Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Andrej Bajuk, has passed away at the age of 68 on Tuesday, 16 August 2011.
Andrej Bajuk was born in a Slovene intellectual family in Ljubljana. The family left Slovenia in early May 1945. They spent nearly three years in refugee camps in Lower and Upper Austria before leaving to Argentina. They settled in Mendoza, where Bajuk grew up, studied and started a family. He received his first degree in economics at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo.
He received his first Master's degree in a two-year international study program organised by the University of Chicago, receiving the second jointly with his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Mendoza, where he taught as a professor at the university.
In 1976 he left for Washington, D.C., working for the World Bank for a year. He then switched to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), where he stayed for a number of years. He held a range of positions at the IDB, from economist in charge of analysing social projects to adviser to the executive vice-president. For his last six years in Washington he was in charge of the office of the Presidency of the bank and a member of the board of executive directors of the bank. From September 1994 he was IDB representative for Europe in Paris.
From the second half of 1999 Bajuk spent a considerable amount of time in Slovenia. Andrej Bajuk became the Prime Minister on 3 May 2000, and led the government until 16 November 2000. In the elections of 2000, he was elected to the National Assembly. Bajuk’s party stayed in the opposition and formed a shadow cabinet jointly with Janez Janša's Social Democratic Party of Slovenia. In the 2004 national elections, he was again elected to the Slovenian parliament. He took on the role of the finance minister in the newly elected government.
For his actions and work during his time in office, he was declared (the) "finance minister of the year in Europe" by the Financial Times Business magazine, "The Banker" in 2005.
He was founder and first president of the Christian Democratic party called New Slovenia.