Brexit – the day after

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All right, here we are. The UK held the exit-or-leave referendum and democracy worked again. Like it or not, UK leaves the EU and we’re in a new day, waiting for the future to happen.

What will happen now? Prime Minister David Cameron will accomplish to the article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (see HERE) giving communication of the results of the referendum to the European Council. From that day, a two-year term starts and at the end of that term, if nothing else happens, every EU treaty subscription from the UK will be declared void. If the UK government starts to negotiate with the EU Commission about the said treaties, this period will be extended for the time needed. Cameron could ask to differ the start of said two-years period to October 2016 – in order to hand over the PM duties to a new leader.

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Brexit – what will change?

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The forthcoming UK’s referendum about the future of the permanence inside the EU of the United Kingdom is important for all the other countries inside such union and for the perspective of the nations that are considering to enter the EU.
No country opted out before and the future choice of the UK citizens will open a door to unknown lands. There’s no procedure to follow, no legal precedents and no historic references to use. EU is not an alliance based on strategical/military agreements like NATO, nor it’s a short list of economic matters.

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Be careful with Syria

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All right, we’re on the eve of a bombing campaign against Syria. Everybody knows it and all of us already got the commemorative T-shirt (My brother bombed Syria and all I’ve got it’s this lousy T-shirt?). What we have to remember is that they’re waiting for an opportunity to strike back.

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The Cyprus bailout

At the very last moment a plan has been approved in order to save Cyprus from bankrupcy. Why am I not surprised? A few days ago I write another about this situation, the basic idea was to stigmatize that ten billion Euro are small money if we consider the hundreds of billions (or maybe the thousands) Euro already used to save other countries and/or their major banks.

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Cyprus is not the real problem about Eurozone, nor it’s the worst place to consider when it comes to bad finance all aroud Europe. What is Cyprus today? A symbol. It’s a slap in the face of russian oligarchs, who used for years this small island to practice money laundering on a massive scale. It’s a slap in the face of a number of financial operators who used the fiscal laws of Cyprus to pay the lowest tax cut possible in Europe. It’s a warning, a strong one, to Malta (and thru Malta to the UK).

What Cyprus is today it’s a warning to all of us european citizens. The decision to drag a percentile of bank deposits, no matter how much, it’s not only a financial measure made by a scared government but the demonstration that under the combinate pressure of ECB, IMF and WB there are very few chances to escape their decisions. In Italy we already experienced such a fate, back in the ’90s. In order to get enough money to pay the interests on our national debt the government got a small cut, 6 part on one thousand, from every bank account.

So, what about tomorrow? What France will do later this year when the pressure of foreign investors will try to crush its economy? What Slovenia will do next month to lift the pressure of a compromised economy?

Falkland Islands – the right to vote

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Today we will know exactly what Falklands Islands population voted about their rights of sovereignty; a referendum is on the run, a signal will ge given by a 2000-sized population to the national governments of UK and Argentina about what the islanders want for their future. The question posed to the voters is the following:

Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?

And this is the statement that explain the question above.

The current political status of the Falkland Islands is that they are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. The Islands are internally self-governing, with the United Kingdom being responsible for matters including defence and foreign affairs. Under the Falkland Islands Constitution the people of the Falkland Islands have the right to self-determination, which they can exercise at any time. Given that Argentina is calling for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, this referendum is being undertaken to consult the people regarding their views on the political status of the Falkland Islands. Should the majority of votes cast be against the current status, the Falkland Islands Government will undertake necessary consultation and preparatory work in order to conduct a further referendum on alternative options.

For the “kelpers” (that’s the name adopted by the local population) it’s a matter to set a point in the struggle between UK and Argentina about who will be in control of their territories. For the Argentinians their claims dates back to the 1833 and the Islas Malvinas (that’s the name they use for Falklands Islands) are part of their nation, no matter if they have to fight for it. As you may remember there was a war in the ’80s, following the invasion of this little islands by Argentinian troops. For the military junta this conflict was a matter of populism, a way to have their people overlook to a foreign enemy instead to think about economic recession and being under a non-democratic rule. Today’s matters are a bit different.

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See the picture above? The new factor is about oil and gas. There’s a good-sized oil field, right next to the Falklands Islands, a potential good source of income for who get to drill in it. Easy to say that UK and Argentina share a strong interest about it. Plus, both governments needs a strong argument to be shown to their internal audiences. David Cameron as a political leader is under heavy criticism and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentinian president, is already walking on a thin line to assure her nation about the economic collapse.  Recent polls held in UK and in Argentina shows strong responses about this struggle, not to mention the choices for a new war.

Note: about the 1982 war I strongly suggest to read “Sink the Belgrano” by Mike Rossiter.

Cameron fades to black

2013 is a bad year for David Cameron and for Tories in the United Kingdom. So bad that he’s trying almost everything to impress his supporters and to win back the consensus. Just three years ago, the general election result was impressive:

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The alliance between Tories and Liberal-Democrats, based on strong numbers like these, assured to the young Prime Minister a wonderful base to build “his” vision of UK. From a conservative point of view, everything looked fine. Plus, the incoming 2012 Olympic Games were the perfect time to boost the tourism industry and to show the might of his government.

It simply didn’t work. Lib-Dem were (and are) a failure, Nick Clegg more a nuisance than a business partner. Polls start early to show a decline, the promised reforms converted in a sad program of cutbacks. A number of small scandals surfaced thru the media, and the smile of the PM starts to fade. The only that really works were the Olympics, a triumph partially spoiled by the London Mayor.

The pressure from the economic crisis and the demand for a better tax justice drive EU to start a discussion about some form of a Tobin tax in the european markets, a measure already applied in France and in a different way in Italy. More than enough to scream blue murder for the City’s investors and for a good part of the top level of Tories to go mad about european rules.

Add the media pressure from Scotland, where SNP gained the high ground for a new referendum about indipendence. Add the mixed feelings of the people about war when it comes to the Lybian crisis, a costly adventure driven by Sarkozy’s concept of foreing politics. Then add the rumors about a possible new war with Argentina, once again about Falklands Islands and only for the need of the “presidenta” Kirchner to distract her own people from the economic failure of her government. Need more? OK, what about the turmoil in North Ireland? The whole place looks ready to go back to the ‘70s, no matter the efforts from the local government.The trouble list isn’t over yet, the major cuts to the balance of NHS alarmed many citizens and a few weeks ago a formal investigation in a handful of hospitals shows to the nation some serious nightmare.

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In the meantime, UKIP and BNP gained more and more consensus, adding a lot of pressure from the right side to the Tories. With Lib-Dem in free fall Cameron needs to find a strong stance to reassure his party and the pubblic opinion about his leadership. What he can do? With no money left to develop new programs and no choices left to reform the State affairs Cameron find an easy target to strike: the European Union.

EU got no good press in England and a good part of the population share a strong degree of diffidence about any idea of a common political union with the likes of Germany or France. For Cameron showing a strong face against the bureocrats of Bruxelles is an easy to way to affirm the predominance of UK best interest, a good bone to toss to the right wing of Tories. But we are in 2013, not in 1987. And Cameron is not Margaret Thatcher. The PM got too much hurry and not enough diplomacy, his declarations about a possible way out for UK from EU (by the means of a national referendum to be indicted after 2017) got a really bad echo from european partners.

Fact is, UK got a lot more to lose leaving EU than EU from the exit of the UK. Everybody knows that in the European Parlament, in the European Commission and in all the governments of the 26 states that are part of the EU. The idea of a real separation from all the european investment and development programs is more than enough to put british economy back 20 to 30 years. What Cameron gets from that is a massive setback. Another idea was needed and this time the attention was directed to the civil rights.

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A few days the first vote was cast about the same sex marriage, a strong theme in the public opinion. Cameron gains the upper hand in the Parlament but with a bitter price to pay. The law passed with many votes from the opposition, hardly a good way to show this as a victory of Tories. In the next few weeks the law will probably find a strong opposition from Lords, giving more and more media attention to the right wing movements. It looks like that Cameron is run out of ideas, ready to be caught between a rock and an hard place. With the general election of 2015 in sight his choices to win a second run as PM are smaller than ever. Miliband? Does anybody say Ed Miliband?