Tag "COVID-19"

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Africa Politics

Are COVID-19 Measures Being Used to Stifle Democracy in Africa?

The global pandemic presents a unique challenge to democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from making it more difficult and more expensive to carry out elections, there is an emerging worry that democratic activity will be suppressed in the name of ‘stopping the spread’. 

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Public Sector Reform: A Way Forward for Iraq?

The public sector in Iraq accounts for the majority of employment in the oil-rich country. Plummeting oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in economic crisis and an ever increasing budget deficit. Where there is crisis however, there is opportunity: will 2021 bring a much needed reform of the public sector in Iraq? 

Europe Politics

The Italian Recovery Plan: Health and Education

With a 9% fall in GDP and one of the highest Covid-19 death records in Europe, Italy has been one of the countries to have struggled the most in 2020. Now, more than 200bn euros are being offered to the country by the EU as part of an ambitious stimulus package. This represents a potentially unique occasion for the “Bel Paese” to reverse its crisis. The question being, is it actually possible?

Europe Politics

Recovery from Covid-19 in Eastern Partnership Countries Faces Political Hurdles

With the support of the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced in December a scaling up of its financial support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. However, potential for economic recovery from the pandemic in the region is undermined by EU marginalisation of issues in corruption and Russian subversion capabilities. It is unlikely that sustainable private-sector growth will be realised until the EBRD fiscal approach is complemented with a strategy to address these political challenges.

Covid-19 North America

Canada’s Second COVID Lockdown

The placing of Canada’s most populated region under stricter lockdown measures is likely to lengthen the road to economic recovery post-COVID.

Economics Europe

Britain’s Economic Outlook – Navigating Brexit

As news of the last-minute trade deal with the EU emerged, right-wing commentators in publications such as The Spectator embraced it with cautious optimism. Johnson’s administration will not be leaping into the dark, but the economic costs of the pandemic and Brexit, irrespective of the trade deal, will likely pave the way for a bleak decade. 

Covid-19 Latin America

Cry for me, Argentina: COVID-19 and Economic Woe

2020 cannot be described as a good year for Argentina. Already struggling with high inflation and a sovereign debt of over $300 billion, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic confronted the Argentine government with new financial drains and economic hurdles. Faced with this crisis, Argentina’s economy has undergone a severe contraction. Though Argentina’s economic situation is, along with that of many other countries affected by the pandemic, expected to rebound in 2021, indications are not positive for a long-term indication in the country’s economic situation.

Economics Middle East/North Africa

What is next for Turkey?

With the Turkish lira at a record depreciation amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic,Turkish leadership is struggling to deal with an economic impasse and a seismic foreign relations shift as a result of the US election. 

Europe Politics

Reality of Post-Communist Transitions Risks Entrenching EU-Central Europe Divide

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, argue that new powers handed to the European Commission, allowing the EU to withhold payments of the €750bn Covid recovery package from member states that fail to meet EU standards on the rule of law, are a politically motivated attempt to target their countries. 

Economics Finance North America

Killing the Dollar: A Side-Effect of COVID and its Cures?

Since the end of World War II, the US dollar has consistently functioned as a safe harbour for investors caught by any sort of turbulence. Thus, no one was surprised by its appreciation at the height of the current pandemic, which began in April 2020. And no one will be surprised if vaccine makers’ promises to end the pandemic null all those gains. Yet, the currency’s status and reputation have been weakening since the demise of the Bretton Woods Accord in 1974 to the point that, as a side-effect, COVID and its cures may be lethal for the dollar’s international dominance.