ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolis | The May 25 result should have been a watershed moment, prompting Greece’s decision makers to seriously contemplate the mistakes that have fed the extremist monster: implementing drastic austerity while ignoring the social safety net, engaging in relentless artificial political polarisation, ignoring education, treating immigration with malevolent neglect, undermining institutions, snubbing justice and, when all else failed, attempting to cosy up to Golden Dawn and adopt some of its agenda.
MADRID | The Corner | After their sweeping defeat at the European polls, both Spanish ruling conservative Popular Party and the Socialists have switched to a crisis management mood. The first prominent victim was Socialists’ leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, who announced his resignation on Monday. The party will choose new leaders at an extraordinary meeting on July 19 and 20.
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | The rise of nationalist political parties in the new EU Parliament “could tighten the euro, but only transitorily”, according to analysts at Bankinter, but the reality is that “from a practical point of view everything will remain the same,” experts at Link Securities say.
The Corner Analysis | In the grim day in which the French National Front victory broke the expectations of a more united and strong Europe, Spaniards broke the bipartisan establishment for the first time in 35 years. Podemos, born from the Indignados (outraged) movement, was the biggest surprise in the political arena. Voters weary of austerity measures and corruption also punished the political establishment in Greece. Eurosceptics and xenophobe movements dangerously gained strenght in Denmark, Austria, Finland and the UK.
MADRID | The Corner | It’s not just another campaign carried out from and for the states or Brussels, but the first time the long-aspired EU political union will be really tested. The EP2014, world’s second biggest polls (India comes first) with +400 potential voters are taking place after the implementation for the first time of the Lisbon Treaty prerogatives. The effects of austerity measures and budget cuts are expected to have a great impact, and abstention may be the main winner, especially among the youngest, disappointed generation. Stay tuned!
MADRID | By J.P. Marín Arrese | The Spanish centre-right leading candidate for the European Parliament has been the center of a sexist row for the last week. And his biggest mistake might be that he only acknowledged the devastating blunder his last remark meant (he said he was worried about ‘cornering a defenseless woman’ in the debate against his socialist rival Elena Valenciano) when socialist MEPs denounced his attitude as utterly inappropriate. His apologies come too late. Mr Arias Cañete is bound to suffer widespread criticism during the hearing process for appointing the next Commission.
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | In 2007, 70 percent of Spanish citizens had a favorable opinion on the EU. After seven years of recession, banking collapses and sovereign debt crisis, support is now at just 50%, two points below the United Kingdom’s. This is not the only area where Euro-skepticism has taken hold in the Spanish public opinion. Only 38 percent of Spaniards believe now that “the [European] economic integration has strengthened the economy.” In Britain, the proportion is 41 percent.
MADRID | By Fernando Barciela | As the election day approaches, we bring you a series of special interviews focused on economic perspectives for the EU citizens and companies. Today we focus on the telecom sector, which is experiencing a deep transformation in the continent. Former chairman of Spanish Telefonica Luis Solana, currently responsible for the company’s entrepreneurship activities, comments on the main challenges ahead, as well as the need of surveillancance over the EU banking and energy sectors, and the inevitable downsizing of the welfare state in the region. Nonetheless, he was a socialist elected MP in Spain for five years during the transition period.
MADRID | By Álex García.
MADRID | J.P. Marín Arrese | The EU seems an endless discussion on futile issues taking place in Brussels. We are all too aware that real decision-making lies in Berlin.