How to save Europe's citizens from record inflation?

Inflation is currently at its highest level in decades, in Europe and around the world. In the Eurozone it stands at 4.9 percent, in Russia at 8.4 percent and in Turkey at 21 percent. Consumers are being hit particularly hard by high energy costs and rising food costs. But in many countries citizens can expect little help from the politicians, commentators observe.

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Novaya Gazeta (RU) /

The elites don't care

Russia's ruling elites have weathered similar crises and won't be too bothered by this one, Novaya Gazeta explains:

“In the 1990s, directors of former Soviet factories corrected the price lists every day - and nothing bad happened. No 'economic crisis' can scare today's business decision-makers: these people came out of the 'crisis nineties', the 'fat noughties' and the 'bellicose tens' financially unscathed. They lined their pockets then and pursued crazy careers, and no crisis diminished their wealth. And they're raking in the cash right now as well. That's why they don't care if everything costs twice as much in the supermarket: 'The people have no cabbage? Let them eat avocados.'”

Polityka (PL) /

Silent night, expensive night

Inflation is also having an indirect influence on pandemic control in Poland, Polityka is convinced:

“Due to galloping inflation, we're facing the most expensive Christmas in years. So at the Christmas table we should wish for a healthy, normal and also cheaper New Year. But there is nothing to suggest that this will be the case. ... Inflation hits low earners the hardest. And these are the people who vote for the Law and Justice Party [PiS]. Most of them live in the eastern part of the country, where at the same time the vaccination campaign is meeting with great resistance. To avoid angering the electorate there even more, the ruling party refrained from introducing restrictions for the unvaccinated.”

Yetkin Report (TR) /

Erdoğan could exploit crisis again

A legal advisor to Erdoğan has tweeted that in view of the drop in the value of the Turkish lira people should be prepared for another state of emergency. Yetkin Report warns:

“The myth that Erdoğan will not go to the election he would lose was destroyed in the 2019 Istanbul election rerun. Therefore, it is discussed whether he will look for ways not to go to the elections. The tweet of Özgenç, one of Erdoğan’s staff members, caused a stir in this environment. The responsibility is not of those who produce these disturbing scenarios about Turkey, but those who cause these scenarios to be produced and stir the anxiety that the democratic administration in Turkey will also disappear on paper.”

Expresso (PT) /

ECB facing a dilemma

The inflation is not the result of the ECB's expansive monetary policy, Expresso points out:

“It has to do with other factors, such as energy prices, logistics chains, labour shortages and the effect of the fact that the data compares to the months of the pandemic. The ECB might be tempted to announce measures to temper expectations and ensure that inflation of 'below but close to two percent' is a credible commitment. It's a difficult decision. ... The ECB must now decide whether to slam on the brakes too soon, with consequences for the recovery of the economy and no guarantee of success on the inflation front, or to do nothing and risk inflation spiralling out of control.”