The Slovenia Times

Green transition, digitalisation key for recovery, BSF debate hears


Bled - A debate on post-pandemic recovery at the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) on Wednesday noted the importance of green transition and digitalisation for the process, with a broad agreement that economic measures must go hand in hand with healthcare measures, in particular vaccination.

Slovenian Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj noted that vaccination was one of the most efficient ways to recovery, not only in terms of the health crisis, but also in terms of the economy.

He pointed to the importance of recovery and resilience plans as a unique measure that secures both sustainability of public finances and solidarity, which is "good for Europe and all other countries".

Boštjan Vasle, the governor of the Slovenian central bank, admitted that "we do not understand completely how the health crisis will translate into the economy", while noting that the current support measures were essential.

Valerio De Luca of the Task Force Italia said that green transition and digital transformation, and avoiding excessive public debt in the post-recovery period, were key, adding that solidarity and private-public partnerships would also be important.

The European Investment Bank will support the green and digital recovery, according to its vice-president Lilyana Pavlova, who added that the Covid-19 crisis could be used not only as an opportunity, but also as a basis to rethink other crises, including the climate crisis.

"We need to invest heavily in new technologies and education," she said, adding that EU institutions should make a joint effort and play a role in mobilising the necessary resources and attracting private investments.

Klaus Regling, the managing director of the European Stability Mechanism, said that the EU needed to transform its economies to slow climate change and it also needed to work on digitalisation, while making the monetary union more resilient.

"All the efforts to complete monetary union will strengthen the international role of the euro," he said, while also emphasising the importance of risk sharing, a fully integrated single market and the single resolution fund.

EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso spoke about inequalities that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, including the imbalances in vaccination, room for manoeuvre in terms of fiscal policy and inflation risks.

Miroslav Singer of the insurance group Generali noted that compared to the previous crises, the financial system and financial institutions were more stable now, while stressing that the times were uncertain, requiring bold initiatives.

László Wolf of the OTP Bank meanwhile discussed the expectations from banks post-pandemic, saying that digitalisation and home office activity were what would impact the banking market the most.

Development costs related to digitalisation are very high, and small banks cannot afford them, so he expects to see more and more banks in the same market being forced to integrate.


More from Economy