CEE architects of transition: Ivan Miklos
Ivan Miklos was minister of privatization for Czechoslovakia from 1991 to 1992. He was minister of economy of Slovakia between 1998 and 2002 and minister of finance 2002 to 2006 and 2010 to 2012. Since 2016 he has served as adviser to the Ukrainian government.
Few countries have managed a transformation as impressive and fast as that of Slovakia. In 1998 the country was an economic basket case, riddled with corruption and lagging far behind its eastern bloc neighbours in the race for European integration.
Within seven years it was a member of the European Union, on track for eurozone accession and posting GDP growth in double digits.
One of the leading forces behind this remarkable turnaround was Ivan Miklos, a young economist-turned-politician.
Miklos’s credentials as a reformer date back to the earliest days of post-communist transition when, as a 29-year-old academic and pro-democracy campaigner, he was drafted into the government of Czechoslovakia immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Two years later he was appointed minister of privatization to oversee the first sales of state assets in Czechoslovakia. For smaller firms this was done via auctions, while larger companies were privatized using voucher schemes.