Rassegna Stampa

Global Systemic Crisis

  • 33 33,000 gather in support of Hong Kong officers jailed for beating up Occupy protester Ken Tsang - Hong Kong witnessed one of the most significant mass demonstrations in its history last night when 33,000 serving and former police officers held a show of support for colleagues who were jailed for assaulting an activist during the 2014 Occupy protests. The mass rally, held on a soccer pitch at the Police Sports and Recreation Club in Mong Kok, was described by one officer in attendance as “the largest-ever single gathering of police officers the world has ever seen”… Read more : SCMP, 22.02.2017
  • gas Investments and trends : Gas: the real challenge - The oil crisis hides the gas emergence and subsequent trench warfare among the major producers. Around Europe: the United States and the unconventional shale gas, transported by sea and as liquid gas; Russia, Algeria and Norway, and the conventional gas (indexed to oil prices for the time being, under long-term contracts) delivered by land. The “unconventional” nature of shale gas has allowed the Americans to escape the constraint of indexing oil prices and to compete with Russian gas when dealing with Europe. But soon the indexation altogether disappeared, compelling to renegotiate all the long-term contracts in order to benefit from the liberalisation of prices, hence the current cacophony around the Gazprom and Sonatrach. But before that, the collapse of oil prices (and gas ones) in 2014 enabled the Russian gas ... Leggete
  • scmp WHY OBSESSING OVER GDP IS NO LONGER IN CHINA’S BEST INTERESTS - China’s leadership has always seen gross domestic product (GDP) numbers as the most important indicator of their ability of govern; thus their whole apparatus does whatever it can, in terms of policies, to make sure a politically acceptable growth rate is achieved. With a persistent slowdown, the government has to adjust its target to a maximised but achievable goal. Between 2010 and 2015, the world’s second-largest economy witnessed a steady slowdown, with annual percentage growth rates of 10.5, 9.5, 7.9, 7.8, 7.3 and 6.9, respectively. Averaged annual GDP growth rates between 1989 and 2009 were around 10 per cent… Read more : SCMP, 07.01.2017
  • berlin wall The East Weighs Heavily on Germany’s Shoulders … - 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the unification of East and West Germany; but although the country is, obviously, much more unified now that the wall and curtain have been taken down, the West still carries the East when it comes to areas such as GDP, average salary and unemployment. 25 years is not a great deal of time to re-unify two groups of people and Germany has done well; but there are still visible differences between the two sides which deserve to be noted, especially when giving the state of Germany a health check. There are also still some large cultural and infrastructural differences between the two sides. In the West, BMW is the choice of car over Skoda; whereas in the East, the opposite is true. If you ... Leggete
  • Thailand's Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Transport Ministry in Bangkok, Thailand, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom Thailand, China agree on $5 billion cost for rail project’s first phase - China and Thailand agreed on Wednesday that the first phase of a planned high-speed railway project will cost 179 billion baht ($5.15 billion), Thailand’s transport minister said, with both countries calling for closer ties following rocky negotiations. The 873 km (542 miles) rail line will link Thailand’s border with Laos to the ports and industrial zones in Thailand’s east. Beijing has ambitious railway plans to connect the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming to Thailand, through Laos, and Thailand wants to modernize its aging rail network. Earlier this year China put the project cost at 560 billion baht ($16.09 billion), which Thailand said was too high. Agreement over the project’s framework comes after months of sometimes tense negotiations, officials said. “This project will cost 179 billion baht. This is what we ... Leggete
  • politics The GEAB’s exclusive Calendar of Future Political Events and their potential outcome - March 15 / The Netherlands : General election : for many months now, Geert Wilders’ xenophobic PVV party has dominated all the polls with voting intentions of 20 to 25%, likely to bring him around 35 of the 150 existing seats in the Dutch Parliament. The main opponent, the liberal right-wing party, VVD, could have around 25 seats; the three following parties, Christian Democrats, D66 and Greens, would have around 15 seats each; while the Socialists would reach 10-12 seats, weakened by their participation in the coalition government with the VDD. That said, since no party is expected to accept a coalition with the PVV (Rutte recently announced that it is out of the question that his party makes an alliance with the PVV), Geert Wilders will … ( Read ... Leggete
  • euobs5 Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock - The Greek government agreed on Monday (20 February) to make new reforms to cut up to 2 percent of GDP in spending in the coming years. Greece accepted budget cuts worth up to €3.6 billion that it had previously refused as the only way to break the deadlock with its creditors in talks to unblock a new tranche of the €86 billion bailout programme agreed in 2015. Experts from the creditor institutions – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – will be able to go back to Athens and prepare reforms on tax, pensions and the labour market with the Greek government. All parties hope that a so-called staff level agreement will be reached in time for eurozone ministers ... Leggete
