updated: 28 Sept 2009- 18:20
Turkish newspapers lament the results as triumphant center-right coalition means continuing obstacle to Turkey’s EU membership (see Hürriyet)
The German elections have caused a shift in the federal parliament Bundestag, and they will bring in a new government coalition (Bundesregierung). The conservative parties, the Christian Democratic CDU and the Bavarian CSU, suffered some vote losses, but remain the largest group by far.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) remain the largest party in the German parliament despite losses in Sunday’s elections, winning 33.8 percent of the vote. She secured a mandate to form a new coalition with the pro-business Liberal Democrats (FDP, 14.6 percent), which will succeed a “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPD). Focusing on economic reform, tax cuts and a return to nuclear power, the new government will mean a shift to the right in German politics.
The Germans elected a new Bundestag, or federal parliament, on Sunday. The Christian Democrats (CDU) led by Chancellor Angel Merkel were the strongest force, attaining 33.8 percent of the vote together with their sister party, the CSU. It is widely expected that they will now form a so-called black-yellow coalition with the liberal FDP, which won 14.6 percent of the vote. With only 23 percent of the vote the social democratic SPD, which governed the country in a grand coalition with the CDU for the last four years, will now go into the opposition.
Heard repeatedly yesterday: ?Steinmeier has been an excellent Foreign Minister, but I just can?t stand the Social Democrats any more.?
And other news from Europe…..
Here?s a weird story. OK, so we?re into the last lap of the Irish re-referendum; Jean Quatremer has the latest polls, which put the yes camp well ahead. But what about that weird poll last week that put the noes ahead?
A quick rundown of German election news. Handelsblatt says the result is awaited with great tension, which perhaps tells you more about Handelsblatt than anything else. They also have a discussion of the coalition position.
José Manuel Durão Barroso, former Portugese prime minister and Christian-democrat, has lobbied successfully. He has been reappointed as president of the European Commission after a majority of (mainly centre-right) members of the European parliament voted for him on last week Wednesday.
What this reappointment means is debatable. But not yet. There is a date of far greater import for the future of Europe and its institutions: October 2 2009. This is the date of the second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
Economic Survey of the European Union 2009
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The EU economy experienced a deep economic slump. Monetary policy has eased and fiscal stimulus provided to revive the economy. Past experience shows that economic crises can provide momentum for introducing longer term structural reforms by demonstrating the limitations of existing policies and by weakening the resistance to change. The crisis has already triggered reforms to tackle weaknesses in the financial system which, if implemented effectively, should support financial stability and longer term growth prospects. Pursuing structural reforms in the context of the Lisbon strategy will also be important as the recession could result in a considerable loss of capacity in the European economy, adding to the pressures on long?term growth prospects that will soon come from population ageing.
The path to Copenhagen looks rockier than ever.
A sitting president takes on a former prime minister in a headline-hogging French legal case.
Facing down Iran, French president Nicolas Sarkozy stood shoulder to shoulder with President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Pittsburgh last week. Or so it might be said. The statements of all three were consistent as they denounced the Islamic Republic’s construction of a secret nuclear facility. But in this stage show of solidarity, body language sent a different message.
Almost fifteen years have passed since Sweden joined the European Union together with Austria and Finland, on 1 January 1995. Neutrality and national sovereignty have deep roots in Sweden, one of the few corners of Europe to have stayed outside the European armed conflicts since the Napeolonic Wars.