Search Results for Nick Ottens

President Macron

Macron Is Lesser of Evils for Mélenchon Voters

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | Supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon who are thinking of sitting out the second round of the French presidential election ought to take a lesson from Bernie Sanders’ supporters in the United States. When they abstained from the 2016 presidential election, or voted for Green party candidate Jill Stein, they made it possible for Donald Trump to win. Just 1.5 out of 136 million Americans voted for…

rusia energia

Why Europe Didn’t Reduce Its Dependence on Russian Gas

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | Western Europe refused to see the risks. Eastern Europe refused to invest in renewables. Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States have imposed unprecedented economic sanctions on Russia since it invaded Ukraine, banning Russian airlines and state media, cutting off Russian banks from the SWIFT financial system and freezing the assets of Russian oligarchs and the Russian Central Bank. The one step European countries…

Antonio Costa Pedro Sanchez

Portuguese Far Left Throws Away Leverage

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | António Costa no longer needs them for a majority. Portugal’s far left put purity before power and lost power. Until 2015, neither the Communists nor Left Bloc had ever been in government. That year, the Socialists fell short of a majority and António Costa made a deal with the smaller parties. In return for policies like free textbooks in schools and a higher minimum wage,…

ERTES extension

“Repeal” of Spanish Labor Reforms Is Limited

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | Spanish employers and trade unions have done a deal with Pedro Sánchez’ socialist government to overturn several labor reforms of his conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy. I argued against repeal. Rajoy’s liberalizations helped bring down unemployment, from a peak of 26 percent to 14 percent before the pandemic, and encouraged business growth. They allowed companies to opt out of collective bargaining agreements and expanded trial periods….

President Macron

French Republicans Do Macron A Favor

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | French Republicans have thrown away their two best chances of denying Emmanuel Macron a second term. Party members eliminated Michel Barnier and Xavier Bertrand from the center-right’s presidential primary on Thursday, giving the men 24 and 22 percent support, respectively. The more right-wing Éric Ciotti and Valérie Pécresse qualified for the runoff on Saturday. Neither polls well against the president. Besting Macron Bertrand, the conservative…

Mark Rutte

Dutch Get Preview Of Next Government’s Policies

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | A deal between two of the four parties negotiating to form a government in the Netherlands has leaked. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal VVD (of which I am a member) and the Christian democratic CDA wrote the outlines of a coalition agreement for review by the social-liberal D66 and the smaller Christian Union. Christian Union leader Gert-Jan Segers forgot a copy of the document on…

unemployment Spain

Repeal of Spanish Labor Reform Is Unwise

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | Spain’s ruling left-wing parties have agreed to reverse the labor market liberalizations of the previous conservative government, which made it easier for firms to hire and fire workers. The decision is hard to justify even by the standards set by proponents of repeal. The reforms did not create more precarious jobs, they did not cause higher structural unemployment and they barely made a dent in…

energy sector

Europe’s High Energy Prices, Explained

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | The continent faces a perfect storm involving accidents, depleted reserves and decreased Russian supply. Electricity prices are hitting records across Europe. In Portugal and Spain, wholesale energy prices have tripled from half a year ago to €178 per megawatt-hour. Italy is not far behind at €176. Dutch households without a fixed-price contract could end up paying €500 more this year. In the UK, prices peaked…


German Election Guide

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | Germans elect a new Bundestag on Sunday, which will elect Angela Merkel’s successor. It is the first time since 1983 that a sitting chancellor isn’t seeking reelection. If the polls are right, Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats will lose power to the center-left Social Democrats for the first time since 2005. Here is everything you need to know. Bottom lines The Social Democrats (SPD) are projected…

Merkel Laschet

Laschet Is Dragging Germany’s Christian Democrats Down

Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | It’s too soon to tell you I told you so. The German election is still a month away. But it is starting to look like the ruling Christian Democrats made a mistake nominating Armin Laschet, the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, for the chancellorship. Laschet would succeed Angela Merkel, who is not seeking a fifth term after sixteen years in power. I argued in December…