Thursday, June 13, 2024


The G7 meets again in Italy. This gathering shows more age and fatigue than stamina. All the leaders show various degrees of angst and age. Only Italy's PM shows resilience and self- confidence. 

In the past the G8, later on the G7, were the envy of the world. Today most of the members who still manage to stay awake fight for political survival. Ms. Meloni must feel some Schadenfreude while presiding over that lot of tomorrow's losers.

Other gatherings appear. China and Russia did not stay idle and the upcoming countries snub yesterday's elite class and come up with their own brand of financial and trade strategies. They are relieved to leave the hot spots in the hands of countries that feel like they should do something, while at the same time being taken hostage by debt, inflation, an aging population, climate change.

Former fora where new ideas could be tested have lost their appeal. The Club of Rome or Davos are yesterday's jewels in the crown, ignored by the rising tide that the new ebullient economies call home. The shaky political situations France, the UK, Germany, Canada, Japan have ended up with, are creating a lugubrious narrative. Ukraine and Gaza weight also on the intellectual space which got cramped accordingly. There is just not enough room left for innovation or bold initiatives which could help the G7 recover the lost ground.

At the end of the day one has to admit that the more appealing initiatives that might seduce countries such as India, Indonesia, Brazil and upcoming economies worldwide, no longer pertain to the classical arsenal of the G7. China's road and belt initiative has overtaken all. The dollar has become a currency on the defensive. Africa snubs France. The Commonwealth is mothballed.

Giorgia Meloni is surrounded by tomorrow's have-beens. This shrewd politician must savour the moment, while in France the ultra right is likewise waiting for the cohabitation, a dream for a few, a nightmare for many. Anyway if Trump would be the next US president, the G7 had better be packing. The presence of the Pope at this week's meeting doesn't add to the relevance of this sputtering gathering, quite the contrary, it further increases its irrelevance. Remember Stalin and the Pope..

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