Slovenia. In January, London-based magazine The Banker Dušan Mramor named Europe’s best finance minister for his way of successfully stabilizing the economy and leading Slovenia from a deep weakness. However, Mramor’s strict fiscal policy created contradictions within the government coalition. In July he resigned, citing personal reasons.
According to countryaah, the current population of Slovenia is 2,078,949. The news of Mramor’s departure came the days after a police raid against the central bank, which he strongly condemned. According to the police, the raid was carried out for investigative purposes, as individual employees of the bank were suspected of irregularities in connection with measures to save the banking sector in 2013. The European Central Bank (ECB) objected to the raid and said that secretly stamped ECB material had been seized.
In September, Parliament approved Mateja Vraničar Erman as Mramor’s replacement. She became the first female finance minister in the euro zone.
An amendment to the constitution, which was approved in November, stated that serviceable drinking water is a fundamental right for all citizens and not something that can be commercialized. According to thereligionfaqs, Slovenia became the first country in the EU to include the right to water in its constitution.
Population, society and rights
The Slovenian population has stabilized for several years at around two million and, in line with European trends, is progressively aging. The population is mostly made up of Slovenians (about 90% of the total), while the main minorities are Serbs and Croats, which together account for 5%. Other smaller minorities are the Hungarian and the Italian, the latter geographically concentrated in Istria. Immigration, coming mainly from the neighboring republics of the former Yugoslavia, manages to balance the trend of the otherwise negative demographic rate. The decrease in births is also reflected in the decline in enrollments recorded in recent years in primary school while, conversely, tertiary education is growing sharply: enrollments in Slovenian universities have more than doubled since the mid-1990s. The Slovenian Constitution protects civil and political rights and freedoms and since independence the elections have been free and fair. The administration, especially in the relationship between public and private, is polluted by pockets of corruption that are still widespread, albeit at lower levels than in the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. In March 2015, a law was passed that equated homosexual couples with heterosexual ones, which was rejected in December 2015 in a referendum.
Resignation from the government
The Democratic Pensioners’ Party (Desus) is leaving the governing coalition, having been part of every government since the party was formed in 1996. At the same time, Desus politician Tomaž Gantar is leaving the post of Minister of Health. Representatives of Desus have for some time openly criticized Prime Minister Janez Janša for his increasingly harsh right-wing nationalist policies and have, among other things, compared him to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The triggering factor behind the resignation of the government is said to be contradictions about how the corona pandemic should be handled. Janša announces that he himself will temporarily take over the post of Minister of Health. The remaining three parties in the government, led by Janša’s SDS, retain the majority in parliament despite Desu’s resignation.
Riots after curfew
A protest march in Ljubljana against the government’s decision in October to shut down society to prevent the spread of infection during the corona pandemic degenerates into riots. Journalists on the ground describe it as regular street fights when the protesters throw bottles and fireworks and the police respond with tear gas and water cannons. A dozen people are injured and several dozen are arrested by the police.
New corona restrictions are introduced
The day after the government decided to shut down parts of the country to minimize the spread of infection during the corona pandemic, it is announced that Foreign Minister Anže Logar tested positive for covid-19 after a ministerial meeting in the Baltics. Prime Minister Janez Janša says in a statement that the country is now experiencing a second wave of infection and that new efforts are needed to prevent the spread. The regional restrictions will include limited opening hours for shops and restaurants and curfews during evenings and nights. Slovenia has so far reported almost 18,000 cases of covid-19 and more than 200 deaths.