This Policy Contribution looks at the evolution of public debt in Belgium and Italy since 1990 and uses the debt dynamics equation to explain the contrasting evolution in the two countries in the run-up to the introduction of the euro, during the early years of the euro and since the beginning of the crisis, arguing that the euro could have been used also by Italy to undertake sufficiently large fiscal adjustment.
What's at stake: this week has been filled with news that the small Belgian region of Wallonia intended to veto CETA (the Canada-EU trade agreement). Eventually, Wallonia conceded defeat and agreed to let the agreement go on. But meanwhile, it spurred a debate on trade agreements and their sovereignty implications, which we summarise here.
Two years ago a senior German diplomat told me his fear to see the European and German flags burned on the streets of Athens. The increasingly acrimonious tone of the Greek debate and the riots on Syntagma Square indicate that he was right. When they decided in spring 2010 to take a leading role in […]