Google car will wipe out 3.5 Million good jobs

Self-driving car and truck technology development is under way to become reality. The question now is not if, but when our cars drive us rather than be driven by us. Engineers and producers like Google, Tesla or Daimler are going into raptures about convenience and possible applications of new driverless cars. But what will happen to over 6,000,000 professional drivers from the European Union and the United States who are in danger of losing their jobs? Has anybody given it a thought?

Employment by Mode of Transport in the EU, USA graph FINAL FINAL FINAL

* Eurostat data refer to transportation and storage activities (including postal and courier services, removal services); U.S. data covers driver/sales workers and truck drivers
** Eurostat data include all urban and suburban land transport modes (motor bus, tramway, streetcar, trolley bus, underground and elevated railways); U.S. data cover bus drivers Continue reading

Conservatives win in Poland; unexpected ally for United Kingdom in Europe

The new conservative government in Poland is giving grounds for anxiety in some of the European countries. The sweeping victory of Law and Justice and the resulting rule by that party may bring about significant changes on the European political stage, which, however, need not necessarily be looked upon as harmful. Poland may join the party line of David Cameron, who supports a reformatory trend in the European Union, which in turn may prevent the United Kingdom from leaving this political organization.

Law and Justice (Polish PiS) led by Jarosław Kaczyński has come back to rule the country after eight years during which it was Civic Platform (Polish PO) that held the reins of power; the latter deprived of its leader Donald Tusk has failed to convincingly address the numerous complaints made by the electorate. The victory reported by PiS is by no means sensational nor is it a political upheaval; the huge difference between the number of votes gained by PiS as opposed to those won by PO may be surprising, though. Continue reading

Russian action in Syria will intensify war in Egypt

Egypt, being in a very difficult geopolitical position, may be the next victim of the Syrian war. The Egyptian army has beens truggling with Islamic terrorists on the Sinai Peninsula for a long time, with he Libyan branch of Islamic State causing problems in the western part of the country. Unfortunately for President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi, with Russian raids in Syria, Islamic militants are now moving to Libya through Sinai.

Egypt did not want to get involved in the war in Syria or in Iraq, directly or indirectly, trying not to spoil the relations with Saudi Arabia. Egypt shared with Bashar al-Assad  the common aim, which is to fight the Islamic insurgency. In fact, the nation is waging a war in the north of Sinai against militant groups loyal to the Islamic State. The worst is yet to come, though. Continue reading

Chinese 13th Five-Year Plan: from ‘modest monks’ to ‘hungry consumers’

Five years from now, China will be a different country. An ambitious transition plan from a developing economy to a highly developed economy, with a vibrant and wealthy society, was already initiated several years ago. The culmination of its implementation is going to be the years 2016-2020, the tool to achieve the goal will be the 13th Five-Year Plan, which designates the key objectives of socio-economic policy.

Among the priorities of a new Five-Year Plan (FYP)  will be a drastic change in environmental policy, as well as further liberalization of the population policy. The main goal of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is to enhance quality of life of China’s inhabitants. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang has already confirmed that the priority of the 13th FYP would be continued economic development, with emphasis on reformation and innovation1. This probably means, in line with the the goals of the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced in 2012, a growing domestic consumption, the modernization of the agricultural sector, reforming state-owned enterprises, a further development of the service sector, promoting strategic and emerging industries2, upgrading industrial infrastructure and reforming the energy pricing structure1. Fighting corruption is on the agenda as well. Continue reading