Monday, 28 May 2012

Kiss intra-EU trade goodbye?

There are so many scenarios floating around re the future of the Eurozone and the EU.

One thought of mine:

If the EU does indeed dis-integrate, then exporter economies, members of the EU (eg Germany and the Netherlands) can most probably kiss intra-European trade goodbye!

Yes, they can still rely on WTO based trade for intra-European trade! Right. See what is happening with the pro-free trade G20!  Pro free trade rhetoric, protectionist measures and barriers.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

European Council: Some comments


EUCO press conference: "stability and growth" (Barroso) or austerity and growth? Austerians politically alive and kicking, it seems.

Project bonds: too little, too focused (number of projects), too lifew positive externaliies?

Is the EU2020 growth strategy consistent with cuts in Spain, UK, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Greece, et al? IMO, No!

My conclusions:

Greeks & other Europeans have to suffer patiently until left of center is majority in EZ & has Pres of EUCO & Eur Commission

Greece must "honour commitments" made to a near fully conservatives' led Eurozone who still have the commanding hand.

The Austerians are still in control of the Euroland, but not for too much longer.







Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Reform this!

In the meantime, Lagarde said all Eurozone members have to implement "structural reforms".

In my opinion, the main structural reform the Eurozone (and the EU) need is: A real single market for everything (at last).

The Rajoy factor in Eurozone dynamics

Is Rajoy (Spanish PM, EPP) a Merkel or a Hollande ally? Or part of a PIGS initiative?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Eurozonology: The Eurozone is a system where ......

What was the reason of the creation of the Euro? To facilitate intra-EU trade.

The Eurozone is a system (game?) where 17 European economies try to trade with each other and mostly the Germans. the Americans and the Chinese win!

If the Euro had remained below 1.1 or 1.15 USD in 2002-2009 or even better, 2002-today what would the Eurozone real economy be like today?



Saturday, 19 May 2012

European Calendar (my selections)

European Calendar (my selections)
Updated very often


1. Future Events:

MAY
May (16)-27: Festival de Cannes (cinema), Cannes, France
May 19: 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, in Munich, Germany
May 22, 24 and 26, Eurovision Song Contest, Baku,  Azerbaijan
May 25: Bundestag ratification vote on Fiscal Compact (postponed)
May 25: Ratification vote on Fiscal Compact by the Italian Parliament (??)
May 27-June 10: French Open (tennis) aka Roland Garros, Paris, France
May 29: Meeting of General Affairs Council (GAC), Brussels, Belgium
May 29-31: EURES working party, Copenhagen, Denmark
May 30-31: Meeting of Competitiveness Council (COMPET), Brussels, Belgium
May 31: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC trade), Brussels, Belgium
May 31: Irish referendum on the Fiscal Compact "treaty", Ireland

JUNE
June 3-5: Informal meeting of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries (AGRI), Horsens, Denmark
June 6: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
June 7-8: Meeting of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE), Luxembourg
June 7-8: Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), Luxembourg
June 8-July 1: UEFA Euro 2012, Poland and Ukraine
June 10-11: Informal Meeting of Ministers and State Secretaries for European Affairs (GAC), Horsens, Denmark
June 10 and  17: Legislative elections for the 14th National Assembly, France
June 17: Greek parliamentary elections, Greece
June 11: Meeting of Environment Council (ENVI), Luxembourg
June 12: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI), Luxembourg
June 15: Potential date for Bundesrat ratification vote on Fiscal Compact, Germany (?)
June 15: Meeting of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE Energy), Luxembourg
June 18-19: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI), Luxembourg
June 18-19: G20 Summit, Los Cabos, Mexico
June 21: Governing Council and General Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt (the Governing Council meeting starts on Wednesday afternoon)
June 21: Eurogroup Meeting, Brussels, Belgium
June 21-22: Meeting of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO), Luxembourg
June 22: Meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), Luxembourg
June 25: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC),  Luxembourg
June 25 to July 8: Wimbledon (tennis), UK
June 26: Meeting of General Affairs Council (GAC), Luxembourg
June 28-29 European Council Brussels, Belgium
June 30: Presidential election, Iceland

