Insight: Effects of US sanctions not limited to higher oil prices but could spill over into global trade jitters (Diplomatique.Expert)
What will likely leave a more lasting economic impact, though, are the so-called secondary US sanctions. Should such sanctions be introduced through trade and financial instruments, foreign companies will be blocked from accessing the US market unless they are compliant. The US Treasury could cut off from the US banking system any international company that decides to continue doing business with Tehran, if its home country fails to “significantly reduce” Iranian oil purchases. The EU would need to find ways to limit the impact of US sanctions to ensure firms continue to do business with Tehran. One possible option could be reviving what are known as “blocking regulations” – a sort of countermeasure instrument against foreign extraterritorial economic sanctions that are considered harmful to the EU’s sovereignty – to protect European firms.
Insight: Political impasse in Italy sends Government Bond yields rising (Diplomatique.Expert)
The political turmoil in Italy comes at an unfortunate time as signs of a slowdown in Germany – Europe’s economic powerhouse – start to emerge. This and an automatic increase in VAT in autumn, in the context of a hung parliament, could easily throw the Italian economy in a recession.
Insight : The media’s place in the sports and politics industry – Emanuel Fantaneanu
Media freedom and pluralism are at the heart of any democracy. They embrace editorial independence, the free flow of ideas, and public access to a wide range of information sources and views. Media independence and transparency are indispensable preconditions and essential safeguards of well-functioning democracy. Challenges and opportunities for the media sector differ from country to country, but all national, continental and international lawmakers have a duty to protect and preserve media freedom and pluralism. Most of the time and in most countries, this interference can have bad consequences on freedom of expression and protection of journalists and may adversely affect the business media.
Sports journalism is not protected by this interference and is often adversely affected. The interests of politicians and governments of various countries across the border often cause damage to the media and sport. Sport and politics remain uneasy bedfellows. Sport now imposes its own logic, which is not necessarily that of governments. It is more than a mere instrument: it is becoming an end in itself, with its own values and progressive aspects. We must continue to work untiringly so that peace may reign in the world and our time be better and peaceful for present and future generations.
Malta fl-Ewropa – 14 -il sena wara. Riflessjonijiet – Jesmond Saliba
Erbatax -il sena ilu, Malta saret membru sħiħ tal-Unjoni Ewropeja. Kien mument storiku li għext mill-viċin u kellu tifsira kbira għal pajjiżi u għalija. Tul dawn l-erbatax -il sena pajjiżi inbidel u l-Ewropa inbidlet. F’din it-tħarbixa, ser nipprova nħares lejn x’wassal għad-deċizjoni tal-poplu biex jagħżel IVA, x’ġara minn dak in-nhar u attwalment x’inbidel, jekk inbidel mill-mod kif jaħseb u jagħżel il-poplu Malti.
Malta needs to depart from the myopic 5-year political cycle (Part 2) – Diplomatique.Expert
Traditionally, Malta’s economic model has largely depended on offering a range of tax advantages to entice foreign companies to set up subsidiaries. In reply to critics who charge that this constitutes harmful tax competition, Malta has always argued that such incentives are necessary to ensure its competitiveness and compensate for the natural drawbacks the island-state suffers vis-à-vis its regional peers. Although in many ways this argument is logically sound, we anticipate that going forward it will become increasingly difficult for Malta to sustain this position in European and international fora.
Unprecedented threats to unprecedented growth – Matthew Bugeja
The IMF released its World Economic Outlook in January 2018, where it expressed satisfaction with global economic growth in 2017, where the world economy expanded by 3.7%. Looking ahead, the Washington-based financial institution expects global growth to reach 3.9% in 2018 and 2019 – the highest such expansion since 2010. From an economic perspective, the results have been excellent.
Macron’s evolution towards becoming a global leader – Jesmond Saliba
When Macron, rewrote all basic rules of French politics and became president, his innovative disruptive style of politics appealed to those who believed that change could happen without the need to resort to populism. His style is trying to be applied in Europe, but not successful yet. Yet, he’s not giving up on his mission which is supported by his youth, enthusiasm and political acumen. In doing so, he’s trying to be the ‘voice of change, reasonable change’ at a global level. Will he succeed? It’s to be seen. For sure, these steps are all in one direction, that of becoming a global leader and in the process re-instating France’s leadership role in the global political sphere.
European Union enlargement process review – Ylenia Micallef Grimaud
While it is generally known that the European Union is on a continuing path to further enlargement, few are those that know which process precedes a country becoming effectively a member state of the European Union. Much has been reported both in Maltese and international media about the obstacles to Turkey’s accession caused by the persistent breaches of human rights in that country. But how do such breaches affect Turkey and other potential member states from achieving the much sought after status? And what other criteria are measured?
The Big Data Boom – Denise Degaetano
With one of the top spots retained for the request of Facebook personal data per capita by the Maltese government, it is becoming more evident that Malta is adjusting to the big data revolution. We no longer can keep much of our lives personal. With every supermarket transaction, Facebook and Twitter login and discount card usage, our personal data, buying habits, posts, photos, likes and chats, we reveal our lives to help companies and governments, achieve the two Ms: Monitoring and Monetization.
Russia and UK’s future foreign policies post Salisbury – Diplomatique.Expert
Sergei Scripal’s and his daughter’s poisoning came as a bolt out of the blue, barely a week before Russia’ deadweight presidential election. Russia has been adopting an emboldened projection of its power over the past years, however this was particularly brazen. The UK’s and the international community’s reaction was unprecedented to all intents and purposes and has been a resounding coup for the UK. What’s the future for the foreign policies of the UK and Russia following Salisbury?
