Johnny Munkhammar skrev på denna blogg från 2004 till sin död 2012. Bloggen är upprätthållen som ett minne och som referens till Johnnys arbete av Johnny Munkhammars minnesfond.

This blog was operated by Johnny Munkhammar from 2004 until 2012 when he passed away. This blog is now in a memorialized state and operated by the Johnny Munkhammar fund.
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Saturday 2021-10-23, 06:12:06

2008-10-09 18:11:26
Speech in Tblisi. The European Resource Bank is an annual conference of free-market think-tanks held in a new country every year. This year it was scheduled for Tblisi, Georgia, and it was pulled off despite the Russian aggression. The energetic New Economic School - Georgia was the main organiser, with several sponsors.

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Lado Gurgenidze, was the first speaker, at the introductory cocktail reception. I was the second, not entirely easy since he had such a fascinating story to tell. The free-market reforms of Georgia are well known, but a new decison is to reduce the "fiscal footprint" - that is, public spending - from 30 % of GDP to 25 % in a few years. That is impressive reform leadership.

I spoke about my book, also related to the need to further liberalise financial markets, after this crisis created by government intervention. I also had the pleasure of starting off by reading a message to the participants from a well-known person to most of them:

"Let me congratulate the organizers of the European Resource Bank for having chosen Georgia as the location for the 2008 event.

Indeed, Georgia has in recent years been a beacon of reform in the spirit argued by the think-tanks participating in the ERB. It has fought corruption, improved democracy and increased economic freedom radically - with great results.

This is a development that must not only be allowed to continue. In fact, it should inspire other countries.

The centre-right think-tanks of the European Resource Bank perform many important tasks, such as inspiring the policy debate in a free-market direction. Pulling off the event in Georgia despite the Russian aggression can also be seen as a commendable defense of freedom.

With my best wishes for a successful conference.

Carl Bildt
Foreign Minister of Sweden"

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