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The continuing pre-election marathon in the USA and the Nicolas Sarkozy’s defeat in the battle for the Élysée Palace spur interest in predictions for the outcome of German elections. The vote in scheduled to take place in September 2013.The elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, that took place on May 13, attracted special attention. The state boasts the population of 18 million, the biggest among 16 federal constituent countries. Many recall that in 2005 having suffered defeat there, then chancellor Gerhard Schröder took decision to hold snap parliamentary elections that put an end to his political career. 

How do foreign investors take the prospects, which are opening up for them in Russia after the presidential elections?  “The Nezavisimaya Gazeta” daily quotes the forecast by the chief economist of HSBC group who says that the investors are scared by the coming 2012 election and new political risks linked with the change of the head of the state.

The way the European Commission react on the nuclear disaster at Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in Japan does not coincide with the common idea of clumsiness of the European bureaucracy machine. The decisions to carry out stress-tests of Europe’s nuclear power plants and to elaborate new nuclear security standards were made on a timely basis. A wide discussion is under way at the level of industry’s experts how the energy sector in Europe should develop further considering the Japanese experience. 

As a participant in talks on how to strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), Germany opposes excessive responsibility for countries with stable financial system. During a meeting with their colleagues in Brussels on January 17, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made a critical remark: ''Solidarity cannot be limited to six triple-A rated countries...''

Great Britain has unveiled plans to cut its military budget by 8% in the next four years, which is the biggest cut since the end of the World War II. On hearing it Washington voiced concern over possible weakening of its ally’s defense potential. In Germany the reaction on the plan of David Cameron’s Cabinet to withdraw the British troops from Germany by 2020 (not by 2035) in order to save money for the state budget was quite controversial.