More than 18 million Romanians will have the chance to choose their members of parliament and senators in December 9 elections, which will mainly be a contest between the ruling Social-Liberal Union (USL) coalition and the Right Romania Alliance (ARD), which supports President Traian Băsescu. The latest polls have predicted that the USL will win the vote.

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Votare humanum est! – Jurnalul Naţional

On December 7, the day of its last ever edition, Financial Times Deutschland headlines with, “In the black at last” — a reference to the fact that the newspaper’s accounts have been in the red ever since its launch in 2000. On the daily’s website, the editorial team looks back on their work over the past 12 years, and offers tongue-in-cheek apologies to the FTD’s shareholders “for having burned through so many millions”, to its advertising customers for having published articles that were critical of their companies, and to Germany’s politicians for having had “so little faith”. However, they conclude, “We would do exactly the same, if we were to do it all again.”

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In the black at last – Financial Times Deutschland

Former prime minister’s party did not support Mario Monti’s government in a confidence vote, setting the stage for the administration's dismissal and an early election in February 2013, instead of March or April as scheduled. The move came after its leader decided to run for the premiership again, cancelling the planned centre-right primaries, and chose the confrontational strategy against Monti, austerity and Europe, causing alarm for Italy’s financial stability.

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Berlusconi breaks away, government on the edge – Corriere della Sera

The agreement concluded between the French government and ArcelorMittal to save the steel plant in Florange, in eastern France, along with 630 jobs, was undermined following the Indian group’s December 6 decision not to participate in the European Ulcos project, which involved storing CO2 at the site. Workers at Florange, who believe they were duped by Prime Minister Ayrault, have announced their intention to occupy the plant’s furnaces.

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Florange: post-mortem of a disaster – Aujourd'hui en France – Le Parisien

Mariano Rajoy marked Constitution Day, the national celebration of the Spanish constitution on December 6, by voicing his support for the “full application” of the law. He pledged this would not be redrafted to modify the territorial organisation of the country in the absence of three conditions: a clear objective, a consensus, and an opportune moment. The representatives of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties did not attend the ceremony to honour the constitution in Madrid.

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Rajoy closes the door on immediate constitutional reform – La Vanguardia

President János Áder has refused to sign the electoral law endorsed last week by Hungary’s parliament, and referred it to the country’s constitutional court. Once enforced, the controversial text will make enrolment on electoral registers obligatory and limit the duration of campaigns for the 2014 general elections. The constitutional court has 30 days in which to formulate its response.

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Constitutional veto in Áder’s sack – Népszava

Minister for Justice Kristen Michal has finally resigned, amid allegations about the illegal funding of the Reform Party led by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. Michal denied any wrongdoing and, in the absence of sufficient evidence, the affair was dropped in October. However, it continued to undermine the popularity of the government.

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Michal does the right thing, but too late – Eesti Päevaleht