Europe/Middle East

It's an Italian Thing


Italian Prime Minister has set the date for the constitutional referendum as late as practically possibly.  It will be held on December 4.  The issue is the perfect bicameralism that gives as much power to the Senate as the Chamber of Deputies. 

UK Manufacturing's PMI Upside Surprise


The new month has begun with a couple of surprises.  The biggest surprise has been the record jump in the UK manufacturing PMI to 53.3 from 48.3.  A much smaller rebound was expected in August after the Brexit shock drop in July.

Maybe Third Times a Charm for Rajoy?


There is a small chance that the political deadlock in Spain will be resolved this week.  Despite the agreement on some 150 policy points, the Popular Party and Ciudadanos, the new center-right party, they will not secure a majority without the tacit support of some members of either the Socialists or the new left party Podemos.   

Can Erdogan Allay Kurdish Concerns?


Turkey’s failed military coup last month rocked the foundations of its political system, yet in some ways the country has emerged stronger and more resilient.

In addition, that’s precisely what Turkey needs to deal with one of its biggest and oldest challenges: the Kurdish minority and the PKK separatists who took up arms against the Turkish military 32 years ago this week.

Gauging the EU's Risk of Losing Italy


In the aftermath of the Brexit tensions, Italy is defying Brussels to bail out troubled banks and preparing for constitutional referendum in October. If Prime Minister Matteo Renzi fails to achieve adequate support, economic destabilization will shift from the UK to Italy – which could pave way to the rise of anti-establishment left or right.

Swiss Resiliency is Legendary


Despite Europe’s crisis turmoil, the Swiss growth engine seems even more resilient than before – perhaps not least because it has embraced the European Union, but not the euro.

The EU Poverty Bar is Moving Higher


Brexit caps off a turbulent decade for the EU. Many in the Eurozone will be hoping that it does not cause further economic turmoil, as it is becoming increasingly clear that the financial crisis of 2008-09 led to a substantial increase in poverty across the continent.

Not only did poverty intensify within those nations that were hardest hit during the crisis and required bailouts, but there has also been a dramatic change in the geography and types of poverty in Europe over the last decade.