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In the city of two countries, the Belgian bar is closed. Dutch pubs will soon open across the street



Border town caught in bizarre uneven lockdown

“It’s never been quiet. Never.”

However, the story is not entirely universal. Although the city is Belgium, it is also the Netherlands – or at least in part. Walk two minutes on the road, and you are in the Netherlands. Walk a little further, and you return to Belgium.

The Belgian city, Baarle-Hertog, is an enclave in the Netherlands, only 10 kilometers from the border, and is divided in two in a confusing manner by the Dutch city of Baarle-Nassau.

This oddity, which originated in the Middle Ages, is usually almost irrelevant to everyday life. But the coronavirus crisis has caused the government to reject the open borders that define the European Union. And Belgium – with about twice the number of Covid-19 deaths per capita compared to the Netherlands – has instituted a much tighter lockdown.

“I’m not allowed to open,” said van der Kogt. “But 50 meters, on the other hand, cafes and restaurants, they open first June. And I’m not allowed to go there, because I live in Belgium.”

Although Dutch restaurants remained closed, retail stores remained open throughout the crisis. And while Belgian shops are allowed to open this week, Belgians have been banned from shopping across the border – even when that means only crossing one of the white stones that meet the center of the city.

“In this crisis situation, the mayor is not the authority,” said Marjon de Hoon-Veelenturf, one of the two mayors of Baarle (he is Dutch). “We just have to listen to the laws and regulations of The Hague and Brussels.

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“A discussion arises where citizens talk to each other about which country is taking the most reasonable steps. That brings a certain polarization.”

People were “shocked” by the coronavirus crisis experienced by the Belgian mayor, Frans de Bont. “Personally, but also countries, Europe. I think they were surprised together.”

Baarle is certainly an extreme example. The question for Europe is whether your own country-by-country approach is an indication of deeper decay in the union.

The twin mayors of Baarle: Frans de Bont, from Baarle-Hertog, Belgium, and Marjon de Hoon-Veelenturf, from Baarle-Nassau, Netherlands.

“The first reaction was clearly a national level reaction, completely uncoordinated and chaotic, and completely out of line with what you expect from a shared border-free travel area that has been around since 1995,” said Marie de Somer, senior policy analyst at European Policy Center.

The European Commission itself said on Wednesday, in a policy paper intended to outline how to reopen the Schengen-free travel area, that internal border controls “endanger our European way of life.”

Europe promises to reopen summer tourism after coronavirus

It warned that if the border remained closed “beyond what was needed for public health reasons,” the closure would “place a heavy burden not only on the function of the Single Market, but also on the lives of millions of deprived EU citizens.” the benefits of freedom of movement, which is a major achievement of the European Union. “

This is not the first time the European Union has had to deal with a government that left Schengen at the first sign of the crisis. For several years now, countries including Germany have carried out several levels of border control, ostensibly to stem the flow of migrants who move illegally within the EU.

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The scale of coronavirus closure, is unprecedented, said Ian Lesser, vice president at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels.

The barricaded road leads from the Netherlands to Belgium.

“The risk, of course, is that such a national-member-state-first approach is somehow the norm, and is embedded in policy and politics,” he said.

More likely, he added, the economic benefits of open borders will at least in the short term mean that border controls will not be maintained, and “only strengthen the value of having open borders within the Schengen area.”

For now, local roads cross the Dutch-Belgian border, a short drive from Baarle remains barricaded with concrete blocks. Local residents mock that the barrier is easily crossed by smaller rural farm roads, but the symbolism is clear.

Julien Leemans, 63, confusedly took it all in stride. The border was not an abstraction for him – it crossed his house.

Though most of Julien Leemans' The house is in the Netherlands, the front door is in Belgium.

“Ninety percent of the house is Dutch,” he laughed. “Ten percent – only toilets – are Belgium.”

Yes, the front door also belongs to the Belgians, and that means he lives in Belgium – cannot shop in Dutch shops, even though he himself was born and raised in the Netherlands.

“You see now the differences from countries about the corona – Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Britain – everything is different.”

“Europe?” he said with a laugh. “What is that?”

Darren Bull and Mark Baron from CNN contributed to this report.

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PRR. Banco do Fomento invites companies to offer new financial instruments – Observer



PRR.  Banco do Fomento invites companies to offer new financial instruments – Observer

Banco Português de Fomento started a public consultation this Friday aiming to receive contributions to launch new instruments under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) which still has 475 million euros.

In a statement, the organization stressed that it intends to invite companies and all stakeholders to participate in public consultations on “future capital and quasi-capital decisions.”

According to PRR, Banco Português de Fomento (BPF) has been cast in “structuring and distribution of capital decisions and quasi-equity capital of a total of €1,425 million under the Capitalization and Business Innovation component of the PRR.

The Belarusian Popular Front still has 475 million euros to launch new programs, the organization’s press release emphasizes.

