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This essay presents the main conclusions of the Economic Freedom of the World 1997 report which, as of this year, Centro Einaudi will help to compile as official Italian collaborator of the Economic Freedom Network in conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs Group of the Turin Employers’ Association. Every year the report is accompanied by a study on a specific aspect of economic freedom in Italy (for 1997, The Other Fiscal Freedom, published here). In presenting the Economic Freedom Index to Italian readers, the author attaches special attention to the composition of the index itself and the positions of EU countries, Italy in particular. He specifically analyses the areas in which the degree of economic freedom in Italy is relatively high and those in which it is unsatisfactory, as well as the way in which it has evolved since 1975.