04.30.2010 0

Too Hot Not to Note: Europe’s Unsung Heroes

  • On: 05/26/2010 22:14:15
  • In: Economy
  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured commentary from Forbes’ publisher Steve Forbes, not every European nation is in a Greek-like debt crisis:

    Europe’s Unsung Heroes

    By Steve Forbes

    Not every recession-hit country in Europe is like wayward Greece, Portugal and Spain.

    Recently Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius of Lithuania dropped by our offices to discuss his small country’s economic prospects. Unlike Greece, which has garnered headlines for its economic woes, Lithuania more than a year ago firmly faced up to the economic crisis and took stern measures. Government spending was slashed by 30%. Public-sector salaries were cut 20% to 30%. And pensions were knocked down an average of 5%. The prime minister himself took a pay cut of 45%. Yes, some taxes were raised, and the corporate rate was hiked from 15% to 20%. But then it was knocked back to 15% in January. And Lithuania’s flat tax–also 15%–was left alone. Amazingly, Lithuanian unions went along with the government’s policies. There were no street riots

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