The far-right Front National could emerge as France’s strongest party from the European elections in May 2014, according to the results of a poll published by the magazine Le Nouvel Observateur on Wednesday. The party is benefiting from the mainstream parties’ lack of ideas, commentators write, fearing that France’s shift to the right will spread to other European countries.
|Which way will Angela Merkel choose?|
A quick update on the German coalition government negotiations.
There has been a lot of posturing over the past couple of weeks from all sides about the willingness to do a deal and what is needed to secure one. So far though, things have basically followed our expected timeline with end of November still looking to be the likely date for a final agreement.
EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso promised Rome 30 million euros on Wednesday to help improve the situation of refugees. On a joint visit to Lampedusa with Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta, he also announced plans to beef up the border security agency Frontex. But precisely this measure will only make Europe even more of a fortress, commentators fear, calling on the EU to focus above all on providing safe routes for refugees to cross the Mediterranean.
French plans for a ‘Google tax’ on all digital companies would take the form of a minimum levy calculated on a common base across all EU countries. EurActiv.fr reports.
Two weeks before a European Council dedicated to innovation and the digital economy, the French Ministry of Finance organised a conference on Wednesday (9 October) focusing on the taxation of internet companies.
France’s far-right National Front could top European Parliament elections next May, pulling ahead of the two big mainstream parties for the first time in a nationwide vote, a poll showed on Wednesday.
Some 24% of those surveyed by for the Nouvel Observateurmagazine said they would back the anti-immigrant party, compared with 22% for the centre-right UMP and 19% for the governing Socialist Party.
The National Front’s score was up three percentage points from the Ifop polling group’s last such survey in late May, while the Socialists lost two percentage points and the UMP gained one.
The EU Parliament passed new regulations for the sale of tobacco products on Tuesday. Among other things, cigarette packages are to feature off-putting photos illustrating the dangers of smoking. While some commentators praise the move, others are unhappy that the powerful tobacco lobby has watered down the European Commission’s original plans.
Italian prosecutors launched investigations against the survivors of the Lampedusa refugee tragedy on Monday. The 155 Africans are accused of illegal immigration. In some parts of Europe the asylum laws do not comply with international human rights standards, commentators write, and call for uniform EU legislation.