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December 19, 2016

Inside the customs union, outside the single market

Looking at it dispassionately it appears to us that - even six months after the UK referendum - the two sides still pretend as though they are campaigning. We presume that the long wait until the trigger of Article 50 is making people nervous on both sides. But in reality some of the fog is lifting. The UK is now seeking a transitional agreement. And over the weekend some of the contours of that agreement have become visible. Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said it would involve continued membership of the customs union (which is not the same as membership of the single market). During that period of unknown duration, the UK and the EU would hope to negotiate a free trade agreement. Fox was looking at the EU/Turkey trade agreement as a model for the transitional period. That agreement theoretically allows Turkey to strike third-country trade agreements, but in practice the EU has the right to annul them. We would assume that Britain would be negotiating FTA's during the period of the transitional period, for implementation at the end of it. 

Membership of the customs union without membership of the single market makes sense as a transitional agreement, as it would give everybody a bit more time to prepare. Manufacturing companies in particular cannot plan on a shorter notice. 

While the contours of such a sequence appear logical, the devil is in the details, and the process could still come unstuck. The FT reports this morning that the EU will insist on settling the terms of the divorce before agreeing any transitional agreements. There is, of course, the issue of what newspapers call the divorce bill. There is an unofficial number of €60bn, and the Daily Telegraph has identified the "monster hardliner" close to the Commission president - no prizes for guessing who - wanting to sabotage the entire Brexit process. 

But sequencing is an issue, and it is possible that the negotiations may get stuck at some point. Simon Nixon makes the following observation in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

"The U.K. government therefore faces a paradox: Its threat to walk away from an Article 50 divorce is only credible if it starts preparing for the hardest of Brexits—and, in doing so, incurs the very costs it is trying to avoid. Yet if it can’t credibly make this threat, its leverage is minimal. Resolving this paradox will be a formidable test of Mrs. May’s negotiating skills and political leadership."

But what about the other side? Do we really think that the EU wants to pursue a hard Brexit without a deal if the risk is that the UK would deport over a million citizens from eastern Europe - almost 1m from Poland alone - most of whom would presumably go to Germany? There were already reports of the UK blocking progress in the international fight against tax evasion at the G20 level. Neither the UK nor the EU can really afford a hard Brexit, and we think it is pretty pointless to estimate who can afford it less. If, say, Michel Barnier thinks he has the stronger negotiating position, and lets the process drive to a wall, just wait from the reaction from Germany as we approach B-day. It is far easier for a single government to maintain unity, than for the EU-27.

Chris Giles has an excellent analysis in the FT, in which he looks at the economic impact of both tariff and non-tariff barriers, and concludes that it may not be all that large. The tariff barriers are on average only 2.3% - though with significant variations. Non-tariff barriers are more important. But he qualifies even that statement. When the UK leaves the EU, the products will still have have the Conformité Européenne attached to them. And 80% of the standards are voluntary. What the UK, however, cannot do is enter into a trade agreement with the US and recognise US regulation as compliant while remaining in the customs union. We agree with Giles' conclusion that 

"there is no obvious solution that satisfies all the UK’s goals of simple and cheap regulations, easy trading relationships with the EU, deals with non-EU countries and full sovereignty over regulations."

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December 19, 2016

Back to the future in Italy

There are few countries in the world where grown-ups have a tendency to talk about the pros and cons of electoral systems as much as Italy. The country has been through pretty much every system, from totally proportional to first-past-the-post, and back again. It is the sign of a confused mind to always reiterate the same arguments, and this is what is happening right now. Matteo Renzi wants the country to go back to an electoral law known as the Mattarellum, named after the current president Sergio Mattarella who proposed a new electoral law in the early 1990s. Two governments of Silvio Berlusconi and one administration of Romano Prodi were elected under this law. It is a mixed system - predominantly first past the post, with a proportional element. But, as Corriere della Sera points out, it is not easy to get back to this old law, as it worked at a time when Italian politics was bipolar which is no longer the case.

