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December 18, 2017

SPD regional party preemptively rejects grand coalition

It may not mean all that much that the SPD organisation in state of Thuringia has already, and preemptively, rejected the grand coalition. The talks haven't even started, there is no deal on the table and, who knows, Martin Schulz may pull off a few surprises in the upcoming talks.

But, as of now, we sense no support for a grand coalition and no shift in the overwhelmingly negative views of SPD members. Two senior SPD leaders spoke at the regional party congress: the deputy leader Thorsten Schä­fer-Güm­bel and Carsten Schneider, who represent the left and right wings of the party respectively, and who both support the official policy of seeking talks with the CDU/CSU.

One of the people who are pressing hard for a new grand coalition is Sigmar Gabriel, who hopes to secure the job of finance minister in such a construction. He writes in Der Spiegel that it does not matter for the survival of the SPD whether it is in government or not. This is a statement many SPD members, including Schulz, do not agree with. Gabriel is urging the party to shift to the right by embracing a nationalist concept - the notion of the innate superiority of German culture ("Leitkultur"), a notion once championed but later dropped by the CDU, and bitterly opposed by all the other parties in the Bundestag. 

It is astonishing to see the extremes people go to in order to keep their ministerial limousines.

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December 18, 2017

Future of eurozone to be decided by March - we can hardly wait

It was a nice symbolic moment when Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron appeared in their first joint press conference after a European Council. They said they hope to reach agreement on eurozone reform by end-March. 

Wolfgang Munchau notes that there have been four substantive proposals on EU reform this year - by Macron, the German finance ministry, the European Commission, and Martin Schulz. Those of the Commission and Schulz are compatible with each other, but are rejected by a large majority of member states. The key element of the German finance ministry's proposal - the semi-automatic bail-in - is being rejected by France. In return, Germany will reject any notion of fiscal transfers or eurobonds. So we live in perfect gridlock on this issue. There is still room for formulaic compromises and Munchau expects that there will be some minimalist agreement, but none of that addresses any of the issues that need to be addressed - such as the separation of banks and their sovereigns, macroeconomic imbalances, or high youth unemployment. Munchau says that, on the development of banking union, Germany has not shifted policy. The policy has always been that a European deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) will only be acceptable after the banking system is cleaned of all its legacy debt. It makes no difference whether you say EDIS is acceptable after the conditions are met, or unacceptable until they are met. A solemn commitment to complete the banking union is thus meaningless. As we saw in Italy, the inter-dependence of the banks and the state has, if anything, increased since the start of the banking union. German officials are telling us that they see the banking union moving in the wrong direction. You can do the math on the third stage.

