COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Durov rejects Western funds’ offer to buy 5%-10% of Telegram with $30bn valuation
Belarusian government sees $2bn of withdrawals, issues $580mn worth of bonds in 2020
Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Top Centre Party official suspected of corruption in Tallinn real estate scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
Romanian tech entrepreneurs expand into banking sector
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
Slovakia to invest €1.2bn in digitisation
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Vodafone Albania plans €100mn infrastructure investments after AbCom merger
OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
Bosnia’s real GDP contracts 6.3% y/y in 3Q20
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Socialist lawmakers in Moldova scrap settlement on $1bn bank frauds
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
Vast tide of floating waste threatens Balkan hydropower plants
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants
Romania’s industrial recovery paused in November
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
Slovenia’s Eligma completes €4mn funding round
Turkish opposition leader lawsuit demands one lira from Erdogan, police probe “bald” interior minister posts
Akbank takes over Istanbul's Palladium Atasehir shopping mall
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
Modern-day “Robin Hood” inspires Georgians drowning in debt
Iran’s navy conducts missile drill while analyst argues Trump even capable of nuclear strike in final days
TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Makro positions itself for growth in a more competitive market
Download the pdf version
New coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continued their rise in several Central and Southeast European countries, in line with a sharp rise across Europe, data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows.
New restrictions are being introduced, and several governments have warned they will return to lockdown if cases continue to increase sharply, despite the expected damage to their economies.
According to the WHO’s latest epidemiological update, globally over 2mn new cases were reported in the seven days to October 27. As the global centre of the epidemic has shifted again, for the second week running the European region accounted for the largest share of reported new cases – over 1.3mn during the week, which is a 33% week-on-week increase.
Most of Europe – including much of the Central and Southeast Europe region – reported over 1,000 cases per million of the population in the seven days.
On a more positive note, although the number of deaths is gradually increasing, the proportion of deaths to cases remains relatively low compared to the early phase of the pandemic in the spring, the WHO said.
During this period, in emerging Europe Czechia had the greatest increase in new coronavirus cases compared to its population; a total of 81,970, or 7,669 per million of the population.
Both Slovenia and Armenia – which has been reporting high infection figures since the start of the pandemic – have reported over 4,000 new cases per million inhabitants in the last week, and there were over 2,000 each in Croatia, Georgia and Slovakia.
“In Czechia, where new deaths per 1 million [of the] population are currently the highest (67) since the start of the pandemic, hospitals are expected to be at maximum capacity by mid-November,” the WHO wrote.
Last week, Prague limited free movement of citizens and ordered the closure of most retailers in the country. Most of the measures will stay in effect until the end of the state of emergency on November 3.
This was followed by an overnight curfew for all citizens announced by Health Care Minister Roman Prymula on October 26. The government also limited working hours of retailers. They must be closed between 8pm and 5pm from Monday to Saturday and fully closed on Sundays. The exceptions are pharmacies, filling stations, and airport and railway station shops. Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said on October 28 he cannot rule out a complete lockdown if the current measures don’t have the desired effect.
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced on October 22 the country will follow its neighbour and close most of its schools and require the population to stay at home expect for trips to be tested, going to work and securing essentials or taking a walk close to their homes, to mitigate the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. “This is the last way to avoid a total lockdown that many other countries have gone for,” Matovic told reporters, quoted by Reuters.
In an attempt to tackle the crisis, Slovakia has become the first country in the world to start the pilot stage of mass testing for COVID-19 in two of the most severely affected districts. A total of 140,945 people had themselves tested on October 23-25.
There has also been a worrying growth in new infections in Poland, which is now considering a new lockdown as it failed to stop the spread with softer measures. Poland reported a record 18,820 new cases on October 27.
The government has been incrementally tightening restrictions since October 1, when the number of new cases began a rapid rise. The most recent batch of safety rules saw higher grades in primary schools switching to online mode as well as limits on public gatherings and a shutdown of gastronomy, except for takeaway orders. However, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says the country won't return to full lockdown.
In Southeast Europe’s worst affected country, Slovenia, a lockdown, including an overnight curfew, has already been imposed. The list of facilities that will be closed includes hotels and restaurants, casinos, hairdressing and beauty services, wellness and fitness centres, swimming pools, cinemas, cultural and other service providers.
“In the last week, Slovenia reported their highest daily increase in the number of new cases, 1,964; the rapid rise in cases has resulted in the healthcare system being stretched to capacity,” commented the WHO on October 27.
In neighbouring Croatia, which reported 2,227 cases per million of the population during the week, Health Minister Vili Beros called for the total mobilisation of the public health system. The country’s crisis management team presented a new set of measures on October 25, which include a 50-person cap on attendees at public gatherings, while sports events will be held without spectators for the next 14 days. However, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic has ruled out a new lockdown or overnight curfew.
Amid a worsening of the situation in the South Caucasus, Armenia reported 4,443 cases per million of the population during the week.
The escalation of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave has made it much more difficult to fight the spread of COVID-19. The WHO regional director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, commented on October 22 that “the hostilities are already contributing to a dramatic acceleration in COVID-19 transmission. Continued cycles of violence and subsequent population displacement will exacerbate the precariousness of the health situation.” Specifically, the "conflict is causing a direct disruption to healthcare, further burdening health systems that are already stretched by the pandemic,” said a statement from the WHO.
Neighbouring Georgia, which largely managed to escape the first wave of the pandemic, has now been reporting high numbers of new cases. Georgia, despite its small population of around 4mn, announced nearly 2,000 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period spanning October 24-25, including more than 1,000 cases in the capital city Tbilisi that has emerged as a major virus hotspot. The Black Sea region of Adjara played a key role in spreading the virus during the summer months because of its holiday resorts.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: