Greece has climbed nine places in the “Democracy Index” ranking for 2022 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published on Wednesday. Greece’s overall score rose to 7.97 in 2022, up from 7.56 in 2021 lifting the country from 34th place to 25th.
The annual survey rates the state of democracy across 167 countries on the basis of five measures with a maximum score of ten—electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.
Factors helping Greece improve on Democracy Index
The EIU finds that Greece’s score for the functioning of government is also improving significantly, due to the end of the post-bailout enhanced surveillance regime that Greece has been under since 2015.
“Greece managed the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic by helping to restore public confidence in politics, parties and government, which had been eroded in the post-2010 crisis years,” the report says.
It stresses that tourism, which is the “heavy industry” of our country, would have suffered permanent damage if the pandemic had been managed in the wrong way.
“Similarly, the government handled the economic fallout from the Ukraine war in 2022 competently and in a way that avoided the kind of social and political polarization that characterized the 2010s,” it says.
Ultimately, Greece mounted an effective vaccination campaign and moved faster than most other countries to lift pandemic-related restrictions, resulting in improved scores on several indicators in 2022.
Best and worst democracy performers
The EIU report says that overall the long decline of global democracy stalled in 2022.
The latest edition finds that almost half (45.3%) of the world’s population live in a democracy of some sort, while more than a third (36.9%) live under authoritarian rule.
The global score of 5.29 out of ten, a rise of just 0.01 from the previous year, represents stagnation rather than a reversal of the democratic recession that began in 2016, which had seemed probable.
The Nordics (Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark) dominate the top tier of the Democracy Index rankings, taking five of the top six spots, with New Zealand claiming second place.
Norway remains the top-ranked country in the Democracy Index, thanks to its high scores across all five categories of the index, especially electoral process and pluralism, political culture, and political participation.
Countries in western Europe account for eight of the top ten places in the global democracy rankings and more than half (14) of the 24 nations classified as “full democracies”.
Foremost among the countries that performed poorly in 2022 was Russia, which had the biggest deterioration in the score of any country in the world.
Russia’s score dropped by 0.96 points to 2.28 from 3.24 in 2021 and its global ranking fell from 124th (out of 167) to 146th, close to the bottom of the global rankings.
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