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Berlin election results and what they mean

Berlin election results and what they mean

The – formerly – most exciting city in the world has voted, bear me out in telling you how it matters for Germany, Europe and the rest of the world. As can easily be perused on the left, the Social-Democrats (SPD) won with a less than astounding 28.3%, followed by the Conservatives (CDU) at 23.4%, […]

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European Growth

The IMF has put forward a new paper on new International Evidence on Expansionary Austerity (which Krugman as well as Herdentrieb linked to). From the abstract: This paper investigates the short-term effects of fiscal consolidation on economic activity in OECD economies. We examine the historical record, including Budget Speeches and IMF documents, to identify changes […]

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The Merkel Algorithm

Daniel Drezner seems dumbfounded by the German government’s actions on both the eurozone bailout and nuclear energy and proposes a Merkel Algorithm as the explanation: 1)  A problem festers; 2)  Dither and do nothing; 3)  Public opinion polls drop; 4)  Let things fester some more; 5)  Lose an election somewhere; 6)  Announce new policy that […]

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Ever deeper Union?

European leaders seem to ardent letter writers, after Sarkozy’s and Berlusconi’s co-missive to EU Commission President Barroso, the latter has now replied. In the case of the Franco-Italian letter dealing with a – supposed – immigration crisis caused by more than 20,000 recent arrivals from Tunisia, most observers focused on the proposal of a temporary […]

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Germany post Baden-Wurttemberg

Elections in two German states (Länder) led to one historic result while confirming the national government’s unpopularity and its perceived mishandling of a number of (inter)national and local issues. A historically unprecedented development is the emergence of the Greens as a third major party which will lead a coalition on eye level – there is […]

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Germany in the days of Fukushima and Gaddhafi

It’s Saturday morning Central European time and the world has changed significantly in the last week. Fukushima has confirmed the worst suspicions of the possibilities of a nuclear meltdown which industry and political experts had been denouncing as outrageously wild for decades. Meanwhile a French proposition to enact – and enforce – a no-fly zone […]

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Europe and the Debate in Germany

In a telling leading editorial, the Zeit, Germany’s biggest and most important weekly newspaper, praises Merkel for making Europe more German. After the others had only wanted our money up to now, now the idea were to create a European economic government, give up decision-making powers to Europe and in return force everyone else to […]

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Immigration

Indirectly we’ve talked about immigration repeatedly on this blog. I commented on the right-wing, anti-Islam reaction in a number of European states, it again played a role in my post on Tunisia and the tepid lack of European support for its democratization. Finally, as my co-blogger pointed out the other day: the overall immigration population […]

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Tunisia and Europe

As my fruit salesman on the market at Barbès (an Arabic neighbourhood in the North of Paris) proclaimed with a wide smile this morning pointing to the Tunisian flag his stand boasted ‘C’est la revolution! On voit la vie en rose maintenant.’ (It’s a revolution! We see life through rose-colored glasses now.) Evidently this Jasmine […]

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The European Person of the Year

There is a number of terribly unexciting and obvious, or maybe rather dubious candidates for a European Person of the Year award of course. Thus Benedict XVI slackened his church’s stance on the sinfulness of condoms, yet he was forced to deal with (or at times: ignore) constantly recurring pedophilia revelations in Ireland as well […]

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Germany in Europe Reconsidered

Hat-tip to Frédéric LeMaître for reminding me of this: Maybe the biggest opponent of the apocalyptic, Thomas Mann-induced vision of a German Europe that Alphaville has been fearing and which I invoked in a recent post, might actually be Germany itself. Ulrike Guérot from ECFR has put forward an argument recently that Germany were in […]

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From a European Germany to a German Europe?

Arguably the most fascinating exercise one can indulge in ever since the early days of the eurozone crisis is to compare the coverage of said crisis in the German media discourse with that everywhere else in Europe. Within Germany, the focus lies on the hard-working, financially frugal Germans who fail to understand why they should […]

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Crises Forcing Europe Together

This is nothing new per se of course, it has been argued before that European integration proceeds only when faced with an important obstacle. In that sense once again the financial crises have led to a number of heretofore unimaginable cooperative steps of governments giving up national sovereignty. The French President Sarkozy has proposed an […]

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Politics of the Street

Europe in the past has seen its fair share of successful (and unsuccessful) mass movements descending in the street and clamoring for justice of course. The 1968-69 demonstrations spectacularly failed (Prague) or led to ambiguous changes in the social life styles of society difficult to measure (Germany, France). The 1989 mobilizations were an unequivocal success […]

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A spectre is haunting Europe

A spectre is haunting Europe once again, yet unlike during the 1840s it is not Communism but instead the continent-wide popular appeal of modern far right, xenophobic politicians and beliefs which menace the traditional parties’ grip on power. While the specific situations in European countries differ widely, common trends and forces are clearly discernible.Let us […]

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About the Author

Benjamin Preisler
Benjamin Preisler

is a trilingual (German, English & French) political analyst currently residing in Tunis, Tunisia who has a basic notion of Arabic.

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