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August 25, 2016

The costs of Brexit

What about Scotland? Was Scotland not supposed to boycott Brexit, either by vetoing any Brexit legislation, or by holding a referendum to exit the UK? For the moment, there is no need for any action until the UK government decides on its Brexit strategy. But there is now a good chance that Brexit will happen, and that Scotland will stay in the UK. George Eaton notes in the New Statesman that the latest public spending figures show that Scotland really cannot go it alone. Scotland's deficit has risen to 9.5% of GDP, even if one were to include Scotland's geographical share of North Sea oil revenue. The UK's deficit, meanwhile, has fallen from 5% to 4% last year.

One factor that has changed since the 2014 referendum is that the oil bonus has virtually disappeared. North Sea revenue was down from £1.8bn to a mere £60m. Public sector revenues per person were £400 lower than in the UK as a whole, while expenditures were £1,200 higher. Eaton makes the point that the costs of Scottish independence would become prohibitive. If Scotland decided to go it alone, it would immediately have to impose Greek-style austerity. Eaton also notes that only 15% of Scotland's exports go to the EU-ex-UK, while two thirds go to the rest of the UK. The Scottish government will only ask for another independence referendum if it can win it, and that is far from certain - especially now the polls have turned and favour a No vote.

We also noted a comment by Rupert Pennant-Rea on the costs of Brexit for the UK as a whole. He makes the argument that the permanent fall in sterling is the real metric by which the costs should be judged. The costs come in the form of lower real wages. In theory this should help the UK rebalance. In practice this never happened in the past.

It is interesting to see how the many irremovable obstacles to Brexit seem to be disappearing fast: Scotland is no longer a problem. Northern Ireland still is. And, once the British establishment finally weans itself from the illusion that it can have immigration controls and single market membership, much of the fog surrounding Brexit will have lifted. It is a gargantuan technocratic task to separate the UK from the EU. But it is feasible.

We disagree fundamentally with the argument by Pennant-Rea, which we think of as inverse mercantilism - an asset holders' version. The strong value of the pound before the referendum reflected hot money inflows that funded an increasingly unsustainable current account deficit. The argument is not that the fall in the pound would miraculously restore balance, but that it is unsurprising for a currency to fall in the presence of such a high deficit. We believe that this would have invariably happened in any case - and that Brexit was merely a trigger, not the cause. And the lower pound will facilitate a new industrial strategy by the government.

On a broader point, those who supported Remain still seem to us in campaign mode. They would further their interests if they engaged in the debate on how to make Brexit work, rather relying on the hope that the Brexiteers in the British government will mess it up.

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August 25, 2016

Redefining corruption

Having made "democratic regeneration" a lynchpin of its political programme, Ciudadanos disappointed observers by watering down its demands of the PP in negotiations this week. Ciudadanos' conditions included the immediate separation of any political official indicted on corruption charges, but the agreement reached with the PP on that matter is limited to personal enrichment or illegal party finance, excluding crimes such as making illegal decisions, misuse of public funds, bribery, and tax fraud. The argument given by Ciudadanos to justify this about-face is that making a mistake is not the same thing as putting one's hand in the till. In addition, the PP insisted that the agreement should only come into force three months after Rajoy is reappointed PM, and only affect national politicians and not those in local and regional governments despite the fact that most notable corruption cases in Spain occur at the local and regional level. As a way to salvage the credibility of the anti-corruption agreement, PP and Ciudadanos have proposed turning it into a "state pact" open to the rest of the political parties, but it is being met with general scepticism.

The conditions demanded of Mariano Rajoy were just prerequisites to starting negotiations on the liberal party's support for Rajoy's reappointment bid. And the negotiations have generally gone well except for the PP baulking at five policy demands of Ciudadanos: the drastic simplification of employment law into a "single contract"; tax and social security reform for the self-employed; the timing and size of an income tax cut; improving parental leave; and policies to encourage private R&D. Lately, Ciudadanos is complaining that the PP is adopting a take-it-or-leave-it position and warning that the conversations might be derailed. In particular they refer to Ciudadanos' demand to abolish provincial administration, and funding for an expansion of social programmes to tackle the effects of the economic crisis.

