Yearly Archive: 2019

The UK and Brexit: a failed or a failing state?

When a widely respected and experienced politician such as Chris Patten, a former Conservative British minister and European Commissioner for External Affairs, suggests that the UK is becoming a failed state it cannot be readily dismissed as an aberration. We normally associate failed states with countries such as Somalia [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The US versus China: the names of things

The names of things, of concepts, are important and by no means neutral, reflecting instead differences of analysis and various policy options. The US is engaged in redesigning its policy towards China –although it is still not clear what the Trump Administration is after– and Beijing is responding. What [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 80 years on

The 23rd of August marks the 80th anniversary of what was perceived to be ignominious to much of the world: the non-aggression pact and the secret carving up of part of Europe between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Many saw and still see it as a purely tactical [...]

Inequality in Spain: let’s focus on the poor

The debate on inequality has intensified in Spain in the aftermath of the economic crisis. There is good reason for that. As the European Commission keeps warning, Spain is one of the most unequal countries in the EU. If we take the disposable income ratio between the richest and [...]

Spain through the eyes of an FT correspondent

Journalism is said to be the first rough draft of history. When Financial Times (FT) journalist Tobias Buck took up his post in Madrid at the end of 2012, Spain was in the throes of crises on three fronts that were superimposed on one another like Russian nesting dolls: [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The EU’s strange institutional renewal

Europe, the EU, is not doing as badly as is often claimed. But institutional imbalances are emerging that may trigger a crisis. The turnout for the elections to the European Parliament was 51%, eight percentage points higher than last time, halting a steady decline since 1979, thanks in part [...]

A historic battle of wills

The nomination of Ursula von der Leyen is a victory for those who act like the Austro-Hungarian Emperors of days gone by, freely designating the head of government of their choice. The extreme difficulty the European Council has faced in reaching a consensus over the EU’s new top jobs [...]

The Middle East global presence: between Latin America and Africa

The Elcano Global Presence Index includes all countries of the Middle East, with the exception of Bahrein and Palestine. Affected by a variety of conflicts, such as those of Syria and Yemen, the region ranks 5th and has the lowest growth since 1990 after Latin America. Two major poles [...]

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