  • China suspends North Korean coal imports, striking at regime’s financial lifeline - China will suspend all imports of coal from North Korea until the end of the year, the Commerce Ministry announced Saturday, in a surprise move that would cut off a major financial lifeline for Pyongyang and significantly enhance the effectiveness of U.N. sanctions. Coal is North Korea’s largest export item, and also China’s greatest point of leverage over the regime. The ministry said the ban would come into force Sunday and be effective until Dec. 31. China said the move was designed to implement November’s United Nations Security Council resolution that tightened sanctions against the regime in the wake of its last nuclear test. But experts said the move also reflected Beijing’s deep frustration with North Korea over its recent missile test and the assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half brother in Malaysia… Read ... Leggete
  • euro-exchange-rate-10 Euro: keep believing in it! - The LEAP team now believes that the more we are told about the difficulties of the euro, the more we must hear “course change needed” rather than “end of the euro coming”. Euro exit threats are mostly brandished as part of the haggling and bargaining kind of negotiations currently taking place among all the actors concerned, each with radically divergent interests. What collapsed within the euro crisis is not the euro currency but the community method. Germany is about to regain control of the euros’ governance, Paris is on its way to becoming one of the first European financial centres, the EU27 is in the hands of a Polish guy who is concerned about maintaining the political weight of the United States at the top of the economic union; the ... Leggete
  • airways For first time, Coalition now killing more civilians than Russia - New Airwars research shows that for the first time since Moscow intervened in Syria’s civil war in September 2015,  airstrikes  by the  US-led Coalition are now claiming the lives of more civilians than Russia’s brutal aerial campaign To date, Airwars researchers have identified 95 separate reported civilian casualty events in January across Iraq and Syria allegedly involving the Coalition. For the same period, 57 alleged Russian incidents took place. Likely civilian deaths as a result of Coalition actions are also higher for January. Airwars presently estimates that at least 254 non-combatants were likely killed in 47 strikes evaluated as “fair” – where there are multiple local reports of civilian casualties, and confirmed Coalition airstrikes in the near vicinity on the same date. January’s civilian toll is by far the highest to have been assessed ... Leggete
  • independent These will be the 32 most powerful economies in the world by 2050 - By 2050, the world is likely to have changed drastically from what we know now, and the planet’s economic and financial landscape will be no exception. A report from professional services giant PwC looks at which economies around the world will be the biggest and most powerful in 33 years time. The report, titled “The long view: how will the global economic order change by 2050?” ranked 32 countries by their projected global gross domestic product by purchasing power parity. PPP is used by macroeconomists to determine the economic productivity and standards of living among countries across a certain time period… Read more : The Independent, 18.02.2017
  • famine Famine declared in part of South Sudan’s Unity state - Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three UN agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. The official classification of famine highlights the human suffering caused by South Sudan’s three-year civil war and even as it is declared President Salva Kiir’s government is blocking food aid to some areas, according to UN officials. More than 100,000 people in two counties of Unity state are experiencing famine and there are fears it will spread as an additional one million South Sudanese are on the brink of starvation, said the announcement. “The concern is not just about the 100,000 civilians that are ... Leggete
  • euobs Referendum to create ‘Republic of Artsakh’ on Europe’s fringe - Some 100,000 ethnic Armenians are voting on a new name for their territory and new powers for their leader on Monday (20 February) in the crosshairs of Azerbaijan’s artillery and missiles. The referendum, in what used to be called the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, but what is likely to be called the Republic of Artsakh after the vote, comes in reaction to Azerbaijan’s military assault last April, which claimed between 50 and 350 lives on both sides. The conflict, which dates back to the break-up of the Soviet Union, and which sees almost daily exchanges of fire on the line of contact, has the potential to quickly escalate into a fight between Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh’s neighbour and sponsor, and Azerbaijan. Armenia and Azerbaijan are both negotiating new treaties with the EU as ... Leggete
