News from the Capitals #10
Europe is a colourful continent in terms of policies and outcomes. It is essential to stay updated on how these policies may impact your work to build better regulatory frameworks, enhance your message and enhance communication with stakeholders. Here you can find a summary of the major European political updates of this week.
This week the CDU/CSU Union is the current focus in German politics. Following the historical defeat in the federal elections, the Union has been under heavy criticism and calls have been made by party members for a reorganisation of the entire party. With this, many have called for the resignation of Laschet, the party’s current chancellor candidate. He has not entirely contested this, but instead has stated that he wants to retain party leadership until at least the party conference (which usually takes place in January).
The coalition negotiations are also continuing, with speculations being made that a traffic light coalition is starting to take on form. The healthcare sector, specifically the nursing sector, has also made a series of demands directed towards this coalition if it does succeed. This all happened in the context of the ‘Deutscher Pflegetag’- Germany’s day of Nursing – they have demanded pioneering spirit and creativity when reforming the nursing sector, higher wages for nurses and higher budgets for hospitals.
As of 15 October, COVID-19 health passes - or "green passes" - have become compulsory for all Italian workers. The rule was approved by Prime Minister Mario Draghi's cabinet in mid-September, forcing all workers to show either proof of vaccination, a negative test within the previous 48 hours, or recent recovery from infection. Anyone who does not hold the certification at work will be considered “unjustifiably absent” and will not be paid for that day of work. The mandate is one of the harshest in the world and aims to boost vaccination rates among adults of working age. Yet, data shows that the country’s attempt to increase vaccination rates is not having the desired effect. In the week of 8 October, around 410,000 people received a first shot, resulting in a fall of 36% from the week before and the lowest weekly tally since early July.
Italy's government was also under growing pressure last Monday to dissolve the Forza Nuova neo-fascist group involved in violent weekend protests against the government’s decision to make the COVID-19 "Green Pass" mandatory for all workers. Twelve people, including Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore, were arrested and 38 police officers were injured in clashes on Saturday night, when thousands of protesters took to the streets of Rome. One group also broke into the headquarters of the CGIL trade union. It was later revealed that the government had pledged to discuss the dissolution of Forza Nuova.
The 40th Congress of the governing party, the Socialist Party, it´s about to take place. This congress is of great importance as it is considered a milestone for the party in which to reflect cohesion and support for Sánchez's project. The socialist party is going through a moment of crisis due to the loss of popularity and the lack of consensus in the party itself to support the current leader. Moreover, this crisis was aggravated by the government reshuffle that took place in July in which most of the government ministers were replaced.
The government has presented the budgets foreseen for 2022. Pedro Sánchez's government has designed expansionary public accounts to get the electoral cycle back on track (based on a forecast of 7% of economic growth). Although he has not yet secured the support of all his government partners to get them through, the president is confident in approving the accounts that must serve to get the legislature back to stability.