Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow




Gefira: Demographics and the consequence for economics and investments

We are at the dawn of profound demographic changes that will affect every investment. The Japanese population will shrink an astonishing 60% this century.

Europeans are trying to escape the same fate by repopulating the continent. All government data shows that the West as we know it will slowly disappear and while Europe is in full retreat, the population in Asia and Africa is exploding. The staggering number of new births in Africa will spell a human disaster and the Europeans will not able to avert it. This process has already started and will change our world profoundly; investors and planners should take notice. This Gefira gives an outline of what is coming. Subscribe Subscribe

An answer to Constanza Hermanin of Huffington Post and formerly of Open Society

Huffington Post recently posted in its blogging section an article,by Constanza Hermanin, professor at Science Po and the College of Europe and former Open Society’s senior officer, one of George Soros’s NGOs.

The Gefira Foundation was accused in the article of being “Eurosceptic, pro-Russian” and that the activities of NGOs in the Mediterranean as reported by Gefira was ‘’fake news’’.
We are taking the time to address the accusations:

  1. Euroscepticism: If Constanza Hermanin, whose curriculum boasts researching skills refined at Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, the European Commission among the others, had actually bothered making a quality research, she would have found out that the Gefira Foundation was set up by Franck Biancheri to promote European integration.Franck Biancheri himself, now deceased, was a champion of European integration and collaborator in the creation of the Erasmus Project.

    Promoting European integration however does not mean supporting the authoritarian and anti-democratic elements of the current European Union, in the form of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the weakness of the European Parliament, nor supporting policies and approaches that we believe, in a basic exercise of democracy, go against the interests and the will of European peoples, like austerity or the TTIP.

    In conclusion, the accusation of ‘’Euroscepticism’’ is unfounded, fruit of poor research and fake news.

  2. Pro-Russian: Gefira is pro-Europe, period. We analyze the policies of the European leadership and the choices in foreign policy and whether those bring positive or negative effects for Europe. The support of liberal interventionists, also known as neoconservative “regime changes” by the EU leadership has been disastrous and resulted in a trade war and refugee crisis, none of which benefits Europe in any way. If European integration is to succeed, it cannot be subordinate to the interests of the United States of America. The EU should be friends with the US, not vassals. That also does not make us “pro-Russian”.

    This accusation is therefore also unsubstantiated.

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Heavy fighting in Qatif, Eastern Province Saudi Arabia

On social media and YouTube, there are reports of heavy fighting and serious clashes in Al-Qatif, one of Saudi Arabia’s oil-richest regions whose inhabitants are predominantly Shia. The unrest is said to have been sparked off by the Iranian government.

In 2016 Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr, a top Shia cleric, who was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in the Eastern Province in 2011, in retaliation for which Iranian protesters ransacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

 

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And when Turkey falls apart…

The West and especially the United States are bent on lending support to minorities, cost it what it may, even when in the future it turns out that such a policy causes more damage than profit.

Since the time when in November 2016 the Kurds launched an offensive against IS, Washington has been supporting the Syrian YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel or People’s Protection Units). As President Obama has provided them with weapons, President Trump went a step further and has had a 5000-strong military base built in that region of Syria which is controlled by the Kurds.For President Erdoğan it is like a pain in the neck because the YPG can forward the munitions of war to the PKK.Paying a state visit to Washington Erdoğan is trying to dissuade Trump from the whole idea.The American generals have adopted a practical attitude to all this, though: who is there left that they might use as an ally in the war against IS and President Assad, when they have to intervene in Syria? The Turkish troops would have to cross the Kurdish-controlled regions. If the Americans decided to attack from the south, then they would expose themselves to Russian and pro-Assad (i.e. Iranian) forces. It is a fight over access to the Euphrates, Syria’s most important river, on whose banks the IS-occupied city of Rakka is located. This place could soon become the battleground where Syria’s fate might be decided, for once you have conquered Rakka, all of Syria is under your control. Continue reading

Russia and China: Frenemies

China and Russia both pursue mysterious policies and pose challenges to Western diplomats. Their relations are one of the most important topics in modern international politics.