  • renzi Italy’s former PM Renzi resigns as PD head as party split beckons - Former premier Matteo Renzi is to stand again for his Democratic Party (PD) leadership. Internal party feuding is threatening to split the party ahead of elections to be held by early 2018. Resisting pressure from a small group of party dissidents, Renzi resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) during a special conference in Rome on Sunday. Renzi said he would be seeking re-election at a party congress expected to be held in April or May. Party officials are due to decide on Tuesday when to hold the leadership ballot. “The only word worse than ‘schism’ is the word ‘blackmail,’ Renzi told the PD assembly in Rome. “To ask me to leave is not democratic.” “You have the right to defeat us, not eliminate us. That’s the heart of ... Leggete
  • Extraordinary Plenary session - Vote of a resolution analysing the outcome and ways forward Juncker attacks US on Nato spending - European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has said the US was wrong to push European members of Nato to spend more on their militaries. “It has been the American message for many, many years. I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this,” he said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Thursday (16 February), according to the Reuters news agency. He added that the US idea of security was “too narrow” and that it should also count EU countries’ spending on development and humanitarian aid as a contribution to overseas “stability”. “I don’t like our American friends narrowing down this concept of security to the military,” he said. “If you look at what Europe is doing in defence, plus development aid, plus humanitarian aid, the comparison ... Leggete
  • Antonio TAJANI - EP President in the plenary session Week 7 2017 in Strasbourg MEPs approve Canada trade deal amid protest - MEPs approved the EU-Canada trade deal on Wednesday (15 February), paving the way for provisional application of the accord to start as early as next month. The European Parliament voted 408 in favour, 254 against, and 33 abstaining for the Ceta deal after an emotional debate in the plenary, during which opponents of the deal accused its supporters of putting multinational corporations’ interests ahead of EU citizens, while those backing the deal charged critics of isolationism and populism. The vote took place amid loud “Stop Ceta” chants from the chamber’s galleries, as some MEPs opposing the deal joined in. Several hundred demonstrators also protested against the deal in front of the parliament’s Strasbourg building, in the presence of heavy security. In the heated debate MEP Artis Pabriks, rapporteur for Ceta, ... Leggete
  • nation EU preparing early China summit in message to Trump - The European Union is preparing an early summit with China in April or May in Brussels to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of a more protectionist and inward-looking Washington, three EU officials said. China and the EU hold a summit every year, usually in July, and a date has yet to be fixed formally for 2017. One of the officials said Beijing had requested it to take place as early as possible. The EU believes China wants to use the summit to press home President Xi Jinping’s vigorous defense of open trade and global ties at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, in response to the new U.S. President Donald Trump. “With an early summit, China wants to send a message to the United ... Leggete
  • euobs3 US urges Europe to spend more on Nato - The US has threatened to reduce its involvement in Nato if Europeans did not spend more on their militaries. It also criticised Russia, amid confusion on Trump’s foreign policy. US defence chief Jim Mattis issued the warning after a meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday (15 February). “I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States … America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defence,” he told press. “No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defence of western values,” he added. Nato allies agreed in 2014, the year that ... Leggete
  • liberation La chaîne américaine NBC News entre au capital d’Euronews - La chaîne d’informations américaine NBC News (groupe Comcast/NBCUniversal) a annoncé une prise de participation dans son homologue paneuropéenne Euronews, qui sera rebaptisée Euronews NBC. «Après le bouclage de cet accord, NBC News fournira des ressources éditoriales, des conseils stratégiques –et aura une participation dans le capital– afin d’aider à continuer à bâtir sur le succès qu’Euronews a eu jusqu’ici», a indiqué mardi soir Andy Lack, le président du conseil d’administration de NBC News Group, dans un mémo interne dont l’AFP a obtenu une copie. D’après une source proche du dossier, la participation que prévoit d’acquérir NBC représente 25% du capital d’Euronews. Cela fera de la chaîne américaine le deuxième actionnaire d’Euronews derrière le magnat d’origine égyptienne Naguib Sawiris. Ce dernier possède actuellement 53% du capital, le reste étant entre les ... Leggete
