1. Unwilling to Reform, France, Italy Miss Budget Targets

    Slow to structurally overhaul their economies, France and Italy continue to miss their fiscal targets.

    France and Italy on Wednesday announced separately that they would fail to meet their budget targets before 2017 in a setback for the austerity and economic liberalization agenda of Europe's largest economy, Germany. In a statement accompanying its draft…
  1. French Socialists Lose Upper House Majority

    Another setback for President François Hollande who is now France’s least popular leader in more than half a century.

    President François Hollande's ruling Socialist Party lost its majority in the French Senate on Sunday. Marine Le Pen's Front national won its first two seats in the upper chamber but the majority went to the mainstream conservative Union pour un mouvement populaire.…
  1. Sarkozy Laments France’s “Humiliation” Under Socialist Hollande

    The former president says he has “no choice” but to return to politics given the desperate situation France is in.

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday he had "no choice" but to return to politics because his country lacked hope and perspective. "The fifth power in the world should not have to choose between the humiliating spectacle of today…
  1. Sarkozy to Return to French Politics, Stand for Party Leadership

    The former president says he “loves France too much” to remain a spectator while the country declines.

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced his return to politics on Friday, saying he would stand for the leadership of his conservative Union pour un mouvement populaire. The position could be a stepping stone to another presidential bid…
  1. Undeterred by Scottish “No” Vote, Catalonia Demands Referendum

    Regional president Artur Mas intends to consult Catalan voters on the question of independence within two months.

    Undeterred by Scotland's vote against independence a day earlier, the leader of Catalonia said on Friday his region would organize a referendum in less than two months on whether or not to secede from Spain. "What happened in Scotland is not a setback for us, because…
  1. Netherlands to Reduce Tax Burden, Raise Defense Spending

    The Dutch will keep their deficit under the European treaty limit while reducing taxes to help job creation.

    The Dutch government promised to reduce taxes and overturn defense cuts on Tuesday as the small European nation's economy is projected to grow 1.25 percent next year. In a speech read out…
  1. Sweden’s Left Short of Majority, Hopes to Lure Centrists Into Coalition

    Sweden’s Social Democrats must convince centrist parties to back them or form a minority government instead.

    Sweden's Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven reached out to smaller centrist parties on Monday after failing to win an outright majority for his coalition in an election the day before. "The…
  1. Salmond Confident Independent Scotland Can Join European Union

    First Minister Alex Salmond says it would be “ridiculous” for the rest of Europe to deny an independent Scotland membership.

    Scottish leader Alex Salmond expressed confidence on Sunday his country would be welcomed into the European Union if it voted to secede from the United Kingdom, arguing that its rich fishing waters and energy potential could make…
  1. Sweden’s Social Democrats Ahead in Polls But Without Majority

    Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrats look certain to win the election but could struggle to form a majority government.

    Swedes looked certain to return a leftist majority to parliament on Sunday but the Social Democrats, ahead of the ruling liberal party in the polls, could struggle to form a government. Surveys put the Social Democrats at around…