In the Opinions section of the September issue of Prospect, deputy editor Jay Elwes talks to Jean-Claude Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank. Trichet offers a strikingly upbeat assessment of the easing of the crisis in the eurozone. “The risk of dramatic events in the euro area has considerably alleviated,” he says.
Asked what the eurozone countries can do to ensure recovery, Trichet recommends “very solid governance at the centre.” This would involve “a very close monitoring” of the fiscal policies of member states, but would stop short of full budgetary union. “The idea that you could merge … the various national budgets of the euro area seems to me both totally impossible and inadvisable.” He also offers some unsolicited advice to the new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. Assessing Carney’s recently announced policy of “forward guidance,” Trichet argues that it risks “enormous market volatility.” Carney has been warned.
Elsewhere in Opinions, Tom Phillips, former British ambassador to Israel and Saudi Arabia, is encouraged by the efforts of the US Secretary of State John Kerry to kickstart the Middle East peace process. “Kerry’s effort needs and deserves support. This really looks like the last chance saloon for a two-state solution—and there is no other solution, except continued conflict for the foreseeable future.”
Paul Johnson, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, makes the case for raising taxes (“If there are no tax increases then we need to have the consequences for public service provision spelt out”).
Former Labour MP Clare Short joins the chorus within her party urging Ed Miliband to be more radical (“Miliband is a thoughtful and radical politician trapped in a system that prevents him from being distinctive and speaking about the big, longer-term questions”).
Helen Gao reports from Beijing on the employment prospects for Chinese graduates (“Positions inside the government … have increased dramatically in their appeal”).
AC Grayling asks about the legitimacy of states’ historical claims on disputed territory (“A state is a highly artificial thing, a fiction of history, an uneven line on a map turned into a fetish …”)
Ben Judah, in this month’s historical counterfactual column, asks “What if Putin had never come to power?”
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