The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 14/09/2017

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LSE—Pol Morillas / Juncker’s State of the Union: Where now for multispeed Europe?

  • When the European Commission presented its White Paper earlier this year, many thought that Juncker should have proposed a way forward, making full use of the Commission’s right of initiative, instead of opening a debate on the future of Europe, as think tanks tend to do.
  • Emmanuel Macron’s election in France and the slow but steady acceptance of the multispeed approach by Angela Merkel increased the prospects of reform in this direction. In Versailles, Italy and Spain also rallied behind the multiple speeds formula.
  • But yesterday, Juncker advocated for all countries to join the Eurozone by 2019 and to open Schengen to Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia as soon as possible. There shall be no such thing as “first class” Europe if all countries share the same currency and enjoy freedom of movement.
  • Goal-wise, it is reasonable that the European Commission aims to strengthen European integration and avoid any kind of “second class” Europe. But as a method, a multispeed or flexible Union still has a comparative advantage vis-à-vis the alternatives.
  • Divisions will make it all the more likely that the first scenario of Juncker’s White Paper, muddling through, will eventually materialize.

Al-Monitor—O. Al Sharif / Jordan opens crossing with Iraq, makes nice with Syria

  • Amman and Baghdad celebrated the reopening of the only land crossing between their two countries on August 30, two years after it was closed due to the Islamic State’s (IS) gaining control of most of Anbar province on the Iraqi side.
  • Jordanian officials have been wooing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi since he took office in 2014 with visits to Baghdad. In 2016, the two sides signed an agreement to build an oil pipeline from Basra, in southern Iraq, to the Jordanian port of Aqaba. This should further help the struggling Jordanian economy.
  • Jordan has insisted that its backing of rebel groups in southern Syria is aimed at fighting IS and other terrorist groups and not the regime. It also indicated that it was willing to reopen its side of the border near Daraa after the Syrian army takes control.
  • During the past two weeks, top Syrian officials have made positive statements about the future of relations with Jordan.

Financial Times—N. Bozorgmehr / Iran cracks down on Revolutionary Guards business network

  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps is being forced to shrink its sprawling business empire and some of its senior members have been arrested as part of President Hassan Rouhani’s attempts to curb the elite force’s role in the economy.
  • According to a relative of Ayatollah Khamenei, “other than economic concerns, Mr Khamenei feels the need to save the guards [from corruption] and has naturally thrown his support behind the move.”
  • The Trump administration has imposed new sanctions on companies and individuals affiliated to the guards. The measures have put off international investors who fear they could inadvertently end up doing business with entities linked to the guards’ opaque empire.
  • Mr Rouhani last month increased the official budget for the corps’ ballistic missile program and overseas military campaigns in a bid to placate the guards and counter their argument that they need businesses to fund their operations.

The New York Times—A. Higgins / Russia’s war games with fake enemies cause real alarm

  • Russia and Belarus are conducting a six-day joint military exercise (Zapad-2017) that is expected to be the biggest display of Russian military power since the end of the Cold War a quarter-century ago.
  • There are fears that Moscow may be moving far more troops into Belarus than it intends to withdraw, establishing a permanent military presence there on the border with NATO countries. And officials in the Baltics and Poland have voiced alarm that the exercises could be used as a cover for Russian aggression, as happened in 2014.
  • The Baltic States and Poland say they believe that the number of Russian troops taking part in Zapad-2017 could reach 100,000. On the other hand, Moscow and Minsk insist that this week’s Zapad exercise will involve just 12,700 troops.
  • Russia has dismissed Western anxieties over Zapad-2017, saying that the exercises are purely defensive.

Brookings—S. Pifer / Test Putin’s proposal for U.N. peacekeepers

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin made headlines last week when he suggested a U.N. peacekeeping force for the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. His proposal likely was not sincere, but Ukraine and its friends in the West should test the proposition.
  • Both the U.S. and Germany cautiously welcomed the proposal, which was the right thing to do despite the set of conditions laid out by Putin. Now that proposal must be reshaped. A U.N. peacekeeping force could make a serious contribution to ending the conflict—if it has a proper mandate.
  • The force should be able to operate in the whole region and for a longer period of time than Putin wants it to. In addition, it should be able to assert and maintain authority in the region; a repeat of the United Nations Protection Force performance in Bosnia in the early 1990s would not help.
  • Some see in Putin’s proposal a sign that the Kremlin seeks a way out of the Donbass quagmire, but we must be skeptical about this possibility.

