- Prime minister backs finance chief who was key in deficit cuts
- Cerar says Mramor's resignation would hurt Slovenian interests
Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar rejected the resignation of his finance chief, throwing his support behind a cabinet member who has played a key role in the country’s drive to cut the budget deficit.
Finance Minister Dusan Mramor offered to step down on Monday over a bonus he received when he was an economics professor. His proposal came as the government prepares to sell Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d., which Slovenia bailed out in 2013 after years of mismanagement drove it to the brink of collapse and almost forced the government to follow Greece in asking for international aid. The government is aiming to sell the lender, the country’s largest, to a strategic investor or file for an initial public offering.
“The consequences of his resignation would be detrimental to the interests of the Republic of Slovenia,” Cerar told reporters in the capital Ljubljana, rejecting Mramor’s offer.
Since the bank bailout, Mramor, has led policies that have narrowed budget deficit under the European Union’s ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product. The yield on Slovenia’s Eurobond maturing in 2024 rose three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 3.855 percent at 3:22 p.m. in Ljubljana, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In his resignation letter, Mramor, 62, said he could “no longer perform the functions of finance minister due to the loss of public confidence,” over the bonuses, his ministry said in a statement earlier on Monday.
Mramor, who has said he believed the payments were extended “according to the law,” will return the sums he received when he worked as a dean at the Ljubljana Economics Faculty, the ministry said. The bonuses are usually paid only to emergency-services workers such as policemen.