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December 05, 2016

Tu felix Austria

Isn't it ironic that Austria, of all countries, is the one that is resisting the surge of populism, by votingfor an elderly, rumbling, professor instead of a Trump-style populist firebrand?

But we should perhaps not exaggerate the significance of the defeat of Nobert Hofer, who lost the election by a relatively small margin - 52% against 48%. He lost because the entire Austrian establishment, save for a small section of the centre-right ÖVP, rallied behind the winning candidate, Alexander van der Bellen. But the FPÖ is riding higher than ever. Just look at these polls. The FPÖ is the blue line:

Come 2018, the year when the next parliamentary elections are scheduled, it will be very difficult to form a government against the FPÖ. The Federal president can, in theory, refuse to appoint an anti-EU government, and force new elections. But he cannot do this forever and any strategy to override the will of the electorate is guaranteed to have the opposite effect. The election of Hofer would have sent a negative signal to the rest of the EU, but the election of van der Bellen is not comforting either. 

Michael Völker noted in der Standard that the Austrian Greens will not benefit from the presidential election, just as the FPÖ will not be damaged by them. Hofer lost because he was only able to get support from the FPÖ and its extended group of supporters. Völker even believes that the federal elections might be brought forward by one year. 

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December 05, 2016

All eyes on Valls

Now that François Hollande is out, Manuel Valls comes in. According to the Ifop poll for Journal du Dimanche, 45% of French from the left want Valls to be the Socialist candidate in next year’s election, 25% prefer Arnaud Montebourg, and 14% opt for former Education Minister Benoît Hamon. Valls is expected to declare his candidacy in the coming days. 

He will have to face formidable challenges on many fronts: to distance himself from Hollande without alienating his supporters, to unify a party that he himself described as un-unifiable, to mark his territory against Emmanuel Macron, who is running outside the primaries, and to re-invent a discourse of the left in response to François Fillon, after he himself had predicted the end of the left-right cleavage. As Le Figaro puts it, Valls is the most evident Left candidate, but not the most natural. Now starts the real test whether he can overcome these contradictions.

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December 05, 2016

Discrimination is the issue, not deportation

There is a lot of misinformation about the role of expats, both UK expats in the EU-27 and vice versa, Wolfgang Münchau argues. The real issue is not mass deportation, but discrimination. Mass deportation is very unlikely because nobody has an interest in it. Imagine the UK deporting almost 1m Poles, who would presumably then try to settle in Germany. But the issue of discrimination, post-Brexit, is real. EU citizen in the UK could be forced to join long queues at airports. They could be discriminated over social security, even over taxes. In the UK, they could face the extortionate university charges currently limited to non-EU students. Many will decide that they can no longer afford to stay in the UK under those circumstances. Or they may not want to. Münchau says the problem would almost entirely be solved through a transitional regime lasting at least 2 years. If Brexit comes into force in July 2019, and the transitional regime ends in July 2021, then everybody who has been UK-resident at the time of the referendum would have the right to permanent residency (a reader pointed out this is true only for those who are employed or self-employed, but not for students, or those considered self-sufficient and who failed to take out health insurance, which unfortunately is the case for many). The only real danger is a failure by the EU to offer the UK any sort of exit deal. This means the UK would be in a position to impose immigration controls from July 2019, so anybody who was not resident before July 2014 would be at some risk. Münchau says that, in this case, discrimination would become the big issue. He expects the UK to grant permanent residents equivalent, EU-style rights.

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December 05, 2016

What do these men have in common?

