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Home / Revista de prensa / Archivo / Revista de prensa | 01/12/2014



Sarkozy once again heads UMP


The conservative UMP elected former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as its new leader on Saturday. He's the only one who can stand up to Front National leader Marine Le Pen in the 2017 presidential elections, some commentators believe. Others express doubts and predict that Sarkozy, who has already failed once as president, won't be able to solve the country's economic woes.

Financial Times - Gran Bretaña

Sarkozy has already failed once

The new head of the UMP has already failed once as head of state from 2007 to 2012 so he's the wrong conservative candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, the liberal business daily Financial Times warns: "True, he had to contend with the impact of the global financial crisis. But Mr Sarkozy was not the reformist head of state that he initially pledged to be. During his five years at the Elysée, France's public spending shot up by 15 per cent and public debt by 30 per cent. No revolutionary reforms were introduced on his watch. This was a presidency remembered for 'bling' not 'rupture'. ... There is no reason why the UMP and Socialist party should not be able to select strong and reformist nominees for the presidency in 2017. The only thing that is certain is that Mr Sarkozy does not fit the bill." (30/11/2014)

Der Standard - Austria

New UMP chairman strengthens Front National

Nicolas Sarkozy's election as the leader of the conservative main opposition party the UMP could potentially strengthen the far-right Front National party if, as expected, Sarkozy becomes the UMP's presidential candidate in 2017: "Sarkozy is indeed no longer the right man for the Elysée: quite apart from the fact that he deeply polarised the nation as president from 2007 to 2012 but changed little in a country that so urgently needs reform. Why should he perform any better the second time around? ... Sarkozy hardly has any supporters outside his party. So if he runs for president the big winner will be above all right-wing extremist Marine Le Pen. She implicitly presented herself as the 'original' compared to Sarkozy, the 'copy', at her party conference on Sunday. It's almost as if the French conservatives didn't just get a new party leader with Sarkozy, but also a huge mortgage." (01/12/2014)

La Croix - Francia

Ex-president must unite his party

The comparatively weak showing for Nicolas Sarkozy with 64.5 percent of the vote highlights the divisions in the party, the Catholic paper La Croix believes: "It's very difficult to make out a clear line for the UMP. The party's main leaders can't agree on hardly any economic, social or societal issues. This cacophony is largely comparable to that on the left. The UMP's calling into question of the 35-hour work week or 'marriage for all', immigration policy, European integration, the alliance with the centre and relations with the Front National are points of contention that years of debate haven't done anything to appease. Now, however, it finally needs to find a clear line." (30/11/2014)

Expressen - Suecia

France must finally reform

As head of the UMP and potential future president all Sarkozy can do is weaken Le Pen, the liberal daily Expressen writes: "France must take its economic responsibilities seriously. The hope is that Sarkozy can lure voters away from Marine Le Pen and the Front National. And if anyone can truly put Le Pen under pressure, it's Sarkozy. ... France's big problem, however, is the lack of realisation that it's deep in a crisis. What the country really needs is the type of sweeping crisis package passed by [ex-chancellor] Gerhard Schröder which revived the German economy. For that reason it's extremely odd of the former finance minister and EU Commissioner Moscovici to demand that Germany raise its public investments to stimulate the economy in France and the EU. How about if France started by cleaning up its own back yard?" (01/12/2014)


Süddeutsche Zeitung - Alemania

Anti-Ecopop vote shows Swiss moderation

The Swiss voted in a referendum on Sunday against even more stringent immigration quotas. The initiative that triggered the referendum, dubbed 'Ecopop', wanted to have immigration limited to no more than 0.2 percent of the population, reducing the number of people immigrating to Switzerland each year from the current 80,000 to just 16,000 The vote against this measure was so unequivocal that it can be described as a shift in policy, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes approvingly: "This time the Swiss weren't trying to hit out at the Federal Council, the European Union or the immigrants. They displayed those virtues which recently we have not been able to rely on as in the past: economic common sense and political moderation. This vote has disproved the idea that in Switzerland you can push through any referendum initiative that simplifies the world and divides it into friends and foes. It is a strong show of confidence in a policy that would have been seriously undermined by stringent quotas." (01/12/2014)

Tages-Anzeiger - Suiza

Swiss integration in the EU conceivable

After the Swiss vote against new limits on immigration even a partial integration of Switzerland into the EU is possible, the daily Tages-Anzeiger surmises: "Provided, that is, that the EU develops according to a variable geometry in the next few years, with an inner circle of states advancing integration perhaps even to the point of complete political union. And then around that inner circle other circles form with only partial integration à la carte. This trend could develop if in important states like Britain there's a vote against EU membership in the coming years. Then an outer circle would be created to prevent complete a break-up. And within this circle there would also be a place for a Switzerland partially integrated in different areas, but without free movement of workers." (01/12/2014)

Le Soir - Bélgica

Deficit proceedings against Belgium unfair

The European Commission on Friday called on France, Belgium and Italy to improve their budgets for 2015 by March. If they fail they risk deficit proceedings. But Belgium can't be put in the same boat with France, the liberal daily Le Soir bristles: "Our country has not only repeatedly promised to introduce reforms, it has also kept its word. France, by contrast, is annoying the rest of Europe with endless promises that it will undertake the necessary steps only to keep postponing the adjustments and then present a budget that does not meet Europe's requirements. ... If there is a country that really deserves to be reprimanded, it's France. For its own good, but also because of the potential danger it is becoming for its European colleagues. ...  The Juncker Commission has lumped France together in an uneven trio, and in so doing it risks absolving the guilty and discouraging those who deserve praise." (29/11/2014)

