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Politics

European, Politics

The unsolicited bid of the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX) for the London Stock Exchange (LSE)

A game changer that should encourage the EU and the UK to reconsider their entire Brexit strategies! Despite the fact that the unsolicited bid by the HKEX for the LSE has been roundly rejected by the LSE board of Directors, both its timing and scope raise some fundamental geopolitical questions that should not be overlooked lightly. First of all, it seems inconceivable that the bid was formulated without the express approval of the Chinese Government. The merger would indeed play into Chinese hands aiming at establishing a global duopoly with the United States over world financial markets. Acquisition of the LSE group (minus Refinitiv), would give immediate credibility to such ambitions and to the longer term aspirations of imposing the…

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European, Politics

European Union

President Ursula van der Leyen first “100 days” must demonstrate that further European integration is a priority! The hazards of the calendar have conspired to call for the quasi simultaneous renewal of the mandates of the leaders of the most important European institutions. This offers the new designated team a unique opportunity to introduce a series of informal reforms (not needing treaty changes) aimed at improving considerably the efficiency of the “European machine” whose cogs are slowly grinding to a halt! The current blockage is the result of a power grab fought from three competing corners in which each side – in the name of a virtual rather than a real sovereignty/independence – attempts to assert its (democratic?) legitimacy. It…

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European, Politics

The Prorogation Gambit!

Boris Johnson’s surprise decision to request and obtain from HM the Queen an “unusually” long prorogation of Parliament from September 12th to October 14th is an extremely astute move that has wrong-footed those who oppose a “no deal” Brexit. By cleverly blending the “customary” suspension of Parliament for the conference season with a standard short prorogation in anticipation of a “Queen’s speech”, supposedly aimed at laying out the legislative (domestic) program of the Government, Boris Johnson has made it particularly difficult timewise for the opposition to pass legislation that would force him to request a new “Brexit” delay from Brussels as well as unlikely that a “no confidence motion” – under the threat of a Corbyn government – would stop…

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European, Politics

“Brexit”: “No deal is now practically unavoidable

Recent declarations by both European and British politicians alike, make a “no deal” Brexit outcome more and more likely, whether it comes about by default, following the absence of a request to extend the UK’s membership, or by a refusal of the EU to grant such a request. Contradictory interpretations of these pronouncements are widely disseminated by the media; they have only reinforced the feeling that the vital interests of Europe’s population are being sacrificed on the altar of petty party political advantage, while ominous global geopolitical and economic storm clouds gather relentlessly. Confronted with the apparent indifference of those in authority, a feeling of incomprehension and helplessness is gradually pervading a bemused public opinion. Let us start by examining…

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European, Politics

The contempt of the EU and the UK for their public opinions has become unbearable!

A new political initiative is urgently needed in order to stop Europe’s decadence. Whether it be the EU Member States’ incapacity to agree on a common immigration policy, key to the efficient and humane management of the dramas affecting political, economic or climatic refugees, or the selfishness of English MPs who ignore the welfare of their fellow citizens in the name of principles of doubtful legitimacy, Europe seems to sucked into a spiral of decadence, reminiscent of the fall of the Roman Empire. Far more dangerous than the appeals for unrestrained nationalism expressed by the “sovereigntist/populist” parties, the hypocrisy of so-called europhiles, that point to the unpreparedness of public opinion to postpone reforms, renders vain any possibility of formulating a…

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European, Politics

European Union : The Eurogroupe disappoints!

The renewal of the European Parliament and of the heads of its Institutions must lead to bold (out of the box) new initiatives! The recent European elections, whose outcome indicated a strong revival of the elector’s interest in favor of further European integration, impose on the new leaders to be appointed, the obligation to deliver results. The world’s delicate geopolitical situation (trade wars, tensions in the Persian Gulf, immigration, Korea, Hong Kong, etc.) as well as problems within the EU (Brexit, Italy, populisms, Franco-German tensions, etc.) demonstrate that the answers to the matters of defense, foreign policy, security, immigration, climate change as well as managing both global and domestic economic and financial affairs, lead inevitably to “more Europe”. It is…

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European, Politics

European Elections

First lessons for the EU and for the U.K. Let us for once enjoy some excellent news concerning the EU! Participation in the poll reached 51% across Europe, an increase of 25% compared with 2014, indicating a major shift in public opinion. Even if only one out of two electors voted, it expresses, nevertheless unequivocally the acceptance of the central role of the EU in the handling of a number of key questions close to the preoccupations of the population.. This message, as already expressed in my previous article, is far better assimilated by the citizens than by the politicians who are supposed to represent them. This spectacular about-face encompasses multiple trends: The predicted reinforcement of Eurosceptic parties. Despite considerable…

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European, Politics

European elections: public opinion is far ahead of the political parties pretending to represent them!

Lacking any vision, Europhiles, though in the majority, abandon the field to the Europhobes by default. The European parliamentary election campaign is being derailed from its primary purpose which should be the confrontation of different visions of the Union’s future. It is being unfortunately limited to a binary opposition between parties labelled “pro-European” and those who advocate, more or less openly, reverting to “sovereign” Nation-States, their respective positions being largely based on domestic considerations overshadowing the interests of the Union. No one seems to have paid attention to Martin Selmayr’s warning in Berlin last September: “Make this election a competition for the best solutions for Europe, not a battle for or against Europe”! The nearly exclusive focus of the Europhile…

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European, Politics

Has the Juncker Commission been up to the JOB?

The self-satisfaction with which Martin Selmayr evaluates the record of the “Job” of the Juncker Commission lacks the modicum of restraint that the current “State of the Union” calls for. Let us acknowledge the volume of actions undertaken and completed by the Commission whose number deserves unequivocally to join countless other pointless statistics that adorn the Guinness Book of Records! On the eve of the European elections it is difficult to find an elector able to identify a single measure that he feels in conscious has actually affected his life over the last five years (with the possible exception of the end of roaming charges in 2017). On the positive side, one must mention the competence with which the Commission…

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European, Politics

European Elections : the overlooked importance of the €

While the European Parliamentary elections are vying (not very successfully) with Brexit and the French Yellow Jackets to catch the attention of European public opinion, the electoral debate centers around a choice between the aggressive stance of the fast growing Eurosceptic parties and the defensive campaign of the – still dominant – Europhile groupings that struggle to defend the achievements of the 70 year old EU. The polarization of the debate has largely killed any serious attempt to promote a vision capable of rekindling the citizen’s interest for the Union, as demonstrated by the expectation of establishing a new record of abstentions. A particularly disturbing aspect of this state of affairs is that the Eurosceptics, which are – overtly or…

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