Politico—M. Karnitschnig / Austria heads for right-leaning coalition
- In the Austrian general election, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) finished first with 31.7 percent and the Social Democrats (SPÖ) second with 26.9 percent. The right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) placed third with 26 percent, projections showed.
- The results should clear the way for a right-leaning coalition and vault the ÖVP’s 31-year-old leader, Sebastian Kurz, into the office of chancellor.
- A right-wing coalition in Austria would join Hungary and Poland in demanding Europe pursue tougher policies on borders, refugees and migration.
- Kurz, who has remade the ÖVP in his own image in recent months, proved that cloning populist positions can lead to success under the right leader.
Politico—J. Delcker / Germany’s Social Democrats score victory in regional election
- Projections showed the SPD winning 37.3 percent of the votes in Lower Saxony, the fourth most populous state in Germany, almost 4 percentage points ahead of Angela Merkel’s CDU.
- It’s the first time since 1998 that the SPD has managed to become the strongest party in the swing state.
- The Greens won around 8.9 percent of the votes, ahead of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) at 7.4 percent, and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) at 6.2 percent.
- The influence of Lower Saxony’s government in the upper house of parliament will make it more difficult for Merkel and her future government to push through legislation during the next four years.
Financial Times—G. Long / Maduro’s socialists win in Venezuela polls prompts questions
- Defying all serious opinion polls in the run-up to the vote, the Venezuelan government dominated Sunday’s regional elections, prompting accusations from the opposition that the ballot was flawed.
- The National Electoral Council (CNE) said President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist party won 17 of 23 governorships across the country. The opposition won five and one contest was too close to call.
- Mr Maduro said the socialist party took 54 per cent of the national vote to the opposition’s 45 per cent.
- The Table of Democratic Unity (MUD), the main opposition party, said they refused to recognise the results given by the National Electoral Council.
Project Syndicate—E. Barak / The Iran nuclear deal is bad – and necessary
- Trump’s decertification of the JCPOA, regardless of what ends up happening in Congress, is a serious mistake.
- “Like many Israelis, I agree with Trump that the international agreement reached with Iran in 2015 is fundamentally a bad deal. But it is also a done deal.“
- “If the US can default on its international commitments for no reason, why would Kim Jong-un bother to engage in negotiations?”
- “The most immediate threat would be a decision by Iran to relaunch its own nuclear-weapon program. Should that happen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey would be virtually certain to pursue nuclear breakout.”
- “Deal or no deal, Iran represents a serious threat – to Israel, of course, but also to the stability of the Middle East and, in a sense, of the whole world. But, as of now, that threat is not existential. Preventing it from becoming so should be a top priority today.“
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.