Picking carefully through the numbers from the March 13 state elections in Germany brings home an important point about just how blue collar the AfD has become as a party. The AfD which did well in Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz and Sachsen-Anhalt, as it was expected to do. In doing so, it demonstrated how the crisis has transformed the party from one of professors into one of economic and cultural protestors.
Today’s budget included a tax break for self-employed workers. The government’s approach is a rare example in Europe of promotion of the self-employment model, though the prospect of a comprehensive strategy remain remote while the government pursues its deficit elimination strategy.
London always likes to think it is a step ahead of Brussels. In electricity generation policy it may just be. EU Energy and Climate Change Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has just given a speech to the European Electricity Regulatory Forum in Florence on completing the internal market for electricity in Europe. He set out both an ambitious and pro-market program, calling for the need for “price signals for investment in adequate capacity or demand response”. So far, so anglo saxon.
Europe is in the midst of a crisis over migration. But how worried are Europeans about immigration? The answer depends on whether you look at Europe as a whole, or individual countries. And it may matter is thinking about the impact in the EU of a Brexit in June.
Global regulator the Financial Stability Board is at pains to cast banking reform in 2016 as an implementation exercise, not a policy-making one. But the ghost of Paul Volcker lives on in the US as the question of ending ‘too big to fail’ returns to the fore.