Emmanuel Macron’s shrinking revolution
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to abolish France’s left/right political divide and shake up the country’s bloated bureaucracy. Yet his promised spending and tax cuts have been underwhelming, while his timid attempts to downsize the “layer-cake” administration have only stirred up fierce opposition. Time is running out for Mr. Macron to create a “shock of confidence” to get the economy moving.
Opinion: How not to resolve the Venezuelan crisis
Venezuela’s constitutional coup has cleared the way from President Nicolas Maduro to suppress the opposition. But with the economy in tatters, the death toll in street protests rising, and the officer corps on the verge of splintering, the government may be more open to international mediation than first appears. The only way this works, however, is if the United States stays out.
Zimbabwe’s pivotal moment
Zimbabwe’s deepening economic crisis have led to protests of unprecedented intensity against the regime of President Robert Mugabe. However, the opposition is divided, and Mr. Mugabe still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. If the coalition of opposition parties can remain unified, it has a chance of unseating the president in next year’s elections. But no matter the outcome, unrest is likely to continue.
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.
Erdogan’s ‘new Turkey’ resembles an old stereotype
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now unleashed, having consolidated full power over Turkey’s ruling party, parliament and the judiciary. After sweeping away the remnants of democracy and the Kemalist state, he has reached the point of no return. Which raises a simple question: what happened to the “new Turkey” – the assertive, prosperous Islamic powerhouse – that he promised?
Venezuela: a violent stalemate
The government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is under pressure from all sides: growing discontent at home, increasing calls for change from the international community and shrinking revenue. Still, it refuses to budge, and is meeting resistance with violence. The killing of a musician could be a turning point – but will a solution be found before violence spills over into other parts of the region?
GIS Dossier: Venezuela lives on the edge
The world's richest country in oil reserves is on the verge of becoming a failed state. After more than a half-century of social harmony funded by oil revenue, a socialist variant of caudillismo has run the country into the ground. Yet political changes are blocked by a determined military junta, awash in drug money and cemented by the threat of U.S. indictments. How long can Venezuela stay on the brink?
Russian truckers test a new protest model
This spring more than a half million long-haul truckers went on strike in Russia. The immediate effect of the protests was relatively minor, mostly restricted to local food shortages, yet the authorities responded forcefully and imposed a near-total news blackout. What makes the strike so threatening is that it merges two swelling streams of opposition in Russia – middle-class revolt in the big cities and working-class revolt in the rustbelt.
Algeria: A European crisis in the making
Algeria's perennial problems are reaching crisis levels. The economic outlook is so dire that street violence is a distinct possibility. Its political scene is paralyzed by a seemingly endless succession crisis involving the ailing 78-year-old president, Abdulaziz Bouteflika. Legislative elections earlier this month did nothing to stop the drift. If unrest breaks out, a descent into civil war cannot be excluded, and Europe would face a new regional crisis of the first order.