Polls Vindicate Puigdemont’s Decision to Form Separatist List
Carles Puigdemont appears to have made the right decision forming a new political entity, called Together for Catalonia, as opposed to leading his center-right European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) into next month’s election.
Two recent polls, one published in El Periódico, the other in ABC newspaper, give the deposed president’s list almost 17 percent support.
That puts it neck and neck with the liberal Ciudadanos and mainstream Socialist Party — both of which oppose Catalan independence — for second place.
Together for Catalonia uses PDeCAT’s infrastructure but has drawn candidates from civil society. Read more
The New Statesman reports that none of Brexit’s promises have come true:
Brexiteers said leaving the EU would unleash growth. Instead, growth has stalled and higher inflation has depressed real wages.
David Davis, now Brexit secretary, said Britain would be able to create “a free-trade area massively larger than the EU.” So far, no country has expressed an interest in doing a separate trade deal with the United Kingdom.
Liam Fox predicted that trade talks with the EU would be “one of the easiest in human history.” But the EU insists on properly negotiating Britain’s exit before even starting trade negotiations.
Rather than give Britain an extra £350 million to spend on health care each week, the Office for Budget Responsibility projects that the country will lose the equivalent of £300 million per week because of Brexit.
Little wonder that supporters of leaving the EU have continually lowered expectations. The promise of Brexit has been downgraded from a Singapore on the Thames to not “as apocalyptic as some people like to pretend”.
Progress in German Coalition Talks, But Four Sticking Points
The parties negotiating to form a coalition government in Germany are nearing a self-imposed deadline to conclude preliminary talks.
German media report there are four sticking points:
Coal power: The Greens initially demanded closing Germany’s twenty most polluting coal plants. When the other parties balked, they suggested shuttering 10 gigawatts worth of coal-generating capacity. The others have offered 5 gigawatts.
Europe: The liberal Free Democrats oppose a eurozone budget and permanent bailout mechanism. The Christian Democrats and Greens are more supportive.
Family reunifications: The Christian Democrats are dead set against a Green party proposal to allow refugees to bring their relatives to live with them in Germany.
Immigration cap: In a concession to the right-wing Christian Social Union, Angela Merkel has agreed to a “soft” ceiling of 200,000 immigrants per year. The Greens reject this. Read more