Because between Tallinn and Sofia the number of deaths is high relative to the population. Last week, the government had 25,000 white crosses painted on the pavement in Prague’s old town, one for each corona death.
»Poland is experiencing the most difficult moment in 13 months«
“Poland is experiencing its most difficult moment in 13 months,” said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki recently. 75 percent of the intensive care beds in hospitals are occupied: “The bottleneck is not with the ventilators, but with doctors, nurses and nurses.” Thousands of them have moved from Eastern Europe to the West in recent years because they are better paid there, than in the chronically underfunded health systems of the new EU countries.
Hungary and Slovakia inoculate Russian vaccines
But the virus continues to rage. Social scientists suspect that many in Eastern Europe do not adhere to the restrictions very consistently.
A new government under Igor Matovič had started to clean up corruption. During the pandemic, she had almost the entire population tested twice. The third wave hasn’t distracted – and now the government is dismantling the question of vaccination strategy.
Another problem is that Eastern Europeans tend to go to the doctor much later than the EU average. Scientists suspect that people prefer to rely on home remedies, because the health system still has a bad reputation in many places: It is notoriously underfunded – and therefore also corrupt. Doctors and nurses, for example, have the reputation in many places of paying extra for preferential treatment.
Hope for a new start with EU billions
It is noticeable that the corona frustration is directed primarily against the national authorities everywhere, but the EU is not really given negative credit for the vaccination debacle – although the governments in Hungary or Poland, for example, definitely specify a climate critical to the EU.
The reason for this reluctance is certainly the expected corona millions from Brussels. Despite the fatal pandemic development, the economies of the Eastern countries are doing comparatively well. In January, for example, Poland was the country with the lowest unemployment rate within the OECD (3.1 percent), while the Czech Republic took second place (3.2 percent). According to economists, the growth in Eastern Europe is hardly based on tourism and relatively little on the – largely closed – service sector, but rather on industrial production. And it goes on.
The conditions for a new start are therefore good, especially with the billions from the Corona recovery fund. Poland alone accounts for 32 billion euros in loans and 21 billion euros in grants. Warsaw must spend this on “institutions, investments, innovation, immigration and inclusion,” says Marcin Piątkowski, an economist at the World Bank. Corona could therefore chase a surge in economic modernization through the country: It was the greatest “opportunity in a thousand-year history to catch up with the West.”
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Corona Eastern Europe wave pandemics hits Poland Czech Republic Hungary hard