Slovenia stalemate of Central Bank governor

Mitja Gaspari

As of the 1st April Slovenia is without a governor of its Central Bank. The situation has arisen due to a stalemate between the president and the coalition parties on the new candidate. Slovenia's governing coalition in Parliament has already rejected two nominees for the post proposed by Slovenia's president Janez Drnovsek.

Mitja Gaspari, a former Finance Minister of Slovenia and governor of the Bank of Slovenia since 2001, was not re-elected to the post by parliament after his term ended at the end of March this year. Slovenia's President Janez Drnovsek had proposed Gaspari for a second term. According to him Gaspari, in his previous six-year term of office, has proven that he possesses all the necessary skills and experience required to run this important institution. During his term of office the Bank of Slovenia significantly contributed to the ultimate goal; Slovenia, as the first and the only new EU member state introduced the Euro on January 1, 2007. Rudolf Moge a member of the opposition party LDS is frustrated with the current situation. For him the governing coalition is trying to increase its political influence by rejecting Drnovsek's nominees:

"I understand the latest events in connection with the nomination of the governor of the Central Bank of Slovenia as an attack and as an attempt by some political parties to subordinate the central bank of Slovenia to daily policy, although the central bank is according to the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia an independent institution such as the Central European bank. "

At the proposal of Gaspari, the governor's duties are to temporarily be assumed by Andrej Rant, a deputy-governor and Drnovsek's second nominee, who was also rejected by parliament. President Drnovsek stated in an interview for the magazine Mladina that the basic criticism of Gaspari was that he was supposedly politically involved in the past. Still, Rant cannot be accused of this, since he has been working in the Bank of Slovenia the whole time. To Rudolf Moge from the LDS it is all about discrediting Gaspari and Rant:

"We witness an attempt to personally discredit experts who have successfully headed the Central Bank of Slovenia in the past six years and this is something that other European institutions have also acknowledged. Personally I am very concerned about the abuse and manipulation of some documents. This behaviour by representatives of some political parties is very harmful to Slovenia's international reputation and to the credibility of Slovenia's independent institutions. I regret and condemn the irresponsible actions of some political parties who wished to gain political influence by provoking intrigue and therefore damaging the reputation of the Central Bank of Slovenia."

Through the appointment of Rant as a "stand-in", Slovenia will avoid being without a representative at the next session of the Council of the European Central Bank on 12 April. The coalition has accused President Drnovsek of failing to consult with them before nominating candidates, while Drnovsek has said he does not intend to be forced into nominating a coalition-sponsored candidate since he wants the governor to be independent. Drnovsek announced in March that he would name a new nominee for central bank governor in time for April's regular session of parliament, which is scheduled to begin on 23 April. Mr. Moge is optimistic that a new governor will be elected this month.