Euro ‘freedom’ takes a battering

The new index of economic freedom has yielded some surprising results…

Bulgaria was ranked 28th freest among the 41 countries in the European region, scoring slightly above the world average of 60,3%. Its score places Bulgaria in the “moderately free” bracket of the ratings

Bulgaria‘s economy is 62,9% free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world’s 59th freest economy. Its overall score is 0,9% higher than last year, primarily because of improved trade freedom,” the foundation said in its country notes.

It still managed to score better than fellow EU members Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Greece and Poland.

Bulgaria scored highly in six freedoms, most notably trade freedom and fiscal freedom, but significantly below average in two others – property rights and government size. While scoring low on the freedom from corruption criterion, the 40% figure is roughly in line with the global average.

‘Fully free’

Bulgaria still needs a more independent judicial system. Weak property rights, corruption, and inefficient bureaucracy affect other areas of economic freedom,” the report’s authors said.

Hong Kong and Singapore retained their position at the top of the rankings. The duo, as well as Ireland, Australia, US, New Zealand and Canada are the only countries ranked as “fully free.”

Rapidly growing Brazil, India and China were all in the “mostly unfree” category, while Russia scored just outside it, topping the “repressed” bracket with a score of 49,9%.

The report covers 162 countries across 10 specific factors of economic freedom.