Thursday, 18 February 2021

Romania leads the rest of the EU

The Romanian government chose not to impose another lockdown after the one that ended in May and the economy outperformed the rest of the European Union last quarter.

Output not only grew from the previous three months, but surged by more than 10 times what analysts had expected. The expansion of 5.3% puts it ahead of all other EU members to have reported data so far.

In more good news, the Confidex index, which measures Romanian managers' confidence in the Romanian economy, rose from 41 in Q2 and Q3 to 45 in Q4, though it is lower (43) for small companies. Romanian managers estimate that their turnover will increase by 5% this year compared to last year.

The rate of deaths and infections with Covid-19 has fallen a long way in Romania since Christmas, as they have throughout Europe and most of the world. In Romania this happened without a lockdown, though schools were closed, restaurants, cafes and bars were closed indoors and a curfew was imposed after 9pm.

In Sweden, Hungary, Bulgaria and the other European countries which had no lockdown, including Belarus which has absolutely no restrictions but allows parents to keep children out of school, infections and deaths have fallen. 

Most European countries in fact are not locked down. Those that are are the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Greece, Austria, Cyprus, Holland and Slovakia. France had a lockdown in the first half of December and Germany had one over Christmas.

I wonder why so many people, particularly in England, are convinced that lockdowns are necessary, but they are and get very angry when their opinion is questioned.


  1. France has no lockdown in name only. People complain in the comments sections of various corona-related newspaper articles that the rules in France are actually worse than a lockdown. Namely there's a curfew starting at 6pm. As most people work until at least 5pm this leads to overcrowding of public transport and supermarkets between 5 and 6. Companies may give an exemption paper to their employees to show to the police if questioned after 6pm. I don't know how widespread these exemptions are, but my guess is that they are common.

    In my opinion the only difference between this system and the spring-style lockdown is that the schools are open (and they were open during the December lockdown too). But theatres, cinemas, restaurants, bars, sports halls, swimming pools, ski resorts, shops bigger than 20,000 sq metres are all closed. Masks in city centres (even outdoors), public transport, shops.

    There're no signs that the disease recedes in France, or maybe the first signs appeared only this week. Daily infection numbers are stable for more than a month now, about 300/day/million people. ICU beds occupancy is constant, or slightly increasing at 1-2%/week, for almost a month now, at about 50/million people. 65% of the number of ICU beds of 2018 are occupied by corona patients nationwide, in some regions 95%. The reproduction index was between 0.98 and 1.02 for most of the time since New Year, it fell to 0.93 in the past few days. All numbers are available here:

    Testing is free for everyone. That could explain de high infection numbers but it does not explain the high ICU beds occupancy.

    1. Thank you. Very interesting, especially this bad news: "65% of the number of ICU beds of 2018 are occupied by corona patients nationwide, in some regions 95%".

  2. Why most British people are pro lockdown is simple to explain - all the television and radio stations are pro lockdown, as our all the political parties.

    Far from denouncing the British government policy of lockdowns and other restrictions since March 2020 - the "Opposition" parties have constantly screamed that the government should be more restrictive.

    This is not the failure of this or that politician (it would have made no difference at all if another person had been Prime Minister) or this or that political party - it is the failure of an entire political culture, a culture where officials and "experts" make the real decisions, and politicians just shout at each other in ritual-combat.