Given that Ciudadanos doesn't have the seats to carry Rajoy over the line next week, it is perhaps not surprising that the PP is resisting most of its demands. In these negotiations, as with the agreement between Ciudadanos and the PSOE last February, it is the smaller party that is being given a credibility boost by the large, traditional parties, to exclude Podemos, which is seen as the real threat to the establishment. But also, Ciudadanos' vetos of other possible partners other than the PSOE make it unlikely that Rajoy will be able to assemble a majority. Ciudadanos would see a side deal between Rajoy and the Basque or Catalan right-wing nationalists as a breach of trust.

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August 25, 2016

Greek government shocked, shocked...

The Greek government was shocked, shocked, as Captain Renault in Casablanca, that there should be any link between the Syriza government and the latest controversy about the former Elstat head Andreas Georgiou, who now faces prosecution for allegedly tinkering with the 2009 deficit figures. After all, this was in 2010, PASOK was in power, and it was not the Syriza government that launched the case but the judiciary system. The decision of a a supreme court prosecutor that Georgiou should stand trial provoked a huge wave of criticism at home and abroad. The government’s ambivalent stance was emphasised by state minister Nikos Pappas calling for light to be shed on the claims, and has raised concern that Georgiou may become a scapegoat. The European Commission sent a letter to the government asking the Greek government to take a stance on this issue. From the government’s reaction to the letter it looks like the government wants to stay clear of any overt implication into the case. However, even if Syriza and government members refrain from public comments on this case, the government will benefit politically from continued speculation about the validity of the data that triggered Greece’s first bailout by 2010, writes Macropolis. New Democracy, meanwhile, is having its round of bickering as in this case loyals want the ND to defend former prime minister Kostas Karamanlis, who was in power in the years to 2009 when the disputed deficits were recorded.

Show Comments Write a Comment

August 25, 2016

The costs of Brexit

What about Scotland? Was Scotland not supposed to boycott Brexit, either by vetoing any Brexit legislation, or by holding a referendum to exit the UK? For the moment, there is no need for any action until the UK government decides on its Brexit strategy. But there is now a good chance that Brexit will happen, and that Scotland will stay in the UK. George Eaton notes in the New Statesman that the latest public spending figures show that Scotland really cannot go it alone. Scotland's deficit has risen to 9.5% of GDP, even if one were to include Scotland's geographical share of North Sea oil revenue. The UK's deficit, meanwhile, has fallen from 5% to 4% last year.

One factor that has changed since the 2014 referendum is that the oil bonus has virtually disappeared. North Sea revenue was down from £1.8bn to a mere £60m. Public sector revenues per person were £400 lower than in the UK as a whole, while expenditures were £1,200 higher. Eaton makes the point that the costs of Scottish independence would become prohibitive. If Scotland decided to go it alone, it would immediately have to impose Greek-style austerity. Eaton also notes that only 15% of Scotland's exports go to the EU-ex-UK, while two thirds go to the rest of the UK. The Scottish government will only ask for another independence referendum if it can win it, and that is far from certain - especially now the polls have turned and favour a No vote.

We also noted a comment by Rupert Pennant-Rea on the costs of Brexit for the UK as a whole. He makes the argument that the permanent fall in sterling is the real metric by which the costs should be judged. The costs come in the form of lower real wages. In theory this should help the UK rebalance. In practice this never happened in the past.

It is interesting to see how the many irremovable obstacles to Brexit seem to be disappearing fast: Scotland is no longer a problem. Northern Ireland still is. And, once the British establishment finally weans itself from the illusion that it can have immigration controls and single market membership, much of the fog surrounding Brexit will have lifted. It is a gargantuan technocratic task to separate the UK from the EU. But it is feasible.

We disagree fundamentally with the argument by Pennant-Rea, which we think of as inverse mercantilism - an asset holders' version. The strong value of the pound before the referendum reflected hot money inflows that funded an increasingly unsustainable current account deficit. The argument is not that the fall in the pound would miraculously restore balance, but that it is unsurprising for a currency to fall in the presence of such a high deficit. We believe that this would have invariably happened in any case - and that Brexit was merely a trigger, not the cause. And the lower pound will facilitate a new industrial strategy by the government.

