We’re just over 2 weeks into 2021, and with so much going on its hard to keep track of world wide events. Today we’re going to cover the major events over the past week, and bring you up to speed.
As we entered the first week of the new year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 3rd national lockdown. Considering the economy was under Tier 4 restrictions before, the lockdown was unexpected.
As if the year couldn’t start on a worse footing, January 6 brought us the US capitol riots. President Donald Trump, held a rally outside the Capitol where he was contesting the results of the 2020 election. Although unintended, Trump’s words incited the crowd to take a more violent reaction. Shortly, after the US Capitol was stormed with many Trump supporters making it inside the building.
The US National Guard was deployed to the building with clearance to apprehend those involved in the violence.
President Trump made an announcement to all his supporters to stand down and leave the Capitol. Not long afterwards, Washington D.C. was placed on lockdown with a 6pm curfew.
The world had quite the spectacle, but the movie doesn’t end here.
Mr Trump was later banned from his Twitter account days later. In fact, Mr Trump in attempts to use social media took to the app, Parler, to temporarily replace his previous accounts. It was at this point, Parler was removed from the Google and Apple app store.
If you think it ends there, it’s just getting started. Days later, the president was banned from Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, and even the likes of TikTok, which his own administration initially planned on banning the use of in the US.
The Domino Effect: Global Leaders Step Down
Like Trump, the leaders around the world were also in unstable conditions.
The Estonian government ran itself to collapse, with the Prime Minister Jüri Ratas handing in his resignation letter on Wednesday, according to The Guardian. The centre-right government is in a coalition with a far-right party.
Ratas stepped down as the police launched an investigation into the corruption scandal involving his Centre party related to property development. The police found a suspect related to financing of the project in the capital, Tallinn.
“The suspicion expressed by the public prosecutor’s office … does not mean that someone is definitely guilty, but it will inevitably cast a serious shadow over all those involved,” Ratas said on his Facebook page.
“In such a situation it seems only right that by resigning myself I will give the opportunity to shed light on all the facts and come to clarity.”
Ex-Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi removed his Italia Viva party from the country’s ruling coalition. The event brings Italy to stalemate. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is left without a parliamentary majority. Conte also faces a political meltdown whilst dealing with the coronavirus economic aftermath.
Renzi announced the resignation of ministers, Teresa Bellanova and Elena Bonetti, following weeks of clashes within parliament over Italy’s recovery plan.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s four-party coalition government is resigning to take political responsibility for a scandal involving investigations into child welfare payments that wrongly labelled thousands of parents as fraudsters, it was reported.
The resignation ends a decade of ruling for Rutte.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped down Saturday making way for a new leader of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU). More than 1,000 members of the CDU voted for Armin Laschet, to take her place.
After the voting results were confirmed, Mrs Merkle said: “Congratulations, dear ArminLaschet, on your election as CDU chairman. I look forward to our cooperation.”
Laschet will have very large boots to fill in the absence of Merkel.
On Wednesday, Kuwait Prime Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah presented the resignation of his cabinet to the emir. According to local news, the Deputy Prime Minister submitted the resignation on Tuesday, “in light of current developments regarding the relation between the National Assembly and the government”.
The developments came from 38 members accusing the prime minister of violating the constitution when forming the government.
The Big Week Ahead
The Office for National Statistics announced the UK economy dropped 2.6% month-on-month in November following the government’s second national lockdown. The forced closure and restrictions of businesses edged the economy closer to a double dip recession.
After the November decline, economists expect another contraction in December and for the first quarter of 2021. However, there is hope for a successful bounce back as the vaccine rollout is underway.
In the US, on January 20, president-elect Joe Biden will have his inauguration. With a divided US public, only time will tell the overall sentiment of the economy especially when recovering from the pandemic.