NEW DELHI: As the Chinese machinery (read the Chinese Communist Party) took time to wake up to the COVID-19 crisis battering Hubei province, the rest of the world was caught unawares. The slow Chinese reaction, in part, was because officials at the provincial level in Hubei were trying to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak at their own level and hoping it wouldn’t escalate, Velina Tchakarova who heads the think-tank Austrian Institute for European and Security Studies in Vienna tells StratNews Global Deputy Editor Parul Chandra in this interview. Tchakarova also blames the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the spread of COVID-19, pointing out that it continued to say there were no reasons to impose travel or trade restrictions even as the virus was rapidly spreading. Tchakarova, whose work focuses on global systems transformation and geostrategy of global actors, also shares her views on the economic impact of COVID-19 on European countries and the fractious issue of corona bonds (joint bonds among European Union countries). The interview with Tchakarova was conducted hours hours before the finance ministers of 19 EU countries held a marathon meeting on Thursday to hammer out a deal that would help bail out members from the economic crisis they’re in owing to the pandemic.
Professional newshound, have navigated through typewriters, computers and mobile phones during my over three-decade-long career working in some of India's finest newsrooms (The Times of India, Financial Express). Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan are my focus, also Sri Lanka (when boss permits). Age and arthritis (that's a joke) have not dimmed the thrill of chasing a story. Loves music, animals and pasta.