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The latest edition of State of the Union highlights the diplomatic détente between Turkey and Greece, as well as the domestic upheaval in Georgia. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have been meeting regularly to address decades of mutual animosity by focusing on areas such as trade, tourism, energy, and cultural ties. While there are still areas where both sides have disagreements, it is positive to see tensions between the two countries easing. However, Georgia has been experiencing protests near the parliament building in Tbilisi following the approval of a controversial foreign influence law. Despite EU warnings, the law has been passed, raising concerns about Georgia’s path to EU membership.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) released its latest economic outlook for the region. The report, titled “Taming Inflation,” highlights the decrease in inflation in EBRD regions from 17.5 percent in October 2022 to an average of 6.3 percent in March. This drop in inflation can be attributed to international market developments, such as lower prices of natural gas, agricultural commodities, and moderate oil prices. However, some central bankers still face challenges in managing inflation risks, particularly in countries where cumulative inflation has exceeded 30 percent.

In terms of economic growth, there are positive signs for Eastern European EU member states like Poland, Croatia, and Hungary, with expected growth rates of around 3 percent. The increase in real wages, fiscal policy support, and EU funding from the New Generation EU initiative are contributing to economic activity in these countries. Despite some countries facing challenges with inflation, there are areas within the EU regions that are expected to see growth and improvement in their economies.

The report also discusses the economic situation in Ukraine, which has been severely affected by the ongoing conflict. The heavy bombings in recent months have significantly reduced Ukraine’s ability to generate electricity, with production levels at only 40 percent of pre-bombing levels. The capacity for electricity production cannot be easily repaired, posing a significant challenge for the country’s economy. Despite these hardships, Ukraine continues to strive for economic stability amid the ongoing war.

In a more lighthearted segment, the State of the Union highlights the thrilling experience of two professional skydivers from Austria who executed a daring wingsuit flight over London’s Tower Bridge. The skydivers described the experience as “a dream come true,” showcasing the exhilarating nature of extreme sports. The wingsuit flight, which covered over a kilometer and reached speeds of almost 250 kilometers per hour, lasted 45 seconds and demonstrated the adrenaline-fueled excitement of such daring maneuvers. This segment provides a contrast to the more serious topics discussed in the report, offering a glimpse into the world of extreme sports and adventure.

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