And coalitions must agree on a platform before forming a government together. Voters in coalition-run countries are familiar with this process and more amenable to compromise as the price of power. Im not saying this always works perfectly, De Vries says, but you see the harsh edges of political parties go off when theyve been in formal coalition negotiations. There are Tea Parties everywhere. Finland has its True Finns, France its National Front. Germany has a brand-new Alternatives for Germany party. De Vries refers to these as issue entrepreneurs. They seize on questions that have been ignored by major partiessuch as immigration and the pace of European integrationand win enough votes to matter. To get into a coalition, these narrowly focused parties have to accept that there is more to governing than immigrants, or taxes, or global warming. If theyre hostile to compromise, theyre stuck on the outside, left to agitate for their ideas with no power to enact them or even to throw sand in the gears. Brooks Newmark, a Tory member of the British Parliament, says the Tories were lucky in the last election. The extreme right wing of the party broke off to form the U.K. Independence Party. Had they stayed within the fold, he says, UKIP-type members of Parliament could have held us hostage just as the Tea Party is doing to the Republicans. Without them, Newmark adds, the Tories still have been able to pass austerity budgets.
Billionaire Slim’s Europe Plans on Hold as KPN Talks End
in Mumbai . Theres an oversupply in this space and demand is not picking up as corporate side expenditure is muted given the economic scenario. Indias $1.8 trillion economy expanded 5 percent last fiscal year, the slowest pace since 2003, as companies and businesses curtailed travel budgets. Occupancy rate at luxury hotels fell to 59.9 percent in the year through March 2012 from 73.8 percent in 2006, according to data provided by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India . Slowing economic growth hasnt discouraged the operators from betting on Indias potential. Accor, which has started a three-year reorganization plan that includes increasing its focus on emerging markets, is betting on Indias middle class, which is forecast to add the equivalent of more than the entire population of Germany in less than a decade. Middle Class Between 2010 and 2021, Indias emerging middle class — who earn as much as $5,550 a year — will swell by 100 million to 570 million, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated in June 2012. Paris-based Accor , which has 23 percent of its hotels in Asia, considers India as one of its three strongest growing markets over the longer term after China and Indonesia , Issenberg said. More than half the hotels it will build will be in Asia, he said. Hotels are a consumer item, its a discretionary spend, Issenberg said. As the middle class continues to grow in Asia, travel will continue to grow and grow faster than GDP. Nakul Anand, chief executive of ITCs hospitality business, said in July that the operator is developing at least 18 projects. Indian Hotels opened two new hotels since April, adding 175 rooms, according to an Aug. 12 company presentation. It plans to add 1,575 rooms by March 2014 and an additional 1,553 in the next fiscal year, it said at the time. Keeping Up India has 200,000 rooms versus 5 million in the U.S., which has a smaller population, and 3 million in China, according to Indian Hotels Managing Director Raymond Bickson. Accor has over 455,985 rooms at more than 3,555 hotels in 92 countries, according to its website.
Optimism over Europe may be overdone
Jonathan Eyal, Europe Correspondent The Straits Times Friday, Oct 18, 2013 John Paulson is not a man easily ignored – the hedge fund manager became a billionaire after accurately predicting the 2007 US sub-prime mortgage crash. So, when Mr Paulson recently announced that he was taking “a substantial stake” in – of all things – Greek banks, the global investment community rushed to the only obvious conclusion: if Greece, the weakest economy in the euro zone single currency market, is now praised by Mr Paulson for being run by a “very favourable, pro-business government”, then Europe’s long drawn-out financial crisis must surely be over. In similar vein, Mr Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at the ING bank giant, predicted in a note to clients: “Germany’s economy staged an impressive growth comeback in the second quarter, which should be sufficient to have pushed the entire euro zone out of the recession.” The belief that Europe has emerged from its deepest recession since World War II is certainly growing. But optimism can be overdone. First, it’s worth remembering that most of the upbeat talk is not about truly good statistics, but about less bad ones. So, Spain’s gross domestic product appears to be heading for a drop of “only 0.1 per cent for the rest of this year” – this is hailed by European officials as proof that the recession is “bottoming out”. Secondly, anyone who lives or travels through Europe is likely to have a less sanguine outlook than upbeat business analysts. Most tourists visiting Spain are impressed by its beauty and its still passable transport infrastructure – a legacy of the boom years of the 1990s. But the palm-fringed coastal towns of the Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean are dotted with abandoned construction sites, with holiday homes nobody wants, even though asking prices have halved. Many of these sites are now inhabited by gypsy migrants from Eastern Europe. Outside Atocha railway station in Madrid, the pride of Spain’s high-speed train system, hundreds of youngsters sleep rough. The station’s toilet operator, a company which goes by the splendid name of “2theloo” recently announced that it would charge for its facilities, partly in order to keep street tramps out.
Europe’s Top Hotel Says Glut to Thwart Revival: Corporate India
Europe is an attractive market, even if its being pressured by the slowing macro-economy. They are mature markets with a good return. America Movil shares dropped 1.2 percent to 13.85 pesos at the close in Mexico City. KPN traded 7.9 percent lower at 2.24 euros in Amsterdam, and Telekom Austria was unchanged at 6.36 euros in Vienna. Ziggo Takeover? Europes economic struggles have lured investors such as Slim and billionaire Li Ka-shing to hunt for bargains in the phone industry, where growing competition and tight regulation have squeezed profit margins. AT&T Inc., which owns 9 percent of America Movil, has also eyed investments in Europe, saying the continent is on the cusp of a boom in demand for high-speed wireless Internet service. KPN rival Ziggo NV (ZIGGO) has also deflected a foreign takeover attempt. The cable-television company, based in Ultrecht, Netherlands , said yesterday that shareholder Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA) made an inadequate offer for the rest of its shares, and its uncertain whether it will receive an improved bid. America Movil hasnt made a decision on what to do with its KPN stake and will study Dutch regulations to determine if its options are limited because of its withdrawn tender offer, said Arturo Elias , Slims spokesman. The company didnt drop its KPN bid to pursue another offer, and the decision isnt a negotiating ploy with KPN, he said. Our position is firm and serious, he said in a phone interview. Numerous Discussions In a statement, KPN said America Movils offer undervalued the company and didnt do enough to protect minority shareholders. The KPN boards werent able during their numerous discussions to obtain an acceptable proposal on the content, firmness, duration and enforceability of America Movils commitments to KPNs stakeholders, the company said. Speaking on a conference call today, Chief Executive Officer Eelco Blok wouldt comment on the price KPN was seeking during negotiations.