The Slovenia Times

Katainen Suggests Slovenia Reduce Role in Economy, Reform Pensions


Austerity measures are not enough, the causes of economic woes are often structural, Katainen said in a debate Friday with Ljubljana Faculty of Economics students at the outset of his visit to Slovenia.

He said many countries, Slovenia included, had been forced to undertake austerity measures to regain investor trust, but "certain structural weaknesses remain," in Slovenia and other countries of the EU.

More specifically, he said Slovenia's pension system was "not the best possible", noting that a pension reform was urgent if people were to continue enjoying decent pensions.

Another weakness apparent in Slovenia is the excessive influence of the public sector on the economy, which Katainen said was keeping foreign investors away.

While acknowledging that this was a politically sensitive issue, Katainen said one had to be pragmatic. For example, countries with the best welfare systems are typically countries in which the state does not play such a big role in the economy.

Katainen, the Commission vice-president in charge of jobs, growth, investments and competitiveness, is in Slovenia as part of a tour of all member states dedicated to the promotion of the Commission's EUR 315bn Investment Plan.


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