The political implications of Switzerland’s F-35 acquisition

Switzerland has finally selected Lockheed Martin’s F-35A for its Air Force 2030 program. The deal, with 36 aircraft, is expected to be worth $6.5 billion. Critics have argued that the F-35, with its sophisticated stealth and networking capabilities, is too much for a small country like Switzerland that requires only an air-policing aircraft. The decision to select the F-35 exemplifies how much politics are involved in purchasing military hardware worth billions of dollars.

The political implications of Switzerland’s F-35 acquisition
A New Left Turn in Latin America? COVID-19, Populism and Polarization

The apparent victory of socialist candidate Pedro Castillo in Peru’s general election this year hints at a leftward political trend in Latin America. COVID-19 has played a role in this, but the key driver of the shift is more fundamental. However, looking beyond the left-right paradigm, recent developments are indicative of worsening populism and political polarization in the region.

A New Left Turn in Latin America? COVID-19, Populism and Polarization
An Isolated Argentina seeks an Alliance with Mexico- What are the Implications?

As Argentina becomes more isolated in the region, its President, Alberto Fernandez, is seeking closer relations with Mexico. Is a strategic alliance between the two countries possible? What are the implications for the region?

An Isolated Argentina seeks an Alliance with Mexico- What are the Implications?
“There Are Such People” in Bulgaria’s Parliament

The new Bulagrian party There are Such People (ITN), led by the former late-night TV show host Slavi Trifonov and his screenwriters, entered the political scene with a bang. It secured more than 17 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections, but curiously refused to form a government when given the mandate. The party also did not participate in any traditional media campaigns instead choosing to utilise social media platforms. It is important to understand the rise of ITN as well as what this political phenomenon means for political life in Bulgaria, given the upcoming snap parliamentary elections in July.

“There Are Such People” in Bulgaria’s Parliament

Politics

The apparent victory of socialist candidate Pedro Castillo in Peru’s general election this year hints at a leftward political trend in Latin America. COVID-19 has played a role in this, but the key driver of the shift is more fundamental. However, looking beyond the left-right paradigm, recent developments are indicative of worsening populism and political polarization in the region.

Economics

The popularisation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continues to grow worldwide. In Japan, engagement with cryptocurrency has blossomed among investors and major firms. Though that trend is likely to continue over the longer term, it may be tempered by regulation and an aging population.

Finance

Talks of a “K-shaped” recovery after the pandemic crisis started in 2020, predicting that some sectors of the economy will benefit disproportionately by the pandemic, while everyone else bears the costs for it. Big banks and the world of finance are surely to be on the benefiting end. However, policy-makers, shareholders and executives seem to be missing a key lesson of the Great Recession -the risk of an enriching bank system that loses touch of reality may aggravate the schizophrenia of the post-pandemic economies.

Security

Switzerland has finally selected Lockheed Martin’s F-35A for its Air Force 2030 program. The deal, with 36 aircraft, is expected to be worth $6.5 billion. Critics have argued that the F-35, with its sophisticated stealth and networking capabilities, is too much for a small country like Switzerland that requires only an air-policing aircraft. The decision to select the F-35 exemplifies how much politics are involved in purchasing military hardware worth billions of dollars.

Natural Resources

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Transition towards low carbon energy systems remains to be a challenge for the European Union. Europe is faced with economic, social and environmental costs of having fragmented national energy markets despite the ambitious “European Green Deal” agenda of Von der Leyen’s Commission, which positions the EU as a leader in global climate action through comprehensive decarbonization policies. A net reduction target of minimum 55% from the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions was  agreed on Wednesday 21st of April by European co-legislators under the framework for European Climate Law. Nonetheless, curbing GHG emissions necessitates regional concerted action for transition from fossil fuel economies to renewable energy based systems in order to face the transboundary effects of climate change. 

Technology

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The digitalization of the healthcare system brings more challenges than anticipated. One of those challenges are cyberattacks, which have been classified as low priority threats. Now during a worldwide pandemic, the healthcare system has never been so necessary. However, it has also made the healthcare sector more vulnerable, which has attracted cyberattacks in growing numbers. Awareness is needed to attract investments and take actions into creating a more resilient digitalized healthcare sector.