Ljubljana related

21 Feb 2019, 17:23 PM

STA, 21 February 2019 - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt said after a meeting in Ljubljana on Thursday that their respective countries would do everything possible so that the rights of Slovenian and British citizens did not suffer in the case of a no-deal Brexit.


Cerar said that Slovenia wanted a Brexit scenario with an agreement, adding that both sides had agreed that Slovenia and the UK must make sure that the status of their respective citizens did not deteriorate after Brexit.

"They need to enjoy the same rights and they need to preserve their status," the Slovenian foreign minister said, adding that reciprocity would be secured with legislative changes which were already being prepared in Slovenia.

The British foreign secretary added he agreed with Cerar about proceeding on the basis of reciprocity and that Slovenian and British citizens would enjoy all rights, including in the event of a no-deal scenario.

Slovenia has "confirmed that the rights of British citizens will be preserved", Hunt said, adding that one of the most important things was that individual citizens' rights did not suffer and that they could continue with their daily lives.

Cerar added that Slovenia did not want a no-deal Brexit because both sides would suffer damage in other fields as well. "There would be negative consequences in the economy," he said, estimating that Slovenia's GDP would drop by 0.25%.

Asked about the no-deal scenario, he said that ministries were preparing legislative changes in the fields of social rights and insurance, and potential changes to the citizenship act as British nationals would become third-country citizens.

Hunt expressed the hope that a Brexit deal to mutual satisfaction would be reached, also because of what are some 5,000 Slovenian citizens living in the UK, who are "contributing to the UK economy and social life".

Cerar stressed that Hunt's visit confirmed the excellent relations between Slovenia and the UK in politics and economy, as they were friendly countries which were also allies within NATO.

"The things are developing well in the field of economy," he said, adding that Slovenia remained open to and invited British investors to continue making "healthy investments with a good business model" in Slovenia.

Slovenia and the UK need to continue to cooperate also because of the security challenges and illegal migrations, Cerar said, adding that he had also discussed with Hunt other EU topics and the Western Balkans.

He said that they agreed that the EU must remain open to enlargement to the region provided that the Western Balkan countries meet the conditions, while the EU must provide economic and security assistance.

Hunt praised the transformation of Slovenia in the last 30 years into a modern democracy and a growing economy, noting that the UK had excellent bilateral relations with Slovenia.

"We will continue to provide strong support to Slovenia's efforts to preserve peace in the Balkan region," Hunt said, while also welcoming Slovenian President Borut Pahor, who is to pay a visit to London for bilateral talks next week.

All our stories on Brexit and Slovenia can be found here

20 Feb 2019, 12:30 PM

I’m a UK national in Slovenia, so trust me when I say I’m doing my best to follow the implications of Brexit for folk like me, and also that this article might no longer be your best source of information. Today is February 20, 2019, and with March 29 – “Brexit Day” – just 37 days away, things are likely to get very dynamic in the next few weeks.

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You can follow Led by Donkeys on Twitter

So whenever you’re reading this your most reliable source of information is the UK government’s official webpage for Living in Slovenia. This is clean, well organised and contains links to further information and how to apply for any documents you might need. I recommend you visit this site, bookmark it, and use it as your primary source of information for the UK side of things. You should also follow the Embassy on Facebook and / or Twitter. If you know any British people in Slovenia who aren't on Facebook, or who don't read Total Slovenia News, then telling them about these resources would be a kind thing to do.

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With regard to the Slovenian side, where the laws covering your life here are made, the government is still preparing a website to answer your questions. This is expected to be online by the end of February, when – as everyone hopes – there’ll be a more clarity with regard to deal or no deal, and thus what the situation will be. One benefit regardless of what happens, and regardless of whether you’re a UK national or not, is that this site will aim to remove the confusion and discrepancies that now exist at the various Upravna enota around the country, such as whether or not you need to change your UK driving licence to a Slovenian one (you do, and you can find out how to do that here).

