Slovakia came 42nd in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom compiled annually by the Wall Street Journal and US Heritage Foundation, the TASR newswire reported on January 10, citing Tomáš Púchly of the F.A. Hayek Foundation, which acts as a partner of the survey in Slovakia.
Hong Kong maintained its top place as the most free economy of the 177 countries under review. The country has occupied first place since 1995. In the latest ranking – for 2011 – it was followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. Conversely, bottom place went to North Korea. According to Púchly, Slovakia was given a combined score of 68.7 percent, which is above the global average of 59.6 percent – and the regional average of 66.4 percent.
"When compared to 2010, the overall ranking of our country improved by 1.7 percent, which enabled us to move up nine places," said Púchly. This wasn't enough for the country to offset a previous drop of 14 places, however. The ranking is based on an assessment of ten categories such as property rights, freedom from corruption, business freedom and fiscal freedom. Among Slovakia's neighbours, Austria was placed 25th and the Czech Republic finished in 29th, while Hungary and Poland both ended up behind Slovakia, occupying 48th and 57th spots, respectively.
The Sme daily wrote that the improvement in the country's ranking was down to the efforts of the previous administration, led by Iveta Radičová, which governed the country throughout 2011.
Sources: TASR, Sme
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11. Jan 2013 at 10:00