The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 21 June 2016

Image: Niklas Halle'n/Getty Images

Young and old

As the referendum debate in the UK enters its final days, the discussion on rolling news channels and front pages has reached fever pitch. And now that most daily newspapers have picked a side, it seems that there’s a new poll commissioned every day claiming that their favoured side is on top. Why the varying numbers? Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, insists that his methods are robust but admits that this vote is trickier to call than a general election. “The dynamics are more unusual with the referendum,” he says. “Usually older people are the most conservative and don’t want change. Very crudely, the reverse is true with the EU referendum: broadly, young people want to remain and older people want to leave. It makes it more difficult.” With several recent polls showing neck-and-neck numbers, the outcome could depend on how many young people – a group that doesn’t traditionally turn out for elections in large numbers – visit polling stations on Thursday.

Image: María Renée Batlle Castillo

Slow motion

Madrid is revving up its efforts to reduce car pollution. The Chamberí district close to the city centre is now considering a pilot programme to cut pollution by reducing speed limits from 50 km/h to 30 km/h. Temporary speed restrictions have been imposed in the city in the past but by permanently killing speeds in the area, city hall hopes to see a reduction in the smog that often plagues Spain’s capital. The change might seem small but the push to restrict cars is just getting started: mayor Manuela Carmena has indicated that she plans to extend the Residential Priority Areas, which currently ban non-resident vehicles from most roads in the city centre, to other parts of Madrid.

Image: Venturelli/Getty Images

Blurred lines

As fashion labels such as Burberry and Bottega Veneta forfeit their menswear shows in favour of mixed-gender catwalks to take place during womenswear week, it’s affecting more than just front-row attendance. The economic decision – menswear shows are expensive for large luxury groups – will likely have creative consequences too. Some labels have different creative directors and approaches for men’s and women’s collections; mixed shows could force designers into more creatively coherent lines. But this also brings notions of gender into the picture: yesterday’s Gucci show in Milan was the last that the Italian label will dedicate solely to men and, with a show presented by Alessandro Michele (pictured), who is known for his bold gender-fluid designs, clothing that blurs the gender design line is now on the cards for even the most established brands.

Image: Rytis Seskaitis

States of the art

There’s some healthy competition going on between the Baltic states as they try to affix their capital cities onto the contemporary-art map. This month has seen another successful edition of the Art Vilnius fair, followed by the inaugural Tallinn Art Week. Most recently came the announcement that the design of Riga’s new Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art – an ambitious public-private project – has been awarded to architect David Adjaye’s London-based studio. It’s the kind of push that this region’s galleries need as they look for greater international exposure and fair participation. The situation is improving, with Estonia’s Temnikova & Kasela Gallery participating in Liste Art Fair in Basel this year, but a little more headline-grabbing goings-on in these cities would give their scenes and artists the spotlight – and deservedly so.

From Monocle 24

Image: Alamy

Please don’t go

The UK may be about to leave the EU but Europe certainly doesn’t want it to: from Finland to Greece and from left to right, there is overwhelming support across the continent for the UK to remain. Why does Europe feel its union is stronger with the UK in it? Steve Bloomfield speaks to Yanis Varoufakis and Radek Sikorski to find out.

From Monocle Films

Most liveable city, 2016: Tokyo

This city of 13 million nurtures a balance of hi-tech efficiency and traditional neighbourhood values – and it’s a combination that wins the Japanese capital the top spot for a second year running. Our film focuses on its nocturnal delights, from sunset sports to the public-transport system, restaurants to late-night shopping.

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