Two years ago, here in Wrocław [at Wrocław Global Forum], you called United States and Europe “G2 of the world” and today you referred to them as “catamaran on stormy waters”, so I was wondering if you think that we can observe serious, permanent shift of power in contemporary world or just this storm that is going to pass? Well, I hope it’s a storm that is going to pass and I hope that we…

Greek run continues – sPain or sPanic? Fiscal rules will be strict. Right after exemptions for Spain, Italy…Will Spiderman save the banks? Can somebody who doesn’t pay taxes criticize others for not paying taxes? Who works the hardest in the EU? Will Greeks unveil the European bluff? Jogging on banks in peripheries continues. EUR 31 billion (1.9%) were withdrawn from Spain in April. Portuguese central bank also warns against possible withdrawal of the deposits from…

On April 16th 2012 the Institute for Market Economics (IME) released a report, analyzing the current regulatory framework and policies for the integration of people with disabilities. The report also proposes positive reform measures that, we believe, will better serve the purpose of full-fledged inclusion of such individuals. The full text (in Bulgarian) is available here. According to the National Social Security Institute (NSSI), annual expenditure on disability pensions financed by the National Social Security…

In response to the on-going financial crisis in the euro zone, LFMI, a leading economic policy think-tank in Lithuania, has worked out and submitted to responsible institutions a plan which would help countries exiting the euro zone to build stable and sound money. LFMI‘s proposal can be also used by the euro zone when attempting to strengthen the euro and to restore people‘s confidence in the single currency. The persisting crisis of euro zone state…

An answer to this rather broad question is one of the issues that formed the subject of Alexander Fink´s presentation during the discussion forum on the topic of “East German Transformation and German Public Finance” organised by Liberalni Institut on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.  Before we are able to even tackle this question, it is necessary to put it in to proper context. The first issue that Mr. Fink discussed was the method of evaluation…

Will Germany open its arms to the call from new French leader Francois Hollande for growth supporting measures instead of pure austerity imposed by the Sarkozy-Merkel duo? That was the key question at the European Union summit held in Brussels last week. Taking a decisive step in ramping up the European effort for containing for the ongoing debt crisis could not be expected. The issue of European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the €700 billion rescue fund…

About the Greeks beating German-looking pensioners and Greek members of parliament playing black metal, while Merkel is happy to gamble with their lives. About fiscal pact, which is good in one country and bad in another one, about reducing debt with the help of magic and about American budgetary hockey game, which ended 99:0. After  3 000 years Greeks have improved the art of drama to the level of perfection. After practically nobody happened to agree…

As finance ministers sat together at the Ecofin meeting last week, the future of the Eurozone was at stake, with Greek political deadlock casting a shadow of darkness over its own euro existence. Greek President Karolos Papoulias was going to ask politicians last Tuesday to stand aside and let a technocratic government be formed to avoid bankruptcy of the heavily indebted Balkan country even though radical leftists from Syriza party have already rejected the proposal…

In recent years, the Baltic States have been showcased as an austerity success story. While the whole world has seen countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal struggling to reduce their public spending, Lithuania has been hailed as an austerity example. Lithuanian success in public spending cuts has been widely acknowledged; yet simultaneous tax increases and their harmful effects have received less attention. Since the end of 2011, however, the country once again found itself…