Slovene Economy in 1999
Ljubljana, 9 December - The Slovene economy stood the test of tax reform in 1999 quite successfully and without acute liquidity problems. As one of the last countries in Europe, Slovenia introduced the value added tax (VAT) on 1 July although economic experts had been warning of shortcomings in preparations. The surge in inflation after the introduction of the VAT was not as high as expected and the monetary market was spared major shocks. The Association Agreement with the EU, in effect as of February, had no major impact on the economy. Unlike the insurance business, the banking sector was regulated by new legislation, but no concrete steps were made to privatise both cured state banks, NLB and NKBM, and long-awaited attempts by individual banks to merge failed. The prospect of competition encouraged companies to combine, cut their expenses and increase their competitive capacity, which was especially evident in trade.
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