abril 28, 2011
abril 18, 2011
The cosy consensus of Finnish parliamentary politics was shattered yesterday, when the True Finns, a populist Eurosceptic party, emerged from near-obscurity to take third place in a closely run general election. The result will be carefully noted by European leaders as efforts continue to restore confidence in the euro.
The leader of the True Finns, Timo Soini (pictured), has pledged to veto future aid packages for struggling euro-zone countries, such as Portugal. (In an unfortunate irony of timing, Portugal's bail-out talks with European and IMF officials began earlier today.) But although the election catapulted the True Finns from just five seats to 39 in the 200-member parliament, their participation in the next government remains uncertain.
The National Coalition Party (NCP), a pro-EU member of the outgoing coalition, lost six seats but still emerged as the largest party. It will now lead negotiations on the composition of the new government. These talks will be fraught with difficulty. “Coalition talks are always a bit complicated in Finland, and this time it will be more difficult than usual,” says Pasi Saukkonen, a political scientist at Helsinki University.
Mari Kiviniemi, the prime minister, said her Centre Party would return to opposition after it lost 16 seats. This means that the NCP will likely seek to form a government with the opposition Social Democrats (SDP), which came second, with 42 seats. The pair would need to recruit at least one other party to gain it a majority. (Minority governments, although common in other Nordic countries, are frowned on in Finland and would only be considered as a last resort.) [...]
Ver artigo no The Economist
abril 15, 2011
abril 11, 2011
How did the post of European president get to be created? And how did someone completely unknown to most Europeans end up in it?
This is the story revealed in a new TV documentary, 'The President', a film by Danish director Christoffer Guldbrandsen.
Guldbrandsen and his crew travelled the continent for almost two years to gather material for the film.
They interviewed dozens of the key figures of the time, including former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, French president Giscard d'Estaing, German foreign minister Joschka Fischer and president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, as well as a number of civil servants.
The hour-long film presents the struggle by Europe's top politicians to get a president elected. The story begins in Copenhagen where the EU's 'big bang' enlargement towards the east was agreed in 2002.
Ten new member states were taken onboard as a result. This created a need for more efficient decision-making structures including a president of the European Council to represent the EU abroad and build consensus among big-egoed national leaders.
Using footage from the time, the documentary takes the viewer through the drafting of the European Constitution, a document that was killed off by French and Dutch voters but later resurrected as the Lisbon Treaty.
Ver notícia no EUObserver