Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> EMEA Wednesdays




White House to Europe: Trump picks on you because he likes you But the White House is casting Trump’s approach as one designed to strengthen the U.S.-European relationship — not kill it. -Politico


UK drops objections to EU military unit Brits wanted to remove any doubt that the EU was planning a military HQ.

Germans perplexed as Trump escalates feud -The Washington Post

German Elections 2017: a timeline With three state elections and the Bundestag vote in the fall, 2017 is set to be a decisive year in German politics. DW looks at key dates leading up to this fall's federal election. -DW

UK PM May's election landslide in doubt as poll lead slips -Reuters

British PM May could lose majority in June 8 election: YouGov projection In stark contrast to opinion polls that have until the past week shown May on course for a big win in the snap election she called, the YouGov model suggested May would lose 20 seats and her 17-seat working majority in the 650-seat British parliament. -Reuters

Trump's Right: Germany's Trade Surplus Is Too Big But getting a country of savers to start spending is easier said than done. -BloombergView 

Why ‘Brexit’ Will Make Britain’s Mediocre Economy Worse -NYT

Dutch Lawmakers Approve E.U. Trade Deal With Ukraine In a decision laden with symbolic value, Dutch lawmakers agreed on Tuesday to closer ties and the creation of a free-trade area with Ukraine, completing a long and contentious negotiation that pushed Russia and the European Union to the edge of confrontation. -NYT


Macron and Putin’s awkward first date Russian president didn’t want to talk to the press. His French counterpart was happy to speak out.

Putin opponent finds no room at the inn on Russian campaign trail For a contender who apparently has no chance of winning the presidency next year, someone seems determined to block his way. -Reuters

Russia fires cruise missiles at IS targets in Syria A Russian warship and submarine in the Mediterranean have fired four cruise missiles at so-called Islamic State (IS) positions in central Syria. -BBC


Massive blast in the heart of Kabul’s diplomatic quarter kills scores -The Washington Post

A Turning Point for Iran? US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia offered a rare glimpse into his emerging foreign-policy agenda. It is now all but certain that the Trump administration will abstain from lecturing foreign leaders about their countries’ democratic shortcomings, and that promoting human rights will take a backseat to other priorities. -Project Syndicate

UN humanitarian chief reports Yemen spiraling towards collapse The humanitarian leader said the cholera outbreak and food security in the war-torn nation will continue to worsen. There is no sign of compromise from the warring factions -DW


Nigeria's Senate passes bill to crackdown on money laundering Nigerian lawmakers passed a bill aimed at cracking down on money laundering by urging foreign countries where currency crooks are hiding to cooperate in prosecuting them, a senior official said on Tuesday. -Reuters

Kenya opens Nairobi-Mombasa Madaraka Express railway -BBC



DHS: No European laptop ban for now The U.S. opted Tuesday not to ban laptops from the cabins of planes flying to the United States from Europe — although the Trump administration later said such a move remains "on the table" as it examines intelligence about terrorist threats.

Facebook slams proposed German 'anti-hate speech' social media law If German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has his way, platforms like Facebook will face fines for hosting illegal content. In a rare direct statement, Facebook says it should not be tasked with "state responsibilities." -DW

Swiss court convicts man over 'defamatory' Facebook likes -BBC

German autobahn's 'backdoor' privatization row Germany is opening the door to the privatization of one of its most-loved institutions - the autobahn - according to campaigners. Critics also fear that other public services could soon be sacrificed to investors. -DW

How Uber is growth hacking in Spain despite regulatory roadblocks Taxi drivers in Spain are protesting against ride-hailing apps Uber and Cabify today, holding strikes in multiple cities and a protest march in the capital. Early reports suggest 20,000 protestors took to the streets in Madrid. -TechCrunch

Russia's Oil Majors and the Problem With Privatizing OPEC -BloombergGadfly

As Iran and U.S. Leaders Trade Barbs, Big Deals Proceed Tough talk from both sides, but back in Iran, they are awaiting the delivery of a fleet of American-made Boeing airliners, the result of two deals worth $22 billion for the United States company. The most recent contract between the plane maker and the Iranian airline Iran Aseman was signed two months after President Trump was sworn into office. -NYT


RISK>> Sterling dips after projection suggests hung parliament -BBC

OPPORTUNITY>> UK exports record amount of food and drink British food and drink exports as a whole grew by 8.3% year-on-year to £4.9bn - the largest first quarter figure on record. -BBC

Oil Traders Fail to See the Bigger OPEC Picture Now that the meeting is over, the market's attention will quickly turn to rising demand. -Bloomberg

The Hunger Bonds The recent popularity of so-called impact investment funds, which promise to deliver decent returns while advancing social or environmental goals, is based on this unease. Foundations often find that these investment vehicles help them to do good both with the money that they spend on philanthropy and with the endowment assets that yield the returns on which their philanthropy depends. -Project Syndicate