First Past the Post: December 13

Foreign Policy profiles Beppe Grillo, the Italian blogger and comic who founded the populist Five Star Movement (interesting fact: he was convicted for manslaughter in 1983).

Uruguay’s lower house of parliament approved a same-sex marriage bill.

After the center-left’s landslide victory on Sunday, Romania’s president Traian Basesçu is looking for alternatives to name as prime minister in lieu of his nemesis, Victor Ponta.

Japan enters its fifth recession in 15 years.

Egypt’s opposition will vote against the constitution, and the referendum will be held on two voting days: December 15 and 22.

Ukraine’s parliamentary opposition tangles up the vote to appoint Mykola Azarov for a new term as prime minister.

The top two autonomist Catalan parties have agreed on an independence referendum within two years.

Kenyan vice president (and a frontrunner for the March 2013 presidential election) Uhuru Kenyatta is banned from visiting Europe.

Although it once dominated Norway, Sweden has now become a source of cheap labour — and jokes.

The war between former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and Germany begins.

Francisco Toro considers Venezuela’s succession.

Top French actor Gérard Depardieu will move to Belgium to avoid the high tax rates instituted by president François Hollande’s government.

The BJP may win a blowout landslide in Gujarat’s election, and may be rewriting Indian politics in so doing.

Just 12 days into office, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto is proposing a wide education reform. [Spanish]

A Europe 2013 predication.



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