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A nation must think before it acts.
Over the eight years beginning with the election of a reformist government in September 1998, Slovakia achieved a remarkable turnaround from reform laggard into one of the leaders among the postcommunist transitions of Central and Eastern Europe. This article examines the lessons learned from this successful transition, which demonstrates that quick and effective implementation of a cogent set of economic reforms can produce positive short-term economic results, with favorable and prompt political benefits. Foreign governments, multinational financial institutions, and nationals with technical training abroad who return home to serve in key positions can make a real difference.