EMEA Wednesdays

GEOPOLITIX BOTTOM LINE

EMEA | GEOPOLITICAL RISK

EU demands delay to end of free movement post Brexit The proposed guidelines reopen a key provision on citizens’ rights agreed by the two sides in December. -Politico.eu

PEAK ALPS Merkel may join Macron in epic Davos Trump clash -Reuters

German coalition talks reach breakthrough: A look at what comes next Angela Merkel's CDU and the SPD have agreed on a blueprint for formal grand coalition negotiations. The left wing of the Social Democrats appears to have been forced into the most concessions. -DW

SANS SANS SOUCI 4 reasons to worry about Italy Political uncertainty is likely to be the winner in the March general election. Politico.eu

Spain threatens to keep control as Catalan parties support Puigdemont for president -France24

Putin's Real Opposition Is a Collective Shrug Putin has no official opposition, but voter turnout will be the real key to his popularity. -Bloomberg View

SET-PIECE OPERATIONS VS. PLAYING THE MAN Contrasting China’s and Russia’s Influence Operations -War on the Rocks

Ethiopia Is Falling Apart Tepid reforms and halfhearted concessions won't save the country's authoritarian government from its existential crisis. -FP

EMEA | COMMERCE/MARKETS

IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

GLOBAL BUSINESS

EU court sides with Starbucks in ‘coffee rocks’ logo battle Judges ruled the labels were too similar. -Politico.eu

The Electoral Fate of Italy’s Banks To fix Italy's banking system, the government that emerges from the general election in March will need a solid majority, a comprehensive strategy to boost economic growth, and a willingness to confront vested interests. -Project Syndicate

Facebook slammed for censoring German street artist German social media platforms are censoring legitimate content, including an image by an award-winning artist. Critics say Germany's much-lauded "lex Facebook" law encourages "overblocking." -DW

British government under pressure over Carillion collapse The British government has held an emergency COBRA meeting after construction and services group Carillion went bust. Opposition parties have called for a probe into the government's deals with the corporation. -DW

U.S. charges former Barclays forex trader with fraud -Reuters

STRIPED SILK PAJAMAS Saudi Arabia Closes the World’s Ritziest Prison The Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is taking bookings again, but the kingdom is left divided over the repercussions. -Bloomberg Businessweek  

Qatar may ask Iran for help in hosting the World Cup The tiny emirate is behind in its preparations for the tournament -The Economist

GLOBAL MACRO

Eurogroup head hails German coalition blueprint for euro zone reform The Eurogroup’s new president, Mario Centeno, has welcomed euro zone reform proposals agreed by Germany’s two biggest parties in preliminary coalition talks. -Reuters

Euro hovers near three-year high, bitcoin tumbles -Reuters

U.K. Growth to Slow Down -Bloomberg Businessweek