Why Italy's vote matters

  • 5 December 2016
  • From the section Europe
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Image copyright EPA

In the year of political upheavals, there has been another popular uprising - this time in Italy.

Here is how the narrative goes: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is the establishment figure. He has gambled on holding a referendum to win backing for his reforms. He loses, and resigns.

To some, this is the fall of the third domino: first Brexit, then Trump, now Italy. It marks, so it is argued, the onward march of the populists.

Renzi has had strong support from global leaders. President Obama rolled out White House pageantry for him and even the Germans, with whom Renzi has rowed over austerity, have been singing his praises.

The concern is that now Renzi has said he'll go, Italy's politicians will squabble, the country's fragile economy will suffer, borrowing costs will spike and once again Europe will be facing a crisis in the eurozone.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Comedian-turned-politicain Beppe Grillo (centre) leads the Five Star movement

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Europe's dangerous milestones

  • 29 November 2016
  • From the section Europe
Flags of the European Union fly outside the European Parliament Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The dates stretch out over the months ahead; days in the calendar that could define Europe's values and shape the future of liberal democracy.

In the shadow of Donald Trump's victory and - to a lesser extent - Brexit, Europe faces a series of crucial votes. Although some of the anti-establishment strains in Europe are different from those in America, many of them are the same and equally potent.

Read full article Europe's dangerous milestones

America: The people's rage

Anti-Trump demonstration in Manhattan Image copyright Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In Manhattan from mid-town to Central Park, the city is choked with frustrated drivers. Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue, where the president-elect is building his administration, has become a venue for demonstrators.

There are flash protests with signs like "Immigrants welcome". Office workers gaze down, some pump their fists in support.

Read full article America: The people's rage

US election 2016: America's date with destiny

US Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump Image copyright Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This long, bruising campaign is drawing to a close. America is holding its breath as to what follows. The political divide is deep.

A significant part of the country views Donald Trump as a thin-skinned narcissist, with a loose understanding of the truth, ignorant of international affairs and comfortable with causing offence.

Read full article US election 2016: America's date with destiny

America's 'rigged' election

An absentee ballot featuring voting options for the US presidential election Image copyright SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump tweeted that there would not be another day as good as last Friday.

In his view the announcement that the FBI was reviewing new material in the Hillary Clinton emails inquiry "changes everything". He called on his supporters to "prevent her taking her criminal scheme into the White House".

Read full article America's 'rigged' election

Trump faithful undeterred by polls and scandals

US presidential candidate Donald Trump hugs a US flag Image copyright Reuters

It is the final stretch of a brash, improbable campaign. Donald Trump is rolling through Florida's campaign stops; places like St Augustine, Tampa, Sanford, Tallahassee. It is a state he must win if he is to have a chance of claiming the White House.

His voice is a little weaker but he draws energy from large fired-up crowds who break into chants of "USA! USA!" In St Augustine, people were queuing from 10:00 for a 15:00 speech.

Read full article Trump faithful undeterred by polls and scandals

Europe's phoney war

  • 18 October 2016
  • From the section Europe
A Union Jack pictured next to the European Union flag Image copyright PA

There is an air of unreality hanging over Europe. This week, Theresa May will attend her first EU summit. Headlines will be eked out of the leaders' sound bites as they enter the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels.

But everyone knows that it won't be until next year that the EU and the UK fully engage and negotiate Brexit.

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The turbulence of Brexit

  • 7 October 2016
  • From the section Brexit
Pound Sterling falls to lowest level since 1985 Image copyright EPA

The last week has underlined the basic reality of British politics - Brexit will define Theresa May's premiership.

Almost certainly the prime minister knew that, but this week the currency markets confirmed it. Brexit talk can put the pound under pressure.

Read full article The turbulence of Brexit

Canada: The different voice

Canadian national flag Image copyright Reuters

The anti-establishment caravan rolls on. Donald Trump surges in the polls - he's ahead in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida. In Germany, the anti-immigration party the AFD hurts Angela Merkel once again - this time in Berlin.

In France, the far right party of Marine Le Pen tops some polls, while support for the socialist President Francois Hollande scarcely reaches double figures, while the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, despite its dubious roots, is enjoying record popularity.

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What has the EU learnt since Brexit?

  • 12 September 2016
  • From the section Europe
A British Union Jack flag and a European Union flag Image copyright Getty Images

An American politician once advised "you never let a serious crisis go to waste". So has the EU learnt any lessons since the British vote to leave the union?

This is a week to reflect on the state of the union with a speech and debate in Strasbourg and then a summit in Bratislava on its future without the distracting Brits in attendance.

Read full article What has the EU learnt since Brexit?