Renzi addressed a party congress yesterday, trying to rally the troops and prepare the party for new elections at some point between April and June, based on the Mattarellum. Stefano Folli notes in his comment in La Repubblica that Renzi is once again going for the maximum risk. He didn't even bother to take the time to analyse in detail what really happened on December 4 when he lost the referendum. Folli is sceptical that this is a wise course of action. He writes that Renzi has a rather superficial understanding of the No vote, blaming the loss on a failure to communicate effectively, and especially a failure to use the internet properly. He writes there is a bit more to Renzi's analysis, but not a lot. What happened on December 4 is that Italy went in one direction while the leader went in another. Renzi looks like the politicians caricatured by Berthold Brecht, who want to change the people.

We agree with Folli's scepticism about Renzi. The Italians have rejected their leader, and doubling down is about the worse thing he can do right now. His party would be well advised to select another leader before the vote. We know that a new electoral law has become necessary after the referendum result, and we see benefits in a harmonised system for the chamber and the Senate. But since a new system has just been introduced for the chamber, it would be easiest to extend this to the Senate rather than going back to a completely different system on the grounds that one political party sees a potential advantage (the history of gerrymandering in Italy is not very encouraging for those who do it).

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December 19, 2016

The lessons from Fillon's first gaffe

Eric Le Boucher drew three lessons from the U-turn by François Fillon over his health reform. The first is that, while those who voted for Fillon may want to see radical reforms, nobody wants to pay for them. They all see themselves as the beneficiaries of those reforms, leaving the bill to others. Once a reform becomes concrete, so does the opposition to it. The health reform is just the first example. One may have concluded that by choosing Fillon, the French are in for some serious reforms. But in fact they are not ready yet. The second lesson concerns the shallow reporting by the media. As long as there is an obsession with the personality of the presidential candidates, there will be no proper in-depth discussion of their programme. And the third lesson is that all these reform promises do not take into account the difficulty of actually delivering reform. After going through the mill of social, legal and financial procedures these reforms might well fall short of its intended purpose. The state seems sometimes powerless and the effect might well be the opposite of what was intended: it fractures society and deprives it of the intended benefits of the reform. Le Boucher says what needs to happen is, first, to build a consensus over what needs to be done. Once strategic lines have been defined, the implementation should be delegated to a decentralised governance system. The immediate lessons for presidential candidates: don’t give out a reform programme that is super-detailed but untested. Emmanuel Macron is right to staying with the big political themes. This is a battle between grand political options, not about the details of reforms.

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December 19, 2016

Montebourg - a bit of everything

Arnaud Montebourg, in an interview with Le Parisien, revealed parts of his programme which he said is at the heart of a different left. For this he takes a bit from everything - referring to the modern socialist lines represented by Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Jean-Pierre Chevènement - but also taking inspiration from Gaullists, Republicans and Greens. The best way to please everybody is not to upset anybody, comments Marianne. If he were to become president, the first thing Montebourg would want to do is to propose a new Republic giving citizens more rights. Concretely, he wants to halve the number of parliamentarians, introduce 10%-20% proportionality into the legislative elections, and introduce citizens into the Senate, one per Département. He said France needs to take back control of its administration. In his usual firebrand rhetoric, Montebourg insisted on the supremacy of people over administration, lashing out against Brussels in particular. And he uses polemics against the other candidates in the primaries, saying that they are not having no real programme at all, except for Benoît Hammon's legalisation of cannabis. It is still early in the game, and we expect the candidates to get more concrete with their programmes in January, after the Christmas break.

