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Politics

European, Politics

Thank you Mr Bloomberg!

Dear Michael Bloomberg, I believe that I speak for many Europeans (and hopefully for even more Americans) when I welcome your bid for the presidency of the United States. ——————————– Of course, it is easy to dismiss the move if one points to the many grounds that can make such a step seem contentious, evoking, for instance, self-righteous considerations such as further reinforcing the perception that the American electoral process is a pure “money” confrontation; focus might concentrate on the former Mayor’s “unfair” advantage over the contenders for the primary nomination; one could also question the candidate’s age and, maybe, contest some aspects of his former distinguished public service. Most damaging might be the internal party debate between the left…

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Politics

“A Tweet too far”

President Trump’s standing reached a new low after his latest tweet during the testimony of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in front of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. We witnessed “live” the humiliation and intimidation of a senior American State Department official, whose outstanding record of service was unanimously recognized by both Democrat and Republican members of the Committee. Though impeachment is both a legal and political process under which it may be difficult to muster the required quorum to remove the President from office, one would hope that the decency of the overwhelming majority of the Senators who will sit as “jury” in the impeachment trial, would, in addition to the formal case that will be made in the…

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European, Politics

Is a last minute compromise possible on the Withdrawal Agreement?

In my recent article (29th August) on “The prorogation gambit”, I wrote: What could be the basis of a last minute agreement? a) The British Government agree to accept the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May unchanged except for: – Removing formally the “Irish backstop” (A big apparent win for BoJo!) – Agreeing that, should no acceptable “alternative arrangements” be found to maintain an open border in Ireland before the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland (at least) would remain within the EU customs union until such arrangements were agreed. The UK could end the arrangement unilaterally but only if it offered Northern Ireland the possibility of a Referendum on remaining in the UK or becoming part or the…

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European, Politics

The UK and the EU must bring “Brexit” to a final conclusion now!

Brexit is doing untold harm to countless EU and UK citizens whose livelihood is – or will be – adversely affected, by prolonging unnecessarily the current destabilizing uncertainty. In addition, it makes Europe particularly vulnerable to the numerous geopolitical developments and/or external social, economic, or financial shocks lurking under the horizon. Rather than reveling in imagining various more or less credible scenarios that might unfold over the next few weeks, it is time to focus on a proposal that hopefully brings this tragic saga to a conclusion. Preempting the European Council meeting of October 17/18, the Prime Minister should send, by the end of this week, a letter to its President, Donald Tusk, requesting formally an extension beyond October 31st…

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European, Politics

Making Europe “Great Again”!

It is incumbent on both the EU and the UK to agree on an “Europe First” policy Brexit is becoming such an obsession in Europe that it obfuscates some of the wider geopolitical challenges that are confronting the world. It is in the light of the consequences of the marginalization of both the EU and the UK in world affairs, as a result of Brexit, that both parties should reconsider where the vital interests of their population lie. The introductory remarks of President Trump’s speech at the UN last September, in which he defended the virtues of putting national interests at the forefront of any self-respecting national government’s program, seems to have been fully reflected in the closing speech of PM…

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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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