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A recent picture of two presidents of France, the previous and the current one, accompanied with an honor guard in a historical parade uniform

GIS Dossier: Mission impossible, or reforming France

France used to be one of the European Union’s “twin engines” along with Germany. These days, this once-proud civilization is considered more of a problem than a solution for the European project. Its economy is ailing under excessive government spending and overregulation, its enterprises are stifled by a rigid system of social protection and labor rules, its democracy increasingly appears to be a sham. France’s last three presidents have been powerless to stop the slide.

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Regime change in Venezuela: the army will decide when

With the plight of Venezuelans getting worse by the day, it seems strange that the public outcry has not managed to oust President Nicolas Maduro. However, as far back as 2016, GIS guest expert Dr. Anthony Maingot pointed out that this was to be expected. President Maduro’s ability to remain in power “shows that words like ‘crisis’ and ‘intolerable’ are relative,” he wrote. The real arbiter of power in Venezuela is the military, which remains in President Maduro’s corner because the profits from drug trafficking keep lining the generals’ pockets. As long as this remained the case, the army would be willing to keep Mr. Maduro in power. If supplies of cocaine from Colombia were to fall, then competition could splinter the army and, “in return for legal immunity and control of the narcotics trade, the military will support new elections.”

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Geopolitics are back on the agenda

Due to the fast changing international order geopolitics are back on the agenda. I believe that GIS makes a great contribution with analyses and insights that should help businesses and governments developing their responses.

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