Letter from …

Belgium Belgian flag

Letter from … Brussels

Christophe Sente  |  15 April 2014

One of the few centre-left parties in Europe in power, Belgium’s Socialist party, next month faces regional, national and European elections. Socialist party leader and prime minister Elio di Rupo has won credit for his contribution to the country’s political stabilisation in December 2011, concluding 500 days of negotiations towards constructing a federal political majority after the …

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Carme Chacon and Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba

Letter from … Madrid

Juan Rodríguez Teruel  |  3 April 2014

The Spanish Socialist party is stuck in a nasty paradox: its main opponent, the People’s party – in power nationally as well as in most of the regions and important cities – is performing very poorly after two years in power, dropping 25 per cent in the polls, contending with extremely weak ratings for prime …

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Matteo Renzi

Letter from … Florence

Duncan McDonnell  |  12 February 2014

At the end of a year which delivered much less than it had promised for the Italian centre-left, Matteo Renzi’s victory in the Partito Democratico leadership primaries in December provides several reasons for optimism. First of all, the simple fact that he is 39. Italy has long been a country for old men – its …

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Australian Labor party

Letter From … Australia

Patrick Diamond  |  9 December 2013

Like Labour in Britain in 2010, the Australian Labor party suffered a heavy defeat in 2013, despite having a record replete with governing achievements. As the global economy was on the brink of a catastrophic depression in 2008-9, the Labor government implemented one of the most effective stimulus packages in the industrialised world. The ALP …

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Edi Rama

Letter from …Tirana

Alastair Campbell  |  12 November 2013

Last month the new government of Albania secured a landmark victory with a positive recommendation from the European commission for the country to win European Union candidate status. With the double-rejection of the previous administration’s bids, it indicates a new start for the country and reflects the wider positive changes coming out of Tirana since …

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Kevin Rudd. Australian Labor party.

Letter from … Sydney

Richard Angell  |  1 October 2013

Changing leader was enough to save key bits of furniture. The much-predicted domino effect in western Sydney never happened. But neither did the great seat pick-up in Queensland. Paradoxically, Kevin Rudd’s second stint as prime minister has secured the substantial achievements of Julia Gillard, both his successor and predecessor. The Liberals do not have a …

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Angela Merkel

Letter from … Berlin

Michael Miebach  |  16 September 2013

Would this be possible in the United Kingdom? Only two months before the elections, German chancellor Angela Merkel went off for a three-week holiday. This year, hiking in South Tyrol has only partly to do with relaxation: with her conservative CDU-CSU leading by 15 percentage points over the SPD in the polls, Merkel wants this …

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ALP, Australia, Labor

Letter from … Sydney

Richard Angell  |  4 July 2013

From afar all looks well for our Australian cousins. A Labor government has delivered sustainable growth and ensured this is the only country in the G20 not to suffer recession following the global financial crisis. Domestically, it is making majoritarian, nation-building investments in public life that sit firmly in the centre-ground of politics but are …

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Justin Trudeau

Letter from … Ottawa

Andrew Cardozo  |  10 June 2013

Canadian politics could be in for a change, as we now have three parties with strong leaders. Once again. Or so it seems. The venerable Liberal party, which got quite a drubbing in May 2011’s general election, has elected a dynamic and charismatic leader, 41-year-old Justin Trudeau, the son of the popular, albeit controversial, Pierre …

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Francois Hollande

Letter from … Paris

Renaud Thillaye  |  15 May 2013

The cheers that accompanied François Hollande’s election seem a distant dream. Dismal economic results, a terrible press at home and abroad, and confusion about what the French president stands for, marred the anniversary of his first year in office on 6 May. His ratings have plummeted from more than 60 per cent in May 2012 …

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