SLOVENIA yesterday insisted it would not become the latest Eurozone country to require a bailout, despite a warning from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that the country is not doing to enough to tackle a “severe banking crisis”.
Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek admitted the poor health of her country’s financial system was “problem number one” but insisted “we will solve our problems alone.”
Slovenia, a country of 2m people squeezed between Italy and Croatia, is seeking funds to heal its state-owned financial sector in the wake of last month’s botched bailout of Cyprus.
According to an assessment made last year, local banks, mostly state-owned, hold €7bn (£5.8bn) – equivalent to a fifth of Slovenia's annual economic output – in bad loans.
The OECD said there was no immediate need for a bailout but the country risks “a prolonged downturn and constrained access to financial markets.”
The Paris-based organisation recommends that Slovenia should sell state-owned banks that are viable and allow those that are not to fail.