“Politics are nowadays mostly behind the scenes, and there aren’t a lot of recent highlights about typical topics of tension,” says Dogan Eymirlioglu, Partner at the Balcioglu Selcuk Ardiyok Keki Attorney Partnership in Istanbul. “The entire focus is now on how to tackle the impact of the pandemic and deriving lock-down.”
“The Ukrainian Government is concerned with resolving the issues that arose following the outbreak of the pandemic,” says Armen Khachaturyan, Senior Partner at Asters in Kyiv. “This has led to many specific measures being adopted as a response to the new challenges that suddenly appeared, like postponing the deadlines for certain obligations and expanding interest loans to businesses, all of which are well-expected and, hopefully, efficient.”
“The Government has responded timely to the crisis and I think that the economic measures it has put in place can have positive effects,“ states Boris Baklaja, Partner at Baklaja Igric Tintor in Belgrade. “The Decrees adopted on April 10 provide for legislative follow-through for some of the measures previously announced by the Government are designed to produce two types of effects: support to companies primarily by postponing the regular obligatory payments — such as the tax and social contributions which are due as part of the employee’s gross salaries and advanced payment of profit tax —due in this period, and a direct, minimum wage, non-refundable financial aid for employees’ salaries for March through May.”
“The new Slovenian Prime Minister was elected by the National Assembly on March 13th, just as the crisis was picking up in this part of Europe,” says Uros Cop, Managing Partner at Law Firm Miro Senica and Attorneys, in Ljubljana. “Fairly quickly, the new Prime Minister formed a team of ministers, which was confirmed the following week by the Parliament – we were in luck that this process went smoothly.“
“From the perspective of the Austrian people the government is doing a great job,“ says Raimund Cancola, Partner at Taylor Wessing in Vienna. “We’re really lucky that the current coalition is working in unison – they’re quite complementary. Almost nobody has any substantial negative remarks over their handling of the crisis."
“While the Greek government has responded well to the COVID-19 crisis, shutting down a lot of social hotspots very early on, there are some areas which remain troubled,“ says Virginia Murray, a Partner at Watson Farley & Williams in Athens. “Tourism is a massive part of the Greek economy and the crisis stands to leave a huge impact, which is a real shame given that Greece has started to turn a corner, economically speaking, particularly since the start of the year."
According to Sabina Lalaj, the Local Legal Partner of Deloitte Legal in Albania and Kosovo, the current situation in Kosovo revolves around the unfortunate combination of the still-growing Covid-19 pandemic and the political crisis arising from the recent dismissal of Interior Minister Agim Veliu — a member of the Democratic League of Kosovo party, the junior partner leader of the country’s fragile governing coalition — by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, a member of the senior Vetevendosje (“Self-Determination”) party. The combination of the two crises has put the country’s growth on hold, and significantly limited any chance of effective government.
“The Russian Government has been very active in addressing concerns of business regarding inadequate regulatory control that has been increasing over last years,” says Andrey Ryabinin, Partner at Integrites in Moscow. “Several declarations have been made in this respect. As part of the reform known as 'regulatory guillotine' the Government is expected to eliminate in 2020-2021 several thousand outdated and excessive regulations in various industries regarding technical standards and requirements in business practice, most of which date back all the way to the Soviet times.”
“The end of 2019 has marked the end of the Sandu Cabinet — led by former Prime Minister Maia Sandu — and the takeover of the Prime Minister position by Ion Chicu,” says Daniel Cobzac, Managing Partner at Cobzac & Partners in Chisinau. “The Socialist Party now has its largest representation ever, and it was able to appoint one of their own to the Prime Minister’s position.”
"The economy in Belarus has been stable for the past few years, but recently has been heavily affected by both the negative impacts of the coronavirus and a tight situation with Russia,” says Sergei Makarchuk, Partner at Cerha Hempel in Minsk. “Tensions between the two countries have really taken their toll over the past six months and a few conflicts have taken place, in most cases related to the supply of oil.”