20 April 2012 is the day when Bulgarians, figuratively speaking, stop working for the government and start working for themselves. This day is called Tax Freedom Day. In 2012 Bulgarians will need to work nearly four months only to pay their taxes and fees to the Government, thus reaching the budget’s revenue target for the year.
"Economic Policy Review" Bulletin ISSN 1313 - 0544
The decision of “Standard & Poor’s” to downgrade the credit ratings of nine Eurozone countries normally led to a lot of reactions and comments. European leaders hurried to “question” the agency`s rightness and turned the issue into almost political discussion. In all of the statements out there some key words are used: “American agency”, “inappropriate moment”, “unclear criteria”, “incomprehensible”, “illogical”, etc.
Institute for Market Economics hosted a round table “Fiscal Rules – Options for Bulgaria” (January 26, 2012). The discussion was focused on the European so-called “Fiscal Compact” and the Bulgarian “Financial Stability Pact”. The round table happen to be at the time when the Parliament was just one day ahead of voting on official Bulgarian position on the Draft Treaty on stability, coordination and governance in the Economic and monetary union. This was the only public event on such an important issue for Bulgaria and it provoked a huge interest as expected.
The third edition of the report “Successes and Failures of Bulgarian Governments (1998-2011)” supplements the first two editions with 109 newly published reports of the Bulgarian National Audit Office. Thus, the total cumulative number of audit reports covered in the latest edition is 697.
IME Library hosted a premier and a debate on Vaclav Klaus book “The European Integration Without Illusions” (16 February 2012)
There have been talks, for a few months now, about introducing new and stricter fiscal rules in European Union (EU) member-states, which would help reduce the fast piling up of public debt. During the last week of January there was, at last, a public debate about the position of Bulgaria on this issue. The debate was in the form of a round table organized by the Institute for Market Economics called “Fiscal Rules – Alternatives for Bulgaria”.
For some weeks now there are talks spreading over the resources in the Pension “Silver Fund” and their possible usage for upcoming payments on public debt in January 2013. This possibility was mentioned in an open talk by the finance minister and later on a proposed legislation on the issue was published.
The Institute for Market Economics publishes a report on fiscal rules, the logic behind their implementation, and history of fiscal rules in several countries. The report also presents an overview of such rules in Bulgaria as well as suggestions for their improvement.
Thanks to its traditional strong showings in areas such as property rights, freedom from corruption and business and trade freedom, Europe posted another year of strong scores in the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. Bulgaria’s economic freedom score is 64.7, making its economy the 61st freest in the 2012 Index.
The IME has joined the Initiative for a Free and Prospering Europe (IFPE) - an informal and non-political group of European think tanks and other non-governmental organizations, personalities from economic and other sectors, and citizens. The IFPE works to draw attention to the risks and devastating consequences of the current and scheduled attempts to solve the debt crisis by increasing the political and economic centralization of the Europe’s decision-making processes in Brussels