We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

December 20, 2017

Down with the gown

Once a divorce is on the table, everything comes under scrutiny: past behaviour, assets, and joint ventures. Every stone is turned. A painstaking process for everyone involved. Brexit may do the same for Ireland, in particular. They already found 142 areas where regulatory equivalence is required to make good on British promises on the border. The following story reminded us that there is a lot much more that can be tripped up by this process. 

Irish universities are running tenders for their graduation gowns, but only a few firms get chosen for long term contracts. The Irish Times found that four companies supplying gown hire and photography services to graduating third-level students are all controlled by the same London owner, and all operate from the same Dublin address. The links among those four different companies all go back to the London-based Ede & Ravenscroft, which was founded in 1689 and is thought to be the oldest tailoring firm in the world. Irish universities promised to do more to foster competition, and end the monopoly position of this London firm.

Show Comments Write a Comment

December 20, 2017

How to overcome the political gridlock in Italy

Italy is the proverbial example of a country whose position in the eurozone is simultaneously unsustainable and without concrete alternative. The political situation is in strong flux right now, but possibly not so strong that it will end the political gridlock resulting from the presence of three large party grouping, each unwilling to form coalitions with the other. Even Germany is not immune from such gridlock, which is an inevitable by-product of all systems of proportional representations.

Corriere della Sera today has a useless additional analysis of the raw polling data it initially published over the weekend. Those had shown a further weakening in the support of the PD, which is part of a clear trend that in our view has not yet run its course. 

Here the latest projections how the polls were to translate into governing majorities. The second of those charts shows the dynamisms of the trend against the PD in the last few weeks. 

 

Logic dictates that any outcomes that would resembles such a three-party gridlock would eventually require a coalition of those parties - PD and Forza Italia would not have a majority, not even with the Lega or the left. A coalition of PD and Five Star is at least numerically possible, but not politically, especially as we expect Five Star to become more radical as the centre-right becomes more centrist. A coalition of the populists - led by Five Star and Lega - is another option, but against without a majority. 

What happens if such a result came about? We reported by that President Sergio Matterella is considering leaving Paolo Gentilone in office while negotiations last. As Corriere della Sera reports Silvio Berlusconi finds this preferable to a technical government, which has been the usual answer to political gridlock in the country. Gentilone would continue not in an acting capacity, but endowed with all the paraphernelia of power of an elected prime minister.

Is there support for a grand coalition? Like in Germany, the members of both parties are deeply sceptical. And unlike in Germany, the two sides do not believe that they have the necessary numbers, at least not without the support either of the Left, which would make such a construction unpalatable to Berlusconi, or the Lega, which would not work with the PD. One option people are discussing is a hybrid between political and technical government, but it all shows how desperate the situation is - given the current polls. 

Show Comments Write a Comment

December 20, 2017

Varoufakis is suing the ECB

Yanis Varoufakis and the MEP Fabio de Masi from Die Linke sued the ECB recently to gain access to the internal legal opinion that led to the ECB’s decision to freeze vital ELA funding to Greek banks at the end of June of 2015. It was a historic moments, leaving Alexis Tsipras no choice but to shut down the banks, impose capital controls, and start negotiations from a weakened position. Eventually Varoufakis resigned and Tsipras made a deal with the creditors that granted Greece funds in return for more austerity measures. 

The ELA agreement prohibits national central banks from providing ELA if it "interferes with the objectives and tasks" of the ECB, such as maintaining price stability and safeguarding payments. Varoufakis' and de Masi's lawyer says they want to expose how the ECB and its legal experts weighed different objectives and interpreted the legal framework. 

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • 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 01, 2017
  • Do Republicans have a plan B if Fillon falls?
  • Unforgiven
  • 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 31, 2018
  • Hans Werner Sinn demands German euro exit
  • The politics of the SPD’s links to Russia
  • 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
  • September 21, 2018
  • SPD ministers want to continue grand coalition
  • February 12, 2018
  • What the euro debate is really about
  • How Brexit can still falter
  • July 06, 2017
  • On Merkel’s imperial overreach
  • When the opposition opposes to oppose
  • Everybody wants the medicines agency
  • November 29, 2016
  • On the politics of the Italian referendum
  • 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 08, 2018
  • A renewed willingness on both sides to cut a Brexit deal
  • Latvian politics in turmoil after huge populist gains
  • April 10, 2018
  • A mood of radicalisation in France
  • The German far right makes inroads into trade unions
  • On the absurdity of a new centrist party in British politics
  • October 12, 2017
  • Panicking in London
  • Gabriel's unbearable hypocrisy on the eurozone
  • April 15, 2017
  • Happy Easter
  • October 19, 2016
  • Walloons stand firm
  • Juppé and Macron - father and son?
  • J’ai vraiment dit ça?
  • 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 04, 2018
  • The Brexit Queen’s new dancing clothes
  • Ceci n’est pas une crise politique
  • 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
  • January 19, 2018
  • On the futility of discussing the German current account surplus
  • The Brexit revocation madness
  • Varadkar, the enfant terrible in the Brexit negotiations
  • September 14, 2017
  • Bravo Mr Juncker
  • ... what he said about the labour market
  • ... and what his speech means for Brexit
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • 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 26, 2016
  • Will the refugee crisis return?
  • Montebourg en avant
  • Moisi on Sarkozy's chances
  • Binary choices
  • 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 02, 2018
  • Whatever it takes - diesel version
  • Is Macron's European discourse too simplistic?
  • September 10, 2018
  • Steadfast Juppé stays true to embattled Macron
  • Sweden’s Democrats and Germany’s AfD: they don’t win elections, but they set the political agenda
  • Is Boris going to challenge Theresa May?
  • 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 30, 2018
  • Brexit midsummer madness
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 21, 2018
  • Merkel’s next crisis
  • Anel's troubles with Northern Macedonia
  • Grand Old Duke of York marches down the hill again
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • May 18, 2018
  • Ciudadanos pressures Rajoy on Catalonia
  • The EU's bluff on Iran sanctions
  • What the Brexit deal will look like
  • May 02, 2018
  • Galileo row escalates
  • May Day in Paris - violence and dissonance
  • A homeopathic eurozone budget
  • April 17, 2018
  • CDU's executive committees reaffirms eurosceptic position
  • Macron in Strasburg
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • March 20, 2018
  • The declining interest in macroeconomics
  • March 09, 2018
  • The Franco-German axis and its opponents
  • Auf Wiedersehen, Sigmar Gabriel!
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • February 15, 2018
  • How will the EU finance itself after Brexit?
  • On the customs union
  • February 06, 2018
  • Ciudadanos rising
  • Meet the rising star of Dutch populism
  • What to watch out for in British politics
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • 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
  • January 16, 2018
  • Towards a radicalisation of Les Républicains?
  • EU toughens its position on Brexit transition
  • January 11, 2018
  • The horse taming the dragon - really?
  • Budget contributions for market access?
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears