What will 2023 bring?

War, climate change, economic crisis - the outlook for 2023 is not exactly rosy. Europe's press discusses what the priorities should be.

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Jurnalul National (RO) /

Threat of slump in growth and consumption

The global economy could falter in 2023, fears Jurnalul National:

“The IMF forecasts weak global growth in 2023 due to the lingering effects of Covid, the war in Ukraine and persistently high inflation (as well as tighter central bank policies). The real economy faces a difficult year ahead and we'll have to watch to what extent the manufacturing and service sectors will manage to maintain jobs and secure the incomes of their employees. ... Given the rise in the cost of credit, declining purchasing power and the trend towards households and companies cutting back on spending, we may also see a significant decline in consumption.”

De Tijd (BE) /

Realistic interest rates - and hopefully peace

2022 was a catastrophic year financially and will cast a long shadow over the coming one, De Tijd sums up:

“Geopolitics remains a risk factor. Those who invest should consider hedging against the risk of the war in Ukraine escalating. ... Or against the risk of the European Union not being able to knock the energy weapon out of Moscow's hands fast enough. ... With the benefit of hindsight we see that the world has looked through the rose-coloured glasses of free money for too long. It is good that more normal interest rates are now teaching us to make decisions and invest more realistically, however painful that may be. With the peace dividend, however, it's the other way round: the sooner it returns, the better.”

El País (ES) /

Prevent social unrest

El País expects major challenges for Europe:

“The biggest internal risk in the EU in the new year is social unrest. ... National populism is often fuelled by primary emotions and false solutions. ... If inflation continues to erode the purchasing power of the population, a new instrument similar to the Next Generation Package might be possible. ... The most difficult task of the new year will be to justify the material price that Western societies will continue to pay as long as Putin does not give up his neo-imperialist ambitions to annex Ukrainian territory.”

Sabah (TR) /

Global organisations struggle to reach a consensus

2023 will be an important test year for the multilateral system, says the Sabah:

“The escalating competition between the Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions is also reflected in the agenda of global multilateral organisations. Within the framework of the UN, the WTO and the G20 it has become very difficult to reach joint decisions. ... In this situation, the responsibility of the OECD, an elite organisation with 38 members - including the G7 countries, most EU countries, four Latin American countries, three Asia-Pacific countries and Turkey and Israel - is growing.”

T24 (TR) /

Liberalism has had its day

Columnist Akdoğan Özkan writes on T24:

“The main question, which will become increasingly important as the chaotic conditions of 2023 worsen, is: is it possible to envisage an ideological alternative that allows people to realise their potential and develop their productive and creative qualities with a dignified future perspective without having to surrender to the market, and can this vision one day become reality? ... Even the last vestiges of 'liberal democracy', which Francis Fukuyama saw as the ultimate form of government in the ideological evolution of humanity, were shattered last year. We will probably not yet be able to make out what will replace it in 2023. But I think we have to pose this question and find an answer.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Lean years ahead

We will pay dearly in the coming year for not having made the most of the era of cheap money, De Standaard laments:

“A period of deep regret lies ahead of us. Regret that we didn't make better use of the once-in-a-lifetime windfall to reduce debt and invest heavily in innovation, sustainability and climate change. ... Everything that would have been easier during the period that has now ended is now becoming more urgent, but also more difficult. We are still spending money to cushion the shocks, but the borrowed money will cost more money in the future. Lean years lie ahead.”

Ta Nea (GR) /

Environmental policies no longer a luxury

In the coming year we really need to hit the gas on climate policy, warns Ta Nea:

“The European continent is getting hotter more rapidly than any other and its residents can see the consequences with their own eyes. It is part of their daily lives, not just a theory that pertains to a small circle of academics. As voters, citizens must pressure the political class and business elites to undertake initiatives to save the planet, which they have until now postponed because they believe the political cost is unsustainable. Environmental policies are no longer a luxury of concern only to those who have solved their financial needs, as in the past. It is a necessity for each person's survival.”

Les Echos (FR) /

Things worth hoping for

2023 might surprise us with positive developments, economist Jacques Attali writes in Les Echos:

“It cannot be ruled out that Ukraine will defeat the Russian army, that the tyrant in Moscow will step down and that inflation will drop sharply. ... Nor can it be ruled out that the Germans will realise that they can expect no more from the American overlords than from Russian suppliers and Chinese customers; and that they will propose a grand plan for the reconstruction of Eastern Europe and Ukraine by the Europeans, which could extend to Russia once it becomes a democracy. This plan could be endorsed by the French and other Europeans and turned into a path of growth for their own businesses.”