Slovenia Riches to Rags

October 15, 2012 - 3:33 AM
Cranes and a cargo ship are seen in the port of Koper, Slovenia, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Once the envy of the former European communist states because of its booming economy and Western-style living standards, Slovenia is becoming a showcase of failed transition, government mismanagement and bad loans. Andrej Plut has always thought he was fortunate to live in Slovenia, at one time the most prosperous of the former republics of Yugoslavia and a star among the eastern European states that joined the EU after the fall of communism. The 55-year-old dentist can't figure out what went wrong with his tiny Alpine state, which now faces one of the worst recessions and financial system collapses among the crisis-stricken 17-country group that uses the euro. "We used to live so well," Plut said. "Now, we don't know what tomorrow brings." (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)