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Please use these official sources of information, and do not rely on heresay, what was true two years ago, or even what your local Upravna enota says if it contradicts the messages from on high. What follows is a copy of the text being handed out at the various outreach meetings the UK Embassy is having around Slovenia at the moment, dated 18 February 2019


Under the terms of the draft Withdrawal Agreement, there will be broad continuity for your rights in Slovenia. The below is relevant only in a scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without a deal. [JL Flanner: But note that deal / no deal might not be clear until 23:59 March 29, so plan for no deal now]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia (www.mzz.si) will shortly be launching a page on their website dedicated to UK nationals resident in Slovenia. providing instructions and advice on what to do before 291h March 2019. Please also follow the Embassy's digital channels and our Living in Slovenia guide for updates: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-slovenia.In advance of this more definitive guidance, on the basis of our current understanding of the Slovene Government's position, the British Embassy suggests UK nationals in Slovenia consider the steps below to safeguard their rights should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

  • Sign up to Living in Slovenia on gov.uk and follow the Embassy's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter)
  • If you're staying in Slovenia for more than 3 months, you need to apply for a residence registration certificate at your local town hall (Upravna enota). Please see entering Slovenia.
  • Exchange your UK driver's licence for a local one. The process takes up to 2 weeks at your local Upravna enota and costs €22. This will enable you to drive in all EU countries and will also be recognised by the UK.
  • If you meet the requirements of the Health Care and Health Insurance Act (ZZVZZ) to be included in compulsory health insurance in Slovenia you will receive a Slovenian health insurance card for the provision of services in Slovenia. You can therefore apply for this health card yourselves or for your family members by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (ZZZS). We suggest all UK nationals resident in Slovenia obtain this health insurance.
  • If you are a pensioner and currently access healthcare in Slovenia via an S1 form, you will need to obtain compulsory health insurance as other residents are required to (monthly cost of approx. 30 — 50 euros)
  • If you own a 2nd property in Slovenia but are currently resident in the UK you will need to decide whether to consider Slovenia as your official place of residence to enjoy the rights of UK nationals resident here. If you continue to hold your residency in the UK, you may be limited as to the amount of time you are able to spend visa-free in Slovenia (90 days in a 180 day period).
  • If you are visiting Slovenia for 3 months or less or have family or friends travelling to Slovenia for short-term visits, we recommend obtaining private travel insurance to cover healthcare costs for the period you are visiting.
  • Dual nationality will not be permitted after 29 March 2019 for most people (exceptions include being of Slovene descent). The Slovene government have confirmed that all applications for dual nationality before 29 March 2019 will be treated on the same basis as now (i.e. you will be able to hold dual nationality).
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, passport validity requirements will change. You should ensure that you have at least 6 months validity on your British passport before the date of entry to the Schengen area, including entering Slovenia.

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22 Jan 2019, 19:41 PM

A reminder that your best source of information on Brexit and what it means for you in Slovenia – in terms what’s happening right now and what you should be doing, if not what will happen next, in which case ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – remains the UK Embassy in Ljubljana, with the latest update from the British Ambassador Sophie Honey below (as of Friday January 18).

So while we’ll make sure to post updates when we have them, if you want the latest official news be sure to follow the Embassy on Facebook, here. To keep things covered from more angles, the British Chamber of Commerce can be found here, and the Slovenian Embassy in London is here. Finally, the lobby / support group British in Europe, billed as “the coalition of UK citizens in Europe”, can be found here.

21 Jan 2019, 08:28 AM

Britanski poslanci so zavrnili sporazum o brexitu

British MPs have rejected a Brexit agreement

Written by Sonja Merljak Zdovc, translated by JL Flanner

V Veliki Britaniji je bil včeraj pomemben dan.

In the UK, yesterday was an important day.

Poslanci so zvečer glasovali o tem, ali podpirajo sporazum med Veliko Britanijo in Evropsko unijo. Ta določa, na kakšen način naj Velika Britanija zapusti Evropsko unijo.

MPs voted in the evening whether they supported an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. It sets out how the UK should leave the European Union.

Britanska premierka Theresa May se je o sporazumu dolgo dogovarjala s predstavniki Evropske unije v Bruslju.

British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed on a long-standing deal with representatives of the European Union in Brussels.

Toda poslanci so zavrnili ta dogovor. Premierka ima sedaj na voljo tri dneve, da pripravi tako imenovani plan B.

But the MPs rejected this agreement. The Premier now has three days now to prepare the so-called Plan B.

  1. marca se namreč izteče rok za brexit. Lahko se celo zgodi, da Velika Britanija zapusti Evropsko unijo brez dogovora.

On March 29, the deadline for Brexit expires. It may even happen that Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement.

Brexit oziroma odločitev o izstopu Velike Britanije iz Evropske unije so britanski volivci izglasovali na posebnih volitvah, ki se jim reče referendum. Leta 2016 je dobra polovica odločila, naj njihova država po 43 letih zapusti Evropsko unijo.

