Elections have been at the center of this week’s events: between Russia, Canada and Germany, more or less democratic national elections threaten to modify or not modify the international arena, both options being equally worth evaluating in the interest of our future. Bocconi is not immune to the trend either, with elections for class representatives having opened last Friday. In other news, the UN General Assembly and its usual ability to capture nuances regarding the international geopolitical situation, the global climate strike, the arrest and immediate release of Catalonian separatist leader Carles Puigdemont in Sardinia, and new information regarding exams in presence at Bocconi. Have a great week and don’t forget to vote.
It is inevitable that this week’s most important story is the German Federal election to determine the composition of the Bundestag (the federal Parliament) that was held yesterday and delivered no clear winner. It was the first federal election since 2005 in which Angela Merkel did not run, ending a 16-year dominion and providing one of the most uncertain elections in German history. The polls run in the weeks preceding the election already exemplified an extremely tight race, one in which a two-party or perhaps even three-party coalition will be necessary to form a government. Such results were confirmed by yesterday’s vote, which saw the Social Democrats winning beating Merkel’s party by a narrow margin. You can find all numbers and possible coalitions here, put together by Politico EU.
It is also necessary to ask ourselves what kind of Germany the next Chancellor will inherit. The Financial Times put together all relevant data from the Merkel era to exemplify the effect that her presidency has had on various aspect of German economy, politics and society, while The Economist, in this week’s cover story of its weekly edition, expresses its worries for the seeming lack of long-term planning by Merkel when it comes to various policy areas, which they claim will make the next Chancellor’s job extremely difficult. Either way, we should follow the government-creation process in Germany closely, since whatever the outcome, we are likely to be affected as well, given the importance of Germany in European geopolitical equilibria.
Around the World
Russian President Putin’s party remains in control of Parliament. United Russia, the party tied to the Kremlin, won 314 seats in the 450-seat chamber, down from the 334 obtained in 2016 but still granting it a two-thirds supermajority. The opposition linked to jailed activist Alexei Navalny had launched a “smart voting” app to channel the anger against the government to candidates not aligned with the Kremlin, but the app was struck down as voting operations began. The three-day vote was marred by accusations of fraud: an independent tracker said it has counted 5,000 possible violations at the polls.
Global climate strike: thousands join coordinated action across world: On Friday, hundreds of thousands of people in 99 countries took part in a coordinated global climate strike demanding urgent action to tackle the ecological crisis. It was the first instance of such action since the pandemic, and it occurring during the UN General Assembly makes for an even stronger statement: it is now or never!
Catalan independentist Carles Puigdemon arrested and then released in Sardinia: The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemon was detained in Sardinia on Thursday under an international arrest warrant issued by a Spanish court over his alleged role in the failed bid for Catlonia’s regional independence dating back to 2017. Puigdemon was released on Friday, after a judge ruled that he could go free ahead of an October 4 extradition hearing.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal Party won the Canadian election but failed to secure a majority. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the helm of a minority government, had sought to obtain a majority of parliamentary seats leveraging on his popularity for successfully tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. The gamble ultimately failed: the election results yield a parliament that is similar to the one elected just two years before, again denying Mr. Trudeau a majority.
The UN General Assembly, which featured speeches by 169 country representatives, took place in New York. Between Brazilian President Bolsonaro advocating against Covid-19 vaccines, Philippinian President Duterte emphasizing the high degree of global inequality when it comes to vaccine distributions, and French President Macron snubbing the Assembly as a latest sign of fury over last week’s submarine deal between the US, Australia and the UK, the UN General Assembly, as always, constitutes a microcosm of the current geopolitical international scenario. As the assembly closes today, takeaways regarding climate change, health care and financial policies will be crucial to the future of our planet.
A top adviser to the Ukrainian President was targeted in an assassination attempt . The adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was the target of an assassination attempt on Wednesday that left the driver of his car wounded and hospitalized, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said in a statement. The attack took place while Mr. Zelensky was in New York for the UN General Assembly.
Beyond Evergrande, warning signs on China’s economy. China Evergrande’s drama continued to unfold last week as the heavily indebted developer giant missed a coupon payment on an offshore bond (soon after having paid a domestic one) on Thursday. Although experts say that this situation cannot be compared to the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, still it is a symptom of other problems in the Chinese economy. Real estate sales had been slowing down even before these latest difficulties and overcapacity in many sectors has depressed future growth estimates. The production of trucks has also plummeted, signaling a fall in confidence and the burst of a bubble.