The Sino-Russian relations did not develop smoothly. In 19th century, the Russian Empire used China’s weakness and seized a great amount of its territory, which caused indelible resentment among the Chinese. Although the Soviet Union helped Mao’s regime to come to power and both countries were communist, it did not averted conflicts in the mutual relations. Following the ideological tensions after Stalin’s death due to more liberal new Soviet policy and border wars in 1960s, China perceived Russia as a bigger enemy than the USA; the latter, by the way, also decided to ally itself with China against the strong USSR. A normalization in the Sino-Russian relations came in 1980s. In 1996 a “strategic partnership” was established and in 2001 a Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation was signed.In September 2016, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi proclaimed that “the depth and scope of coordination between both countries are unprecedented.” One of the reasons, China sees Russia as a partner is that the latter does not criticize the Chinese political system.

Geopolitically, both countries want to deprive the US of its globalleadership and bring about a multi-polar world with corresponding spheres of influence. China would concentrate on Asia and Russia on Eastern Europe.The two countries have already made steps against the present world order. Russia annexed Crimea and started supporting pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine; China resurrected maritime territorial disputes in the Chinese Sea and makes its military exercises, annoying the USA.An attempt to create a global governance without Western powers was the BRICS group, where Russia and China are the most influential actors. Continue reading

How securities are fabricated causing the real estate bubble to grow

The European Commission has resorted to STS’s with which it intends to effectively cope with the financial crisis. Yet, on closer analysis STS’s are likely to spark off another crisis.

What’s the mechanism? Banks grant credits and then they sell them on the general market as securities. In this way they avoid having bad credits on their hands while these are foisted on other entities. What do the banks do with the financial means they earn in this way? Well, they turn them into more credits and so the bubble becomes larger and larger. The securities created from the sale of credits are referred to as securitization; their American counterparts were the root cause of the 2008 financial crisis. Still, the European Commission wishes to make use of securitization, only this time is is supposed to be safe, simple, transparent, standardized; hence the abbreviation STS. The Commission says they will make it easier for small and medium businesses to gain financial resources and simultaneously will reduce the systemic risk (like bad credit). The risk, however, is only transferred from banks to other financial institutions. This will make it more difficult the supervisory institutions to fulfil their duties, since such securities are not open to the public nor is it easy to gather information which of the financial entities is running up excessive debt. It may turn out that the said transparency will only remain in words.

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Macron wins the French Presidential elections: what to expect next

Consider how Hollande’s victory was hailed in 2012 by the media: a man of change,destiny, a new start,for Europe and the return of growth.
The reality turned out not to be even remotely close to the promises: stagnating economy, no wages growth, rising unemployment and debt, both public and private.

Emmanuel Macron was the co-protagonist of the economic decline of France as Minister of the Economy under Hollande, yet 65% of the French voters opted to give the former a second run, endowing him as President with more powers, blaming entirely the latter, who ended the presidency with an abysmal approval rate of 4%,

Just like Hollande’s promise to reform the European Union was the “eurobond”,Macron’s goal is the “fiscal union”.Since Hollande was met with a deadly “nein” from Merkel and the Bundesbank, we see no reason why Macron could be more successful: while France is the second biggest economy of the Eurozone and thus its size and importance could provide sufficient leverage in negotiations, Hollande’s unwillingness to threaten to leave the negotiation table proved to be his downfall. Similarly, Macron can only be successful in his reform bid when he is ready to announce to dump the failing EU project if he can’t have it his way. As it is, his “Europe first” approach leaves no room for that, ensuring a failure equal to that of his predecessor.
The “fiscal union’’ is Macron’s only major noteworthy item on an otherwise incredibly vague political and
economic program. Hollande’s presidency was plagued with regular attacks by Islamist terrorists, yet Macron did not touch the topic during his political campaign, with the exception of the brush-off “there’s no such thing as French culture’’.

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Demographics will decide the world’s history

Demographics will decide the world’s history within the next decades. 2045 is the year in which, as the U.S. Census Bureau projects, Whites will become a minority in their own country. The same trend is observable in Europe. In the eighties these continents began their transformation from relatively monolithic into multi-ethnic or multicultural societies, which resulted in the rapid increase in the Latino population in the US, and the influx of immigrants from Africa and Asia in Europe. The academia and the ruling establishment believed that the different ethnic groups that are arriving in Europe and the US would blend into the indigenous communities and dissolve within one or two generations, adopting the superior Western values and norms because these are allegedly universal.

The native European population growth will soon reach its peak and then the reverse trend, already observable in Russia and Poland, will set in. The population of the Netherlands and Germany is only expanding due to the rising number of second generation non-Western migrants. In no time (historically speaking) will the European ethnic composition resemble that of Brazil or India.

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