German growth sputters: Should Europe brace for trouble?
In 2018, Germany’s growth dipped. Europe’s economic powerhouse is likely to continue sputtering in 2019 and beyond. Too many European companies have become exceedingly dependent on the health of the German economy and relatively few seem capable of restructuring their production and marketing techniques to succeed on a global scale. The German slowdown will soon be followed by other disappointing figures on the continental scale.
German exports slow down: Should Europe celebrate?
Those European leaders who like to complain about the ongoing trade surpluses of the German economy should not celebrate the recent slowdown in Germany’s exports and GDP growth. Higher labor costs and tensions in international trade may cause trouble for German exporters, but they are already investing in new production facilities in low-cost countries. If German exports slow down, their market share might be taken by German producers outside of Germany, while the productivity gap between Germany and the rest of Europe will widen.
Germans expect soft Brexit but want EU to be uncompromising
Warning to London: recent polls reveal that Germans remain committed to the European Union and are concerned about political uncertainty, but they expect Berlin to remain tough on the terms of the UK’s separation
Opinion: European Union must define its spheres of influence
The EU is a mature, powerful bloc of nations that has vital interests outside its borders, especially in the Mediterranean and Baltic regions, in the Middle East and Africa. Unless the bloc drops its pretense of inwardness and moves to define, articulate and defend its spheres of influence, the multiple strategic challenges that have been dogging Europe are bound to become insurmountable.
When emotions and perceptions outweigh facts
Emotionally charged pseudo-problems and theatrical political “summits” tend to distract the public from important issues. As a result, many of the world’s challenges become worse while leaders leave them unattended
Sanctions against Russia – a game with no winners
Russia, in retaliation to international sanctions, has imposed an entry ban on 89 European politicians, officials and military leaders and it is courting Islamic banks seeking to attract Sharia-compliant funds. But the game of tit-for-tat between Russia and the West is proving to be of little benefit to either side. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, can no longer...
Iran - the West’s ally for peace in the Middle East
Europe and the United States have an opportunity to open constructive talks with Iran as an ally for peace in the Middle East as its new ‘moderate’ leader, Hassan Rouhani, prepares to take over the presidency of the Islamic Republic. Despite rounds of sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme which have crushed the country’s economy, its regional influence has noneth...
Japan ignored nuclear warnings and believed in the myth of absolute safety
Japan’s ‘nuclear village’ received repeated warnings and advice about the country’s plants, but would not accept that they were unsafe. American regulators even pinpointed power system improvements that might have saved more of the Fukushima reactors. When the disaster occurred, the government and plant operator were unprepared and the safety myth was exposed, expl...