The rich and the powerful, who meet every year at the World Economic Forum (WEF), were in a gloomy mood this time. Not only because the day they met close to eight trillion dollars has been wiped off global equity markets by a "correction". But because no leader could be in a buoyant mood.
The appalling crisis ravaging the Middle East and striking terror around the world is a clear challenge to the West, but responses are uncoordinated. This is due on the one hand to divergent analyses of the situation, and on the other to conflicting interests.
The focus on terrorism is obscuring the issues of refugees, and it is important to consider its impact on Europe, after the shock of Paris.
Climate change has been held responsible many of the social and economic woes affecting mainly the poorest in the global South and now many are seeing it as one of the root causes of refugee crises.
As the political situation in Brazil appears to be reaching a state of unstable equilibrium, or more bluntly, as it is transformed from instability to impasse, the economy continues to deteriorate.
The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.
In recommendations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of July, the German Council of Economic Experts outlined
how a weak member country could leave the Eurozone and called for strengthening the European monetary union.
"A serious political and social crisis will sweep through the euro countries if they do not decide to strengthen the integration of their economies. The euro zone crisis did not begin with the Greek crisis, but was manifested much earlier, when a monetary union was created without economic and fiscal union in the context of a financial sector drugged on debt and speculation.”
When the three-day conference on Financing for Development
begins on Jul. 13 in Addis Ababa, the competitors in this year’s Tour de France will have reached the mountains. They will have already experienced a few spills and will still have many kilometres to go.
“If you’re against coal mining, why don’t you just walk into a coal mine and stop the excavators?”
In a major paradigm shift, the German government is now placing its bets on digitalisation for its development cooperation policy with Africa, under what it calls a Strategic Partnership for a ’Digital Africa’
Israel’s deadly game of divide and conquer against its enemies could be coming home to roost with a vengeance, especially as the Islamic State (ISIS) grows in strength in neighbouring countries and moves closer to Israel’s borders.
Human rights groups are calling for a sustainable solution to the migrant crisis in Europe, especially following the dismantling of refugee camps in Paris and Calais, France, over the past two weeks.
Only 50 years of Cold War (and the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany) can possibly explain the strange political power of the United States over Europe.
With little fanfare, the German IFO Institute for Economic Research recently published a report on population projections for Germany which states simply that the country’s population is shrinking fast.