Longitude #36

March, 2014

Leaders

Don’t always blame Europe
by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi

The EU bureaucracy has become a convenient scapegoat for all that ails the continent. A better understanding of the mechanisms that make it work will reveal how facile such knee-jerk reactions really are.

We the people of Ukraine

Ukraine: past and present
Map by Marie Joveneau
Bury your secrets deep
by Francesco Galietti

Germany’s Ukrainian dilemma has led Berlin to look for a balance in its historic love-hate relationship with Russia. Unwilling to antagonize Moscow, it can still keep it in check while scoring PR points by voicing support for the Ukrainian opposition.

Iran's game

Iran, America, the Middle East: What if?
by Stefano Stefanini

Every geopolitical deal, especially one as important as what is currently being negotiated between the US and Iran, is rife with hurdles. But the possibilities of benefits on both sides are significant.

Coming out from the cold
by Enrico Verga

Things are looking brighter for Iran’s oil and gas sector. A new minister, pipelines in the works, the possible easing of sanctions, and growing interest on the part of Western oil majors all bode well.

Iran’s assets
Map by Marie Joveneau
How the Geneva interim deal could backfire
by Emanuele Ottolenghi

As Iran negotiates its nuclear program with Western powers, one assumption made by all sides is that Israel’s threat of a preemptive strike is merely a bluff. But on closer inspection, the reasoning behind such an assumption does not stand up.

Europe

Making the EU’s migrant labor market work
by Giovanni Tria

Demographic trends show the southern shores of the Mediterranean growing much faster than the northern shores, which will have a great impact on migrant labor. Human capital training and mobility will be key integration factors in the labor markets.

World economy

The tango effect
by Maurizio Stefanini

Again Argentina’s economy is taking a big dip. It seems the Latin American country is destined to rise and fall, sway and glide in its fitful efforts to become a major regional actor in economic terms.

Ketchup aspirations
by Christopher Caldwell

Argentina’s economy seems to always be a step behind the ideas meant to either get it humming or out of a hole. The latest devaluation of the peso will again force policy-makers to catch up to events.

Emerging precariously
by Stefano Cingolani

A convergence of factors has created a difficult situation for developing countries. As a result, emerging markets are now as dicey as they traditionally have been.

Post-Argentinian devaluation outcomes
Map by Marie Joveneau
The rich get richer, and the poor get tech-savvy
by Giuseppe Pennisi

Technological advances combined with economic factors have put the middle class in jeopardy. A growing wealth gap seems to be inevitable, as a result we may be seeing the emergence of a high-tech service class that caters to the rich.

Sharing the bounty
by Alessandra Cappelletti

China and Germany’s economic needs are very complementary. Germany requires a huge market and China benefits from the Germans’ high-end manufacturing know-how. A free-trade deal with the EU would be monumental.

German made in China
by Emanuele Schibotto

Economic relations between Germany and China keep getting stronger. This is the fruit of a long planned strategic initiative on the part of successive German governments.

The Orientalist

Engaging with the enemy
by Maurizio Molinari

There is no love lost between Iran and Israel. Yet as negotiations proceed and moderates gain momentum, some movement toward a reciprocal acceptance seems to be taking place.

Warming bloopers

Waterskiing at the Winter Olympics
by Carlo Clini

As global temperatures rise, possible sites for the Winter Olympics are diminishing. A new report shows that skiers at once storied Olympic sites will soon be struggling with slush.