JULY
July 1 (to December 31): Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU
July 5: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
July 6: INSEAD Global Business Leaders Conference: “The Future of European Competitiveness”, in Paris, France
July 14: French national day
July 19: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
July 27 to August 12: Summer Olympic Games, London, England, UK

AUGUST
Aug 2: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt

SEPTEMBER
Sept. 6: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
Sept. 12: Dutch elections
Sept. 20: Governing Council and General Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt (The Governing Council meeting starts on Wednesday afternoon)
tbd Legislative elections, Austria

OCTOBER
Oct. 4: Governing Council meeting of the ECB, in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Oct. 8: Presidential election, Slovenia
tbd Legislative elections, Czech Republic

NOVEMBER
tbd Legislative elections, Romania


2. Past events:

April 10-12: Political Groups' meetings, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
April 17-20: Plenary session of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France
April 18-20 Informal meeting of EU Ministers for Energy and Environment, in Horsens, Denmark
April 22 1st round of Presidential elections, France
April 22: Earth Day
April 23: Ms Viviane REDING participates in a dinner debate organised by the Transatlantic Policy Network, Brussels
April 23: Mr Antonio TAJANI participates in the conference "Co-operative contributions to the EU 2020 strategy", Brussels
April 23: Mr Günther OETTINGER delivers a speech at the "6th German-African Energy Forum 2012", in Hamburg
April 23 Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Council, in Luxembourg
April 23-24: Informal meeting of Ministers for Employment, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) - Ministers for Health, Horsens, Denmark
April 24: Mr José Manuel Durão BARROSO speaker at the Ombudsman seminar: "Europe in crisis: the challenge of winning citizens' trust" (EP, Brussels)
April 24: Meeting of General Affairs Council, Luxembourg
April 23-26: Policy Committees' meetings, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
April 24-25: Informal meeting of Ministers for Employment, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) - Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs, Horsens, Denmark
April 25: Commission meeting (College): visit of Mr Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament to the College
April 25: Mr Michel BARNIER participates in the conference on Social and Solidarity Economy in the EP (Brussels)
April 25: Mr Siim KALLAS meets the Executive Council of the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (Brussels)
April 23: Mr Antonio TAJANI in Berlin: breakfast with Mr Holger SCHWANNECKE, General Secretary of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts; lunch with Dr Dieter HUNDT, President of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations; meeting with Mr Keitel, President of the BDI – Federation of German Industry; and dinner with Dr Martin WANSLEBEN, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce
April 25: Mr Günther OETTINGER receives Lord John MOGG, the Chairman of Ofgem and of the EU  Energy Regulators
April 26-27: EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Brunei
April 26: Ms Connie HEDEGAARD participates in the EP Environment Committee meeting on Structured Dialogue (EP, Brussels)
April 26: Mr José Manuel Durão BARROSO delivers a speech at the AECA (the American European Community Association) meeting on 'EU-US Relations in the context of the recently launched EU-US High Level Group on Growth and Jobs' (Brussels)
April 26-27: Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Council , Luxembourg
April 26-27: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Luxembourg


MAY:
May 1: International Workers' Day
May 1-2: WTO General Council, Geneva, Switzerland
May 2: Presidential election (by the parliament), Hungary
May 2: Meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), Brussels, Belgium
May 3:  The 2012 London mayoral election, London, England, UK plus 127 English Local Authorities, and all Welsh and Scottish Councils.
May 3: Governing Council meeting of the ECB, in Barcelona, Spain
May 4-5: Seventh ECB Workshop on Forecasting Techniques - New directions for forecasting, Frankfurt am Main
May 5: FA Cup final, London, England, UK

May 6: 2nd round of Presidential elections, France
May 6: Parliamentary elections, Greece
May 6: Elections in the German state Schleswig-Holstein
May 6: Presidential and parliamentary elections in Serbia with state, provincial and local-level elections to be held at the same time.
May 6-7: Italy: Local elections in approx. 900 towns