British voters voted in favuor of Brexit or the decision for the UK to leave the European Union in a special elections called a referendum. In 2016, more than half decided that their country should leave the European Union after 43 years.

Mnogi so že kmalu obžalovali svojo odločitev. Želeli so, naj jim omogočijo ponovno glasovanje.

Many soon regretted their decision. They wanted to vote again.

Tudi njih so zastopali poslanci, ki so glasovali proti sporazumu o ločitvi med Veliko Britanijo in EU.

They were also represented by MPs who voted against the Withdrawal Agreement between Great Britain and the EU.

A proti sporazumu niso bili samo tisti, ki so se premislili, in tisti, ki že od samega začetka niso bili za razhod. Premierke niso podprli niti tisti, ki želijo, da Velika Britanija zapusti Evropsko unijo.

However, the deal was opposed not only by those who changed their minds, but also those who had been “Remainers” from the very beginning. The Premiere was not even supported by those who want Britain to leave the European Union.

Prepričani so namreč, da je sporazum v takšni obliki slab za Veliko Britanijo.

They are convinced that the agreement in this form is bad for Great Britain.

Otroci tedaj niso mogli voliti. Lahko pa so povedali, kaj si o brexitu mislijo.

Children could not vote. They could have said what they thoughr about Brexit.

»Morali bi ostati,« je v britanskem časopisu First News dejala tedaj devetletna Madeleine. »Da smo del Evropske unije, ni še nikomur škodovalo. Pomaga tudi preprečevati vojne, ker smo prijatelji z mnogimi državami.«

"We should stay," said nine-year-old Madeleine in the First News newspaper in Britain. "Being part of the European Union has not hurt anyone. It also helps to prevent wars because we are friends with many countries. "

 Read more stories and improve your Slovene at Časoris, while all our dual texts can be found here.

18 Jan 2019, 12:50 PM

Today’s Dnevnik has a report by Aleš Gaube examining what a no deal Brexit could mean for Slovenia. The story notes that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, as it’s currently set to do at midnight on March 29, then the status of Britons in Slovenia will need to covered by new legislation. The text continues on a comforting note, suggesting that not much will change for the around 720 UK nationals who currently live in the country, although it then claims they would no longer be able to buy real estate in the country (“Prav tako v naši državi ne bi več mogli kupovati nepremičnin.”). There would also be changes to how professional qualifications gained in the UK are recognised in Slovenia.

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However, readers should note that no details are given with regard to these changes in status, and no official sources are cited, and also that the author of the original story seems to occasionally confuse a hard Brexit (with a Withdrawal Agreement) with a no deal Brexit (without an agreement). We also got in touch with a Ljubljana-based real estate agent, who said "citizens from OECD members can buy freely in Slovenia", so perhaps UK nationals do not need to worry on this point.

For the around 5,000 Slovenes in the UK, Dnevnik says that these should continue to enjoy the same rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, even in the case of a no deal Brexit. For Slovenians intending to visit the UK in the future, visa free travel to the UK should still be possible.

As the title of the article indicates – “Koliko nas bo stal trdi brexit?” (“How much will hard Brexit cost us?”) – the main focus is the issue of EU funds, a matter of particular interest in this context, since the UK is the third largest contributor to such funds. In the case of a no deal Brexit, which will see the UK not pay €16.5 billion into the current EU budget (which runs until 2020), Slovenia is expected to contribute between €42 and 57 million more to fill the hole, while Denmark would pay an extra €360 million.

David Brozina, Director-General of the EU Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the newspaper that while the government is planning for all eventualities, detailed legislation will only be announced when the UK’s position, and the kind of Brexit it wants to pursue, is known. He is also quoted as saying "The Ministry of Labour is investigating the possibility that, in the event of a hard Brexit, an agreement that regulates the transfer of insurance rights and reimbursement of medical treatment costs between the countries, as was the case prior to Slovenia joining the EU”.

Finally, the paper notes that the UK Embassy in Ljubljana is not commenting as to any ongoing talks with the Slovenian government on citizen’s rights. The full story, in Sovene and behind a paywall, can be found here.

All our Brexit coverage can be found here

16 Jan 2019, 12:51 PM

STA, 16 January 2019 - Slovenia regrets that the UK parliament failed to confirm the Brexit divorce deal last night. Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said that the UK should rethink whether Brexit is really worth pursuing or whether this is a dead end and staying in the EU is the better solution.

