Digital lockdown

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 8, 2020

Governments in Central and Eastern Europe are using the latest technologies to enforce lockdowns and track anyone suspected of carrying the coronavirus.

Bulgaria eases coronavirus-related restrictions

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2020

MPs voted to ease the restrictions and sanctions imposed in March following the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus infection rates reined in across much of Central and Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews April 6, 2020

Cautious discussion of lifting restrictions in some countries as strict lockdown measures keep the number of cases in the hundreds or low thousands.

Bulgaria extends state of emergency until May 13, revises budget to cover coronavirus spending

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 4, 2020

PM Boyko Borissov says his government will ease social distancing restrictions when the infection rate declines for three consecutive days.

Balkans have some of the world’s strictest anti-coronavirus measures

bne IntelliNews March 31, 2020

Oxford University researchers look at the steps taken to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Bulgaria delays ERM2 entry plans until 2021

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 30, 2020

The previous deadlines for Bulgaria’s entry in the Exchange Rate Mechanism are unrealistic and a delay until 2021 would not be fatal, said central bank governor Dimitar Radev.

THE MITTELEUROPEAN VIEW: Why it is exactly the right time to fully revive the Vienna Initiative 1.0

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna March 27, 2020

For the banking sectors in CEE, hypothetical stress scenarios are becoming reality. A forum like the Vienna Initiative could be an ideal place to find coherent solutions during the current crisis.

CEE hotel deals put on hold amid coronavirus pandemic

bne IntelliNews March 26, 2020

After a vintage 2019, almost €2bn worth of deals were expected to close in the hotel sectors of six Central and Southeast European countries this year, but these are looking increasingly unlikely to complete, says a report from law firm CMS.

Capital Economics slashes CEE growth forecasts for 2020 to -2% y/y

bne IntelliNews March 25, 2020

Economic consultancy Capital Economics has slashed its growth forecast for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to a 2% y/y contractions from the previous 2.3% expansion in 2020, as a result of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus crisis to widen rich/poor gap within Central and Eastern Europe

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 19, 2020

Convergence to be reversed as the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is set to be deeper and longer in the CIS, Ukraine, Turkey and the Western Balkans than in the EU member states of Central and Southeast Europe.

THE MITTELEUROPEAN VIEW: Looking for LUV — what shape will Europe’s recovery from this existential crisis be?

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna with support from colleagues in Vienna & across the CEE region March 18, 2020

There is a new acronym in the economists' lexicon: VUCA. It is short for “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” as pundits are struggling to explain a crisis that is coming at us from all sides simultaneously.

wiiw slashes 2020 growth forecast for CESEE to just 1.1%

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 17, 2020

Vienna-based think tank expects the coronavirus pandemic to result in the worst year for the region since the global financial crisis.

BALKAN BLOG: A poor solution to waste disposal

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 17, 2020

Scandals over illegal waste imports have erupted in the two poorest EU states, Bulgaria and Romania, as two years on from China’s ban on plastic waste imports, developed countries are still struggling to dispose of waste they cannot recycle at home.

Bulgarians stockpile groceries as government closes schools, shops and restaurants until March 29

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 14, 2020

The parliament voted to declare a state of emergency, giving the government extraordinary rights to partially limit people’s freedom in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Bulgaria declares state of emergency over coronavirus until April 13

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 13, 2020

While efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus are seen as necessary, many people fear that the state of emergency could lead to a serious threat to democracy in Bulgaria.