ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 10/09/2018

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The Guardian – Jon Henley / Sweden: far right gains threaten Europe’s most stable political order

  • Formed in the late 1980s by neo-fascist extremists, the Sweden Democrats have leapt in the space of just three elections from a 5.7% share of the national vote in 2010, when they first entered parliament, to 12.9% in 2014 and 17.7% this year, according to official preliminary results.
  • The rise of the Sweden Democrats has left the Social Democrats with their worst score in a century, the center-right Moderates well down on 2014, and their respective blocs with no hope of a parliamentary majority.
  • For the moment, the Sweden Democrats remain ostracized, as the non-cooperation pact holds. But many analysts – as well as the Social Democrat prime minister, Stefan Lofven – suspect that given the chance, the Moderates in particular may not wait too long to test it.
  • A German-style “grand coalition” between the main Social Democrats and Moderates is theoretically possible. But another minority government seems more probable, most likely by the center-right.

AFP / EU, US seek to clear trade talks confusion

  • Top officials from the US and EU meet in Brussels on Monday in an effort to iron out differences on trade talks announced this summer.
  • The summer’s mending of fences is fragile, with US President Donald Trump last week again haranguing the EU and raising the specter of slapping tariffs on Europe’s auto industry, especially with mid-term elections approaching in the US.
  • Under pressure from France, the Europeans firmly reject that farming goods be included in trade negotiations. Europe’s top trade official, Cecilia Malmstrom, will attempt to clear up the matter with US counterpart Robert Lighthizer.
  • “The idea is that the commission and the United States agree on a framework document, perhaps by the end of the year,” a European source told AFP.

Al-Monitor – Maxim A. Suchkov / Three things the Tehran summit exposed about Russia, Turkey, Iran ‘alliance’

  • Russia, Turkey and Iran didn’t reach last week in Tehran the full deal they initially hoped for — another summit will now take place in Russia — but all three have a reason to feel their bottom-line security interests can be duly addressed.
  • While such a state of play provides hope than an Aleppo-style offensive can be averted for now, the Russian and Syrian air forces will continue to pound opposition and terrorist positions “on the margins” of Idlib to keep Erdogan on his toes.
  • “We have to solve this [Idlib] issue with the understanding that the legitimate Syrian government has the right and will eventually have to ensure control over its full territory,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
  • We are incredibly concerned with the US continuing to support a terrorist organization. Although Daesh is no longer posing a threat, American sent several thousand of planes with arms. This is illustrative of how they ‘support’ the region,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The New York Times – Mike Ives / Rich nations vowed billions for climate change. Poor countries are waiting.

  • In 2009, industrialized countries pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to help the poorest countries deal with climate change. But the money has been slow to materialize, with only $3.5 billion actually committed out of $10.3 billion pledged to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.
  • The Obama administration delivered $1 billion of a $3 billion pledge to the program. But last year, President Trump, while announcing plans to exit the Paris accord, said the United States would no longer pay into the Green Climate Fund.
  • “We’re very horrified by the stance taken by the United States, but it’s not the only one,” said Meena Raman, legal adviser to the Third World Network, an advocacy group in Malaysia. “All the developed countries are united around the United States in not making any progress on finance.”
  • Some observers say the fund’s funding shortfall and bureaucratic malaise have dimmed expectations for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December meeting in Poland, which was already bound to be difficult.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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