A statement from the prime minister's office on Wednesday said that the divorce deal was a fair compromise, a balanced document, that allowed a regulated and controlled exit for the UK.

Slovenia will continue to support the approval of the deal in the EU, as the document is the best solution for the future and a necessary foundation on which to build relations after 2021.

Similar to the rest of the EU, Slovenia expects the UK government to present a plan on future steps as soon as possible. The statement also expresses hope that "the coming weeks and months will see enough political wisdom to avoid the worst outcome".

Slovenia's key wish is to preserve constructive and comprehensive cooperation even after Brexit, which must in no way infringe on the rights of citizens of Slovenia and other EU countries living in the UK. On the other hand, Slovenia will guarantee "an appropriate level of rights for UK citizens" living in the country.

Foreign Minister Miro Cerar also expressed regret over the vote. He tweeted last night that the EU had negotiated in good faith and with the wish to preserve constructive cooperation in the future.

Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee chair Matjaž Nemec commented on the situation for the press, saying that the process was "a good lesson for us" and that he hoped that "this will sober up the global political arena".

"When politicians become politicasters, when personal and party interests are put before those of the state and its citizens, there is populism that diverts attention from the real picture."

"All those who caused this in the UK have remained well hidden and no longer expose themselves, while regular people will start feeling immediately what it's like to be a third country citizen in relation to the EU," said Nemec.

He added it was hard to predict what would happen next. It is also hard to say whether the country will hold another referendum.

The House of Commons turned down the divorce deal with 432 votes against and 202 in favour last night. Subsequently, the opposition Labour Party requested a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Theresa May.

The motion will be put to a vote this evening and if May is ousted and a government coalition cannot be formed within a fortnight, the UK will face an early election.

However, this is not a very likely scenario, according to Jure Vidmar, a professor of public international law at the University of Maastricht.

While the divorce deal was voted down due to infighting in the Conservative party, "bringing down the deal is one thing and bringing down one's own party is a different matter altogether," he told the STA.

If she survives the vote, May has said she will present an alternative plan by Monday. But at least in the short term the EU will not be able to offer anything but some sort of a political declaration, said Vidmar.

These have already been offered and did not convince the sceptics. This could only be done by abolishing the Irish safeguard, which is impossible for the EU, he believes.

"Northern Ireland is the main issue of Brexit and it is practically impossible to resolve. The reintroduction of border controls in Ireland would undermine the peace treaty," said Vidmar.

A no-deal Brexit or an extension of the deadline are the two possible scenarios. The extension could lead to a new deal under which the UK would remain a part of the single market and the customs union, he believes.

The other possibility is a new referendum in which voters would decide between May's divorce deal and remaining in the EU, said Vidmar. An early election is not very likely but cannot be excluded.

All our stories about Brexit can be found here

Chamber of Commerce worried about impact of no-deal Brexit on exports

STA, 15 January 2019- The Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) assessed ahead of today's Brexit deal vote in London that there is a 20% chance of a no-deal scenario and that this could reduce Slovenian exports by a fifth.

The GZS's analytics department estimates that Slovenian exports of goods to the UK rose by 11% to EUR 615m in 2018, while exported services were up 9% to EUR 210m. In case of a no-deal Brexit, goods exports could fall by up to 20% in a year, although they would later probably rise again.

A similar reduction would also be experienced by Slovenian exports to other EU member states with close trade ties to the UK, the chamber wrote in a press release.

A no-deal Brexit would present a strong blow in particular to the movement of people, goods, services and capital, with cooperation already being affected by the current uncertainty.

A direct impact has been felt above all by multinationals and regional companies with a two-way value chain and in particular involving Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. Indirectly affected are the supplier companies, meaning also a number of Slovenian companies.

A no-deal Brexit would also mean the reintroduction of border checks and thereby a fourfold increase in the time needed to cross the border. Slovenian hauliers conduct EUR 40m worth of transport for British clients a year, the GZS said, while also highlighting additional costs related to the diverging of standards for products and services.

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HMA Honey in July 2018. Photo: JL Flanner

UK Ambassador: Britain Remains Open for Business, Despite Brexit

STA, 16 January 2019 - British Ambassador to Slovenia Sophie Honey assured Slovenian businesses on Wednesday that they would receive ample support, regardless of how the UK leaves the EU, with or without a divorce deal.

The UK will provide businesses the maximum scope of information and clarity so they can prepare for future relations, she told an event on the future of economic cooperation post-Brexit a day after the British Parliament voted against Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

She said the British government has prepared advice for British businesses while the Slovenian authorities were doing everything they can to prepare companies for any changes.

