Bailout-dependent and recession-battered Greece apparently lost significant ground in 2015 in yet another global index , as the Fraser Institute report on economic freedom worldwide announced this week that the country fell to 116th place (out of 159).
In its report for 2017, which is based on updated data from 2015, the Canadian think tank said Greece fell 27 spots from its previous ranking, with the EU and Euro zone member state hovering in a position between Nigeria (114th) and Bangladesh (117) in terms of economic freedom.
The report is the most recent piece of bad news for the struggling leftist-rightist coalition government in Athens, which is increasingly relying on very high direct and indirect tax rates to meet fiscal targets. Conversely, proverbial Greek state "red tape", still imposed capital controls and often tepid political volition have derailed or are delaying a handful of massive - by modern Greek standards - privatizations and strategic investments.
The 116th ranking leaves Greece last among EU member-states and all countries in SE Europe.
The countries joining Greece in posting the biggest drop in their economic freedom rankings were a trio of 21st century South American underachievers - Venezuela, Argentina and Bolivia - and, curiously, Iceland.
Hong Kong again led the rankings, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Ireland.
According to its website, the annual Fraser report is the world’s premier measurement of economic freedom, ranking countries based on five areas: size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation of credit, labor and business.