May 27, 2019
Latest News

5 countries to watch out for in the run-up to European Parliament elections

By Lara Malvesi

Brussels, May 15 (efe-epa).- All the countries in the bloc will make their decisive contributions in the European Parliament elections to be held from May 23 to 26. However, five of them, owing to their power balance and political situation, are especially crucial in deciding who will govern the European Union for the next five years.


The political landscape in France – a founding member of the bloc – in the buildup to the elections is a metaphor in itself for the existential crisis that the unionist project is undergoing due to citizens' disaffection with Brussels and European institutions in general.

President Emmanuel Macron's liberal movement, La Republique en Marche, is vying for the highest share of the vote against Marine Le Pen's National Rally amid the "Yellow Vests" protests that are still sweeping the country.

Both of them – each of whom enjoys some 20 percent of the popular support in surveys – represent the two possible Europes: one that wants to continue moving forward, and the other that prefers a certain dissolution of the bloc in favor of devolution of power to the capital cities.

Hence, Macron's group getting a good result on May 26 would be crucial for tilting the future balance of power towards the pro-Europeans, Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and environmentalists.


Italy, another of the seven founding members of the EU, is important because for the first time a Europhobic party, the Northern League led by anti-immigration Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, is the front runner in the elections, according to surveys.

Moreover, according to one of the latest Eurobarometer polls, only 49 percent of Italians would vote in favor of remaining in the EU in case of a referendum.

With the center-left Democratic Party (PD) expected to fail to earn any seats in the European Parliament at all and the center-right Forza Italia facing difficulties when it comes to gaining enough momentum for a comeback – despite the high profile of its main candidate, the extravagant former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi – the electoral outlook for pro-European Italian parties seems fairly bleak.


According to surveys, the Eurosceptic and anti-immigration Law and Justice (PiS) party looks set to win in Poland with 41.1 percent of the support. Poland joined that EU in 2004 and is the most populous of the eastern European nations in the bloc.

Moreover, the European Commission has opened several investigations against Poland over judicial reforms that Brussels feels does not comply with the community's principles and values.

Twenty-three of the 51 European parliament seats from Poland could go to PiS, which, along with the ENF of Rassemblement National party (Marine Le Pen) could woo future MEPs of Vox to join their respective groups.

Besides the PiS, also the far-right Kukiz could secure between three and five seats from Poland, according to surveys.


If there is a prime minster in the EU who fits the description of "enfant terrible" against Brussels, it is Viktor Orban, who leads the surveys in his country with 52 percent of the support.

He is followed by none other than extremist and ultranationalists from Jobbik party who are also opposed to the policies of the EU.

Nationalist Orban has been very critical of the current European authorities, especially regarding immigration policies, and in recent weeks, he has held several meetings with another extremist Matteo Salvini of Italy.


The UK would never have been a part of these elections if the Brexit talks had not gone off-track and the date for Britain leaving the EU would have remained Mar.29.

However, the European elections could paradoxically provide some respite to pro-European parties in the bloc’s parliament in Strasbourg, mainly the Social Democrats, as it expects the Labour party – one of its most important allies – to do well.

If the UK leaves in the middle of the parliamentary term, it would radically alter the balance of power in the European Parliament, although by then the original members would have elected a president of the European Commission and the 73 seats from Britain would be redistributed, partially, among rest of its allies.

In the European Parliament, Brexit would weaken at least two Eurosceptic groups – the European Conservatives and Reformists, and Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy – of which UKIP is a part.


News history
Trump first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese emperor

Tokyo, May 27 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Monday became the first foreign leader to be received in audience by the new emperor of...

EPP wins poll amid rise of Greens, Liberal Democrats, some far-right parties

Laura Perez-Cejuela and Laura Zornoza

Bolsonaro supported by thousands in Brazilian cities

By Waldheim Garcia Montoya

Trump gives trophy to sumo winner during Japan visit

Tokyo, May 26 (efe-epa).- The United States President Donald Trump on Sunday awarded a trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling final in the Japanese...

New York, May 26 (EFE).- Some 2,300 US sailors have dropped anchor in New York for the traditional "Fleet Week," a tribute by the Big Apple to US maritime...

Powerful quake rocks Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, kills 1

Lima, May 26 (efe-epa).- At least one person was killed and 11 others were injured by the magnitude-7.5 earthquake that had its epicenter in the Peruvian...

Tornado kills 2 in Oklahoma

Washington, May 26 (efe-epa).- At least two people were killed and several others injured when a tornado tore through El Reno, Oklahoma, the city's mayor,...

Iran says willing to make a non-aggression pact with the Arab countries

Baghdad, May 26 (efe-epa).- Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday said his country was willing to make a "non-aggression agreement" with...

Millions of Europeans head out for mammoth final day of EU parliament elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Voters across the European Union on Sunday cast their ballots in the final day of European parliamentary elections, a huge...

Busy day for Spanish voters as country holds local, regional and EU elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Spanish voters on Sunday are heading out to polling stations for the second time in less than a month as the country holds...

Influential ex-prime minister of Thailand dies at 98

Bangkok, May 26 (efe-epa).- Former prime minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda, a retired general and he head of the Royal Privy Council, died on Sunday at...

Voting begins in Lithuania for presidential run-off, European elections

Riga, May 26 (efe-epa).- Polling booths in Lithuania opened at 7am (0400 GMT) on Sunday for the second round of presidential polls as well as the European...

Privileges, austerity lead to resignations in Mexican government

By Jose Antonio Torres.

Trump and Abe have first informal chat over golf as trade talks get underway

Tokyo, May 26 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday had his first informal talks with the Japanese prime minister during a round of golf...

Gandhi offers his resignation over electoral debacle, party rejects it

New Delhi, May 25 (efe-epa).- The leader of India's main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, tendered his resignation on Saturday following his party's...

South African President Ramaphosa takes oath of office

Johannesburg, May 25 (efe-epa).- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in on Saturday as the nation celebrated Africa Day.

Spain's Sánchez looks to consolidate power in regional, EU elections

By Rafael Cañas

EU elections kick off year of comprehensive leadership change in the bloc

By Catalina Guerrero

Trump arrives in Japan on official visit with North Korea, Iran on the agenda

By Agustin de Garcia

Families demand return of missing relatives in Bangladesh

Dhaka, May 25 (efe-epa).- Family members of hundreds of people who disappeared between 2009 and 2019 in Bangladesh, took to the street in capital Dhaka on...

California calls on goats to prevent wildfires

By Marc Arcas

French police search for suspect after blast in Lyon

Paris, May 24 (efe-epa).- Police in the eastern French city are searching for a man on a bicycle after at least eight people were hurt when an explosive...

Senior cleric among three killed in Kabul mosque explosion

Kabul, May 24 (efe-epa).- A bomb blast inside a mosque in the Afghan capital on Friday killed three people, including a prominent religious scholar who was...

Spanish parliament suspends jailed Catalan politicians from role as MPs

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa).- Spain's parliament on Friday suspended four Catalan politicians currently on trial at the Supreme Court for their alleged...

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.