May 9: Europe Day, EU
May 9-10: European Parliament Mini Plenary, Brussels, Belgium
May 9: 2012 UEFA Europa League Final in Bucharest, Romania
May 10-11: Meeting of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council, Brussels, Belgium
May 11 and 13: Euroleague 2011–12 Final Four, in Istanbul, Turkey
May 13: Elections in the German state North Rhine-Westphalia
May 14-15: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI), Brussels, Belgium
May 14: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC development), Brussels, Belgium
May 14: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), Brussels, Belgium
May 14: Eurogroup Meeting, Brussels, Belgium
May 15: Francois Hollande officially assumes the office of the President of France, France
May 15: Meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), Brussels, Belgium
May 16: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
May 16-27: Festival de Cannes (cinema), Cannes, France
May 18-19: G8 Summit, Camp David, USA

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fiscal Compact: Append and/or Amend?

IMO, what is wrong with the Fiscal Compact cannot be fixed with a growth oriented appendix that the German SPD seems to be satisfied with. 

It needs to be amended as to fix more realistic goals. France24 has just tweeted: "@France24_en [LIVE] Hollande says he will balance cutting budgets with a humane approach to growing economy #livef24". Does that mean making fiscal targets more realistic or flexible, thus achievable with humane policies or append a barbaric approach to cost cutting with a growth plan?

There's a big difference!

On verra!


Monday, 14 May 2012

Expirations

The current term of the European Parliament expires in 2014
The current (second) 2.5 years term of the President of the European Council HV Rompuy expires in November 2014
The current (second) 5 year term of the President of the European Commission JM Barroso expires on October 31, 2014.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The fundamental problem of Austerianism is ..


Merkel, Schäuble, Westerwelle, Barroso & other conservatives (Westerwelle is technically ALDE) are trying to hold the fort of Austerianism

The fundamental problem of Austerianism is that it treats the (financial) markets as wise if not as god. And politics, policy & ppl as .....

Trying to defend the Fiscal Compact & the Greek MoU, Merkel, Barroso et al are undermining the future of Political Union even more than the Euro's.

PS. If in "Europe" agreements "manent" as Merkel Westerwelle, Barroso and some others claim, then why did Denmark & Ireland have to re-do 3 EU referendums (Denmark 1, Ireland 2)?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Euroland: Lost, Fringe or FlashForward?


Lost in Euroland: Next key episodes: May 15: Hollande assumes office, May 25: Bundestag vote on Fiscal Compact has been postponed until mid June (& Italy?), May 31: Irish referendum. The Euro-saga continues!

One would think that the Hollande win last Sunday would be enough to create the conditions for putting aside the existing Fiscal Compact (agreed a few months ago but in need of ratification by at least 9 of the Euro 17) to be replaced by a compact of a quite different philosophy, less inflexible, less sclerotic, one that does to rely on the dogma that austerity is the road to growth. One that allows member governments, maybe via the Eurogroup, much more leeway in conducting economic policy.

Yet Angela Merkel insisted  last Monday that ""It is a matter of principle in Europe that following elections, be they in small or large countries" (she is obviously referring to Greece and France - yet actually Greece is the 9th in population member of the EU27, so not a small but a medium size country) "we do not renegotiate what's already been agreed". Crowning her declaration of Euro-principles with the warning: "Otherwise we could not work together in Europe". Which could beg the uncomfortable question: Who can or wants to work together with Angela Merkel in Europe (EU or Eurozone or Europlus)?

What makes the German PM so determined (some would say inflexible, even scary), in spite having just lost control over the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, to the SPD and the Greens, and after not only the break up of the Merkozy via Hollande's win and in the face of his intent to renegotiate the Compact, as well as the loud anti-austerity elections results in Greece as well as local elections in Monti's Italy?

A crucial point is whether the SPD and Greens will bow to Angela Merkel and her driving economic dogma, some say it is Ordoliberalism, some say it is Austerity hawkishness, and vote for the ratification of the Fiscal Compact. The vote in the Bundestag was supposed to take place on May 25 but press reports have indicated that the FDP-CDU/CSU.coalition has decided to postpone it at least until the middle of June (that means the original date of the Bundesrat vote, June 15, is likely to change.  Also the effects from a potential No in Ireland on May 31. It will not veto the Fiscal Pact for the rest, but it may provide even more socio-political anti-austerity impetus than today.

