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

February 08, 2017

Fillon faces new allegations

François Fillon is not out of the woods yet. Just a day after he addressed the public about the allegations of nepotism, and ready to embark on the campaign trail again, new revelations emerged. Le Canard Enchaîné writes in its Wednesday edition that Penelope Fillon received €45,000 in severance payments from the Assembly at the end of her two assistant contracts. The investigative newspaper writes that, in 2002, Penelope Fillon received €16,000 - which is an equivalent of five months salary payments - but started to work for the literary review early so that there is an overlap. Legislation also does not foresee such high sums for severance payments, so the article.

Fillon went into offensive mode, writing an open letter in the newspaper Ouest-France accusing the satirical paper of lyings, and printing obvious mistakes. The latest polls for him are not good. They suggest that he did not convince the French with his speech on Monday. Just one in three of those questioned believe he should remain as the conservative candidate, according to France 24. Among conservatives his support was higher, between 58% and 62% believed his version. The polls show that Fillon would now be eliminated in the first round on April 23, with Le Pen and Macron moving on to the May 7 runoff.

Show Comments Write a Comment

February 08, 2017

Does Martin Schulz really have a chance?

Majid Sattar brought a sense of perspective to the debate about the success chances of Martin Schulz. He acknowledges that the turn of events is truly extraordinary, and Schulz has a number of qualities that Sigmar Gabriel lacks. He may be able to grow the SPD beyond its fast-shrinking core constituency. But Sattar warns that Schulz is still untested. And the deep-seated structural problems of the SPD are not going to go away. What is helping Schulz for now is the deep division in the CDU/CSU, which have now formally nominated Angela Merkel as their joint candidate for chancellor. The CDU/CSU managed a process of modernisation, a repositioning of the party at the political centre, thanks largely to Merkel herself. And the more Gabriel tried to focus on the SPD's core trade-union-aligned working-class voters, the more the party distanced itself from centrist voters - such as teachers. Schulz is closer to Merkel than Gabriel in this respect. His strategy for the working class voters is to talk about social justice, a strategy Sattar suggests lacks credibility. Even Schulz, who was never in government himself, will not be able to deny that his party was constantly in government since 1998 - except for a period of four years. Schulz will also need to answer the question of how he wants to become chancellor. The politically most realistic option is a coalition with the Greens and the Left Party, but that combination is still short of a majority. As is the combination with the Greens and the FDP. (Sattar does not mention the possibility of a Grand Coalition with Schulz as chancellor, which to us seems his most realistic option). The best aspects of his candidacy, according to Sattar, is that the renewed attention on the fight for the political centre will make it harder for the AfD to break into the news cycle.

In respect of the AfD, FAZ has an insightful and very long investigative story on how the AfD is using automated bots on Twitter and Facebook to get its points across to the electorate. The party denies this officially, but the journalists have actually managed to trace down a number of accounts that can realistically only come from bots, and not humans. Moreover, these bots are highly effective in the way they generate followers and amplify news messages. The party says that, even if there were evidence of such bots, they would not have been officially authorised.

Show Comments Write a Comment

February 08, 2017

Spain's not-so-green taxes

Taxation is not a European Commission competence, but it interacts with other areas of policy. Just like the competition authorities took aim at the Irish tax rulings, now it is the environmental implementation review that allows the Commission to make recommendations on green taxes. El País notes that the report released on Monday advises Spain to increase its environmental taxation, and reduce harmful subsidies. The report suggests the need to shift the tax burden away from taxes on labour, towards taxes less harmful to economic growth. Environmentally-related taxes collected are just 1.85% of the Spanish GDP in 2014, against an EU average of 2.46%. Spain is also criticised for having no strategy for eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies, such as subsidies on fossil fuels, local coal, company cars, and diesel compared to petrol. In addition, the Commission notes that environmental policy is largely devolved to the regions or even to the municipal level, leading to normative dispersion.

Show Comments Write a Comment

February 08, 2017

Building the Catalan tax database - legally?

Spanish regions have some taxation competencies, but in the case of Catalonia the improvement of the regional tax administration gets mixed up with the controversy over the independence movement. As we reported two weeks ago, a separatist senator caused a commotion with his remarks that the Catalan tax agency had stolen the tax information of citizens. In the meantime he resigned and was replaced in the senate, but this has not prevented Spain's data protection agency from launching an investigation into the Catalan tax agency. Lluís Salvadó, the director of the agency, welcomes the investigation as he says everything is being done legally. According to Salvadó, the Catalan government has 30 years of accumulated data from a multitude of minor taxes it manages, and has simply been aggregating the disparate sources of information. He said that it is firms that have live tax information of their employees, and that it will be the taxpayers and firms themselves that will provide data as needed at the time of payment.

Show Comments Write a Comment

February 08, 2017

Reports of the death of Russia’s economy were exaggerated

We continue to treat Russia as outside our reservation, but a possible strategic alliance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and the nearing end of economic sanctions, are making us pay closer attention to certain political and economic development of importance for the EU. We noted a thorough analysis of the possible trajectories of the Russian economy by Andrey Movchan, who writes that the fall in oil prices, more so than western sanctions, has damaged the economy, but there is no reason to expect any serious negative surprises, such as a radical social upheaval. The biggest threat to Russia is the country’s chronically weak banking system, he writes. The big overriding problem is that the Russian government has failed to reform the economy, and is running a deficit now at the expense of long-term development. He thinks that the Russian government might end up loosening its monetary policy, and cutting off capital flows from abroad. This could lead to curbs on foreign currency transactions, and the imposition of price controls. If this happens, it will be after the 2018 presidential elections.

