EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 02/07/2020

Angela Merkel | European People's Party | Flickr

Politico – Hans von der Burchard / Angela Merkel says EU ‘must prepare’ for no-deal Brexit

  • The European Union must prepare for the possibility that negotiations with the United Kingdom won’t secure a deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Wednesday.
  • “To put it mildly, progress in the negotiations has been very limited,” Merkel told the German Bundestag, adding: “I will continue to press for a good solution. But we must and should prepare for the event that an agreement is not reached after all.”
  • Merkel, in her comments to the Bundestag, welcomed an agreement by leaders on both sides during their high-level meeting in June to intensify negotiations in July with the aim of reaching an agreement this fall.
  • German officials have, however, repeatedly emphasized that they believe the last realistic moment for both sides to reach an agreement would be late October.
  • Euractiv / Merkel kicks off EU presidency with Brexit warning

The Guardian – Andrew Roth / Vladimir Putin wins Russia vote that could let him rule until 2036

  • The Kremlin and its supporters have won a controversial vote to amend the constitution and reset Vladimir Putin’s term limits, potentially allowing him to rule as president until 2036.
  • The ad-hoc vote, which did not fulfil legal criteria to be a referendum, saw 77.93% of voters endorse constitutional amendments, with 21.26% against the changes, and 99.9% of the ballots counted. Turnout was 64.99%, the election commission said.
  • The results will allow the Kremlin to say that a vast majority of Russians back Putin’s continued rule beyond 2024, the year that until now marked the end of his fourth and final term as president. Ads for the vote barely mentioned that it would reset term limits for Putin.
  • In a single up-or-down vote, Russians also chose to support a package of amendments that include pension and minimum wage boosts, a modest reorganisation of government, a constitutional mention of “faith in God”, and a ban on gay marriage.
  • Financial Times – Max Seddon / Russian set to back Putin’s move to extend his rule

Project Syndicate – Joseph E. Stiglitz / Priorities for the COVID-19 economy

  • It is July, and a V-shaped recovery is probably a fantasy. The post-pandemic economy is likely to be anemic, not just in countries that have failed to manage the pandemic (namely, the United States), but even in those that have acquitted themselves well.
  • Macroeconomics tells us that spending will fall, owing to households’ and firms’ weakened balance sheets, a rash of bankruptcies that will destroy organizational and informational capital, and strong precautionary behavior induced by uncertainty.
  • Microeconomics tells us that the virus acts like a tax on activities involving close human contact. As such, it will continue to drive large changes in consumption and production patterns, which in turn will bring about a broader structural transformation.
  • Well-directed public spending, particularly investments in the green transition, can be timely, labor-intensive (helping to resolve the problem of soaring unemployment), and highly stimulative – delivering far more bang for the buck than, say, tax cuts.
  • The New York Times – Mariana Mazzucato / We socialize bailouts. We should socialize successes, too.

The New York Times – Henry Fountain / Even the south pole is warming, and quickly, scientists say

  • The South Pole, the most isolated part of the planet, is also one of the most rapidly warming ones, scientists said Monday, with surface air temperatures rising since the 1990s at a rate that is three times faster than the global average.
  • While the warming could be the result of natural climate change alone, the researchers said, it is likely that the effects of human-caused warming contributed to it.
  • Although parts of coastal Antarctica are losing ice, which contributes to sea level rise, the pole is in no danger of melting, as the year-round average temperature is still about minus-50 degrees Celsius.
  • While climate change resulting from emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has very likely played a role, the analysis showed that natural climate variability could account for all of the extreme swing in temperature.
  • The Atlantic – Alan Taylor / Scenes from Antarctica

Today’s food for thought:

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 01/07/2020

Corona, Virus, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Pandemia De

Politico – Jacopo Barigazzi, Saim Saeed and David M. Herszenhorn / EU’s travel safe list emerges from battle for national interests

  • After a pitched and prolonged battle among diplomats that stretched late into Friday night and through the weekend, the Council of the EU on Tuesday agreed to recommend lifting the bloc’s ban on travelers from 14 nations beginning Wednesday.
  • The highly controversial list notably excluded the United States, where infections are still rising uncontrolled, but added China as a 15th nation, literally with an asterisk. Inbound travel will be permitted “subject to confirmation of reciprocity,” reads the footnote.
  • Around 20 countries supported the decision. Poland, Bulgaria, Austria and Portugal abstained in frustration, and Denmark and Ireland opted out using exemptions under the EU treaties.
  • But the fierce fight also showed how a decision ostensibly anchored in evidenced-based science was in fact hijacked by an array of political sensitivities and financial interests, notably in those countries heavily reliant on tourism.
  • Financial Times – Daniel Dombey et al. / Tourism: can Europe save its summer?