Maybe the fact that her popularity, which pools above CDU/CSU results, propagated by her narrative (as well as that of certain German media) regarding the causes of the Euro crisis (the PIIGS) makes her feel that she has the German public opinion of her side, 25% of the total population of the Eurozone!

After all, in spite the Hollande win, conservatives (right of center) still govern in Euro member states representing 54% of the Eurozone population (including Portugal and Spain), compared to the left of center's 28% and an 18% (Italy and Greece) that falls under a "it's complicated" status (with Monti actually acting  pretty much as a right of center PM, see the concurrent ratification vote in Italy with Germany on May 25, a sign of an emerging "Merkonti" duet to replace the loss of the Merkozy one?).

Are SPD and the Greens Ordoliberal enough to ratify the Fiscal Compact in return for merely a growth pact offset? Or is it that in spite the developments in other member states, they still do not feel that they can challenge Merkel in front of the German public opinion?  Maybe the election results in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia this Sunday, May 13, could be a turning point. Or maybe not.

The postponement of the Bundestag vote on the Fiscal Compact from May 25 for at least 3 weeks seems to indicate that something is going on. Either related to Hollande's stance or to an SPD/Greens stance, or both or neither!,
'
The plot thickens.

Here is a calendar of some key events in Europe that could affect the austerity vs growth balance:

May 13: Elections in the German state North Rhine-Westphalia
May 14: Eurogroup Meeting, Brussels, Belgium
May 15: Francois Hollande officially assumes the office of the President of France, France
May 15: Meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), Brussels, Belgium
May 16: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
May 25: Bundestag ratification vote on Fiscal Compact - postponed til mid-June or later
May 25: Ratification vote on Fiscal Compact by the Italian Parliament (??)
May 31: Irish referendum on the Fiscal Compact "treaty", Ireland
June 6: Governing Council meeting of the ECB in Frankfurt
June 10 and  17: Legislative elections for the 14th National Assembly, France
June 10 or 17: Date for potential new Greek parliamentary elections, Greece
June 15: Potential dare for Bundesrat ratification vote on Fiscal Compact, Germany - probably postponed as a result of the postponement of the Bundestag vote.

Parts of this analysis were quote in the this blog post (in Portuguese):


Capitalism: My definition

Capitalism is the system where people make money out of money, by lending or investing it and where te most crucial resource for starting and operating a business is financial (monetary) capital.

The transition from manufacturing and other industry to services as well as intellectual (largely non-tangible, non-material) products was supposed to gradually decrease the importance of financial capital in starting and operating a business (services or intellectual products such as music, books/ideas etc) and increase the importance of labour-human capital and the grey matter.

For many reasons, this has not happened. I have and will continue to tweet and blog on the reasons (eg here). In this post I want to emphasize that the extra-time that Capitalism as I defined it has got has produced some  really weird dynamics. Is the strategic option for the US and the EU to save and even regain manufacturing from Japan, China et al, or to learn how to live in a post-industrial era (at least for the "West")?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Spot the faults in the Merkelian logic

According to BBC News, after the results of the elections in France and Greece on May 6, Angela Merkel argumented as follows:


""It is a matter of principle in Europe that following elections, be they in small or large countries, we do not renegotiate what's already been agreed," she said. "Otherwise we could not work together in Europe."


Spot the faults in the above logic-argumentation.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Searching for the centre

Both Britain and Greece (as well as other countries, including the US) urgently need a genuine centrist political party that can address the policy challenges of the era without ideological sclerosis, using right of centre and left of centre and other policy tools to solve real problems of real people, in the real economy, the real society, in an ever complicated EU and world (WTO, UN, etc).

Can the LibDems be that centrist party in Britain?  They can, but they are not and do they want to?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Europe Day 2012: May 6 instead of May 9?

Europe (EU) Day is on May 9 every year. But this year it seems that Europe (EU) day is May 6:

Why?

Because of the elections in France, Greece as well as Schleswig-Holstein; all there crucial not only for a national point of view but an EU (and Euroland) POV as well.

And if one takes account of the UK local elections, including London, of May 3, and other events of the week (see my European Calendar) then one could argue that this week Monday April 30th to May 6 is "Europe Week 2012".

