Delo wonders why govt does not trust IMAD

Ljubljana – It’s been a month since the government was expected to endorse the IMAD’s latest macroeconomic forecast for Slovenia, so Delo wonders on Saturday why it does not trust what the paper says is a good and independent institution known for its sound macroeconomic analysis.

The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) has been led over the past two decades by economists who later became European commissioners (Janez Potočnik), finance ministers (Janez Šušteršič) or central bank governors (Boštjan Vasle), and its current head Maja Bendaš and her team have also good references.

The reason why the goverment has not yet discussed the spring forecast seems to be, as Interior Minister and SDS vice-president Aleš Hojs put it, that past experience shows that IMAD’s forecasts could prove “a bit too pessimistic”.

The government “thus assessed that it would be good for IMAD to again examine whether all the input parameters are realistic or not”, the minister said, stressing that the spring forecast has not yet discussed “for this reason and this reason alone”.

Delo says under the headline Who Is Afraid of Independent Forecasts that “our government politicians, among them experts on repressive and other institutions, are becoming insightful macroeconomists and experts on economic analysis and projections”.

On the other hand, the public feels this as an instance of pressure being exerted from the position of political power on an independent institution, while IMAD says that there are no reasons, content-wise or expert-wise, to change the forecast.

Pressure from a position of political power on public institutions, media, judiciary and similar is not something that raises democratic standards in a country, it is a modus operandi of autocratic rule.