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Brexit’s nightmare Boris Johnson returned at the worst time

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As it happened: The day the UK left the EU

Here is the situation: Britain officially left the European Union on 31 January. Since then, Britain has been in a transition period where it still complies with EU regulations in exchange for business as usual in key areas, especially trade.

The essence of the transition period is to create a space where the two parties can safely negotiate their future relationships without causing disruption to business and citizens. However, the transition period ended on December 31 and sources from both parties said that the negotiations were not going well.

Pandemic does not help political deadlock. The negotiation team cannot meet physically, only relying on video conferencing tools. The next round of virtual talks began Tuesday, but sources on both sides say this has damaged the quality of negotiations, because individuals cannot split up for private chats on how to solve complicated problems. And the scale of the coronavirus crisis has overshadowed the urgency of the Brexit talks.

Johnson must now spend June with one eye on complicated and full negotiations with the world’s biggest trade bloc, while also overseeing the response to the country’s worst public health crisis in decades.

The two sides agreed that June would be used as a period to ponder whether there was a visible agreement, or whether they should respectfully put a bullet in the conversation and prepare a scenario without agreement.

No agreement is universally accepted as the worst possible outcome. The British economy is very dependent on imports from Europe. This maximum disruption to trade will affect the supply chain – making a living hell for businesses, such as car manufacturers, who depend on them and lead to potential shortages of basic household needs, such as food, for consumers. Numerous studies have predicted that it will be a major economic blow to households and the nation in general.

Even though Britain or the European Union claims it does not want this outcome, negotiators fear that political deadlock means the more likely it is. “The European Union is being unreasonable, demanding that if we want a free trade agreement then at our expense we must continue to follow EU rules,” according to a British government official, who is not authorized to speak in notes about ongoing negotiations. “Obviously, they know we can’t accept that. If we do, what’s the point of Brexit?” said the same source.

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The rules they mean are a very difficult part of the negotiation known as the “balanced playing arena”. This is basically an agreement about certain rules and standards designed to stop business on the one hand, reducing business on the other. The EU single market is the largest economic bloc in the world. The level playing field is overseen by the courts and institutions of the European Union. And if Britain wants tariff-free access there after the transition period – like Johnson’s position last fall when he reached the initial Brexit agreement with the EU – then the EU will need it to register with those rules.

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Level playing fields are not the only areas where Brussels and London are not facing each other. There are differences of opinion about fishing rights, security and governance, and what actually happened on the island of Ireland. However, negotiators both in London and Brussels are convinced that the long overdue crisis caused by the towering edge of the cliff will drag the two sides together. The same cannot be said for differences in the level playing field.

Britain has said it will drop its ambitions for tariff-free trade with the EU if the EU lowers its level of demand. The EU is not interested in this idea because it believes that there is not enough time in the transition to negotiate on tariffs.

Theoretically, Johnson could buy more time if he wanted to take this route. He has until 31 June to request an extension of the transition period. However, it will be so politically poisonous that it does not currently seem to have occurred to Johnson’s advisers. This Brexit debate poisoning made the agreement impossible, because any capitulation that was felt would make Johnson in trouble with his supporters.

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In addition, this pandemic is strangely creating opportunities to cover the sizeable negative impact Brexit might have on the British economy. “There is a certain logic to saying let’s deal with both of these economic disturbances at once,” said Anand Menon, director of Britain’s Changing European tank.

“From the supply chain to the way all economies are run, everything will change due to this virus. So, even though those two things aren’t really related and might make the other worse, I can see some political logic in doing everything at the same time . “

Even better, the pandemic creates space for the government to throw money at every large bump in the road, if the worst happens.

“Certain parts of the economy will be affected by Brexit and coronavirus,” said Raoul Ruparel, Brexit’s adviser to Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May. “If Johnson spends government money to soften the impact in these fields, he might find there is less opposition than if he only spends money to offset the Brexit impact alone, because there is a far greater unity across the political spectrum about the need for spending. like that to help with recovery from Covid-19. “

A trade agreement with America will not compensate Britain for the loss of EU benefits

In Brussels, member states agreed that there was no agreement at the end of last year. “We are not emotionally investing in British decisions anymore,” said a European diplomat based in Brussels. “This is a country outside the European Union, we focus on recovering our coronavirus,” said the same source.

This level of non-compliance is not uncommon in EU institutions, where an official working on negotiations said with a shrug that “Britain is free to do whatever it wants” and that Brussels is prepared for a “dead end” at the end of June.

The EU has believed for some time to overcome shocks without a better deal than Britain. “The European Union knows it is in a stronger position. Yes, there is no bad deal for them, but it is far worse for Britain,” said Thomas Cole, a former EU negotiator. “It’s true that the two sovereign parties are the same but they are very aware that they don’t need to make the type of concessions that the British need to make.”

