Sylvio Berlusconi is no stranger to being a catalyst for European crisis: in November 2011 it was his unwillingness to leave the PM post (and be replaced with a Goldman technocrat), that precipitated a bond crisis accented by the ECB's unwillingness to interject and buy Italian bonds until the career politician had left. Tomorrow, an Italian Senate committee is due to begin hearing arguments on whether to eject ex-PM Berlusconi from Parliament and on.
The European budget debate stepped up a notch today as Italy, Spain Warned on Budget. After Italy rebuffed warnings about its budget, euro-area finance ministers late Friday agreed to give the country additional opportunities to show it can make savings and bolster revenue.
A provision of the Conservatives’ new Fair Elections Act that would stop “vouching” for voters without ID may be unconstitutional, critics said on Sunday, raising more questions about the contentious bill as it heads to committee for review this week.
If the act passes unamended, voters without valid identification would no longer be able to get someone they know to swear to their identity, potentially disenfranchising thousands.
Round one in French elections is over, and the socialists were hammered.The victor was Marine Le Pen's Front National party. The Socialists only received 43% of the votes, with the center-right pulling in 46-48%. Front National only got 5-7% (reports vary), but that was far better than expected. Front National fielded candidates in fewer than 600 of France's 36,000 municipalities. The goal of the socialists was to prevent Front National from winning a mayoral race on any town. They failed.
TOKYO — North Korean voters will make a choice Sunday when they elect a new national legislature, but not for a candidate. The ruling elite have already done that for them, and there’s only one per district.
They get to vote “yes” or “no.” Virtually all pick “yes.”
One thing they don’t get to decide is whether to bother voting. Going to the polls is expected of all eligible voters, which effectively makes North Korean elections a powerful tool for checking up on the people.