Researchers at University of California, LA (UCLA) made a survey on EU member countries in Eastern Europe.
Though these countries are on their way of catching up with Western Europe, they all have got a long way to go, the study affirms. According to UCLA calculations, it will take Hungary 30-35 years, the Czech Republic 25 years, Romania 45-50 years to reach Western Europe's level. The two extremes are Slovenia, only 5 years back, and Bulgaria who, the study says, won’t catch up with the rest of the EU for a 100 years.
The UCLA research shows that there has been $240 billion worth capital coming to the CEE countries since 1989. At present Hungary's productivity is 60% of the EU average. In the early 1990s, CEE wages were as low as 7% of the German or Austrian wages, and now they are as low as 20%. As for the differences in economic structure, the study shows that in the EU15 countries, people employed by SMEs amount to 50% of the total workforce, while in Hungary the ratio is only 20%, and even lower, 10% in other countries of the region. (Magyar Hirlap)