  • mw Why OPEC’s oil production cut is a ‘gift to U.S. producers’ - Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are sticking to their agreement to curb oil output, but prices for crude have lost ground so far this year thanks to signs of further growth in U.S. output. U.S. production not only threatens to undermine efforts by OPEC and other producers to ease the global glut of crude, but concerns over the threat of losing market share to North American producers could also undermine future cooperation within the cartel. So far, “traders have been surprised by larger January OPEC output cuts than initially expected,” said Tyler Richey, co-editor of The 7:00’s Report. In a monthly report released last week, the International Energy Agency said output from OPEC members was down by about 1 million barrels a day from the group’s ... Leggete
  • News Analysis: Another Wall Street crisis in the making? - The virtual economy heats up, optimistic sentiment rises, the Federal Reserve (Fed) begins to hike rates, and the market beats the drum for relaxed regulations. Isn’t this exactly what was happening before a subprime mortgage crisis broke out ten years ago? Ten years have elapsed, and analysts are worrying about whether another crisis is in the works in Wall Street and whether the world can handle it better. GREED OF WALL STREET RETURNS “Greed is a powerful force. We are trying not to forget that,” Andrew Sheets, a credit strategist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a recent note, comparing the current market situation to the early days of 2007 and warning of a resurgence of greed. Since Donald Trump won the presidential election on Nov. 8, the U.S. stock market ... Leggete
  • euobs MEPs set to approve Canada trade deal - MEPs are expected to approve Ceta, the EU-Canada trade agreement, on Wednesday (15 February), amid concerns about the US administration’s trade protectionism. “I’m grateful for [US president] Trump. His attitude toward global trade opened the eyes, and urged sceptics to think twice,” Artis Pabriks, a centre-right Latvian MEP and the parliament’s rapporteur for Ceta, told this website. The new US president has pulled out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) with 11 countries and has been an opponent of TTIP, the EU-US trade deal under discussion. “It’s a litmus test for the future of European Union,” Pabriks said, adding that it will show whether Europeans “are willing to join those who preach protectionism, who are willing build walls, who are willing to look inwards, or if [they] are the ones who ... Leggete
  • bloom4 Germany’s Bond Squeeze Spells the End of Draghi’s Rescue - The decision by European Central Bank policy makers in December to change the rules of their Public Sector Purchasing Program has had a pretty consequential outcome. By letting national central banks — Germany in particular — buy their government bonds at yields below the current deposit rate of minus 40 basis points, ECB officials have unwittingly spelled the end for the quantitative easing program as we know it. After months of buying, national central banks are simply running out of longer-dated securities they can purchase as they bump up against ECB rules that stop them taking on more than a third of any particular issue. They will therefore have to buy more shorter-dated debt at heavily negative yields… Read more : Bloomberg, 13.02.2017
  • forbes3 3 Reasons Fintech Is Failing - When it comes to Fintech, it appears as though the bloom is finally coming off the rose. Once the hottest sector around, fintech has seen its fair share of failures and struggles as of late. Everyone from online lenders to bank technology companies has experienced elongated fund-raising cycles, missed targets, and mounting losses. Right now, the pain is most acute in the online lending space, with industry juggernauts like OnDeck, Lending Club, and CAN Capital seeing depressed stock prices or worse. Two years ago, I wrote about the potential pitfalls facing online lenders; now, I’m convinced that the contagion that plagued that space is beginning to spread to other aspects of the fintech sector… Read more : Forbes, 07.02.2017
  • bloom Ukraine Is Fighting Its Own Cold War - Vladimir Putin said only Russia predicted Donald Trump would win the White House. Trump, an admirer, wants to use that surprise victory to mend fences, signaling during the campaign that he may lift sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea and launched a war on Ukraine—a war that continues to this day. The aggression, and the 9,600 killed as a result, soured relations with U.S. President Barack Obama, who  called out Putin as a canny foe of America intent on crushing Ukraine’s 2014 revolution. Until just recently, Trump had expressed ambivalence about the crisis in Ukraine. Trump and Putin have already had a cordial phone call, and there are plans for a meeting this summer. For Ukrainians, there is concern about what this relationship may mean for them, the intensifying conflict in the east, ... Leggete
  • bloom2 Don’t Sell the Euro Short. It’s Here to Stay. - “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” the gray-haired but entirely ambulant Mark Twain is alleged to have said while on a European speaking tour in 1897. If the euro could speak, it would undoubtedly say something similar. And it would have ample occasion to do so, since reports of its imminent demise are widespread. The latest vote of no-confidence comes from Ted Malloch, tipped to serve as the Trump Administration’s ambassador to the European Union, who recently opined that he would “short” the euro, which he said could collapse in the next 18 months. Leaving aside what passes these days for diplomacy, there are ample reasons to worry about the euro. The Greek crisis is coming to a head yet again: The IMF and the German government are unable ... Leggete
