To continue yesterday’s discussion of political and economic flashpoints, here are three more responses from Hungary, Russia, and Georgia.
–Jessie Labov, Budapest, Hungary
Well, the government has declared emergency, absolutist powers with no expiration date. Extendable indefinitely, at their discretion. Elections can be postponed, the entire system of government can be reshaped according to their liking, etc. So far there has not been any great abuse of these powers, but we are all just waiting to see what happens next. More details here.
–Lyudmila Skryabina, Moscow, Russia
The global economic crisis has already begun. I don’t dare make political predictions. But clearly the world will change.
–Emma Pratt, Tbilisi, Georgia
In terms of the virus itself, Easter (April 19) was a flashpoint, and we saw the medical results two weeks from then. This is an election year for Georgia, so the stakes are high for Georgian Dream. Their initial response led to increasing popularity, or at least grudging respect. Especially in the early days, the opposition was on board with the government’s response. Last summer’s protests were starting to calm down with a deal having been made between the government and the opposition regarding parliamentary elections, but the state of emergency endangers it. The recent arrest of opposition leader Okruashvili in connection with the June protests is also causing discontent. Further legal action towards the opposition would constitute a political flashpoint. The opposition’s support for the government response is already starting to weaken—the libertarian “Girchi” movement filed a lawsuit claiming the lockdown is illegal.
<< Stay tuned for next week’s post about reopening countries and economies!