On a broader point, those who supported Remain still seem to us in campaign mode. They would further their interests if they engaged in the debate on how to make Brexit work, rather relying on the hope that the Brexiteers in the British government will mess it up.

Show Comments Write a Comment

August 25, 2016

Redefining corruption

Having made "democratic regeneration" a lynchpin of its political programme, Ciudadanos disappointed observers by watering down its demands of the PP in negotiations this week. Ciudadanos' conditions included the immediate separation of any political official indicted on corruption charges, but the agreement reached with the PP on that matter is limited to personal enrichment or illegal party finance, excluding crimes such as making illegal decisions, misuse of public funds, bribery, and tax fraud. The argument given by Ciudadanos to justify this about-face is that making a mistake is not the same thing as putting one's hand in the till. In addition, the PP insisted that the agreement should only come into force three months after Rajoy is reappointed PM, and only affect national politicians and not those in local and regional governments despite the fact that most notable corruption cases in Spain occur at the local and regional level. As a way to salvage the credibility of the anti-corruption agreement, PP and Ciudadanos have proposed turning it into a "state pact" open to the rest of the political parties, but it is being met with general scepticism.

The conditions demanded of Mariano Rajoy were just prerequisites to starting negotiations on the liberal party's support for Rajoy's reappointment bid. And the negotiations have generally gone well except for the PP baulking at five policy demands of Ciudadanos: the drastic simplification of employment law into a "single contract"; tax and social security reform for the self-employed; the timing and size of an income tax cut; improving parental leave; and policies to encourage private R&D. Lately, Ciudadanos is complaining that the PP is adopting a take-it-or-leave-it position and warning that the conversations might be derailed. In particular they refer to Ciudadanos' demand to abolish provincial administration, and funding for an expansion of social programmes to tackle the effects of the economic crisis.

Given that Ciudadanos doesn't have the seats to carry Rajoy over the line next week, it is perhaps not surprising that the PP is resisting most of its demands. In these negotiations, as with the agreement between Ciudadanos and the PSOE last February, it is the smaller party that is being given a credibility boost by the large, traditional parties, to exclude Podemos, which is seen as the real threat to the establishment. But also, Ciudadanos' vetos of other possible partners other than the PSOE make it unlikely that Rajoy will be able to assemble a majority. Ciudadanos would see a side deal between Rajoy and the Basque or Catalan right-wing nationalists as a breach of trust.

Show Comments Write a Comment

August 25, 2016

Greek government shocked, shocked...

The Greek government was shocked, shocked, as Captain Renault in Casablanca, that there should be any link between the Syriza government and the latest controversy about the former Elstat head Andreas Georgiou, who now faces prosecution for allegedly tinkering with the 2009 deficit figures. After all, this was in 2010, PASOK was in power, and it was not the Syriza government that launched the case but the judiciary system. The decision of a a supreme court prosecutor that Georgiou should stand trial provoked a huge wave of criticism at home and abroad. The government’s ambivalent stance was emphasised by state minister Nikos Pappas calling for light to be shed on the claims, and has raised concern that Georgiou may become a scapegoat. The European Commission sent a letter to the government asking the Greek government to take a stance on this issue. From the government’s reaction to the letter it looks like the government wants to stay clear of any overt implication into the case. However, even if Syriza and government members refrain from public comments on this case, the government will benefit politically from continued speculation about the validity of the data that triggered Greece’s first bailout by 2010, writes Macropolis. New Democracy, meanwhile, is having its round of bickering as in this case loyals want the ND to defend former prime minister Kostas Karamanlis, who was in power in the years to 2009 when the disputed deficits were recorded.