  • forbes2 Nearly Bankrupt Venezuela Picks Fight With Russia’s ‘Darth Vader’ - As if Venezuela doesn’t have enough problems, its National Assembly is now picking a fight with Russia’s most powerful oil man.  Igor Sechin, known as Darth Vader in Russia, is the CEO of Rosneft and his company is now being roadblocked by legislators who question the legality of a 40% joint venture deal with a PdVSA subsidiary called Petromonagas. Sechin says the deal is legal. Venezuela, which can use all the money it can get, thinks otherwise. On Thursday, the National Assembly took up issue over the proposed sale, telling the Russian embassy on Friday that it was annulling the $500 million deal with Rosneft. Petromnagas, formerly known as Cerro Negro, is one of four strategic oil projects undertaken by Venezuela in the Orinoco heavy oil basin. It produces around 170 ... Leggete
  • tsipras Eurogroup’s Dijsselbloem: Greek primary budget surplus is ‘on table’ - The size of Greece’s primary budget surplus will be among topics of discussion at a meeting later on Friday of key players in the country’s bailout and reform program, the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers said. Speaking in The Hague, Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed the meeting would take place in Brussels but dismissed any suggestion that Athens’ bailout program was in crisis.A review by creditors of Greece’s performance since its mid-2015 bailout has dragged on for months longer than planned, and all sides are hoping for progress before a Feb. 20 meeting of the Eurogroup.”The story that there’s a crisis (is) roundly exaggerated,” said Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister… Read more : The Fiscal Times, 10.02.2017
  • forbes1 Russia’s Baltic Sea Pipeline Scares The Life Out Of Ukraine - Despite opposition last year from anti-trust authorities in Poland, Russia is not backing down. Energy giant Gazprom insists it will build the Nord Stream II pipeline through the Baltic Sea even if it has to do it alone. The pipeline will sit right beside the Nord Stream I pipeline that already exists.  And if it gets built, Ukraine is convinced it’s future as a transit line for Russian gas into Europe is finished. “As it is, Russia is moving its traditional Ukraine transit to Nord Stream I,” says Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of Naftogaz in Ukraine. “If you look at the numbers on gas consumption in Europe out to 2020, it is obvious to me that if we get a Nord Stream II and if we get the expansion of Turkish Stream, ... Leggete
  • gu Trump’s advisers want a new civil war – we must not let them have it - A controversial and divisive US president is elected. State governments defy his will. Popular discontent erupts into low-level violence in several states. And then what? We’ve been here before. In 1861, the newly elected president, Abraham Lincoln, had to be spirited through Baltimore on a secret train to Washington DC, to thwart a suspected assassination plot. Not long after he took power, a five-year civil war began. Although it comprehensively lost the American civil war, the racist right in the US has for decades consoled itself by reading crazed “alternate history” novels, in which things turn out differently. Now, Time magazine has revealed that Steve Bannon, the White House chief of staff and Donald Trump’s closest aide, believes the next phase of American history should be as catastrophic and traumatic ... Leggete
  • chinaorg Chinese author awarded Morocco’s highest cultural honor - Given by the Ministry of Culture of Morocco, the prize aims to commend authors that speak different languages and whose works have had a great influence on the literature of Morocco and the Arab world. The award was handed out during Morocco’s 23rd International Book Fair in Casablanca. This isn’t the first time Liu Zhenyun has been honored by the Arab world. In 2016 he was given a similar award by Egypt. After receiving the honor, Liu expressed his gratitude to many translators, saying that their hard work had taken his literary works to Morocco and the Arab world. Liu also said that he felt at home wherever he found his works. “The way of living and attitude towards life in the Arab world touches me deeply, and I am ... Leggete
  • euobs Romanian protests continue despite government climbdown - A sea of light flooded Bucharest’s Victory square on Sunday (5 February) evening as people flashed their mobiles on the building in front of them: the government headquarters. Earlier that day, the social democrat government had repealed the emergency decree that would have weakened the country’s anti-corruption laws, but people still gathered for the largest anti-government protest in Romania’s post-communist history. An estimated 250,000 marched in the capital, another 350,000 took to the streets elsewhere. Romania’s population is 20 million. Robert, a 36-year old CEO, had taken part in every protest against the decree except on Thursday, when his son David celebrated his fourth birthday. His company, a foreign multinational, supported the protest by offering tea, coffee, and internet connection for the people chanting outside in the cold. “I don’t ... Leggete
