[ExI] Japan's young turn to Communist Party ...

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 01:57:19 UTC 2008

For another example, see this article about Slovenia (from the Melbourne Age):

"But under governments of both sides, the economic record has been
impressive. Since 1992, Slovenia's real income per head has doubled.
In 1992, the International Monetary Fund estimated its output per head
in terms of real buying power was only 60% of Australia's. By last
year, that had jumped to 75%.

Of all the former communist countries, it is clearly the richest and
most advanced, a land where 62% of people surf the net, infant
mortality is lower than in Australia, and 70% of its output is
exported, mostly to other EU countries in areas from pharmaceuticals
to auto parts.

How is this possible in a country where the state still controls 40%
of the economy, including most of its big companies? Where it is
virtually impossible for management to sack a worker, where pensions
are so generous you might wonder why anyone works?

People I spoke to agreed that Slovenia was born with a good
inheritance. "It's more central Europe than eastern Europe," Andrej
Vijzak, outgoing Minister for the Economy, says. "We were part of
Austria for many years, and that formed our traditions." As one MP
puts it, "socialism in Slovenia wasn't so bad". Yugoslavia's longtime
dictator Josip Tito encouraged factories to be autonomous.

"There was self-management, there was pricing, and there were
profits," says outgoing Development Minister Ziga Turk, no fan of the
communists. "People could travel to the West, people could leave."

Independence, and then EU membership, saw Slovenia successfully shift
its exports to the West. But unlike the rest of the ex-communist
countries, it chose not to follow the free-market reforms pushed by
the International Monetary Fund. With some exceptions, it has not
allowed foreign investors to control existing firms, although it
encourages them to start new ones. Trade unions, now free of communist
control, are more powerful than ever."


Stathis Papaioannou

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