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The European Union is still divided over coronavirus assistance. That can separate them

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On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will unveil his proposal to dig Europe out of a historic recession along with the European Union’s long-term budget plan. But deep divisions between member states still need to be bridged, increasing the risk that much needed assistance can be delayed.

This rift complicates efforts to get money quickly to the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as Spain and Italy, where anti-EU sentiment is increasing. The leaders warned that the future of the European Union could depend on what happened next.

The uneven recovery “will tear off our single market and establish significant political and financial tensions in the euro area and the European Union,” Mário Centeno, president of the European finance minister’s body, recently warned in an interview with the Greek political newspaper. “We will walk in a financial crisis. There is a lot at stake.”

Grants versus loans

The euro survived the debt crisis between 2010 and 2012, saved by massive EU bailout loans to countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland, and pledges by the European Central Bank to do “anything” to defend the currency.

Now, Europe as a whole is facing the worst economic shock since the 1930s, only a few countries will suffer more pain than others. The European Commission estimates that GDP in 19 countries using the euro will contract of 7.75% this year, record. The Italian economy could shrink by more than 9%, making it more difficult to repay debts of € 2.4 trillion ($ 2.6 trillion). The country’s debt to GDP ratio is 135% at the end of 2019.

As EU leaders struggle to provide more aid money, the big question is whether pandemic recovery funds should offer loans or grants to member countries. Using grants will require net contributors to the EU budget, including “Frugal Four,” to pay more. Relying on loans, meanwhile, will mean burdening heavily indebted countries like Italy with more obligations.

The breakthrough came last week when Germany and France propose creation from a € 500 billion ($ 549 billion) recovery fund. Under the proposal, the European Commission will borrow money to improve the economy and distribute grants to the hardest hit regions and sectors through the EU budget. Debts incurred to raise funds must be paid off over time, “but not by beneficiaries,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Pitch marked a major change in Berlin’s position, underlining the severity of the crisis and changing the tenor of the discussion, according to Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, senior colleague at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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“This is Germany realizing that Italy is not Greece,” Kirkegaard said, referring to the importance of avoiding the debt crisis in the bloc’s third largest economy. “If we have another asymmetrical recovery, then that will be very bad for the European Union and very bad for the German economy itself.”

Trade within the European Union accounts for nearly 60% of German exports.

The proposal still needs to be formalized by the European Commission, and not all 27 member countries. Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark seem united against the Franco-German plan.

But without Germany, their opposition seems thin, said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for Europe at the Eurasia consultancy group.

“There is a big movement in most European capitals in recognition of the scale of the challenge,” Rahman said. “Obviously that’s what you don’t get from ‘Frugal Four.’ This effectively restated the old position. “

‘Very difficult negotiations’

Negotiations will begin in earnest after the European Commission reveals its framework this week.

Rahman expects the Commission to call for recovery funds worth € 600 billion ($ 654 billion) to € 700 billion ($ 763 billion), although the amount of key information can be reduced during talks. He thinks the proposal will include a mix of cheap loans and direct grants to try to bring more conservative Northern countries.

However, this is not the only problem that needs to be hammered with a budget of around € 1 trillion ($ 1.1 trillion).

Determining the European Union budget, which runs from 2021 to 2027, has been compounded by the fact that Brexit has blown up huge holes in financial block over the next seven years, said Guntram Wolff, director of Bruegel, a think tank based in Brussels. . Britain has become the second largest contributor to the European Union.

Member countries also need to understand how much money they will put in, whether rich countries will still get discounts, and importantly, the types of programs that the bloc will support. The pandemic complicates this issue, which has been debated.

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The timeline is tight. Getting aid to Europe in the second half of this year will require agreement between EU leaders in June or July, according to Rahman, followed by a strengthening vote in the European Parliament in early September. The lack of a busy summer tourism season is expected to hit Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece hard in the coming months.

Centeno, who also serves as Portugal’s finance minister, highlighted the urgency over the weekend.

“It would be better if we found an agreement on the main features of the Recovery Fund before the summer, to provide guarantees to our citizens, companies and markets, and increase the credibility of the EU response,” he tweeted. “That will be a very difficult negotiation.”

Political storm brewing

In recent days, political leaders have not shied away from overcoming the potential consequences of failure.

“We must show that what is not at stake is a national contribution from one or the other for the European budget,” said French Secretary of State for European Affairs Amélie de Montchalin in an interview Monday with Le Point magazine. “This is the vitality of an economic project that makes us prosperous.”

Many Italians feel that they are left alone to face the consequences of the pandemic, reinforcing the hatred that has accumulated after the 2015-16 migrant crisis, Enrico Letta, the former prime minister of Italy, said Friday.

“This is why, I think, it is very important to have a very comprehensive, fast and effective European response,” he told CNN Business, Richard Quest.

People walk through shopping marches in Milan on May 18.

If Italy and other southern countries experience a slower recovery than their northern neighbors, it will feed euroskeptic powers and political instability in the region, Kirkegaard said.

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In Germany, troubled companies have received substantial credit guarantees from the state, which means more will survive. In Italy, however, the risk of corporate defaults is increasing – underscoring the need for a more coordinated strategy.

“Unless you get a level playing field here, that will be a real problem,” Kirkegaard said.

And while Germany has come to provide grants, the country has not agreed to include capital guarantees needed to get aid funds before 2021, Rahman said. Such delays can be destructive.

The question of time, he said, was “the single biggest risk.”

– Pierre-Eliott Buet contributed reporting.

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5-star hotels lead the way in the restoration of Portuguese tourist sites

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5-star hotels lead the way in the restoration of Portuguese tourist sites

In October, the number of overnight stays in 5-star hotels increased by 15.9% compared to the same month in 2019, which, according to additional information, namely from the DMC (Tourist Inception Agency), is associated with a strong increase in tourism from the United States. states.

