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Greece has Most Closed Economy in the EU, Says Fraser Institute Report

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece. Photo Source: Visit Greece /Y Skoulas

Greece ranks last among the 27 EU countries in the Economic Freedom of the World report that was recently released by the Frazer Institute, an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization.

The report, which was first launched in 1996, measures economic freedom—the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions—by analyzing the policies and institutions of 165 countries and territories.

Indicators include regulation, freedom to trade internationally, size of government, property rights, government spending and taxation.

The latest report is based on 2019 data.

“Greece is the country with the most closed economy in the EU and an ineffective institutional framework,” said Aristides Hatzis, research director at the Center for Liberal Studies (KEFiM), which released the report in Greece and Cyprus.

According to Hatzis, Greece is last in the EU because the country’s competitors are opening up their markets faster and also improving their institutions.

“Unless that changes, we shouldn’t have high expectations for the future,” he noted.

According to the report, Greece ranks 21st in terms of government size among the other EU countries; 24th in sound money and last in the report’s other three indicators involving property rights, trade and regulations.

Greece’s overall performance

Greece has gained four places and ranks 78th among 165 countries in the Economic Freedom of the World report.

The country’s performance in the report’s five areas of economic freedom is as follows:

– Size of government: 146th spot (the country has gained 5 places compared to the previous report which is based on 2018 data)
– Legal System and Property Rights: 56th spot (-4 places)
– Sound Money: 67th spot (+2 spots)
– Freedom to Trade Internationally: 57th spot (+2 places)
– Regulation: 87th spot (-8 places).

Moreover, according to KEFiM, Greece remains one of the 20 countries in the world with the largest public sector.

Source: Frazer Institute

Hong Kong again ranks first in the Economic Freedom of the World report, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Georgia, the United States, Ireland, Lithuania, Australia and Denmark.

The rankings of other major countries include Japan (18th), Germany (22nd), Italy (47th), France (53rd), Mexico (75th), Russia (100th), India (108th), Brazil (109th) and China (116th).

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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