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  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 06, 2020
  • Did Covid-19 escape from a Wuhan lab?
  • What to make of Angela Merkel's U-turn
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • 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 06, 2020
  • The feedback loop of Covid-19 and inequalities - part 10 of our series
  • How confinement affects mental health
  • April 09, 2019
  • What can go wrong now?
  • 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
  • January 06, 2020
  • A decade that started with a bang
  • What to expect of Spain's next government
  • Divide et impera: Macron's pension reform strategy
  • January 29, 2019
  • What comes after plan B fails? Plan C, of course. C for cliff-edge
  • Gilets jaunes, how to structure a movement in free flow?
  • European Court of Auditors criticises Juncker’s investment fund
  • 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
  • August 17, 2020
  • How Putin could divide the EU over Belarus
  • The impossible mission of forming a federal government in Belgium
  • September 23, 2019
  • Corbyn’s last big battle
  • Germany’s CO2 compromise meets all targets - except the climate targets
  • November 13, 2018
  • Peak Salvini?
  • Protest uberisation
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • February 28, 2017
  • Is Hamon losing the right wing of his party?
  • Something we just don’t understand
  • 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
  • March 23, 2020
  • Orbán seeks to extend his powers
  • UK as the double counterfactual
  • June 10, 2019
  • How to create Brexit facts
  • The new Alde is already in trouble
  • 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 01, 2017
  • Do Republicans have a plan B if Fillon falls?
  • Unforgiven
  • 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 14, 2020
  • Why the far-right might win in the end
  • October 27, 2019
  • German political centre is melting
  • Train drivers in all-out confrontation with Macron
  • Erdogan makes threats again
  • February 11, 2019
  • SPD dumps Hartz IV
  • Macron's revival
  • May 31, 2018
  • Hans Werner Sinn demands German euro exit
  • The politics of the SPD’s links to Russia
  • 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 20, 2020
  • What will happen on January 1
  • December 09, 2019
  • The next three days
  • May 01, 2019
  • Labour votes against obligatory second referendum
  • On the link between output gap measures and the rise of political extremism
  • Berlin's inconclusive Kosovo conference
  • September 21, 2018
  • SPD ministers want to continue grand coalition
  • February 12, 2018
  • What the euro debate is really about
  • How Brexit can still falter
  • July 05, 2017
  • Europe’s next migration crisis
  • Philippe: French need to kick spending addiction
  • 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
  • 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 08, 2020
  • Is Greece ready for virus spread in migrant camps?
  • On the future of the EU - the final part 12 of our series
  • October 07, 2019
  • What did Conte know?
  • April 08, 2019
  • Welcome to the new Brexit grand coalition
  • Waiting for Macron's next move
  • October 08, 2018
  • A renewed willingness on both sides to cut a Brexit deal
  • Latvian politics in turmoil after huge populist gains
  • April 09, 2018
  • Orbán gets his supermajority
  • Riding the wave of resistance
  • The EU’s self-defeating strategy
  • October 09, 2017
  • UK is starting to prepare for a no-deal Brexit
  • Why Germany will resist meaningful eurozone reform
  • April 13, 2017
  • Did Russia influence the Brexit vote?
  • All good between Germany and the US now?
  • October 18, 2016
  • The self-destruction of Francois Hollande
  • Brexit psychotherapy
  • At least three candidates for the PvdA leadership
  • The unbelievable hypocrisy of Mario Monti
  • 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 22, 2020
  • Why we don’t think this deal is historic
  • March 10, 2020
  • Virus math
  • October 29, 2019
  • People's Vote descends into Civil War
  • CDU at odds on dealing with extreme parties
  • June 19, 2019
  • What the US-Iran standoff tells us about the EU
  • Is Germany withholding information on right-wing extremism?
  • February 08, 2019
  • Macron turns stand-off with Italy into a game changer
  • Is there a strategic intent behind Macron's decision?
  • 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
  • May 25, 2018
  • Rejected by US, Germany is turning towards China...
  • ...and France is turning to Russia
  • UK ties Galileo to security partnership
  • Germans are discovering miniBoTs
  • January 17, 2018
  • Labour smashes No Brexit dreams
  • A new political bargain in Portugal?
  • September 13, 2017
  • Why the Turkey negotiations will continue
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • 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 25, 2016
  • The costs of Brexit
  • Redefining corruption
  • Greek government shocked, shocked...
  • The costs of Brexit
  • Redefining corruption
  • Greek government shocked, shocked...
  • 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 17, 2020
  • How Putin could divide the EU over Belarus
  • The impossible mission of forming a federal government in Belgium
  • June 29, 2020
  • Édouard Philippe - mayor or prime minister?
  • Sir Humphrey, R.I.P.
  • May 18, 2020
  • Why this won't be a symmetric shock
  • Towards a new cold war
  • April 06, 2020
  • The feedback loop of Covid-19 and inequalities - part 10 of our series
  • How confinement affects mental health
  • February 25, 2020
  • Why no-deal is a real possibility
  • January 17, 2020
  • The world has discovered how to blackmail Germany
  • Fideszit?
  • December 11, 2019
  • Philippe to present pension reform bid
  • The N-VA is back in the game for a Belgian government
  • November 05, 2019
  • Grassroot movements and a new era of instability
  • September 30, 2019
  • A pyrrhic victory for Kurz
  • Will there really be UK elections?
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • July 22, 2019
  • Will Johnson go for elections?
  • How will von der Leyen handle the east?
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • May 13, 2019
  • Brexit Party has already changed UK politics
  • Orbán visits Trump, after a very long wait
  • Le Pen's appeal to the PiS likely to fall on deaf ears
  • April 11, 2019
  • Thoughts on how the European elections in the UK could affect UK and European politics
  • Far right to enter Estonia's government
  • March 12, 2019
  • US threatens withdrawal of security co-operation with Germany
  • AKK goes for politics, not policy
  • February 11, 2019
  • SPD dumps Hartz IV
  • Macron's revival
  • January 14, 2019
  • Our Brexit predictions
  • 1789 - Macron's version
  • Tsipras calls confidence vote after Kammenos pulls out
  • December 17, 2018
  • A second referendum is no closer today than last Friday
  • Philippe expects 3.2% deficit next year
  • November 19, 2018
  • May’s pushback is kicking in
  • October 25, 2018
  • The Greens as the emerging new political force in Germany
  • Will EU elections turn into an unholy mess?
  • October 02, 2018
  • Whatever it takes - diesel version
  • Is Macron's European discourse too simplistic?
  • September 10, 2018
  • Steadfast Juppé stays true to embattled Macron
  • Sweden’s Democrats and Germany’s AfD: they don’t win elections, but they set the political agenda
  • Is Boris going to challenge Theresa May?
  • 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 30, 2018
  • Brexit midsummer madness
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 21, 2018
  • Merkel’s next crisis
  • Anel's troubles with Northern Macedonia
  • Grand Old Duke of York marches down the hill again
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • May 18, 2018
  • Ciudadanos pressures Rajoy on Catalonia
  • The EU's bluff on Iran sanctions
  • What the Brexit deal will look like
  • May 02, 2018
  • Galileo row escalates
  • May Day in Paris - violence and dissonance
  • A homeopathic eurozone budget
  • April 17, 2018
  • CDU's executive committees reaffirms eurosceptic position
  • Macron in Strasburg
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • March 20, 2018
  • The declining interest in macroeconomics
  • March 09, 2018
  • The Franco-German axis and its opponents
  • Auf Wiedersehen, Sigmar Gabriel!
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • February 15, 2018
  • How will the EU finance itself after Brexit?
  • On the customs union
  • February 06, 2018
  • Ciudadanos rising
  • Meet the rising star of Dutch populism
  • What to watch out for in British politics
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • January 22, 2018
  • Carles Puigdemont's flying circus
  • Macedonia and the insurrection of Greek patriotism
  • On the real hurdles for Brexit revocation
  • And the satellites, too
  • January 15, 2018
  • Is the section on Europe for real?
  • Can Drahos upset Zeman?
  • January 09, 2018
  • Where SPD and CDU/CSU differ on Europe
  • Weak and stable
  • The first rule of no-deal Brexit is you don't talk about no-deal Brexit
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears
  • December 19, 2017
  • German pre-coalition talks to conclude mid-January
  • Shall we talk about Brexit?
  • December 18, 2017
  • SPD regional party preemptively rejects grand coalition
  • Future of eurozone to be decided by March - we can hardly wait