 The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 12/09/2017

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The New York Times / Sweden starts largest military drill in over 20 years

  • Sweden has started its largest military exercise in over 20 years with nearly 20,000 troops drilling on air, land and sea. 1,000 U.S. soldiers will also participate, as well as contingents from other countries.
  • The Swedish military said the exercise by the non-NATO nation is designed “to deter potential attackers, and force them to carefully consider the risks of attacking our country.”
  • Russia and its neighbor Belarus are holding a massive joint-military exercise, Zapad 2017, that begins Thursday near the borders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The New York Times—N. Cumming-Bruce / Rohingya crisis in Myanmar is ‘ethnic cleansing,’ U.N. rights chief says

  • The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, accused Myanmar on Monday of carrying out “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslims.
  • Some officials in Myanmar have said that Rohingya had set fire to their own homes and villages. On Monday, Mr. al-Hussein called such accusations a “complete denial of reality.”
  • Myanmar’s government has refused to cooperate with a UN fact-finding mission established in October, and has said it will not allow members of the group into the country.
  • Ermine Erdogan, the Turkish President’s wife, traveled to Bangladesh with a consignment of humanitarian aid last week, urging the government in Dhaka to keep its borders open for Rohingya refugees.
  • Mr. al-Hussein said he was appalled by reports that Myanmar’s military has placed mines along the border with Bangladesh.

Financial Times—R. Milne / Norway’s centre-right government re-elected

  • Norway’s centre-right government—led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg—has won re-election, benefiting from a recent economic upturn and record use of money from its sovereign wealth fund.
  • With 95 per cent of the votes counted, the centre-right was set to win 89 seats to 80 for the centre-left.
  • The Labour Party was polling more than 40 per cent just two years ago but ended up with 27 per cent, its second-worst performance in the past 93 years.
  • The results mark a big success for the populist Progress party, which kept its support despite questions over whether assuming responsibility in government would tame its message.
  • The outcome of the elections limits the chances of a big change in petroleum policy in what is western Europe’s biggest oil producer.

POLITICO—G. Pittella / Europe’s biggest problem: over-powerful national governments

  • The European Union needs to update its core functioning. The real problem in the EU is the European Council, which far too often wields the veto that undermines the decisions taken by the European Commission and the Parliament.
  • The Commission and the Parliament should work together to establish an alliance to strengthen democracy through the Spitzenkandidaten process.
  • The establishment of a eurozone finance ministry that is accountable to the Parliament to make resources available for growth is another necessary step in this direction.
  • Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the Commission, should also put forward an ambitious proposal on resources to increase the EU budget.
  • We must put a stop to naive support for neoliberal globalization. Europe needs to be bolder and adopt an effective shield against opportunistic investments, in particular from China.

Foreign Policy—S. Walt / The case against the Iranian nuclear deal is one big lie

  • Last week’s speech by Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is neither an accurate guide to the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA), to its current status, nor to U.S. interests.
  • The U.S. government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have repeatedly certified Iran was in compliance with the agreement.
  • Haley repeated the usual neoconservative talking points about Iran’s “destabilizing” regional activities—which were never part of the agreement and in fact are a reason to be glad the agreement prevents Iran from getting the bomb.
  • People who keep trying to dismantle the JCPOA are mostly the same people who’ve repeatedly called for military action against Iran.
  • Directly ending the JCPOA would mean Congress would own a policy that could either lead to Iran actually getting the bomb or to a situation where the United States had to go to war to prevent it.

 The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 11/09/2017

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Al-Monitor / Is Saudi Arabia ‘ready to turn the page’ on Iran?