picture via @willjordann

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  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 13, 2019
  • What to make of the man in the pub - and other tales
  • Macron loses more early advisers - or cuts them loose
  • June 01, 2018
  • Will France and Germany stick together in their response to US trade tariffs?
  • From a eurozone budget to a slush fund
  • 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
  • May 09, 2019
  • The EU's impossible dilemma
  • The horsetrading starts in Sibiu
  • May to bring withdrawal bill to Commons week after next
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • 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 17, 2019
  • Why it is far from clear that the grand coalition will survive the year
  • Macron's chance and challenge
  • Eurozone firms' surprising response to sagging profits
  • The result of Spain's elections, a riddle wrapped in mystery
  • The MMT debate is coming to Europe - and Germany
  • Greek parliament seeks German war reparations
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • 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 16, 2019
  • What next, after EU sanctions Turkey?
  • What to make of Johnson’s four-point Brexit plan
  • Galileo fails, and nobody notices
  • March 04, 2019
  • Macron's two-month sprint
  • May's numbers are not there yet
  • Greening QE
  • On the "hope" of a rate raise
  • October 22, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • June 11, 2018
  • The end of the G7 - good riddance
  • Macron needs allies for his European agenda
  • Who is going to be the next director-general of the Italian treasury?
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • September 21, 2017
  • Time to get serious about Brexit
  • Would the FDP claim the job of finance minister?
  • The return of the ultra-right to German politics
  • 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
  • August 06, 2019
  • Macron's next bet: municipal elections
  • A victory for Salvini and his coalition
  • June 25, 2019
  • What’s behind the dispute about Weber
  • May 14, 2019
  • Trump gives Orbán his blessing
  • Outcome of Belgium's parliament election on Sunday totally open
  • Has Trump really got the economics of trade all wrong?
  • April 03, 2019
  • Game on
  • Can someone please take the table off-the-table!
  • February 22, 2019
  • The maths of a Brexit deal
  • Does public protest crowd out of climate change?
  • January 14, 2019
  • Our Brexit predictions
  • 1789 - Macron's version
  • Tsipras calls confidence vote after Kammenos pulls out
  • December 06, 2018
  • There can be no deal as long as delusions of easy alternatives persist
  • What do the gilets jaunes mean for green fiscal policy?
  • October 31, 2018
  • Macron's break raises some worrying questions
  • Tsipras campaigns on constitutional reform
  • A further move in Warsaw to submit to the ECJ’s authority
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • July 16, 2018
  • How to think about the three Brexit options
  • How to respond to Trump
  • June 14, 2018
  • A Labour rebellion, really?
  • May 14, 2018
  • Catalonia: plus ça change...
  • Conveney says no to Brexit with border infrastructure
  • Why the noble Lords don't really matter
  • April 12, 2018
  • The ineffective European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
  • Davis wants concrete language on future trading relationship
  • The name dispute of Alexander the Great's descendants
  • March 13, 2018
  • When events intrude: Novichok edition
  • Fico loses Kalinák, might lose himself
  • February 12, 2018
  • What the euro debate is really about
  • How Brexit can still falter
  • January 15, 2018
  • Is the section on Europe for real?
  • Can Drahos upset Zeman?
  • December 18, 2017
  • SPD regional party preemptively rejects grand coalition
  • Future of eurozone to be decided by March - we can hardly wait
  • November 21, 2017
  • A short note on the impact of German political chaos on Brexit
  • A scandal, overshadowed
  • October 27, 2017
  • What exactly happened in Catalonia yesterday?
  • Transactional versus strategic foreign policy
  • October 04, 2017
  • On why Theresa May is likely to survive
  • On how to resolve the Brexit talks
  • Social housing - not a good start for the French government
  • September 12, 2017
  • Brexit bill passes Commons
  • Macron to weather another political storm
  • Conservative PM re-elected in Norway
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 17, 2017
  • What Tony Blair's Brexit confusion tells us
  • Schulz advocates compulsory investments
  • Italy’s government has effectively lost its majority
  • June 26, 2017
  • Brexit - the central case and the tail-risk
  • The German fear of Macron
  • June 08, 2017
  • Day 0
  • Macron and his overly enthusiastic minions
  • May 22, 2017
  • Catalonia's independence blueprint
  • Commission wants completion of eurozone by 2025
  • The case for more honesty about the abolition of cash
  • The case against an Italian euro exit
  • May 05, 2017
  • Front National - thinking beyond Sunday
  • Tusk attacks Juncker over Brexit diplomacy
  • Extraordinarily ordinary
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • April 03, 2017
  • On the meaning of the Navalny protests
  • On the surreal nature of Italy’s political debate
  • March 20, 2017
  • Does the language of communiques matter?
  • Spain snap election rumblings
  • Will there be a Brexit deal?
  • March 05, 2017
  • Poland vs Tusk
  • Juppé - a recovered candidate?
  • Will Italy leave the euro?
  • February 20, 2017
  • SPD ahead of CDU/CSU
  • Fillon bounces back
  • The Brexit timetable
  • February 09, 2017
  • The Lords have a choice - risk abolition or vote for Brexit
  • French secret service fears Russian support for FN
  • A whiff of revolution
  • Rajoy and Trump, best buddies
  • Violent fantasies around Catalonia
  • January 30, 2017
  • On the illusion of choice
  • January 20, 2017
  • What does cherry-picking mean?
  • Trump as Nixon
  • On the meaning of populism
  • January 12, 2017
  • Could Mélenchon make it into the second round?
  • Macron's ideals and recruitments
  • Has Brexit triggered a borrowing binge?
  • Towards a European IMF?
  • 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
  • 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...
  • December 12, 2016
  • Renzi without Renzi
  • Shall we compensate the losers of globalisation?
  • The need for a partnership with China
  • December 09, 2016
  • Why Five Star will gain
  • Ukip to target pro-Remain MPs in Brexit constituencies
  • Rutte plays tough on Ukraine
  • December 07, 2016
  • Matterella says No to early elections
  • Looking for alternatives to Valls?
  • Local taxes and citizenship in Ireland
  • Brexit contours
  • December 06, 2016
  • Doubling down in Rome
  • On the Supreme Court's Brexit case
  • When a refugee commits a murder