EU Brexit

  The Brexit referendum held on June 23rd, 2016 dealt a severe blow to the very foundation of the European project. Focused on the Euro crisis, financial and resulting political problems in the European South and mass migration to Europe from the Middle East – which, by the way, for Europe is the Near East! – European politicians inadvertently let the European project be submerged and overtaken by national, indeed nationalist, politics.   That European elites – and even High Street punters – misjudged or underestimated the spreading wave of discontent among the diminishing and gradually impoverished middle classes, among workers left behind by deindustrialization, globalization and technological progress, among the young NEET’s, for whom free movement is associated with “people coming here and taking our jobs and benefiting from

This entry was posted in Europe and tagged , , by Ludmil Garkov.

About Ludmil Garkov

Ludmil Garkov is a finance professional with 20 years of experience in strategy and management consulting, corporate finance and M&A at Deloitte, ContourGlobal and MonuRent. He was CEO and CFO of manufacturing and construction entities in Bulgaria, as well as instructor of the Financial Modeling and Business Valuation course for the Investment Banking Institute (US). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Master in Energy and Environmental Economics and Management from the School of Higher Studies Enrico Mattei in Milan, Italy, as well as a BA in Business Administration and Political Science/International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria.

The Brexit and “Trumpit” movements share many similarities. Both played on discomfort with globalization and immigration. They were portrayed in the media as ignorant, reactionary, and racist. Neither seemed more than minor threats at first, their leaders too inept or buffoonish to last. The very rich, the very young and the very hip generally abhorred them and still do. The more support Brexit and Trump gathered from others, the more the media emphasized their vileness and demagogy.   Between media headwinds and their own stumbles, neither Brexit nor Trumpit gained a clear majority in pre-election polls. Even their backers expected them to fail. However, closet support and disproportionate turnout provided an extra 3%, enough to push them over the top.   How? Brexit and Trumpit struck deep chords with the


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  It was with great fanfare that the EU announced its Bratislava meeting last Sept. 16 as a crucial get together of its leaders to take stock of the state of the union after Brexit and the turbulent year in which more than a million migrants came to Germany alone. In previous meetings of the kind, the operational mantra had always been “ever closer union” as the panacea for all problems. Not this time. The meeting started with Angela Merkel, the real boss of the EU opining that the EU was in a “critical situation” only to be mildly contradicted a day later by Junker who said in his state of the  union speech that the EU was not disintegrating. It is possible that both of them were right, but

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

  One of the benefits to European policymakers of Brexit is that it has dominated news coverage for months, diverting attention from several indicators that the banking crisis in Europe is inexorably worsening.   When Italy announced, a few days after the Brexit vote, that it was preparing a €40 bn government recapitalisation of its banking system, Rahm Emanuel’s observation, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste” sprung to mind. Prime Minister Renzi’s proposal was notable because it contravenes the EU’s banking union rules obliging all creditors, including unguaranteed depositors, to be ‘bailed in’ before the question of public funds is supposed to arise. It is difficult to see a connection between the UK’s declaration of preference for self-government and the dramatic drops in bank share prices on

Снимка: Wikimedia Commons   With some weeks now passed since the event, the Brexit doom and gloom mongers have taken a well-deserved break from conjuring up the imminent demise of the UK, the EU and perhaps the world itself. This may be an appropriate opportunity to consider whether or not there might be an even better candidate for such ‘end-of-times’ prognostications – Germany. On the face of it, this is surely preposterous. Europe’s largest economy, most stable government and the main if not only pillar of the EU and the euro is hardly a destabilizing factor most would agree. Germany may indeed be all of that, but only in comparison to the rest of the EU which has been stagnating economically for a decade and is beset by major political instability and

EU Canada_new

  What is the agreement between EU and Canada? The Comprehensive economic and trade agreement – (CETA) is the biggest commercial agreement the EU was supposed to sign with a third country so far in its history. The deal removes 98% of all customs, opens doors for direct investments from both sides of the Atlantic and gives companies equal access to public procurements. The negotiations started in 2009 and although the final draft was completed in 2014, the EU is struggling to ratify it because of internal conflicts of interests and the alleged juridical complexity of the matter. In the last two decades Canada has developed into a European-style welfare state with high standards for consumer protection and tight environmental regulations – therefore most of the concerns regarding the other


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The Brexit is a classic example of a referendum with a zero sum loss at least in the immediate future.   There is little to rejoice over and ultimately there will be no winners, only losers. We elect politicians mostly because we trust that at critical junctures in a nation’s history they will reason and judge right, taking the hard decisions. David Cameron failed in this test, but it will be wrong to attribute all the blame to his individual actions. There is a larger background behind all these developments – a careful plan that has been set in motion for quite some time. Partly with a notable contribution by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has focused on destroying the EU and NATO. Luckily, for now NATO seems immune


Tons of ink have already been spilt discussing the post-Brexit referendum future of Great Britain and the European Union with dire predictions and warnings galore on both the Leave and Remain sides. What has not been adequately discussed is the policies and circumstances that led the country that gave us the Magna Carta and, indeed, the first functioning modern democracy in Europe, to face the stark choice of Brexit. Yet, it remains all important to try to understand the causes behind Brexit, especially if the Remain side prevails. For it is very unlikely that the European Union can set its ship right, with or without Britain, if it doesn’t clearly understand what set it on its current wayward course.   To understand how far off course Europe has veered lately,