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Hungarian National Assembly Approves Sweden’s Nato Bid

Travel Tuesday, motion supported by Hungarian parliament to allow Sweden to join Nato, Trump's legal bill continues to grow interest with US monetary conditions at their tightest level in 22 years, and today's data.

Travel Tuesday: Sweden

Sweden was the first country in Europe to create national parks, and today it boasts 29 national parks along with many nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.

Population (2023) 10 million

GDP (2023) $146 billion

GDP Per Capita $56,400

Annual Economic Growth  0.1%

National Animal: Moose

Coastline Length 61,567 miles

Hungarian National Assembly Approves Sweden’s Nato Bid

Following almost two years of political back-and-forth, the Hungarian parliament yesterday supported a motion to allow Sweden to join Nato. Given that all other Nato member states have already supported Sweden’s bid (with for example Turkey dropping their veto earlier last year), this represented the final obstacle for Sweden’s accession to the alliance.

In a historic vote, Hungary’s National Assembly on the banks of the Danube (which passes through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova before meeting the Black Sea in Ukraine), passed it with 188 votes against six.

Over the last few years, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has fostered tempestuous relations with Stockholm and been critical of the Western strategy towards Ukraine, while maintaining relations with Putin. For example, last November Orbán stated that EU’s strategy on Ukraine ‘has failed’ and that Hungarian tax receipts ought to support a failing strategy. This came only weeks after Orbán met with Vladimir Putin, marking the first time any EU leader had met the Russian president since the ICC put an arrest warrant on him.

 

 

Last Friday, the Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson visited Budapest and announced that Stockholm would send Hungary four additional Gripen Jets and that Saab would establish an AI hub in the country.

Sweden will now soon become the 32nd member state to join the alliance and marks a departure from some 200 years of pursuing a policy of neutrality.

Sweden’s forthcoming accession to Nato also comes as the alliance seeks to increase spending on defence. According to The Economist for Example, European Nato members will spend some $380bn on defence – with the alliance expecting that at least 20% of member states’ budgets being put towards weapons. While this will mark an increase in spending as a whole, it is estimated that  EU Nato member states have racked up a shortfall in spending of $600bn since 1991.

Interest Grows on Trump’s Legal Bill

With monetary conditions being at their tightest level in the US for 22 years, the daily interest being accrued against Donald Trump’s legal bill $112,000. Earlier this month the former President was ordered to pay $454m after he was found to have mislead people on the value of his assets to gain stronger credit terms.

According to New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, Trump will be ordered to relinquish some of his assets if he does not pay the fine, but his legal team are looking to appeal against the ruling. It is understood that such an appeals process could last over a year.

All of this comes against a backdrop of numerous legal cases being brought against the former President and Republican front runner for the Presidential election held in November. Earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals rejected Donald Trump’s legal case which sought to shield himself against prosecution for election subversion charges through presidential immunity.

According to the BBC, Trump currently faces “more than 90 charges in multiple cases” and hence the landmark decision makes the former President’s legal situation even more precarious given that he has cited presidential immunity across a multitude of cases.

On the theme of the Presidential Election, attention now turns to the Michigan Primary held today ahead of so called “Super Tuesday” on 5 March which will see 16 states hold primaries and caucuses.

Today

Today will see another string of central bankers speaking as markets continue to make assessment on  the monetary pathways the major central banks. For example, at 13:00 this afternoon, the ECB’s Frank Elderson will be speaking, ahead of the BoE’s David Ramsden at 13:40. Just 25 minutes later, the Federal Reserve’s FOMC member Michael Barr will be speaking at 14:05 ahead of US consumer confidence released at 1500 this afternoon. 

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