Poland’s main opposition party, Civic Platform, and the junior party in the governing coalition, Accord, are near an agreement to delay the presidential election due in May, possibly by years. The two parties might be able to outvote the biggest governing party, Law and Justice, which wants to postpone the vote by mere weeks, and possibly hold it by post.
The evidence is mounting that March marked the start of a deep global recession.
The breadth of the collapse is beginning to appear in the initial trickle of economic data across the world, revealing a cratering of trade, reined-in business investment, cowering consumers and surging unemployment that’s sparing few industries.
The hit to demand is visible on the world’s oceans, where a measure of U.S. export volumes in the first two full weeks of March showed shipments abroad at less than half the year-earlier level, IHS Markit data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The damage is acute for autos: The number of anchored ships used to transport vehicles has jumped to 19% of the fleet, up from 11% a year ago, according to Bloomberg data.
The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the Covid-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides—in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.