Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> EMEA Wednesdays




New Life for the SDR? And with renewed interest in the stability of the international monetary system, some are asking – including within the IMF – whether revamping the SDR could be part of an effective effort to re-energize multilateralism. -Project Syndicate

ECB Meeting Comes at a Precarious Time for Markets The recent economic data out of the euro zone is encouraging. Production, manufacturing and confidence are robust, and inflation has stabilized. That’s not to say that there aren’t risks to the downside, such as growing populism, global geopolitical tensions, and uncertainty about sustainability of the economic recovery. -BloombergView


EU leaders: We’re not meddling by backing Macron Enthusiastic endorsements in Brussels break with practice of not interceding in national elections As EU leaders rushed to praise Emmanuel Macron, they were confronted with questions about how appropriate it is for Brussels to intervene in a national election amid fears of a backlash from French voters.

EU tightens Brexit demands on residence, banks: document European Union leaders will insist Britain grant permanent residence to EU citizens who arrive before Brexit in 2019 and stay five more years, according to a draft negotiating plan they will endorse this weekend. -Reuters

Our British election tracker The campaign is likely to revolve around the terms of Brexit, an issue where the Conservatives seem to have the upper hand politically. Labour is only offering a softer version of the “hard Brexit” Mrs May proposes. -The Economist 

French election: Five things we have learned -BBC

1) You do not have to be mainstream to win

2) The left is in ruins

3) Marine Le Pen: Winning votes but unlikely to win

4) Opinion polls are not always wrong

5) Scandals do not win elections

Europe’s populists down, not out Macron’s win shows the electorate can vote against the establishment without embracing the extremes

AND THEN >> German Nationalists Double Down on Extremism -BloombergView

Trump puts EU ahead of Britain in trade queue Merkel lands Brexit victory for Brussels -The Times (subscription)

Spain's PM calls for EU-Mercosur trade deal this year -Reuters


Russian hackers 'target' presidential candidate Macron Russian hackers are targeting the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, say security experts. -BBC

Ukraine cuts electricity to rebel areas, Russia steps in Ukraine has cut off the supply of electricity to an eastern part of the country controlled by pro-Russian separatists, saying bills need to be paid. Now, Moscow is stepping in. -DW


Council of Europe votes to place Turkey under human rights monitoring European lawmakers have voted to reopen a monitoring probe into Turkey over concerns about democracy and human rights. The vote sparked anger from Ankara as its relations with Europe continue to fray. -DW

Erdogan says Turkey could reconsider its position on Europe -Reuters

Top Turkish court rejects opposition's referendum challenge A top Turkish court on Tuesday rejected an opposition legal challenge to an April 16 referendum that gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greater powers. Opposition activists had filed a complaint over last-minute changes to voting rules. -France24


Kenya cancels primaries after too many voters turn up Too many Kenyans, keen to have their voices heard, have plunged the electoral system into chaos. The president says he pulled the plug as it could have subverted the democratic will of the people. -DW

Three months after pulling the plug, Cameroon restores internet to anglophone region -France24



Will London Survive Brexit? Brexit has set a hungry cat among the financial pigeons of the City of London. No one yet knows what kind of access to the European Union’s single financial market UK-based firms will have, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a general election to be held on June 8 has further clouded the picture -Project Syndicate

Germany rebuffs EU proposals for auto industry controls German media has reported that Berlin will reject an EU proposal calling for stricter controls over emissions tests. Environmental groups have accused Berlin of putting its commercial interests ahead of its citizens. -DW

France’s Macron Vows to Force Facebook, Google and Apple to Hand over Encrypted Messages -Newsweek

RISK IS LOCAL >> Berlin residents reject Google Campus Google wants to build a "start-up campus" in Berlin's sought-after Kreuzberg district. The city's mayor is delighted, but local residents fear for their rent, their livelihoods, and the area's unique character. -DW

EU lawmakers include Spotify and iTunes in geoblocking ban European Union lawmakers voted on Tuesday to ban online retailers from treating consumers differently depending on where they live and expanded their proposed law to include music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple's iTunes. -Reuters

ADDIO? ALITALIA>> Alitalia on the precipice as workers reject rescue plan Alitalia workers have rejected a management restructuring plan to cut jobs and salaries, betting that the government will be asked to step in to save the loss-making Italian airline with an alternative plan. -DW

Gazprom CEO sees share of EU gas market rising despite LNG rivals A new pipeline from Russia's Arctic fields to Germany will boost Moscow's share of the European gas market despite competition from Qatar and the United States, and will also mean much less fuel goes via Ukraine -Reuters


Eurozone deficit hits post-crisis low Stricter budget constraints in many member countries have caused the eurozone's combined public deficit drop to levels last seen in 2008. The dip was caused mainly by decreasing government spending, Eurostat reported. -DW

Greece to return to bond markets after bailout review conclusion: PM -Reuters