01/15/2018: Protests in Tunisia amid revolution anniv. | Renewed grand coalition likely in Germany?

Tunisians on Sunday marked seven years since the uprising that launched the so-called Arab Spring. The North African country had been seen as having had a relatively smooth democratic transition since January 14, 2011. But anger has risen again over austerity measures introduced after a year of rising prices, with protesters chanting the 2011 slogans of "Work, Freedom, Dignity". What has sparked the new wave of Tunisian violence? Is the Middle East now in an even worse situation? Maria Al Makahleh, President of the Moscow-based International Middle Eastern Studies Club and Sarah Feuer, a Fellow of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy joined the Point.

An agreement that paves the way for Angela Merkel to form a new coalition government in Germany has been cast in doubt by a growing rebellion in the Social Democrat Party (SPD). Merkel and the SPD leader, Martin Schulz, sealed a deal to open formal coalition negotiations last Friday. But the agreement has to be approved by a special SPD Party congress next Sunday. How likely is a renewed version of the “grand coalition” of the past four years between Merkel’s party and the SPD? Dr. Florian Hartleb, German political scientist and research associate at Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and Dr. Josef Braml, editor-in-chief of the German Council on Foreign Relations' Yearbook joined the Point.

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