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Weekly Review of Slovenian Business & Economy from 28 February to 5 March

Ljubljana, 7 March - In a bid to help end the standoff between industry trade unions and employers, the government proposed a blanket EUR 21 raise in gross wages, offset by a cut in payroll tax. Under the proposal, which is acceptable to both sides, additional increases would be negotiated separately in the various industry branches. In another similar move, the government proposed a cut in environmental taxes so as to preserve the pulp production at paper producer Vipap Videm Krsko and save 250 jobs in the transitional period until 2007. Meanwhile, one of the President Janez Drnovsek-sponsored debates on Slovenia's future focused on the competitive edge of the Slovenian economy and society. In another development, parliament urged the cabinet to do everything in its power to intensify the investigation into the possible mismanagement and dodgy sale of the Ljubljana-based SBI bank and into the apparently related case of financial services company Orion.

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