Hannan-omics: “factual inaccuracies, dubious assertions”

Daniel Hannan has praised Georgia's economic policy. But experts say his piece has "serious factual inaccuracies" and "dubious, to say the least, assertions."

The Georgian International Media Centre has reacted angrily to a new blog post by Tory bête noir, Daniel Hannan, which praises the repressive government’s economic performance.

On his Daily Telegraph blog yesterday, the Conservative MEP wrote an article titled, “Libertarianism has made Georgia rich and free” which claims:

“Most governments responded to the credit crunch by borrowing more, taxing more, regulating more and owning more. Not that of Georgia.”

But the GIMC outline that in Hannan’s 249-word article there are “a number of serious factual inaccuracies and a number of dubious, to say the least, assertions.”

Hannan’s falsehoods include:

• claiming that Georgia has not borrowed when, in fact, the deficit has risen to 10 per cent of GDP in 2009;

• championing new fiscal rules which have not yet become law and which will not apply during a recession;

• highlighting restrictions on government spending which have resulted in the worst-funded health system in Europe;

• falsely claiming that Georgia has “continued to grow through the downturn”; and

• promoting Georgia, which is rated by Freedom House as a “not an elective democracy”, to the status of “free society”.

Read the full article here.

UPDATE 11.57

Sunder Katwala points out that Hannan has recently dropped Iceland, whose people he once acclaimed as “blue eyed sheikhs“, as his favoured economic model. We can only speculate about how the poor people of Georgia will feel about becoming the new Hannanite utopia.

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