Kosovo at 62; still not unique

The Dominican Republic recognized Kosovo last week, which brings the number of recognizing countries to 62. Kosovo has been collecting recognitions at the rate of 1 or 2 per month lately — this is the tenth since the beginning of this year — and while recognition by Palau or the Comoros may not count for much, getting Malaysia and Saudi Arabia on board is no small thing.

That said, 62 is still a lot less than 192, which is the total number of UN member states. And — for reasons I went into a while back — quite a lot of UN members unless either (1) Serbia consents, or (2) the UN recognizes it. Since Russia and China are both committed to a veto of recognition, that’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

Still, there are a couple of interesting questions. Continue reading

Kosovar independence in the General Assembly

Following up to my earlier post, some discussion of the international reaction to Kosovar independence.

At the moment, 43 countries have recognized Kosovo’s independence. (I’m defining “country” here as “member of the UN General Assembly. Sorry, Taiwan.) Since the UNGA has 192 members, that means that more than three quarters of the world’s countries have not recognized Kosovo.

Is that good or bad for the Kosovars? Continue reading

Kosovo and the UNSC

Anybody who’s interested in Kosovo has long since bookmarked this incredibly useful page. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see that it lists every country that has recognized Kosovo (current tally: 43) plus the official statements of almost every country that hasn’t.

That’s plenty of fun reading by itself, but it gets even more interesting when you compare it to another list: the members of the United Nations Security Council. Continue reading

Hot Labour Anyone?

This post has one sovereign virtue: apart from in the current sentence it will not refer, either directly or indirectly, to the Catalan Statute. The topic it does deal with however is probably equally vital for the future of Spain. The issue is Spain’s housing boom, and the role of immigration in fuelling it. Two facts above all others stand out: Spain is currently ‘enjoying’ the longest and deepest housing boom (in the current round) among all the world’s developed economies (see this useful article from the Economist, or this one from Business Week), and Spain is also enjoying sustained rates of immigration which – at around 2% of the population per annum, may well be the most intense ever experienced in a developed economy. For purposes of comparison I could point out that Spain’s net migration rate of 17.6 per thousand in 2003 contrasts sharply with that recorded for the old European Union 15 for the same year – 5.4 per thousand – and is even well above the level recorded by Germany in the early 1990s – a maximum of 9.6 per thousand in 1992 – or by France in the early 1970s. So there is a housing boom, and there is immigration, the question is, what is the connection?
Continue reading