SPOTLIGHT: BREXIT LANDS IN JAPAN
Why would Shinzo Abe care what British voters think about Europe? The Japanese Prime Minister, currently hosting the G7 summit, joined leaders of the world's other top economic powers in a surprise declaration today to urge the UK to vote to remain in the European Union in next month's so-called "Brexit" referendum. "A UK exit from the EU would reverse the trend towards greater global trade and investment, and the jobs they create and is a further serious risk to growth," the statement said.
By now, the ties that bind the world economy are clear to all — the question is whether we are bound for the better. From Brexit supporters in Britain to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders backers in the U.S. to striking French workers, and a generation of "No Global" demonstrators everywhere, such summits as the current gathering on Kashiko Island are part of the problem. Still, there may be a quieter majority that suggests a certain faith in nations working together. A survey published in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter found that 76% feared negative consequences for the EU if Britain pulls out, and 56% worry that Sweden itself will suffer. And it's not just a cynical bet on a relatively strong economy: Polls last year showed that most of Europe was also opposed to Greece leaving the European single currency. Since the global financial crash of 2008, it's still hard to find open expressions of optimism about our economic future. Perhaps that's the best reason of all to stick together.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY (& WEEKEND)
- Elon Musk's private SpaceX company satellite launch in Florida.
- Real Madrid v. Atlético Madrid: an all-Spanish (all Madrid) Champions League soccer final Saturday night in Milan.
- Ceremony in France to mark the Battle of Verdun centenary.