1. Catalonia Drops Independence Referendum, to Call Elections

    Separatists in Spain’s wealthiest region call off plans for an independence referendum. But not really.

    Catalonia dropped plans for an independence referendum on Tuesday but regional president Artur Mas said there would be a vote nonetheless. While not binding, this would be a proxy plebiscite, he suggested, provided all separatist parties campaign on…
  1. All Is Not Well in Germany But Merkel’s Coalition Slow to Act

    To sustain Germany’s competitiveness, the government needs to invest. But the ruling parties have different priorities.

    When Marcel Fratzscher published Die Deutschland Illusion last month, it set off quite a bit of self-reflection in Europe's largest economy. But whether its central message -- that although Germany is now outperforming its peers, its future growth prospects could be dim --…
  1. Madrid’s Intransigence to Blame for Catalan Separatism

    It is the central government’s refusal to give Catalans a say in their future that has caused support for independence to surge.

    Undeterred by Scottish voters' "no" to independence, Artur Mas, Catalonia's president, called a similar referendum to break away from Spain last month. To comply with Spanish law, the referendum would not be binding -- although it is difficult to imagine how the…
  1. Germany’s Merkel Seeks Chinese Support Against Russia

    Europe’s largest economy tries to leverage its trade relation with China to put pressure on Vladimir Putin.

    Chinese premier Li Keqiang's visit to Berlin this weekend -- the third time in just six months leaders from both countries met -- not only underscored the huge commercial relationship between two of the world's largest exporting nations;…
  1. Germany’s Christian Democrats Underestimate Alternative Challenge

    As long as Angela Merkel’s party is rooted in the center, there will be space for a conservative party on the right.

    Germany's ruling christian democrats seem to underestimate the political challenge the Euroskeptic Alternative für Deutschland party poses to them. This is not a fringe movement, as many in Chancellor Angela Merkel's party would like to believe. Rather, the…
  1. Italy’s Renzi Wins Senate’s Backing for Labor Reforms

    The reformists prime minister clears one parliamentary hurdle but must make haste to liberalize his nation’s job market.

    Italy's prime minister, Matteo Renzi, won his Senate's backing for labor reforms early on Thursday, clearing the first parliamentary hurdle in a months long process to liberalize the country's morose jobs market. After a marathon Senate session in Rome, even all of Renzi's own Democratic Party lawmakers…
  1. Don’t Blame Turkey for “Dragging Its Feet” in Syria

    Expecting Turkey to come to the aid of Kurdish separatists without even a plan to remove Bashar Assad is unreasonable.

    Turkey's reluctance to be drawn into the war against the Islamic State should hardly surprise American policymakers. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made it plain just last month that his country can only support such a strategy if it simultaneously seeks to dislodge the regime…
  1. Syrian Rebels Find Evidence of Russian Presence in Army Base

    Rebels say they have found proof of a Russian intelligence or special forces presence in a Syrian army installation.

    Syrian rebels that overran an army installation overlooking the town of Al-Harra, west of the Golan Heights, appeared to have found evidence of Russian involvement in the conflict. In a video…
  1. Belgian Right Wing Parties Close to Forming Government

    Christian democrat, liberal and Flemish nationalist parties are expected to finalize a coalition deal after five months of talks.

    Almost five months after parliamentary elections saw huge gains for Flanders' nationalists, Belgium's right wing parties are expected to finalize a coalition deal later this week. Among the most notable policy changes they are likely to enact is a two year…