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European, Politics, Uncategorized

Call for an immediate embargo on Russian gas!

Waiting for Putin to take the initiative would make the cut-off no longer a sanction. The European Union is tearing itself apart over the question of stopping Russian gas and oil imports. It thus assumes, without a qualm, the opprobrium of financing the Russian war effort to the detriment of imperative humanitarian considerations, relayed by the unbearable spectacle of the exactions and suffering endured by the Ukrainians. This iniquitous stance, justified by the need to maintain the fragile, barely reestablished “unity” of the 27, is precisely what will definitively destroy it. The argument that the suspension of hydrocarbon purchases will be enacted “as soon as possible” is a peak of hypocrisy, rarely reached and reminds us of this sentence of…

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European, Politics

The unprecedented sanctions regime against Russia calls for a reform of global governance.

The European Union must urgently expand the Eurozone to the 27 to assert its interests! The IMF Deputy Director, Gita Gopinath, in a much-publicized speech, indicated that currencies, other than the dollar, would play a more important role in the foreign exchange reserves of nations. I had already drawn attention to this phenomenon in my article of 17 March entitled “Financial sanctions against Russia” to which I refer you. Ms Gopinath makes a very pertinent distinction between the use of the dollar as a reserve currency, which she sees diminishing significantly in favor of other currencies to allow for diversification of exchange rate risks (in value and freedom of access), and its role as the transaction currency of choice, which…

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European, Politics

Ukraine: Solidarity and Sovereignty.

Sovereigntists and nationalists have shot themselves in the foot! March10, 2022 Putin’s unilateral armed aggression and phantasmal but evocative rhetoric of “denazification” against Ukraine have contributed decisively to the realization in Europe of the need for unwavering EU solidarity so that its Members can share real “European sovereignty” instead of pretending to exercise a “national sovereignty” that has become visibly phoney. President Macron in particular, but also many other political leaders, have emphasized the painful sacrifices that citizens must be prepared to make as well as the high financial costs to be incurred that will have to be shared fairly by protecting first and foremost the weakest segments of the population. At the same time, the sovereigntist speeches of the…

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European, Politics

The financial sanctions against Russia.

Its geopolitical consequences are a prelude to a fundamental upheaval of international financial markets and the world! Brussels, 17th March, 2022 The sanctions against Russia were surprising both in their scope and speed of implementation as well as by the unprecedented coordination between the governments responsible for the supervision of the world’s major financial centers. While financial sanctions are not a new weapon in the arsenal of punitive measures that can be deployed to exert pressure from one state on another, their use in the context of the Ukrainian crisis raises their effectiveness to a new level. Its consequences, particularly on the functioning of financial markets, adding to existing challenges including: –           Their pervasive distortions resulting from the massive interventions…

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European, Politics

Munich 2022: Peace in our time?

The Russian provocation must prompt a response from the 27 EU Member States that turns Putin’s initial tactical victory into a long-term strategic defeat. Brussels, 22 February 2022 It is pointless to add any further opinion to the speculation about developments in the next few weeks or months in the 8-year old conflict between Ukraine and Russia over the annexation of Crimea. Undoubtedly, the inevitable sanctions that the EU, the US and Britain will impose will be commented on in terms of their effectiveness, their consequences for all parties and will reveal, more or less quickly, the dissensions in the Western camp. It is likely that the situation will become bogged down in a status quo, de facto rewarding Putin’s…

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European, Politics

Mutti: we miss you already!

Angela Merkel’s departure is felt in the European response to the crises unfolding on the international scene. Brussels, 18 February 2022 While, under the impetus of the Macron-Merkel tandem, the EU had managed to formulate and implement credible initiatives in the face of the pandemic, whether it be the validation, supply or distribution of vaccines or even an unprecedented response in terms of economic recovery and a (temporary?) easing of budgetary rules, increasingly palpable divergences between Member States (MS) are emerging as the epidemic urgency subsides. They are exacerbated by demands that were suppressed during the epidemic by the “whatever it takes” approach but have since been fueled by the surge in inflation; simultaneously, on the external level, the tendency…

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European, Politics

Peace: Humanity’s Deepest Aspiration and/or Realpolitik?

JANUARY 30, 2022 Tensions on the borders of Ukraine add to the many sources of conflict that seriously endanger the maintenance of a fragile peace between powers that have the power to inflict incalculable suffering on humanity. At a time when the planet faces challenges such as global warming or pandemics where the responsibility of humans is difficult to establish, it is contrary to any morality or value system for man to deliberately engage in conflicts that put his short-term survival at risk. Whatever the regime – democracy, enlightened despotism, autocracy or any other form of dictatorship – the deepest aspiration of mankind is to live in peace. Already in the 8th century BC, the prophet Micah proclaimed (6, 8):…

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European, Politics

European Sovereignty – National Sovereignty

Controversy has entered the heart of the French election campaign. Brussels, 23 January 2022 The presentation by President Macron in the Strasbourg Parliament on 19 January of the French presidency’s program was met with undignified and ill-tempered interventions by some of his MEP compatriots who used the occasion for purely French domestic electoral purposes. In doing so, they have considerably damaged France’s credibility with the MEPs representing the 26 other Member States and with European public opinion in general. The French media seized on the opportunity to create a welcome diversion from the prominence given to the pandemic in the presidential campaign. But instead of doing an educational job, the commentators, whether politicians, political scientists, economists, social scientists or journalists,…

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European, Politics

The French trade deficit is a problem. But not the one you think!

JANUARY 11, 2022 The announcement a few days ago of a new record French trade deficit of €78 billion for 2021 has caused a lot of ink to flow and has spilled over to the presidential campaign where candidates have seized on the subject to illustrate the country’s lack of competitiveness and attack the President’s economic record. While comparisons were drawn with ‘surplus’ competitors such as Germany and Italy to stigmatize France’s ‘decline’, attention was drawn at the same time to the chronic deficit that the United States has been running for decades with no particular consequences. As is often the case with complex, technical subjects, explanations convey information where it is not easy to distinguish the true from the…

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European, Politics

The EU is irretrievably doomed if even the pandemic does not convince the citizen of the need for deeper integration.

Only the European level can finance the health sector and other equally priority needs such as the environment, education, energy, etc. JANUARY 7, 2022 The pandemic has been a wake-up call, in the world in general and in the EU in particular, to the urgent need to devote considerable additional resources to the public health sector as a whole. This consensus is evidenced by the agreement of the world’s richest countries to provide (in their own interests) millions of doses of vaccine to those who lack the resources to purchase them. This solidarity was quickly extended to intense cooperation in the fields of research and information exchange, leading in record time to the development and production of effective vaccines based…

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