BUSINESS IN SHORT

Economic Freedom Index down

SLOVAKIA's level of economic freedom has declined, moving the country down six places to rank 26th, according to the 2009 Economic Freedom of the World index drawn up by the Canada-based Fraser Institute, the TASR newswire reported.

SLOVAKIA's level of economic freedom has declined, moving the country down six places to rank 26th, according to the 2009 Economic Freedom of the World index drawn up by the Canada-based Fraser Institute, the TASR newswire reported.

This is the first such decline in years for Slovakia, which came in close to Iceland, Norway and Germany.

“The consolidation of public finances is an unequivocal solution to the slump which is the worst problem for the sitting Government,” Ján Oravec, president of the F.A. Hayek Foundation and the Association of Slovak Entrepreneurs, told TASR.

He said the unemployment issue also needs to be addressed, namely through a revision of the Labour Code, which Slovakia had weakened, mostly in the realms of regulation, enterprise, credit and labour markets.

“Interestingly, we performed best in the area of freedom of international trade, ranking fourth,” said Oravec.

He noted that Slovakia's rating has fallen to 7.52 points, adding that a maximum rating of 10 is almost impossible to achieve.

“This can be accomplished only by countries with excellent court systems, low taxes, strong and steady currencies and fully open economies,” said Oravec as quoted by TASR.

The index shows the measure of support for economic freedom in countries around the world via applied politics and established institutions. The key elements of economic freedom are free choice, free exchange, freedom to compete and guarantees for private property.


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