Spotlight on Geopolitics

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News has it that White House foreign policy aides are toying with the idea of partitioning Libya in three, roughly copying the Ottoman Empire’s former administrative entities in the region. As the “America First” political philosophy seems to have lost its appeal for the Trump team’s policymakers, there is now a flurry of initiatives on… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Turkey has today announced its budget for 2015. Total spending is estimated at 225 billion dollars, whereas revenue is expected to be around 216 billion USD, leaving a deficit of only 9 billion USD. The biggest items on its expenditure list are health and education, with 38 billion dollars earmarked for each, which is a… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The 2014 annual gathering of the world’s business and financial elite in Davos was initially supposed to consider major issues of our time, such as inequality and climate change. I say consider and not debate because one cannot rationally expect a serious discussion of possible ways to tackle inequality at a conference which reunites its… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The New Year begins with a myriad of tribal, ethnic, religious or state-to-state conflicts affecting large areas of the world, from Europe to Africa and Asia. Closest to home is a long-running geopolitical confrontation between the West and Russia for the inclusion of Ukraine within their respective spheres of influence. The contest, which had started… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Superficially at least, the ongoing civil war in Syria appears to highlight the West’s inability, unprecedented for decades, to put a stop to it. Adverse to direct military intervention, President Obama has even ruled out Kosovo-style punitive strikes without the endorsement of Congress. Premier David Cameron’s strident advocacy of military action against Syria has been… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Egypt’s “democratic” (sic !) coup d’etat is reminiscent of similar political events from pre-2002 Turkey. We can all recall the repeated interventions and coups d’etat perpetrated by the Turkish generals against democratically-elected politicians who happened to displease them, together with the killings, the tortures, arbitrary arrests and prison terms. The same scenario is now playing… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Following this spring’s Arab revolutions, Tunisians and Moroccans have started their own experiments with the democratisation of their societies. In Tunisia, the moderate Ennahda Islamic party has won close to 40 percent of votes in October. Unable to govern on its own, it entered a coalition with a local liberal party and the left-of-centre Ettakatol… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Egypt’s Odious Debt Legacy

In an op-ed recently published on Project Syndicate (“Mubarak’s Odious Debts”), Saifedean Ammous, an economics lecturer from Beirut University, calls for the repudiation of the debt accumulated by Egypt during Mubarak’s 30-year rule. He makes a compelling case on behalf of a country experiencing severe social and political problems. Thus, according to Ammous, the public… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Over the last two weeks, Turkish diplomacy went all out to capitalise on the country’s increasing international clout. President Abdullah Gul has made a 4-day visit to Germany, Turkey’s main European partner, whereas premier Erdogan has made a highly publicised visit to Egypt and has recently met with President Obama in New York to discuss… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi