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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 24/07/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 24/07/2020

Financial Times – Mehreen Khan / Parties in European Parliament threaten to reject coronavirus budget

  • The European parliament’s biggest parties have threatened to reject the EU’s coronavirus budget, demanding increased spending on common projects and a stronger rule of law mechanism as their price for backing the deal.
  • MEPs from the parliament’s centre-right, centre-left, liberals, and greens have backed a resolution saying they “do not accept” the terms of the bloc’s €1.07tn draft budget that was thrashed out after four days of marathon negotiations between EU leaders this week.
  • The European parliament has a binding say over the EU budget and will enter into negotiations with member states to finalise the terms of the spending plan this summer. MEPs will then have to vote on approving the multiannual financial framework (MFF).
  • Although the parliament has no veto over the recovery package, MEPs have also demanded a role in the governance of a €673bn Recovery and Resilience Facility as their price for approving the final budget deal. 
  • Politico – Maia de la Baume / MEPs ready to withhold approval of EU budget

Washington Post – Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey and Colby Itkowitz / Trump cancels Republican national convention, his latest reversal as coronavirus spreads

  • President Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled the Republican National Convention celebrations scheduled for next month in Jacksonville, Fla., making the latest in a series of head-snapping reversals in the face of a nationwide pandemic out of control.
  • Trump has for months instructed his advisers to find a way to stage a loud, boisterous and packed convention celebration, after North Carolina officials said they could not guarantee such an event in Charlotte. 
  • Advisers scoured the country for a new location to host a multi-night televised spectacle, settling on Jacksonville, where the mayor and Florida’s governor are Trump’s allies. The president’s ambition, however, ran headlong into a massive spike in coronavirus cases in Florida.
  • At one point, convention planners announced they would administer daily coronavirus tests to thousands of delegates, donors and members of the media to help reduce the viral risk. That plan was later scrapped to move large portions of the celebrations outdoors.
  • South China Morning Post – Caitlin Oprysko / Coronavirus: Trump cancels Republican convention events in Jacksonville, Florida

Foreign Policy – Stephen M. Walt / How to ruin a superpower

  • Trump’s egregious mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic is producing debilitating long-term effects that will further accelerate America’s decline. Even if he is defeated in November and a Joe Biden administration does nearly everything right, the consequences will be with us for many years to come.
  • Trump’s attempt to wish away the problem (along with the rest of his administration’s incompetent response) has tarnished America’s dwindling reputation as a society that knows how to get things done effectively.
  • The economic depression caused by the pandemic will leave deep scars on the U.S. economy, and the damage increases the longer the crisis occurs. Jobs won’t suddenly reemerge once a lot of businesses have gone under, and bankruptcies and layoffs will continue until we get the virus under control. 
  • Trump didn’t deliberately and consciously set out to ruin the United States—and torpedo his own chances for reelection—he just couldn’t help himself. It is the rest of us—and especially our children and grandchildren—who will suffer the consequences.
  • Foreign Affairs – Michael H. Fuchs / A foreign policy for the post-pandemic world

The Guardian – Damian Carrington / Cost of preventing next pandemic ‘equal to just 2% of Covid-19 economic damage’

  • The cost of preventing further pandemics over the next decade by protecting wildlife and forests would equate to just 2% of the estimated financial damage caused by Covid-19, according to a new analysis.
  • Two new viruses a year had spilled from their wildlife hosts into humans over the last century, the researchers said, with the growing destruction of nature meaning the risk today is higher than ever.
  • Spending of about $260bn (£200bn) over 10 years would substantially reduce the risks of another pandemic on the scale of the coronavirus outbreak, the researchers estimate, which is just 2% of the estimated $11.5tn costs of Covid-19 to the world economy. 
  • The key programmes the scientists are calling for are: much better regulation of the wildlife trade, disease surveillance and control in wild and domestic animals, ending the wild meat trade in China, and cutting deforestation by 40% in key places. 
  • The Economist / Governments must beware the lure of free money

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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