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Fabio Petito is Senior Associate Research Fellow in ISPI and Head of the "Religions and International Relations" Programme promoted by ISPI and the Freedom of Religion or Belief & Foreign Policy Initiative (FoRB&FPI), University of Sussex - UK. He is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sussex. He has taught at SOAS in London, the ESCP-EAP in Paris and at ‘L’Orientale’ in Naples.
Researcher at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of Venice “Ca' Foscari” University, Carlo Frappi is Associate Research Fellow for the Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia Centre at ISPI. Frappi, who holds a Ph.D. in European History, is also Adjunct Professor in Regional Studies at Catholic University of Milan and, since 2013, is a Member of the Board of Directors at the "Association for the Italian Study of Central Asia and the Caucasus" (ASIAC).
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, public debt surged from 103.8% to 120% on average in advanced economies and from 54% to 63.4% in developing countries, with significant differences among them. After the COVID-induced economic crisis, a new financial crisis may arise, wherever it comes from. Debt relief measures for poor countries were launched by the Saudi G20 and have been recently strengthened by the Italian G20 presidency. Are they sufficient or should they be further enhanced?
The economic harm being caused by the novel coronavirus may soon result in multiple sovereign debtors moving into default territory. But the existing playbook for dealing with multi-sovereign emerging market debt crises is blank.
In 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping officially charted the idea of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during an official visit to Kazakhstan. From mines to railways, China embarked in a large number of infrastructure projects to enhance land and maritime trade connectivity. There was never a clear target in terms of the amount of investments needed for the BRI to be successful, though official estimates hovered between 4 and 8 trillion USD.
The pandemic has caused a very large increase in public and private debt all over the world. The G20 is deeply involved, in particular, in dealing with sustainability issues of poorest countries’ debt. In order to advance on this front, several measures are under discussion, including debt cancellation, various forms of restructuring, international risk sharing, and an increase in common debt issued via multilateral financial institutions.
What does the future hold for the Middle East and North Africa? The second Rome MED Regional Meeting held last week provided an opportunity for experts to analyse and comment on the trends and challenges facing the region. The discussion was framed around MED’s 4 core pillars: Security, Prosperity, Migration, and Culture & Civil Society.
One year after it landed in Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic has left a deep mark on the Western Balkans. On the one hand, it has exacerbated geopolitical dynamics that had been ongoing for decades, especially with regards to the activity of external actors. And while the EU has continued to be inconclusive, proceeding at a snail’s pace with its carrot-and-stick approach, China has seized on the opportunity and expanded its footprint.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region's most significant issues and trends. Today, we turn the spotlight on the outcomes of the latest European Council, where the EU-Turkey relationship was discussed in light of the recent attempts to de-escalate the Eastern Mediterranean situation and Ankara's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.
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