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Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Nixon’

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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Don’t Bet Against the Eurozone Just Yet

Posted by hkarner - 13. Januar 2017

Date: 12-01-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXONnixon-twitter

The eurozone has managed to muddle through seven years of crisis. It’s likely to do so again in 2017, Simon Nixon writes

No one seems much interested in good economic news from Europe these days. Among investors and policy makers, all the talk is of political risks and how these might reignite the eurozone debt crisis. In British political circles, where the imminent demise of the eurozone has been an article of faith since the moment of its inception, discussion of the eurozone’s political risks have acquired an added dimension of excitement in the wake of the Brexit referendum. Among Brexiters, it is widely assumed that the worse the state of the eurozone, the more willing it will be to compromise with the U.K. in the divorce negotiations.

The logic of this argument is hard to follow and may, in any case, be based upon wishful thinking. Certainly, the political risks facing Europe are real and well-rehearsed. A victory for a populist anti-EU party in any one of the countries facing elections this year—the Netherlands, France, Germany and possibly Italy—would undoubtedly plunge European politics into turmoil. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Governing, not Elections, Is Europe’s Big 2017 Challenge

Posted by hkarner - 9. Januar 2017

Date: 09-01-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

In the eyes of many, the EU is now seen as an agent of insecurity rather than security, Simon Nixon writes

To those of a glass-half-full disposition, Europe’s prospects haven’t looked this promising in years. The recovery is gathering pace, helped by an improving global outlook, low interest rates, a weak euro and the end of austerity. Surveys show manufacturing activity and economic sentiment at their highest levels since 2011. Unemployment is falling everywhere: In Germany at 4.1%, it is the lowest since reunification; Spain has just recorded its sharpest increase in jobs since 2008. In Italy, where real household disposable income is rising at its fastest pace since 2001, an overdue cleanup of the banking system is under way, addressing one of the biggest risks to the European economy.

Of course, this good economic news is overshadowed by political risks. After the events of 2016, including the surprise election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote, few are willing to bet against further revolts against the established political and economic order. Looming elections in the Netherlands, France, Germany and possibly Italy will provide further opportunities for voters in major Western democracies to register their disillusionment with globalization in general and the European Union in particular by handing power to anti-EU populist parties. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Many Hurdles to an Orderly Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2016

Date: 22-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal by Simon Nixon

Businesses should be preparing for the scenario that the U.K. crashes out of the EU without a deal, Simon Nixon writes

It was like pulling teeth, but Theresa May did eventually admit to a parliamentary committee this week that her government was preparing for all Brexit scenarios, including the possibility that the U.K. crashes out of the European Union in 2019 without securing any deal with the bloc at all. This should hardly come as a surprise. Not only is it a standard principle of deal-making to identify your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, but the possibility that the U.K. might be forced to fall back on its Brexit BATNA is alarmingly high. Perhaps the U.K. and EU will be unable to agree on a deal, or the EU unable to ratify what has been agreed upon.

Businesses should be preparing for this worst-case scenario, too—but there is scant evidence this is happening, judging by the output of the various industry lobby groups. Their submissions to the government invariably focus solely on their ideal negotiated outcome. In almost every case, this amounts to a plea to preserve the status quo—or as much of it as possible. After 43 years of EU membership, most sectors in Britain are deeply integrated into pan-European supply chains and are broadly content with EU regulation, which is seen as high quality, predictable and trusted by customers and consumers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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