PS. Of course, like other days, such a Valentine's Day, one could argue that in essence days like Europe (EU) Day are or they should be every day of the year!

PS2. Add to them the local elections in some 900 towns in Italy on Sunday and Monday.

NPEurotelex, May 5: Where is Greg House?

UK: Tories 28% down in councillors but LibDems down 44% to the levels of 30 years back! * Should Clegg follow in Westerwelle's footsteps? * Did Boris win or did Ken lose London? * Chelsea or Liverpool? * Tomorrow, Sunday, the focus moves eastwards, to France, Greece and Serbia * Und  Schleswig-Holstein * Merkonti or Merkemont? * Japan nuclear free! From 30% nuclear before last year's quake to 0% today * Competitiveness: Which of the different narratives are you buying into? #EU #Eurozone * Does the Euroland economy need someone with Gregory House's diagnostics skills, instead of dogmas? #Merkonti #Merkozy * Funny how some ppl try to decode mgs in voting results. Or in markets moves!

Have you read yesterday's NPEurotelex?

Friday, 4 May 2012

NPEurotelex, May 4: Rain and Pain. Gain?

The austerity of growth, the growth of austerity! * Now many are pro growth but which kind of growth? * The pain in Spain stays always in the ... * Argentina, now Bolivia, .... * On English soil or English grass? * April services down in France, Italy, Spain. But at least one PMI did rise (German Services PMI for April vs March, source: Markit) * The winner in the UK local elections is Labour with 12.5% (Tories 10%, Did not Vote 68%) * Localism, Nationalism, Regionalism (eg EU) or Globalism? * Was low turnout in UK local elections yesterday a sign against Localism? * Treating people the way you want to be treated assumes everyone wants to be treated your way! (phlilosopical) * It's one thing for a country of 15 or 150 million to "convert" to Capitalism, but when one of 1.3 billion does, see world in last 10 yrs (since it joined the WTO)!* Bayrou will vote for Hollande but the gap seems closing, albeit probably too late, but it's closing!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

NPEurotelex, May 3: Barcelonaaaa!!!

PMIs are down all over the place (today: USA) * Mayor of London or NYC? * Europe is learning German and the world Chinese? * ECB rate stable at 1%, still above the BOE and Fed ones * Barcelonaaaa!!!!! *  ECOFIN failed to reach an agreement on toughen bank capital rules, British resistance. Next meeting  and May 15 * The Web's dying (see Forbes)? * Mermont?  * "It's complicated" (UK voting systems) * What do France, Serbia and Greece have in common?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

NPEurotelex, May 2: Up and Down in Euroland

Is German unemployment up or down? Pick one, depending on your European narrative! * Eurp PMI down, Euro unemployment up * Does Germany need the other Euro partners to export to? * Is Mario Angie's new Euro partner? * MPs elect new President of Hungary today * ECOFIN day today *  7 pts between Francois and Nicolas * Marine voted blank * CRAs upgrade Greece * What happened to the EU2020 Strategy for growth? * Troubles with Euro 2012 (the football one) * In need of euro-vision * Eurovision Song Contest is coming * Spanish economy exporting more outside the EU but did not avoid return to recession * What was the Euro created for? * Which country has the 5th largest population in the Euroland? * Remember the WTO? May 1-2:, General Council, Geneva * Which German state has elections on May 6? * How many European countries (3).

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A look into some elements of Eurozone systemics

The Eurozone 17 member states have a combined population of 331 million, that is about 66% (two thirds) of the EU27 501 million.

Germany plus France account for  82+65 = 147 of the 331 million, ie 44.4% of the seats in a theoretical (does not exist, yet?) Eurozone parliament. If there was an upper house, they would only have 4 of 34 "senators" (if the US Senate system was used) or bit more than 2/17 if a "Bundensrat" system was used (3-5 votes per member, depending on population size).

If one adds Spain + Italy (population 60+46 = 106 million) then one realises that 4 of the 17 Euro members account for 253 of the 331 million in population, 76.4%! So 3 out of 4 Eurozone inhabitants live in just 4 of its 17 members.

