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Voting in Turin, Italy on Sunday
Voting in Turin, Italy on Sunday

The very notion of "political instability" is baked into democratic life. If you want something predictable and unchanging you can have a 17th-century French monarchy or 21st-century Chinese autocracy. Still, a look around European parliamentary democracies these days shows a particularly bumpy road ahead, as ideologies and party machinations are being side-swiped by an accelerating wave of populism throughout the West. Over the past 24 hours, we have seen the tumult playing out in two of Europe's key nations: Italy and Germany.

More than five months after elections that left Germany's two biggest parties badly bruised, Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) will finally be able to form another grand coalition government (or a GroKo, as the Germans call it). On Sunday, two-thirds of the SPD's party members approved the coalition agreement, removing the last hurdle standing in the path of what the party's candidate in the election, Martin Schultz, had vowed not to do: enter another government led by Angela Merkel. But the poor results from both parties and the rise of the far-right formation Alternative für Deutschland left the Chancellor with little room for maneuver, especially after she failed to bring together the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), two almost polar opposites.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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