GDP is not enough to understand inequality, the head of UNDP believes

GDP is not enough to understand inequality, the head of UNDP believes

From Brexit to the ‘gilets jaunes’, protest movements in Europe and elsewhere have shocked political elites in recent years. At their heart is a sense that economic growth has left many people worse off even if, in most countries, the headline GDP figures suggest that countries are much wealthier. Challenging the idea that economic growth will automatically lead to development and wellbeing is one of the main themes in the 2019 Human Development report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) published in December. Achim Steiner, the administrator of the UNDP,…

Read More

Italy delays presentation of Monte Paschi stake sale plan

Italy delays presentation of Monte Paschi stake sale plan

Italy will delay to early 2020 the presentation of a plan to sell its stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Treasury said on Sunday (29 December), as the bank struggles to shed bad loans. The plan for the state to offload its 68% stake in the world’s oldest bank by the end of 2021 was supposed to be submitted to the EU executive by the end of this year. The Treasury said in statement it had asked Brussels for the postponement “in the light of, and in line…

Read More

Pat Cummins takes five before Australia breaks ahead over New Zealand

Pat Cummins takes five before Australia breaks ahead over New Zealand

Australia will ask New Zealand to attempt a world-record run chase after their pace attack, led by Pat Cummins, gave the hosts a seemingly unassailable lead in the Boxing Day Test. The Aussies went to stumps at 137-4 on day three, leading the Black Caps by a mammoth 456 runs after they rolled them for just 148 at the MCG on Saturday. No team has ever chased more than 418 in a Test, with the Aussies having set a similar target of 468 in Perth just a fortnight ago in…

Read More

Amazon’s deal with Deliveroo facing deep investigation

Amazon’s deal with Deliveroo facing deep investigation

Amazon’s UK ambitions have been checked by the competition watchdog after it launched an in-depth investigation into the online retailer’s purchase of a stake in food delivery company Deliveroo. The Competition and Markets Authority announced the probe on Friday after Amazon and Deliveroo declined to offer concessions in response to the CMA’s initial raising of concerns earlier this month. Amazon was the lead investor in a $575m (£442m) funding round, announced in May, which reportedly gave it a 16% stake in Deliveroo. Deliveroo has been seeking investment to boost its…

Read More

2020: A critical year for EU-China relations

2020: A critical year for EU-China relations

2020 will be a decisive year for the EU’s relations with China and its success will largely depend on the fate of the long-running bilateral investment treaty negotiations, writes Fraser Cameron. Fraser Cameron is a former EU civil servant, currently Director of the EU-Asia Centre 2020 will be a decisive year for the EU’s relations with China. The two sides are struggling to conclude an investment treaty while there are continuing disputes over human rights and whether to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to exploit Europe’s 5G market. 2020 will…

Read More

Turkish supreme court voted against violations of freedom of speech and Wikipedia ban

Turkish supreme court voted against violations of freedom of speech and Wikipedia ban

With six out of 10 votes, Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday (26 December) that the government’s ban on access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia violated freedom of expression, the official Anadolu news agency reported. The ban was imposed by Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) in April 2017. The move caused an outcry among freedom of information activists who accuse Turkey of slapping bans on websites and social media with alarming regularity. Turkish officials said at the time the measure was needed as Wikipedia had failed to remove…

Read More

How U.S. Sanctions May Affect Nord Stream 2 Russian Gas Project

How U.S. Sanctions May Affect Nord Stream 2 Russian Gas Project

US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions last week on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline designed by Moscow to bypass Ukraine and increase gas supplies via the Baltic Sea to Germany, Russia’s biggest energy customer. The United States wants to sell more of its gas to Europe and has said the pipeline would make the continent too reliant on Russia, which is at loggerheads with Washington over a series of issues, including Moscow’s interference in Ukraine. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, however, said on Monday (23 December) that the pipeline would…

Read More

Turkish parliament is preparing a bill allowing the sending of troops to Libya

Turkish parliament is preparing a bill allowing the sending of troops to Libya

Turkey may need to draft a bill to allow for troop deployment to Libya and its parliament is working on the issue, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday (24 Decembrer), after Ankara signed a military cooperation agreement with Tripoli last month. “There might be a need for an authorisation in line with the developments over there. The parliament is conducting work on this issue,” Kalin told a news conference in Ankara. “We will continue to support the internationally recognised Libyan government. This support may be in terms of military…

Read More

EU paves the way for a “difficult” post-British deal

EU paves the way for a “difficult” post-British deal

EU will keep engaging with the UK through the WTO and the UN as both sides work out a deal on their future ties once Britain leaves the bloc, according to the top Brexit negotiator in Brussels, Michel Barnier. Agreeing and ratifying a post-Brexit relationship by the end of 2020 “will be immensely challenging, but we will give it our all, even if we won’t be able to achieve everything,” Barnier, wrote in a weekend online commentary for the Project Syndicate magazine website. The two sides will have just 11…

Read More

Kazakhstan leadership opens with “alternative opinion”

Kazakhstan leadership opens with “alternative opinion”

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a major agenda-setting speech on Friday (20 December), outlining measures to improve the economy and social standards, but also introducing several democratic reforms. The Central Asian country is rich in resources, with a relatively small population and a huge territory, and keen to attract foreign investment. The EU as a whole is the number one investor in Kazakhstan. From the early stage of its post-Soviet transition, Kazakhstan has consolidated strong state power to avoid chaos. Today, as the country is considered successful at home and…

Read More