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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 20/12/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 20/12/2021

The Guardian – John Bartlett / Leftist to become Chile’s youngest ever president after beating far-right rival

  • A leftist former student leader has stormed to a resounding victory to become Chile’s president-elect.
  • With nearly 97% of the vote already counted, Gabriel Boric claimed 55.8% to take a 12 percentage point lead over his far-right opponent, José Antonio Kast, an ultra-conservative father of nine, who quickly accepted his defeat and called Boric to congratulate him.
  • Boric declared to a vast crowd packed into a Santiago boulevard: “The times ahead will not be easy.” He paused only to lead the crowd in chants or smile up at the fireworks exploding overhead.
  • “Only with social cohesion, re-finding ourselves and sharing common ground will we be able to advance towards truly sustainable development – which reaches every Chilean,” Boric said.
  • Foreign Policy – Will Freeman / In Chile’s presidential race, Kast and Boric are not equally dangerous extremes

Financial Times – Andy Bounds and Erika Solomon / European countries impose travel curbs to slow Omicron’s spread

  • European countries are tightening restrictions to reduce the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant after the Netherlands reimposed a strict nationwide lockdown on Saturday.
  • Germany set new entry requirements for people from the UK and several other European countries, with Berlin on Sunday designating the UK a “virus variant region”, triggering the country’s toughest travel regulations.
  • As of Monday, only German citizens, residents and transit passengers will be allowed to enter Germany from the UK. Those entering the country will be required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • New travel restrictions were also introduced for arrivals from Denmark, France and Norway. New arrivals must quarantine for at least five days if they are not vaccinated or recovered from the virus.
  • The Atlantic – Yasmin Tayag / Don’t be surprised when you get Omicron

Financial Times – James Politi / Joe Manchin says he will vote against Biden spending bill

  • US president Joe Biden suffered a blow to his efforts to pass his signature $1.75tn social spending bill when Joe Manchin, the pivotal Democratic senator from West Virginia, explicitly rejected the package.
  • “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” Manchin said on Fox News Sunday, after weeks of intense negotiations with the White House and Democratic congressional leaders. “This is a no,” he added.
  • Biden conceded last week that the talks on the legislation — which commits to making large investments in childcare, education and the fight against climate change — could drag on for weeks, although he added that he still expected to “bridge our differences” with Manchin eventually.
  • However, Manchin’s remarks suggested that the West Virginia senator would either crush the bill by opposing it completely, or was looking for much more fundamental changes and a shrinking of the legislation.
  • Bloomberg – Ari Natter and Jennifer A Dlouhy / Biden climate agenda now hinges on rules exposed to rewrite

South China Morning Post – Gary Cheung and Tony Cheung / Beijing defends ‘democracy with Hong Kong characteristics’ model, white paper day after Legco election cites end goal of universal suffrage

  • Beijing has mounted a robust defence of its strategy of developing “democracy with Hong Kong characteristics” for the city, with “patriots” in charge of governance and the ultimate goal of electing its leader and legislature by universal suffrage, in an official white paper released on Monday.
  • Issued just a day after the city’s first Legislative Council election under a new political system imposed by Beijing, the document, titled “Hong Kong Democratic Progress Under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems”, is the second such white paper on Hong Kong affairs since 2014.
  • “The improved electoral system … ensures the sound long-term development of democracy in Hong Kong, and fosters favourable conditions necessary for the election by universal suffrage of the chief executive and the Legislative Council,” the paper stated.
  • The paper noted that while Hong Kong was a special administrative region directly under the central government, the city could “develop democracy with its own characteristics in light of its actual conditions”.
  • The New York Times – Austin Ramzy / How Hong Kong’s ‘patriots only’ elections bolster Beijing’s grip

Today’s longer reads:

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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