Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Posts Tagged ‘Nixon’

In Britain, Hopes for a ‘Half-In’ Brexit Deal Linger

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2017

 Is that worth a Brexit? (hfk)

Date: 06-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Theresa May shows signs of willing to compromise for a ‘deep’ partnership

Nine months after the referendum and a week after the triggering of Article 50, it is starting to become clear what Theresa May meant when she said “Brexit means Brexit.”

In her Lancaster House speech in January, the Prime Minister ruled out “partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out. We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries.”

Yet senior pro-EU conservatives are increasingly optimistic that what may yet emerge from the negotiations is what one describes as “associate membership in all but name.”

Indeed, Mrs. May’s goal of a “deep and special partnership” covering everything from trade to security sounds a lot like an Association Agreement of the sort that the EU already has in place with many neighboring countries.

Ukraine, for example, negotiated an Association Agreement with the EU that covers security and foreign policy as well as a deep and comprehensive trade agreement. This deal allows Ukraine tariff-free access to much of the EU single market for goods in return for compliance with EU rules, overseen by a bilateral commission, and without joining the customs union, allowing it to strike its own trade deals. Ukraine and the U.K. may not have much in common but the Ukraine deal provides a template of sorts, which has the advantage of being provided for under the EU treaties. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K.’s Challenge: Reconciling Its Brexit Aims

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2017

Date: 03-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Prime Minister Theresa May needs a deal that achieves three objectives. But the objectives may be irreconcilable

After nine months of phony war, the Brexit battle lines have been drawn.

Last week’s opening salvos were cloaked in generous diplomatic language. British Prime Minister Theresa May used her letter invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to laud Europe’s liberal democratic values and declared her wish for a “deep and special partnership” with the European Union.

EU Council President Donald Tusk reciprocated by declaring the Brexit negotiations an exercise in “damage control” with the goal of keeping the U.K. as close a partner as possible.

The desire for an amicable divorce on both sides is sincere, not least because the consequences of a collapse of the legal frameworks underpinning current cooperation in areas such as trade, finance, science and security would be so severe. Yet neither side is confident that the obstacles to a deal can be overcome.

The greatest obstacles lie within the U.K. itself. Mrs. May faces what may prove an impossible trilemma. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain’s Hand Has Weakened Since Brexit Vote

Posted by hkarner - 31. März 2017

Date: 30-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

In divorce talks with the EU, it is Prime Minister Theresa May, not the bloc, that has a unity problem

Prime Minister Theresa May responds to questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday after announcing the start of the two-year countdown to the U.K. leaving the EU.

What was striking on the day Theresa May invoked Article 50 was how much the world had changed in nine months. During the referendum campaign, one of the strongest arguments advanced by the Leave campaign was that the European Union was on the brink of collapse and that the U.K. needed to escape the burning building.

Brexiters had been forecasting the imminent demise of the European project for a quarter of a century, and with the EU in the grip of a debt crisis and a migration crisis, it seemed as if their predictions may have been finally about to come true. The assumption was that the British Prime Minister would have the whip hand in Brexit negotiations over a weak and divided EU. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europeans Plan for a Post-Populist Future

Posted by hkarner - 21. März 2017

Date: 20-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Continent’s leaders explore ways to boost confidence in the EU in the wake of Dutch vote

European leaders breathed a sigh of relief last week when Dutch voters denied the far-right populist party headed by Geert Wilders the election breakthrough many had feared.

Instead, it was Prime Minister Mark Rutte whose center-right party comfortably topped the polls, though its share of seats in the 150-member parliament fell by eight to 33. And while Mr. Rutte certainly tacked to the right in the campaign to head off the challenge from Mr. Wilders, perhaps the biggest surprise was the unexpectedly large gains by two firmly pro-European parties of the center and center-left.

Something similar appears to be happening in France and Germany: Polls show support for far-right populists is dwindling while support for the staunchly pro-European presidential challenger Emmanuel Macron in France and for the German Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz is rising. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K.’s Brexit Walkout Threat Leaves EU Unmoved

Posted by hkarner - 10. März 2017

Date: 09-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

EU insists it won’t discuss trade until divorce is done, putting Theresa May at risk of having to carry out her vow to walk away

Prime Minister Theresa May

With the U.K. most likely just days away from formally triggering the Brexit process, Downing Street is rattled. Its anxiety has little to do with the continuing parliamentary debates over the bill to allow the government to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty: Despite two defeats in the House of Lords, senior officials are confident that Article 50 will be triggered as planned by the end of this month. Instead, what is really unnerving Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is the very real possibility that the Brexit negotiations will collapse before they have properly begun, leaving the U.K. to crash out of the EU in 2019 with no deal.

If the European Union continues to insist that it won’t discuss a new trade relationship until the U.K. agrees to an expensive divorce deal, Mrs. May really will walk away, British officials say. The U.K. government is adamant that both deals—divorce and trade—must be negotiated in parallel.

