When Greece resisted demands for spending cuts from its creditors last year, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, for talks with the other 27 heads of government.
His hope was that fellow leaders would be more sympathetic than the technocrats of the “troika”: the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Tusk rebuffed him and reminded Tsipras that the troika had been delegated by national leaders to monitor Greece’s bailout. The whole point of putting bureaucrats in charge was to avoid the politicians being tempted to cut Greece some slack.
Theresa May clearly hasn’t learned Tsipras’ lesson. Read more
Defeat Makes It Harder for May to Navigate Brexit Demands
Theresa May’s election defeat has left her Brexit strategy at the mercy of a divided Tory Party.
May called the election to strengthen her hand but now has even less room to maneuver.
Her Conservatives went down from 330 to 317 seats on Thursday, nine short of a majority. She is forced to rely on the hard-right Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland and its ten lawmakers to stay in power.
As a result, both pragmatists, who campaigned against Brexit, and hardliners, who want a complete break with the EU, can hold the government hostage. Read more
Both Conservatives and Labour Have Left the Center Wide Open
Before Labour started to catch up with her in the polls, it seemed Theresa May could have it both ways.
The Financial Times argued that her “Global Britain” vision, of free trade and friendship with the rest of the world, was at odds with cutting immigration to an arbitrary tens of thousands and pushing for a “hard” Brexit.
Yet voters seemed to like it. One poll had the Conservatives at nearly 50 percent support. Labour was down to 25 percent as recently as four weeks ago.
The Financial Times warned, though (as did I), that there were policy gaps “in what used to be known as the center ground.” Liberal cosmopolitanism did not have an active voice. Read more