Bloomberg News

Slovenia Adopts Labor Market Changes to Improve Competitiveness

March 05, 2013

Slovenian lawmakers adopted changes to the labor-market rules to increase competitiveness as the country struggling with a recession.

Lawmakers voted unanimously to amend legislation that makes it easier for employees to dismiss workers and ensure more long- term contracts for job-seekers, according to a live broadcast by public TV Slovenija today.

Slovenia is working to improve its competitiveness as the euro region nation fights its second recession since 2009 amid a deepening banking crisis and political uncertainty. Alenka Bratusek, the leader of the largest opposition group, replaced Prime Minister Janez Jansa in a vote in parliament Feb. 27 and seeks to forge a new coalition by mid-March.

“It’s a step forward, though the measures don’t really seem revolutionary,” Andraz Grahek, director of Capital Genetics in Ljubljana, said by phone. “The problem is that nothing is being done to sort out the bank crisis.”

Jansa’s administration passed measures to recapitalize the ailing banking industry with the creation of a so called bad bank that is meant to clean up nonperforming loans from lenders such as Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. in exchange for government- guaranteed bonds of as much as 4 billion euros ($5.22 billion). The plan may be scrapped or altered by Bratusek if she forms a government.

The Adriatic nation’s jobless rate rose to 13 percent in January, according to the statistics data, the highest level in more than 13 years as companies, struggling with high debt levels and a recession, seek to lower costs by firing workers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Cerni in Ljubljana at bcerni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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