EU’s Rehn Says Too Soon to Say If Slovenia to Need Bailout

European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn praised Slovenia for taking steps to bolster the economy while saying it’s too early to know whether the nation can avoid becoming the sixth euro-area member to need a financial rescue.

“We first want to analyze the programs before commenting,” Rehn said in an interview today in Brussels. “Slovenia is intensively preparing a stability and reform program that will tackle the problems they are facing and reverse the negative trend in the economy.”

Slovenia plans to increase taxes to make up for a swelling budget shortfall as the country works to recapitalize its banks. The Adriatic nation’s overhaul program and bank-recapitalization plan, which will be presented to the European Commission, are meant to show Slovenia can avoid requesting outside assistance.

“In these days we are expecting that they will present the stability and reform programs to the commission,” Rehn said. “We will then assess them and provide our analysis of the situation shortly.”

Since the European debt crisis broke out in 2009, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus have sought international emergency aid. Pledges from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund have totaled 496 billion euros ($649 billion).

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