Most incumbent governments and leaders in Europe have seen their approval ratings increase since the outbreak of coronavirus disease. Read more “Europeans Trust Incumbent Governments in Pandemic”
Seventeen left-wing lawmakers have quit President Emmanuel Macron’s party in France and started their own group, called Ecology, Democracy and Solidarity.
The defections have deprived Macron of his absolute majority in the National Assembly. His La République En Marche is down to 288 out of 577 seats, although it still has the support of the centrist Democratic Movement (46 seats) and the center-right Agir (9).
The defectors accuse Macron of shifting to the right and neglecting income inequality and climate change.
That has more to do with perception than reality. Read more “Left-Wing Criticism of Macron Isn’t Grounded in Reality”
In normal times, being elected as the first female leader of a Spanish political party, on International Women’s Day no less, would be seen as a good omen.
Unfortunately for Inés Arrimadas, she took over the reins of the center-right Citizens just as the coronavirus pandemic spread to Spain. With the country under lockdown, the leadership change in a party that has been reduced to a mere ten seats in Congress drew little attention.
But the health crisis has also given the Citizens an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the other two right-wing opposition parties: the conservative People’s Party and far-right Vox. Read more “Arrimadas Shifts Spain’s Liberal Party Back to the Center”
Support for maintaining the coronavirus quarantine is weakening in Spain. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has partly lifted a two-month lockdown, allowing small stores to reopen and restaurants to serve takeaway, but the opposition is calling for a quicker return to normalcy.
Deaths from coronavirus disease have stabilized at under 200 per day. The infection rate is also slowing.
But Spain still has more known cases of COVID-19 than any country except the United States.
The government fears that without strict controls, the virus might rebound in the next six to eight weeks. Read more “Support for Quarantine Weakens in Spain”
First coronavirus itself was going to kill the EU. Now we are told the bloc’s fate was sealed in the first weeks of the outbreak, when creditworthy nations in the north refused to pool their debts with crisis-struck Italy and Spain.
Ulrich Speck, one of Germany’s top foreign-policy analysts, cautioned against jumping to conclusions:
With the corona crisis we see the return of a slightly hysterical discourse about the EU: if X, Y and Z do not immediately happen, the EU will be dead. We should have learned during the crises of the last years that the EU rests on quite solid foundations.
Not everyone has. Read more “Setting the EU Up to Fail”
“Normal” may not be the best word to describe the situation in the United Kingdom, where 60,773 people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are known to have contracted coronavirus disease and 7,097 with the infection have died.
Yet after years during which Britain’s exit from the European Union overshadowed everything, there are also signs that political life on the island is returning to normalcy.
As the government has tightened restrictions on public life in order to contain the outbreak, communities across the country are helping each other out. Almost every neighborhood now has a “COVID-19 Community Group” that organizes care for the needy and most vulnerable. Bitter divisions over Brexit have been set aside. Read more “British Rediscover Normalcy in Abnormal Times”
If Italians and Spaniards are under the impression that the Netherlands is refusing to help them cope with the impact of coronavirus disease, their own leaders share the blame with the Dutch’s lack of tact.
Giuseppe Conte and Pedro Sánchez have unwisely elevated the one policy they should have known the Dutch could not accept into the test of European solidarity: eurobonds. Read more “Dutch Opposition to Eurobonds Is Not Unreasonable”
- Keir Starmer has been elected leader of the British Labour Party with 56 percent support.
- Rebecca Long-Bailey, who represented continuity from outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn, placed second with 28 percent.
- Lisa Nandy placed third with 16 percent.
- Over 490,000 out of 784,151 eligible Labour Party members and supporters voted in the contest.
- Corbyn stepped down after losing last year’s election to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives by a margin of 11.5 points. Read more “Starmer Wins Labour Leadership Election”
I try to avoid Nazi-era comparisons, since they’re seldom appropriate, but Viktor Orbán isn’t making it easy. The only thing that could make his power grab in Hungary more like the Enabling Act of 1933 is if, like the Reichstag fire, COVID-19 really had been manufactured (in a Chinese lab funded by George Soros, if we are to believe Russia’s disinformation).
Using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse, Orbán has dissolved parliament and postponed all elections — indefinitely.
The Constitutional Court technically still functions, but it is packed with Orbán loyalists and provides no real oversight. For all intents and purposes, Orbán now rules alone. Read more “Orbán Abolishes Democracy in Hungary”
You would think after it survived the euro crisis, commentators would be a little more cautious about predicting the EU’s demise. But no.
As usual, American and British media are the worst. Their typical commentary is so sensationalist, it sounds just like Russian propaganda. Read more “The EU Is Not About to Collapse, Again”