In the last months, a wave of protest and anger has swept through Slovenia, as thousands of people challenge the corrupt and out-of-touch political elite of a country that was once considered the wunderkind of democratic transition in the region.
Slovenia is currently sailing the roughest seas since it gained independence more than twenty years ago. The country that was once considered a wunderkind of democratic transition in Central and Eastern Europe, registering solid economic growth and political stability, joining the European Union (EU) and NATO in 2004, adopting the Euro in 2007, is now enmeshed in a political paralysis of significant proportion, with no clear end in sight.
Before the crisis hit Europe’s economy, Slovenia had already confidently climbed the ladder and reached 91 percent of the average GDP per capita in the EU. Things were good. Unemployment was at historically lowest levels, just above 6 percent, prosperity was tangible. Shopping malls were full, real estate prices booming, the average car on the street was a solid German Volkswagen. A kind of Slovenian Dream was there, for everyone. Then reality hit. Continue reading