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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 08/10/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 08/10/2020

Politico – Nektaria Stamouli / Greece’s Golden Dawn leaders guilty of running a criminal gang

  • The leaders of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party have been found guilty of running a criminal organization, bringing to an end a trial that lasted more than five years.
  • Judges ruled Wednesday that seven of the party’s former lawmakers, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos, were guilty of heading a criminal group, while others were found guilty of the lesser charge of participating in a criminal organization.
  • The trial involved several elements: the fatal stabbing of Greek musician Pavlos Fyssas, attacks on migrant fishermen, attacks on left-wing activists, and whether Golden Dawn was operating as a criminal organization.
  • As the verdict was announced, a large crowd of people gathered outside the court cheered while inside the courtroom, victims and their families applauded and burst into tears.
  • Euractiv / Greek court brands neo-nazi Golden Dawn as criminal organisation

The New York Times – Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin / Virus takes center stage as Pence and Harris skirmish in debate

  • Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris clashed over the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday night, with Ms. Harris accusing him and President Trump of presiding over a catastrophic failure in public-health policy.
  • Ms. Harris delivered a comprehensive denunciation of the Trump administration’s policies, ranging from the economy and climate change to health care regulation and taxes.
  • The vice president made misleading or plainly false claims about White House policies on a range of subjects weighing down Mr. Trump in the presidential race. Mr. Pence claimed that the president had a plan to protect people with pre-existing medical conditions though he does not.
  • He also hailed the “V-shaped recovery” of the economy in defiance of the latest government data and repeatedly claimed that Mr. Trump would always “follow the science” on climate change though he has spent his term dismantling environmental regulations.
  • The Washington Post – David Weigel, Michael Scherer and Chelsea Janes / Pence and Harris clash under the shadow of a surging pandemic

Foreign Policy – Colleen Wood / Is this the beginning of Kyrgyzstan’s next revolution?

  • On Monday, the day after Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections, around 20,000 people gathered in the capital, Bishkek, angered by reports of widespread vote-buying and registration fraud. 
  • Just four of the 16 parties competing in elections secured seats in the next parliament, and the proximity of the winning parties to current President Sooronbay Jeenbekov further heightened tensions.
  • By dawn on Tuesday, after hours of clashes with security forces that left 590 people injured and one dead, protesters had taken over the executive building in central Bishkek, stopping to brew tea between kicking in portraits of elected officials and setting fire to the fourth floor.
  • This is not Kyrgyzstan’s first revolutionary experience—uprisings in 2005 and 2010 ushered in new governments—but this time appears different, standing out in its potential for meaningful reform.
  • The Economist / Angry Kyrgyzstanis reject a tainted election—for the third time

Financial Times – Michael Ignatieff / Hungary’s abuse of the rule of law is now incontrovertible

  • In 2017, Viktor Orban’s Fidesz majority in the Hungarian parliament passed “lex CEU” to throw Central European University out of Budapest. On Tuesday, Europe’s highest court threw out the law.
  • The ECJ declared that lex CEU violated European human rights laws on academic freedom and university autonomy, EU laws on freedom of services and World Trade Organization rules guaranteeing freedom to operate a business.
  • The judgment comes late — the university has already been forced to move most of its teaching to Vienna — but it is a landmark ruling that is bound to dissuade other European regimes from similar attacks on free institutions.
  • Now EU governments cannot keep pretending that Hungary’s relation to the rule of law is unclear. Its highest court has declared it in breach of fundamental rights.
  • Time – Suyin Haynes / Why a children’s book is becoming a symbol of resistance in Hungary’s fight over LGBT rights

Today’s explainer:

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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