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As the EU sets its sights on harmonising taxation of the rising e-cigarette and heated tobacco products market, lobbyists fight to keep prices down and smokers hooked. The forthcoming negotiations are intertwined with the bitter competition between the two industry giants.
Doubts, controversies, delays. Vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 in the Western Balkans have only started in Serbia and Albania, while the other countries in the area risk dangerous delays, despite some support initiatives promoted by the European Union
The COVID-19 crisis will lead to a sharp contraction of GDP in all EU member states. From billions for airlines to several hundred euros for small businesses, governments have been supporting their economy in different ways.
The EU’s vaccine distribution delays could be solved through voluntary collaborations established by pharmaceutical giants. However, civil society and several EU countries are calling for the liberalization of patents, to be able to independently produce doses and ensure vaccine coverage for the largest possible number of people. The second part of Stefano Valentino’s report on the monopolistic practices of pharmaceutical companies.
Over the last ten years, there were significantly fewer homicides in the EU. Suicide rates have also dropped. While the situation in certain northern countries is less rosy, there were considerably fewer violent deaths per 100,000 people in the South.
When it comes to job status and mental wellbeing, the young are the most affected by the pandemic among Europeans, reveals a recent report by Eurofound.
In the European Union, thousands of people with serious mental disorders live isolated and secluded from society, without receiving all the care they need. At least 150 million euros of EU funds, intended to improve their situation, have been used for other purposes.
The clash between the EU and AstraZeneca over delayed vaccines has revealed a stack of questionable contracts signed with Big Pharma. Problems include manufacturers’ ambiguous delivery dates, but lawyers investigating the deals show that companies have a clear advantage over the EU.
According to the annual assessment of the European Railway Agency, the trend of a steady decrease in the number of rail accidents continues. However, rail-related suicide rates remain roughly the same.
Doctors continue prescribing anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam or diazepam for long periods despite the risk of addictions. Meanwhile, under-investment in psychological care is making things worse.