Monday , May 20 2019
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Tag Archives: Eurozone crisis

Brexit: What’s Next?

In Bloomberg Opinion, columnist Munir Sharma quipped that Britain is a small country like its European allies. In his view Britain has simply not accepted the truth of its smallness, unlike fellow EU members. In his view, Brexit is simply display of misplaced overconfidence. There is no “great” in Great Britain to be sought. Imminent disaster is virtually guaranteed, following the conundrum of recent months, according to many pundits. With an extension of the deadline...

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Some thoughts on the Spanish elections

Spain is going to the ballot box on Sunday. The electoral law is a version of proportional representation, that helps the top-scoring parties to manage a high number of seats for the sake of governability. The polls suggest that the Socialists will be the first party and will attempt to form a government with Podemos, the populist left wing. Such a government may not be enjoying a very wide majority. This is something that might make its life difficult, but it may...

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Bannon in/on Italy

Steve Bannon, as you may know, spends more and more of his time in Europe. He visits Italy quite a bit, as he is rumored to be planning to turn a monastery into a sort of permanent summer school for “populists”. Recently Bannon was in Italy and had a debate with Carlo Calenda, former Minister of Industry and soon to be a candidate in the European elections with the Democrats of the Left (he has his own movement, federated with them), hosted by Comin and Partners, a PR...

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What future for French “capitalism?”

One thing that always amazes me is how a free market economy is regularly the scapegoat of choice, even in societies that fall short of any sensible definition of “economic freedom”. Consider this Bloomberg piece, which advances the argument that “France’s Message for Capitalism Is Quite Simple: Adapt or Die”. The piece interprets the revolt of the Yellow Vests in France, a rather complex phenomenon that saw different, if not conflicting, political sensibilities on...

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The Italian crisis

American and British conservatives have a tendency, when it comes to Europe, to adopt a very simple way of reasoning: the European Union is bad, all who oppose the EU good. Well, not quite. In continental Europe the EU isn't opposed by Thatcherites fighting for deregulation and lower taxes, but most of the time by nationalists who will be most happy to go back to a command-and-control economy and who reject...

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The new Italian government

I had a chat with the always thoughtful Mary Kissel for the WSJ Opinion: Foreign Edition podcast on the new government which is possibly forming in Italy these days. It is, in a way, a laboratory in the sense that for the first time "populist" (I don't really like the word: I prefer "nationalist") parties are going to be in charge of a major Western European country. In short, I don't think it's any good....

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Frank Furedi on Italian populism

The European Union is hardly perfect, but I find it a bit ridiculous to consider it a vast conspiracy and not an extremely complex, and very often contradictory, development. I am a fan of Frank Furedi's work, and I typically enjoy his articles on spiked (a must-read, for me). In his last column, "Italy has dealth a blow to the establishment", Furedi deals with the recent Italian elections. The starting...

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Italian elections update

How dangerous is the new government to be for the economy and, possibly, the survival of the Eurozone, as both the Northern League and the Five Stars movement have threatened, at different moments, Eurexit? After the election, Italy looks indeed pretty much like "France without Macron": right-wing and left-wing "populists" (not a word I like: it muddles things instead of clarifying them) have scored, all...

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A quick update on Italian elections

Italians are voting in a national election today. As in many elections, there is hardly any "good" option - but plenty of bad ones. If you're interested in my take, I have a Podcast with Wall Street Journal's Mary Kissel and a piece on National Review. My gut feeling is that the Five Stars Movement will score even better than expected. They are a "populist" party, which in this case means promising ever...

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Italian elections update

A government that doesn't do much is highly preferable than one that does harm. Italian elections are fast approaching: they'll be held on March 4. I think there is so far an unnatural/uncanny sense of composure surrounding the ballot. I think many assume that, since France ultimately didn't vote for Marine Le Pen last year and stayed on the safe course with Emmanuel Macron, the same is going to happen in...

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