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December 19, 2016

The Maastricht error

Caroline de Gruyter has a pessimistic column about the functioning of the EU, motivated by the cases of the Ukraine association agreement and the CETA treaty with Canada, both of which were halted by a single parliament's opposition (the Netherlands, and the Belgian region of Wallonia, respectively). She traces this to a design flaw of the Maastricht treaty: the joint responsibility of the EU and the member states for issues such as the euro, Schengen, foreign policy, and border control. This was born of the desire to progress on European integration beyond the internal market, trade and agriculture - all exclusive EU competences - at a time when the member states were not fully ready to cede sovereignty on fiscal policy or foreign and security policy. But in the early 1990s the EU member states were aware of the need to tackle issues such as climate change, migration, terrorism, or digitisation. The problem, as illustrated by the Ukraine association agreement, is that this doesn't work. And the CETA case shows the dynamic of re-nationalisation is even polluting trade, which used to be an undisputed exclusive EU competence. De Gruyter concludes with the suggestion that the EU should focus on what the member states allow it to do well, and stop trying to do things half-way in other areas.

It seems to us that the EU project must have looked very different to the EEC of 12 member states that adopted the Maastricht treaty. The institutional structure has clearly not been able to accommodate the expansion to 15, then 25, 27 and finally 28, and now even founding members such as Belgium and the Netherlands find themselves at odds with the EU's strategic direction.

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December 19, 2016

If Paul Romer is right...

Whether an academic theory is right or wrong, good or bad, is not usually of importance to the wider public. But as Wolfgang Münchau argues, the New Keynesian economic framework is in a different category because its models have become the workhorse of central banks, governments, and international institutions. This the theoretical framework behind independent central banks, explicit inflation targets, and independent fiscal councils. The validity of all of this would appear to be in doubt if Paul Romer is right in his criticisms of modern macro, a discipline he said that had been regressing over the last quarter century. Our macroeconomic policy framework is premised on the notion that these theories are correct. But the theory is clearly at odds with our experience of a financial crisis that has left a permanent impact on economic output and the price level - something that was not supposed to happen. Münchau says central bank independence can be defended, but it is not a no-brainer; and, when policy does have a long-run impact on output, then it surely cannot be left to experts. 

Münchau's point is that if the liberal establishment he is part of does not challenge the New Keynesian policies and institutions, the populists will, and will do so brutally. But Münchau remains sceptical that the liberal establishment has what it takes to do this. Too many vested interests are at stake. The macroeconomic establishment did not challenge the prevailing orthodoxy after the financial crisis, and preferred to protect their own interests, having invested heavily into these frameworks. The most likely course is therefore a populist rupture - the antithesis to the current frameworks - and an age in which the role of macroeconomists will be much diminished.

