2012 was a dramatic year for the EU. The crisis could not be brought under control. It was just like with the Hydra in Greek mythology: once that one of the monster’s heads had been decollated, another one was growing again. After Greece, it became obvious that the Spanish banking crisis is a time bomb, while the Italian economy continues to stagnate as well as those of Portugal and Ireland with their severe austerity programmes.
For 2013 an EU wide recession is looming. Before the 13-14 December 2012 summit, expectations emerged that muddling through might end and a grand solution was in the making. However, the discussion over ambitiously prepared blueprints and roadmaps for a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union has been postponed to summer 2013.
Apparently, the EU is not Heracles. It seems that the complex governance and the fragmentation through national interests and corporate capture make this unique mixture of nation-states within the common market as well as some elements of supranational statehood structurally are incapable of solving the crisis...
... continue reading this analysis by WEED and SOMO taking stock of what EU financial reforms were achieved, or not, so far >>> here.
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.