Eastwest 65 – Brexit, mass suicide – Italian Issue
Great Britain under stress! The United Kingdom heads for the ballot boxes once again to voice its belief in the European Union. The referendum gamble was (also) supposed to reinforce Cameron’s political standing but the outcome is very much in the balance and Cameron himself risks being ousted, both by his countrymen and his party. Europe would rather not have to say Bye bye to the English Patient yet… many would relish eliminating the feared “Three Lions” from the European championships … and London would then become a handy appendage of New York, and we would be spared the jet lag.
Straddling past and future, Herman Van Rompuy provides Eastwest with an exclusive account of his years in the front line as President of the European Council: from 2009 to 2014, five eventful years that also witnessed the eruption of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that is still smouldering in the background.
Matteo Renzi raises the stakes in his dealings with the European Union by riding a wave of grandeur but also biding his time when necessary, a somewhat mystifying approach.
Even Ireland is now among the European countries that have become ungovernable following democratic elections, but what are all these parties up to?
Pitched into a conundrum by the drop in oil prices, the Gulf Emirs discover .. VAT! while all negotiations now have to pass through Muscat.
The indigenous spirit of the Americas triumphs once more: the White House risks slipping back a couple of generations and everyone is hoping the Latin hemisphere can miraculously fight back.
In Iran the power mongers shy away from the ballot boxes while in Myanmar the Mastermind schemes in the shadow.
Who stands to gain by the Russian-European standoff? The former Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, invites Russians and Westerners to overcome longstanding feuds and geo-political depression and points to a strategy of optimism and warmth. Perhaps Russia is not so draughty after all…