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  • Corbyn frustrates second referendum by supporting it
  • What is going on in Theresa May's mind?
  • 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 18, 2019
  • How the splits on the left and the right will affect 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
  • February 11, 2019
  • SPD dumps Hartz IV
  • Macron's revival
  • 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 04, 2019
  • Watch out for the resurgence in Tory unity
  • The gilets-jaunes' effect on the European elections
  • What did he possibly mean by that?
  • 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 25, 2019
  • Is this the beginning of the end of the gilets jaunes?
  • Kurz speculates about longer Brexit delay
  • 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 17, 2019
  • How Irish insistence on backstop backfired
  • Will Germany blink? Probably not
  • How Tsipras' confidence vote and Prespes vote are linked
  • 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 08, 2019
  • Brexit drama - then and now
  • Scholz' illusionary power grab
  • 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 04, 2019
  • Will the AfD become the Dexit party?
  • Romania's corruption problem in the spotlight of its EU presidency
  • 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 21, 2018
  • Not just Brexit makes 2019 a year of EU uncertainty
  • Sentiment is fickle, especially about sentiment
  • Father Christmas - French edition
  • King suspends Michel's resignation
  • EP has objections to the withdrawal treaty
  • Let's break the law
  • 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 12, 2018
  • 48 letters
  • A sense of deja-vu
  • 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 03, 2018
  • French protests coming to a head this week
  • The Galileo fiasco, an ill omen for the future UK-EU relationship
  • 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 26, 2018
  • Two German plus two Dutch makes four spitzenkandidaten
  • Yellow vest protests - radicalisation and new political alliances
  • 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 15, 2018
  • Ratification is more probable than it appears
  • Romania's problematic presidency
  • 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 06, 2018
  • Preparing for a no-deal Brexit between friends
  • Swift blinked, EU to move
  • Seehofer’s evil genius
  • 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 29, 2018
  • Why the EEA is no longer a Brexit option
  • Behold the rising superpower: post-catholic Ireland’s European miracle
  • 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 19, 2018
  • More optimism about a Brexit deal in Brussels. Less in London
  • 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 10, 2018
  • EU forces car industry to speed up modernisation
  • Still waiting for the French reshuffle
  • Arlene Foster is not for turning - or is she?
  • 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, 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
  • 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
  • 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, 2018
  • It is easy to criticise Chequers but very hard to come up with an alternative
  • 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 03, 2018
  • Is the AfD an extremist party? Of course it is. Why do you ask?
  • 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 23, 2018
  • Chancellor says No to Maas' one and only substantive idea
  • French households yet to see reduction in fiscal burden
  • 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 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
  • 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 03, 2018
  • What we think about reforming 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
  • July 24, 2018
  • A constitutional referendum in Poland?
  • On the future of the euro
  • 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 16, 2018
  • How to think about the three Brexit options
  • How to respond to Trump
  • 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 14, 2020
  • There is no silver bullet for the second wave
  • July 04, 2018
  • Trump to confront Merkel head-on over Nato
  • European choices in response to Trump
  • On the paradox of disembarkation centres
  • 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 25, 2020
  • What should the EU do about Belarus?
  • 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
  • August 17, 2020
  • How Putin could divide the EU over Belarus
  • The impossible mission of forming a federal government in Belgium
  • June 13, 2018
  • Macedonia - a deal hailed internationally and challenged at home
  • Macron - elusive to the left
  • What did Theresa May concede?
  • 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 14, 2020
  • Why the far-right might win in the end
  • 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
  • June 19, 2020
  • Green policies get a boost from recovery efforts
  • Small Countries, small problems. Austria ready to compromise on recovery fund over Schnitzel
  • May 22, 2018
  • A €60bn ESM credit line - is this what they call a backstop?
  • Will Nato survive Trump?
  • Northern Ireland's Brexit disillusion
  • Would Corbyn become prime minister if he accepted 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
