Wednesday , March 20 2019
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Tag Archives: Eurozone crisis

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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Hope for Italy? Well, hope never dies…

David has kindly linked into a new post by Alvin Rabushka on the possible adoption of a flat tax in Italy after the next elections. Rabushka travels the world promoting flatter taxes, and I can understand why he's happy with the way the Italian election debate is developing. Basically, the proposal for a flat tax system is the only one around. It is endorsed by parties on the right, as he claims in his piece....

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German Q3 GDP Growth Smashes Expectations

German GDP growth for Q3 2017 printed at 0.8% Q/Q, easily beating the consensus estimate of 0.6%, which was in line with growth in the previous quarter, driven by fixed capital formation amid stable household and government consumption. While year-on-year GDP growth was reported as 2.3%, the underlying growth was 2.8% after adjusting for calendar effects. The data confirmed that German growth was on track for its best year since 2011, and pushed the EUR higher for the fifth day, rising above...

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Catalonia and common sense

If we can't live without states, then, it may be better to have actually _more_ of them. As the President of the Catalonian region and wannabe government Carles Puigdemont flew for Belgium, the entire cause of Catalan secessionism appears endangered. Nine of his ministers have been jailed. By fleeing to Belgium, Puigdemont is actually doing the opposite of escaping: he is trying to bring the Catalan cause...

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Greece Plans 30 Billion Euro Debt Swap As It Prepares For The End Of Bailouts

Greece is planning a 30 billion euros debt swap which will convert 20 existing bonds into 5 (or less) new issues in the next few weeks (although the exact timing remains uncertain). The bonds are expected to have similar maturities to the existing notes from 2023-2042. According to Bloomberg, the Greek government is planning an unprecedented debt swap worth 29.7 billion euros ($34.5 billion) aimed at boosting the liquidity of its paper and easing the sale of new bonds in the future. Under a...

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