Jornal de Negócios - Portugal

Sócrates a victim of the judiciary

Former Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates, who is currently in preventive detention, has rejected the allegations of corruption against him as "absurd". Artist Leonel Moura comes to his defence in the liberal business Jornal de Negócios: "The system seems either unable or unwilling to observe the basic rules of a constitutional state. ... Our institutions simply don't work, they lack any credibility and are often the focus of political and public instability. ... The Sócrates case is a disgrace! Over the last few years Sócrates has been the victim of merciless persecution which has now culminated in this extremist act full of completely unacceptable episodes. ... His arrest for interrogation and unjustified detention have simply been staged to humiliate him. There has been no sign whatsoever of the principle of a neutral, unbiased and ethical judiciary." (27/12/2014)

De Volkskrant - Holanda

Revolution dies with Mubarak's acquittal

A criminal court in Cairo acquitted Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak on all counts on Saturday. This buries the revolution for good, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant concludes: "Al-Sisi's government is actually more repressive than the authoritarian regime led by Mubarak back then. While the Muslim Brotherhood was basically tolerated under Mubarak, the Islamists have as good as no life under Al-Sisi. ... One decree after another is limiting the leeway of civil organisations and human rights groups. The media have for the most part been neutralised. ... Mubarak's acquittal closes the circle. The powers that have always held sway in Egypt are once again firmly at the helm. The president is, as was always the case in the past, a member of the military, and everything that broke this continuity has been swept away." (01/12/2014)

Hospodárske noviny - Eslovaquia

Tusk can be a boon for Europe

The former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk takes office as EU Council President today, Monday. Tusk can heighten Europe's profile on the world stage, the liberal business paper Hospodářské noviny believes: "The reservations that France had about Tusk - a man who speaks good German but no French and only a little English - mainly revolve around the fact that unlike his predecessor Herman Van Rompuy he has political ambitions. The French see him a little as Angela Merkel's agent. ... But Tusk cannot only champion the interests of Poland and Germany. This is about all of Europe and also about the US, which still hasn't understood what's going on in the EU. He must explain what the EU is and what it is not. If he can, his presidency has real chances of success." (01/12/2014)


La Stampa - Italia

Low oil prices will boost Eurozone economy

The oil price dropped to its lowest level in four years on Friday after Opec resolved not to cut output. Europe has every reason for joy and Moscow for chagrin, writes Bill Emmott, former editor-in-chief of the magazine The Economist, in the liberal daily La Stampa: "This is the first really good news for the European economy since 2008. The low oil price will likely do much more to spur growth in Europe than Jean-Claude Juncker's fudged public investment package or the hope that Germany might one day change its mind about austerity. ... The Saudis have long lost their love for America but they have even less affinity for Russia, which supports their arch enemy Iran and Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria. ... The sinking oil prices have already caused the Russian currency to drop in value. With every month that passes the pressure grows on Moscow and its state budget in view of the weak rouble. So lets raise our glasses and drink to the low oil prices. This is the best news we could receive." (01/12/2014)


ABC - España

Not just Spain's football has a violence problem

A fan of the Spanish football club Deportivo La Coruña died in Madrid on Sunday after violent clashes between fans. Apparently around 200 hooligans had arranged to meet for a fight ahead of a match between Spanish champion Atlético Madrid and the Galician club. The incident is the consequence of a lax approach to violence in society, the conservative daily ABC criticises: "After a series of mistakes for which those responsible have yet to be determined, the Anti-Violence Committee of the Ministry of Sport is meeting today to examine these incidents. The meeting must result in tougher measures against these groups. ... Violence is a social problem. It has been trivialised because it is present all the time and in all the different formats - even for the youngest to see. ... This death is a symptom of a society that is far too lax on the violent." (01/12/2014)

Õhtuleht - Estonia

Estonia will also introduce gay marriage

The Finnish parliament passed a law legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. After introducing the registered partnership in October Estonia will also take this step, theologist Roland Tõnisson writes in the tabloid Õhtuleht: "The advocates of a partnership law in Estonia claim they have no intention whatsoever of demanding the introduction of same-sex marriage. Finland was in a similar situation in 2002, when same-sex couples were granted the right to register their partnership. Back then there were also assurances that no further steps would be called for in Finland. ... It took 14 years in Iceland and 23 years in Denmark to go from same-sex partnerships to same-sex marriage laws. Until now Finland was the only country in Scandinavia where such a law didn't yet exist. It would be naïve to believe that this law won't be pushed through in Estonia too sooner or later." (01/12/2014)


România Curată - Rumania

Iohannis must build on his Facebook presence

The social network Facebook played a key role in mobilising voters to help clinch conservative candidate Klaus Iohannis's electoral victory over Prime Minister Ponta, the blog portal România Curată writes. But even after the elections Iohannis must maintain contact with his 1.2 million Facebook fans, the blog believes: "A country can just as little be governed over a Facebook page as it can from a television studio. But Facebook can prove helpful for a leader as a forum for messages and communication. And that is not negligible. Facebook gives Iohannis independence from the mainstream press (meaning the part of the media that is politically and economically controlled). At the same time, however, it makes him dependent on the desires and attitudes of his online followers. It's thrilling to watch how Iohannis is dealing with this situation which is unique both at home and on the European level." (01/12/2014)

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