EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 10/07/2020

File:Paschal Donohoe TD.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Politico – Bjarke Smith-Meyer / With Eurogroup, Donohoe wins the tough job of economic recovery

  • Paschal Donohoe’s prize for clinching the Eurogroup presidency: the daunting task of leading an economic recovery from the coronavirus while bridging a north-south divide on fiscal policy.
  • His start comes during a potentially tense series of talks among EU leaders over the European Commission’s proposed €1.85 trillion budget-and-recovery package.
  • Donohoe’s victory strengthens the EPP’s role in the EU after the party lost their near-total grip on institutional power last year. The conservative group went from holding the presidencies of the Commission, Council and Parliament to just the Commission.
  • “I will be working very hard with all of my colleagues to ensure that the Eurogroup plays a very constructive and positive role in reaching an agreement on the recovery fund,” he said by videoconference from the ministry in Dublin.
  • Euractiv – Jorge Valero / Donohoe wins Eurogroup presidency

The New York Times – Choe Sang-Hun / Seoul mayor is found dead after harassment complaint is filed

  • The mayor of Seoul, the country’s second-most powerful official and a potential presidential candidate, was found dead just days after a secretary in his office told the police that he had sexually harassed her since 2017, the authorities said on Friday.
  • A Seoul police officer confirmed early Friday that the body of the mayor, Park Won-soon, had been discovered on a hill in northern Seoul, several hours after his daughter had reported him missing.
  • Word of the mayor’s death and its possible links to sexual misconduct sent shock waves across the country, not only because Mr. Park was a political star but also because he had long been seen as a champion of women’s rights.
  • Mr. Park, 64, had canceled his official schedule and called in sick to City Hall on Thursday, the day after the secretary had filed her complaint. His daughter told the police that he had left home after leaving a cryptic, “will-like message.”
  • Al-Jazeera / Missing Seoul mayor Park Won-soon found dead

Bloomberg – Thomas Mulier and Corinne Gretler / WHO launches review of Covid-19 pandemic response after Trump criticism

  • The World Health Organization named leaders of an independent panel to review its response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been criticized by the U.S. The panel will present an interim report in November.
  • Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, were selected as co-chairs, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a meeting with member-states. 
  • WHO has come under fire for its response to the coronavirus outbreak from President Donald Trump who is pulling the U.S. out of the global group, saying that it’s too close to China.
  • “It’s time for a very honest reflection,” Tedros said in the meeting. “All of us must look in the mirror. The WHO, every member state, all involved in the response, everyone. Are we ready to learn the big lessons?”
  • The Washington Post – Paul Schemm and Adam Taylor / Tearful WHO director calls for global unity to fight the virus following U.S. pullout

South China Morning Post – Catherine Wong / US-China competition in Indo-Pacific a ‘marathon, not a spring’, acting assistant secretary of defence says

  • Washington needs long-term strategies and “like-minded partners” to compete with Beijing in a “marathon” race to lead the international order, according to a senior US defence official.
  • “Together, we must be resilient as we face this long-term challenge by continuing to uphold and represent core principles such as respect of sovereignty, transparency, peaceful resolution of disputes, and freedom of navigation and overflight.”
  • Helvey said Hong Kong’s sweeping national security law was the latest example of a pattern of behaviour by Beijing which “bends, disregards or rewrites rules in its favour in the pursuit of domestic and geopolitical ends”.
  • Liu Weidong, an expert on international relations with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Trump administration was now strengthening its efforts to rally allies and partners in containing China.
  • The Guardian – Verna Yu / ‘This is intolerable’: fearful Australians in Hong Kong hasten plans to leave city

Further reading for the weekend:

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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