  • guardian Former Catalan president defiant before trial over secession vote - The former Catalan president Artur Mas has insisted he has nothing to apologise for as he prepares to go on trial for his role in the symbolic independence referendum staged in the region three years ago. Mas, who governed Catalonia from 2010 to 2016, will appear at the high court in Barcelona on Monday along with former vice-president Joana Ortega and former education minister Irene Rigau. They are accused of criminal disobedience and breach of trust for holding the referendum in defiance of Spain’s constitutional court and could receive a 10-year ban on holding public office if convicted. More than 80% of participants opted for independence in the non-binding vote, staged in November 2014. However, only 2.3 million of Catalonia’s 5.4 million eligible voters took part… Read more : The ... Leggete
  • lacroix En Roumanie, les citoyens font reculer le pouvoir - Ces trois dernières semaines, des centaines de milliers de Roumains ont envahi les rues pour protester contre la dépénalisation de la corruption. Dimanche 5 février, le gouvernement a officiellement abrogé ce décret d’urgence. Il est 21 heures, les 25 000 personnes rassemblées sur la place de l’opéra de la ville de Timisoara ce samedi 4 février sont suspendues au fil d’actualité de leur téléphone, impatientes. Depuis Bucarest, capitale de la Roumanie, le premier ministre est en train de faire une déclaration. Cela fait cinq jours que les manifestations s’enchaînent dans tout le pays mais à aucun moment le gouvernement n’était revenu sur sa décision de dépénaliser certains faits de corruption. À 21 h 15, Sergiu, l’un des membres de l’organisation, enlève ses écouteurs et s’empare du micro. « Sorin Grindeanu vient ... Leggete
  • Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (L),  EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (C) and Austrian Prime Minister Christian Kern, walk through Valletta during a break in the European Union leaders summit in Valletta, Malta, February 3, 2017.     REUTERS/Yves Herman EU founders speak of possible ‘multispeed’ future after Brexit - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of other founding states of the European Union spoke on Friday of some countries moving ahead faster than others with further integration. After a summit in Malta at which all national leaders discussed plans for a formal declaration in March on the future of the bloc following Britain’s departure, Merkel and others offered endorsements of a so-called “multispeed Europe”, which some governments fear could damage EU unity in the wake of Brexit. Though they disagree on details, Berlin, Paris and many of the 17 other states which use the euro currency are keen to bind the euro zone closer together after years of crisis in which investors have doubted the currency’s survival. But some countries around the periphery of the bloc fear creating a ... Leggete
  • oecd Telling the whole truth in a post-truth environment - Gabriela Ramos, Special Counsellor to the OECD Secretary-General and Sherpa to the G20 In 2016, surprisingly for many, Oxford Dictionaries chose as their Word of the Year “post-truth”, an adjective defined as: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. This runs contrary to the main tenet of the OECD, the “house of best practices” whose works and analysis depend on high quality statistics and solid empirical evidence. So how did we get here, and what does it means for our democracies? As the OECD’s G20 Sherpa, I witnessed the evolution of what was originally a financial crisis into an economic crisis, and more recently, after eight years of low growth and very slow recovery, ... Leggete
  • OPEC to Swell Investor Gains by Turning Market Upside Down - OPEC’s production cuts have already turned oil speculators the most bullish in a decade. As their effect is felt, crude could become even more alluring. The supply curbs are boosting short-term oil prices, pushing some higher than later-dated contracts for the first time in two years. As OPEC’s cuts begin to drain the world’s bloated fuel inventories, short-term crude should appreciate further, presenting financial investors with a new opportunity: a buy-and-hold strategy that once incurred losses will instead offer rewards. Since 2014, short-term crude traded at a discount because of a global surplus. This generated stellar profits for suppliers from BP Plc to Vitol Group BV who stockpiled oil for later sale. But for financial investors in crude futures, holding onto a position meant buying ever-costlier contracts that often wiped ... Leggete
  • bloomb Minister Quits as Biggest Post-Communist Protests Rock Romania - The largest protests since the collapse of communism failed to persuade Romania’s government to reverse legislative changes that undermine a clampdown on corruption and have enraged the public. While saying people have the right to protest, the ruling Social Democrats gave the one-month-old cabinet their full backing. The only public dissent from within the administration came from Business Environment Minister Florin Jianu, who resigned. At least 300,000 people took to the streets of cities across the country on Wednesday evening. About 150,000 gathered in freezing temperatures outside the government building in Bucharest… Read more : Bloomberg, 01.02.2017
