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ROME Wholesale Terry Rozier Jersey , Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Germany's election results confirmeda weakening trend for mainstream parties across Europe, accordingto an Italian analyst on Monday.

Yet, the expert suggested the refugee issue -- although muchdebated in the campaign, and a strong point in the German far-rightparty's rhetoric -- was not the only trigger.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won her fourth term on Sunday,and her conservative CDU-CSU bloc remained the largest party inparliament, despite scoring the worst result in decades with 33percent of the vote.

Center-left Social Democrats (SPD) suffered the biggest setbackwith 20.5 percent of the vote, and said they would now go intoopposition.

Far-right party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) made ahistoric breakthrough with 12.6 percent of the vote Wholesale Larry Bird Jersey , exceedingexpectations.

"The good performance of German far-right was somehow expected,considering latest surveys, although maybe not to this extent,"Antonio Villafranca, head of the European Program with Italy'sInstitute for International Political Studies (ISPI), toldXinhua.

"It is true the refugee issue -- and the European migrationcrisis overall -- played a major role in AfD's campaign, but I amnot convinced it was the only factor behind the shifting ofvotes."

"A trend towards the weakening of traditional parties hasemerged all across Europe in recent years Wholesale Bill Russell Jersey , showing a malaise forthe current orientation of the European Union (EU) on the whole,"he explained.

EU's growing attitude towards market liberalization, and theimpact of such approach on average households' income, would havealso played a role in orienting votes. Germany would provide aperfect example of this phenomenon, according to Villafranca.

He noted the country has a current-account surplus worth about300 billion euros (356 billion U.S. dollars), or over 8 percent ofthe gross domestic product (GDP), whereas the same EU rules wouldsuggest the surplus should not exceed 6 percent."That meansGermany's economy is strongly export-oriented Wholesale R.J. Hunter Jersey , and, to becompetitive, it needs relatively low labor costs," the expertsaid.

"That is exactly what has happened: the current-account surplushas translated into benefits and savings for companies and thestate, but not for many Germans."The expert added that wage growthin Germany has been slowing down in the last two years, increasingslightly above 2 percent only.

"Germans perceive the growth, they recognize it Wholesale Jae Crowder Jersey , but many ofthem do not feel part of it," he stressed. "There are stillsignificant pockets of poverty -- especially in some areas, such asBerlin and the former regions of East Germany -- and that was wherethe AfD gathered the largest consensus."

Will there be consequences for German politics, and for thecountry's stance in Europe?

To a certain extent."I think all of the other German forces inparliament will try to isolate the AfD, since this party sees alsoextremist representatives among its members. Yet, the AfD willcount on at least 90 deputies, who would surely make their voiceheard Wholesale Amir Johnson Jersey ," Villafranca said.

Merkel would also likely find herself under pressure from herown party, for allegedly having pushed the CDU-CSU "too much on theleft" and leaving a political hole on the right.

For long time, the analyst recalled, Germany's politics has infact clung on the principle that "nothing should exist at the rightside of CDU."

"Now, this has happened and it is traumatic, alsopsychologically," Villafranca stressed.

As for the EU Wholesale Tyler Zeller Jersey , a more fractured Germany might weaken the chancesof reform. "We have been recently thinking there was a window ofopportunity to relaunch the EU and the eurozone, as President ofthe European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker just said earlier thismonth," Villafranca said."Now, this is not so sure, and it would bewiser to wait and see how Germany's next coalition government wouldposition itself." Enditem

DUBAI, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) fell by one place in the latest global ranking of competitiveness, a report said Wednesday.

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) said on Wednesday in an e-mailed statement that the UAE fell in its global ranking report 20172018 to position 17 (out of 137 countries) from position 16 (out of 138 countries) in the previous year.

The WEF said while the UAE continues to lead the Arab World in terms of competitiveness Wholesale Kelly Olynyk Jersey , it loses one place as other countries post even larger gains.

Although the International Monetary Fund predicted UAE's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to drop to 1.3 percent this year, its non-oil growth is expected to pick up, suggesting that the country's diversification strategy is bearing fruit, the report said.

In order to further increase its competitiveness, the UAE will have to speed up progress in terms of spreading the latest digital technologies (36th) and upgrading education (36th), it added.

Switzerland tops the global ranking of competitiveness in the latest WEF report, followed by the United States and Singapore.

In order to advance in the global competitiveness ranking Wholesale Gerald Green Jersey , the UAE must improve access to financing for companies, improve the general education level and ease labor regulations, among other factors, the WEF said.

It criticized the "poor work ethic in national labor force" in the UAE, while lauding the government's stability in the Gulf state which aims to reduce the share of oil in the GDP from 29 percent to 19 percent by 2024.

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