|Still-life with mouse and candle by Willem van Aelst|
First, our prayers and thoughts go to the family and friends of the young lady, victim of a gang rape in India, who disincarnated last Saturday. One sees the soul of a People when a whole country cancels New Year's celebrations to mourn a fellow-citizen, and reflect upon what they want for their nation and how things should be. The Indian people decided that from 2013 onwards things will be different; so to them we say: go get them, Tiger.
So, what can we expect this year?
After reading about Chancellor Merkel's New Year Message, I'd say we can expect a more politically confused Europe. I do agree with her when she says that the Eurozone debt crisis is far from being over (because, truth be told, the French...PIGS do not have the fiscal or structural discipline to quickly solve this situation; moreover, they lack political imagination. Until they get their act together, they will drag other eurozone nations down with them, because the speculators are re-sinking their teeth on the Euro-porchetta).
It would be nice if the UK government would pay close attention to its welfare policy. My eyes and ears, in the Portuguese African community, told me that the word now is: go to England, make a baby, give birth there and you will have a house, plus benefits. There are Brazilians, in Portugal, who are also hearing this and going to the UK to try their luck. Given the fact that the United Kingdom's public spending is ruled by the welfare state (see Here), I would say that tipping the British Government is the right thing to do (N.B: this one is for free, PM Cameron).
The US, despite the fiscal cliff show, should start its journey towards the reconquest of its hegemony. America outwitted and outdid Europe, in several aspects, during these past 4 years - because its eyes and mind are set on the right places - and is getting ready to reap more positive crops. From what the US is showing, again despite the internal bickering, it could be said that it is learning from past mistakes. By the way, I think the decision to deploy soldiers in 35 African nations, this year, was smart.
The Middle-East won't see peace in 2013. Syria, after al-Assad falls, will probably go through a terrible phase of reconstruction (which is a natural process after any revolution) with some serious power struggles: groups like al-Nusra will confront secular groups and try to convince the Syrian people that Islamism is the solution for all their troubles (i.e. they will exercise the Da'wa to buy votes).
Iran will elect a new president and, since none of the candidates is showing signs of change, it will suffer the consequences of its political and nuclear stubbornness.
Palestine will remain a stateless "state" due to lack of leadership and foreign (i.e. Iran) interference in its affairs. Nevertheless, Hamas will outsmart Fatah and represent a true political menace to the pseudo-secular party. Things are about to get more interesting.
Jordan's royal sovereignty is under threat. King Abdullah II should take heed although I understand the intricacies behind his reign. Forging the proper alliances, without fear of the Arab reprisal would be advantageous, but does the King and his court have the courage to do it? The King should also consider verifying whether his Palace requires a clean up...
2013 will be an interesting year and I am looking forward to this year's blogging experience. The Maxiavelli Series will be extended; the Middle East will continue to be our hot spot; the West remains our first love; Africa will have our attention and we intend to meet a new friend: Asia.
Welcome to the 2013 version of +MAX: Dissecting Society !