Greece Still Lags in World Economic Freedom Ranking

AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greece fell one place to 102d among 162 countries in the Economic Freedom of the World report in 2017 when it was under the rule of the Radical Left SYRIZA that resisted private investors while then-Premier Alexis Tsipras said he wanted them.

That was the result of the Canada-based Fraser Institute that found Greece just behind South Africa and one spot ahead of Ghana, showing how dire the situation is as the new New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it would try to lure back foreign businesses scared off by an avalanche of SYRIZA tax hikes.

The survey’s criteria includes personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter markets and compete, and security of the person and privately owned property. Forty-two data points are used to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five areas.

This year’s results were again presented in Athens by the liberal think tank KEFIM and were disappointing as the country was at the time beginning to show small shoots of recovery from an economic crisis now almost 10 years old but no rebound yet.

Three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($363.7 billion) ended on Aug. 20, 2018 but Greece still hasn’t been able to make a full market return and Mitsotakis has had to back off his pledge to push the country’s European creditors to back off a requirement the country have a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 179.54 billion euros ($200.3 billion) that the Premier said is squelching a comeback.

Hong Kong – now in the midst of months of protests that cut into the economy – and Singapore were in the top two positions again, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Mauritius.

The 10 lowest-rated countries are: Iraq, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Algeria, Sudan, Libya, and Venezuela.