We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

May 25, 2016

Erdogan threatens to pull the deal

The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday threatened non-ratification of the migration deal unless the EU grants visa-free travel to Turks, we noted from a report in Tagesschau - as the German media are following every twist in this story for obvious domestic political reasons. He did not mention any dates or deadlines, but said the Turkish parliament would not ratify unless there is a deal over visas without the need for any further Turkish concessions. 

Erdogan reinterprets the deal as a straightforward swap of visas against refugees. It was a fudged agreement - like virtually all agreements the EU strikes these days - but this time the fudge does not appear to hold even in the short-term, it seems. Erdogan certainly gives the impression that he is not desperate - he is clearly less desperate than Merkel. He said: "if there is a result, then great. If there is no result, then we are sorry." There are no further criteria for Turkey to meet, he said. His country was not asking for a favour. "What we want is sincerity."

The EU insists on Turkey changing its anti-terror laws, which give the government quasi-dictatorial powers. Erdogan is currently moving in the opposite direction.

We have heard before that Erdogan was less interested in visa-free travel than the former PM Ahmet Davutoglu, which is why he is driving such a hard bargain. The EU will no doubt try its utmost to bend its own requirements - though it is not clear that they will be able to cowtow to Erdogan to quite the degree that now appears necessary for the deal to be ratified. We would, however, expect the EU to try and soften its stance on the quid-pro-quos for visa-free travel. Never underestimate the ability by Brussels to seek out a fudge. The bottom line is: if you strike Faustian pacts with dictators, don't pretend to be shocked about human rights violations.

Show Comments Write a Comment

May 25, 2016

The trend does go against Brexit - for now

The trend towards Remain in the British referendum appears to strengthen, but the interesting information is not the overall poll numbers, but shifts among certain demographic groups. The Daily Telegraph has a poll showing a shift of support among Conservative voters towards Remain, with 57% of them now in favour of Remain, while only 40% are in favour of Leave. In March, 60% of Tory voters said they would want to leave. There has also been a shift of support from pensioners, which have previously favoured a Leave vote. The paper says the poll reflected private polling by Downing Street, and it quotes Sir Lynton Crosby, David Cameron's pollster at the last elections, as saying that the Brexit vote has collapsed because it failed to address concerns about the economic impact of Brexit.

In terms of post-Brexit scenario analysis, Andrew Duff offers what we consider the clearest yet. He says David Cameron is right when he says that he would have no choice but to trigger Article 50 TEU immediately after a Brexit vote. This will then set the clock on a two-year deadline. There is no alternative legal procedure available under either European or international law.

"On 28 June, in case Cameron is anything less than crystal clear that the UK has moved into secession territory, Donald Tusk, president of the European council, will be ready to extract from the hapless British prime minister a categorical notification that the game is up. At that point, according to Article 50(4), Cameron will have to leave the room. His erstwhile colleagues, acting by consensus (a relaxed form of unanimity), will set broad guidelines for the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement with the UK."

Duff then discusses the issue of whether the negotiations would be narrow - relating only to the exit itself, rather than on Britain's future relation with the EU. He said it would be hard, and ultimately risky, to conflate the two into a single negotiation. His best guess is that the Art 50 negotiations would be on a narrow basis, approved by QMV and a vote in the European Parliament, and separate negotiations would take place in parallel on the basis of Art 217 TFEU. In terms of content, nothing can be ruled out in any future relationship between the UK and the EU, except the Swiss option which the EU will not offer.

We presume that the pro-Brexit campaign tactics are backfiring. Boris Johnson's racial slurs against President Obama and the ludicrous Hitler comparison may play well in some xenophobic quarters, but does not carry broad-based support. The shift in the polls is important, and we are now moderately confident of the chances of the Remain campaign, but there are still four week to go until the referendum. The outcome remains open. We would assume that those who have recently switched their support are not hard Remain voters. They could shift in the other direction.

