By most standards, Austria’s democratic credentials are sufficient to warrant a position at the top of rankings. Regardless of whether you take Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), or Freedom House’s landmark report on Freedom in the World, Austria fares well.
The fiscal position of the Government remains comparatively strong. The Government is expected to continue reforms implementation, which would also result in additional support by official international donors. Overall, real GDP is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2016.
2015 was a year of many wins and losses for Ukraine. In the first half of the year, Ukraine faced a near-perfect storm of escalating military conflict, falling commodity prices and political instability. As a result already low export revenues went even further down and foreign currency reserves dropped to 5 billion dollars.
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 new Greek government of the leftist party SYRIZA wanted to take back austerity reforms in order to, for example, “gradually restore salaries and pensions so as to increase consumption and demand”. But it seems that the only thing accepted by the European Commission and eurozone finance ministers is 4-month extension of the bailout in return for presenting a list of reforms that Greece had committed to undertake.
Current fiscal crisis in the EU is, among others, a result of expansionary fiscal policy conducted in previous periods and especially during economic booms.