The Guardian – Helen Davidson and Verna Yu / Protests break out in Hong Kong as China says new security law will allow extraditions

  • Protests have broken out in Hong Kong during its first day under controversial national security laws imposed by Beijing, and after China confirmed that some suspects could be extradited to the mainland under the new rules.
  • On the 23rd anniversary of the handover from Britain to China, crowds defied a ban on protests and gathered on the streets of the busy shopping district Causeway Bay, where there were large numbers of riot police.
  • Hong Kong police made their first arrest since the law came into force. Police said on Twitter that a man was arrested for holding a Hong Kong Independence flag in a protest, which it says violate the new law.
  • The Beijing press conference confirmed fears the newly established mainland office could elect to have cases tried in the mainland. The lengthy briefing provided few reassurances, except that the law would not be applied retrospectively.
  • The New York Times – Javier C. Hernández / Harsh penalties, vaguely defined crimes: Hong Kong’s security law explained

Foreign Policy – Dalia Hatuqa / The two-state solution is dead. What comes next is worse.

  • As Israel slowly carved out parts of the West Bank over the years, the Palestinian leadership cravenly chose its political dominance and economic interests over holding the occupier of its land accountable.
  • For many Palestinians, annexation is not a new phenomenon: It has taken place informally in the West Bank for decades through settlement construction and other land expropriations.
  • For decades, the state has implemented the concept and its accompanying settlement movement. But annexation will have important implications for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The two-state solution is now dead, but what emerges in the short term will be far uglier: one state that cements Jewish supremacy over Palestinians. It will not be the binational state that many Palestinians envisioned but instead a codified form of apartheid.
  • Haaretz – Hagar Shezaf / If annexation doesn’t happen in July, it won’t happen at all, Israeli settler leaders fear

Bloomberg – Laura Millán Lombraña and Thomas Gualtieri / The clean car revolution is breaking old industrial towns

  • About 25,000 Nissan workers in Barcelona have their livelihoods on the line. It’s a scene that could play out in car towns around the world as the coronavirus crisis accelerates a structural shift in the overcrowded, fast-changing auto industry. 
  • Car sales are plunging, and a recovery is expected to be long and slow. The prospects for traditional vehicles are particularly gloomy. Major economies, accounting for 13% of global car deliveries, have committed to phase out diesel and gasoline engines.
  • An 87% decline in battery prices in the past decade and a green push by the European Union will drive electric car sales up in Europe from just over half a million last year to 2 million in 2025, Bloomberg NEF predicts.
  • If nothing changes, Spain’s 600,000 auto workers will be left out of the green jobs revolution. The region’s electric-car supply chain is concentrated in northern Europe and Asia, where the batteries are developed.
  • Euractiv / Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs as virus bites hard

Today’s long read:

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 30/06/2020

Official Visit of the Secretary-General | Secretary-General … | Flickr

Euractiv / WHO says pandemic ‘not even close’ to over as death toll passes 500,000

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the WHO warned Monday, as the global death toll passed half a million and cases surged in Latin America and the US.
  • In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide topped 10 million, while some authorities reimposed lockdown measures that have crippled the economies worldwide.
  • The virus emerged at least six months ago in China, where the WHO will send a team next week in the search for its origin, Tedros said. COVID-19 is still rampaging across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases.
  • In a reminder of the constant threat of newly-emerged pathogens, researchers in Chinese universities and the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced they had discovered a novel swine flu that was capable of triggering another pandemic.
  • Financial Times – The editorial board / Learning to live with coronavirus

The Guardian – Lily Kuo and Verna Yu / China passes controversial Hong Kong national security law