Show Comments Write a Comment

May 25, 2016

A German populist on populism

Thilo Sarrazin is at the populist end of the SPD, a former Bundesbanker who had to quit over some ill-chosen remarks about immigrants. Today, after the rise of the AfD, people are listening to his "I told you so" messages.

This morning he has a comparatively thoughtful essay in Frankfurter Allgemeine. He argues that, if the voters' expectations are persistently disappointed, new parties and movements arise which are often based on ill-defined emotions. If the existing parties misread the trend, the new parties can have a lasting impact on the political landscape. This happened 40 years ago when the Greens were formed. And it is now happening with the AfD.

If people are discontented about their own lives, they tend to look at social developments, which they can perceive as negative irrespective of whether there is a causal connection. This is how people come to relate immigration to their own economic and social position. What makes this trend worse is the tendency by the establishment in Western societies to stigmatise all publicly expressed discomfort with ethnic and cultural borders.

This is where the economists are getting it wrong when they highlight the positive impact of immigration. Immigration is positive only if the immigrants are, on average, more qualified than the existing population, for otherwise it consumes wealth. This is why immigration from the Middle East and Africa to Europe since the 1960s has been economically disadvantageous. If immigrants with low qualifications enter the labour market, they compete with the existing pool of the unemployed and have a negative effect on their living standards. Unless the existing parties change their course, the new populist parties on the right will continue to attract an ever increasing number of voters, he concludes.