Show Comments Write a Comment

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  • What to make of Salvini's relations with Russia?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 25, 2018
  • Trump's car tariff to come early
  • On the lack of a sharp focus in the eurozone debate
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 14, 2018
  • A Labour rebellion, really?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 23, 2018
  • Mattarella’s limited options
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 14, 2018
  • Catalonia: plus ça change...
  • Conveney says no to Brexit with border infrastructure
  • Why the noble Lords don't really matter
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 01, 2018
  • What Germany wants to reform, and what not
  • How effective is Macron?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 23, 2018
  • More bad news for the SPD
  • Will Theresa May accept a customs union? The Times says yes. We think so too.
  • A comeback for Marine Le Pen?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 09, 2018
  • Orbán gets his supermajority
  • Riding the wave of resistance
  • The EU’s self-defeating strategy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 27, 2018
  • The IMF's proposals for eurozone reform
  • No concessions from Erdogan
  • Will the UK be shut out of Galileo on Brexit?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 15, 2018
  • Miro Cerar resigns over railway
  • Taking on trade unions over the rail reform
  • How strong is the EU's solidarity with the UK really?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 05, 2018
  • One rock, two vetos, three governments
  • Rutte weighs in
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 19, 2018
  • SPD divided over grand coalition
  • Wauquiez - the French Trump?
  • Why Brexit will be extremely hard to reverse
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 06, 2018
  • Ciudadanos rising
  • Meet the rising star of Dutch populism
  • What to watch out for in British politics
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 27, 2019
  • German political centre is melting
  • Train drivers in all-out confrontation with Macron
  • Erdogan makes threats again
  • January 24, 2018
  • AfD europhobe to chair of Bundestag's budget committee
  • Watch out for the Labour Party debate on the single market
  • On the productivity puzzle
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 01, 2019
  • AfD now going for the climate change deniers
  • Tancos - a game changer in Portugal's election?
  • January 11, 2018
  • The horse taming the dragon - really?
  • Budget contributions for market access?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 12, 2019
  • DUP opens up to compromise
  • Spain to repeat elections after all
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 08, 2019
  • A poll on October 31?
  • December 15, 2017
  • Amendment 9 conundrum
  • The negligible GDP impact of the single market
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 11, 2019
  • Focus on election timetable, not prorogation...
  • ...and not on Darroch either
  • December 01, 2017
  • Unemployment insurance for all - nice idea, but does it work?
  • Hard border paradox
  • Could Jeremy Corbyn be the politician to defeat the banks?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 13, 2019
  • On the large and rising risk of a no-deal Brexit
  • Unite and divide - Act II of Edouard Philippe
  • November 17, 2017
  • Germany's climate change hypocrisy
  • Canada minus the plus
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 14, 2019
  • Trump gives Orbán his blessing
  • Outcome of Belgium's parliament election on Sunday totally open
  • Has Trump really got the economics of trade all wrong?
  • November 02, 2017
  • The Impact of Brexit
  • German court of auditors questions diesel tax break
  • On trade and violence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 15, 2019
  • Finland's far right changes the game
  • Brexit party drawing almost even with the Tories
  • October 18, 2017
  • Veneto and Lombardy to vote on autonomy
  • Portugal's president calls on government over fires
  • Radical ideas for radical times: how to pay off public debt
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 14, 2019
  • A very meaningless vote
  • October 03, 2017
  • A short note about UK politics
  • The impact of the German elections on the euro debate
  • The decline and fall of Martin Schulz and the SPD
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 11, 2019
  • SPD dumps Hartz IV
  • Macron's revival
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 10, 2019
  • Another quiet day in the Commons
  • From Rome with love
  • September 01, 2017
  • Rutte deflates Dutch labour party like a hot air balloon
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • December 14, 2018
  • Running down the clock
  • Macron, Philippe - untouchable no more
  • EP blasts Commission over Babis
