Germany’s reluctance to advance strong foreign policy positions stands in stark contrast to nations such as the United Kingdom, whose leaders speak with approval of “punching above their weight.” Germans across the political spectrum seem content with advancing modest foreign policy goals, even if Europe loses the benefit of German leadership in global affairs.
Portugal’s government is in disarray over conditions that need to be met to satisfy its 78-billion-euro bailout package. The conflict points to a political breakdown in the near future, despite efforts by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva to secure an agreement with the opposition intended to prevent the rift from widening.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is likely to consolidate his right-wing Fidesz party’s grip on power, ignoring a non-binding European Parliament resolution critical of his government’s actions. The country’s increasingly authoritarian cast is a troubling development, one that could encourage an anti-democratic trend taking root in Europe as the continent’s economic crisis drags on.
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