  • euobserver Italy and Libya cut migrant busting deal - Italy and the UN-backed government in Libya on Thursday (2 February) signed a deal to curb migration, ahead of the EU summit in Malta. The plan is part of a broader EU effort to seal off the migratory flows from Libya before the upcoming summer months when the sea journeys towards Europe are expected to spike. Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni signed the deal with Libya’s prime minister Fayez al-Serraj in Rome. “It confirms that cooperation that has been taking place for months via the Italian government’s commitment on many fronts,” said Gentiloni. Serraj, quoted in Deutsche Welle, said the deal included “humanitarian repatriation” of migrants. Italian news agency Ansa said it also included measures to combat human trafficking, contraband, and border reinforcement… Read more : EUObserver, 03.02.2017
  • euobs EU farming policy: The damage done by 20 years of inertia - The EU has long understood that the common agricultural policy (CAP) needs to become fairer and greener. Despite progress in some areas, the data shows that the problems of the 1990s have not gone away. The CAP, which oversees subsidies to farmers in Europe, is a complex bureaucracy favouring large businesses over small farmers, pushing them towards intensive farming practices that harm the environment and lead to unemployment. Such criticism does not come from green activists. It was printed almost word for word in brochures of the European Commission in 1998, in preparation for a reform of the CAP. The reform was enacted in 1999. Less than 15 years later, in 2013, the same problems were addressed in yet another reform. The talk was to make the CAP “greener” and ... Leggete
  • lt L’Allemagne n’a jamais été aussi peuplée - La population allemande a atteint 82,8 millions d’habitants en 2016 en raison de l’augmentation du solde migratoire. Le précédent record de 2002 est dépassé. Mais les menaces à long terme demeurent. L’Allemagne n’a jamais été aussi peuplée. Selon les chiffres préliminaires de Destatis, l’Office fédéral des Statistiques allemand, la population allemande à la fin de 2016 atteignait 82,8 millions d’habitants, soit 600.000 personnes de plus qu’un an plus tôt. Grâce à cette poussée, le précédent record de population, qui datait de 2002 et se situait à 82,5 millions d’habitants, a été dépassé. Ces chiffres doivent cependant être pris avec beaucoup de réserves, prévient Destatis, en raison d’un changement méthodique. On se souvient que le recensement de 2011 avait révélé une population inférieure de 2 millions à l’estimation annuelle alors publiée ... Leggete
  • euobs Thousands protest as Romania scraps anti-corruption rules - Protests erupted in Bucharest on Tuesday (31 January) evening after Romania’s left-wing government scrapped some anti-corruption rules, in a move likely to allow leading politicians to avoid criminal persecution. The cabinet of social democrat Sorin Grindeanu had convened to approve the 2017 budget, but later passed an emergency measure to decriminalise some offences. Abuse of power will no longer be prosecuted if it is deemed to have caused financial damage of less than €44,000. The bill was only made public after the meeting. Changes will enter into force within 10 days, without need for approval by the parliament. Crowds gathered in Bucharest and other cities across Romania after news of the meeting broke. Some 10,000 people gathered outside the government’s headquarters, calling the government “thieves” and “traitors” and imploring the ... Leggete
  • Former head of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during a ceremony to hand over three paintings by Russian artist Paul Chmaroff including "Paysannes dans les Bois", "Deux Baigneuses" and "Autoportrait", to the Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow on December 16, 2016. / AFP / Vasily MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) Mikhail Gorbachev: ‘It All Looks as if the World Is Preparing for War’ - The world today is overwhelmed with problems. Policymakers seem to be confused and at a loss. But no problem is more urgent today than the militarization of politics and the new arms race. Stopping and reversing this ruinous race must be our top priority. The current situation is too dangerous. More troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are being brought to Europe. NATO and Russian forces and weapons that used to be deployed at a distance are now placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank. While state budgets are struggling to fund people’s essential social needs, military spending is growing. Money is easily found for sophisticated weapons whose destructive power is comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction; for submarines whose single salvo is capable ... Leggete
  • dw Germany’s Social Democrats nominate Martin Schulz as top candidate to run against Merkel - The SPD executive has formally nominated Schulz, the ex-president of the EU parliament, to run as its candidate for chancellor. The official confirmation is to take place in mid-March. The executive of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) on Sunday formally nominated former European Parliament President Martin Schulz to lead the party as successor to Sigmar Gabriel, and to be its candidate for the chancellery in September’s federal election, sources familiar with the decision said. The nomination, which was expected, is to be voted on at a special party conference in mid-March, with Schulz almost certain to be confirmed in the positions. Gabriel stepped down from the party leadership in a surprise move on Tuesday, also announcing that he would not run for chancellor against Angela Merkel in this year’s elections. On ... Leggete