  • May 27, 2020
  • On the dangers of wishful thinking
  • Spain to introduce basic income
  • The temptation of easy money
  • May 11, 2018
  • Chère Angela, it is time to decide..
  • Those trade sanctions are really serious
  • Why Labour will not turn 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
  • May 06, 2020
  • ...and what it means for the future of the EU
  • Ciudadanos saves Sanchez' Covid-19 plan
  • April 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in 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
  • April 15, 2020
  • Italy’s coalition disagrees about the ESM
  • 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?
  • 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 23, 2020
  • Orbán seeks to extend his powers
  • UK as the double counterfactual
  • 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
  • February 25, 2020
  • Why no-deal is a real possibility
  • March 26, 2018
  • On the run no more
  • Terrorist attack will challenge Macron
  • A double-whammy of geopolitical and financial uncertainty
  • 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 02, 2020
  • Is Sinn Fein the Irish anti-establishment vote?
  • Don’t assume that nobody will follow the Brits
  • March 14, 2018
  • The geopolitics of trade war
  • A European labour authority
  • On Novichok
  • 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 08, 2020
  • What to expect from Boris and Ursula
  • Some good news from Germany on climate change
  • March 02, 2018
  • What will Theresa May say?
  • The show must go on
  • Macron - a modern hero's tale
  • 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 16, 2019
  • What the failure in Madrid says about multilateral governance
  • 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
  • November 19, 2019
  • Not the time to bet against the Franco-German relationship
  • German employers and union united against the debt brake
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • 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 25, 2019
  • We should listen to what Mario Draghi is saying about the future of the euro
  • Kurz focusses on Greens after other parties dropped out
  • Is sustainable investment just a matter of deepening capital markets?
  • January 23, 2018
  • Berlusconi is a pro-European once again
  • 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?
  • January 10, 2018
  • Yes, the choice is between Canada and Norway
  • Who is resisting Macron and his government?
  • Greece and Macedonia to solve name dispute
  • 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 11, 2019
  • What are the chances of a deal?
  • 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 05, 2019
  • No deal first, elections later
  • Free movement of labour? Not for politicians
  • Europe already lost the digital battle
  • December 14, 2017
  • Macron gives up on Euro reform... for now?
  • Refugee quota controversy hides disagreement over ultimate policy goal
  • Can't pay, won't pay
  • 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 09, 2019
  • What the UK polls are telling us - and what not
  • November 30, 2017
  • Please tell us there is another way than fudging the border
  • Could Gentiloni remain prime minister beyond the elections?
  • Stage set for Babis minority government
  • 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 11, 2019
  • Politics and the new sense of urgency
  • Ten little monkeys jumping up and down - down mostly
  • November 16, 2017
  • Germany's climate duplicity
  • Juppé open to join forces with Macron for EP elections
  • 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 13, 2019
  • Brexit Party has already changed UK politics
  • Orbán visits Trump, after a very long wait
  • Le Pen's appeal to the PiS likely to fall on deaf ears
  • November 01, 2017
  • Brussels receives Catalan president as a circus
  • Canada Dry
  • Me too
  • 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 11, 2019
  • Thoughts on how the European elections in the UK could affect UK and European politics
  • Far right to enter Estonia's government
  • October 17, 2017
  • Catalan separatism has its martyrs
  • European Parliament agrees to restrict posted workers
  • Foreign policy will be key in Austrian coalition talks
  • 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 25, 2020
  • What should the EU do about Belarus?
  • March 13, 2019
  • Not really all that meaningful
  • Will the EPP merely put Orban on probation?
  • Why AKKs riposte to Macron is deeply disturbing
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • 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 07, 2020
  • Europe on brink of serious conflict with China
  • Erdogan's Libya strategy gains support at home
  • 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
  • May 18, 2020
  • Why this won't be a symmetric shock
  • Towards a new cold war
  • January 07, 2019
  • What to look out for in the Brexit debates
  • Macron's last-resort tool for the gilets jaunes
  • August 31, 2017
  • Where are the Républicains?
  • Poland unmoved by EU rule-of-law sanctions
  • May will stay through Brexit, and then fight the 2022 elections
  • 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 03, 2020
