Shaun Riordan | The elections to the European Parliament in the UK were always something of a farce. Because of the inability of the British political class to decide what kind of Brexit it wanted, if indeed it wanted Brexit at all, British voters were forced to elect members to the parliament of a Union which, in theory at least, they will leave in five months. But they were also something of an anti-climax.
Articles by Shaun Riordan
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Shaun Riordan | The US has once before tried to use trade restrictions to force an Asian power to abandon its strategy. It did not end well.
European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici confirmed on Wednesday that the European Commission will recommend that Spain exit the Excessive Deficit Mechanism in June. He did not specify exactly when the recommendation will be published, but indicated that it will be included in the Commission´s Spring Package, due to be published early next month. Technically the decision must be ratified by the member states of the Union, but this is seen as a formality.
Shaun Riordan | If Spain wants to take advantage of the opportunities it must develop real foreign and European policies. It is a shame that none of this was discussed in the election campaign.
Shaun Riordan | British (and foreign journalism in general) would do better to forget the obsession with their civil war narratives and focus on the economic, social and political issues confronting modern Spain. Explaining Spain´s electoral results in terms of the Civil War is no more relevant than explaining the Brexit vote in terms of the Battle of Britain, and just as misleading.
Shaun Riordan | The other oddity of the debate was the almost complete absence of policy. Many commentators have already noted the absence of economic policy from the election campaign. Last night there was no mention of health or the key issue of further reform of the labour market.
Shaun Riordan | Unless the polls are dramatically wrong, Pedro Sanchez´ socialist party (PSOE) will be by far the largest party after the Spanish general election on 28 April. Given that, there are three key questions for foreign observers: will the right wing bloc of the Partido Popular (PP), Ciudadanos and Vox secure an absolute majority of seats in the parliament? Will the combined vote of PSOE, the left wing Podemos and the Basque nationalists be sufficient to form a government without the support, active or passive, of the Catalan nationalists? How well will the far-right Vox do?
Shaun Riordan | This week is billed as, yet another, crucial week in the Brexit process. Prime Minister May will yet again bring her withdrawal deal back to parliament. Little has changed since she last presented it, and it looks like being rejected again.
Shaun Riordan | Banks and other financial institutions are all too aware of the cybersecurity threat. They have lost millions in theft and fraud over the years. In response they have spent millions on technical measures to protect themselves, both perimeter and in depth defences. Such measures are necessary, but not sufficient.
Shaun Riordan | President Trump is in trouble. He lost control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections. But Trump is not like most US Presidents. Moreover, he knows that moderating his position will lose his base and consequently the 2020 election.This is all bad news for Europe. Germany’s economy is already teetering on the edge of recession. Tariffs on car exports to the US (not to mention a no deal Brexit) would push it over the edge, dragging the rest of Europe down with it.