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Mon 25 Jul 2016 / Europe

Angela May and Theresa Merkel

We know the name of Europe’s crisis control tandem: Angela May and Theresa Merkel. The similarities between the German chancellor and British prime minister are evident: born in the mid-1950s; no-nonsense, get-things-done conservatives; clergymen’s daughters; childless, with behind-the-scenes husbands; excel at ejecting troublesome male rivals. They established a good rapport in Berlin last week. Angela (Merkel) told Theresa (May) that the UK could take time over opening European Union divorce proceedings.

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Thu 28 Jul 2016 / North America

Why Clinton will win

John Kornblum, a long-time US state department official, former US ambassador to Germany, and a member of the OMFIF advisory board, gave an interview to Die Welt, the daily German newspaper (Andrea Seibel), published on 26 July. In the interview he discusses the election prospects of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and states his belief that Clinton will become the first female American president.

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Thu 21 Jul 2016 / Europe

Shaking faith in democracy

The UK departure from the EU has been guided by the conventional wisdom that democracy, ultimately expressed through a referendum, is a good and effective system for governance. Britain is held out as the pioneer and standard-bearer of western democracy; the EU vote was supposed to show how a democratic system functions. However, ‘Brexit’ is likely to wreak irreversible damage to Britain and the world. So, as an important by-product, the outcome will shake popular faith in the ‘sacred’ system of democracy.

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Sat 30 Jul 2016 / Europe

Britain’s slogan: I did it May way

David Marsh, OMFIF managing director, gave an interview to German news magazine Der Spiegel, published today. In the interview he discussed the immediate aftermath of the UK referendum decision to leave the EU, both in the UK and the rest of Europe, and Europe's new tandem of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Wed 6 Jul 2016 / Europe

After Brexit, austerity heads for the door

An all-out pan-European effort to ‘stop populism’, especially to tackle social and economic ills by lifting fiscal constraints and relaxing German-style austerity, is likely after the UK’s anti-European Union vote, according to an Amsterdam meeting of OMFIF’s Dutch advisory board. The 4 July gathering sounded a generally positive note on referendum repercussions, with some form of UK-EU rapprochement foreseen for coming years.

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Tue 5 Jul 2016 / Europe

Unravelling the Brexit trilemma

Uncertainties about the UK’s political, legal and economic relations with the European Union will be resolved only gradually in the coming months. We can investigate the post-referendum outlook in the form of a trilemma – a triangular relationship where a combination of only two elements is permissible. The triangle consists of three corners: promises made to the electorate; rules governing the EU and European Economic Area; and UK single market participation. One of these will have to be broken.

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Wed 13 Jul 2016 / Europe

Prospects for sterling recovery

With British politics stabilising quicker than expected after the European Union referendum three weeks ago, the position of sterling looks a lot stronger than many experts originally thought. The pound could even suffer the fate of the yen by becoming firmer than the UK authorities wish. After the devaluation wrought initially by the economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the yen is once again a haven currency. Similarly, there is a much greater probability of recovery than panic for sterling in coming months.

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Fri 1 Jul 2016 / Europe

Carney's risks

When the theatre is burning, it is generally a bad idea for the head of the fire department not only to shout ‘Fire!’, but also to say that he intends to fan the flames when the fire gets worse. Yet that is precisely what Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, appears to have done in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. In a speech on 30 June, he indicated that he expects the UK economy to weaken substantially in the near term, and that the Bank of England stands ready to cut interest rates.

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Tue 19 Jul 2016 / North America,Europe

New global Atlantic in the making

British exit from the European Union provides Europe with what it needs most: a good shaking-up. The same goes for America. The EU will continue to exist. There’s even a chance that 'Brexit' could turn out to everyone’s advantage – Europe, Britain and America. We should seek guidance from Tweedledee in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. ‘Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.' Whatever happens will be a logical outcome of facts, not of illusions.

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Wed 13 Jul 2016 / Europe

Missing link in Brexit puzzle

Many explanations have been broached for the Leavers’ surprise win in the UK European Union referendum: a divide across age, anti-elitism, a protest against globalisation, the suffering many communities feel from an influx of immigrants, the dislike of unelected 'eurocrats'. Yet the real culprit seems to be the rise of English nationalism. This is the missing link in the 'Brexit' puzzle.

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