Analysis by Keith Rankin.
We in New Zealand hear so little about the tragedy unfolding in Eastern Europe, including the Baltic and Caucasian States. These countries have very cold winters, increased inequality, poverty, and popular nationalism (aka ‘populism’). But they are low on the queue for media coverage (and we don’t tend to regard anti East European sentiment as ‘racist’), and probably just as low on the queue for vaccines.
Maybe the Balkan countries not in the European Union will suffer the most? But then, as we saw after the Global Financial Crisis, the European Union is not good at looking after its own – it conveniently devolves pandemic management to its constituent countries while continuing to expect German-style fiscal discipline from them.
Should we care about the Balkans? Yes. After all, New Zealand went to war in 1914, after a Balkan conflict escalated. Nobody wants a repeat of World War 1.