September 28, 2012 - 11:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Slovenia's Prime Minister insisted that the Alpine nation does not need a bailout from the European Union, despite a crippling banking crisis that has unnerved investors and caused political gridlock, The Associated Press reports.
Prime Minister Janez Jansa said that Slovenia can overcome the threat of bankruptcy on its own by quickly passing banking reform legislation and spending $3 billion to $4 billion euros buying bad debt from state-owned banks.
In an interview with the AP on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, Jansa said his government is "determined to do everything that's possible" to prevent the need to ask for foreign assistance.
"We don't need money from the European stability mechanism," he said. "Of course we need structural reforms which were neglected during the past."
Jansa said his government wants to start buying up bad debt from banks by the end of the year. Slovenia also plans to sell bonds later this year.
Parliament "is starting to take all necessary measures to pull Slovenia from dangerous water," he said. "We have to stabilize our banking system. This is the most important short-term measure."
Jansa also said the severity Europe's financial crisis was underestimated, which only prolonged the political stalemate in Slovenia, when the previous government should have been acting quickly to enact reforms.
Along with continuing to reduce its budget deficit, Jansa said Slovenia must past pension and labor reform to "send appropriate signals to financial markets."
The Prime Minister said he was confident his center-right government could push pension reform through a bitterly-divided parliament, and that it could survive a referendum if one is called.