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Brussels, 12 December 2013
Statement by Vice President Rehn on the publication of results of stress tests of Slovenian banks
I welcome today’s publication of the independent assessment of the health and resilience of the Slovenian banking sector. This was identified by the Council as an urgent priority in order for Slovenia to address its excessive macroeconomic imbalances. The assessment, carried out by four leading external consultants within the timeframe specified by the Council and using a credible methodology, has delivered reliable results. This process was conducted in very close cooperation with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority.
I look forward to the effective implementation of the strategy for banking sector repair and modernisation outlined today by the Slovenian authorities. This represents a convincing and robust response to one of the key challenges facing the country. It is also critical that Slovenia moves forward with the broader economic reform agenda, in particular strengthening corporate governance and carrying out privatisations and regulatory reforms to improve the business environment. Swift and decisive progress on all of these fronts will be essential to restore confidence, boost investment and create the conditions for sustainable growth and higher employment. The Commission will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the relevant policies, in partnership with the Slovenian authorities.
When the Commission concluded eight months ago that the Slovenian economy was suffering from excessive imbalances, I stated that the situation was still manageable provided swift and decisive policy action was taken. While significant challenges remain, I am pleased to say that this has so far been the case. Today it is clear that Slovenia can proceed with the repair of its financial sector without turning to her European partners for financial assistance. This is good news and demonstrates both the paramount importance of decisive action by the authorities and the fact that the overall economic recovery of the eurozone is now solidly underway.