|Slovenia - not Venice|
What will precipitate a Slovenian crisis ? It may be the impending loss of the Prime Minister, who has said she’ll resign if it can be proven that she copied-and-pasted her Masters dissertation. A panel of two professors armed with Google are convening. Google Maps has already brought down one minister, who claimed a non-permitted building development on his land was already there when he bought the site. It was the work of a few clicks to prove it wasn’t ...
So what am I doing here ? Energy of course. Slovenian energy users are suffering badly from the fact (previously unknown to me) that the single-market reforms in gas and power (which – despite what Budgie says – are working pretty well in most countries and really well in some) have passed them by. No-one can be arsed to bring EC sanctions to bear on the bad actors in a country as small as this (pop. 2 million). So, despite nestling between the fairly good market of Austria and the improving market of Italy, they are stuck in a pre-competitive, illiquidity time-warp. I can only offer a few palliative suggestions, and the unhelpful comment that it took more than a decade in Germany ... Hopefully, energy-market liquidity will trickle across their borders soon and they can break out of the state-dominated inefficiency trap with some spot-priced gas imports to undercut the ubiquitous Gazprom oil-indexed contracts.
|Winged Lion - omnipresent|
Anyway – it’s the weekend and just the weather for a bit of sight-seeing. This region was of course Venetian territory in years gone by, and Slovenia avoided the post-Yugoslavian fighting, so there are plenty of unspoiled things to see, overseen by the old winged lion. The country is still fixated by which side your family was on in WW2 – were you red or white ? So - don’t mention the war ... Good luck to them: white and red, they are a pleasant bunch.