The economic consequences of a global fragmentation will be severe
As the economy begins to sag, China’s ruling party is tightening control over the country and fanning nationalist sentiments in response to justified criticism from abroad. International tension is rising. The world could split up into competing political and economic blocks once again. This would be particularly harmful for Europe, ...
The German constitutional court’s courageous ruling was necessary
Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe made history on May 5, 2020. The justices found that the European Central Bank could have acted outside its remit by purchasing government debt. Accordingly, the court suspended the Bundesbank’s participation in the ECB’s program.
The political economy of crony socialism
When governments and critical financial institutions rig the system to facilitate irresponsible public spending, trouble is inevitable. Today’s crony socialism, masquerading as capitalism, is at the root of the crisis unleashed by the anti-coronavirus measures. Unfortunately, panicked citizens perceive the government as a part of the solution, not the problem.
Business strategies are needed for the rough economic stretch ahead
Governments and supranational organizations that weakened the economy’s resilience with overspending, accumulating debt and arbitrary taxation before the pandemic are now doing more damage. They have resorted to scare tactics to expand their control under the pretext of responding to the downturn brought on by lockdowns. The short- and mid-term ...
Policy cures worse than the disease
Governments first failed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. When they finally realized the scope of the challenge, most resorted to misguided, self-serving and often disastrous policy responses. Their push for centralization and control of economies, companies and ultimately, individuals, bodes ill for the future.
Sound business is key, not centralist ambitions
French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for more “solidarity” among eurozone states may have a nice ring in today’s harsh pandemic times. It is, however, a disguised attempt to make the enterprising and frugal European states pick up the tab for the irresponsible ones. Instead of a “transfer union,” France and ...
China’s geopolitics, Europe and the loss of freedom
China is cunningly enhancing its geopolitical standing in the wake of a pandemic that has spread from its territory. At the same time, the Western countries’ responses to the global crisis and to China’s rise have been woefully inadequate.
The role of Malaysia’s king
The latest crisis in Malaysia gave the country’s monarchy a vital role in protecting the stability and constitutionality of the political process.
Opinion: Harmful attempts to plan and regulate the global economy
Governments’ tendency to overtax the economy, overregulate it and misallocate resources by subsidizing losers, has been hurting economic growth, innovation and competitiveness in many parts of the world, including Europe. Now, officials are discussing novel ways to introduce such disastrous practices on the global level. Their excuse is an alleged ...
Central Europe and EU cohesion
French President Emmanuel Macron’s early February visit to Poland was an effort to offset post-Brexit centrifugal forces pulling at the European Union. It was unfortunate then, that most of his remarks consisted of lecturing Central European states about the benefits of harmonization. Instead, Mr. Macron and other EU leaders should ...
A trillion euros on the wrong policy
There are several cost-efficient and market-friendly policies that could be implemented by both Germany and the European Union to reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. However, these solutions are being cast aside while the European Commission attempts to create a planned economy through “green” measures.
Iran’s aspirations for hegemony and its terrorist activities
The U.S.’s killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani is a huge blow to the Iranian regime, and Washington had valid reasons for making the move. Though many fear the repercussions, the U.S. could not shy away from self-defense for such reasons. And for now, it looks likely that Iran will ...
Turkey and Russia in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea
Turkey and Russia, with their history of centuries-long rivalry in the Black Sea and the Middle East, are both pursuing deft regional policies that reflect a complex web of aligned and conflicting strategic interests
Goodbye freedom, democracy and the rule of law
By declaring a state of climate emergency, the European Parliament opened the door to excessive measures that could ultimately violate individual freedoms and erode democracy in the European Union. The climate debate has become a political means to implement a populist agenda.
How to destroy the European Union
Once, the “European idea” helped unite a war-weary continent. Now, overbearing central authorities, suffocating bureaucracies and reams of red tape are limiting the freedom that idea once promised. Europeans are losing trust in their institutions, and worry for their own security. At the heart of the problem is weak leadership.
The true strengths of sub-Saharan Africa
Botched decolonization in the 20th century has saddled sub-Saharan Africa with the nation-state concept and social designs that are alien to its indigenous societies. The result is the twin scourge of perennial conflict and economic weakness. The outside world should rethink its stand on the decentralization of African states and ...
Divide and rule in the Middle East
The United States appears to have adopted the strategy of the British Empire when dealing with the Middle East, creating dissent and lending assistance to whichever side opposes its enemies. However, history shows this approach is likely to backfire.
Europe’s heedless foreign and security policies
European countries say they base their foreign policies on values – but doing so has led to inconsistency in how they treat international partners. Consequently, Europe has taken the wrong stance on military exports, the Iran nuclear deal and the U.S.-China trade dispute. Recent events, however, may have provided a ...
From decentralized democracy to centralized bureaucracy
Under the guise of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which was implemented in 2018, EU governments are collecting and sharing citizens’ financial data in ways that violate democratic privacy rules and go well beyond the legitimate needs of combatting tax evasion and money laundering or terrorism. This overreach is part ...
Is the German coalition condemned to stay?
Election results in Saxony and Brandenburg show the Christian Democrats and the Social Democratic Party are losing ground. Unless voter concerns like migration, safety and a credible approach against pollution are addressed, both parties will fare poorly in the federal elections.
Greenland and Washington’s offer
President Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland was dismissed as a joke, but it reflects both American practice and a legitimate strategic concern.
Jammu and Kashmir and Hong Kong: Autonomies violated
The world is rightly concerned about China’s violation of Hong Kong’s autonomy – but such moves are not limited to authoritarian regimes. India, the world’s largest democracy, has recently abolished autonomy for the region of Jammu and Kashmir. The situation there deserves even more attention since the region is at ...
The euro and the German constitution
Two legal challenges to the EU central bank’s most controversial policies have been working their way through Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, the country’s supreme court equivalent. In one of the cases, the justices in Karlsruhe already ruled that the authority of the EU Banking Union ought to be limited. ...
Opinion: Respecting Turkey’s position
The opposition victory in Istanbul’s mayoral election was seen widely as a defeat for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose illiberal, centralized system is much criticized in the West. Yet Mr. Erdogan’s detractors underestimate the challenge of adapting to Turkey’s changing geopolitical circumstances, where the Kemalist principles of secularism and ...