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Europe minus Merkel

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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Estonian PM resigns over corruption allegations; post-Merkel Germany

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Why did the Estonian prime minister resign and what happens now?

Well, he had to resign because there were allegations of corruption in connection with a construction issue in in Tallinn. Let's see. I think my best guess is that there will be a new coalition with the new composition of parties and perhaps a more clear-cut commitment to reforms.

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Europe reacts to attack on US Capitol with disbelief, horror & sorrow

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:

What is the European reaction to the pictures coming out of Washington, yesterday?

Disbelief. Horror. Shock. But also sorrow. The United States is a great ally of Europe. And to see its democracy literally looted by mobs of hooligans inspired by the President of the United States is something that I don't think anyone had thought would ever happen. The President of the United States has gone, in the eyes of the Europeans, from being a leader of a great democracy to being a cult leader of a mob of hooligans.

UK’s new COVID strain problematic but economic pain is a greater risk

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Number one, what's the story with the new COVID strain in Britain?

Well, I mean, it's a mutation. Apparently, it is equally combatable by the vaccines that we've developed, and I've heard that directly by some of the people that are running those companies. So, it's not a concern about the ability that we have to stop the disease once we get vaccinations, thank God. But it is a problem in terms of how much more quickly the virus can be transmitted. Now, in the United Kingdom, they do an awful lot of testing, especially compared to many countries in Europe, and they have found an extensive amount of this new strain, which has led them to bring the UK into Tier 4, as they call it, which means basically Christmas is canceled. No one's going anywhere. Everything's locked down. That also has meant that a lot of countries have suspended travel to the United Kingdom, which I understand, but we've already seen some of this new strain in Italy, for example. I suspect it's going to pop up in a bunch of other countries in the continent. If it's everywhere, do you really want the additional pain economically?

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Is the European Union too b​ig? Wolfgang Ischinger on the EU's future

One of Europe's top diplomats, Wolfgang Ischinger, joins GZERO World in our latest episode to discuss a wide range of geopolitical issues—from US/EU relations to China. In this clip, the former ambassador to the US and UK and current Chairman of the Munich Security Conference offers his thoughts on the rise of populism in EU nations like Hungary and Poland, and what it means for the future of the union.

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Europe minus Merkel