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Ramifications of COVID-19 in the Western Balkans Evaluation Note/ Zoran İvanov
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11/09/2020 - Viewed 316 times

 

Like many regions across the globe, the Western Balkans is struggling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The region’s most salient problems of prolonged political instability, economic stagnation, and emigration of its best and brightest, have worsened during the pandemic. Moving forward, the extent of the economic and social damage will be determined by two variables: the extent of political instability and the depth of the recession in the EU.

The problem of weak decision making

The extended duration of the pandemic requires coordinated political decisions in order to spearhead a systematic approach for managing debt and economic recovery. Protracted political instability has meant that the governments of the Western Balkans are weak and incapable of making sustainable economic decisions. State institutions will thus be unable to execute the necessary recovery measures. According to the assessment of the Economist Intelligence Unit, the likelihood of weak economies having to implement austerity measures for mitigating the pandemic crisis is much higher. These measures require dedicated and politically unpopular decisions. The governments in the Western Balkan, however, are preoccupied with enacting popular political decisions geared at enabling political elites to remain in power, while making their electorates worse off.

 

You may read evaluation note from here.

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