The public consultation is aimed at soliciting contributions under “the terms of two pre-structured financial instruments designed to encourage company formation and/or capitalization of businesses, primarily in the start-up phases”, “Venture Capital Program” (an instrument that assumes a fund structure of funds)” and “The Deal Co-investment Program (an instrument that takes the form of direct investment in companies, always in co-investment with private investors)”.


“These tool proposals are aimed at facilitating market entry and growth/expansion of viable companies through the development new products/services or markets and strengthening and professionalization of personnel, including the management team,” the BNF press release further emphasizes.

The public consultation is also aimed at obtaining “other proposals for new capital and quasi-capital solutions in accordance with the terms of the aforementioned capitalization funds, which are considered relevant and necessary because they are considered unavailable at the time, or existing conditions that prevent access and use.”

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Ana Carvalho, CEO of BPF, emphasized that these public consultations “are aimed at building an open dialogue with all actors of the business ecosystem, with to improve workflows and identify market failuresand the most appropriate solutions to overcome them.”

“Although we are actively in contact with various associations and institutions, this public comment allows all interested parties to participate, especially potential beneficiaries and partners involved in these measures,” he added, quoted in a press release.

All information and technical descriptions of the two pre-structured products are available on the Banco Português de Fomento website at the link

Suggestions or offers must be submitted online for a thorough assessment by the Belarusian Popular Front until 18:00 on December 19, this body further explained.

The mission of Banco Português de Fomento is to support the economic and social development of Portugal by creating and providing innovative, competitive and appropriate solutions to the needs and challenges of the business ecosystem, enhancing entrepreneurial potential, investment and job creation, and promoting sustainability and economic, social and territorial cohesion of the country.

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FESTin returns to distribute Portuguese-language cinema worldwide | Cinema



FESTin returns to distribute Portuguese-language cinema worldwide |  Cinema

For the 13th edition, FESTin’s mission remains the same: “Bring cinema in Portuguese to the whole world.” So says co-director Adriana Niemeyer by phone with PÚBLICO on the eve of the start of the film festival, which starts this Friday and runs until next week, ending on Wednesday the 14th at LX Factory at 7:00 pm, in Espaço Talante, inside the bookstore Ler Devagar , with a screening of four Brazilian short films chosen by Antonio Grassi, the actor in charge of the space, followed by a toast.

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VARIOUS. Portuguese project that wears a shirt for mental health



VARIOUS.  Portuguese project that wears a shirt for mental health

Little phrases with big meaning sometimes fit into T-shirtright now in bag da Ivory, a project that began in the year of the pandemic and has been interventionally warning about mental health issues ever since.

Francisco Soares Ganzo, the founder, first suffered a panic attack when he was in 10th grade, but ended up not paying much attention to signs that something was wrong. Then the mental health problem reappeared later, at a different stage in life and with different symptoms.

“Four years ago, I started experiencing constant anxiety, to the point that I couldn’t sleep,” says 25-year-old Francisco Versa. “Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself from the women with whom I had relationships. It was Wednesday masculinity, competition,” he continues.

Early adulthood began with this “almost obsession to be with women” and get the best. performanceto the point where he became very anxious whenever he had sexual relations with a woman.

“The peak was when I couldn’t sleep. My brain was always on and I started taking pills to help me sleep,” says Francisco.

In 2019, he decided to see a therapist rather than a psychologist because he thought it was only “for wimps”, but it wasn’t, and Francisco later figured it out.

Today, he wants to convey the same message, and to do so, he created the Ivory project in 2020, consisting of clothes and accessories with special messages that form a bridge to the necessary incentive for those in need of help.

“When I finally worked up the courage to ask for help, I was like, ‘Wow, I wish I had started sooner. That’s why I started this project. I lacked something that would motivate me to go to therapy earlier. clothes are meant to spread information,” he says.

But Ivory goes far beyond what is written in sweatshirts and accessories.

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Help that comes in order

“Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

This is one of the messages recorded in t-shirts e sweats from ivory. It’s simple and affects everyone in their own way, but the focus of the Ivory team – also with a past or present marked by mental health issues – is not the phrases on the T-shirts, but what follows them.

“To say that mental health is talked about a lot is a lie. What I mean? When I hear the news that companies are very concerned about mental health or that it has become fashionable with COVID-19, it is all a lie. What people say is vague. Nobody tells stories. A person who is really bad, like I was, does not need to hear that he should go to the gym or eat well. He needs to hear a story like this.” .

Ivory’s next step is to create a space for sharing testimonies through Appendixjust to address this shortcoming. Until then, the project intends to function as anxiety And further to support in the field of mental health.

“For every order we have, a person receives Email mail to make an appointment. Because our goal is to really open doors, to do something that I didn’t have, ”says Francisco. “I feel like a lot of people buy ivory because they’re in bad condition, but they don’t want to take the next step to take care of themselves.”

If encouragement is not enough, an ivory sweater will be cozy and Email mail gives you the push you need to make an appointment with one of Ivory’s psychologists. All it takes is an Instagram post or an email.

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Sweaters and bags 100% organic cotton and mobile phone cases with phrases coined by Francisco Soares Ganzo and designs created by the whole team can be ordered at website.

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