Navalny: The black hole of Russian politics
In just four years, Alexey Navalny has taken Russia's political scene by storm. From a complete unknown, he has risen to the first opposition figure who can be legitimately regarded as a possible alternative to Vladimir Putin. But beyond his flashy anti-corruption campaign, even close political observers have little idea what Mr. Navalny stands for. Many cannot shake the feeling that he enjoys a special tolerance from the authorities.
Opinion: France and Europe
Emmanuel Macron may be a fresh face, but France’s new president poses much less of a threat to the cosy status quo than his vanquished Republican opponent, Francois Fillon. Now that Mr. Macron has a solid parliamentary majority behind him, he will have to make choices and take sides. Chances are that his eclectic program will prove a disappointment.
Macron and the German project
After Brexit, the European Union is composed of two sorts of countries – those willing to recognize German leadership, and those reluctant to do so. With the project of an ever-closer union now defunct, the EU’s internal debate has shifted to what Germany wants and how much it is willing to compromise. A lot depends on the position of France and its new president.
Colombia finds peace brings burdens
Fresh from winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos must find a way to implement the complicated peace agreement that ended a 40-year civil war. Battling criminal gangs, restoring land to displaced people, and absorbing tens of thousands of guerrilla fighters back into society will be a difficult task. Coca and corruption remain huge problems, and Mr. Santos’ ruling party must fend off a powerful adversary in Alvaro Uribe, an opponent of the peace deal who will challenge in next year’s elections.
It pays to be principled
The CDU swept three regional elections in Germany because local candidates got back in touch with traditional Christian values. That augurs well for the September general elections, provided Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't ignore the message.
Opinion: Can Emmanuel Macron change France?
After winning France’s presidency, the easy part is over for Emmanuel Macron. Now he must shift from faux outsider to the country’s first real reformer in decades. To succeed, he will need to take on a political establishment only too eager to jump on his bandwagon.
Opinion: Why Germany ‘Kant’ be the UK’s perfect Brexit ally
The United Kingdom’s chances for an amicable divorce from the European Union depend above all on reaching an understanding with Germany. But in the Brexit negotiations, German interests will clash with German scruples. The latter may very well prevail.
Opinion: Populists, demagogues and the French elections
The intellectually arrogant arguments against “populism” fail to consider that it is an important ingredient in any democracy. It is demagoguery that is dangerous. And there is plenty of that in France’s election campaign. With many of the candidates railing against “inequality” – a strength, not a weakness of mankind – only Francois Fillon, who supports free markets and an EU that acts as a fatherland of the fatherlands, has a realistic economic and social agenda.
Argentina’s Macri in the crosshairs
Argentina’s Mauricio Macri spent his first 16 months as president playing whack-a-mole with a host of problems – including a faltering economy, an incompetent and often corrupt bureaucracy, and rising public anger at utility price hikes. Now, with parliamentary elections looming, he needs to come up with a strategy to avoid becoming a lame duck for the rest of his term.
Angola: leadership change and the risks ahead
It is now certain that Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will not run in this year’s elections. The transition of power will offer the country a chance to begin to reform kleptocratic state institutions and address huge social and economic crises. The question is how much support dos Santos and his supporters will give the new regime.