  • After medical concerns, economic concerns take centre stage in Greece
  • New momentum to exclude Fidesz from the EPP
  • The Swedish experiment
  • December 12, 2018
  • 48 letters
  • A sense of deja-vu
  • 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
  • February 02, 2020
  • Is Sinn Fein the Irish anti-establishment vote?
  • Don’t assume that nobody will follow the Brits
  • October 29, 2018
  • Why the EEA is no longer a Brexit option
  • Behold the rising superpower: post-catholic Ireland’s European miracle
  • July 27, 2017
  • Löfven's move
  • The nearing end of petrol and diesel engines
  • Why a second referendum in the UK won’t happen, and why it would be wrong
  • 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 12, 2019
  • Greta is right - the EU’s fight against climate change is most likely a PR exercise
  • 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 17, 2019
  • A dangerous game for the EU
  • After Brexit, get ready for a German EU budget rebate
  • 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 20, 2017
  • How to soften Brexit?
  • The deep roots of Brexit: Thatcher and the Germans
  • 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
  • May 31, 2017
  • Getting real in the debate on the euro's future
  • Russia's growing influence in Italy
  • 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 06, 2020
  • Did Covid-19 escape from a Wuhan lab?
  • What to make of Angela Merkel's U-turn
  • 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 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • 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 06, 2020
  • The feedback loop of Covid-19 and inequalities - part 10 of our series
  • How confinement affects mental health
  • April 09, 2019
  • What can go wrong now?
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • 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 06, 2020
  • A decade that started with a bang
  • What to expect of Spain's next government
  • Divide et impera: Macron's pension reform strategy
  • January 29, 2019
  • What comes after plan B fails? Plan C, of course. C for cliff-edge
  • Gilets jaunes, how to structure a movement in free flow?
  • European Court of Auditors criticises Juncker’s investment fund
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • 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
  • August 17, 2020
  • How Putin could divide the EU over Belarus
  • The impossible mission of forming a federal government in Belgium
  • 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 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • 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 24, 2020
  • Lock-down extends to three more European countries
  • EU accession talks to start for Albania and Northern Macedonia
  • Return of the German professors
  • June 11, 2019
  • Politics and the new sense of urgency
  • Ten little monkeys jumping up and down - down mostly
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • 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 14, 2020
  • Why the far-right might win in the end
  • October 29, 2019
  • People's Vote descends into Civil War
  • CDU at odds on dealing with extreme parties
  • February 13, 2019
  • What to make of the man in the pub - and other tales
  • Macron loses more early advisers - or cuts them loose
  • June 01, 2018
  • Will France and Germany stick together in their response to US trade tariffs?
  • From a eurozone budget to a slush fund
  • 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
  • August 17, 2020
  • How Putin could divide the EU over Belarus
  • The impossible mission of forming a federal government in Belgium
  • December 19, 2019
  • Merkel rejects NordStream2 counter-sanctions
  • May 09, 2019
  • The EU's impossible dilemma
  • The horsetrading starts in Sibiu
  • May to bring withdrawal bill to Commons week after next
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • 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 20, 2020
  • What if we are wrong?
  • October 18, 2019
  • The horrifying implications of Merkel’s 5G decision
  • April 17, 2019
  • Why it is far from clear that the grand coalition will survive the year
  • Macron's chance and challenge
  • Eurozone firms' surprising response to sagging profits
  • The result of Spain's elections, a riddle wrapped in mystery
  • The MMT debate is coming to Europe - and Germany
  • Greek parliament seeks German war reparations
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • 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?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • 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 01, 2020
  • What just happened in front of the Reichstag?
  • When revolutions fail
  • April 15, 2020
  • Italy’s coalition disagrees about the ESM
  • November 27, 2019
  • Audi cuts jobs - the beginning of a trend
  • July 16, 2019
  • What next, after EU sanctions Turkey?
  • What to make of Johnson’s four-point Brexit plan
  • Galileo fails, and nobody notices
  • March 04, 2019
  • Macron's two-month sprint
  • May's numbers are not there yet
  • Greening QE
  • On the "hope" of a rate raise
  • 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 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • September 21, 2017
  • Time to get serious about Brexit