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
  • December 14, 2017
  • Macron gives up on Euro reform... for now?
  • Refugee quota controversy hides disagreement over ultimate policy goal
  • Can't pay, won't pay
  • 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 30, 2017
  • Please tell us there is another way than fudging the border
  • Could Gentiloni remain prime minister beyond the elections?
  • Stage set for Babis minority government
  • 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 16, 2017
  • Germany's climate duplicity
  • Juppé open to join forces with Macron for EP elections
  • 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 01, 2017
  • Brussels receives Catalan president as a circus
  • Canada Dry
  • Me too
  • 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 17, 2017
  • Catalan separatism has its martyrs
  • European Parliament agrees to restrict posted workers
  • Foreign policy will be key in Austrian coalition talks
  • 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 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • 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
  • August 31, 2017
  • Where are the Républicains?
  • Poland unmoved by EU rule-of-law sanctions
  • May will stay through Brexit, and then fight the 2022 elections
  • 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 27, 2017
  • Löfven's move
  • The nearing end of petrol and diesel engines
  • Why a second referendum in the UK won’t happen, and why it would be wrong
  • 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 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • 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
  • 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
  • June 20, 2017
  • How to soften Brexit?
  • The deep roots of Brexit: Thatcher and the Germans
  • 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 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • May 31, 2017
  • Getting real in the debate on the euro's future
  • Russia's growing influence in Italy
  • 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 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • 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 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • 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
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • 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
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • 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 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • 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, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • October 01, 2018
  • After the referendum, more turmoil in Macedonia
  • What will happen if the UK parliament votes No?
  • Barnier's no-thanks works much better than a yes-please
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • July 27, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - trade edition
  • A test of Pedro Sánchez' majority
  • June 25, 2018
  • Trump's car tariff to come early
  • On the lack of a sharp focus in the eurozone debate
  • May 23, 2018
  • Mattarella’s limited options
  • April 23, 2018
  • More bad news for the SPD
  • Will Theresa May accept a customs union? The Times says yes. We think so too.
  • A comeback for Marine Le Pen?
  • March 26, 2018
  • On the run no more
  • Terrorist attack will challenge Macron
  • A double-whammy of geopolitical and financial uncertainty
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • January 30, 2018
  • Will Puigdemont be Catalan premier today?
  • Some thoughts about the German car industry
  • A short note on Italian coalition maths
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • December 08, 2017
  • Schulz' Europe
  • 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
  • October 24, 2017
  • Is Kaczynski tired of ruling behind the scenes?
  • An era of movements instead of parties?
  • On the decline of the traditional parties
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • September 11, 2017
  • Turkey issues travel warning for visitors to Germany
  • How nasty is the AfD?
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 27, 2017
  • Löfven's move
  • The nearing end of petrol and diesel engines
  • Why a second referendum in the UK won’t happen, and why it would be wrong
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • June 21, 2017
  • Why has the SPD deflated?
  • Berlusconi’s strategy
  • June 05, 2017
  • What happens to Brexit if Labour wins?
  • What Russia wants
  • 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 08, 2017
  • A message of hope
  • Barnier's not so easily agreed Brexit principles
  • The rebirth of the paranoid conspiracy theory
  • April 23, 2017
  • The demise of the AfD has accelerated dramatically
  • On how France will need to confront Germany
  • April 11, 2017
  • What to expect, and not expect from Schulz
  • The view from Berlin
  • The view from Moscow
  • March 31, 2017
  • Will the AfD implode?
  • The parliament vs Dijsselbloem
  • March 22, 2017
  • The Brexit Timetable
  • On what can go wrong in the Article 50 process
  • March 13, 2017
  • Poland and the future of the EU
  • Polls show 40% support for Costa's Socialists
  • Council of Europe questions Spanish constitutional court reform
  • March 05, 2017
  • Poland vs Tusk
  • Juppé - a recovered candidate?
  • Will Italy leave the euro?
  • February 27, 2017
  • May’s next gamble
  • Macron and the rise of the centre
  • Bite the bullet and get on with it
  • Who is the AfD?
  • February 20, 2017
  • SPD ahead of CDU/CSU
  • Fillon bounces back
  • The Brexit timetable
  • February 16, 2017
  • No, the US is not going soft on Nato
  • Why austerity is the real scandal of our time
  • Has Kenny just announced Ireland's de-facto EU exit?
  • February 13, 2017
  • What decides the French elections: cult or programme?
  • Sense and nonsense on globalisation
  • Towards the next European crisis
  • February 10, 2017
  • Brexit realism
  • How not to attack the populists
  • On German hegemony
  • 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
  • February 08, 2017
  • Fillon faces new allegations
  • Does Martin Schulz really have a chance?
  • Spain's not-so-green taxes
  • Building the Catalan tax database - legally?
  • Reports of the death of Russia’s economy were exaggerated