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Showing posts from February 6, 2014

France's Economic Struggles

The European economic crisis is taking its toll in France. In early January, President Francois Hollande took both the center-left and the center-right by surprise when he announced a series of measures to boost the French economy, including substantial spending cuts as well as tax reductions for companies hiring new workers. These measures marked a reversal for the French government, which spent its first 18 months in office promising to avoid large spending cuts like those applied in southern Europe. A few weeks later, Paris announced that unemployment had reached 11.1 percent in December, invalidating Hollande's promise to reduce unemployment in 2013. The French government currently is holding talks with business groups and trade unions and is expected to announce the details of its anti-crisis plan by mid-year. The measures are meant to appease a population that is increasingly dissatisfied with Hollande's administration.

The French economy was slowing down long before the …

Obstacles to a Federalist System in Yemen

Southern Yemenis protest in Lahj in 2010. (-/AFP/Getty Images)


In Yemen, where tribal politics are king and the central government is struggling to consolidate power and exert control, the option of federalism is back on the table. Yemeni government sources reported Feb. 2 that President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi approved the formation of a federal republic organized into six regions.

However, there are a number of issues with the notion of provincial autonomy in Yemen, where each tribe, sect and region is vying for rights and revenue from the country's resources. Because of disagreements over the terms of federalism as well as structural problems associated with the system of government, it is unlikely to be implemented. If it is implemented, it probably will not function as intended.


Yemen has historically had difficulty operating as a unified nation-state due to fierce tribal divisions and rugged and vast terrain. The north is ruled primarily by tribal politics and…