Europe's Migrant Deal Raises Fresh Questions
Stalked by Europe’s surge of populism, the continent’s leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron clinched a deal on migration after Italy flexed its muscles and Angela Merkel warned the European Union’s fate at stake. Markets cheered.
Like bygone summits to save the euro, leaders haggled into the wee hours of this morning for results to present to voters back home. The German chancellor emerged after 4:30 a.m. with an agreement: boost border security, set up holding centers, send rejected asylum seekers home and – meeting Italy’s key demand – overhaul rules for distributing migrants when a gateway country is overwhelmed.
It was a major step to rally unity at a time when growing doubts about U.S. President Donald Trump’s commitment to the bloc’s security prompted consensus on boosting defense cooperation.
But while Merkel spoke of a “good signal” and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy is “no longer alone,” the deal raises as many questions as answers.
For all its many holes, the accord may be enough for Merkel to stave off a revolt by her Bavarian sister party that could have deprived her of a parliamentary majority. For Europe as a whole, faced with a populist Italian government emboldened by its victory, there may be more troubled times ahead.
Supreme Court politicking | With little chance of thwarting Trump’s eventual pick, Democrats are pivoting to frame the confirmation battle as a midterm election issue as they try to wrest control of Congress. Republicans also are viewing the vacancy through a political prism, predicting it will energize their base as they try to oust Senate Democrats in states Trump won in 2016 and defend their party’s House seats in swing districts from New Jersey to California.
Stuck apart? | The Trump administration has given little indication of how it will return thousands of children taken from their parents under the president’s immigration policies, heightening concern the government could fail to comply with a federal judge’s order to expedite the process. Administration officials haven't said whether they collected information needed to reunite the families before separating them.
Aussie message to China | Australian lawmakers overwhelmingly passed bills to crack down on foreign interference, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying they’re needed to stop reported meddling by China and other countries in the government, media and universities. Other Western nations may soon follow suit: A similar bill has already been introduced in the U.S. Congress.
Burgeoning trade war | A global trade war is increasingly turning from talk to reality as the Trump administration prepares to impose tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports and Beijing vows to retaliate. Here’s a collection of recent analysis from Bloomberg reporters and economists about what the face-off means for economies, markets, politics and companies.
‘Fake refugees get out’ | The unexpected arrival of more than 500 Yemeni asylum-seekers in South Korea has prompted a backlash from anti-immigration organizations, which have gathered a half million signatures on a petition calling for their deportation. The groups – some praising Trump’s border policies in the U.S. – pose a challenge for South Korea’s left-leaning president, Moon Jae-in, whose justice ministry called an emergency meeting today address the issue.
Mexico’s presidential election campaign takes place Sunday, with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador poised to make history. Check out our special page for all you want, or need, to know about the ballot.
And finally ... It was hard not to draw parallels with Brexit as England and Belgium came face to face in a World Cup match. It coincided with embattled U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May at the EU summit in Brussels where her negotiating side seems increasingly outflanked. The soccer result would seem to reflect that state of play: 1-0 to the Belgians. The image endures of May awkwardly holding a gift from her Belgian counterpart: a bright red soccer shirt of the rival team.
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