According to Alice Lyman Miller, Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, the definition of a superpower is “a country which has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony”. A superpower is not only militarily strong but also has a strong economy as well as is self sufficient and politically stable [Read: Top 10 Superpowers of the World]
Turkey bridges Asia and Europe, geographically and culturally, and occupies a strategic geopolitical position on the world map. The land, which was once a hub of trade routes, is now a hub of strategic pipelines. It is the 17th largest economy in the world and, according to Goldman Sachs, it would be breaking into the elite club of top 10 economies by 2050. Turkey is the voice of modern Muslim world as well as a member of NATO. Hence, it is believed that the country can play a major role in initiating a peace process between the Middle East and West.
John Feffer, the co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies says, “All roads once led to Rome; today all pipelines seem to lead to Turkey. If superpower status followed the rules of real estate — location, location, location — then Turkey would already be near the top of the heap.”
Talking about real estate, the period of 2003 to 2005 was seen as a gilded age for the real estate industry of the country, as property purchases were opened for foreign nationals in 2003. Turkey became popular for wealthy Europeans and American property buyers who bought property in Altinkum, Istanbul, and other holiday destinations, bringing in lots of investment.
Looking at the amicable and progressive conditions in and around Turkey, some analysts have even mentioned Turkey as China of Eurasia. There have been many case studies and reports of Turkey possibly chasing China in almost every area. [Read: Stealth Superpower: How Turkey Is Chasing China in Bid to Become the Next Big Thing; Assessing Turkey’s Potential as a Global Superpower]
Like China and India, Turkey also managed to endure the recession wave in recent years. There was not a single Turkish bank which had gone under. That is probably because, unlike many Western banks, they have few toxic assets and limited mortgage exposure, as pointed out by The Economist, so the government did not have to divert public money into rescuing banks. However, its economy budget deficit swelled to 23.2 billion Turkish liras ($15 billion) in the first half of 2009, 13 times higher than last year.
In 2011, Turkey experienced a colossal growth of 9.6% in the first 9 months of the year, making the country one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Brent E. Sasley, Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington, says Turkey certainly has the ability to be a regional power, especially in the Middle East.
“The shift to a private sector economy, combined with the foreign loans, gave a real boost to the economy,” Sasley said. “It has a large population, a dynamic reserve of human capital, a growing economy, a central location, and a history of being a contiguous great power with a high civilization and leadership role.”
Turkey’s strategic position and its growth stories makes it a substantial contender for the EU membership, although its major part lies in Asia. Turkey has been in discussion for years on EU’s table for the possible inclusion of the country in the group. If the European Union was not in the picture, Turkey would have caught the attention of BRIC nations. Many analysts believe that the addition of Turkey in the original BRIC nations could have been a better move, rather than the inclusion of South Africa.
Professor Aslı U. Bâli of UCLA School of Law explains that Turkey’s current position is actually an outcome of the “zero problems with neighbors” policy, that prioritized stability and peace in the region. She argued that the foreign policy was not so much an outcome of Turkey’s desire to lead the region, as it was a byproduct of the Arab Spring, requiring Turkey to take a leadership role as a non-Arab state in the midst of regional turmoil. [Read:Turkey: What to Make of the New Superpower in the Middle East]
She further added, “to exert its “zero problems with neighbors” policy, Turkey advocated speaking to all sides. That includes mediating between Israel and Syria, and between Iran and the international community on the nuclear issue.”
To appease western nations, Turkey allowed Europe and the United States funding a series of pipelines that uses Turkish territory in a bid to bypass Russia. At the same time, it negotiated with Russia for another project of pipelines—the South Stream, which goes from Russia to Bulgaria through Turkish territorial waters, and the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline that would transport Russian and Kazakh oil from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through Turkey. However, with the Arab Spring rolling on, it looks like an arduous task for Turkey to maintain the same policy, since it has already ceased its support to Libya and now to Syria.
Nevertheless, there are strong claims of Turkey following the path of China, but it is more relevant if we look from the European perspective. Europe has recently seen downfall of some of its big economies. At this time, Europe would require a strong nation that can support a collective growth and recovery of the continent.
National Police arrests 60 people for money laundering in Majorca
In Mallorca, the National Police have dismantled a criminal organization allegedly dedicated to laundering drug money. According to preliminary investigations, those involved are alleged to have laundered more than one million euros over the last year.
At the moment, the authorities have arrested a total of 60 people for the alleged crimes of money laundering and false documentation. Although investigations are still ongoing, leading Spanish criminal lawyers have pointed to the possibility of an increase in the amount of money laundered.
