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When it comes to GDP growth and job retention, Slovenia is more successful than most of the other European countries

Foto: Vlada RS

According to the Eurostat statistics, Slovenia is currently doing much better than other European countries in the category of job retention, despite the constant attempts of the opposition to discredit the activities of the Janez Janša government. Both GDP and employment fell less than the EU and euro area average as a result of the crisis, indicating that the government responded to the crisis in a timely and decisive manner. In the last crisis 12 years ago, we were among the most affected countries, and this time, we are among those less affected.

Even though the opposition, with the help of a monopoly of the Slovenian media market, is constantly trying to give the impression that the Slovenian government is doing something worse or more authoritarian than the other European countries, the information we get from day to day, proves that the opposite is true.

According to the official statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, Slovenia is currently doing much better, compared to the other European countries, including the “core” countries, especially in the category of job retention. Prime Minister Janes Janša also responded to this information – with pride, understandably.

Although the statistics vary from country to country, it seems that on average, the low-paid jobs, student work, and work that does not require complex skills, in general, are the most at risk.

These statistics are extremely important for all governments, as they can be used to develop measures to reduce the impact of the pandemic on labour, earnings, poverty, and income inequality.  Looking through the prism of income inequality and poverty, the average results in the EU are worrying, as they suggest that, as a result of the pandemic, the conditions of those who were previously already “behind” will further deteriorate. This is the train on which all the countries of the world have found themselves, and among the EU members, Slovenia is currently among the countries that have been affected the least.

A timely and decisive response to the crisis
We also asked Matej Lahovnik, a Slovenian economist, former Minister, and head of the advisory group of experts for mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, to comment on Eurostat’s statistics. He told us that, on average, in Slovenia, due to the crisis, both the GDP and employment fell less than in the EU and the euro area, which shows that the government responded to the crisis in a timely and decisive manner. In the last crisis 12 years ago, we were among the most affected countries, and this time, we are among those less affected.

He added that due to the timely anti-crisis measures, the Moody rating agency even raised its credit rating during this severe crisis, and Slovenia managed to issue and sell a 30-year bond at less than 0.5 percent interest rate. The demand for our bond has exceeded supply eight times, which means that the capital markets also assess the government’s economic policies as credible.

Aleš Ernecl