There is much we agree with in what he says about the losers of globalisation, and how this has given rise to extremist and populist parties. We disagree with him on one specific issue - that immigration is only positive if the average qualifications are higher than that of the resident population. While that is true in the short-term, the average qualification will shift with the next generation. The real problem is not that the arriving immigrants have lower qualifications, but that the gap persists to the second and third generation. This is a failure of integration policy, though we would agree that the sheer number of refugees into Germany currently would be hard to integrate even with a good policy.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 18, 2017
  • Veneto and Lombardy to vote on autonomy
  • Portugal's president calls on government over fires
  • Radical ideas for radical times: how to pay off public debt
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 03, 2017
  • A short note about UK politics
  • The impact of the German elections on the euro debate
  • The decline and fall of Martin Schulz and the SPD
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 01, 2017
  • Rutte deflates Dutch labour party like a hot air balloon
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 28, 2017
  • German government bans Porsche Cayenne
  • More troubles for the AfD
  • Of course there will be a soft transitional period for the UK
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 21, 2017
  • Why has the SPD deflated?
  • Berlusconi’s strategy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 01, 2017
  • On how to fix the eurozone
  • What happens if there is no Article 50 agreement?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 02, 2017
  • Juncker's scenarios for Europe
  • EU minimum wages are rising
  • No, the Lords didn’t stop Brexit
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 15, 2017
  • A Christmas bonus for poor Greeks
  • Dim prospects of negotiated de-escalation on Catalonia
  • Macron's favourite to succeed Juncker - first round
  • On sovereignty
  • Gli Azzurri
  • February 03, 2017
  • The Schulz effect is getting huge
  • The post-Brexit boom goes on and on and on
  • A correction on Catalonia
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • December 01, 2016
  • Will Italian expats swing the referendum result?
  • Why we keep on misreading the polls
  • Si vis pactum, para bellum
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 23, 2017
  • Macron's plans for the European Parliament
  • First phase of Brexit negotiations in final stretch
  • Why the left hates Europe
  • April 23, 2017
  • The demise of the AfD has accelerated dramatically
  • On how France will need to confront Germany
  • October 24, 2016
  • Ceta - the next deadline
  • Who will lead Germany?
  • Peasant party upsets Lithuanian election
  • Ségolène Royal, seriously?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 22, 2017
  • The last German polls
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 21, 2017
  • A short note on the impact of German political chaos on Brexit
  • A scandal, overshadowed
  • October 20, 2017
  • Why is everybody so nice to Mrs May?
  • The haphazard Rutte III agreement
  • Liberalism for the French left
  • September 20, 2017
  • AfD on the rise
  • Is this the end of the FN as we know it?
  • Refugees overflowing Lesvos lead to call for action
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 24, 2017
  • Macron's popularity falls amid more budget cuts
  • Orbán to support Polish government against EU
  • No exit from Brexit
  • June 26, 2017
  • Brexit - the central case and the tail-risk
  • The German fear of Macron
  • May 30, 2017
  • Beer tent politics - Merkel edition
  • Brexit arrives in UK elections
  • Rajoy clears budget hurdle
  • May 02, 2017
  • An accident waiting to happen
  • Matteo Renzi wins PD primaries
  • So much for the Schulz effect
  • April 07, 2017
  • Who gets 40% in elections nowadays?
  • What’s so puzzling about the productivity puzzle?
  • Why this time is different in German poitics
  • March 15, 2017
  • On the nuances of Spain's position on Scotland
  • On how not to deal with Turkey
  • February 21, 2017
  • Schulz to undo Schroder’s Agenda 2010
  • Dutch minister under fire for disability benefit fiasco
  • On what to do about Germany’s current account surplus
  • Untouchable Le Pen
  • January 30, 2017
  • On the illusion of choice
  • January 09, 2017
  • FN campaign troubles
  • Objectionable perhaps, but muddled?
  • December 19, 2016
  • Inside the customs union, outside the single market
  • Back to the future in Italy
  • The lessons from Fillon's first gaffe
  • Montebourg - a bit of everything
  • The Maastricht error
  • If Paul Romer is right...
  • November 28, 2016
  • And now what Monsieur Fillion?
  • The inescapable logic of an interim agreement
  • On Germany's foreign policy post-Trump
  • How to lose against the populists
  • November 11, 2016
  • What Trump means for Europe ...
  • ... for the economy ...
  • The new era of chaqu’un pour soi
  • October 26, 2016
  • Renzi threatens to veto EU budget
  • The politics of a hard Brexit
  • Hollande at 4%
  • October 10, 2016
  • Waking up to the hardness of Brexit
  • September 26, 2016
  • A weekend of insurrection
  • The radicalisation of the French mainstream
  • Leaving the customs union
  • Meanwhile in Bosnia...
  • September 12, 2016
  • Renzi and his internal opposition
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • August 15, 2016
  • Sarkozy to declare his candidacy
  • Do intra-eurozone current account deficits matter?
  • On the failures of modern macroeconomics
  • July 26, 2016
  • The limits of May's freedom of manoeuvre
  • Don't misread the lack of visible panic in Germany
  • July 13, 2016
  • Brexit could take six years to complete
  • Macron - a modern Brutus?
  • The failings of Steinmeier
  • July 04, 2016
  • Hard women, hard Brexit
  • We'll miss the EU when it's gone
  • June 27, 2016
  • ... 'twere well it were done quickly
  • June 20, 2016
  • Neck and neck once more
  • How to defeat populism
  • June 13, 2016
  • Civil protest against Syriza
  • Protests over labour French labour law continue
  • Spain's politial realignment
  • Duff on Turkey
  • June 06, 2016
  • Leave's lead is widening
  • The significance of Gauck
  • Five Star Movement about to take Rome
  • May 31, 2016
  • Grand Coalition below 50%
  • Strikes to continue in France
  • Which crisis will blow up first?
  • Verhofstadt loses patience with the pro-Europeans
  • May 27, 2016
  • French labour law: withdraw, negotiate or force it through?
  • France and Germany seek deeper integration post-Brexit (but not on the eurozone)
  • Merkel wants to renew Russia sanctions
  • Towards a third Spanish election?
  • May 26, 2016
  • France paralysed by radicalising protests over labour laws
  • What would Keynes do?
  • Will the eurozone survive? Some observations