Europe’s vicious circle of misery – Fleur Vella
You feel World War III is fast approaching when you are in a room in Brussels, during a technical working group meeting, discussing money. Who gets to pay – net contributors and who gets allocated EU funds – net beneficiaries, voicing their concerns? The richest countries wanting to limit or decrease the EU budget and the poorest trying to milk as much as they can. Fortunately, there is the Presidency, which tries to find a compromise between all parties, and wars are avoided. The European Union has successfully secured peace in Europe between countries who get to fight together in a meeting room rather than through sacrificing innocent lives. However, why is there so much unhappiness with the EU with the mushrooming in Europe of Euro sceptics and even a country actually deciding to leave the EU – Brexit?
Russia 2018 : To be or not to be. That is the question ! – Charles Camenzuli
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on the 14th June. However to date, too many questions remain unanswered. After the March 2014 tragedy soon after the Sochi Olympic Games western leader blamed Russia for the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – another blow for Russia raising eyebrows much more than the IOC Doping Report and eventual ban of Russian Athletes from Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. More to come. The alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal – 66 year old former Russian Intelligence official who while with his daughter Yulia was found dead in Salisbury , on the 6th. March made Boris Johnson to hint that English officials should refuse to attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Was that a hint or statement as soon after further reactions followed. What about boycotts relative to the 88 year old history of the World Cup.
Will the elections in Libya this year, lead to peace and stability? – EuroMed Expert
Libya is gearing up for an election which should be held by the year’s end. Together with the cooperation of various member states, the United Nations is committed to helping with the organizing of these elections in the hope that stability will return to this important North African country. A situation, that is very fluid and can change drastically from day to day. This is no easy feat in a place still shackled by internal strife with several heavily armed groups roaming the country and with two rival governments, the results of feuds that broke out following the first post-Gaddafi election in 2014.
Quo Vadis Facebook Data? – Philip Micallef
We all read about the recent revelations on Facebook and the data of its users being used for purposes not originally intended for. Facebook in fact suspended the account of an election political consultancy firm which supported the Donald Trump presidential election and the Brexit Movement. Facebook’s decision was prompted by the fact that Cambridge Analytica, founded in USA but with its mother company now in United Kingdom, obtained and irregularly manipulated the information of about 50 million users of Facebook.
Selfie: it is not a novelty in the human desire for (self-)expression – Tanja Tatomirovic
Nowadays, for most people everyday life comprises a comprehensive use of modern technologies, communications in the digital world as well as sharing information and content in real time via a large number of social networks. Mobile – Smart phones are with us almost all the time but their initial, primary function – telephone conversation – is increasingly giving way to other forms of online communication.
Malta needs to depart from the myopic 5-year political cycle (Part 1) – Diplomatique.Expert
Two recently published reports by two reputable international institutions seem to arrive at the same conclusion: Malta’s economy is growing by leaps and bounds, but significant challenges can already be spotted on the country’s medium-to-long term horizon. In this three-part series, we will look at three key structural weaknesses identified by these reports which we think require swift intervention by the authorities. The magnitude of the implications of these weaknesses, should they remain unaddressed, warrants a departure from the myopic 5-year political cycle and necessitate immediate decisive action.
The meaning of Malta’s Freedom Day – Jesmond Saliba
On the 31st March 1979, Malta saw the very last ship of the British forces leaving our shores. Commonly known as Freedom Day, this day marked the end of the dependence on British and Nato Military presence in Malta. Freedom Day would not have been possible without the granting of Independence in 1964 and the proclamation of the Maltese Republic in 1974. Thus, these three were steps towards the achievement of true political freedom and, ultimately, the opportunity of governing one’s own country. This day is analysed through academic research done in Malta and elsewhere about the situation which led to the agreement with the UK and NATO after 1971 and which came to end in 1979 and the relevance of this day in the country’s foreign policy in the following decade.
The tight labour market – Lawrence Zammit
The only way we have been able to sustain economic activity has been through foreign labour. And we all know that foreign employees have come in their droves. They have taken jobs that Maltese employees were reluctant to continue doing. They have also taken jobs that Maltese employees do not have the required expertise for. Some have also taken up jobs for which we have local expertise, for which there is the willingness of Maltese persons to do, but for which there are not enough persons to fill the vacancies available.
Catalonia: why are the former leaders of the autonomous region being arrested? – Philip Micallef
What is happening in Catalonia? Why was Carles Pugdemont, the ex President of the Generalitat of Catalonia arrested in Germany a few days back when he was returning to his self-imposed exile home in Belgium from Finland? Other members of his cabinet fled Spain in October while others were arrested and are in Spanish jails. To an outsider this might seem very strange. The situation can’t be appraised properly without a context and this context is the Spanish Constitution.
The Cleansing of The Temple – Andrew Azzopardi
In the countdown before Easter, in-between blessed activities (ranging from processions to enactments) and getting the odd couple of days of trips and indulging, I find the narrative of the Cleaning of the Temple tempting!
Socially, economically and politically (nothing seems to exist outside of politics in this Country), the narrative of the Cleansing of the Temple becomes one of the boldest representations in the Gospel that show this revolutionary-pacifist Jesus Christ having a real go at the charlatans, frauds and double-dealers.
These insightful pieces are supplied by the experts at Diplomatique.Expert