Slovenia. In a corruption investigation presented in early January, Prime Minister Janez Janša was accused of systematically failing to declare assets. Janša, who took office almost a year earlier but also served as head of government in 2004–08, was previously charged with corruption. Corruption allegations were also directed against Zoran Janković, leader of the largest opposition party Positiva Slovenia. Janković resigned from his post of party leader, but Janša remained as head of government.
According to Countryaah, Janša’s refusal to resign caused one of the five parties in the center-right government to step down in protest, and tens of thousands of doctors, teachers and other public servants participated in a one-day strike. The dissatisfaction was directed at austerity and against the government accused of corruption and inefficiency. Slovenia’s economy chopped, with problem loans in crisis banks accounting for 22% of GDP, and there was great concern that, like several other euro countries, emergency loans would be needed.
After a vote of confidence in late February, the government was forced to resign anyway. Positive Slovenia’s acting leader Alenka Bratušek then formed a center-left government with the Social Democrats and two of the former government parties. Bratušek, who became the country’s first female prime minister, said she wanted to invest in stimulating the economy and creating jobs. In May, the government presented a package of measures with tax increases, privatizations and restructuring of the banking sector.
Representative Janša was sentenced in June to two years in prison for receiving bribes in connection with a defense business in 2006. Two co-accused were also sentenced to prison, and all were fined in the most extensive corruption case since independence in 1991. Janša called the verdict politically motivated and planned to appeal against.
- According to AbbreviationFinder.org, Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia. See acronyms and abbreviations related to this capital and other major cities within this country.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Central European state. In the first five years of the 21st century. the population of the Republic (1,964,036 residents at the 2002 census) remained substantially stable, as a slightly negative natural increase was matched by an equally insignificant contribution in terms of migration. The most characterizing demographic trait continues to be the marked ethnic homogeneity; the dominant group is, in fact, represented (2002 census) by Slovenians (83.1 %), followed at a considerable distance by Serbs (2 %), Croats (1.8 %), Bosnians (1.1 %), Muslims (0.5 %), Albanians (0.3%), Magyars (0.3 %), Macedonians (0.2 %), Italians (0.1 %) and others (10.6 %). In 2004, the urban population amounted to 51 % of the total. The capital Ljubljana (266,845 residents in 2005) remains the center of greatest demographic and economic importance, while no other city exceeds 100,000 residents.
Slovenia joined the European Union (EU) in May 2004, but its political stability and the positive economic trend have led the EU authorities to accept the country’s request for entry into the euro zone already from 1 January 2007. In the early years of the 21st century, with a view to pursuing full integration into the EU, the country achieved significant results in terms of stabilization of the main macroeconomic variables, achieving a general broad convergence with the Maastricht parameters. The economy recorded a markedly positive trend with particularly significant GDP growth in 2004 (+ 4.6%). Less brilliant is the situation regarding structural reforms, the implementation of which has slowed down. The economic expansion of 2004 is largely due to a recovery in exports in the face of a domestic demand that has been very dynamic for some time, both in terms of gross fixed investments (+ 6.8 % in real terms in 2004) and in terms of consumption. private (+ 3.5%). In particular, the first aspect was positively influenced above all by the construction of the national motorway plan and residential construction. Public consumption, on the other hand, is slowing down. Especially high value-added industrial products fueled exports. Also thanks to the inclusion in the ERM ii ( European Exchange Rate Mechanism ) in 2004, it was possible to contain inflation (2.5 % in 2005). This result was also favored by the positive trend in the agricultural sector, the elimination of duties on EU imports after accession and the positive effects of competition from large retailers. The expansive economic dynamics also made it possible to reduce unemployment, both formal and non-formal, with excellent results also on the long-term front. Membership of the EU has stimulated foreign trade, significantly changing its structure. In fact, there was a slowdown in exports to the countries of the former Yugoslavia and a growth in those to the EU. Similarly, imports from the latter area also increased significantly.