Discontent over Europe's coronavirus chaos
Although most European governments are extremely reluctant to impose further lockdowns and restrictions on their citizens, in view of growing infection rates they see no other option. This makes it all the more important that the measures they take are viewed as reasonable and logical. Which is posing a major problem, commentators note.
Contradictions and double standards
Diena is infuriated:
“It seems cynical that the state has given permission to hold a live music awards ceremony while children are forbidden by law to visit their parents, relatives and friends. Under the current regulations a person is not allowed to help their neighbour by taking them to the shops by car. Even if both are wearing face masks. Yet at the same time dozens of people from different households are allowed to use the public transport together. ... We are asked to go shopping alone. Yet at the same time one of the state's chief epidemiologists admits that while his wife is in the shop, he stays outside and takes 'compromising pictures' which he later holds up as examples of social irresponsibility. And no one asks him why he went shopping together with his wife.”
Close the factories too!
Journalist Christian Bangel criticises in Zeit Online the fact that industry is still largely exempt from drastic measures:
“Is our meat industry systemically relevant? Are the car manufacturers? Yes, it would cost money, a lot of money, to put the industrial sector into lockdown for a few weeks. But money isn't the most important problem in times of low interest rates. The most pressing challenge is the endless lockdown that's destroying lives on so many levels. ... Fundamental rights, children, culture, mental health: all this must be put on hold due to the pandemic. But restricting commuting for work and temporarily closing production facilities are still seen as radically left-wing measures.”
Please stay at home - for the tourists?
Spaniards are for the most part banned from travelling over Easter but foreign holidaymakers are allowed to come to Spain. Only malicious tongues would dare claim that the state is putting tourists above the citizens, Isaac Rosa comments mockingly in eldiario.es:
“To believe something as preposterous as that would be like saying that the major infrastructures constructed in recent decades weren't built for the Spaniards but to facilitate tourist transport: the airports, the high-speed trains and motorways. ... If we believe something as crazy as that we'll believe anything. The building-up of the coastlines, the conversion of natural landscapes into building land, the big housing developments and golf courses, the management of water and other resources: was all of this aimed at attracting tourism rather than improving the quality of life for the country's inhabitants?”
The rebels have the law on their side
If the Polish government doesn't put its regulations for the catering sector on a firm constitutional footing it can't win the battle against Covid, warns Gazeta Wyborcza:
“We've already witnessed situations in which government officials were humiliated because clubs or restaurants were open despite the ban. Health department employees threatened the businesses with fines, but the latter simply waved the Constitution at them in reply. It wasn't difficult to predict who would win this legal battle. Most courts agreed that the rebellious entrepreneurs were right. All this should not lead to a war between society and the state. If a government wants to win the fight against the pandemic, it must fight it using legal means. Otherwise, the only winner at Easter will be the virus.”