China promised to stop building coal power stations abroad. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Wednesday that China will stop financing the construction of coal power stations abroad. The country is currently the major investor in the field. Yet doubts remain on domestic plants: if China wants to meet its announced target of net zero emissions by 2060, it will need to shut down nearly 600 of its coal-fired power plants in the next decade, replacing coal with renewables.
A senior U.S. diplomat to Haiti resigned over the Biden administration’s deportation policy. Daniel Foote, the senior U.S. envoy for Haiti, announced his resignation on Thursday citing the “inhumane” deportation policy of the Biden administration. The United States are currently deporting thousands of Haitian migrants back to the country, which is experiencing a political crisis after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and recently suffered from an earthquake.
The European Commission proposed a common charger for electronic devices. On Thursday, the European Commission unveiled a proposal to make USB-C chargers the standard for all electronic devices. The move aims at reducing waste, but faces opposition by Apple, which uses its own technology.
Gkn, stop ai licenziamenti. Dopo la sentenza l’azienda revoca la procedura. Il tribunale del lavoro di Firenze ha accolto il ricorso della Fiom contro i licenziamenti collettivi dei 422 lavoratori della Gkn di Campi Bisenzio, avvisati tramite email. Per il giudice l’azienda ha violato l’articolo 28 dello Statuto dei Lavoratori, mettendo in atto comportamenti antisindacali. E l’azienda ha deciso di revocare i licenziamenti.
Terza dose, al via in tutta Italia. Ecco a chi viene somministrata: parte il richiamo per circa tre milioni di persone, interessando per ora esclusivamente I soggetti più fragili. Presto, tale iniziativa sarà estesa anche ad RSA e personale sanitario.
Il green pass obbligatorio per lavoratori pubblici e privati entra in vigore. Il decreto-legge che impone l’obbligo di green pass per il lavoro pubblico e privato è stato pubblicato in Gazzetta ufficiale ed entra in vigore oggi 22 settembre 2021. L’obbligo riguarda inoltre il personale di Autorità indipendenti, Consob, Covip, Banca d’Italia, enti pubblici economici e organi di rilevanza costituzionale. E dal 15 ottobre, i 3,2 milioni di dipendenti pubblici torneranno gradualmente in ufficio: venerdì, il premier Draghi ha firmato il Dpcm che regola il lavoro pubblico nella fase di ritorno alla normalità. Sarà, tuttavia, un rientro graduale, poiché, come citato nello stesso decreto, il 10% dei 320,000 dipendenti pubblici ancora non è vaccinato.
Sentenza Dell’Utri: assolti gli imputati principali della trattativa stato mafia. La trattativa tra i carabinieri e Cosa nostra avviata tramite l’ex sindaco mafioso Vito Ciancimino al tempo delle stragi di Capaci e via D’Amelio è stata giudicata legittima dalla corte d’assise d’appello di Palermo. Cadono dunque l’accusa e le condanne per minaccia a un Corpo dello Stato.
What’s New in Bocconi
Elections for class representatives. Elections for class representatives opened on Friday. Make sure you give your preferences from the dedicated area inside You@b. You have time until Wednesday.
Residences study rooms opening hours have been extended thanks to the request of the representatives at the ISU council. The study rooms will now remain open 24 hours a day.
The university is getting ready to return to in-person exams and is starting to provide more information about it. Specifically, oral exams will take place in the classrooms, with the teachers’ commission present, while written exams will either be on paper, on students’ personal PCs or in a hybrid form. Exceptional cases are being considered for taking the online test, such as being positive or having been in close contact with a positive Covid-19 case. In addition, people living in countries from which travelling to Italy is restricted, students in internship experience and students who are Exchange Incoming will also be allowed to take online exams. For more information, consult the You@B documents!
To what extent does the quality of the health care we receive depend on our skin color, gender and sexual orientation? We might like to think that it does not, but as Jessica Nordell from the Guardian exemplifies with both data and personal accounts in the long read we chose to share with you this week, systematic discrimination in health care remains a very real problem that we should start facing. You can find her article here.
In Case You Missed It: Latest Tra i Leoni Articles
Francesca Benigno reported from the Max Mara SS22 Fashion Show that took place at Bocconi last Thursday.
Emma Velasquez Mariucci conducted an interview with Bocconi alumnus Tommaso Arenare, who served as vice president for the Investment Banking sector at JP Morgan and for the Corporate Banking sector at Citi.
Katya Mavrelli’s analysis of the challenges of ending oil-dependency as a milestone in green energy transformation was published for this week’s TiL Rundown column.