Economic performance of Central Europe

Poland performed the best overall, managing to grow every single year over the relevant period: Here is the regional variation in Poland - even the worst-performing region has grown at more than 2% per year, which is enviable by international benchmarks: Source: OECD Hungary Some parts of the Hungarian economy…

The EU and the G-20

The G20 and the EU: A Win-Win Game The EU in the G20 represents all EU Member States. As some EU Member States are also G20 members (France, Germany, Italy and the UK) or permanent guests (Spain), EU representatives play a key role in the coordination process of the EU…

Dispirited Europe, part IV: Economics, populism & Brexit

Low blood pressure? One remedy is reading news from Europe: Macroeconomic problems Poul Thomesen, in charge of the Greek / IMF program: “no amount of pension reforms will make Greece’s debt sustainable without debt relief, and no amount of debt relief will make Greece’s pension system sustainable without pension…

Iveta Radičová on anti-EU sentiment

In an interview with Denník N, former Slovak prime minister Iveta Radičová accurately points out that it was never monetary assistance from Brussels that "caused" corruption in the new member countries. In the last sentence, she says: "With all due respect, it is our problem that we…

Slovak elections, March 5, 2016

Many surprises. Three anti-establishment parties made it. Several (depending on how you count) of the eight parties that will be in the parliament have nationalistic tendencies, or worse. One description: Marian Lesko, a political analyst, said the election results showed that Slovaks were growing tired of the old political order,…

The United Kingdom’s March to a Vote on Brexit

Why is the referendum taking place? There is a charitable interpretation, and more realistic/cynical possibility: Lenient interpretation: The crisis in the euro area, and the steep increase in immigration, made the public question the United Kingdom’s links with the continent more than before. The skeptical take: It's all…

The Brexit gamble: An adventure in market volatility

After the summit The Economist: "But nothing will matter as much as Mr Cameron's standing. Believe it or not, voters are not terribly interested in Europe. In the Ipsos MORI issues index it has long bumped along well below other political subjects. Even as it has spiked in the…

The UK & EU have a deal

What's inside? European Council conclusions, 18-19 February 2016 Tusk and Cameron briefings: multiple videos David Cameron's statement (at 1:20: "I do not love Brussels, I love Britain. ... I will never say that our country couldn't survive outside Europe.") Stephen Booth: What did the UK achieve in its…

GDP growth in Europe - 2016 forecasts

A nice chart from The Economist shows that Finland is projected to recover from its recession, and Sweden is expected to do as well as many parts of Eastern Europe. Also, there was much talk not so long ago that sanctions against Russia would have a devastating impact on Central-Eastern…