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Top Press Commentary
A careful selection and summary of editorials, commentaries, and analyses from the world’s leading newspapers and magazines to help you stay on top of the latest debates and developments in the transatlantic agenda. See list of monitoring sources.
Readers can also see how the perspectives and priorities diverge in different regions.
Joel Kotkin, Forbes | May 31, 2012
So long as Europe continues its demographic slide, the continent will continue to decline. ++ For example, Spain's fertility rate is one of the lowest in Europe as well as the world. ++ But unlike say Germany, Spain and the Mediterranean countries in Europe cannot count on their economies to draw in new immigrants. ++ These countries will experience ever-higher proportions of retired people relative to those working. ++ This means there should be major policy shifts that favor families in housing and tax policies.
Joschka Fischer, Former German Foreign Minister | May 30, 2012
Germany's inability to address the Eurozone crisis means that Europe is now facing an existential crisis. ++ As shown by history, Germany's strict austerity will only lead to depression. ++ Europe's future depends on Germany's economic policies and France's position on political integration and structural reforms. ++ France must approve political union with a common government and parliament for control of the Eurozone. ++ Germany must accede to fiscal union through Eurobonds and growth programs in order to boost recovery.
Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg | May 29, 2012
Public support in the US for open trade has fallen. ++ One of the causes for this drop is that politicians make unconvincing mercantilist arguments for free trade: we open our markets so they open theirs. ++ This kind of free trade mercantilism dominates American rhetoric, in which the focus is on 'fair trade'. ++ Most economists think nations should lower their trade barriers to promote efficient allocation of resources. ++ Politicians should put forward this and other real arguments for trade and not rely on an old mercantilist strategy.
Yuriko Koike, Japan's Former Minister of Defense | May 25, 2012
China is locked in territorial disputes with its neighbors. ++ China is quarreling with Japan over the Senkaku Islands and with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal, both of which are far outside of China's territorial waters. ++ China is dangerously close to declaring the entire South China Sea as its own. ++ Increasing Chinese military activity frightens nearby countries. ++ Unless it embraces multilateral discussions, China's ever expanding interests in the South China Sea will remain the main cause of instability in East Asia.
Misha Glenny, The Guardian | May 24, 2012
The Balkan economies are expected to contract even more, which will in turn increase the lure of nationalism. ++ In Serbia, an extreme nationalist, Tomislav Nikolic, defeated the incumbent president. ++ The election has the potential to grow into a regional and European problem. ++ Nikolic's victory, in combination with Hungary's populism, should be a wake-up call to the EU. ++ The Eurozone crisis could inflame nationalism in the Balkans. ++ If the EU cannot stimulate growth, it risks more than just economic downturn.
Ian Birrell, The Independent | May 23, 2012
Although Afghanistan remains a hotbed of terrorist activity, NATO will quit the country by 2014. ++ This marks an end to a tragic chapter in the Alliance's history. ++ But little attention has been focused on Mali which suffered a coup just two months ago, resulting in the practice of harsh sharia law and the raising of al-Qaeda flags over buildings. ++ Fighting between Islamist and Nationalist gangs, while clans settle old scores, has become common practice. ++ It will get much worse when people look to Islamic terror groups for stability.
Brendan O'Reilly, Asia Times Online | May 22, 2012
The leaders of China, South Korea and Japan agreed to launch talks to lay down the foundations for a trilateral free-trade agreement (FTA). ++ Together the economies currently constitute 20% of global economic output and are very likely to surpass the EU’s 28% share of total world GDP with the FTA. ++ However, tensions with North Korea pose the greatest threat to continued economic growth, since China remains its main partner, while the US has an incentive to maintain its military presence in South Korea and Japan against China’s interests.
Des Browne and Volker Rühe, Former Defense Ministers | May 18, 2012
The NATO summit in Chicago needs to be about more than just Afghanistan. ++ The Alliance must also respond to defense cuts, troubled relations with Russia, and the lessons from Libya. ++ There are three main areas for action. ++ First, NATO must help create the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons. ++ Second, the summit is an opportunity for the Alliance to reassure Russia on missile defense while also finding ways to cooperate across a range of issues. ++ Third, NATO must pursue more pooling of defense resources.
Editorial, The Washington Post | May 16, 2012
European leaders must pay close attention to the “austerity vs. growth” debate. ++ Although there is much condemnation of Europe’s austerity cure, critics are unsuccessful in finding solutions to fund growth. ++ Debtors must become more competitive in the global market. ++ Spain cut unit labor costs by 8.5%, compared to its European counterparts, between 2008 and 2011. ++ Germany responded by cutting its labor costs by 2%, thereby maintaining its lead. ++ If this continues, debtors will be unable to increase exports and grow.
Jon Kyl, US Senator (R-AZ) | May 15, 2012
Only hours after reassuming the presidency this month, Vladimir Putin called on the United States to provide "firm guarantees" that its missile-defense system in Europe will not be targeted against Russia. ++ President Obama was unable to offer a "legally binding" guarantee, but was more than willing to provide a political assurance. ++ Any such assurance will be a mistake and violate America's right to defend itself. ++ Putin must be made to understand that although the US is willing to cooperate, it will never sacrifice its right to self-defense.