  • Would the FDP claim the job of finance minister?
  • The return of the ultra-right to German politics
  • 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
  • August 19, 2020
  • US Senate threatens German port operator with annihilation
  • June 29, 2020
  • Édouard Philippe - mayor or prime minister?
  • Sir Humphrey, R.I.P.
  • May 10, 2020
  • On court rulings and folk economics
  • EU regions - some far better on Covid-19 but not on downturn
  • March 23, 2020
  • Orbán seeks to extend his powers
  • UK as the double counterfactual
  • February 04, 2020
  • A glimmer of hope on EU/UK trade
  • December 19, 2019
  • Merkel rejects NordStream2 counter-sanctions
  • November 04, 2019
  • Brexit tactical voting is happening - on both sides
  • Merkel promises 1m charging stations - but doesn't tell us how
  • September 19, 2019
  • Italy's 2020 budget will be a moment of truth
  • Austria's soft faced far-right
  • August 06, 2019
  • Macron's next bet: municipal elections
  • A victory for Salvini and his coalition
  • June 25, 2019
  • What’s behind the dispute about Weber
  • 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?
  • April 03, 2019
  • Game on
  • Can someone please take the table off-the-table!
  • February 22, 2019
  • The maths of a Brexit deal
  • Does public protest crowd out of climate change?
  • January 14, 2019
  • Our Brexit predictions
  • 1789 - Macron's version
  • Tsipras calls confidence vote after Kammenos pulls out
  • December 06, 2018
  • There can be no deal as long as delusions of easy alternatives persist
  • What do the gilets jaunes mean for green fiscal policy?
  • October 31, 2018
  • Macron's break raises some worrying questions
  • Tsipras campaigns on constitutional reform
  • A further move in Warsaw to submit to the ECJ’s authority
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • 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 16, 2018
  • How to think about the three Brexit options
  • How to respond to Trump
  • June 14, 2018
  • A Labour rebellion, really?
  • May 14, 2018
  • Catalonia: plus ça change...
  • Conveney says no to Brexit with border infrastructure
  • Why the noble Lords don't really matter
  • April 12, 2018
  • The ineffective European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
  • Davis wants concrete language on future trading relationship
  • The name dispute of Alexander the Great's descendants
  • March 13, 2018
  • When events intrude: Novichok edition
  • Fico loses Kalinák, might lose himself
  • February 12, 2018
  • What the euro debate is really about
  • How Brexit can still falter
  • January 15, 2018
  • Is the section on Europe for real?
  • Can Drahos upset Zeman?
  • December 18, 2017
  • SPD regional party preemptively rejects grand coalition
  • Future of eurozone to be decided by March - we can hardly wait
  • November 21, 2017
  • A short note on the impact of German political chaos on Brexit
  • A scandal, overshadowed
  • October 27, 2017
  • What exactly happened in Catalonia yesterday?
  • Transactional versus strategic foreign policy
  • October 04, 2017
  • On why Theresa May is likely to survive
  • On how to resolve the Brexit talks
  • Social housing - not a good start for the French government
  • September 12, 2017
  • Brexit bill passes Commons
  • Macron to weather another political storm
  • Conservative PM re-elected in Norway
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 31, 2017
  • Russia sanctions bill becomes US law
  • Spain's Guardia Civil in the eye of the Catalan storm
  • A grand bargain between France and Germany
  • July 12, 2017
  • And now for the real Brexit talks
  • June 23, 2017
  • The offer, and what it says about the state of Brexit
  • Meet Germany’s next finance minister
  • When Greek drama meets French drama
  • June 05, 2017
  • What happens to Brexit if Labour wins?
  • What Russia wants
  • May 19, 2017
  • The EU is shocked, shocked by the UK’s stance on Brexit
  • Macron and the press
  • Towards a Buy European act?
  • May 03, 2017
  • Brexit at €100bn now. Any further offers before the auction closes?
  • Is the IMF too optimistic about global growth?
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • April 03, 2017
  • On the meaning of the Navalny protests
  • On the surreal nature of Italy’s political debate
  • March 22, 2017
  • The Brexit Timetable
  • On what can go wrong in the Article 50 process
  • March 10, 2017
  • Return of De Gaulle’s empty chair
  • Will the French Socialists split?
  • How to think about Russia
  • On economic forecasting
  • 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 15, 2017
  • Fillon under fire
  • More headaches for Rutte
  • Who are the bigots now?
  • February 07, 2017
  • Insurrection in Romania
  • On how to confront Trump
  • January 30, 2017
  • On the illusion of choice
  • 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 16, 2017
  • Trump doubles down against the EU
  • Fake maths
  • January 09, 2017
  • FN campaign troubles
  • Objectionable perhaps, but muddled?
  • 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 22, 2016
  • Round up the usual suspects
  • A populist goes to Moscow
  • Macron ahead of Fillon?
  • Discombobulated
  • December 20, 2016
  • The politics of terror
  • On Lagarde
  • Is a disruptive Brexit possible?