Showdown for Hollande

By Mike Peacock
September 16, 2014

French President Hollande and Finance Minister Sapin take part in the assizes for financing and investment at the Elysee Palace in Paris

The French government faces a confidence vote in the national assembly after President Francois Hollande and his prime minister, Manuel Valls, ousted dissident ministers in a signal perhaps that they are prepared to push ahead with unpopular structural reforms to breathe life into a moribund economy.

Swedish shift

By Mike Peacock
September 15, 2014

Opposition leader Stefan Lofven speaks at the election night party of the Social Democrats in Stockholm

Sweden’s centre-left Social Democrats topped the poll in Sunday’s election but fell well short of an overall majority to the extent that it will struggle to form a strong coalition.

All to play for

By Mike Peacock
September 12, 2014

A "No" campaign poster is seen in a field after being vandalised by a "Yes" supporter on the outskirts of Edinburgh

The latest Scottish opinion poll puts the unionist camp ahead by 52 points to 48 – still way too close to call given the statistical margin for error.

Margin for error

By Mike Peacock
September 11, 2014

A Union Flag and Scottish Saltire fly over Britain's Cabinet Office in central London

Another day, another Scottish opinion poll and this time a different message, but only slightly.

An almighty gamble

By Mike Peacock
September 10, 2014

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London

Having woken up to the very real possibility of Scotland going it alone, the leaders of Britain’s main parties have scrapped their parliamentary business and headed north to campaign in what amounts to a huge gamble.

Too close to call

By Mike Peacock
September 9, 2014

Cakes are seen at a tea-party organised by members of the group 'English Scots for YES' near Berwick-upon-Tweed on the border between England and Scotland

A second opinion poll in three days has put the Scottish independence vote as too close to call.

Will the guns fall silent?

By Mike Peacock
September 5, 2014

A Ukrainian serviceman smokes as he sits on an armoured vehicle near Kramatorsk

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the main pro-Russian rebel leader said they would both order ceasefires on Friday, provided that an agreement is signed on a new peace plan to end the five month war in Ukraine’s east.

What’s it all about, Mario?

By Mike Peacock
September 4, 2014

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It’s ECB day and after Mario Draghi’s recent dramatic utterances, expectation for fresh action has grown, expectations which are likely largely to be dashed.

Over to Obama

By Mike Peacock
September 3, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One before departing for Estonia while at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington

Barack Obama is in Estonia before the NATO summit in Wales intending to pressure Vladimir Putin to back off in Ukraine. The rhetoric will be strong – not least about protecting the Baltics under NATO’s umbrella.

Jaw jaw and war war

By Mike Peacock
September 2, 2014

An Ukrainian serviceman is seen next to a sight for a gun near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luhansk

Pro-Russia separatists at talks with representatives from Moscow and the OSCE in Minsk said they would be prepared to stay part of Ukraine if they were granted “special status”, which is unlikely to be acceptable to Kiev.