Week in Review: The Dark Shadow of COVID-19


The coronavirus is reaching south-east Europe just a little later than the rest of the European continent. In doing so, it is giving citizens and governments just enough time to watch the chaos engulfing countries such as Italy before it hits the region in full force.

It is also giving the region a little bit more time to prepare, assuming that it knows how to use this time wisely. We take a look at what countries across the region are doing and - in particular - how prepared their public health systems are to tackle the pandemic.

Read more: Tight-Lipped Balkan Governments Scramble to Defend Against COVID-19 (March 13, 2020)


Romanian interim Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

Until just a week or two ago, Romania looked like it was slowly but surely marching towards an early Parliamentary election. Unsurprisingly, President Klaus Iohannis and the National Liberal Party wanted to capitalise on their own popular support and the low support enjoyed by their chief rivals from the PSD.

Like so much else, COVID-19 has forced a rethink. A virus pandemic is hardly a time to conduct election campaigns and march millions of Romanians through polling stations. Thus, Romania has just witnessed the strange spectacle of the opposition PSD putting back into power more or less the same National Liberal government that it had earlier succeeded in ousting.

Read more: Romanian Opposition Votes in Government it just Ousted (March 17, 2020)

In Search of Stability

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party, SDS, Janez Jansa attend a campaign event of SDS in May 2018. Photo: EPA-EFE/Szilard Koszticsak HUNGARY OUT.


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