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Economy

China Ramps Up Investment In Europe As Continent's Debt Crisis Deepens

China is already America’s biggest creditor. Now it’s setting itself up as savior of the euro by buying government bonds and company shares. Just how much money is being invested is still not clear. One thing, however, is: China’s moves are very much calc

Wen Jiabao arrives at 2009 Davos forum in Switzerland (WEF)
Wen Jiabao arrives at 2009 Davos forum in Switzerland (WEF)
Markus Zydra and Marcel Grzanna

MUNICH -- Back in the fall of 2010, China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, must surely have enjoyed the state reception he got in Italy, when Rome's Colosseum was flooded in red light and calligraphic messages wishing eternal friendship between the two countries. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi spared no expense, paying court to the rich uncle from Beijing. Berlusconi seemed to sense he'd soon be needing something from his guest. That time is now upon us.

Facing huge debt, Italy has been conducting intensive negotiations for weeks with representatives of Chinese investment funds trying to get them to buy Italian government bonds and shares in leading Italian companies. Italy is carrying a national debt load of 1.9 trillion euros. Interest rates for the euro-zone member have gone up sharply over the past few weeks, and they may not be able to pay. To widespread criticism, the European Central Bank has been buying Italian bonds.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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