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California will consider coronavirus assistance, a tax voucher



California will consider coronavirus assistance, a tax voucher

Two unprecedented proposals to help Californians overcome the fiscal storm released by the coronavirus crisis are expected to be announced Tuesday by Democrats in the state Senate – one to help troubled tenants, the other to create a $ 25 billion economic recovery fund by issuing long-term $ 25 billion by issuing long-term vouchers for those who are willing to pay their future state income tax.

Together, these ideas suggest MPs are willing to launch trials that have never been tried to avoid unpaid debts and deep cuts to government services resulting from the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

“We need short-term assistance,” Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said in an interview with The Times on Monday. “But we need to think long term about how to do this in a very strategic way.”

The proposal is scheduled to be officially formalized Tuesday morning in Sacramento, two days before Governor Gavin Newsom sent lawmakers a plan to erase short-term budget deficits that could reach more than $ 54 billion.

Neither the tenant assistance program nor the economic recovery fund will have a direct impact on the state budget in the coming weeks and months. However, lawmakers believe the two ideas could boost California’s devastated economy.

Unconventional efforts to help tenants will ask landlords to forgive lease payments in return for tax credits of the same size that are spread over a 10-year period starting in 2024. Tax credits will be transferable, meaning property owners can sell them to outside investors and get cash immediately .

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“This is a substantive proposal that protects those who struggle to pay their rent and also protects rental property from confiscation,” said Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). “This fair strategy will make people stay.”

Some local governments have stepped in to address concerns about tenants being evicted during the public health crisis, promoting various rental assistance programs. Legislation is pending in the Capitol building too attempt to prevent eviction during a coronavirus emergency, which was declared by Newsom in March and did not have a targeted end date.

The exact number of problematic tenants is unclear. By 2018, there were 17 million tenants in California, and more than half were rented.

Under the Senate proposal, the tenant will agree to return the state money for lease payments and will have 10 years to do it. Some people who can prove financial difficulties can get the total amount forgiven – as a result, their rent will be borne by the state.

The idea will depend on the willingness of the rental property owners to work together, and whether they see a long-term tax relief equal to the loss of short-term rental income. Atkins said he was optimistic, arguing that landlords benefit by keeping their property occupied.

“When you have to find a new tenant, it’s not an easy process,” he said.

The economic stabilization plan made by the Senate Democrats in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is even more ambitious. This will offer California taxpayers, from individuals to large corporations, the opportunity to pay income tax for a decade at a low discount. In total, the state will offer $ 30 billion in long-term tax credits of $ 25 billion in cash.

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In essence, this will be an advance from long-term state tax revenues, using the money to fund short-term economic assistance programs, which can include small business assistance and assistance to local governments.

“This is truly the 21st Century New Testament,” said Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). “We have to get money into the system.”

Taxpayers can use vouchers to cover tax owed in the coming years or sell them faster to investors. That could make valuable documents for various investors, said John C. Carson Jr., president of Raymond James Financial.

“If the state issues such security that can be bought and sold in the secondary market, we hope that there will be strong interest from other institutions and investors,” he said in a statement.

By accelerating the collection of tax revenue that should have been paid more slowly, this program means less government cash to be spent by MPs in the future. Senate budget staff estimates a decrease in available income of $ 3 billion per year from 2024 to 2033.

They do not believe this program will affect constitutionally guaranteed tax money for public schools, because vouchers will be counted as part of annual tax revenue when cashed. However, such calculations can, however, direct a larger amount of actual tax revenue towards schools in those years and away from other programs.

Other key questions need to be addressed. It is likely to be easier to create a $ 25 billion economic recovery fund – estimated to be collected over two years – than to determine which of the country’s many needs must get help and which will be abandoned. A document provided to The Times by the Democratic Senate offered a series of initial suggestions, including retraining workers, accelerated infrastructure projects, forest fire prevention, and homeless help.

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Atkins insisted his priorities would be clear. “It must be linked to the economy and critical needs,” he said.

It is also unknown how the two aid proposals will be screened either with Newsom or in the state Assembly. To have a direct effect, both must be considered together with a budget deficit plan which must be approved by the Legislature no later than 15 June. Democrats hold supremacy of seats in both houses and, in theory, approve both plans without a Republican vote.

For legislators who are in office during the last recession or whose services began shortly thereafter, the idea of ​​thinking outside the world of conventional government may have special appeal.

“You have to think differently,” Atkins said. “You have to rethink, reshape and want to adjust and consider new choices, because the world is different. The world has turned upside down. “

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu – Renaissance



Eternal Portuguese deja vu - Renaissance

At the end of the summer of 1972, exactly half a century ago, SEDES – Associação para o Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (the most famous reformist think tank during Marseilles) issued a document for the country entitled “Portugal: The country we are, the country we want to be “. The Marseille spring had already turned into autumn: Américo Thomas had just been re-elected, the colonial war had dragged on, repression had intensified, and an economic crisis was already brewing. Seeing the general frustration, and at the same time willing to go against it, the signatories of CEDES began by asking “Where will we be and how will we be in 1980?” to criticize the obstacles that overshadowed Portugal in the early 1970s.