Downing Street has grounds for being rattled, because there is little sign the EU has any intention of giving way. True, the U.K. has some allies. Some senior figures in the German finance ministry, for example, believe the EU should, after a suitable delay, start discussing future trade ties with the U.K. But in the German Chancellery, which calls the shots and appears to have prepared for Brexit almost as intensively as the British government, officials are sticking to the EU script. There is frustration at what some in Berlin see as “deliberate misconceptions” being promoted by the U.K. government, including playing down the complexity of the divorce negotiations. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economic Divisions Shape German Politics Too

Posted by hkarner - 7. März 2017

Date: 06-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Social Democrats’ pick to run against Chancellor Angela Merkel could change dynamics of race

schulz-merkelSocial Democratic candidate Martin Schulz is challenging conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in this year’s parliamentary elections in Germany.

BERLIN—This year has already produced more than its share of political excitement in Europe. The French presidential election campaign is wide open just two months before polling day; the Dutch elections could see 13 parties returned to parliament; and Italy’s ruling Democratic Party appears to be splintering.

Now it is German politics that looks increasingly up in the air.

The Social Democratic Party’s decision to adopt the former European Parliament president, Martin Schulz, as its candidate for chancellor in September’s parliamentary elections has transformed the political landscape.

The SPD, as the party is known, has surged in the polls, with some putting it ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats for the first time in a decade, raising the prospect that her grip on power may finally be weakening after 12 years. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Europe, Four Main Concerns About Trump

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2017

Date: 27-02-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

The immediate economic impact has been positive for Europe. Still European policy makers have worries.

When Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress this week, his words will be studied with closer attention than usual in Europe.

Across the Atlantic, Mr. Trump’s arrival on the world stage has been met with widespread anxiety. Many fear that his America First rhetoric, skepticism toward multilateral institutions and enthusiasm for Brexit signals a disengagement from the rules-based order that most Europeans consider the bedrock of their prosperity and security.

Yet ironically, the immediate economic impact of Mr. Trump’s arrival has been positive for Europe. Last week’s eurozone composite Purchasing Managers Index showed the economy expanding at its fastest rate in 6½ years and jobs are being created at the fastest rate in nearly a decade, while the Stoxx Europe 600 index of leading European equities is up 13% since Nov. 8. That may partly reflect an improved global growth picture. But Mr. Trump can take some credit: expectations that his promised tax cuts and deregulation will deliver faster U.S. growth have lifted the eurozone too, not least by halting the appreciation of the euro, down 4% against the dollar since the election. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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French Election Puts Possibility of ‘Frexit’ on the Agenda

Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2017

Date: 16-02-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Two front-runners agree that the defining issue is France’s membership of the eurozone

PARIS—What’s striking about the French presidential election is the extent to which the two front-runners share a basic analysis of the choice facing the country. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Front, and Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old former economy minister who quit François Hollande’s government to stand as an independent, are poles apart politically. But both agree that the defining issue is France’s membership of the eurozone.

Both point to the widening divergence between Germany and France’s economic performance during the past decade as evidence that the status quo isn’t sustainable. The National Front points to a recent International Monetary Fund study that suggested the euro is up to 15% undervalued in Germany and 6% overvalued in France as proof that France is at a competitive disadvantage. It argues that the only way France can remain a member of what one party official calls the “fixed eurozone exchange-rate regime” is to pursue an internal devaluation by cutting back on social protections and driving down wages. The alternative is to quit the eurozone. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Trump, Poland Finds Reason to Reset EU Relations

Posted by hkarner - 6. Februar 2017

Date: 06-02-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

It is in Warsaw’s interests to mend fences with European allies better placed to exercise leverage on the U.S. president and his Russia policy, Simon Nixon writes

WARSAW—German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Poland this week is an important moment for both sides—and for all of Europe. Since Poland’s conservative Law and Justice party took office in October 2015, the Polish government has been a persistent thorn in the side of the European Union.

Whereas its predecessor prioritized building a network of alliances across the continent and establishing a reputation as a reliable partner, the current government has adopted a more confrontational approach, not least over the question of EU asylum reform, where it has blocked proposals for the mandatory redistribution of refugees across the European bloc. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy Tries to Skirt a Populist Revolt

Posted by hkarner - 31. Januar 2017

Date: 30-01-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Country has taken steps to insulate itself, but long-term risks remain

grillo-ccBeppe Grillo, leader of 5-Star Movement

Never underestimate Italy’s capacity to muddle through.

Following Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s defeat in last December’s constitutional reform referendum, the country didn’t collapse into turmoil, as many had feared. There was no political crisis leading to a snap election that might have brought the anti-euro 5 Star Movement to power; nor did the fragile banking system implode.

Instead, a new prime minister was swiftly installed at the head of a largely unchanged government, which acted promptly to stabilize the banks.

Now, the Italian establishment has taken further steps to insulate itself against the risk of a future populist government: A constitutional court ruling last week struck down a proposed change to the country’s electoral law, which would have created a two-stage process for electing the lower house of parliament, with the second-round winner automatically receiving bonus seats to give it an absolute majority. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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