicting that the economy will contract by 1.1% in the coming year.