Ask investors about their minimum criteria when putting money into a country and rule of law comes pretty high. That’s one of the reasons why Turkey’s corruption scandal, and the reaction of the government in ousting hundreds of police officers, is so serious. The lira touched a record low on Thursday.
Today, parliament’s justice commission will debate a draft law reforming the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, which makes judicial appointments. Critics of the bill say it will give the justice minister significant influence over appointments, describing it as anti-constitutional and undermining the separation of powers.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party is slipping in the opinion polls although it remains comfortably ahead of its opponents. Erdogan finishes an Asian tour today with a visit to Malaysia.
We’ve had a glut of UK retailers reporting their Christmas trading results. The picture has been mixed with the likes of John Lewis and Next thriving, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons really struggling. Overnight, the British Retail Consortium reported slower sales growth in December despite signs of strong consumer confidence. November industrial output data follow later.
France would love to have Britain’s strength of recovery though the Bank of France has just updated its fourth quarter GDP estimate to growth of 0.5 percent. If confirmed, that would mark a strong pick-up from the third quarter when the euro zone’s second-biggest economy contracted 0.1 percent.