Italy’s 2018 elections will hinge on immigration
Demographic data show that Italy’s population is shrinking at a fast clip, economists are ringing alarm that the country faces a shortage of labor and its social security system is at risk, but voters perceive immigrants from the Middle East and Africa as a major problem that requires radical steps by the government. Most Italian politicians are willing to oblige.
Italy pushes for early elections that would make matters worse
Matteo Renzi, Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo may be poles apart politically, but the leaders of Italy’s center, right and left parties are jointly toying with a plan to offer disgruntled voters another make-believe reform scheme.
Italy drifts toward paralysis
Italy is facing the prospect of major political fragmentation and government inertia. Its political players are already bracing for the double whammy of changed electoral rules, which will radically alter the composition of the next parliament, and the steady rise of populist sentiment in the country.
Eurozone bailout economies vulnerable to interest rates rise
Any rise in interest rates could tip a number of eurozone countries deeper into trouble. European Union countries involved in bailout programmes are still very vulnerable - with the exceptions of Ireland which is safe and Greece which is hopeless. The key is the cost of debt-servicing. Bailouts will not be enough to ease the cost of debt-servicing, and debt-restruc...
Independence movements spreading across Europe
The climate for greater independence and self-control by regions is increasing across Europe. Local politicians are using the background of economic crisis to develop their rhetoric for better times by breaking away from central government and bigger tax bills. But secession is a populist political project rather than an economic one. ...
European elections: Eurosceptic success could impact national policies
The European Parliamentary elections in May are likely to see a record number of eurosceptic or populist parties elected from both the political right and left. This could force a grand coalition of the major centre-right and centre-left groups in the parliament. But what impact will this have on national policies and the EU Council? ...
Predicting more of the same for Europe’s economy
World economic data may reflect a rise in optimism that the worst may be over. But there are significant differences between Europe’s problems and those in the rest of the world and suggestions that 2014 may prove to be a turning point for growth are over-stated. <i>There is encouraging economic news that the eurozo...
Europe’s political, economic and defensive opportunities and challenges
Geopolitical understanding matters more today than ever because geopolitical developments will force European countries to adapt to global neccessities. Are European governments prepared to change or will they continue to focus on short-term steps with the aim of protecting their own positions of power? This 2013 letter from our chairman, Prince Michael of Liechten...