Opinion: El Salvador’s new president faces an uphill struggle
In June 2019, Nayib Bukele will take office as El Salvador’s next president. A fresh face from a small party, Mr. Bukele is focused on rooting out corruption. For its part, the U.S. wants him to tackle migration and is threatening to cut off aid. With a sluggish economy dependent on remittances, the new president will be hard-pressed to solve the problems that are chasing Salvadorans from their country.
Libya and the Franco-Italian rivalry
In North Africa, France and Italy share vital national interests on migration, terrorism and energy. Yet profound differences on tackling these issues – rooted in history and leadership styles – has put them in direct competition, and even led to a diplomatic crisis earlier this year. Nowhere is the rivalry more visible than in Libya, where it is delaying a resolution to that country’s civil war.
Italian gold and populist publicity
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has revived a five-year-old proposal to use his country’s gold reserves to bring down the budget deficit. The idea is problematic for several reasons – but that is not the point. Mr. Salvini is likely using this controversial plan to make headlines and burnish his populist credentials ahead of the European Parliament elections. While he may take the gold idea further, his real goal is to enlarge and lead a pan-European alliance of euroskeptics.
GIS Dossier: The Italian case
Politically and financially, Italy has come to be regarded as a weak link in the European Union. Its shaky banks and enormous public debt almost blew apart the euro area during the debt crisis of 2010-2012, and could still do so. Its government, a marriage of populists on the left and right, claims to be the precursor of a protest wave that will sweep this year’s European Parliament elections. But as usual, it is hard to tell whether Italy is headed for disaster or more of the same.
African migration: From polarization to win-win
With this year’s European Parliament elections, the EU may be approaching a watershed moment on migration. Voters and politicians are questioning the fundamental assumptions of globalized approaches like the UN Compact on Migration and the EU Trust Fund for Africa, which may do more to encourage than curb the migrant influx. But “outsourcing” management of migration flows to transit countries may only increase Europe’s vulnerability to political shocks in buffer states like Sudan, Libya or Algeria.
Opinion: Why they migrate
Discussions of migration from Central America into the United States tend to lump the principal countries of origin – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – into a single subregion, the Northern Triangle. While similarities between the three states make it convenient to treat them as a unit, the practice can also be misleading. Different push factors operate in each country, and without taking these distinctions into account, no amount of international aid is likely to reduce the migrant flow.
Opinion: The worrying faults of the UN migration compact
Countries are due to sign a United Nations pact on migration next week. However, its global, one-size-fits-all approach is dangerous. It risks many unintended consequences, including mass migration for welfare benefits and huge burdens on destination countries. Migration remains an important problem to be solved, but the answer is not to create yet another global bureaucracy.
China’s threat to Russia’s Far East: Real or perceived?
The vulnerability of Russia’s Far Eastern and Siberian regions to Chinese expansion has become a truism. Yet most Russians seem to favor closer ties with China, and bilateral relations may be at their best in history, without a trace of military or political tension. There are also few signs of Chinese economic penetration, at least on a level that exceeds Japan’s or South Korea’s. Migration pressure from China into the underpopulated Russian north may be the hollowest of these popular myths.
GIS Dossier: Angela Merkel
When Angela Merkel finishes her term as German chancellor in 2021, it will mark the end of an era. Love her or hate her, this shrewd political operator has had a huge impact on Germany, Europe and the wider geopolitical scene. This GIS Dossier compiles our experts’ analysis of her policies and the effects they have had across the globe.
Opinion: The wrong response to the Caravan
United States President Donald Trump has insinuated the migrant caravan heading from Central America to the U.S. constitutes an invasion and has deployed some 5,000 troops at the border to stop it. Now, the president has threatened to rescind aid to the migrants’ countries of origin. American aid programs are built to address the region’s terrible crime and lack of employment opportunities – the very reasons so many people are leaving their homes and heading for the U.S. in the first place.