In addition to this, specialists in Criminal Law and Financial Crimes such as Luis Chabaneix have pointed out that during the next few days the number of arrests could increase, both in Madrid and in Mallorca. It should be noted that of the 60 arrested, 55 were arrested on the island and the other five in the city of Madrid on Sunday, May 16.
Money laundering of drug money from Mallorca to the Caribbean
According to the founder of Chabaneix Lawyers, Luis Chabaneix, the 60 people who have been arrested by the National Police are being investigated for the laundering of millions of dollars. It is presumed that more than one million Euros from drug trafficking activities have been sent to Latin American countries such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, and even shipments to the United States have been registered.
In these countries, the money diverted by the criminal association has been used for the purchase of real estate and vehicles. For this reason, the National Police is in permanent collaboration with the North American, Cuban and Dominican authorities in order to dismantle the activities of this group in the different countries.
Likewise, among the main information provided by the authorities, it should be noted that more than 400,000 Euros in cash were seized from the hands of those arrested in Mallorca. Similarly, the police searches carried out on the island led to the seizure of multiple luxury items and accessories, a total of three kilos of cocaine and approximately 60 kilograms of cutting substances.
Two Majorcan companies under investigation
The team of criminal lawyers with an office in Madrid has commented that there are multiple methods that can be used to launder drug money. In the particular case of the criminal organization headed by a nationalized citizen of Cuban origin, one of the methods used to divert the money was international bank transfers.
For this purpose, the use of linked bank accounts of certain front men was a fundamental element. In addition, the case includes investigations of split money transfers through call shops.
On the other hand, through an official statement, the National Police informed that two Majorcan companies have been linked to the ongoing investigation. The reason for this is the issuing of fraudulent invoices for a value close to 200,000 euros.
Through these methods, the criminal organization has managed to launder capital inside and outside the country, legalizing large sums of money allegedly originating from drug trafficking. Undoubtedly, the arrest of the 60 people involved, including the leader of the organization, is a serious blow to the laundering of drug money in Spain.
Seasif’s Franco Favilla discusses the post-Covid economy and the price of gold
Although the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, there has been much discussion on the idea of a “post-Covid” economy, especially with the beginning of vaccination efforts in some countries. With markets throughout the world suffering the economic effects of the virus, experts have been looking towards the future –– and one of the topics that often comes up is the price of gold.
In August, the price of gold exceeded US$ 2,000 an ounce for the first time, driven by multiple factors. However, in November, advancements in Covid-19 vaccines led to a decrease in this trend, a result of the turbulent period we are going through.
“Regardless of the market volatility and the price changes that could occur over a given period of time, the fundamental fact is that the price of gold over the course of 2020 has reached an all-time high, and this, in my opinion, is very good news for the world economy,” explains Franco Favilla, founder and CEO of Seasif, a multinational company active in the extraction and trading of gold and oil.
According to Mr. Favilla, the main problem of the pre-Covid economy was the completely arbitrary nature of international finance. At one time, a ton of gold corresponded to a ton of currency, but since the 1980s, and at an impressive rate since 2000, the gap has widened enormously, so much so that today the relationship between the world’s currencies and gold is enormously unbalanced.
Total gold reserves around the world cover only 30% of currencies. This means there is nothing to cover and guarantee the value of money. In short, money has turned into a pure convention, a pure agreement between parties acting outside the market. Gold, on the contrary, guarantees democracy, because it protects savers and the market, offering an objective value for parameterizing every transaction.
“My hope, therefore, is that the crisis caused by Covid-19 will help to change finance, making it less ‘phantom’ and more linked to an objective dimension, based on gold, with obvious advantages for the real economy. Gold protects consumers, the most important component in any economic system: if you don’t have a market made up of consumers with a certain level of wealth, how can you sell? To whom? Consumer protection must come first, and gold is one of the main ways of protecting them,” states the CEO of Seasif.
Sustainability has also been at the forefront in discussions about the post-Covid world, as countries look towards establishing a more resilient global economy, one able to better withstand such events in the future –– and “green gold” may well be a part of that future. Green gold, in a sense, can be considered the “gold of the future” due to its ethical and sustainable extraction process. Seasif produces green gold, with a department entirely dedicated to green, and has allocated economic incentives to its continued production.
Even as 2020 draws to a close, the future may still look uncertain. But for those searching for greater security, gold may be one of the few certainties left.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?
There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?
Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?
Spanish cities where to live cheap and well
In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.
The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries.
In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run.
Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors.
I have already decided on the place. Now what?
Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?
Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.
To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.
And remember: a move is always a new beginning.
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