Europe & Russia

  • SPAIN: Catalan independence calls unlikely to materialise but could increase security risk

    June 23, 2017

    Catalonian independence calls intensified in early June. This came after Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Generalitat – the regional government of the north-eastern autonomous community of Catalonia – unilaterally called on the Catalan electorate to vote in an independence referendum on 1 October, making good on his election promise from last year.

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  • Election Watch: Britain’s election increases ‘hard Brexit’ risks

    June 16, 2017

    Contrary to media claims that Britain’s hung parliament improves the chances for retaining much of the status quo in terms of the country’s relationship with the European Union, A2 finds that it instead empowers British regional interests who will resist easy compromises.

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  • Emmanuel Macron’s uphill struggle

    May 19, 2017

    On 7 May, Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential elections, winning 66 per cent of the votes in the second round of elections, against the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s 34 per cent. In a symbolic move, he chose to celebrate his victory outside the Louvre, a world-famous museum in the capital Paris, as opposed to Place de la Concorde ...

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  • Russian Roulette: the challenges of investing in Russia

    April 28, 2017

    After all but deserting Russia, foreign businesses are cautiously returning to take advantage of a weak currency. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased in 2016, recovering significantly from the nadir of 2014-2015. However, they face significant challenges not experienced by domestic firms. Rampant corruption, a weak economy and strong anti-West sentiment mean that foreign direct investment has still not returned ...

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  • What does a Brexit mean for politics?

    April 3, 2017

    Executive Summary

    • Britain’s decision to leave the E.U. is now irreversible. The result of yesterday's 23 June referendum revealed a fault-line in national politics which the major parties must now address.
    • Tax revenues will fall as a result of the vote, necessitating a reallocation of the tax burden that is likely to produce a backlash against those politicians who initially stand to gain from the result.
    • It is likely that the immediate threat of Scottish or Northern Irish secession is overstated, given the economic outlook and public mood respectively. Anglo-Spanish tensions over Gibraltar will escalate.

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