Slovenia has often been considered the “success story” of post-communist transition. A relatively short period of transitional depression was followed by a period of balanced economic and social development between 1993 and 2004. After Slovenia had joined the EU in 2004, it also adopted less “conservative” financial practices; savings turned to speculations in “highly profitable” investments. The banks were enthusiastic to take part in “gambling” by borrowing cheap money in EU or acquiring it from their mother banks. As a result, the country’s small and very open economy was severely hit by the global financial crisis. Growing political instability, social discontent, incompetent governments and their unreasonable submission to the “guidance” by the European Commission have also hindered recovery. Today Slovenia finds itself in an economic, social, political and moral crisis with no end in sight. My presentation will reconsider the events which led to the current situation. When did Slovenia stray from the path which would bring it closer to the romantic expectations made two decades ago? Or were these perhaps never realistic in the first place?
Jože Mencinger is former deputy prime minister of Slovenia and former Rector of the University of Ljubljana.