  • There are signs that a slow thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia may be in the works, the result of a shifting regional landscape.
  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may be seeking to cut his losses on costly involvement in the Syria and Yemen wars.
  • The tipping point for Saudi Arabia may eventually be buyer’s remorse on the consequences of isolating Qatar. By shattering Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) unity, Riyadh and its partners have lost their strategic depth, compelling states to cut their own deals with Iran.
  • As for recent developments in Syria, the Russian move in Afrin and al-Shahba region comes at a time when the United States issued a demarche to Turkey over ‘multiple attacks’ by the Free Syrian Army on US troops in northern Syria in the past few weeks.

The Economist / A Communist Party gathering in China will test Xi Jinping’s power

  • Ahead of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China, there has been speculation that President Xi Jinping may want to keep Wang Qishan –the head of the anti-corruption campaign—on the Politburo Standing Committee, breaching retirement age conventions.
  • Retaining Mr Wang would not, by itself, prove that Mr Xi is strong. It could suggest that he lacks other close allies whom he trusts to do the politically dangerous job of fighting graft.
  • It is not yet known how, or whether, the congress will change the party’s constitution to recognise Mr Xi’s contributions to Communist ideology. If it rules that the party should be guided by “Xi Jinping Thought”, that would suggest he has gained enormous power (the only other leader acknowledged to have Thought with a capital T is Mao Zedong).
  • The lack of an anointed successor need not mean Mr Xi will stay for a third term. But it does make it more likely that, even if he steps down as general secretary in 2022, he may try to hold the strings of any new leader.

The Guardian—A. Vaughan / Huge boost for renewables as offshore windfarm costs fall to record low

  • Offshore windfarms are to be built for a record low price in the UK early next decade.
  • The “exceptionally low” results of a government auction on Monday for subsidy contracts show two offshore windfarms will be built for £57.50 per MWh, way below even the most extreme predictions. The price is half of what new offshore windfarms were being awarded just two years ago.
  • The Green party said the results should sound the death knell for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which is currently being built by EDF in Somerset.
  • Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, which represents the UK’s big energy companies, said: “Today’s exceptionally low results are further evidence of how the cost of clean energy is continuing to fall, and the move to a low carbon future is delivered at the lowest cost to consumers.”

The New York Times—A. Higgins & S. Chan / Ex-leader, now a man without a country, surfaces in Ukraine

  • Mikheil Saakashvili, who was president of Georgia until 2013, acquired Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 but was stripped of that in July after a bitter falling out with his former ally, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine.
  • Yesterday, Saakashvili marched into Ukraine with a crowd of supporters–including former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko—who forced open a frontier post with Poland. He later appeared before reporters in Lviv, alongside the city’s mayor.
  • The Georgian authorities want Saakashvili back so that he can face charges of abuse of power and corruption, allegations that the former Georgian President has dismissed as baseless and politically motivated.
  • In Ukraine, Saakashvili has also become a highly divisive figure, revered by supporters as a zealous enforcer of clean government but reviled by enemies as a showman prone to flamboyant stunts.

 The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 08/09/2017

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The New York Times—N. Kitsantonis / Emmanuel Macron, in Greece, calls for ‘rebuilding’ E.U.

  • In his first state visit to Greece, President Macron outlined his vision for a stronger and more united Europe, repeating his calls for a common budget and a eurozone Parliament.
  • The Greek crisis was “a failure of Europe,” Macron said. The French President has repeatedly called for Greece to be relieved of some of its huge debt load.
  • Europe’s challenges, Macron said, include “how to become a power that can face the U.S. and China.”
  • Macron vowed to lead the reformist push, partly by jump-starting the French economy. But French unions and civil servants have been riled by spending cuts and by new labor regulations.
  • Macron has been leading an effort to toughen screening of major Chinese investments in Europe. He was rebuffed recently in Brussels by a group of countries dependent on China’s investments, including Greece.

Project Syndicate—D. Rodrik / Macron’s labor gambit

  • At the end of August, Emmanuel Macron unveiled the labor-market overhaul—aimed at increasing flexibility—that will make or break his presidency. Even though the country’s second-largest union has called a general strike, indications are that Macron will have the political support he needs.
  • There is considerable evidence that strong employment protection laws do reduce job turnover – the number of hires and fires. But when it comes to overall employment and unemployment levels, the jury is still out.
  • By some measures, among EU countries France was second only to Germany in terms of labor-market deregulation before the global financial crisis. Yet unemployment levels in Germany are a fraction of those prevailing in France.
  • Psychology—in particular, the “animal spirits” of French industrialists—may eventually play a greater role than the details of the reforms themselves.

