Sunday 17 July 2016

One BREXIT after-note: the UK has for long championed the entrance of Turkey in the EU.
Now that the UK is leaving, will the middle eastern nation of Turkey be invited to join the UK instead?

Wednesday 29 May 2013

the real Al-Nakba: May 29th 1453, Constantinople falls to the Turks

A sad anniversary today: 560 years since the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. A lesson to be remembered when again Western Civilization and Islam collide.

This catastrophe led the armies of the Sultan to the gates of Vienna and endangered the whole of Europe. We fought for centuries to reverse this tragedy, but the consequences are still with us: Thrace, Bosnia, Albania...

May 1453 - Ottoman soldiers storm the ramparts of Constantinople

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Europe: approaching Zero Lower Bound

Interest Rates of Major Central Banks compared (compiled by Reuters)

With the rates in the Eurozone approaching Zero Lower Bound the room to maneuver is almost nil.

Is it still to early to mobilize the fiscal weapons?

We need something better designed than the clumsy and rather inefficient American 'stimulus'. Maybe Abenomics will teach the EU a thing or two.

Friday 29 March 2013

Is bombing mosques ´Halal'?

Today four Shia mosques in Baghdad and one in Kirkuk were struck by car bombs. Such sectarian bombs are common in Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and other corners of the Ummah.

So while tearing a page of the Koran, or publishing a caricature of Muhammad (pbuh!) will make the entire Muslim world freak-out in anger, exploding entire mosques containing God knows how many Korans (as well as the 'occasional' person...) doesn't even raise an eyebrow.

Should we then assume that bombing mosques is Halal?

Clearly a Fatwa is required on the issue. Would a learned cleric kindly help?

Talha Bin Obeidallah mosque near Basra - ruins after bomb (photo by A.Hassan)

Saturday 16 March 2013

Islam: maybe you don´t have a right to live

Islamic law, depending on how strictly it's interpreted, distinguishes among three types of non-Muslims: Dhimmis, people who are permitted to live in an Islamic territory, but with limited rights; Mustamins, people who are granted similar rights as the Dhimmis, through a temporary protection agreement; and Harbis, people who live outside an Islamic territory, without rights, including the right to life.

Der Spiegel, March 15, 2013

Friday 15 March 2013

Democracy and Economic Growth

"What is clear is that democracy is not the prerequisite for economic growth that aid proponents maintain. On the contrary, it is economic growth that is a prerequisite for democracy; and the one thing economic growth does not need is aid. "

Dambisa Moyo in "Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa"

Economist Dambisa Moyo

Saturday 2 February 2013

Shale Gas revolution for Europe?

Map of shale gas basins in Europe - The Economist
A deep change in the Economics of energy in Europe may be around the corner. Even if shale gas does  not become as important as in North America, we expect it will at lease have one good effect in the medium term: force Russia to lower prices.

Natural gas costs now in the US 25% of its price 5 years ago. Europe has a lot of work to do, outside the United States, shale extraction is still in its infancy.

Nevertheless it is enough for LNG (liquefied natural gas) from the North America to start arriving in European ports in reasonable quantities to create a price revolution.

Map of shale gas basins in the US - Der Spiegel

Shale gas is placing the US on the road to energy independence - Der Spiegel / EIA