Czechia has spent 308 billion korunas (over €12 billion), or 28,800 korunas (€1,127) per capita, in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Hungary has spent more, some 35,640 korunas (€1,395) per capita, while Poland has spent 25,577 korunas (€1,001) per capita and Slovakia, 20,062 (€785) korunas. The data comes from Moore Czech Republic, based on March data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Worldwide, the United States has spent the most, with approximately 413,000 korunas (€16,190) per capita. Within the European Union, Austria ranked the highest with 144,000 korunas (€5,645) per capita.
The study also points out that a significant part of the aid went into the economy as liquidity support in the form of guarantees.
According to the study, most expenditures on direct measures went to the non-health sectors in all V4 countries.
“Poland provided the highest support in this area at 7.4 percent of GDP, followed by Hungary with 6.4 percent of GDP. Czechia and Slovakia spent the least in the non-health sectors, at 4.2 percent of GDP,” said Radovan Hauk, a partner at Moore Czech Republic.
These expenditures flowed into employment support, parental allowances, self-employment allowances, company rental subsidies and various programs to support sports, culture, tourism, transport, restaurants, agriculture and other sectors closed due to the pandemic.
“The Czech Republic was significantly more active in using instruments such as guarantees than the remaining Visegrad Four countries. Overall, 15.4 percent of GDP went to the Czech economy, while in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, it was 4 percent,” added Hauk.
In the healthcare sector, the assistance mainly concerned the purchase of medical supplies, bonuses for social workers, hospitals, public health stations and paramedics, as well as support for patient care, medical infrastructure development, telemedicine, digitization and other healthcare measures. The study showed that the highest support was provided by Hungary, namely 9,017 korunas (€353) per capita, while the Czech Republic offered up 5,628 korunas (€220) per capita.
According to the study, spending on fighting the pandemic has supported economies.
“Slovakia and Poland are expected to return to its original economic performance the fastest, i.e., later this year. In the case of the Czech Republic, which showed a year-over-year decline in GDP of 4.6 percent in 2020, a return to its original pre-Covid performance is not expected until 2022,” concluded Hauk.
Title image: In this Saturday, Dec. 29, 2001 file photo, Euro coins and banknotes are pictured in a shop in the western German city of Duisburg. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)