Financial Times—J. Shotter & J. Brunsden / Poland threatens to block part of EU-Canada trade deal

  • Poland is threatening to block a part of the EU’s trade deal with Canada (CETA) because of its concerns over a planned mechanism for resolving disputes between governments and multinational companies.
  • A panel of judges would be appointed to hear cases, consisting of five EU judges, five Canadian judges, and five judges from third countries.
  • Worried that this could lead to cases involving Poland being heard without a Polish judge, Warsaw is pushing for the panel to include a judge from each of the EU’s current 28 nations. Failing that, it wants clarity on how the EU judges on the panel will be assigned to cases.
  • The bulk of the CETA agreement is set to provisionally apply from September 21. Still, should Warsaw really take the step of refusing to ratify CETA, it would hold up the full legal entry into force of the deal and, notably, the establishment of the investor court system itself.

Foreign Affairs—J. Mujanovic / Russia’s Bosnia gambit

  • Moscow actively sought to prevent the pro-Western transitions in Macedonia and Montenegro. But the target of Russia’s next Balkan gambit—possibly the most forceful one yet—is in the region’s strategic center: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Russia’s objective is simple: keep Bosnia out of NATO and the EU. Moscow wants to ensure that the country remains an ethnically fragmented basket case in the heart of the Balkans, and counts both the Bosnian Serb and the Bosnian Croat leaders as allies.
  • Croatia is far from a beacon of regional stability. The country is on the precipice of its worst political and economic crisis since independence, and Moscow is poised to capture a huge portion of the Croatian economy through the state-backed Sberbank.
  • The Kremlin is looking ahead to Bosnia’s 2018 general elections. In particular, Moscow is concerned that it is seeing a genuine reformist alliance taking shape. If 2018 sees an opposition victory, Bosnia will quickly renew its bid to join NATO.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

Política Internacional | Permalink

The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 07/09/2017

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Foreign Affairs—J. Blank / What were China’s objectives in the Doklam Dispute?

  • The Doklam Plateau is an enormously difficult place to defend. Meanwhile, those launching an attack face exponentially greater challenges—and that’s before the Himalayan winter sets in. This helps explain why China and India last week ended a military standoff there that had been festering since June.
  • China’s initial move (the construction of a road in disputed territory), even if it appeared to be the opening gambit in a geopolitical chess-game, was likely not intended as such. But a field-level initiative quickly became a policy choice undertaken at the highest level of the Chinese government.
  • A high-profile scare on the Doklam Plateau—inhabited only by seasonal Tibetan and Bhutanese yak-herders—may have been intended to send India an implicit message: namely, not to repeat its decision to shelter the Dalai Lama in 1959, a key cause of China’s 1962 invasion of India. In addition, China may have been trying to drive a wedge between India and its most vulnerable ally: Bhutan.
  • China’s speedy movement of road-construction equipment into the disputed area suggests that Beijing could be replicating its approach in the South China Sea. China could also conceivably use a build-it-and-own-it approach to reopen long-dormant border disputes with Vietnam or Myanmar.
  • Washington mustn’t relax now. It should pay close attention to the aftermath of the dispute, which is the most serious Sino–Indian confrontation in a generation.
  • Further information: Disengagement at Doklam: Troops stepped back 150 metres each side, remain on plateau

The New York Times—C. Sang-Hun / Putin rejects cutting off oil to North Korea

  • In a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly said his country opposed cutting off oil supplies to North Korea as part of new sanctions being considered in the wake of the country’s latest nuclear test.
  • North Korea has been trying to increase imports from Russia as an alternative source of energy for its military.
  • “Without political and diplomatic tools, it is impossible to make headway in the current situation; to be more precise, it is impossible,” Putin said during a joint news conference with Moon. “We should not act out of emotions and push North Korea into a dead end,” Mr. Putin added.
  • Despite supporting increasingly tough sanctions on North Korea, both China and Russia want to stop short of imposing any measures that could destabilize the North Korean regime.
  • Putin called on the United States and South Korea to consider the “freeze-for-freeze” proposal from China and Russia in which Washington and Seoul would suspend their joint annual military exercises in exchange for a North Korean moratorium on missile and nuclear tests.

