The memories came flooding back when I heard last weekend that Oskar Lafontaine, the leftwing German political leader, was withdrawing from national politics. Lafontaine is the sort of public figure that lazy journalists often call “firebrand” (Ukraine’s Yulia Tymoshenko, though from the opposite end of the political spectrum, is another).
I first came across Lafontaine in November 1990, just after capitalist West Germany had taken over communist East Germany – a more accurate way of putting it, in Lafontaine’s opinion, than the weaselly term “reunification”. He was the Social Democratic party’s candidate for chancellor in the first parliamentary elections in the newly united Germany, and he was holding a campaign rally in a sports hall in east Berlin. Read more
Notes from the EU
About this blog
Welcome. This blog covers everything from the European Union's foreign and economic policies to the fortunes of its political leaders - as well as the more light-hearted aspects of life in Europe.
Alex Barker is the FT's Brussels bureau chief, covering foreign policy, some of the migration crisis and all things Brexit. He started in Brussels on the single market, financial regulation and competition beat. He was formerly an political correspondent in Westminster and joined the FT in 2005.
Duncan Robinson is the FT's Brussels correspondent, covering internet and telecommunications regulation, justice, employment and migration as well as Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. He joined the FT from the New Statesman in 2011.
Jim Brunsden joined the Financial Times as an EU Correspondent in August 2015. He began his career in Brussels in 2006, as a reporter first for Europolitics, and then European Voice. Prior to joining the FT he covered financial regulation for Bloomberg from 2010 to 2015.