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 01, 2018
  • Is candidate Merz a keen pro-European?
  • Around the corner - Brexit edition
  • July 28, 2017
  • German government bans Porsche Cayenne
  • More troubles for the AfD
  • Of course there will be a soft transitional period for the UK
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 21, 2019
  • Philippe to brace for more union protests
  • Greens are the electorates' new favourite
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • June 21, 2017
  • Why has the SPD deflated?
  • Berlusconi’s strategy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 01, 2017
  • On how to fix the eurozone
  • What happens if there is no Article 50 agreement?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 15, 2019
  • Finland's far right changes the game
  • Brexit party drawing almost even with the Tories
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 31, 2019
  • EU will play hardball until February 14, and stick to backstop beyond
  • French left and right moves ahead of EP elections
  • Tighten the belts as the economy prepares for landing
  • February 27, 2018
  • Irish transport prepares for Brexit scenarios
  • One last Dutch referendum
  • Is the CDU a conservative party?
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 30, 2019
  • A pyrrhic victory for Kurz
  • Will there really be UK elections?
  • November 19, 2018
  • May’s pushback is kicking in
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 02, 2017
  • Juncker's scenarios for Europe
  • EU minimum wages are rising
  • No, the Lords didn’t stop Brexit
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 12, 2019
  • What Spain wants from the EU
  • What to focus on in the Brexit procedure, and what not
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 15, 2017
  • A Christmas bonus for poor Greeks
  • Dim prospects of negotiated de-escalation on Catalonia
  • Macron's favourite to succeed Juncker - first round
  • On sovereignty
  • Gli Azzurri
  • February 03, 2017
  • The Schulz effect is getting huge
  • The post-Brexit boom goes on and on and on
  • A correction on Catalonia
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 04, 2019
  • Brexit tactical voting is happening - on both sides
  • Merkel promises 1m charging stations - but doesn't tell us how
  • February 18, 2019
  • How the splits on the left and the right will affect Brexit
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 14, 2019
  • Trump gives Orbán his blessing
  • Outcome of Belgium's parliament election on Sunday totally open
  • Has Trump really got the economics of trade all wrong?
  • October 01, 2018
  • After the referendum, more turmoil in Macedonia
  • What will happen if the UK parliament votes No?
  • Barnier's no-thanks works much better than a yes-please
  • February 19, 2018
  • SPD divided over grand coalition
  • Wauquiez - the French Trump?
  • Why Brexit will be extremely hard to reverse
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • December 01, 2016
  • Will Italian expats swing the referendum result?
  • Why we keep on misreading the polls
  • Si vis pactum, para bellum
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 27, 2019
  • German political centre is melting
  • Train drivers in all-out confrontation with Macron
  • Erdogan makes threats again
  • April 24, 2019
  • May's final and biggest gamble
  • Will the EP be Brexit's great parliamentary beneficiary?
  • Can Loiseau fight the far right given her past?
  • October 22, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • April 20, 2018
  • Macron at home
  • EU has rejected all UK proposals on Northern Irish border
  • Could there be a Five Star-Forza Italia government?
  • October 19, 2017
  • Germany is softening up over Brexit
  • The French budget and the wealthy
  • Will Borut Pahor win re-election as Slovenian president?
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • October 21, 2016
  • Wallonia says No for the third time
  • Do you remember that Dutch referendum on Ukraine?
  • How narratives are destroying the EU
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 17, 2019
  • The dreaded scenario
  • Meet the Labour no-dealers
  • March 05, 2019
  • The most promising Brexit strategy we have heard yet
  • October 22, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • June 11, 2018
  • The end of the G7 - good riddance
  • Macron needs allies for his European agenda
  • Who is going to be the next director-general of the Italian treasury?
  • January 30, 2018
  • Will Puigdemont be Catalan premier today?
  • Some thoughts about the German car industry
  • A short note on Italian coalition maths
  • September 22, 2017
  • The last German polls
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 22, 2019
  • High stake poker with Turkey
  • Without EU accession prospect, what is at stake for Macedonia?
  • September 05, 2019
  • Would Keynes be in favour of Brexit?
  • July 22, 2019
  • Will Johnson go for elections?
