The EU continues to be unable to solve its multiple crises. The risk of a default of Greece on repayment of its debt (bonds) in the next three months, or of the country leaving the Euro has increased considerably. It becomes ever clearer that, after four years of permanent crisis, the worst is still to come and that June 2012 might be the point where the crisis takes on new dimensions. An overview by Peter Wahl
The Greek elections on 6 May 2012 turned out to be a referendum against the austerity policies imposed by the ‘Troika’ of the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank. The two leading parties of the last decades, NEA DEMOKRATIA (conservative) and PASOK (social democrat), which had executed the Troika’s policies, were weakened considerably and could no longer achieve a majority to form a government. PASOK was even surpassed by SYRIZA, an alliance left of the PASOK. SYRIZA is pro European and wants Greece to stay in the Euro zone, but wants to renegotiate the conditions of the Troika’s rescue package ...
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.