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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 20/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 20/06/2022

The Guardian – Angelique Chrisafis / Macron’s centrist grouping loses absolute majority in parliament

  • Emmanuel Macron’s centrist grouping has lost its absolute majority in parliament, amid gains by a new left alliance and a historic surge by the far right in legislative elections.
  • After five years of undisputed control of parliament, the recently re-elected Macron, known for his top-down approach to power, now enters his second term facing uncertainty over how he will deliver domestic policies, such as raising the retirement age and overhauling state benefits. His centrists will need to strike compromises and expand alliances in parliament to be able to push forward his proposals to cut taxes and shake up the welfare system.
  • Macron’s Ensemble (Together) remains the biggest grouping in parliament, but suffered significant losses in what the media called a “crushing defeat” and an “earthquake”. Political analysts deemed the results a “severe failure” for Macron’s centrist alliance, which missed the absolute majority by a large margin, in contrast to its landslide win five years ago.
  • Final results showed Macron’s centrists taking 245 seats – far less than the 289 required for an absolute majority in the National Assembly.
  • Politico – Clea Caulcutt / Macron faces 5 years of gridlock after stunning parliamentary defeat

Al-Jazeera / Ex-rebel fighter Gustavo Petro wins Colombia’s presidency

  • Gustavo Petro, a former rebel fighter who has promised profound social and economic change, has won Colombia’s presidency.
  • The victory in Sunday’s presidential runoff election will make Petro Colombia’s first left-wing president.
  • He won 50.4 percent of the vote, while his rival Rodolfo Hernandez, a construction magnate, had 47.3 percent.
  • “As of today, Colombia is changing, a real change that guides us to one of our aims: the politics of love … of understanding and dialogue,” a jubilant Petro told his supporters in the Colombian capital, Bogota.
  • Foreign Affairs – Ivan Briscoe / Gustavo Petro’s big win

Financial Times – Olaf Storbeck and David Sheppard / Germany fires up coal plants to avert gas shortage as Russia cuts supply

  • Germany will significantly increase its use of highly polluting coal to preserve energy supplies ahead of the winter as Russian cuts to gas exports threaten shortfalls in Europe’s largest economy.
  • The German government said on Sunday it would pass emergency laws to reopen mothballed coal plants for electricity generation and auction gas supplies to industry to incentivise businesses to curb consumption. The move illustrated the depth of concern in Berlin over possible gas shortages in the winter months.
  • “This is bitter but in this situation essential to lower the use of gas,” said German economic minister Robert Habeck, a member of the Green party.
  • Russia cut capacity on the main gas export pipeline to Germany this week by 60 per cent, sending ripples across the continent as western officials became convinced that Moscow is weaponising its gas exports in response to EU sanctions following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
  • Bloomberg – Anna Shiryaevskaya / European gas rises further as Russian cuts bring rationing risk

Financial Times – Sam Fleming / Europe does not face fresh sovereign debt crisis, says Eurogroup chief

  • The eurozone is well placed to ride out recent market volatility and its economy will grow this year and next, the eurogroup president said, denying that the currency union faces a crisis akin to that which struck a decade ago.
  • Paschal Donohoe, who is Ireland’s finance minister as well as chief of the pan-eurozone group of finance ministers, said current circumstances were “completely different from the kind of crisis environment we were in” when the bloc was gripped by a spiralling sovereign debt sell-off in the early 2010s. Donohoe said the euro area now had “stronger architecture” and “deeper foundations for our common currency”.
  • Since the region’s last debt crisis, the EU has bolstered its bank regulation with the creation of a pan-European supervisor and crisis-fighting infrastructure through a common resolution mechanism when lenders fail.
  • The European Central Bank has new tools to buy government bonds, while lawmakers created a recovery fund backed by common debt during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Politico – Louis Westendarp / ECB announces crisis tool to cool market fears after Italy bond rout

Today’s longer reads:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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