  • Beijing has passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that critics fear will crush political freedoms and pave the way for China to cement its control over the semi-autonomous territory.
  • Less than 40 days after Chinese lawmakers first proposed imposing an anti-sedition law on Hong Kong, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, on Tuesday approved the measure, according officials and multiple media reports.
  • The legislation, criminalising secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, deals a devastating blow to Hong Kong’s autonomy as promised under the “one country, two systems” framework.
  • According to a summary released previously by Chinese state media, the law will see Beijing set up a national security agency in Hong Kong to “guide” the territory’s implementation of the law.
  • South China Morning Post / Hong Kong national security law unanimously passed by Beijing, while Joshua Wong and associates announce decision to quit party politics

The Economist / Israel weighs the future of the West Bank

  • On June 22nd thousands of Palestinians held a protest in Jericho against a possible Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. They were joined, unusually, by diplomats from across the globe: Britain and Russia, Jordan and Japan.
  • The United Nations envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, made a speech. After months of public warnings and quiet pressure, the world’s collective diplomatic clout perched on plastic chairs beneath the beating summer sun.
  • On July 1st Israel’s cabinet can start to discuss annexation. The date is less a deadline than a starting-point laid down in the coalition agreement signed in April by Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and his governing partners.
  • Israel could decide to annex a large swathe of territory or annex nothing at all, or—as seems likely—do something betwixt the two. If it does anything, it will happen over widespread objections. 
  • Haaretz – Chaim Levinson and Noa Landau / After Gantz pours cold water on annexation, Netanyahu says issue not up to him

The New York Times – Abdi Latif Dahir / Coronavirus is battering Africa’s growing middle class

  • Beyond the devastating consequences for the continent’s most vulnerable people, the pandemic is also whittling away at one of Africa’s signature achievements: the growth of its middle class.
  • For the last decade, Africa’s middle class has been pivotal to the educational, political and economic development across the continent. New business owners and entrepreneurs have created jobs that, in turn, gave others a leg up as well.
  • Educated, tech-savvy families and young people with money to spare have fed the demand for consumer goods, called for democratic reforms, expanded the talent pool at all levels of society, and pushed for high-quality schools and health care.
  • About 170 million out of Africa’s 1.3 billion people are now classified as middle class. But about eight million of them could be thrust into poverty because of the coronavirus and its economic fallout, according to World Data Lab, a research organization.
  • The Guardian – Adam Tooze / Covid-19 is now a truly global health crisis – the solutions must be too

Today’s analysis:

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 29/06/2020

Archivo:Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the 2017 G-20 Hamburg ...

The New York Times – Eric Schmitt, Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos / Spies and commandos warned months ago of Russian bounties on U.S. troops

  • United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan.
  • They believed at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties, two of the officials said. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment.
  • The details added to the picture of the classified intelligence assessment, which The New York Times reported Friday has been under discussion inside the Trump administration since at least March.
  • While Russia has at times cooperated with the United States and appeared interested in Afghan stability, it often seems to work at crosscurrents with its own national interest if the result is damage to American national interests.
  • The Washington Post – Ellen Nakashima et al. / Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments

Politico – Rym Momtaz and Elisa Braun / 5 French election takeaways as Greens win, Macron stumbles

  • The Greens had their best electoral night, emerging as the new disruptors of French politics. They conquered some of France’s biggest cities, breaking decades-long holds of Socialist and conservative incumbents.
  • La République en Marche (LREM) took a thrashing, having failed to put down local roots after growing out of a movement formed to propel Macron to the presidency. In many places, its alliances with other parties flopped.
  • Turnout was historically low at 41 percent, with multiple factors discouraging voters such as the coronavirus pandemic, the unusual three months lapse between the first and second round of the elections due to the virus, and the good weather.
  • Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo won reelection at a canter in the capital, claiming more than 48 percent of the vote — some 15 points ahead of her nearest challenger, the conservative Rachida Dati and far ahead of Macron’s former Health Minister Agnès Buzyn. 
  • Euractiv / Greens surge in French local election

The Guardian – Shaun Walker / Poland election: Duda forced into second round against liberal challenger

