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Slovenian Economy Will Fully Recover in 2015, Says Senjur

Ljubljana, 27 March (STA) - The Slovenian economy will fully recover in 2015, when it will probably grow at 4%, or at 5% if there is an economic upturn, economist Marjan Senjur told the Sunday edition of the daily Delo.

Senjur believes that Slovenia needs reforms, but is convinced that it is extremely hard to implement them because they are poorly managed politically.

"Every economic measure needs to be drafted with expertise, but at the same time also carefully planned politically," said Senjur of the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics.

Asked if the transition from the socialist economy has been completed, Senjur said the mechanisms of market economy had not yet been fully established, but added that Slovenia lacked a stable structure of ownership.

"We haven't yet found the right role of the state in a market economy, but we should," said Senjur, who served as the minister of economic relations and development in 2000.

He said Slovenia lacked the purchasing power to privatise the companies which used to be socially-owned, but does not believe selling to foreigners is politically or economically acceptable and wise.

Labelling the government pension reform as necessary, Senjur said serious problems would have emerged sooner or later if it was rejected in a referendum because a growing deficit of the pension purse would have to be paid from the national budget.

Should that happen, Senjur can see only two options: "We could raise taxes and so increase budget revenues, or cut pensions. So an increasingly large share of the population would be poor."

He assessed the set of austerity measures the government has adopted as part of the pact for the euro as solid, but added they were based on a hefty GDP growth forecast of 4% to 6% in nominal terms.

"If the nominal growth is 5% and the growth of public spending 2% to 3%, no drastic austerity measures would be needed," Senjur told Nedelo.

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