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The President's statements regarding the proposed candidate for Governor of the Bank of Slovenia

Ljubljana, 02/13/2007  |  statement

The President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, answered today in Zagorje media questions in connection with the proposed candidate for the Governor of the Bank of Slovenia, Andrej Rant.

According to the Prime Minister, there is no reason for institutional crisis since there is still enough time, one month and a half, until the election of the new Governor.

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I do not share his view. If the governor candidate is not approved at the first next National Assembly meeting, he may then not be elected within the time limit provided by the law, i.e. by the end of March.

The Prime Minister said that this candidate (Andrej Rant) would probably not receive the majority support. One may infer from his statements that the coalition supports Mr. Jazbec. Are you going to nominate Mr. Jazbec for Governor?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I will not nominate a candidate whom they wish to impose on me and whom I do not consider to be an independent Governor of Slovenia's central bank.

Mr. Drnovšek, your yesterday's statement that it might lead to an institutional crisis caused quite some excitement including in professional circles. What did you actually have in mind? Did you refer to the situation at the Bank of Slovenia after 31 March or to your intention not to nominate another candidate should Mr. Rant fail to receive the majority support?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: All in good time. However, the crisis affecting Slovenia's central bank as an institution is a matter serious enough in itself, particularly if it is associated with the prospects of systematic impairment of independence of institutions in the country.

Mr. Drnovšek, your action was rated by Prime Minister Janša as irresponsible, appealing to you to act in a responsible manner. What do you think about it?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: They, too, should ask themselves who is responsible, who is acting in a statebuilding manner. Appointment of candidates according to one's own image, circle of friends, is not a statebuilding behaviour.

I would like to know whether you will meet tomorrow with parliamentary groups and what is your comment on some hints that the rules on appointment of Governor should be amended.

Dr Janez Drnovšek: The laws are such as they are and I base my decisions on it. I will meet with some parliamentary groups that have expressed their interest in meeting me. And I have already said that such discussions with parliamentary groups are rather rituals that have yielded no particular results. I believe that those who would like to discuss with me now really need consultations. On the other hand, some of them do not obviously want them.

Is it possible that Marko Kranjec is your next candidate?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: Oh, come on, please. I proposed a candidate who is now in the procedure, and he has my strong support. In the same way as I considered Mr. Gaspari the best possible choice, now that Mr. Gaspari has failed to receive support, I consider Mr. Rant to be the next best possible choice. For me, another candidate is out of question.

What is the nature of this communication with the Prime Minister? If we understood him well today, there are also problems regarding the appointment of Mr. Mencinger? The Prime Minister said that there was no consultation on this matter. So, how do you communicate with him on this subject?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: The first time, I complied with his opinion since, for all that, I wish to observe the Government's view as well. However, it does not mean that this may be simply carried on and that I will sign my name under the candidate they would like to see nominated. The first time, I took into consideration their opinion, but next time, this will not be the case, particularly because I am absolutely convinced about the appropriateness of the candidate for the position.
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