- Ten MPs will battle it out to be the next Tory leader and prime minister, after gaining support from fellow MPs. The first vote will take place on Thursday, 13 June, as Tory MPs try to whittle down the list to two candidates.
- Members of the wider Conservative Party will then vote for their preferred choice. The winner is likely to be announced during the week beginning 22 July. According to betting odds, former London Mayor and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is widely favored to win the race.
- Of all candidates, Johnson’s successor as Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is the one who has spent more years in government, shadow cabinet and select committee positions. He’s closely followed by prominent Brexiteer Michael Gove.
Project Syndicate – Olivier Blanchard / Europe must fix its fiscal rules
- In countries where interest rates are extremely low and public debt is considered safe by investors – making it less costly from both a fiscal and economic standpoint – larger fiscal deficits may be needed to make up for the limitations of monetary policy. The eurozone has now reached this stage.
- A 60% debt-to-GDP limit is not the right target (if it ever was to begin with). Not only should it be higher, but the requirement that member states that exceed the limit adjust back to it at a certain speed should be loosened. The 3%-of-GDP limit on fiscal deficits should also be loosened.
- The European Commission should stop micromanaging member states’ fiscal policies. The Commission should intervene only when a government is on a trajectory toward amassing truly unsustainable debt.
- The eurozone must also improve its fiscal- and monetary-policy coordination. What is needed is either a coordination device through which each country commits to a larger, self-financed fiscal expansion, or, preferably a common budget, funded by euro bonds, which can then be used to finance higher spending in each country when needed.
Foreign Policy – Amy McKinnon / Moldova’s governments go head to head
- Over the weekend, Moldova was plunged into political crisis. By Monday, the country had emerged with two rival governments that held two separate cabinet meetings, all of it stemming from a February parliamentary election in which no party won a majority.
- On Saturday, the pro-European Union parliamentary bloc ACUM and the Russian-backed Socialist Party put their differences aside to form a coalition government. Their goal: to keep the Democratic Party of Moldova, which is run by the influential oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, out of power.
- The situation has prompted a rare show of unity between Russia and the West. The Russian Foreign Ministry and the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini have recognized the coalition government. The US State Department stopped short of backing the new government but called for dialogue.
- However, the Constitutional Court backed a challenge to the coalition government by the Democratic Party and appointed its outgoing prime minister, Pavel Filip, as acting president. Filip then dissolved the Parliament and called for new elections, but the Moldovan Parliament refused to recognize his order.
The Economist / China seems deaf to mass protests in Hong Kong over extradition
- On June 9th, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets in protest against a proposed law that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. It may have been the biggest demonstration since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.
- Nonetheless, the government issued a statement saying it would press ahead with its plans for getting the bill adopted by the Legislative Council. Seemingly in response, some of the hundreds of protesters who had gathered outside the government’s headquarters tried to force their way in.
- Even though the proposed law would not apply to people accused of political crimes, critics of the bill say China’s judiciary could secure the extradition of such people by charging them with other offences, and then not provide them with a fair trial. The bill would apply to anyone physically in Hong Kong.
- Yet officials in Hong Kong say the bill would comply with Hong Kong’s human-rights standards. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, denied that she was introducing the legislation at the request of the central government.
- South China Morning Post – Owen Churchill / US State Department and UK’s Asia minister express support for Hongkongers protesting extradition bill
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.