IME Welcomes the 2013 Free Market Road Show in Sofia on May 16th 2013


2013 Free Market Road Show

“To Save or Not to Save: Will austerity programs alone save Europe?”




Started in 2008, the Free Market Road Show® brings together renowned economists, leading politicians and prominent business leaders every year to discuss current economic problems and possible solutions at a variety of venues across Europe and the Caucuses. It also provides unparalleled networking opportunities for participants and those within the European free market movement, with exclusive events such as cocktail receptions and dinners with top opinion leaders and decision makers.

Since it started, the Free Market Road Show® has reached more than 1,800 participants and more than a hundred speakers from around the world. In 2012, the Free Market Road Show® exceeded all previous attendance records. This year, it promises to be even bigger and better — with many new cities, more speakers and a growing list of participants.




May 16, 2013 (Thursday)

Grand-Hotel Sofia

1 Gurko Str.



16:00 – 16:05

Welcome and introduction by Svetla Kostadinova, Executive Director, IME

16:05 – 16:50

Panel 1: More Europe vs. Less Europe: How much Europe can we really afford?

Some people argue that the solution to the European crisis is more government involvement. Others argue that a smaller more local state is best.

  • Krassen Stanchev, Ph.D. (Senior Consultant and Central Asia Regional Advisor for Pragma Corp., Board Chairman, Founder and former Executive Director of IME)
  • Georgi Sarakostov (Deloitte Bulgaria, Partner)
  • Mark Klugmann (Creator of the LEAP Zones / LEAP Cities)

Q&A session.


16:50 – 18:00

Panel 2: Deregulation vs. Regulation: What brings an economy back on track?

The current Euro-zone crisis and recent financial turmoil have prompted many people to urge for greater banking and financial supervision in order to prevent future crises. Others have argued that deregulation is the best approach to unleash the powers of free enterprise. Who is right?

  • Valeri Dimitrov (Bulgarian National Audit Office, President)
  • Daniel Mitchel (Deloitte Bulgaria, Partner)
  • Gia Jandieri (Vice-president of New Economic School – Georgia)

Q&A session.


18:00 – 18:45

Panel 3: Welfare vs. Opportunities: Can youth unemployment be solved with more state intervention — or more freedom?

Youth unemployment is a terrible phenomenon affecting many European economies today. And with the current fiscal crisis, state unemployment benefits and safety nets are often inadequate. How can governments solve youth unemployment given current budgetary constraints?

  • Daniel Kaddik (Resident Representative of the Project Office Sofia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom)
  • John Kartch (Director of Communications, Americans for Tax Reform)

Q&A session.

Moderator of the event will be Mr. Asen Grigorov, journalist at Bulgarian National Television.

The event will be held in English.


For more information:

Ms. Vesela Dobrinova, Institute for Market Economics (IME)

02/952 62 66, 952 35 03



May 16, 2013


Svetla Kostadinova is the executive director of the Institute for Market Economics (IME). She joined IME in 2001 and in 2007 was elected by the Board as its second executive director. Her areas of expertise include labor market, tax policy, government efficiency and regulation impact assessment.

Ms Kostadinova is a member of the Bulgarian Macroeconomic Association and a member of the Bulgarian EURO Team, organized by the EU. In June 2012 Ms Kostadinova was ranked as the 29th most influential woman in Bulgaria by Capital weekly magazine. In December 2012 Ms Kostadinova was ranked 19th most influential woman in Bulgaria by Forbes Bulgaria magazine.

Ms Kostadinova holds a Master degree in Finance from the University of the National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria

Krassen Stanchev, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant and Central Asia Regional Advisor for Pragma Corp., Board Chairman, Founder and former Executive Director of IME. He is head of the EDMC Workforce Team, CEO of KC 2 Ltd. ( and assistant professor at Sofia University. He is also former member and committee chairman of the Constitutional Assembly (1990 – 1991), one of the most quoted Bulgarian observers, best country analyst award for 1996 by Euromoney, as well as laureate of Bulgaria Government Prize – 2002, Templeton – 2006 – as IME Director, and Georgi Vassilev’s Fund for Contribution on the Spirit of Liberty – 2006. He was a principle drafter of a number of reforms from central planning to market economy and is one of the leaders of those reforms. His expertise is in economic and regulatory policies conducive to private sector growth in New Europe and Former Soviet Union, and in relation between post – Communist economies and countries, and their position vis-a-vis EU and US.

