Politico – Una Hajdari / Serbian ruling party wins by landslide in Europe’s first COVID-19 election
- Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party won a resounding victory in a parliamentary election on Sunday, exit polls show, in Europe’s first national election as coronavirus lockdowns start to ease.
- The Progressive Party is projected to have won about 63 percent of the vote, according to exit polls by the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID), and close to 190 seats in the 250-strong parliament.
- But the opposition also felt vindicated in the election’s low turnout after campaigning for voters to boycott the ballot to push for reforms: Turnout is thought to be around 49 percent. Turnout at the 2016 election was 56.1 percent.
- Although there is no legal requirement for a 50-percent turnout for elections to be valid, opposition parties argue that failing to reach that threshold delegitimizes the vote.
- Euractiv / Ruling conservatives claim victory in Serbian parliamentary vote
The New York Times – Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni / The President’s shock at the rows of empty seats in Tulsa
- Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had canceled plans at the last minute to speak at an outdoor overflow rally that was almost entirely empty, despite claims of nearly one million people registering for tickets to attend the event in Tulsa, Okla.
- The president, who had been warned aboard Air Force One that the crowds at the arena were smaller than expected, was stunned, and he yelled at aides backstage while looking at the endless rows of empty blue seats in the upper bowl of the stadium.
- By the end of the rally, Mr. Trump’s mood had improved, advisers said. But after he left the stage, the fight seemed to have left him, at least temporarily. Leaving the arena, he wasn’t yelling. Instead, he was mostly muted.
- When he landed back at the White House and walked off Marine One, his tie hung untied around his neck. He waved to reporters, with a defeated expression on his face, holding a crumpled red campaign hat in one hand.
- The Washington Post – Travis M. Andrews / Did TikTokers and K-pop fans foil Trump’s Tulsa rally? It’s complicated.
Financial Times – Olaf Storbeck and Stefania Palma / Wirecard says it is likely €1.9bn in missing cash does not exist
- Wirecard warned on Monday that its previous descriptions of a business at the heart of the accounting scandal engulfing the German payments group were “not correct” and that it was likely that €1.9bn in missing cash does not exist.
- The former champion of Germany’s tech sector said it was looking at whether business at a division that uses third parties to process payments “has actually been conducted for the benefit of the company”.
- The group also said that there was “a prevailing likelihood” that accounts at two Asian banks used to settle payments from the TPA business “do not exist”. Wirecard has previously said that €1.9bn of cash was deposited at these escrow accounts held by trustees.
- Shares in Wirecard plunged a further 46 per cent in early trading on Monday. Wirecard said that “constructive discussions” with a consortium of banks over the extension of €2bn in loans to the company were continuing.
- Bloomberg – Chanyaporn Chanjaroen / Wirecard says missing $2.1 billion probably doesn’t exist
Project Syndicate – Kevin Rudd and Daniel Rosen / China’s economic crossroads
- The Chinese government’s failure to deliver on its promise of a more open economy has undermined its credibility, and fueled the growing global backlash that it is experiencing today.
- Now, China is at a crossroads. The COVID-19 crisis sent its economy plunging by a reported 6.8% in the first three months of this year – its first (acknowledged) quarterly contraction on record. For the first time in more than 25 years, China is not publishing a growth target.
- Moreover, because debt is now an even bigger problem for China than it was in 2013, the government does not have the option of pursuing stimulus on the massive scale that it did during and after the 2008 global financial crisis.
- If China wants to prove that its reform intentions are serious this time, it could privatize or break up some SOEs. It could abolish the remaining joint-venture requirements. It could relax foreign equity limits, thereby opening up a wider range of industries to foreign direct investment.
- Financial Times – Sun Yu / China’s migrant workers spurn cherished ‘hukou’
Today’s food for thought:
- Foreign Policy – Ana Ionova / For Brazil’s poor, the pandemic is far from over
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.