The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 23/05/2017

Financial Times—J. Brunsden / Greek creditors fail to reach deal in 7 hours of talks

  • The Euro area is locked in a race against time to finish the negotiations about the next stages of the Greek bailout before Athens faces repayment deadlines (amounting to 7 bn euros) in July.
  • Eurozone finance ministers had hoped their meeting would bring the IMF into the bailout.
  • The next attempt to conclude a deal will take place in mid-June.
  • The IMF believes Greece’s debt is unsustainable and a substantial easing is needed. Some European countries such as Germany are reluctant to open the door to far-reaching debt relief.

POLITICO—D. M. Herszenhorn & J. Barigazzi / EU dusts off forgotten body for Brexit big time

  • The General Affairs Council (GAC), once one of the most powerful formations of the Council of the European Union but in recent years largely irrelevant, has received a new lease of life because of Brexit.
  • The GAC’s prominence ended in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty, which created a separate Foreign Affairs Council.
  • Now, the GAC is expected to act as a gatekeeper, formally approving crucial decisions through the Brexit negotiating process and standing in for EU27 leaders, who do not want to go into the obscure details of the negotiations.
  • Any divisive issue that might arise from Brexit negotiations will first be dealt with by high-profile ministers in the GAC, with an eye toward presenting EU27 leaders with a compromise. Major decisions will still be made by the European Council.
  • The GAC will not be able to overrule Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiatior, on when to start trade talks with the UK.

The Guardian—P. Beaumont & S. K. Dehghan / Donald Trump focuses fire on Iran’s support for “terrorists and militias”

  • On his visit to Israel and the West Bank, President Trump escalated his war of words against Iran.
  • Throughout his Middle East trip, Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric has overshadowed his alleged intent to make a breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
  • “The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon—never, ever—and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias, and it must cease immediately,” said Trump in a meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin.
  • Trump added that he had detected “a growing realization among [Israel’s] Arab neighbors that they have common cause with [Israel] in the threat posed by Iran.”
  • About the Iran nuclear deal, Trump said that “it was a terrible thing for the United States to enter [it].”
  • Rouhani responded by claiming that stability in the region cannot be reached without Iran.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

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