The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 6 October 2017

Infrastructure

Image: Getty Images

Go-ahead Greece

As a major Athens infrastructure project gets the greenlight, could this pave the way for a Greek resurgence?

The Greek government has this week won an appeal against the forestry ministry to go ahead with Athens’ Hellinikon project. The venture – which will transform the abandoned airport on the capital’s south shore into one of Europe’s biggest coastal resorts, incorporating 810 hectacres of municipal parkland – is viewed by some investors as a step forward for an economy that has long epitomised the worst of the eurozone’s woes. The €8bn development has long been a political hot potato; prime minister Alexis Tsipras was a fierce opponent of the plan but has done an about-face and now sees the project as integral to Greece’s rebound efforts. Meanwhile, both the forestry and antiquity departments are still grumbling about its potential environmental impact. Nevertheless now that Hellinikon is going ahead it doesn’t seem so far-fetched when investors make cautious noises about a resurgent Greece.

Business

Image: Getty Images

New heights

It’s clear skies for the Aussie flag-carrier as the brand continues to build good favour with investors and passengers alike.

International sentiment over Australia’s ‘Flying Kangaroo’ Qantas continues to soar as the airline reached its highest-ever share price this week after Goldman Sachs upgraded the company’s rating. Shares in Qantas are now up more than 80 per cent year on year in 2017, as the restructuring strategy of chief executive Alan Joyce pays dividends. It marks a dramatic turnaround for the airline, which suffered losses of AU$2.84bn (€1.89bn) in 2014. At a PR level Joyce and the Qantas brand are also enjoying a purple patch. He has become the corporate world’s unofficial face of the ‘yes’ vote in the country’s heated same-sex marriage debate, passionately advocating for equal-marriage rights – and building goodwill in the process.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

US against Trump

Major cities across the US are uniting in their dismissal of President Trump’s policies.

The US’s biggest metropolises are continuing to push back against Donald Trump’s agenda. Since his election, hubs spanning New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, among others, have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” – safe refuges for undocumented citizens afraid of deportation from federal authorities. New York, the president’s hometown, is now going further. Mayor Bill de Blasio this week committed to the Paris Climate Agreement in a rebuke of Trump’s plans to withdraw from the accord. De Blasio has formally rolled out plans to introduce a streamlined citywide recycling programme by 2020, as well as reduce carbon dioxide by 10 million metric tons by 2030. Expect other cities to follow suit.

Design

Carvana of love

Mexico’s most celebrated design show kicks off in the capital, with profits going toward earthquake victims.

Mexico’s designers have being enjoying an increasingly prominent profile recently, as a string of trade shows and fairs have sprung up to showcase the Latin American nation’s wares. One such celebrated event is Caravana Americana – featuring everything from furniture to jewellery – that kicks off its fourth edition at the Estación Indianilla, a tram warehouse turned culture centre, in Mexico City today. In addition to showcasing the great and good of Mexico’s design talent, the three-day event will donate a portion of its profits to local charity Fondo Semillas to help those affected by the city’s 19 September earthquake.

From Monocle 24

Image: Pedro Szekely

The minarets of Istanbul

On Design

We take a closer look at the architectural history of Istanbul's skyline-defining minarets.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide Series

The Monocle travel guides give you our take on the cities we love. From Singapore's culture to Rio de Janeiro’s architecture and design, the diverse districts of Vienna to the sandy beaches of Honolulu, these 148-page books uncover the lesser known gems in local retail, fun cafés, good runs and neighbourhood walks. Quirky, opinionated and revealing, they are the guide books you need to pack.

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