In the wake of catastrophic floods, Slovenia has been grappling with several legal and economic challenges as well – from implementing healthcare reform to combating high inflation – according to Minu Anamaria Gvardjancic, a Partner of Ketler & Partners, member of Karanovic.
“The floods were really a major catastrophe for Slovenia,” Gvardjancic begins. “The legal implications are multifaceted, ranging from environmental regulations to insurance claims and infrastructure repair contracts. The government is working diligently to allocate resources and funds to address these issues, particularly with winter approaching,” she explains, underlining that the key is to ensure that “all negative effects are mitigated effectively and fairly.”
Floods and their associated turmoil aside, Slovenia has also been experiencing a high inflation rate, contrasted by a strong positive note – quite low unemployment levels. “The inflation rate blew past 7% recently, much higher than in the EU,” Gvardjancic reports. “Still, this September also saw the lowest unemployment rate since becoming independent, with fewer than 50,000 people being unemployed.” So low is the unemployment rate that the country has moved to smoothen the barriers to entry of certain foreign labor. While a positive step, Gvardjancic stresses the need to undertake this facilitation carefully. “It must be done within the framework of existing labor laws and regulations. The legal system will need to adapt to accommodate this influx of foreign workers while ensuring their rights are protected,” she explains, adding that skilled foreign labor is mostly needed in the construction sector.
Furthermore, Gvardjancic indicates that healthcare reform is likely on the horizon for Slovenia. “The reform of the sector has been much debated, ever since the elections. It was made abundantly clear that this will be a major task for the new government, but until now not much has taken shape.”
Speaking of reforms, there is also talk that there might be an overhaul of the tax framework, too. “With reforms and updates to the tax landscape being all but heralded, we are all fearing what these changes might bring in the future,” Gvardjancic says. “Slovenia already has a high tax rate, for example when it comes to personal income, so any new changes would probably be received with trepidation.”
Trepidation, however, is not present in the M&A sector, with Gvardjancic reporting a number of “high-volume transactions which are keeping lawyers busy. Also, there is a high number of litigation procedures lately, especially in the banking sector concerning the validity of CHF credit contracts, so it cannot be said that the legal market isn’t experiencing dynamism.”