Economist Mrak: Slovenia Close to Having to Ask for Help


The situation is serious, the acclaimed economist said, adding that it would show in the coming days whether the country would have to ask for help immediately or it could still buy some time.

The decisions adopted at the EU level in the past fortnight will give the country some more time. "I'm talking about the European Central Bank's decision and the German Constitutional Court's ruling that made the permanent rescue fund operative. Once this mechanism is operative, aid can come much efficiently and faster."

Mrak does not think the government will run out of money to pay out wages in the public sector at the end of the year. "If the government made such an assessment, It would have probably had to ask for help a month or two ago. I rather think this is an attempt to create the atmosphere for reforms to get passed," he said.

The economist once again called for the adoption of the planned pension and labour market reforms. "If we get in a position of having talks with foreign financiers later, this will be at least one thing that's done. If we come to these talks empty-handed it will be very bad," he said.

In a reference to last year's referenda in which the pension reform and tweaks to labour market legislation were defeated, Mrak also argued that the situation showed even more clearly now how "extremely stupid it was to reject reforms last year", while it also demonstrated the incapability of politicians from both blocs.