The ambassador also stressed that the UK would remain an ideal destination for Slovenian exports and start-ups.

All our stories about Brexit can be found here


14 Jan 2019, 12:50 PM

With less than two months to go before Article 50 expires and the UK leaves the EU, which is currently set to happen at midnight on March 29, with or without a deal, the post-Brexit status of British nationals in Slovenia remains unclear. In recent weeks the governments of France, Spain, the Netherlands and others have all offered to guarantee the rights of British nationals, if the same safeguards are applied by the UK government to their citizens in Britain. As yet, however, no such announcement has been made by the Slovenian government.

Related: How to get dual nationality in Slovenia

We got in touch with the British Embassy on Friday, January 11, to ask if there were any ongoing discussions on this issue. The office replied later that day, but the response offered little comfort to those, like your correspondent, who are British nationals. We were directed to the call on Twitter by Robin Walker MP, Minister at the Department for Exiting the EU, for member states to set out their plans for reciprocal arrangements on Britons in the EU, and EU nationals in Britain, as seen below.

We were also told “Discussions are ongoing with the MZZ (Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) regarding citizen's rights in the instance of a no deal scenario. We will continue to provide updates on this through our media channels [such as Facebook] but remain positive about UK resident's rights in Slovenia should there be a no deal.”

We were also advised to follow all the latest information on citizens’ rights is in the Embassy’s guide to living in Slovenia (here).

In short, with 74 days left until Brexit, and Theresa May’s deal likely to be rejected by Parliament later this week, British nationals in Slovenia can only wait and see what happens next, relying on the good will, and attention, of the Slovenian government to act soon and protect their current status, and the British Embassy’s continued optimism that it’ll all be OK in the end.

All our posts tagged “Brexit” can be found here

09 Jan 2019, 19:34 PM

STA, 9 January 2019- The EU's future and challenges such as Brexit, migration and the upcoming Euro elections topped the agenda as Prime Minister Marjan Šarec received the visiting Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis on Wednesday.

According to the prime minister's office, the two officials called for a strong, unified and more effective EU, one that respects the values and principles underlying its foundation.

They agreed that migration was a problem common to all, so it should be addressed through a common, systematic and sustainable approach with the involvement of all member states.

Slovenia's position is that it is necessary to enhance cooperation with third countries, especially in Africa, in a bid to tackle the root causes of mass migration, and to protect the EU's external borders.

Šarec and Anastasiadis agreed that the Brexit agreement with the UK was the best possible, but they expressed the concern that the UK may leave without a deal.

The pair also expressed concern about growing populism in Europe, agreeing that the developments made the elections to the European Parliament in May the more important.

They also touched on the situation in the Western Balkans with Slovenia's position being that the prospect of EU membership for the region was an important motive for peace and stability in this part of Europe.

Anastasiadis also met parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan. Their meeting also revolved around the future of the EU and the upcoming elections. The pair also touched on the rise of right-wing populist movements in the bloc, the National Assembly said in a press release.

Over lunch, the speaker and the president also talked about the countries' healthcare systems and the importance of improving healthcare, and touched on the Middle East.

31 Dec 2018, 12:00 PM

STA, 29 December 2018 - Slovenia's growth momentum is expected to moderate in 2019 amid mounting uncertainty surrounding the global economic outlook. Trade wars are seen as the biggest external downward risk, but there are upward risks in the domestic environment as well.

Trump, Brexit and trade wars

Global risks and uncertainty have been increasing throughout this year, in particular those related to the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump and the uncertainty about Brexit.

Speaking to the STA, Bojan Ivanc, chief economist at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (GZS) Analytics, has warned of the risk of Trump taking measures targeting Europe's car industry, in particular Germany's.

Ivanc believes there is a 50-50 chance for the US and EU to reach an agreement on the issue, but he also says that potential measures would have a major indirect impact on Slovenia, considering the major role that the automotive industry plays in the country's exports.

Given the political confusion surrounding Brexit in the UK, GZS analysts see a 20% likelihood of a repeat referendum or a reversal of the decision to exit the EU.

The likeliest scenario, with a 50% chance, is an interim agreement that would put off answers to key questions about the future relationship into the future. The GZS assessed the odds for a no-deal Brexit at 30%.

Ivanc says that trade wars are a much bigger threat to Slovenia than Brexit because of their impact on the automotive value supply chain and the knock-on effects on transport and construction industries.

