Italy has an election coming soon — and ‘serious political risk' is back
Erik Jones weighed in on Italy's upcoming election in a CNBC article outlining what's at stake in the March contest. "The main campaign issues in the election are all related to tax – flat tax, television tax, or university fees. We should hear a lot about pensions as well," Jones said. "European issues are not really central in the debate. This is a domestic contest," he added.
2018, un anno terribile per l'Italia in Europa (In Italian)
Speaking on the year ahead for Europe at a presentation by Nomisma, Erik Jones highlighted three points of weakness to pay attention to in 2018, including Brexit, EU institutional reform and relations between Italy and the Europe. "It's very probable that Macron will lose in his challenge to reform Europe's institutions...not because of what is happening in France but because of what is happening in Germany." said Jones. Regarding Italy, Jones predicts that "at the European level there will be dissatisfaction with the pace of Italian reform."
Iraanse interventies in de Arabische Wereld (in Dutch)
The Dutch outlet One World quoted Sanam Vakil's recent comments to the Washington Post on Iran's increasing role and spending in foreign conflicts and its connection to recent protests. For example, "One of the triggers for the demonstrations seems to have been the recent announcement of the state budget of 2018 by President Hassan Rouhani, says Vakil.
Italian Populists Are Backing Away From Euro Exit
As Italy head toward a March election, populist promises to drop the Euro are being second-guessed as polls tighten. “What's a concern is what will happen to the economy after the election,” said Erik Jones. “If we get a grand coalition, it won't be able to do very much, and the EU may start to put incredible pressure on Italy to clean up its banks and pay down its debt.”
AEA 2018 Annual Meeting
Michael Plummer joined more than 13,000 of the world's top economists at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia. Plummer participated in two sessions, presenting on the topics of “Megaregionalism, Trade and Innovation in the Digital Economy," and “Commonality in Liquidity: New Evidence from National Stock Exchange, India.” Plummer's discussion on trade and innovation was based on a book he co-edited to be released later this year.
Debat om flygtninge: ”Der bliver tænkt alt for lidt i menneskelige potentialer” (in Danish)
In an article titled "Debate on refugees: People's potential not on our mind – it should be", Sören Jessen-Petersen commented on the global migration situation today: "There a 7 billion people on the planet today. 1 billion are migrants, 240 million are external migrants, who flee from their home country to another, and 760 million are internally displaced, who are migrants in their own country." Speaking on the potential of migrants and refugees on the occasion of Danish conference on refugees and development, the article outlines the UN's recent efforts with the Global Compact and calls for better coordination, including legal channels, to avoid future crisis situations.
Silvio Berlusconi lures Italian voters with flat tax plan
Regarding Silvio Berlusconi's "flat tax" proposal, BIPR Director Filippo Taddei adds that the Italian centre-right “are running out of ideas and they are gambling on the short memory of the Italian electorate." On the contrary, Taddei notes, "Italians do remember that Berlusconi was in charge of the country for a good number of years and never came close to the reduction in taxes that he is talking about now.”
Iran's Elites Are Far More Fragile Than They Look
In an editorial for Foreign Policy analyzing the unrest in Iran, Sanam Vakil argues that "the divergent response to the protests reveals the mirage of political unity within the Islamic Republic." Highlighting the fragility of Iran's elites given the nature of the protests, Vakil adds that "Without significant reconciliation among the elite and Iranian society at large, the Iranian government faces a perilous and volatile path ahead."
The 50th Anniversary of Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" Speech
Mark Gilbert will present at a conference organized by Sciences Po Lille on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" Speech. Gilbert will discuss "The Origins of Brexit: Enoch Powell, Douglas Jay and British Tradition" during the conference which seeks to explore the ramifications and legacy that followed Powell's infamous speech.
A system more about self-help than solidarity
In the Financial Times, Erik Jones comments on the impact of a European fiscal union, stating that such a system promotes self-help over solidarity. Using the United States as an example, Jones argues that "it is the kind that — rightly or wrongly — has divided the US over the virtues of federal entitlement programmes...not the kind of stabilisation that advocates of European fiscal union promise will unite Europe."