Eq: Dev ex-US


Ukraine’s new president, billionaire Petro Poroshenko, has announced that he has opened talks with Russia to relieve the tension in Eastern Ukraine. The region has been plagued for months by constant Pro-Russian separatist uprisings, which has led to numerous bloody confrontations, and now the president, a Russian ambassador, and a member of the OSCE have met to discuss a resolution to the violence. President Poroshenko has promised to promote “lasting peace” in Ukraine and has taken a more forgiving tone with the protesters, offering free use of the Russian language and more decentralisation to give eastern regions more power.  However, many question the potential success of his diplomatic tactics in light of the fact that no separatists are being included in the peace discussions. This doubt is further inflamed by the fact that the separatists are loosely organized and have numerous diverging interests, making it unlikely a single resolution to end conflict could be achieved.


FINSUM: Poroshenko has a mighty task on his hands to end both the actual war and the media war occurring in Eastern Ukraine.


Much like the EU itself, Britain is currently undergoing an identity crisis that is threatening to tear it apart. This crisis is best shown in Scotland, where residents will vote on a referendum to leave the UK in September, but it is also apparent in Wales, Northern Ireland, and even England. All parts of the country want to see more “devolution”, or the handing of powers back into local hands. England, and the UK, has long had very centralised control, and regional governmental bodies have little control over their own budgets, taxation, or laws. Further, this article makes the excellent point that as joint experiences of empire, war, and shared sacrifice fade out of living human memory, the bonds that held the UK together for so long have faded and left four distinct groups squabbling. Finally, beyond just the national-level disagreements, there is growing discontent all over the UK (England included) about the extent to which London is becoming a separate nation-state.


FINSUM: The discontent in the UK is threatening to change the European political picture drastically. In the balance hangs the existence of the three hundred year-old United Kingdom, and Britain’s membership in the EU.


In a much stronger than expected action, the ECB’s President, Mario Draghi, yesterday announced that the bank would enact a series of moves to combat inflation. The ECB will begin charging banks 0.1% for deposits (a negative interest rate), introduce a €400 bn loan stimulus program, and no longer withdraw money from the system to account for its bond purchases in 2010 and 2011. Further, Draghi made a strong statement which boosted markets and offered confidence that the ECB would not let Europe drift into deflation, saying “if required, we will act swiftly with further monetary policy easing”. Draghi also noted that in relation to the prospect of quantitative easing, which is much more complicated and politically sensitive in the EU than in the US, the ECB would “intensify preparatory work related to outright purchases”.


FINSUM: This is the boldest move the ECB has made since 2012, when Draghi effectively saved the Euro. Hopefully, it will have the intended effect, though markets are hoping for more QE.

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