Just a year after the topic of fiscal decentralization briefly entered the public debate in Bulgaria, the political volition for taking actual steps in this direction seems exhausted. The government stifles to a large extent the initiative of local authorities.
There is a profound feeling of injustice rooted deep in the Bulgarian society. This can be clearly seen in international studies that cover topics such as trust in institutions and the rule of law. The same feeling of injustice is responsible for the widespread negative public perceptions towards Bulgarian entrepreneurs.
Back in 2012, Mario Draghi vowed to do “everything in his power” to save the euro. Four years later that promise seems fulfilled – both the recent moves by the ECB and the market reaction that followed suggest that we are reaching the limit of what monetary policy can achieve in the euro area.
Although Bulgaria has officially been in a budgetary consolidation phase during the entire 2013-2015 period, public expenditure went out of control on several occasions. Yet again the newly presented medium-term budget framework provides for decreasing deficits, while current expenditures (and thus deficits) are being hiked.
The brief message of the report regarding the effectiveness of the banking supervision in Bulgaria is unambiguous: yes, the supervision has demonstrated weaknesses, and yes, the CCB management has circumvented and violated the regulations and the good banking practices.
Last month one of the greatest and most extraordinary economists of our time – Douglass North (1920–2015) – departed. He left enormous inheritance of insights that will be considered and re-considered for a long time, and its entire meaning is yet to be discovered and realized.
On July 30, the British magazine “The New Statesman” published an article by the famous philosopher John Gray on the life, intellectual achievements, and mistakes of Friedrich Hayek. Gray’s piece examines the Austrian’s economic and political views. It is almost as if Gray puts Hayek on trial, the verdict of which has already been decided upon.
IES-Europe together with CEI, IME (Bulgaria), NES (Georgia) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom are organizing three Summer Seminars in 2015 – Bulgaria (July 12-18), Germany (July 19-25) and Georgia (July 21 – 26). Join us and get a better understanding of ideas that allow humans to flourish and prosper!
Just before Christmas, it became clear that the prime minister and the two major labor unions had signed a memorandum which not only prevents raising the retirement age, but also fundamentally changes the pension model of Bulgaria. Noteworthy, the main agents behind this decision were the same people who in 2010 decided to steal 100 million leva from professional pension funds, thus breaking the Constitution.
The Institute for Market Economics has just published its latest Economic note on the effects of the EC proposal to revise the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) to adopt a requirement of plain packaging.