At the time of the fall of the Iron Curtain, Slovenia was the wealthiest part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and had more contact with Western markets. Slovenia, however, also inherited a large public debt burden and hyperinflation. These resulted in privatisation processes, the decline of traditional industrial sector, an expansion of the service sector and, as a consequence, a massive loss of jobs for the less qualified industrial labour force. Economic and social restructuring was accompanied by the loss of the employment security and a reduction of social rights provided by the state. In the second half of the 1990s, however, the economy started to recover and unemployment began to decline. This economic growth, which by 2005 had turned into an economic boom, increased the activity rate of the population and transformed Slovenia into one of the most successful new members of the European Union (EU).
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