  • Duda, allied with Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, had received 45.2% of the vote, according to results based on 87.2% of the total number of polling districts, with second place going to the liberal mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, with 28.9%.
  • The results mean Duda and Trzaskowski will go head to head in a second round on 12 July, in a vote that will determine Poland’s political future. Polls before Sunday’s vote suggested a runoff between the two candidates would be too close to call.
  • Independent candidate Szymon Hołownia was in third place, while the far-right nationalist Krzysztof Bosak was in fourth. PiS has put Poland on a collision course with Brussels over democratic backsliding and rule of law issues.
  • Turnout was estimated at 63%, well up from the 49% turnout in the last presidential elections in 2015, in a sign of how the polarisation of the last five years has mobilised voters on both sides of the divide.
  • Foreign Policy – Dariusz Kalan / Will Poland’s presidential race deal a blow to nationalist conservatives?

Financial Times – Arthur Beesley / Micheál Martin takes helm in historic Irish coalition deal

  • Micheál Martin, a veteran of the party blamed for Ireland’s financial crash and 2010 bailout, has taken over as prime minister as Dublin faces a fresh economic crisis.
  • In December 2022 he will have to hand back the office of taoiseach to his predecessor Leo Varadkar — the hefty price for a historic deal between rival parties that have dominated Irish politics for nearly a century without ever ruling together.
  • He leads a three-way coalition between his centrist Fianna Fáil, Mr Varadkar’s centre-right Fine Gael and the Greens. It follows a February election in which Sinn Féin nationalists, long on the fringes, won the popular vote.
  • Installed 140 days after the election, the new coalition was a long time coming. Talks were delayed by coronavirus as the lockdown led to record joblessness, a far cry from rapid pre-election growth.
  • Euractiv – Samuel Stolton / New Irish prime minister gives boost to EU centrists

Today’s holistic view:

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 26/06/2020

Euro Sign | Photo taken by Alex Guibord outside the European… | Flickr

Financial Times – Arthur Beesley, Sam Fleming and Mehreen Khan / Eurogroup candidates pitch rival visions for pandemic recovery

  • Three candidates have made pitches to lead the eurogroup of finance ministers following the announced departure of Portugal’s Mário Centeno, as the currency bloc’s economies reel from the coronavirus crisis.
  • Ms Calviño made her case on Twitter, saying she would work for a “strong and prosperous euro area to the benefit of all European citizens”. Olaf Scholz, Germany’s Social Democratic finance minister, is among her supporters.
  • Mr Donohoe is also a supporter of the borrowing effort, but he pitched Dublin as a “bridge builder” in the bloc. His party is aligned with centre-right European People’s party (EPP), which should tee up support from over half a dozen EPP finance ministers.
  • In a letter to fellow ministers, Mr Gramegna sought to portray himself as a consensus builder on fiscal policy, pledging to strike the right balance between responsible budget policy and supporting the economy.
  • Euractiv – Jorge Valero / Calviño, Donohoe and Gramegna compete for Eurogroup helm

Foreign Policy – Keith Johnson / How Europe fell out of love with China

  • The European Union is ratcheting up its rhetoric against Beijing’s heavy-handed approach to the economy and human rights, with many officials describing what they once saw hopefully as a partnership as more of a rivalry.
  • For years, much as the United States did in the past, Europe has sought to nudge China to make reforms in how it trades and does business but has nothing to show for it. Now, European officials openly talk of China as a rival that needs to start making changes.
  • Last week, the EU unveiled a new scheme meant to fight back against China’s use of state subsidies to its firms. This fall, a long-planned investment screening mechanism meant to shield key European firms and industries from predatory acquisitions will finally be implemented. 
  • Both, while nominally directed at all non-EU countries, aim squarely at China. The key to the future EU-China relationship could come from what happens in the U.S. election in November.
  • Politico – David M. Herszenhorn / Pompeo says US ready to team up on China, but EU eyes a post-Trump world

The Washington Post – Danielle Paquette / The coronavirus is jeopardizing a ‘very, very finite’ workforce: Africa’s doctors and nurses

