Outgoing Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek speaks during a TV face-off in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana - AFP
Slovenia's outgoing government resumed the privatisation of state-owned companies it had suspended earlier this month, Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek's cabinet said in a statement late on Monday.
Ahead of the July 13 elections, Bratusek froze the ongoing privatisation of 15 state-owned companies, including telecommunication operator Telekom and Ljubljana's airport, until a new government was elected.
Outgoing Finance Minister Uros Cufer had criticised the freeze saying it was "pre-electoral move" by Bratusek, aimed at challenging the main favourite to take over the government, political newcomer Miro Cerar, who opposed the privatisation of infrastructure companies.
Slovenia's newly elected parliament will meet for the first time on Friday with Cerar's SMC party the strongest force holding 36 seats in the 90-seat parliament, while Bratusek's ZaAB party holds only four seats.
The likely next prime minister Cerar has already started talks with other parties to form a coalition that would continue with the privatisation but leave key infrastructure firms under state control.
"We will not stop those privatisations that have already reached a point at which it would be legally wrong to do it or it would dent the country's credibility," Cerar told AFP ahead of the elections.
Crisis-hit Slovenia narrowly avoided having to seek an international bailout last year by taking tough steps to reduce its budget deficit, including the privitisation programme.