News from the Capitals #9
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.
Following the government's decision to cut by half the visa delivery for Algerians and Macron's declaration to honour the memory of Harkis (Algerians who fought alongside the French army during Algeria's Independence war), a diplomatic crisis has risen between France and Algeria. Algeria called back its ambassador and decided to forbid its aerial space to the French Air Force. Emmanuel Macron has also denounced a "military-political power" in Algeria which "voluntarily maintain hatred against France". The French decisions appear as electoral measures aiming to reduce the far-right vote intentions since Marine Le Pen (far-right candidate) would likely be Emmanuel Macron's challenger for the presidential election's 2nd round.
German parties have now entered into coalition talks following the federal election. The Green Party and the FDP met up only 2 days after election night to start their discussions. As these parties are the kingmakers (almost guaranteed to form a coalition) it is important for them to show a strong, united front when it comes to meeting with the bigger parties (SPD and CDU). The parties have kept their topic of conversations under wraps, but the Green Party did make a statement last Friday about speed limits not being the crux of their negotiations, which potentially implies they are flexible on this front to appeal to the FDP. (Green party stated in their manifesto that they would introduce a 130 km/h speed limit on all motorways, the FDP are for removing all speed limits on motorways). It was reported on Wednesday that the SPD and the kingmakers are due to meet up today for their first talks. Whether this implies that a traffic-light coalition is more likely than a Jamaica coalition cannot yet be said.
Italy’s centre-left coalition emerged victorious in municipal elections, according to exit polls last Monday, triumphing in Milan, Naples and Bologna, where their mayoral candidates won in the first round. More than 12 million people were eligible to vote, but only 54.7% went to the polls in the major cities. Unexpectedly, the level was even lower in Milan, where the turnout was 47.69%. In Rome it was 48.83%, whereas in Turin 48.6% and in Naples 47.18%. Voting was also held in the capital Rome, where the second round will be held on Oct. 17 and 18. Two opponents – Roberto Gualtieri and Enrico Michetti - will contend for the highest seat of the city. The same will occur in Turin, where in the run-off, the centre-left candidate Stefano Lo Russo and centre-right candidate Paolo Damilano will face off. In the second largest city, Milan, incumbent mayor Beppe Sala, who has been in office for the last five years, was re-elected in the first round against the centre-right candidate, pediatrician Luca Bernardo. The same happened in Bologna, where Matteo Lepore, the representative of the Democratic Party, the largest centre-left party, won against Fabio Battistini, and in Naples where Gaetano Manfredi defeated the centre-right candidate Catello Maresca.
Pandora papers reveal that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš financed purchase via secret loans through three overseas firms. He purchased at several chateaux in France through these instruments. However, he stated that although such acting is not appropriate, he wasn’t in politics at that time. Police will now investigate the transactions as a potential tax evasion.