Fig. 18 Rembrandt van Rijn, Moneychanger, 1627, oil on panel, 32 x 42 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, inv. no. 828D (Bredius 420) (artwork in the public domain)

Just a few weeks ago IME presented the main challenges to social protection faced by Bulgaria in the post-pandemic period. One of the key takeaways was that Bulgarian social policy is unfocused, ineffective and that it flat out fails to address poverty and inequality. While such issues are mainly solved through economic recovery, new jobs and wage growth, the role of social policy should be focused as much as possible on those most in need.

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Bulgaria had its autumn of discontent. The mass protests proclaimed as a crusade against corruption and state capture have failed, while the prospects for reform of the oligarchic model from within are bleak at best. Hence, Bulgarians are looking at a winter of stagnation and political blockage.

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Georgia is becoming, once again, a country to be watched by those of us who value liberty and the expansion of freedom and prosperity. Back in the fall and winter of 2019, there was little news about Georgia in the European and Central European media. There were a few political and economic developments – such as the international indexes (on economic freedom, by the Fraser Institute, and on ease of doing business) and an interview…