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Liberal MP Warren Entsch (centre) hugs Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) after the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Photograph: Lukas Coach/EPA

Australia became the 26th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage after a Bill to do so was passed almost unanimously through parliament ju(...)

Fine Gael has seen a surge in support and now enjoys a substantial lead over Fianna Fáil, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.(...)

Leo Varadkar: the last time a taoiseach had this sort of approval rating was in July 2011. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

It is a lesson that has to be regularly relearned. Not every political crisis actually breaks through into the public consciousness, and therefore the(...)

Bavarian finance minister Markus Söder (right, as Marilyn Monroe)  hopes to leverage his personal popularity in Bavaria to revive the CSU’s fortunes. Photograph: David Ebener/EPA

Angela Merkel’s complicated game of coalition poker has just been dealt a new wild card. Some 10 weeks after a disastrous election result, her Bavari(...)

Germany: A menu of bad options

Angela Merkel had a bad election, and her party’s efforts to form a coalition have not gone much better. The result of September’s poll left Merkel we(...)

Acting German chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) not to drag out talks for a fresh grand coalition, a week after the failure of(...)

Angela Merkel  of the Christian Democratic Union talks to the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz. Photograph: Christian Bruna

Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) has seen a lot in more than 150 years – but nothing quite like the political crisis gripping Berlin since Sund(...)

Germany’s Social Democratic Party is pressing for the German parliament, the Bundestag (above), to block Ireland’s plans for an early repayment of bailout loans totalling €5.5 billion. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

After a starring role in the Paradise Papers, Ireland will next week face attempts in Berlin to extend its stay in financial purgatory. Germany’s Soc(...)

In his first party conference address as Fine Gael leader, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid tribute to the Independent members of the government and gave credit to Fianna Fáil for sticking by the confidence and supply agreement. He even said nice things about the Labour Party and the Greens. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan/PA Wire

The low-key tone adopted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in his first leader’s address to the party faithful at the weekend didn’t have delegates whooping i(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the federal state residence of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Berlin. Photograph: Omer Messinger/EPA

German chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday urged party leaders negotiating a tricky three-way coalition government to show more willingness to compromi(...)

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