Greece Shows How to Handle the Crisis: Bloomberg

The government imposed severe social distancing measures much earlier than others

Bloomberg points out the exception of Greece among many countries in dealing effectively and swiftly with the coronavirus pandemic. The author of the piece refers to the strict social distancing measures, as well as the complete lockdown imposed by the Greek government.

The Covid-19 epidemic has exposed poor leadership and governance worldwide. From Spain to the U.K. to the U.S., politicians have waited far too long before taking the dramatic steps needed to protect their citizens.

Greece has been one noticeable — and perhaps surprising — exception to this trend. The government imposed severe social distancing measures at a much earlier stage of the epidemic than other southern European countries. For now, this swift reaction has helped Greece avoid the tragic healthcare crisis that richer states are facing.

Takis Pappas, a political scientist at the University of Helsinki, has compared the speed of the response in Greece, Italy and Spain. Athens closed down all non-essential shops only four days after reporting its first Covid-19 death. In contrast, Italy and Spain did so after 18 and 30 days, respectively. A ban on non-essential movement in Greece came only a week afterwards — faster than in either of the other two countries.


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