LMax

Analysis: Success, Compromise, Ageing Erode Europe’s Greens

Thats because they believe the prospect of higher interest rates will diminish, they say in a note. Firstly, we expect lower U.S. money market rates than the market. Secondly, we assume that the phase of positive data surprises for the euro zone is over. These two factors rising U.S. interest rates, positive euro data were the main reasons why rate-hike expectations in the euro zone have increased in the recent past, they say. And without much higher interest-rate expectations, there will probably be no new LTRO. After all, the present situation hardly compares with the circumstances that led to the last two LTROs, they add. And on the topic of data surprises, several macroeconomic releases are on tap. Look at Tuesday, for instance: German unemployment data, the final readings on euro-zone PMIs, U.K. manufacturing PMI and the broader euro-zone unemployment rate. What a day. Unemployment rate in the bloc has been stuck at a euro-era high of 12.1% for five months straight, and analysts forecast that the August reading will be no different. Why isnt the employment situation improving? Survey data on firms hiring decisions has not kept pace with the improvement seen in the wider macro data, analysts at RBC Capital markets say.

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Likewise, Finland’s Greens have been damaged by staying in a coalition that decided to build new nuclear power stations. Battles against new airports or rail hubs or against the use of hydraulic fracking to search for shale gas have mobilized local support for Green causes, often in alliance with middle-class “not in my back yard” campaigners. But barring another Fukushima nearer to home or the threat of a war involving nuclear weapons, it is hard to see what would prompt a major revival of the Green movement. In the few places like Austria where Greens are still on the rise, it is because they have stayed in opposition to left-right “grand coalitions” and look clean amid others’ sleaze scandals. “FAIR WEATHER” MOVEMENT? Generation change has also caught up with the Greens. The activists in jeans and T-shirts whose playful insolence blew a gust of fresh air into parliaments and local assemblies across Europe in the 80s and 90s have become pillars of the establishment in many countries. Green ministers have held cabinet seats in Paris, Berlin and half a dozen other EU capitals on-and-off since the late 1990s – and not just for the environment. Joschka Fischer, once an anarchist firebrand, was a widely admired German foreign minister in 1998-2005, who justified his country’s first participation in military action since World War Two in NATO’s campaign in Kosovo in 1999. Ecologists sit on regional executives and city councils around continental western Europe. One large, prosperous German state, Baden-Wuerttemberg, even has a Green premier. But there is a flipside to such success.