Author Archive: Soeren Kern

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Spain: A Political Risk Analysis
By June 1, 2010 Read More →

Spain: A Political Risk Analysis

Spain’s debt-laden Socialist government is caught in a Catch-22 situation in which it has failed to satisfy conflicting demands to cut its budget and stimulate job creation and economic growth. If the government cuts public spending to the level needed to reduce the deficit, it will drag down economic growth and make it more difficult […]

Britain’s Looming Defense Budget Squeeze
By April 22, 2010 Read More →

Britain’s Looming Defense Budget Squeeze

Although neither candidate has spelled out exactly where the budget axe will fall, military spending will almost certainly take a hit in coming years, regardless of who leads the next government. In fact, all three candidates say the status quo on military spending is unsustainable, and all are calling for a post-election strategic defense review […]

European Union: Global Security Actor or Paper Tiger?
By March 15, 2010 Read More →

European Union: Global Security Actor or Paper Tiger?

The future direction of European defense is at a crossroads. On the one hand, the NATO experience in Afghanistan has cast into stark relief the limits of European military capacities, not only at the operational but also at the political levels. On the other hand, the recently enacted Lisbon Treaty offers important new opportunities to […]

Spanish Presidency of the EU: High Hopes, Low Expectations
By February 13, 2010 Read More →

Spanish Presidency of the EU: High Hopes, Low Expectations

Spain holds the six-month rotating presidency of the 27-member European Union from January through June 2010. The following analysis explains the domestic political and economic context facing the Zapatero government during Spain’s EU presidency. It then examines in greater detail several of the Zapatero government’s stated priorities for Spain’s EU presidency, and then closes with […]

Spain’s EU Presidency Greeted with Skepticism
By January 12, 2010 Read More →

Spain’s EU Presidency Greeted with Skepticism

Spain’s six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, which began on Jan. 1, 2010, is off to a bumpy start. With the Lisbon Treaty now in effect, the traditional role of the EU rotating presidency has been downgraded.

“Minarets are our Bayonets”: The Swiss Vote to Ban Them
By December 3, 2009 Read More →

“Minarets are our Bayonets”: The Swiss Vote to Ban Them

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly approved a referendum to ban the construction of minarets.

Mr Zapatero Goes to Washington
By October 13, 2009 Read More →

Mr Zapatero Goes to Washington

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s second term in office has not been a happy affair for Spain. With his poll numbers now at an all-time low, Zapatero is hoping that his October 13 visit to the White House will reverse his foundering political fortunes.

Posted in: Euro Crisis, Europe, Spain
End of Obamamania? Europe’s Tepid Reaction to Obama’s Nobel
By October 11, 2009 Read More →

End of Obamamania? Europe’s Tepid Reaction to Obama’s Nobel

European newspapers have reacted to Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize with a mixture of incredulity and scepticism. Almost without exception, newspapers across the continent (and political spectrum) are saying the award to Obama is premature and undeserved.

Lisbon Treaty: Europe’s Slow-Moving Coup d’État
By October 10, 2009 Read More →

Lisbon Treaty: Europe’s Slow-Moving Coup d’État

Irish voters have overwhelmingly approved the European Union’s controversial Lisbon Treaty, a document that will forever change the dynamics of European (and potentially global) politics. The “yes” vote comes less than 18 months after Irish voters gave the “wrong” answer by rejecting the treaty in a first referendum.

Germany Swings to the Center-Right
By September 27, 2009 Read More →

Germany Swings to the Center-Right

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cruised to victory in federal elections on Sunday with enough votes to form a new center-right government with her preferred partner, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). The results follow a trend in which Socialist parties across Europe have seen sharp declines in their popularity.

Posted in: Europe
Eurofighter Program Saved by Compromise Deal
By September 8, 2009 Read More →

Eurofighter Program Saved by Compromise Deal

The four nations involved in the Eurofighter Typhoon military aircraft consortium signed a long-awaited contract to buy more of the controversial fighter jets. The breakthrough represents a much-needed financial boost for a program central to European defense cooperation.

Fifty Years of Basque Terrorism
By August 1, 2009 Read More →

Fifty Years of Basque Terrorism

The Spanish government has accused the Basque terrorist group ETA of responsibility for back-to-back bombings last week that killed two people and injured more than 50 others. The bloody attacks came as ETA — short for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or Basque Fatherland and Freedom — marked the 50th anniversary of its founding.