Among the “problems that are getting worse without a solution”, emigration stood out, indicating the country’s inability to offer better living and working conditions to those who left; the growing inflationary process, reflected in the cost of living; the inevitability of economic integration in Europe when the country is not ready for international commercial competition; “disaggregation of regional economies” with “continuous depopulation of municipalities and regions” within the country; or “deterioration of public administration” when the government fails to promote a “prestigious, moralized, revitalized and efficient public sector”. “No one will have any difficulty,” continued the text, “to add to a new list of urgent questions that seriously endanger national life, about which much has been said and which, year after year, continue to wait for a sufficient solution.” Therefore, “the prevailing feeling in the country” in contemplation of the recent past and present could not but be “annoyance at urgent battles, the need for which was endlessly discussed, at decisions that were changed or postponed, and at rejected goals” or which were not clearly formulated ” .

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Between “untapped resources” and/or “lack of organizational and decision-making capacity” there was “widespread anxiety” stemming from the inevitable observation that “we are very far from the results that we could achieve thanks to the progress of the Portuguese and Portugal”. This was the macro goal of the reformist, humanist and liberalizing technocrats that SEDES brought together. “Ultimately,” they reminded Marcelo Cayetano, “the real obstacle can only be associated with the low political priority of economic and social development in our country.” So, in short, there was an urgent need to “radically change our economic, social and political way of life”, since “a national balance based on general anemia, repression and weakening of various participants” is unsustainable and pernicious.

SEDES did not know that the Estado Novo would fall in April 1974, that democracy would come in 1976, and Europe from the EEC (after EFTA) in 1986 of repression, finally gained the freedom that was discussed between the lines of the 1972 manifesto ., there would be conditions for solving (almost) all economic and social problems of development and cohesion.

Fifty years have passed since this manifesto, and almost the same number has already been in democracy. However, if we compare the above quotes with the Portuguese present, the feeling of deja vu is indescribable. SEDES wondered what the country would be like in 1980 and is wondering today (in its recent study “Ambition: Doubling GDP in 20 Years”) where we will be in 2040. It may be a replay of a sad fate: knowing (some) where to go, but never getting there!

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy – Observer



Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy - Observer

Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho met this Wednesday with his Algerian counterpart Ramtan Lamamra, who expressed interest in Portuguese companies investing in Algeria’s solar and wind energy.

Speaking with Lusa, João Cravinho also said that for 2023 it was decided to hold a “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the state visit of the President of Algeria. Algeria to Portugal.

The Portuguese foreign minister said today’s visit to Algeria, where he was with Ramtan Lamamra, whom he has known since 2005 when he was ambassador to Lisbon, is “based on old knowledge”, but also a visit to a country that “does not to be a neighbor”, shares “a lot of fears”. “Not being a neighboring country, it almost shares many concerns about the region, the Mediterranean, the European Union’s relationship with Africa and the Arab world. It was important for us to talk about what we can do together as part of the geopolitical and geo-economic transformation,” he explained.

João Cravinho stressed that the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a factor “which could not but be the subject of dialogue”, and also added that “geo-economic issues related to energy, renewable energy sources and the opportunities that come with the digital transition” also were on the table.


“While Algeria is a major exporter of fossil fuels, it is also a country with huge potential in terms of solar and wind energy. We have very qualified companies in these areas, and the Algerian side has expressed interest in [ter] Portuguese investors in these areas,” the minister said.

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The official said that it would be a matter of working with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), with the Secretary of State for Internationalization, as well as with a sectoral ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries is scheduled for 2023, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the Algerian President’s state visit to Portugal.

“We have a very busy calendar between the two countries. Now we will try to organize a mixed commission, where technical specialists from both countries will gather,” he said, stressing that there are “14 legal documents that are practically finalized and will be signed” in 2023.

João Gomes Cravinho was on a visit to Algiers today to assess bilateral relations in the economic sphere, as well as in terms of cooperation, language and culture, and to discuss international issues.

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Members of the Airborne Operational Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the Portuguese Army during the annual Falcon Jump exercise on September 17, 2022 over the Ede launch zone, 18 km west of Arnhem, in the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands. A Portuguese skydiver is equipped with a SPEKON RS 2000 parachute from the German manufacturer SPEKON Sächsische Spezialkonfekion GmbH. Above him are US paratroopers with T-11 parachutes.

Photo by M. Bienik | 6 barrels per day

The annual Falcon Leap 2022 exercise, based in Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands, took place from 5 to 16 September 2022 in the Netherlands and Belgium. During the first week, the exercise focused on cargo drop operations, and the second week focused on drop operations. It was attended by more than 1 thousand soldiers representing 13 countries, including Portugal, with the participation of the Operational Detachment of 22 soldiers from the Airborne Operational Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the Ground Forces.

The exercise officially ended on September 17, 2022, commemorating the 78th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, which began on the same day in 1944, during World War II, as part of the largest airborne operation in which more than 40,000 troops serving in the 1st Airborne Division of Great Britain, the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade of Poland, the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions of the United States of America. These commemorations were marked by the launch of paratroopers over the original drop zones of the Operation.

The photo was taken by the Polish soldier M. Benek, seconded to the 6th Airborne Brigade (BPD) – Brigadier General Stanisław Sosabowski, a unit that is the result of the historical legacy of the 1st Separate Polish Airborne Brigade, which jumped during the operation ” Bazaar Garden “, in 1944 under the command of General. Stanislav Sosabovsky – whose name is a suffix (as patron) of the current unit.

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Article published in partnership with “Espada & Escudo”



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