POLITICO—A. Barigazzi & G. Paravicini / Antonio Tajani: EU must keep the door open for Turkey

  • The European Union should end Turkey’s membership talks on only one condition: if Ankara brings back the death penalty, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Wednesday.
  • On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “Turkey should not become an EU member,” a line shared by her rival for the German chancellorship Martin Schulz and by the Austrian government.
  • In June, the European Parliament called for Turkey’s accession talks to be suspended if Ankara implemented plans to expand Erdoğan’s powers. But the chamber’s President took a different line from fellow MEPs.
  • “The dialogue must be open because we have the problem of migration, of the fight against terrorism, we need to keep on talking and push Turkey to change its line,” said Tajani. About upgrading the customs union deal with Turkey, “it depends on how the situation evolves.”

Financial Times—R. Milne / Oil exploration in Norwegian Arctic faces sea of opposition

  • The question of whether the Barents Sea should be exploited for oil and gas is being raised in Norway as never before, not just by environmentalists but by politicians ahead of national elections on Monday and even by some oil analysts.
  • Prospects for the region received a setback last week with news that Statoil, the state-owned oil and gas producer, had found only small amounts of gas and no oil in an exploration well in the most highly-regarded area of the Barents Sea.
  • Oil companies say falling production costs will help continue exploration. But the industry was shaken by an opinion poll published last month showing that, for the first time, more Norwegians were in favour of leaving some oil in the ground to protect the climate than were in favour of bringing it up.
  • Greenpeace and Nature and Youth are preparing for a court case due to start in November that argues that drilling in the Norwegian Arctic contravenes both the Norwegian constitution and the Paris agreement on climate change.
  • On top of that, Monday’s national elections could result in several anti-oil parties making breakthroughs and ending up as kingmakers in the next parliament.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

Política Internacional | Permalink

The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 05/09/2017

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Project Syndicate—B. Emmott / A ‘China first’ strategy for North Korea

  • Regarding the North Korean nuclear threat, the least bad military option – the one implied by Donald Trump’s insistence that China take responsibility for its neighbor – is a Chinese invasion, or regime change forced through China’s threat to launch one.
  • If China were to economically strangle North Korea, Kim Jong-un’s regime might look for support from Russia.
  • If North Korea wants some sort of credible security guarantee in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program, the only country capable of providing it is China. So if China were to combine threats of invasion with a promise of security and nuclear protection, in exchange for cooperation and possible regime change, its chances of winning over large parts of the Korean People’s Army would be high.
  • China would not only benefit from the intervention in terms of achieving greater strategic parity with the US, but Chinese soft power would also increase as a result of showing decisiveness.
  • A Chinese land and sea invasion, rather than an American one, would stand a better chance of avoiding Kim’s likely response: an artillery attack on Seoul.

POLITICO—N. Vincour / Russia may crash out of Council of Europe, says rights chief

  • Russia’s voting rights in the Council of Europe were revoked after the illegal annexation of Crimea, and if Russia keeps being excluded from the election of key personnel “there is a potential danger that Russia will have to leave,” said Thorbjørn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe.
  • “We have to think of the following: Will Europe be better off, safer, with Russia on its own, without being part of the judicial system of Europe?” asked Jagland. “For me this is a very urgent question.”
  • According to Jagland, more generally the challenge is that “in several places, at the national level, people are starting to dispute the supremacy of the [European Court of Human Rights] in Strasbourg.”
  • After a meeting with President Macron, Jagland said that “his was the strongest support I heard from any leader in Europe, and not just in Europe, about the importance of the judicial role of the convention [on human rights] and the court.

Foreign Policy—D. Zakheim / Iran, Turkey, and Russia aren’t natural friends. It’s up to the U.S. to keep it that way.