The IMF, OECD and the European Commission project global growth to reach about 3.5% in 2019, which is roughly at the level seen this year and the year before.

However, a more pronounced moderation is forecast for Europe's largest economies, including Germany, whose economy is now projected to expand by 1.5% this year and roughly as much in 2019.

Asked how the trends could impact on the Slovenian economy, Ivanc noted that the most recent data on exports remain quite good, but added that some companies at the start of the automotive chain are already seeing a drop in orders for 2019.

Local firms remain optimistic, although lack of staff and wage pressure are concerns

A survey conducted by the GZS among businesses in the autumn showed that most still expected to increase their sales in foreign markets and more than one out of three plan additional hiring while half plan investments.

The key problem for Slovenian businesses today is home-grown, that is a shortage of experienced staff and the related pressure on higher wages and thus higher labour costs.

As a further internal risk factor Ivanc mentioned a slow growth in private consumption. New car purchasing is getting less intensive although it keeps strong, and the number of real estate transactions has fallen in response to an excessive price growth.

Slovenians are mostly keeping their surplus income as savings rather than spending. This could be a cause for concern considering that the contribution of external trade to Slovenia's growth over the next two years is projected to decrease and even disappear.

Ivanc sees domestic demand as an important internal risk to the expected growth in GDP, along with dynamics in the phasing of EU funds, also in connection with major infrastructural projects such as the new Koper-Divača railway.

Slovenia well prepared for a downturn, with construction and consumers likely to drive growth

The GZS believes that Slovenia's resilience to a potential downturn is quite strong, at least within a year or two. Corporate indebtedness is the lowest in a decade and liquidity levels are still high.

Banks are highly capitalised and are financed mostly from domestic savings deposits. Household debts have increased but remain at one of the lowest levels in the eurozone.

Despite this increased resilience, Ivanc would like the government to put in place a suitable and predictable legislative framework that would make it clear on time what it will do when tax revenue drops. He says the government should create sufficient fiscal reserves.

Most of the latest forecasts for the Slovenian economy project growth to slow down from about 4.5% this year to about 3.5% in 2019. Ivanc believes the rate is realistic but also says that surprises are possible in both directions so the interval of growth is between 3% and 4%.

Ivanc says that a positive surprise could come from the construction sector and from Slovenian consumers, who could increase their spending faster than projected.

Meanwhile, the GZS does not see a scope for a positive surprise in the external environment, but rather a likelihood of a slightly more negative scenario, in particular in the automotive chain segment.

19 Dec 2018, 12:50 PM

STA, 18 December 2018 - Jure Vidmar, a public international law professor at Maastricht University, said a no-deal Brexit would be the worst case scenario for Slovenia as he unveiled four scenarios he believes possible in UK's leaving the EU in Ljubljana on Tuesday.


Presenting the four possible scenarios, Vidmar said the British could change their mind and not leave the bloc, leave the EU based on the Brexit deal, leave without a deal or obtain a status similar to that of Switzerland.

Under the no-deal scenario the most would change for Slovenia, as the United Kingdom would have to make separate deals with each of the remaining 27 EU member states. "Slovenia is not likely to be a priority for the United Kingdom," the professor added.

A new regime for Slovenians travelling to the UK and vice-versa would have to be set up, the British living in Slovenia would have to get appropriate visas and Slovenia would have to ensure protection of the rights of its citizens living in the UK.

Related: How to get dual citizenship in Slovenia

Problems would also abound in trade, as it would fall under the purview of the World Trade Organisation, whose rules are less favourable than those of the single market.

Although Slovenia does not export much to the UK, it could suffer directly and indirectly from Brexit, with pharmaceutical, electronics, nuclear and furniture industries likely suffering more than other industries.

Concerning indirect consequences, Vidmar pointed to the automotive industry suppliers, which could suffer if Germany failed to come to a favourable agreement with the UK.

If the UK endorses the Brexit deal with the EU, nothing will have changed by the end of the transition period, which expires at the end of 2020. Following that, Vidmar expects mostly political change, because the UK will no longer have its representatives in the EU institutions.

Similarly, the professor expects mostly political change in the case "a Switzerland +/- model", as he calls the third possibility, unfolds. But he believes this scenario unlikely.

As regards the UK, Vidmar said it was quite impossible to say what would happen, as the country could become "Norway, Switzerland, Singapore or potentially even North Korea".

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