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18/01/2019
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The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index

According to the latest Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, democracy did not go into decline in 2018 for the first time in three years. The index rates 167 countries by 60 indicators, including electoral processes and civil liberties. Just as populists with autocratic tendencies have won elections in recent years, so too has political participation shot up. But this year’s results may signal only a pause, not an end, to democracy’s retreat".

A welcome break: The retreat of global democracy stopped in 2018

Jan.8.– Democracy stopped declining in 2018, according to the latest edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. The index rates 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.

It is stricter than most similar indices: it concludes that just 4.5% of the world’s people live in a “full democracy”. However, the overall global score remained stable in 2018 for the first time in three years. Just 42 countries experienced a decline, compared with 89 in 2017. Encouragingly, 48 improved.

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The €uro enters its third decade in need of reform

The EU’s great project may not survive another crisis, but it is already entering one. The euro zone doesn't have the fiscal or banking unions it needs to make monetary union work, and it's not close to changing that. In the meantime, the €uro's continuing flaws continue to suck countries into crisis. And their politics get radicalized. Not counting the Brexit's commotion. The euro zone isn't what economists call an "optimal currency area". Its different members are different enough that they should have different monetary policies. But they don't. Ten years after the world financial crisis of 2009, interest rates remain low (negative), monetary policy is far from normal with no room for decreases to stimulate the economy if a crisis happened. The European Central Bank (ECB) could engage in more quantitative easing, but it will likely face opposition by some countries – and ECB President Mario Draghi will not be around, as he will step down by October 2019. Fiscal policy is in no better place. Euro governments continue to struggle with high debt levels, leaving little room for a fiscal policy stimulus if a recession happens."

The euro at 20 – I’m OK, €UR OK

Brussels, Jan. 5.– The €uro is a survivor. The new currency, brought into being on January 1st 1999, has defied early critics, who thought it doomed to failure. It has emerged from its turbulent teenage years intact, cheating a near-death experience, the debt crisis of 2009-12. It is now more popular than ever with the public. But fundamental tensions attended its birth. Although the euro has made it this far, they still hang over it. If Europe’s single currency is to survive a global slowdown or another crisis it will require a remodelling that politicians seem unwilling or unable to press through.

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Reino Unido: la crisis del Brexit

Cuando los británicos votaron a favor del Brexit no imaginaban las duras consecuencias que ese intempestivo divorcio causaría al Reino Unido y a su estabilidad económica. Por eso, una cantidad cada vez mayor de ciudadanos cree ahora que haría falta un segundo referendo, pero Theresa May insiste en oponerse a la idea y su obstinación entró otra vez en juego el 17 de diciembre cuando señaló que no habría un segundo plebiscito, porque iba a “fracturar la fe del pueblo británico”. No obstante, hay rumores que afirman que algunos miembros del gabinete de May intentan preparar las bases para un segundo referendo cuando se rechace su plan del Brexit. Quienes favorecen un segundo referendo aducen que los votantes saben mucho más ahora que en 2016, y por lo tanto pueden tomar una decisión más informada sobre una resolución crítica en términos históricos capaz de desbloquear el atolladero en el Parlamento."

Parlamento británico pide control sobre futuros acuerdos comerciales tras el Brexit

La comisión parlamentaria insta a Theresa May que los órganos nacionales y autonómicos puedan contribuir en las negociaciones con terceros países tras la salida de la UE
El próximo 14 de enero se someterá a votación el Acuerdo de salida del Brexit en Westminster y todo parece indicar que no será aprobado

Londres, Dic.28.– El Parlamento británico ha confirmado este viernes que quiere controlar el proceso del Brexit al pedir al Gobierno de la primera ministra, Theresa May, que someta a su aprobación todos los acuerdos comerciales que se negocien tras la salida de la Unión Europea.

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Una enfermedad que se llama Totalitarismo

El popular actor cubano Luis Alberto García vuelve a la carga desde Cuba con sus valientes críticas políticas. Lo ha hecho, nuevamente, a través de un post en Facebook en el que ha lamentado que el extremismo de izquierda y el de derecha se hayan extendido entre los cubanos como el cáncer.

Dic. 29 (DP.net).– En opinión del actor, esta "terrible enfermedad" amenaza a la nación, que corre el riesgo de sufrir "masivas amputaciones" y terminar siendo "un bulto miserable".  Luis Alberto García

"Cuba fue al hospital y se hizo un chequeo. Dictamen de la Comisión Médica: 'Esta nación padece de extremismo ambidextro en plena metástasis. De no aplicarse con urgencia sueros que la contrarresten, la terrible enfermedad terminará con la vida de la paciente o lo que quede de ella, luego de masivas y dolorosas amputaciones, será un bulto miserable”.

Otro escritor cubano, Enrique del Risco, contestó al actor que esa enfermedad se llama "totalitarismo" y tras 60 años ha engendrado "efectos secundarios".

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Constitutional process in Cuba?

The draft constitutional reform proposed by the Cuban Government, entitled "Proyecto de Constitución de la República de Cuba", has not respected the usual democratic procedure that allow its citizens in exercising their rights and sovereignty to elect those who are going to represent them in a constituent assembly when it comes to drafting a new constitution. In this case, the procedure has been to draw up a text published by the Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (National Assembly of People's Power), the so called legislative body who adopted it unanimously after two short days of discussions. This text had been prepared by a Commission presided over by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz. The Commission presented a draft new constitution to the seventh plenary of the party's Central committee and the Council of State, before submitting the text already drawn up to the National Assembly. The text thus drawn up, approved by the regime without political participation or pluralism, will be subject next February to what is merely a consultation controlled by the State apparatus under the leadership of the Communist  Party and without a participatory and pluralistic national debate through The Cuban National Assembly approves unanimously the new draft constituciona mechanism that facilitates divergent views and proposals.

Cuban Lawmakers OK New Constitution; Referendum Next

Havana, Dec.25.– Cuban lawmakers Saturday unanimously approved a revised draft of a new constitution that retains the island’s one-party socialist system but reflects its socio-economic opening since the fall of the Soviet Union.

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