  • One of the more curious and troubling developments in the course of the Syrian civil war has been Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia and cooperation with Iran.
  • That the three countries have begun to work closely together to contain the Syrian civil war is more a function of their perceived perception of American weakness than of any upsurge in mutual love.
  • Should Washington remain active in Syria, or increase its efforts there, Turkey will be far less likely to abandon the West for other partners. If, however, the United States washes its hands of Syria, the Turkish-Russian-Iranian connection may be the start of a beautiful friendship.

The New York Times—M. Eddy / Germany’s Merkel, vulnerable on diesel emissions, moves to address issue

  • Despite being hailed as the “climate chancellor”, Angela Merkel has faced criticism from consumers angered by her refusal to come down harder on German automakers over a widening diesel emissions scandal.
  • Now, Merkel has pledged to double the amount of money earmarked for helping local governments fight air pollution.
  • While the German government has been accused of not doing enough, many German cities are considering banning diesel motors altogether. Other European cities like Madrid and Athens have announced they will enact diesel bans by 2025.
  • Merkel said her government rejected “general driving bans for any kind of motor or type of car, and therefore want to undertake everything possible to prevent them.”

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

Política Internacional | Permalink

The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 28/07/2017

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Financial Times—M. Strothard & J. Politi / Macron nationalises shipyard to defend French ‘strategic interests’

  • President Macron made the decision to temporarily nationalize the STX France shipyard (the only one in France with facilities large enough to build aircraft carriers) to stop it from falling into Italian hands.
  • Bruno Le Maire, the French economy minister, said that the decision was aimed at defending “France’s strategic interests in shipbuilding” and guaranteeing that jobs remain in the country.
  • Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri earlier this year struck a preliminary deal to buy two-thirds of STX France.
  • The Italians declined Macron’s offer of a 50/50 split this week, with the Italian economy minister saying that Macron was failing to live up to the “pro-Europeanism and liberal values” he espoused in his presidential campaign.

Project Syndicate—J. E. Stiglitz / Why tax cuts for the rich solve nothing

  • Senate procedures dictate that to enact tax reform with a simple majority, rather than the 3/5 supermajority required to defeat an almost-certain filibuster by opposition Democrats, the reform must be budget-neutral for 10 years.
  • If corporate tax reform happens at all, it will be brokered behind closed doors. More likely is a token across-the-board tax cut: the losers will be future generations, out-lobbied by today’s avaricious moguls.
  • There is simply no theoretical or empirical basis for the claim that lower tax rates spur growth, especially in big countries like the US.

The New York Times—D. E. Sanger / Trump seeks way to declare Iran in violation of nuclear deal

  • President Trump has instructed his security aides to find a rationale for declaring that Iran is violating the terms of the nuclear deal.
  • American officials have already told allies they should be prepared to join in reopening negotiations with Iran or expect that the US may abandon the agreement.
  • Trump: “It’s easier to say [Iran complies]. It’s a lot easier. But it’s the wrong thing. They don’t comply.”
  • The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, called for a more nuanced approach. “Radically enforce it,” he said of the deal, demanding access to “various facilities in Iran.” ”If they don’t let us in,” Mr. Corker said, “boom.”
  • The State Department complained that an Iranian launch of a missile into space yesterday violated the spirit of the nuclear accord. Such tests of what are essentially carrier rockets are not prohibited by the agreement.

The New York Times—J. Horowitz / Italy plans naval mission off Libya to stop migrant boats

  • Italy’s prime minister Paolo Gentiloni convened top cabinet ministers on Thursday to discuss a plan to send Italian warships into Libyan territorial waters to combat smugglers.
  • The step came a day after Italy struck a long-elusive deal with Libyan authorities to give it a freer hand along the African coast.
  • The strategy needs the approval of parliament, which is scheduled to begin debating the potential deployment next Tuesday.
  • Issues pending clarification include what Italian warships would do if they encountered hostile human traffickers in foreign waters; whether they can stop arms and oil smugglers as well as human traffickers; and whether the migrants they might have to rescue should be returned to Libya.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

Política Internacional | Permalink