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The paper clip

25.01.2013 / 10:39 CET
A round-up of the international press on Friday, 25 January.

Czechs will vote today and tomorrow for a president. Lidové noviny reports that a group of well-known women are trying to win support for Karel Schwarzenberg, the current foreign minister, arguing that his opponent – Miloš Zeman – is sexist. Colleagues of the late Václav Havel, the Czech Republic's first president, say he would have voted for Schwarzenberg, the paper writes. Václav Klaus, the current president, has apparently written to friends that he will consider emigrating if Schwarzenberg is elected. Právo has a report on the last televised duel.


Austria's Die Presse reports on the British Liberal Democrats' view of Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to call for a referendum on EU membership in 2017. Cameron's offer of an in/out referendum both reduces the chance of a future Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and the likelihood of a Conservative majority government, argues a commentator in the Independent. David Cameron may have finished off the Conservatives – but he had no choice, writes a commentator in the Daily Telegraph. His gamble over Europe has been tried before, by Labour; it fatally split the party. We may not like it, but Cameron's call was brave and timely, writes a commentator in the Guardian, arguing that the EU's elder statesmen tried to run before they could walk. Many of the reforms being demanded by Britain could be addressed without immediate treaty change, Enda Kenny, Ireland's prime minister, told delegates at the World Economic Forum. The far-right Jobbik party in Hungary is calling on Viktor Orbán, Hungary's prime minister, to call a referendum on EU membership, Romania's Adevărul writes.


Karl Erjavec, Slovenia's foreign minister and leader, has announced that the junior coalition party he leads plans to leave the centre-right government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa in a month's time, writes Delo. The delay might give parliamentarians enough time to ratify Croatia's treaty of accession to the EU, Erjavec suggested; Slovenia is among the last handful of EU member states that have yet to ratify Croatia's membership, and the only one where there are doubts that it might do so. Jansa, meanwhile, rejects calls for snap elections even though he no longer holds a majority in parliament.

Algirdas Semeta, the European commissioner for taxation, tells Der Standard that he is prepared to take Austria to court over its banking secrecy.

The Wall Street Journal looks at the difficulties and disagreements surrounding a possible eurozone bail-out for Cyprus.

Unemployment has reached a record 26%, the Independent writes.

El Mundo and other Spanish papers dwell on allegations of irregularities in the finances of the ruling Popular Party.

The price of carbon in the EU's emissions trading system has fallen to a record low, the Guardian writes.

Kathimerini reports that the European Court of Justice has issued a ruling highly critical of the monopoly that OPAP holds in the gambling market in Greece.

Diário de Notícias of Portugal is one of a range of papers that reports on clashes between police and protestors marking the second anniversary of Egypt's uprising.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts has sailed through his confirmation to be secretary of state, writes the Washington Post, and could take over from Hillary Clinton within the next couple of weeks. Kerry did not launch a major foreign-policy agenda at his confirmation hearing before the Senate's foreign relations committee, which he chaired for four years, but instead outlined a "pragmatist's view of the world", the paper writes.

 
The authorities in Egypt are worried that protests to mark the second anniversary of the start of the revolution today could lead to violence, writes Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Helsingen Sanomat reports on the continuing decline in the importance of the mobile-phone producer Nokia to the Finnish economy.

The European Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary over the new telephone tax imposed in the summer of 2012, Népszabadság reports.

Süddeutsche Zeitung has an interview with Anshu Jain, the joint CEO of Deutsche Bank, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Jain says that the eurozone crisis is “not over but is under control”. He says that Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, has acted well, and that the biggest challenge now is to get unemployment down and to increase competitiveness.

For the third month in a row German economic sentiment is positive, according to a report in Handelsblatt. The most important barometer of the economy has recovered after six consecutive monthly declines at the end of last year.

© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.
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