FREE GEOPOLITICAL NEWSLETTER

slovenia  

For current reports go to EASY FINDER

SLOVENIA


 

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 26,284 21,108 18,800 63
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 11,830 9,810 9,760 51
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Slovenia

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
20,273

Population 
2,011,473

Capital 
Ljubljana 

Currency 
Tolar 

President 
Janez Drnovsek

Private sector 
% of GDP 
40% 



 
Update No: 108 - (30/05/06)

Slovenia the EU vanguard
Slovenia is the happiest of the former communist countries, if largely due to happenstance.
One reason for its good fortune is that Tito, the former leader of Yugoslavia, was half-Slovene. He allowed Slovenia a relatively free market economy, well aware of its distinctively bourgeois and mercantile traditions, bordering as it does on both Austria and Italy.
It is a beautiful country, high in the Alps, a Balkan Switzerland that cannot fail to do well. It has by far the highest standard of living of the former communist countries. 
The cognoscenti in Brussels and elsewhere understand this very well. Slovenia was admitted to the EU on time in 2004. It is absolutely onside to be admitted to the euro-zone next year.

Still there are problems
Although Slovenia enjoys a GDP per capita substantially higher than that of the other transitioning economies of Central Europe, nevertheless, it needs to speed up the privatization process and the dismantling of restrictions on foreign investment. About 40% of the economy remains in state hands, and the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows as a percent of GDP has been the lowest in the region for some time.
This latter fact is not surprising. The Slovenians are extremely wary of being taken over by Italian mafia groups who have been very active elsewhere in the Balkans, notably in close-by Montenegro, now heading for independence from Serbia, not exactly free from gangster influence either. They have a whole range of complicated restrictions on FDI with this in mind.
The Slovenes are keen to be - and to be seen primarily as Europeans, not Balkans, which geographically they are only marginally, indeed one might now say extraneously. 

Commission Gives Thumbs Up to Slovenia's Euro Bid
Hence the immense significance of belonging to the euro-zone. The European Commission has said in its recent report that Slovenia is ready to adopt the euro on 1 January 2007. The thumbs-up paves the way for Slovenia to become the first among the countries that joined the EU in May 2004 to adopt the euro. 
According to the Commission's convergence report for Slovenia, released in Strasbourg on 16th May, the country is in compliance with all the membership criteria, which is why it should be allowed to join the eurozone on 1 January 2007. The positive assessment was upheld by the European Central Bank in a separate report on Slovenia's readiness for eurozone membership that it released in Frankfurt on the same day. 
The reports are the first in a series of steps leading to the confirmation of Slovenia's bid to join the eurozone. EU leaders are now expected to vote on admitting Slovenia to the eurozone at their summit on 15 and 16 June. Moreover, EU finance ministers are expected to take a final vote on the legal basis for Slovenia's membership on 11 July. 
"Slovenia meets all the convergence criteria - a result of stable policies and reforms," European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia said. "However, it is important to stress that Slovenia will not have completed all the work by introducing the euro. The euro has its benefits and responsibilities, foremost to retain stability of public finance," Almunia added. 
Moreover, the commissioner stressed that Slovenia must now speed up "practical preparations to make the switch to the new currency smooth." In his opinion, this includes measures to prevent unwarranted price hikes. 
In its report, the Commission concludes that Slovenia meets all Maastricht criteria for eurozone membership: its inflation is 2.3% (0.3 pp below requirements), while the general and total government deficits are well below what is prescribed. 
Despite the overall positive assessment, Slovenia has been urged by the Commission to keep working on public finance sustainability. The pension system is seen as the biggest problem in this respect. 
The Commission also concluded that Slovenia has not faced any great instability with its currency, the tolar, which has fluctuated only slightly around the parity rate of SIT 239.64 for one euro. since Slovenia entered the ERM II mechanism in June 2004. Moreover, it says that long-term interest-rates, which stood at 3.8% in March, are well below the reference value of 5.9%, while it also finds that Slovenia has adopted all relevant legislation for the euro. 
Meanwhile, the Commission included a number of recommendations in the report. Among others, it says that Slovenia should take steps to privatise its financial sector and calls on Slovenia to keep implementing regulations of the common market. 

Follow my neighbour
Slovenia needs good relations with its neighbours, as we all do. Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa said that he was sure Bulgaria and Romania would join the EU on January 1 2007.
Jansa was on a visit to Bulgaria, invited by his Bulgarian counterpart Sergei Stanishev. Jansa said that he believed that the European Commission would recommend an on-time entry to Bulgaria to encourage reforms in the judicial system and home affairs sector. 
Bulgaria's efforts to fulfil EU membership criteria should be given proper recognition, Jansa said. The prime minister added that Bulgaria and Slovenia had similar positions on the developmental perspectives of countries from South-Eastern Europe. These include Serbia's EU membership application and Kosovo status negotiations. The two countries also share a common interest in preserving security and stability in the Balkans. 
Bulgaria would do their best to follow Slovenia's example and fulfil all euro-zone requirements, Stanishev added. On September 29 2005 Slovenia ratified Bulgaria's EU accession treaty. 
The two prime ministers agreed that Bulgaria and Slovenia should co-operate not only politically, but economically as well. Stanishev and Jansa discussed possibilities for exploration of the South-East European market by organising an international business forum with the two countries' participation. 
They signed agreements for co-operation in the economy, education, science and culture spheres for the period from 2006 to 2008.

                                               ******


The reasons for Slovenia to be reckoned with;-

Slovenia on CNN
From now on, an advertisement for Slovenia can be seen on CNN. The advertisement with the slogan 'Slovenia: A Diversity to Discover' and wonderful images of famous sights will be broadcast until the end of June and again, after the summer break, in autumn. 
The advertisement features distinguished names from the world of sport and culture. At the beginning top climber Martina Cufar climbs the bell tower of a church in Piran. The mountaineer Davo Karnicar, who achieved international fame by skiing down the world's highest peaks, zigzags through vineyards. The Lipizzaner horses, a breed created in Slovenia, will delight with their dressage manoeuvres. 
More information on how to get here, where to go and what to do in Slovenia, can be found on the website www.slovenia.info, which is maintained by the Slovenian Tourist Board. The Board believes that by advertising on CNN, Slovenia will gain wider recognition and awareness among key target groups in Europe and Asia. Whatever else, many people who perhaps have never heard of this small country, will see for the first time just how attractive it is.

« Top

FOREIGN RELATIONS

CPC hopes to enhance party ties with Slovenia 

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is seeking to enhance ties with major parties of Slovenia, a senior CPC official said recently, New Europe reported. 
Wang Jiarui, head of the international department of the CPC Central Committee, said in a meeting with a delegation from the Democratic Pensioners Party of Slovenia, headed by its General Secretary, Pavel Brglez, the CPC wishes for further exchanges and cooperation with major Slovenian parties.

« Top

 

« Back

 


 
Published by 
Newnations (a not-for-profit company)
PO Box 12 Monmouth 
United Kingdom NP25 3UW 
Fax: UK +44 (0)1600 890774
enquiries@newnations.com