The Slovenia Times

IMF sees economic burden of refugee crisis as manageable


The refugee crisis has increased economic risks in the region, stemming mostly from a rise in political instability and the financial burden on transit countries, the report states, adding that the response so far has been strong.

The key economic priorities for Slovenia in the near run remain fiscal consolidation and business restructuring, the IMF states in the report.

The Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) plays a central role in pursuing the second priority. For this reason the bad bank must be shielded from political interference, deputy director for Europe at the IMF Johannes Wiegand said in presenting the report in Ljubljana on Thursday.

According to Wiegand, Slovenia still needs structural reforms which would make its pension system sustainable in the long term and measures to increase efficiency in public spending.

With the refugee crisis dominating the headlines and increasing economic risks in the affected countries, Wiegand said that transit countries such as Slovenia have so far handled the crisis "quite impressively".

For these countries, the crisis carries temporary fiscal and social burdens, while the overall effect on the economy remains unclear. Although the crisis may end up bolstering growth, it could also increase political instability and thus hurt growth, Wiegand said.

For now the IMF is assessing that the crisis will be manageable in terms of pursuing the economic priorities in Slovenia.


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