Economic freedom in Slovakia has fallen 15 places year-on-year, with the country ending up in 57th spot - the worst result among Central European countries, claimed the F.A. Hayek Foundation, citing data from the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

“This result has completely overturned last year’s improvement by 9 places and thus confirmed our negative outlook in the context of the consolidation measures that the incumbent government has introduced following its rise to power,” said the Hayek Foundation.

The table was drafted based on the data from 2012 that had been fully collected in September 2013. Slovakia’s fall was attributed to tax hikes, an increase in the state debt and negative amendments to the Labour Code, as lower flexibility on the labour market is considered to be the main culprit behind high unemployment. High levels of corruption pose another negative factor.

Hungary saw a drop of only three places to 51st. Conversely, the remaining countries in the region saw improvements, with Austria ranking 24th, the Czech Republic 26th and Poland 50th. Hong Kong ranked first on the list and has maintained its number one position since 1995. The top five is completed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand.

The F.A. Hayek Foundation is named after the noted Austrian economist known for advocating completely unregulated markets.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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