  • guardian Australia open to China and Indonesia joining TPP after US pulls out - The Australian government will push ahead for a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal without the United States and is open to Indonesia, China and others seeking to join the agreement. The Australian trade minister, Steven Ciobo, made the call for countries to push ahead with a so-called TPP 12-minus-one agreement now that the US president, Donald Trump, has signed an order that the US will not join the deal. On Monday evening, the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, reportedly confirmed Australia’s commitment to the TPP in a phone conversation with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe. At a media conference on Tuesday, Turnbull said there was no question that the US pulling out was a “big loss” for the TPP. Asked if TPP countries should push for China to join, Turnbull said there ... Leggete
  • Der SPD-Bundesvorsitzenden Sigmar Gabriel spricht am 14.01.2017 beim Neujahrsempfang der SPD in der Stadthalle in Braunschweig (Niedersachsen). Foto: Peter Steffen/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++ Sigmar Gabriel: Now Is the Time to Strengthen Europe - The German Economics Minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party tells Handelsblatt Europe must forge its own trade relations with Asia, and face down Donald Trump’s protectionist threats. On an intercity train zooming through the lowlands of the German state of Lower Saxony, German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel talked to Handelsblatt about Germany’s role in Europe and the world, the need for investment in infrastructure and the challenges posed by the shift away from nuclear power and toward green energy, known as the Energiewende… Read more : Global Handelsblatt, 24.01.2017
  • bloom World’s Largest Private Bank Makes Contrarian Call on Euro Rally - At a time when some investors are questioning the future of the euro, the world’s largest manager of money for the wealthy is advising clients to bet on a rally. UBS Wealth Management recommends buying the European currency as it sees it being undervalued against the dollar and because of faster euro-area inflation. It expects the euro to climb about 7 percent to $1.15 in six months, while the majority of forecasters surveyed by Bloomberg expect it to slip to $1.03-$1.04 in the same time frame. The euro has gained 2 percent this year to around $1.07, after slumping more than 20 percent in the past three years against the dollar as the European Central Bank’s easy monetary policy and political crises in the region weighed on the common currency. ... Leggete
  • dw2 Iran and Saudi Arabia struggle to reconcile differences - Tehran has claimed that 10 countries are willing to mediate a reconciliation between regional adversaries Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two countries oppose each other in the Middle East’s many conflicts. Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, confirmed that ten countries will attempt to smooth over the differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Rohani stated that he wanted to see a change in Saudi Arabia’s policies toward the region. Saudi Arabia has said the same thing about Iran. If the two countries break the ice, however, the result could be a new, more positive, chapter for the Middle East Hussein Rorian, an expert on Iranian affairs, told DW that the Iranian position “has been repeated by the Secretary of the Supreme National Council Ali Shamani, President of the Republic Ali Rohani, and just recently Foreign Minister ... Leggete
  • express Israël: feu vert à la construction de 566 logements à Jérusalem-Est - Les permis de construire de ces logements avaient été gelés à la fin décembre à la demande du Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu en attendant l’arrivée de Donald Trump à la Maison Blanche. La mairie israélienne de Jérusalem a donné son feu vert définitif à la construction de 566 logements dans trois quartiers de colonisation de Jérusalem-Est, deux jours après l’entrée en fonction du président américain Donald Trump, a annoncé un conseiller municipal. Les permis de construire de ces logements avaient été gelés à la fin décembre à la demande du Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu en attendant l’arrivée de Donald Trump à la Maison Blanche, a précisé Meïr Turjeman, président de la commission de la construction et de planification de la municipalité de Jérusalem… Lisez la suite : L’Express, 22.01.2017
  • dw Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for nuclear disarmament - Xi Jinping has called for a world without nuclear weapons in his address at the World Economic Forum. The Chinese president also spoke out in favor of a multilateral world based on equality among big and small countries. In a landmark address in Davos on Wednesday, Xi held a speech to campaign for nuclear disarmament and a global governance system based on equality among countries. “Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of them,” he said in a 45-minute-long address. “We should reject dominance by one or several countries,” he said, adding that big countries needed to treat their smaller counterparts as equals “instead of acting as a hegemon.” “Sovereign equality is the most important rule,” he continued… Read more : Deutsche ... Leggete