The Slovenia Times

EU Commission finds Slovenia still facing economic imbalances


European Commission released its latest review of member states' economies. 

The report, publisher as part of the European Semester review mechanism, comes after Slovenia was promoted from the group of countries with excessive imbalances in 2015.

It was nevertheless subject to an in-depth review at the end of last year designed to determine whether imbalances exist and whether they are decreasing, persisting or increasing.

In today's report, the Commission groups Slovenia together with Ireland as countries that have implemented reforms and where sustainable correction of imbalances is within reach provided additional efforts are made.

"The Commission will therefore monitor economic developments in these two countries and forthcoming commitments, notably their National Reform Programmes, to prepare its next in-depth review," the report says.

Pierre Moscovici, the EU commissioner for finance and economic affairs, said the developments in Slovenia and Ireland were "good news".

The sustainable elimination of these imbalances is within reach given additional efforts, he said, hopeful that Slovenia and Ireland would "continue down this good path".

Specifically, Slovenia is mentioned as having begun to address regulatory and administrative burdens, reduce the share of non-performing loans on bank balance sheets and start reforming its health system.

The corporate sector has undergone a substantial deleveraging, and private investment, including in the form of foreign direct investment, has resumed, although stocks of inbound foreign direct investment remain low compared to regional peers.

Public debt peaked in 2015 and has since been declining, and relevant measures have been taken by the government to consolidate and restructure the banking sector, and to improve the governance of state-owned enterprises.

On the other hand, Slovenia is among only three countries that still do not have a fiscal council as a check on public spending.

Additionally, "further policy action is needed to address corporate debt and remaining weaknesses in the financial sector, to ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances, and improve the business environment", the report says.


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