Putting Germany’s ‘mini-jobs’ in their context

Published on 15/10/2015 in El País. Mini-jobs have become the main target for those who dislike the German economic model. Unfortunately, the criticism is usually based on a misunderstanding of the effects of the Hartz labor market reforms introduced in the 2000s. These are the points of criticism that are commonly raised: 1) the reforms […]

Catalonia torn in two

(*) Published on 2 October 2015 in Politico.eu. Catalan independentismo won last Sunday’s regional elections. But it lost the so-called plebiscite on secession. As a result, Catalonia now faces a difficult future with its society divided and the links with the rest of Spain deeply eroded. To understand the “Catalan question” it is important to […]

Give Greece a chance… again

(*) Published on 10/7/2015 in Politico. Updated and translated from original version in Spanish: Grecia: ¿torniquete y amputación?. A lot of Europeans, especially in Germany and other northern countries, appear to be steadily more unsympathetic towards Greece. Greece’s stubborn defiance is becoming tiresome. Grievances multiply, and have piled up for decades. Let us recount them […]

How to avoid a Grexit

(*) Original version in Spanish: Cómo evitar la salida de Grecia. Published on 8/7/2015 in El País (In English). Also published in Berlin Journal Policy (9/7/2015), Handelsblatt (Global Edition) (10/7/2015) and Ekathimerini.com (10/7/2015). The scenario faced by both Greece and the EU after the ‘No’ vote triumphed in the Greek referendum is extremely complex. Few […]

We should welcome a Greek referendum

(*) Published on 27/6/2015 in Politico. Greece is stuck in the past. It needs to look into the future. A couple of weeks ago I went for the first time to Athens. I tried to keep my eyes and ears open and talk to as many people as possible, both from the pro- and the […]

A united Europe is closer than you think

(*) Published on 19/5/2015 in Politico. There is a strong consensus on the eurozone crisis among economists and political analysts both in Europe and the United States: for the eurozone to endure, it would need to develop into a fiscal union and, consequently, a political one. In the same breath, however, influential commentators argue that […]

Why did the Madrid train bombings divide, not unite Spaniards?

(*) Originally published in El País in English on 11/3/2015. Also available  the Spanish version: Por  qué el 11-M dividió a los españoles. Contrary to what happened in British society after the London attacks on July 7, 2005, the Madrid train bombings of March 11, 2004 profoundly divided Spanish society. The after effects of that […]

China has to walk economic tightrope

(*) This article was published on 9 January 2015 in China Daily Europe. With President Xi Jinping’s arrival to power, many international investors are excited about the prospect of China’s economic rebalancing. They were impressed by Xi’s open recognition that China’s 2008 state-led stimulus plan was like an adrenalin shock. It was necessary to reanimate […]

Message to Germany: Do not waste Spain’s reform efforts

(*) This article was published on 13/11/2014 in Euroactiv.com. Spain is often presented in Germany as the Musterschüler (the model pupil) of the Eurozone. In a recent interview with a number of European newspapers, Wolfgang Schäuble, the Finance Minister of Germany, summarized this sentiment by describing Spain as “an example for the rest of the […]

Rousseff Needs to Tackle Brazil Cost

(*) Published on 10 November 2014 in Latinvex. Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva used to say that Brazil has two structural problems: inequality and the Custo Brasil (the cost of getting things done in Brazil). Since then the battle against poverty has been partly won. Unfortunately, the fight against Custo Brasil has suffered […]

The European Union’s role in the fight against ISIS

(*)This article was originally published in the European Leadrship Network on 30 September 2014. The United States has launched an international coalition to counter an armed offensive of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham), which threatened the sovereignty of Iraq and the lives of the Kurd, Syrian, Shiite, Turkmen and Yazidi populations in the […]