Ten years ago, we woke up with euros on our bank accounts.
By Vanda Močnik Kohek, Senior Relationship Manager, GSS Slovenia
Ten years have passed since Slovenia introduced the euro. It was the first EU member among the group of countries joining the Union in the course of the fifth enlargement wave in 2004.
But how is the common European currency perceived today? The answer is clear: as a success. Despite the fact that it has limited Slovenia’s leverage to deal with the recent economic crisis.
From the beginning, Slovenians largely supported the euro, as they were familiar with it due to the openness of the Slovenian economy. Moreover, high inflation had prompted most Slovenians to keep their savings in German mark.
Although there was no euphoria around this anniversary, the euro is seen as having brought a number of positive things to the Slovene economy, such as greater transparency, savings in international transactions, lower currency risk for local companies and foreign trade partners and investors, lower interest rates, and easier access to foreign financing.
Positive effects on the economy have been reflected also in private consumption. Prices have risen by an average of 20%, but statisticians have calculated that net monthly pay has gone up even more, by as much as 30%.
The 13th country in the eurozone
In-spite of growing populism and EU and euro scepticism throughout Europe, most Slovenians after 10 years with the euro and almost 13 years of EU membership, believe that these are the two biggest achievements of Slovenia in its 25-year existence. They can clearly see the positive results after a chaotic political and economic situation, which they faced in the 80s and 90s.
Vanda Močnik Kohek
Senior Relationship Manager