  • The coronavirus pandemic has tightened its grip on much of Africa, where reported cases have more than tripled over the last month, jeopardizing overstretched medical teams as the need for care soars.
  • African health officials and medical professionals are raising concerns about cracks in a crucial armor: Infections among health-care workers have shot up 203 percent since May, following a spike in community transmission and a drop in access to protective gear.
  • Travel and export restrictions have cut off a key flow of medical supplies, health officials said, further exposing doctors and nurses. Africa carries a disproportionately small fraction of the world’s caseload, though testing remains limited in some areas.
  • But with infections on the rise, health leaders say medical staffs are up against growing obstacles to fend off worst-case scenarios — particularly in West Africa. Funds are often tight.
  • The Economist / Latin America opens up before it’s ready

Bloomberg – Will Mathis and Akshat Rathi / Big oil’s long bet on hydrogen offers a climate lifeline

  • Hydrogen burns cleanly, leaving only water behind. That’s made it an attractive alternative fuel source—not just for governments looking to satisfy climate mandates, but also for oil companies trying to ensure their continued relevance.
  • Oil-and-gas majors have spent tens of millions of dollars on pilot projects. Now in the face of record-low oil prices, frozen international travel, and growing shareholder unease over greenhouse gas emissions, investing in hydrogen has taken on a new urgency.
  • Hydrogen also burns very hot, making it useful for high-polluting heavy industries such as cement- and steel-making. These sectors have long relied on coal, and established renewables such as wind and solar can’t deliver the necessary heat. 
  • Supplying hydrogen could potentially become a huge new market that oil companies could dominate quickly thanks to their existing expertise in transporting and selling gas. But major obstacles remain before hydrogen can fully replace fossil fuels in any sector.
  • Project Syndicate – Jacob Duer / The plastic pandemic

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 25/06/2020

File:President Trump Meets with President Duda of Poland ...

Financial Times – James Shotter / Poland’s president Duda ignites culture wars in re-election bid

  • Andrzej Duda began his speech in Brzeg, a small town in southwestern Poland, with a historical anecdote that led him to what he described as a worse modern-day threat to the country: LGBT “ideology”.
  • Polls suggest that he will win the first round of the voting with around 42 per cent of the vote on Sunday, or 10 points more than his nearest rival, the liberal opposition mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski.
  • But this margin would evaporate in a run-off, held on July 12 if no one wins more than 50 per cent in the first round. The stakes are high. Analysts say that the deep polarisation of Polish society means the race is likely to go down to the wire.
  • Were Mr Duda to lose, the opposition, armed with the presidency’s veto powers, would be able to provide a check on the ruling party and its measures — including a bitterly contested judicial reform — that have set Warsaw at odds with Brussels.
  • Politico – Caitlin Oprysko and Zosia Wanat / Trump says he will ‘probably’ reassign troops from Germany to Poland

Foreign Policy – Edward P. Joseph / Anatomy of a Kosovo summit catastrophe

  • In March of this year, the Trump administration successfully engineered the collapse of a friendly government in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Rather than a covert CIA operation, the administration and the U.S. Embassy mounted overt pressure. 
  • Within weeks of suspending development assistance and threatening to withdraw U.S. troops from the NATO peacekeeping force, the government of reformist Prime Minister Albin Kurti was gone.
  • While Washington was busy pressuring Kosovo, Moscow and Beijing were doing the opposite in Serbia: providing critical pandemic support as the coronavirus began sweeping across the Balkans. 
  • Grenell’s vision is to create “momentum” from “economic normalization,” paving the way for a political settlement. Expanded trade with Kosovo—however desirable and laudable—is unlikely to ever become of decisive importance for Serbia.
  • The New York Times – Patrick Kingsley and Gerry Mullany / Kosovo President is indicted for war crimes for role in war with Serbia

Financial Times – Thomas Hale / China expands coal plant capacity to boost post-virus economy

  • China is approving plans for new coal power plant capacity at the fastest rate since 2015, in a sign that pressure to stimulate the economy is undermining a transition towards cleaner energy sources.
  • China is already the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and pollution levels there have quickly rebounded after lockdown. China’s energy policy will be crucial to determining the success of the Paris climate agreement.
  • China pledged to reach a peak of carbon emissions by 2030 as part of the Paris Agreement. In 2016, the government suspended construction of hundreds of coal plants. But many of the projects were restarted as economic growth slowed.
  • Concerns are growing that the world’s two largest polluters, China and the US, will both fail to curb their emissions with the Trump administration preparing to withdraw formally from the Paris pact in November.
  • Bloomberg – Will Mathis and Maciej Martewicz / Europe’s coal heartland is the hottest market for green power

