Books on Slovenia
% of GDP
Update No: 109 - (29/06/06)
There is no doubt which of the former communist countries that
have (or will) entered the EU is the front-runner - Slovenia. It has the most
advanced economy and by far the highest standard of living, with fabulous
scenery and a great position astride the Alps as the natural gateway to the
Balkans. Its population is highly educated, multilingual and cosmopolitan. It is
truly a charmed country.
It was somehow natural for Bush and Putin to make Ljubljana the venue for their
first meeting in June, 1991, a different world from today. As we shall see,
Slovenia's high standing with both the US and Russia is paying rich dividends
Jansa: Euro Switch Biggest Natnl Achievement Since Joining EU
Slovenia is yet again taking the initiative, this time in the monetary sphere.
The EU's nod for Slovenia's euro switch on 1st January 2007 is historical, while
entering the eurozone is the country's biggest achievement since joining the EU
in May 2004, Prime Minister Janez Jansa said at the close of the EU summit in
Brussels on Friday, 16th June.
"Today is a great day", Jansa believes, because "with all the
open issues faced by the EU, the decision to expand the eurozone to Slovenia is
proof that the bloc is still continuing with its integration process. We are
happy with the green light for euro adoption as well as with the confirmation
that the Slovenian economy is in good shape and that the country fulfils the
demanding convergence criteria."
Apart from leaders of all EU states, European Commission President, Jose Manuel
Barroso, also congratulated Slovenia at a press conference after the close of
the two-day summit. The euro changeover is not just important for Slovenia, it
is important for the whole of the bloc, as by including Slovenia, the EU has
shown that the eurozone is open for all newcomers, said Barroso and Austrian
Chancellor, Wolfgang Schuessel, whose country currently presides over the EU.
Lithuania meanwhile was warned that the currently valid euro changeover criteria
do not take into account the fact that some new EU members, especially the
Baltic states, have a slightly higher inflation rate, yet also record huge
"Such a situation was not taken into account when setting euro changeover
criteria," Jansa agreed, yet added that decisions to change such criteria
were not passed at the summit.
Jansa Says Slovenia Must Improve Innovation capacity
Yet there must be no complacency. Slovenia must significantly improve its
innovation capacity if it is to catch up with the most advanced EU members,
Prime Minister, Jansa, had said after meeting former Finnish Prime Minister,
Esko Aho, on Wednesday, 14 June, two days before the historic Brussels deal.
Jansa said that innovation capacity must be improved even though Slovenia is in
a relatively good position with respect to the other EU newcomers, the PM's
office said in a press release.
Talks with Aho, who is credited with having made a significant contribution to
Finland's success in research and development, focused on Finland's experience
in this field.
Gazprom Delegation Visits Slovenia
Russian natural gas has been supplied to Slovenia since 1978. In 2005
Gazprom provided the Republic with 672.7m cu m of gas. Natural gas import and
distribution in Slovenia is overseen by Geoplin d.o.o. Ljubljana. In 2005
Gazexport signed with Geoplin d.o.o.
Ljubljana a new contract for gas supply to the Republic of Slovenia over 2007
Portorose (Slovenia) on June 20th hosted a working meeting of Alexey Miller,
Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee, Janez Jansa, Prime Minister of the
Republic of Slovenia and Andrej Vizjak, Slovenian Economy Minister.
The parties addressed the prospect of boosting gas supply to Slovenia and
discussed potential joint businesses in the oil and gas processing,
petrochemicals and power generation sectors.
Slovenia, US to discuss pipeline
Jansa is likely to discuss the prospect of an oil pipeline with US President
George W. Bush in July.
Slovenian newspaper Delo said "it is very likely" that Bush will raise
the notion of an oil pipeline running between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea
during Prime Minister Jansa's Washington visit, and referred to government
sources who say that the US oil industry has already begun lobbying for the
Igor Salamun, of the Slovenian Economy Ministry's energy office, said: "We
think that the American oil industry will most likely suggest to the US
president to open this question in his talks with the Slovenian Prime
Agriculture in GDP drops to 1.8 percent
The share of agriculture in Slovenia's economy is steadily shrinking, whereas it
accounted for 2.8 per cent of GDP in 1995. The figure dropped to 1.8 per cent
last year, Slovene Press Agency reported, citing the National Statistical
The main reason why the share of agriculture has shrunk is the faster growth of
other sectors, according to the statisticians. Agricultural revenues measured in
man-work units have also dropped, shrinking by 4.2 per cent in 2005 compared to
the year before, it was reported. Subsidies managed to offset the lower prices
of agricultural products, but they could not fully compensate for the lost
revenues. According to the Statistical Office, Slovenia had 77,175 farm holdings
last year, with an average area under cultivation of 6.3 hectares. While the
average farm size has remained unchanged, the average number of heads of
livestock has dropped from 5.9 to 5.4. About 260,000 family members were
included in farm work, or about eight percent of the total population, the
Sberbank signs deal with export corporation
Russian savings bank Sberbank (RTS: SBER) and Slovenian export corporation
Slovenska izvozna druzba, d.d. have signed an agreement on cooperation, aimed at
strengthening interaction in the funding of Slovenian goods and services imports
to Russia, according to a Sberbank report. The agreement is one more step toward
deepening long-term relations between Sberbank and Slovenia's financial
institutes, and will create a basis for deals on specific operations, the bank
said. It will enable the funding of short-term trade deals for Russian companies
and also fund mid-and long-term investment projects for the bank's corporate
clients, Sberbank said, New Europe reported.
Govt bond ratings may see upgrade
Moody's Investors Service placed Slovenia's Aa3-rated foreign and local currency
government bonds, as well as the Aa3 ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits,
on review for possible upgrade, the rating agency said recently in a report.
Slovenia's foreign currency country ceiling for bonds and its local currency
deposit ceiling (both Aaa) and its short-term foreign currency country ceilings
(both P-1) are not affected by this rating action, Moody's said. Moody's said
the ratings review is prompted by Slovenia's continuing, solid macroeconomic
performance, its structural reform initiatives, its accession to the European
Union in May 2004 and its formal acceptance for adoption of the Euro no later
than early 2007, New Europe reported.
Telekom Slovenije profit up 55% in 2005
State-controlled Slovenian telecoms operator, Telekom Slovenije, proposed a
gross dividend of 1,262 tolars (5.30 Euro) per share for 2005, up from 1,224
tolars from the previous year, New Europe reported.
The group net profit jumped 55 per cent last year to 23.2 billion tolars.
Earlier this May, the Slovenian government, which owns 74 per cent of Telekom
Slovenije, adopted a plan for its privatisation. The Telekom Slovenije Group
consists of the parent company and six subsidiaries. It owns the country's
largest mobile operator, Mobitel, the biggest internet provider, SIOL, and the
second-largest Internet services provider in Macedonia, On.net.
Telecom buys Kosovo's Ipko Net
Slovenia's Telecom bought 75 per cent of Kosovo's main Internet provider Ipko
Net, New Europe reported recently.
Telecom bought the majority shares of Ipko Net for 19.5 million Euro, with 10
million Euro earmarked for investments in improving the infrastructure in the
next two years, according to a statement issued by the province's company. Ipko
Net is a Kosovo company with over 100 employees, providing internet services to
businesses and residents, and covering about 80 per cent of the province's
territory, it added.