Georgi Sarakostov is a Head of Tax & Legal Practice, Partner at Deloitte Bulgaria, Member of IME Board. With more than 15 years of experience, Georgi Sarakostov is leading the Corporate Taxation and Indirect Taxation service lines in Bulgaria for Deloitte Bulgaria. He has graduated Moscow University of International Relations. Georgi Sarakostov has a wealth of experience working in a regional practice and has participated in regional networks including International Tax Structuring and Transfer Pricing. He was involved in activities of non-government organizations focusing on improvement of tax regimes. Currently he is Co-Chairman of the CEIBG Tax and Legal Committee (Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria).

Mark Klugmann served in the White House as speechwriter to Presidents Reagan and Bush (Sr.). An expert on economic reform, he counsels governments on LEAP Zones (special, semi-autonomous, Legal, Economic, Administrative, Political jurisdictions) to accelerate growth. He leads the Presidential Advisory Council for the Special Development Regions of Honduras. He has advised six non-U.S. Presidents and given expert testimony before legislative committees of four countries. His methodology for winning approval of economic reforms without political cost has been successfully applied to telecom, ports, pensions, monetary reform, deregulation, privatization, etc. Visiting Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquin, he has lectured at Harvard’s Kennedy School, World Bank, Churchill Institute, World Financial Summit, etc. He serves on the board of Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and on Advisory Council of Global Adaptation Institute, and is a senior adviser to the Reagan Legacy Foundation. His work has been featured by the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, etc.

Valeri Dimitrov is a chairman of the Bulgarian Audit Office and a professor in Administrative Law, Associate Professor in Financial Law and Doctor in Law. Over the years he taught at numerous Bulgarian universities.
He was a legal adviser of the Governor of the Central bank (BNB), head of the legal department in BNB, legal adviser of the Governor and legal secretary to the Governing Board of the BNB. Elected Member of the 39th National Assembly in 2001 where he was a Chairperson of the Economic Policy Committee, Member of the Legal Affairs Committee and of the Budget and Finance Committee. Author of books, studies and articles in the field of banking, securities, financial and administrative law. Married with two children. The National Assembly elected him a President of the National Audit Office of the Republic of Bulgaria on April 7, 2005 and reelected him on the post on January 19, 2011.

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. He is one of the nation’s experts on fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, the economic burden of government spending, and tax competition. He’s been published in dozens of outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Journal of Regulation and Social Cost, Emory Law Journal, Forbes, USA Today, Offshore Investment, and Playboy and has appeared on all the major networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and C-SPAN. Dan earned a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University and undergraduate and Masters degrees from the University of Georgia.

Gia Jandieri is an economist, graduated two universities in Georgia; he worked at the State Audit Office, Central Election Commission, the Parliament of Georgia and the Anti-Corruption Agency. In 2001 Mr. Jandieri co-founded and since that time has been the Vice-president of New Economic School – Georgia, a free market think-tank. He currently lectures also at the Georgian-American University in Tbilisi and is a member of the Board of the National Statistics Office of Georgia. Gia is an active member of Economic Freedom, Atlas and many other free market networks.

Daniel Kaddik is the Project Director for South East Europe of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

He originates from Hamburg, Germany and holds MAs in European Studies and International Studies an well as a BA in Governmental Studies. Before taking over the post in Sofia, he worked for the Foundation in India, Russia, and Germany.


John Kartch is a director of communications at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a group founded by Grover Norquist in 1985 at the request of President Ronald Reagan. ATR believes in a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today. Kartch is a contributor to the American Spectator blog and, and his writing and commentary have appeared at, the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, Budget & Tax News, and He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Asen Grigorov is a Bulgarian renowned business journalist. Currently he co-hosts a Saturday morning show at the Bulgarian National Television. He was a host and producer of the economic TV program "Plus Minus" and a morning show on the Bulgarian National Television. He has worked as a producer on "Hello Bulgaria" at NovaTV. He was a creator of RE: TV.