The separatist coalition Junts pel Sí and the far-left party CUP won an absolute majority of the parliamentary seats in the regional elections in Catalonia on Sunday. Spain’s central government must take the election outcome seriously, some commentators urge, saying that it will give separatist movements in other European countries fresh impetus.
Separatists on Sunday (27 September) won a clear majority of seats in Catalonia’s parliament, in an election that sets the region on a collision course with Spain’s central government over independence.
Europe’s troubles have discredited elites and fuelled the populist right. Can Labour’s new leader win an argument for change from the left?
Why commentators in the United Kingdom and Europe should be surprised by Jeremy Corbyn’s decisive victory in the Labour party’s leadership election is anybody’s guess. True, his was not a household name even in Britain, and when he entered the race in June – a month after the party’s clear defeat in the general election – it seemed to have been practically by default. When early polling suggested he had a chance of winning, the British media reacted (a few exceptions apart) with fury, mauling the left-wing member for Islington North and his radical views with gusto. Many pundits, following the polls too closely, got the result of the May election wrong. This, then, was a double shock. The failure of judgment involved, as seen also over European issues and the rise of ISIS, reflects the fact that deeper political shifts are now underway which too often escape the notice of a media obsessed by fashions, surfaces, and the short term.
Joachim Gauck has warned that there are limits to how many refugees his country can absorb as it prepares for as many as 800,000 arrivals this year.
Bob Dylan provides a sound-track for Britains’ liberal commentariat post-Corbyn: “something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?”
Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) doubled its votes to finish a strong second in a state election on Sunday (27 September), dealing a blow to the two main centrist parties which were left nursing heavy losses.