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

March 05, 2017

Poland vs Tusk

The FT speaks about a complication, and it may ultimately turn out to be just that, but the stand-off between Poland and the European Council will have serious political implications and it may set new precedents, no matter how it ends. The issue will come up at this Thursday’s European Council. 

As the FT had reported before, the Polish government has now put up another candidate against Mr Tusk, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, MEP, a member of Mr Tusk’s own Civic Platform party, which expelled him immediately after his candidacy was announced. Tusk has broad support for his renomination for a second and final term as president of the European Council - for another two and a half years. The vote is by qualified majority, and it is possible, in theory, for Mr Tusk to be voted back in against the wishes of his own government. That, however, would break one of the unspoken rules of the European Council, which is not to elected a candidate against the expressed wishes of its own national government. A reelection of Mr Tusk would put the relationship between the EU and Poland onto a new low, from which it may not recover. 

The FT quotes Poland's foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, as saying that 

“I cannot imagine supporting a candidate who fights against his own government. I also cannot imagine that the other EU member states would support a candidate who doesn’t have the support of his own government.”

The history behind this impasse is old. It was Tusk who ousted Jaraslow Kaczynski, the leader of the governing Law and Justice party, as prime minister in 2007. And Kaczynski sees Tusk as complicit in what he says was a conspiracy to kill his brother, Lech, in a plane crash in 2010.

Der Spiegel recalls that Tusk has tried hard to avoid any confrontation with the Polish government during his time in office. But he did criticise the government when it cracked on the rights of the parliament last year, demanding respect for constitutional principles and values, which triggered a protest by Kaczynski who accused Tusk of a breach of neutrality.

Kaczynski’s candidate is a well known Polish politician, Poland’s first government representative at the EU in 1991, an MP since 2004, and an EP vice president until 2007.

Show Comments Write a Comment

March 05, 2017

Juppé - a recovered candidate?

Alain Juppé could come first if he were to run instead of François Fillon. This is what the latest poll suggests: Juppé  could get 26.5% ahead of Emmanuel Macron (25%) and Marine Le Pen (24%). If Fillon continues, he would come in only third with just 19%, after Macron (27%) and Le Pen (25.5%). By the way, this is the first time that Macron comes in leading the polls.

This poll will give some amunition to those who want Fillon to quit, six weeks ahead of the first round. Fillon keeps himself defiant, saying in a TV interview that no one can stop him from running. He told his supporters in Paris that France needs a radical shift in governance. He warns that without him the situation would be much worse for the party. To those who accuse him of improving Marine Le Pen's chances he replied that those risks would be even higher with Juppé. Not sure he read the polls. 

Show Comments Write a Comment

March 05, 2017

Will Italy leave the euro?

Miguel Otero-Iglesias has a good comment on Italy’s problems with the euro, and whether Italexit will happen. He starts of by noting that the social contract has broken down. Whereas Silvio Berlusconi and his gang were seen as corrupt, they at least would let ordinary people dodge taxes here and there, he writes. This changed with the advent of fiscal austerity, and the limitation of cash payments to €1000. For a long time, the average Italian supported the EU constraints as necessary to rein in the Italian elites. But they no longer do so because they regard the EU as constraining them instead. This explains the rise of populists, like the Five Star Movement, and of right-wing separatist parties. And, similarly to what happened to Greece, there are now people on the right and left who, for different reasons, support withdrawal from the euro. 

Otero-Iglesias puts forward three arguments of why he thinks a euro withdrawal is unlikely. The first is institutional hurdles. The Italian constitution would need to be changed first, and then a referendum would have to be held and won. Secondly, Italy’s net international investment position is much better than Spain’s. In case of re-denomination, the net savings of Italy’s private sector would lose value. And third, Italians may not like the euro, but their distrust of the domestic authorities is even greater.

We note the strong hurdles against euro exit, but such hurdles cannot ultimately make something that is unsustainable sustainable. If a currency regime does not work and produces low growth and high unemployment for long periods, economic history has taught us that it will ultimately go. The goal for Italy is to make it sustainable, not to erect hurdles against leaving. Also note that long and persistent economic underperformance will ultimately affect the wealth of the country, so that this argument weakens over time. Otero-Iglesias’ three reasons, however, tell us not expect Italexit to happen soon. But also note that they are not arguments about Italexit as such, but about Italexit now.

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • January 15, 2018
  • Is the section on Europe for real?
  • Can Drahos upset Zeman?
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears
  • November 28, 2017
  • On the Northern Ireland question
  • Kammenos off the hook, for now
  • November 06, 2017
  • Pressures on EU rise over Catalonia
  • German pre-coalition talks hit glitch
  • If you thought UK politics couldn‘t get worse...
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • September 26, 2017
  • Brexit is a binary choice between EEA or third-country status
  • September 08, 2017
  • SPD keeps sliding
  • Macron in Athens: symbolism over substance
  • The main Brexit battle lines run through the Tory party
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 26, 2017
  • Has Schulz blown it?
  • Housing benefits cuts expose Macron's weakness
  • July 11, 2017
  • The political fallout of the G20 in Germany
  • June 26, 2017
  • Brexit - the central case and the tail-risk
  • The German fear of Macron
  • June 12, 2017
  • Not strong perhaps, but stable
  • Catalan independence, a mental state
  • May 30, 2017
  • Beer tent politics - Merkel edition
  • Brexit arrives in UK elections
  • Rajoy clears budget hurdle
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • May 02, 2017
  • An accident waiting to happen
  • Matteo Renzi wins PD primaries
  • So much for the Schulz effect
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • April 11, 2017
  • What to expect, and not expect from Schulz
  • The view from Berlin
  • The view from Moscow
  • April 03, 2017
  • On the meaning of the Navalny protests
  • On the surreal nature of Italy’s political debate
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • March 22, 2017
  • The Brexit Timetable
  • On what can go wrong in the Article 50 process
  • March 17, 2017
  • Le Pen fishes for Sarkozy voters
  • Catalonia is nothing like Scotland... Oh, wait!
  • Sinn’s Europe
  • 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 09, 2017
  • Forget Russian hacking. Berlin fears the CIA
  • Is the multi-speed Europe hot air?
  • March 07, 2017
  • Dinner in Versailles
  • The shape of Brexit financial migration
  • March 05, 2017
  • Poland vs Tusk
  • Juppé - a recovered candidate?
  • Will Italy leave the euro?