By comparison, in the EU27, the 6 largest members (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain and Poland) account for 253+47+38 = 338 of the 501 or 67.5% of the total EU population (roughly two out of 3).

So the population weight of the 2 and the 4 largest members in the Eurozone is quite high. 44.4% and 76.4% respectively.

Of the other 13 members, only 5, NL (16.6), Greece (11.3), Belgium (10.9), Portugal (10.6) and Austria (8.4) have between 8 and 16.6 million in population, 57.8 million in total of the 331 million (17.5%).

So 9 larger of the 17 members have a combined population of 93.9%!
The rest are:
Slovakia  5.4
Finland 5.3
Ireland 4.5
Slovenia 2.0
Estonia 1.3
Cyprus 0.8
Luxembourg 0.5
Malta 0.4

There are many ways to look at the systemic and composite picture of the Eurozone (and the EU of course):

a) GDP
b) GDP per capita
c) Population
d) Inter-governmental

We looked at (c). Many look at (a) and (b). One problem of (a) and (b) is that it treats richer countries and citizens of richer countries (GDP per capita) as more important than the rest. That would not be OK in a political union where each citizen/vote should count the same (but not the case in the US with their electoiral college system and the winner takes all electors system most US states use in the Presidential election).

A mix of (c) and (d) would be the case in a US of Euro or Federal Republic of Euro scenario.
At the current stage, many think the IG (d) way is the way to decide things in the Eurozone. Yet many complain that Germany and France try, under Merkozy together, to run things in the Eurozone.

Well. they do have 44.4% of the people and a large part of the Euro17 total GDP.

Other members, such as the Netherlands and Finland, want more say than 1/17 or their populatoon share, because not only of their GDP per capita but also of their CRA ratings (when in crisis and bailout times).

In finance, things get more complicated. The complex nature of the financial systemics and the resulting contagion risks show that when systemics are more integrated towards a real system (and whether one likes it or not,  finance brings the Euro17 "closer" together than politics or economics or trade or even  football, do) show that in a real union (financial, fiscal, economic, political etc) the interconnections are such that one cannot look at each member separately.

-----------------

Now, politically, and in view of the May 6 Prez election in France, one notes that only Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Austria have a left of center government (in Austria actually it's an PES-EPP coalition but the PES member is the one with more seats and with the PM), things in Italy and Greece can be described (if one borrows the Facebook or dating sites' lingo) as "it's complicated".

So most of the Eurozone governments are conservative (EPP member is the sole part in government or the majority partner is a coalition). Eg the Ireland, with the reverse of the Austrian grand coalition, an EPP+PES one, but with the EPP member (Fine Gael the one with the majority and its leader Enda Kenny as PM) . In the NL, the coalition that just fell (elections September 12) was led by an EPP mmeber with an ELDR/ALDE member as minority and the support of PVV.

That is partly why a win by Francois Hollande and thus the Socialist Party will be crucial in changing the Eurozone (as well as EU) dynamics. It will mean that 65 million of 331 in the Euro17 will have a left of center political leadership. That is also 65 of 253 in the EZ big 4 and 65 of 147 in the German-French "relationship" (meta-Merkozy).

1) Left of center governed Euro17 members:
Belgium 10.9
Austria 8.4
Slovakia 5.4 (as of March 2012)
Slovenia 2.0
Cyprus 0.8
Total (May 1) >> 27.5 million (8.3% of 331)

With France 65
Total (May 7) 92.5 million (28%)

2) It's complicated:
Italy 46
Greece 11.3 (and will probably remain complicated after May 6 election, because eg New Democracy is EPP member but its views on austerity etc are not typical EPP).
Total: 57.3 million (17.3%)

3) Right of Center
Germany and 8 other members with 331 - 93.5 - 57.3 =  180.2 million of 331 (54.4%)

Thus if Hollande wins, the right-of-center bloc in the Euro17 will decline from 245( (74%) to 180 million (54%) and the left of center will climb from a measly 8.3% to 28%! Plus acquire an impetus, which may also activate the German social democrats (polling at 24%, while the Greens 12%, CDU/CSU 36%, and Pirates 13%).


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