30 May 2018   Leave a comment

Supporters of an independent Biafra breaking off from Nigeria have led a shutdown of economic activity in the southeastern part of the country.  Biafran independence was declared in 1967 and the secession led to a three year civil war in which more than a million people died, primarily of starvation.  The region is populated to a large extent by the ethnic Igbo community which believes that the central government has ignored the concerns of the people in the area.  According to The Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, the shops in the region were largely closed and it appeared as if the Igbo are fairly united in expressing their displeasure with their treatment.  The secessionist movement seems to have support within some parts of the Igbo community but it is not clear how widespread that sentiment actually is.

 

Financial markets seem to have stabilized after a rough day yesterday on the news that an Italian government could not be formed soon and may require a new election.  The fears were that Italy was inching closer to leaving the euro as well as concern over whether Spain and Portugal would be negatively affected by the turmoil in Italy.  We still do not have a sense of how a government will be formed and I suspect that some compromise situation will ultimately be found–the Italians have a long record of putting together governments at the last minute.  But the coalition of the 5 Star Movement and the League is not one that has much internal consistency except for disdain for the euro, and a crisis for the European Union cannot be discounted yet.   After all, the British exit from the Union was largely unanticipated.

Posted May 30, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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