Information published today by INE indicates that in October, compared to the same month before the pandemic, the number of overnight stays in tourist establishments in Portugal increased by 6.2%, with the strongest increase in hotels, at 8.2%. in which, therefore, 62.1% is concentrated. overnight stays.

The information shows that 4-star hotels, where the largest number of beds are concentrated, had 48.9% of overnight stays in October, totaling 2.05 million, which is +7.6% or more than 144.7 thousand than in October 2019.

This was followed by 3-star hotels with 927.3k, but this increase was about half of 5-star hotels, by 7.6% or 65.5k, to 927.3k, and then 5-star hotels with 857. 4 thousand overnight stays, an increase of 15.9%. or 117.6 thousand compared to the same pre-pandemic month.

In contrast to the evolution in these categories, there were 2- and 1-star hotels, in which the number of overnight stays decreased by 2.7%, or ten thousand, to 360.8 thousand.

The cheapest apart-hotels (three and two stars) also saw a decrease in overnight stays, from -20.9% or less than 24.4 thousand, in hotels and farms in Madeira, from -0.4% or less, to about 300, and in tourist settlements, from -7.7. % or less than 17.5 thousand.

At the same time, the number of apart-hotels increased by 1.2%, or 8.5 thousand, to 717.5 million, due to the increase in 5-star hotels by 6.7%, or 6.6 thousand, to 104.9 thousand, and 4-star, by 5.4 thousand% or 26.4 thousand to 519.9 thousand.

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Overnight stays in tourist apartments also increased by 3.2%, or 13.6 thousand, to 437.8 million, local accommodation, by 0.6%, or 5.5 thousand, to 901.2 thousand, and , primarily tourism in rural areas and housing, with an increase of 45.2% or 67.3 thousand to 216.5 thousand people.

The INE data also shows that Portuguese tourist sites were the best in October in terms of overnight stays this year, with peaks achieved by 5-, 4- and 3-star hotels, 5- and 4-star apartment hotels, accommodation . and rural tourism and housing development.

See also:

The US market is already setting new annual records in Portuguese hotels

The Portuguese hospitality industry experienced the best October in terms of number of guests and overnight stays.

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Government approves strategy to combat “Portuguese underrepresentation” in Brussels

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Government approves strategy to combat "Portuguese underrepresentation" in Brussels

This afternoon the Council of Ministers will approve a national strategy to combat what it considers “underrepresentation de Portugal” in European institutions, in particular the European Commission.

“There is a significant shortage of Portuguese, especially those working for the Commission,” explains the Secretary of State for European Affairs in statements to Renaissance🇧🇷 The problem, according to Thiago Antunes, is not limited to middle management: “This is the first time Portugal does not have a CEO in the European Commission”.

The government wants to “correct this imbalance and fight this deficit in order to win.”ability to influence in decisions.” But it is not possible to increase the number of vacancies for the Portuguese, if only because there are no national quotas for employees working in institutions.

To go to Brussels or even work in Portugal on a full-time basis, you need to pass a series of tests prepared by EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office). 🇧🇷These are very difficult competitions.with very concrete evidence,” the official explains.

The strategy will be based on several pillars: training, increasing grants and encouraging the mobility of civil servants. The Portuguese government is going to create a national training center to “better prepare our candidates for competitions”; to bet on “dissemination of opportunities; increase the balls (by quantity and value); and create a statute that allows those who work in the public administration of Portugal to move into the European public administration.

The aim is to achieve “greater representation” in the European Commission in order to have “greater influence” on the decision. Although the strategy is to strengthen the Portuguese presence in Brussels and the employees do not work for Portugal.it doesn’t matter that they are portuguese“, he defends.

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Fruits may not appear early or may not even be measurable. “It will take some time until we see results,” admits the former secretary of state to the prime minister. But the wait does not stop the Portuguese government. “We have to start right now,” Thiago Antunes insists, pointing to the demographic problem among those working in Brussels. “There are a lot of Portuguese who came in at the time of our accession and are now retiring.”

The strategy aims to reverse the cycle of loss of Portuguese representation among the 27. The diploma will be approved this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.

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“His manager is Portuguese and…”; The agent changes plans, and Luis Castro “arranges” the problem in the protection of “Botafogo”

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"His manager is Portuguese and...";  The agent changes plans, and Luis Castro "arranges" the problem in the protection of "Botafogo"

Botafogo

The defender must return from loan ahead of schedule, and the Glorioso coach will have to make a decision at the beginning of the preseason.

Photo: Jorge Rodriguez/AGIF.  First, Luis Castro does not have Diego Loureiro for 2023.
Photo: Jorge Rodriguez/AGIF. First, Luis Castro does not have Diego Loureiro for 2023.

With the end of the season Botafogo its reformulation is already underway with the participation of Luis Castro. Names like Carlinhos, for example, have already left General Severiano, but there is a tendency for the “purge” to continue a little longer. Especially with the return of borrowed athletes during the year.

goalkeeper case Diego Loureiro, who played on loan at Atlético GO, promoted to Serie B. Curiously, the Botafogo archer has a contract at Goiania until the end of 2023, but Dragao president Adson Batista is pessimistic about the player’s consistency.

“Diego Loureiro is a bit off because he still has a contract with Botafogo, his manager is Portuguese and he has a different vision.” said the director in an interview with radio Sagres from the capital of Goiás.

The goalkeeper played only two games for Atlético-GO, who were betting on Renan in the starting lineup. If he returns to Rio, Loureiro will likely see high competition in the black and white net as Luis Castro now has alternatives to Gatito Fernandes and Lucas Perry.

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