Opinion today: Demented by the housing crisis
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It has become a regular tick among some economists to insist that there is no shortage of housing supply at the root of a crisis that has hamstrung urban economies across the developed world. But Robin Harding uses his column to put them right on a few points. Citing examples in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, he argues that simply comparing the number of households to the number of dwellings gives a foolishly misleading idea of what housing real people need.
He is surely correct that it is a "weirdly communist" approach to imagine each household should be happy to fill a dwelling that is available, even if it is the wrong size, the wrong shape and in the wrong place with the wrong transport links. It is, as Robin writes, enough to drive anybody demented. Reforming the planning rules is the answer, he suggests, and not the usual political promises to build more of the wrong homes the wrong places.
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President Erdogan's seemingly unassailable grip on Turkey could be endangered by the country's financial woes, writes David Gardner. He believes the president should remember that "violent financial tremors in Turkey often crack open its political edifice."
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EU leaders and institutions must stand up for Canada in its confrontation with Saudi Arabia, argues Judy Dempsey, or the bloc will be endangering its role as defender of core liberal and democratic values.
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