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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/10/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/10/2020

The Guardian – Daniel Boffey / EU deal still possible, PM to be told, as potential fisheries plan emerges

  • Boris Johnson will be advised by his chief negotiator that a trade deal with the EU is still possible should the prime minister ditch his deadline and continue to negotiate with Brussels as tentative signs of a compromise on fisheries emerged.
  • David Frost, who has been in talks with the EU team led by Michel Barnier this week, will inform the prime minister that a further two weeks, at least, of daily talks could result in the remaining gaps being bridged.
  • Downing Street will look for confirmation from the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, and EU leaders meeting at a summit on Thursday that the bloc’s negotiators are willing to start writing joint legal text.
  • Frost remains hopeful that the arduous negotiation could still bear fruit, according to UK sources close to the talks. Johnson said on 7 September that if there was a lack of agreement by the summit then both sides should “accept that and move on”.
  • Euractiv – Benjamin Fox / UK recovery risks being derailed by ‘no deal’ Brexit, OECD warns

Foreign Policy – Alex Vatanka / Tehran’s worst nightmare

  • The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan comes at a particularly bad time for Iran. At home, it faces an extremely difficult economic situation thanks to U.S. sanctions. Abroad, it is involved in multiple unfinished geopolitical adventures in the Arab world—from Iraq to Syria and beyond—in which it has invested considerably in recent years.
  • Although it might like to involve itself in the conflict in the South Caucasus, where it has played the role of mediator before, Tehran’s bandwidth to do so is considerably less than its geographic proximity to the conflict might suggest.
  • Worse still, Tehran does not enjoy the diplomatic independence it had in the early 1990s, when fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh last erupted on this scale and when the Iranians could more effectively work between the two sides.
  • Tehran has to take a back seat to Russia, Turkey, and the West as those powers shape the trajectory of the conflict. And yet, thanks to Iran’s sizable Azeri minority, at around 20 million strong, there’s a real possibility that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict could overflow and pose a serious risk to internal Iranian security.
  • Politico – Ayla Jean Yackley / How Turkey militarized its foreign policy

Financial Times – Edward Luce / Will America tear itself apart? Inside a looming constitutional crisis

  • Americans have always revered their constitution like a quasi-religious set of commandments handed down from Mount Sinai. In reality, much of it was a messy, though ingenious, compromise between the slave states and the non-slave-owning states.
  • What then can be done to avert a US constitutional meltdown? The distressing answer is very little. The simplest step would be to amend the constitution to make America more democratic.
  • But amendments require approval by three-quarters of America’s 50 states and two-thirds of each chamber of Congress — an impossibility in today’s polarised climate.
  • There is almost no chance of Trump winning the popular vote on November 3 — he trails Biden too heavily. It is possible that he could win the electoral college again. Should he contest results in any of the swing states, as Bush did in Florida in 2000, the outcome could once again be settled by conservative judges.
  • The Atlantic – David Frum / Last exit from autocracy

Bloomberg – Michelle Jamrisko, Randy Thanthong-Knight and Siegfried Alegado / Covid gives tourism chance to curb future environmental damage

  • Thai Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has wanted for decades to give the country’s national parks time to recover from the damage caused by an endless stream of tourists. Covid-19 gave him the chance.
  • He has decreed that all national parks in Thailand will close for an annual average of three months, beginning in 2021. It’s a bold move to make the nation’s vital tourism industry more sustainable — one that puts him at odds with many businesses in hotspots like Phuket.
  • Tourism has been among the biggest economic victims of the pandemic, with the industry losing 440 million visitors and $460 billion globally in the first half of the year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
  • “Countries need to be careful how they talk about reducing tourism to not mean elite tourism only,” said Steve Saxon from McKinsey & Co. “Higher-end or more affluent tourism does support a bit more in terms of jobs and GDP, but in terms of flights coming in, hotel rooms you need — that’s dependent on the number of guests.”
  • Project Syndicate – Jayati Ghosh / How the green revolution is harming Africa

Today’s argument:

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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