Erdogan’s winning bet; Osborne in Berlin

November 2, 2015

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan has won his gamble that snap elections would shore up his position as voters backed his AK Party as the best bet for stability. Markets have responded by pushing the lira and the stock market higher, but for Turkey’s Western neighbours his victory is a double-edged sword: they would naturally welcome Erdogan now using his enhanced position to do more on the Syrian conflict and migrant conflict, but it would only add to tensions with Europe if he were to point to the result as justification for an increasingly authoritarian path. His party is just shy of the super-majority needed to put a new constitution granting him extra powers to a referendum, but his PM has already called on other parties to back such a move.

There are more questions than answers at this stage in the investigation into why a Russian airliner went down over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. Suggestions that it broke up in mid-air have led to the inevitable speculation that it was an attack, which has thus far been strongly played down by both Egyptian and Russian officials. That said, many airlines are re-routing flights around the area as a security precaution.

British Finance Minister George Osborne heads to Berlin today on the latest stop in his tour of European capitals to explain why Britain needs a reformed EU. His boss David Cameron is due in coming days to send a letter to Brussels formally setting out more detail on those demands, but Osborne could give a foretaste today, in particular on the safeguards London wants to make sure it is not sidelined by euro zone members on financial policymaking to the detriment of the City. He may however find German officials slightly preoccupied: members of Angela Merkel’s coalition are still smarting from a bruising internal row this weekend over how to treat the influx of refugees, with her Bavarian allies demanding a tougher stance.

 

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