Slovenia's New PM Cerar Vows to Restore Shattered Confidence

Law professor Miro Cerar vowed bolster to Slovenia's shaky economy Monday as he was voted in as prime minister of the tiny Alpine country.

The political newcomer, 51, who won snap elections on July 13 despite having set up his center-left party just a month before, said he would push for jobs and growth.

He faces a tough task of putting the eurozone country's finances back in order after the past two governments fell after little more a year after being hit by corruption trials and political infighting.

But the leader of the main opposition Slovenian Democratic Party, former prime minister Janez Jansa, slammed Cerar's lack of clear policies.

"No candidate to head a government has ever presented a program without any figures or deadlines," said Jansa, who was allowed to attend Monday's session despite serving a two-year jail prison term for corruption.

A commission is currently probing whether he should remain an MP.

Cerar said the main priorities of his new government will be "economic growth, preserving existing jobs and creating new ones and increasing international competitiveness", along with the stabilizing the health system, he said Monday.

His SMC party has already agreed to a three-party center-left coalition with the pensioners' DESUS party and the Social Democrats (SD), which will give them 52 seats in the 90-seat parliament.

His coalition is set to continue with the former government's efforts to reduce the deficit and with the privatization of state-owned companies.

Under outgoing premier Alenka Bratusek, who resigned in May after losing the leadership of her center-left Positive Slovenia party, the country avoided a much-dreaded bailout and recapitalized its state-owned banks.

But it also saw a sharp increase in public debt and failed to stabilize public finances.

Cerar is expected to present his government line-up for parliamentary approval in 15 days.

Source: Agence France Presse

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.