1. Why Even an Airplane Crash Won’t Make Putin Back Down

    Russian propaganda has so strongly made the Ukrainian separatists’ case that Putin cannot afford to back down now.

    Since a commercial airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday -- brought down, in all likelihood, by a pro-Russian militants -- Russian president Vladimir Putin has cast the blame solely on Ukraine's government, saying it "bears responsibility" for…
  1. British Housing Shortage Requires Concerted National Effort

    Until there is a significant chance in British policy, the dream of owning a property will remain just that — a dream.

    In the past, revolt and unrest in Britain were typically sparked by the cost of bread and corn. Today, it is the price of housing. This month, the average price of a home in London reached £500,000. The average housing price…
  1. India’s Modi Relaxes Labor Inspections, Reduces Compliance

    The conservative prime minister makes it easier for businesses to comply with rigid and numerous labor laws.

    India's conservative prime minister, Narendra Modi, introduced a new system for labor inspections on Thursday that he said would be the first step in liberalizing the country's notoriously inflexible jobs market. Under the new regime, a computerized…
  1. French Economy Minister Seeks to Buy Time with Deregulation

    Emmanuel Macron hopes economic reforms can convince the rest of Europe to give France more time to reduce its deficit.

    France's economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, unveiled a series of economic reforms on Wednesday that are meant to convince the country's European Union partners it is committed to liberalization even as it fails to meet the bloc's…
  1. Farage’s Euroskeptic Alliance Collapses, Opportunity for Le Pen, Wilders?

    The collapse of Nigel Farage’s bloc could be a chance for the Dutch and French nationalists to form a rival alliance.

    British Euroskeptic party leader Nigel Farage's group in the European Parliament collapsed on Thursday when Latvian Farmers' Union member Iveta Grigule resigned from the alliance. The Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, which is dominated by…
  1. Republicans’ Congressional Election Victory Will Be Bittersweet

    As long as President Barack Obama remains in the White House, there is not going to be a change in policy.

    Opposition Republicans are almost certain to win next month's congressional elections in the United States but their…
  1. Liberal Belgian Premier Unveils Labor, Pension Reforms

    Charles Michel emphasizes labor market and pension reforms in his first speech to parliament as prime minister.

    Belgium's incoming prime minister Charles Michel emphasized labor and pension reforms in his first speech to parliament on Tuesday as head of a coalition of right wing parties. Alternating between Dutch and French, Michel, whose liberal…
  1. Catalonia Drops Independence Referendum, to Call Elections

    Separatists in Spain’s wealthiest region call off plans for an independence referendum. But not really.

    Catalonia dropped plans for an independence referendum on Tuesday but regional president Artur Mas said there would be a vote nonetheless. While not binding, this would be a proxy plebiscite, he suggested, provided all separatist parties campaign on…
  1. All Is Not Well in Germany But Merkel’s Coalition Slow to Act

    To sustain Germany’s competitiveness, the government needs to invest. But the ruling parties have different priorities.

    When Marcel Fratzscher published Die Deutschland Illusion last month, it set off quite a bit of self-reflection in Europe's largest economy. But whether its central message -- that although Germany is now outperforming its peers, its future growth prospects could be dim --…
  1. Madrid’s Intransigence to Blame for Catalan Separatism

    It is the central government’s refusal to give Catalans a say in their future that has caused support for independence to surge.

    Undeterred by Scottish voters' "no" to independence, Artur Mas, Catalonia's president, called a similar referendum to break away from Spain last month. To comply with Spanish law, the referendum would not be binding -- although it is difficult to imagine how the…