Slovenia has solemnly marked the 10th anniversary of its entry into the euro area. We achieved this in January 2007 as the first of ten countries that had acceded to the European Union (EU) on 1 May 2004, which was a great success, and we can rightly be proud of it. ‘Not only because we adopted a currency which made the life of people easier, but also because it signified that Slovenia had a healthy economy,’ emphasised Janez Janša, who had been Prime Minister of Slovenia at the time.
‘I’m sorry that today, on this 10th anniversary, the name of the man who had done the most for this success has not even been mentioned – this was Dr Andrej Bajuk, who was the Minister of Finance back then,’ stressed former Prime Minister Janez Janša and emphasised: ‘Of all the individuals that have been mentioned or have not been mentioned, he was definitely the one who had done the most.’
Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša: ‘If Slovenia still used the Slovenian tolar in 2008, its value would have fallen, and even though some might have wished for an adjustable exchange rate during the crisis in order to regulate the biggest shocks, this would eventually mean that an overwhelming majority of Slovenian citizens would have become significantly poorer.’
The entry of Slovenia into the euro area and the financial stability which it had achieved at the time as well as the economic growth, low inflation, low deficit, and low indebtedness were the main accomplishments or, in the words of former Prime Minister Janez Janša, ‘the crowning achievement in the life’s work of Dr Andrej Bajuk, and we can all be thankful to him’.
Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša: ‘Later the common European currency experienced a crisis. It erupted in 2008, when a different government had come into power and the conditions in the world had partially changed. At that time, the fact that Slovenia had adopted the euro helped preserve the real value of the savings and property of many hundreds of thousands of Slovenians.’