  • How will von der Leyen handle the east?
  • June 07, 2019
  • Keep looking, gentlemen, said the King
  • Message from Peterborough
  • The decline of the grand coalition is accelerating
  • April 24, 2019
  • May's final and biggest gamble
  • Will the EP be Brexit's great parliamentary beneficiary?
  • Can Loiseau fight the far right given her past?
  • March 11, 2019
  • Ask what Europe can do for Germany - AKK's EU manifesto
  • January 28, 2019
  • Battle of the amendments
  • How the Prespes deal affects the next Greek elections
  • December 17, 2018
  • A second referendum is no closer today than last Friday
  • Philippe expects 3.2% deficit next year
  • November 05, 2018
  • Macron trails behind Le Pen in European elections poll
  • How the CDU will organise leadership campaign
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • April 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in the UK
  • March 27, 2018
  • The IMF's proposals for eurozone reform
  • No concessions from Erdogan
  • Will the UK be shut out of Galileo on Brexit?
  • February 23, 2018
  • The politics behind the Novartis case
  • German decision on diesel cars postponed
  • The Le Pens
  • January 22, 2018
  • Carles Puigdemont's flying circus
  • Macedonia and the insurrection of Greek patriotism
  • On the real hurdles for Brexit revocation
  • And the satellites, too
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears
  • November 21, 2017
  • A short note on the impact of German political chaos on Brexit
  • A scandal, overshadowed
  • October 23, 2017
  • Macron's plans for the European Parliament
  • First phase of Brexit negotiations in final stretch
  • Why the left hates Europe
  • September 25, 2017
  • Where does this leave eurozone governance reform?
  • Is Mélenchon losing his momentum?
  • Lost in Florence
  • August 29, 2017
  • The deep significance of Labour's Brexit U-turn
  • The day after the SPD loses
  • August 03, 2017
  • Commons to vote whether to keep UK in universe
  • Syriza uses eduction bill to reconnect with grassroots
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • June 16, 2017
  • The emerging Brexit consensus
  • On the economics of supply chains
  • May 24, 2017
  • We are all anti-system now
  • Are the UK’s cards in the Brexit talks really that weak?
  • How Merkel will play Macron
  • May 02, 2017
  • An accident waiting to happen
  • Matteo Renzi wins PD primaries
  • So much for the Schulz effect
  • April 10, 2017
  • Nein, nein, nein, und nein
  • Sounds like a bad Brexit story, but ain’t
  • On how not to exit the euro
  • March 20, 2017
  • Does the language of communiques matter?
  • Spain snap election rumblings
  • Will there be a Brexit deal?
  • February 27, 2017
  • May’s next gamble
  • Macron and the rise of the centre
  • Bite the bullet and get on with it
  • Who is the AfD?
  • February 09, 2017
  • The Lords have a choice - risk abolition or vote for Brexit
  • French secret service fears Russian support for FN
  • A whiff of revolution
  • Rajoy and Trump, best buddies
  • Violent fantasies around Catalonia
  • January 23, 2017
  • What if the populists clash with one another?
  • Why the euro is a real problem for the German left
  • When you call the US, what number do you dial?
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • December 12, 2016
  • Renzi without Renzi
  • Shall we compensate the losers of globalisation?
  • The need for a partnership with China
  • November 28, 2016
  • And now what Monsieur Fillion?
  • The inescapable logic of an interim agreement
  • On Germany's foreign policy post-Trump
  • How to lose against the populists
  • November 14, 2016
  • The populists are winning
  • The Trump effect on the French Republican primaries
  • ND to target disenchanted Syriza voters
  • Debt repayment postponed to infinity
  • November 03, 2016
  • The UK's High Court rules today
  • Merkel's Turkey nightmare
  • October 24, 2016
  • Ceta - the next deadline
  • Who will lead Germany?
  • Peasant party upsets Lithuanian election
  • Ségolène Royal, seriously?
  • October 12, 2016
  • Are we headed towards a military east-west confrontation?
  • October 04, 2016
  • US breaks off peace talks with Russia
  • Shocked, shocked about Brexit
  • September 26, 2016
  • A weekend of insurrection
  • The radicalisation of the French mainstream
  • Leaving the customs union
  • Meanwhile in Bosnia...
  • September 19, 2016
  • Unhappy in Bratislava
  • Au nom du peuple
  • Pressure rising towards a hard Brexit
  • September 12, 2016
  • Renzi and his internal opposition
  • September 05, 2016
  • The beginning of the end
  • Public safety concerns in Greece
  • MPs get no access to Apple ruling
  • September 01, 2016
  • High noon in Dublin
  • On the death of TTIP
  • Macron, the modern Brutus
  • The outer perimeters of the meaning of Brexit
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • August 26, 2016
  • Will the refugee crisis return?
  • Montebourg en avant
  • Moisi on Sarkozy's chances
  • Binary choices