The Monocle Minute

In association with Nomos Glashütte

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 15 November 2017

Economy

Image: Alamy

Season of goodwill

It may be a chilly country but Iceland’s Christmas gift to its unemployed people will warm your cockles.

The Christmas bonus is a time-honoured tradition but one usually reserved for those with a job to go to. Not so in Iceland: as the rate of unemployment hits a record low of 1.8 per cent, the Ministry of Welfare has announced new measures giving a little extra Christmas cheer to the country’s unemployed. This one-time payment of ISK65,162 (€535) will go to about 4,000 Icelanders who have been out of work for 10 months or longer and are actively looking for a job. Critics fear the cash could discourage people from trying to find work but the unemployment rate, which has been steadily declining since 2010, speaks for itself.

Governance

Image: Getty Images

No exit

A bar to working abroad will hit Filipino citizens but the government needs to curb corruption in the industry.

The Filipino government has put a temporary hold on the paperwork required by citizens looking for job opportunities beyond its borders. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are a major source of income for the country as remittances are sent home – not to mention a key labour force in Asia, where 85 per cent of OFWs find employment, often as domestic workers or in the service industry. But this is the second such ban on exit stamps under president Rodrigo Duterte and is a bid to tackle an endemic problem of corruption with illegal hires and a network of nefarious recruiters. While the temporary ban could affect some 75,000 workers, the Philippines is long overdue getting one of its biggest industries in order.

Retail

Image: Getty Images

Bah, humbug

Paris’s city council has called off a major Christmas market despite the millions of visitors it attracts – and the jobs it generates.

Gallic sweets, bright baubles and vin chaud: a few fixtures at Paris’s Champs Élysées Christmas market that may be absent this year if the city council gets its way. It has unanimously voted to cancel the seasonal market, a mainstay since 2008 that draws some 15 million people annually. City hall says it’s looking to create a market that better respects French heritage amid grumbles that the market has become “mediocre” with mass-produced goods. Marcel Campion, French jazz musician and founder of the market, was fighting for its future in a Parisian court on Tuesday. And sellers such as Jean-Luc Roves are frank about the market’s value: “Two thousand people will lose their jobs if the market is cancelled,” he says.

Geopolitics

Image: Getty Images

Passing through

The US is looking to waive visa requirements for Israel but there’s just one thing standing in the way.

Israel is close to entering the golden circle of countries exempt from US visa requirements. But after two years of negotiations the latter has issued an eleventh-hour ultimatum: Israel must allow Palestinians with US citizenship to travel to America via Jerusalem (currently they go via Jordan). Israel is concerned that by acquiescing to the US’s demands it will set a precedent that may someday extend to all Palestinians. But perhaps this is what the US is aiming for: the waiver programme is a coveted thing and a nudge towards fostering closer ties between Israel and Palestinians. Donald Trump could be looking to make good on his as-yet unclear “ultimate deal” for the Middle East.

From Monocle 24

Walters Way and Segal Close

Section D

Thirty years after the death of Walter Segal, we visit two of the overlooked architect’s enduring South London projects that show off the merits of self-built homes. Writer Alice Grahame and photographer Taran Wilkhu (both residents) tell us more about their new book on the subject.

From Monocle Films

The secret to opening a bike shop

In the latest episode of our 'Secret to...' series we talk to Jack Pattison, co-founder of Freddie Grubb, about the key elements that go into creating an outstanding bike shop.

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