Project Syndicate – Joseph Stiglitz / Trump’s most worrisome legacy
- Kirstjen Nielsen’s forced resignation as US Secretary of Homeland Security should not be celebrated. Although she developed the forced separation of families at the American border, her departure will not bring any improvement, since Mr. Trump wants to replace her with someone whose anti-immigration policies are even more ruthlessly.
- In spite of Trump’s immigration policies, it may not be the worst feature of his administration, due to a wink support of white supremacists or the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Iran nuclear deal or IMF.
- Moreover, what concerns the most is the disruption of those institutions that are necessary for the functioning of society. Trump’s agenda is about economy, what forces to ask: what is the basis of America’s wealth? Americans owe much of their economic success to a rich set of truth-telling, truth-discovering, and truth-verifying institutions. Central among them are freedom of expression and independent media
- The attack by Trump and his administration on every one of the pillars of American society jeopardizes its continued prosperity and very ability to function as a democracy. Nor do there appear to be checks on corporate giants’ efforts to capture the institutions – the courts, legislatures, regulatory agencies, and major media outlets – that are supposed to prevent them from exploiting workers and consumers.
The New York Times – Isabel Kershner & David M. Halbfinger/ After tight race, Netanyahu appears poised to form Israel’s next Government
- Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s conservative prime minister for the past decade, appeared to have won a fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister, according to preliminary results early on Wednesday. In spite of this, both Mr. Netanyahu and his centrist rival, Benny Gantz, have declared victory, since it seems that both have won the same number of seats in Parliament. But a count of the broader blocs needed to form a coalition government seems to give Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party ab advantage.
- Mr. Netanyahu now seems to surpass the nation’s founding leader, David Ben Gurion as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Moreover, a victory would provide current prime minister with a renewed mandate as looming indictment on charges of bribery and corruption.
- Mr. Netanyahu is a dominant global player who has strengthened Israeli’s economy, and he is widely credited with having kept the country secure, mainly due to support of American president Mr. Trump.
- More than a million Israelis appeared to have voted for Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White party, which places it in the position of being the main alternative to Israel’s right wing, which was a place once held by the Labor Party, political party founder of the country. President Reuven Rivlin is expected in the next few days to choose the party leader he believes has the best chance of assembling a parliamentary majority.
- Early analysis showed a historically low turnout among Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom boycotted the vote out of disillusionment with Israeli politics and with their own politicians.
Financial Times – Martin Wolf/ Xi Jinping’s China seeks to be rich and communist
- If China becomes a high-income country ruled by a communist party, it would transform a world in which all large, high-income countries are democratic and, moreover, it would reshape the global balance of power, economically and militarily as well as politically and ideologically. This is, indeed, the main goal of President Xi Jinping.
- If this situation occurs, China would be rich, but the political system would stay the same. Sustained growth of real GDP per head at 4% would bring China into the middle of the high-income group, and its economy would surpass US and EU combined.
- On the other hand, social changes might reduce the legitimacy of the party-state, especially if a slowdown is produced, and, in the long-run, the party would find impossible to contain the corruption of the system. It may also be difficult to sustain the legitimacy of an organization rooted in outmoded Marxism.
- It is impossible to know how this will end. The Chinese alone would decide. Will China turn into a huge Singapore, with high-income levels of prosperity and government effectiveness with one-party rule? Will Mr. Xi go into history as the man that brought China into the top of the world or a Chinese version of Mr. Brezhnev, whose conservatism brought the Soviet system into disrepair?
The Guardian – Daniel Boffye, Rowena Mason & Angelique Chrisafis/ Brexit: Theresa May’s hopes dashed as EU targets delay of up to a year
- Theresa May’s request for a short Brexit delay has been torn up, putting the EU on track to instead extend Britain’s membership until 2020. Despite the prime minister’s dash to Paris and Berlin to convince leaders of her plan to break the Brexit impasse, Donald Tusk, showed EU politicians’ lack of faith in her cross-party talks.
- A cabinet source voiced doubts over whether May could survive after presiding over such a long delay to Brexit, after previously having said she could not “as prime minister” accept a longer delay than 30 June. Moreover, Mrs. May faces a bitter backlash within her party due to a long delay of Brexit and the participation in the EU elections.
- The scale of anger among Conservative MPs about May’s talks with Jeremy Corbyn is such that ministers are now speculating about whether she would even command the support of enough her own MPs to have a chance of getting any soft Brexit deal through parliament.
- Member states such as Slovenia, Austria or Spain had all voiced concerns about a lengthy extension during the meeting on Tuesday, and they have mentioned the risks to the EU of Britain behaving badly during the extra period of membership.
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.