The Guardian – Fiona Harvey / Road to net zero: what the Committee on Climate Change recommends

  • A national plan for insulating the UK’s draughty homes is needed. This would create thousands of new green jobs. Low-carbon heating must become the dominant form of new heating installation by the early 2030s.
  • The CCC says its research suggests the switch to electric cars could be managed by 2032. Oil prices stand at historic lows, making this a good time to raise fuel duty without hitting consumers. The net zero economy will require a net zero workforce.
  • Tree planting and restoring peatlands, wetlands and other natural carbon sinks could generate “shovel-ready” projects. Working from home vastly reduces transport emissions, so more employers should be encouraged to make the changes permanent.
  • New infrastructure is needed to help people continue to cycle and walk to work. Kickstarting research and innovation in low-carbon technologies will be vital. Housebuilders and homeowners also need to adapt the UK’s housing to hotter summers.
  • Euractiv – Sam Morgan / Largest electric plane in Europe takes to the skies over the UK

Today’s report:

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 24/06/2020

Environment | Wildflowers in King Range National Conservatio… | Flickr

Financial Times – Gregory Meyer / Trump eases environmental rules during pandemic

  • The Trump administration’s march to reshape federal environmental protection has gathered pace during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in lighter regulation of America’s air and water.
  • President Donald Trump has ordered officials to find ways to speed up construction of highway or pipeline projects that could circumvent environmental reviews.
  • The EPA this spring also has published rules on air, water and fuel that scrap the work of the Obama administration. Last Thursday, it abandoned oversight of perchlorate in drinking water, dropping its stance on a chemical that can harm infants’ brains.
  • The two-pronged effort includes temporary measures aimed at fostering economic activity as well as permanent rule changes that are being pushed through in time to prevent Democrats from using a little-known legislative tool to overturn them.
  • Bloomberg – Breanna T Bradham / Most Americans say government must do more to fight climate change

Foreign Policy – Martin Gelin / Japan radically increased immigration–and no one protested

  • Even as immigration grows in this traditionally homogenous country, Japan appears to be avoiding the organized far-right backlash that has coursed through the West in recent years.
  • Despite Japan’s reputation as closed-off, homogenous, and xenophobic, a large increase in immigration has mostly been met with a shrug.
  • Shinzo Abe has based his support for the changing immigration policy not on any humanitarian concerns but rather on pragmatic, demographic argument.
  • With unemployment consistently below 3 percent in recent years, even after the pandemic, employers are increasingly raising alarms about labor shortages.
  • The Atlantic – Rachel Donadio / The death of cosmopolitanism

The New York Times – Matina Stevis-Gridneff / E.U. may bar American travelers as it reopens borders, citing failures on virus

  • European Union countries rushing to revive their economies and reopen their borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge.
  • That prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States.
  • Millions of American tourists visit Europe every summer. Business travel is common, given the huge economic ties between the United States and the E.U. It is highly unlikely an exception would be made for the United States.
  • The forging of a common list of outsiders who can enter the bloc is part of an effort by the European Union to fully reopen internal borders among its 27 member states.
  • Euractiv / EU nations could block US, Russian tourists over virus response

The Guardian – Patrick Wintour / Rise of Iran hardliners threatens nuclear diplomacy, Europe warned

  • European diplomats are being urged to restart shuttle diplomacy with Iran after the US presidential election in November or risk Tehran hardliners gaining still wider control of Iran’s many layers of government and its economy.
  • But the deal limiting Iran’s nuclear programme, signed in 2015, is hanging by a thread after the UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA declared for the first time that Iran was not cooperating with its inspectors at two key nuclear sites. 
  • Diplomats are debating whether the political trends in Iran have already flowed so strongly in favour of those opposed to engagement with the west that the option of a revived deal has been lost for the foreseeable future.
  • Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iranian specialist at the European council on foreign relations, claims in a report that the path of engagement is not yet closed. She warns that it will close without an imminent western economic offer.
  • Al-Monitor – Leila Alikarami / Parliament alone cannot stop honor killings in Iran

Today’s perspective:

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.

Política Internacional | Permalink