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And as in the UK, coronaviruses might make calculations without certain agreements easier for the EU to swallow in the long run. “Paradoxically, it might make aspects of an agreement more manageable for the European Union,” said Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the European Policy Center. “Companies that want to reduce their operations throughout post-Covid Europe might decide it’s easier to actually close British offices and factories. This actually solves a number of problems, in some ways.”

Of course, neither side wants an agreement and both of them are still telling reporters that they are committed to breaking the deadlock and arriving at a mutually beneficial solution. However, the political mistakes that are happening right now are likely to get worse along with the passing of June, if the history of Brexit is something that happens.

If the conversation fails, both parties will hope that the other party will try to show the finger and play the victim. This might be suitable for Johnson politically in the short term, because he plays the role of a brave leader who opposed European oppression. But, as Menon points out, the post-Covid world has been searching for a messy and unpredictable place.

“Everyone is angry with China, and God knows what will happen in the US election,” he said. “Does Britain really want to clash with Europe when it emerges from a pandemic and into a brave new future?”

So, if Boris Johnson seriously wants to avoid a deal, the combination of talks is frozen, both parties are distracted by a pandemic and this pressing June deadline makes a bad start to the summer.

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Teodoro Obiang meets the Portuguese he saved from death | NEWS | DV

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Teodoro Obiang meets the Portuguese he saved from death |  NEWS |  DV

Teodoro Obiang was received on Tuesday (28.06) at the headquarters of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), where, not to mention the process of abolition of the death penalty in his country, he promised to comply with all the necessary recommendations of the membership. by organization. .

“We are ready, we are organizing to fulfill all the conditions that all CPSG member countries demand,” the President of Equatorial Guinea said in press statements without the right to ask questions.

Accompanied by Zacarias da Costa, executive secretary of the CPLP, Obiang assured that Portuguese, considered a foreign language in Equatorial Guinea, is on the rise, mainly because many young people are already learning the language in schools.

“Portuguese will become the language spoken throughout the country,” he promised.

The President of Equatorial Guinea is in Portugal as one of the senior government officials invited to the United Nations Oceans Conference, which is taking place in Lisbon until 1 July.

The presidential delegation of Equatorial Guinea includes First Lady Constance Mangue, Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono, and Mozambique Murade Muraga, former CPLP Executive Secretary, who serves as Obiang’s Special Adviser for the Portuguese Language.

Jorge Trabulo Marquez spent 38 days canoeing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The head of state of Equatorial Guinea held several bilateral meetings, including with the President of the UN General Assembly, Adullah Shahid; was at the International Craft Fair (FIA), this Wednesday will be received by his Portuguese colleague Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and will visit the Sanctuary of Fatima.

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“Obiang understood and set me free”

At the hotel where he was staying in Lisbon, Obiang received Portuguese journalist Jorge Trabulo Marques, who spent 47 years in prison in Malabo after 38 days of trying to cross the Atlantic by canoe from Sao Tome. . . .

Marquez says he was 30 years old at the time and it was Obiang, then supreme commander of the armed forces, who saved him from death.

“At that time, I was considered a spy because it was hard to believe that a European would sit in a canoe,” Jorge Trabulo Marquez told DW Africa.

“I was taken to Black Beach Maximum Security Prison and sentenced to hang. Five days later, while I was walking, the phone rang and it was Commander Obiang, the nephew of President Macias, who called me to his office to give the president a writ of execution.”

President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang receives journalist Jorge Trabulo Marquez in Lisbon.

Meeting between President Teodoro Obiang and journalist Jorge Trabulo Marquez on Tuesday (28.06)

But Obiang, then 33, went against the execution order for his uncle Macias Nguema.

“Thank God he was understanding, he was generous, he took my word for it and set me free. I was here today to thank him for life because I saw death before me. Every night I heard piercing cries; terror prison. Whoever entered alive, came out in a tomb.”

At this meeting, the journalist expressed his gratitude by offering a picture painted with a portrait of a man who saved his life in a country where the Castilian language prevails and where the death penalty has not yet been completely abolished.

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Portuguese DJ Narciso among the first advertisements of the Polish festival Unsound – Showbiz

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Portuguese DJ Narciso among the first advertisements of the Polish festival Unsound - Showbiz

Musician DJ Narciso is the only Portuguese name in the first group of artists at Poland’s Unsound festival, which will take place in Krakow in October, the organization announced today.

The Portuguese DJ Narciso appears in the dance program of the festival, reminiscent of the organization that is part of the Príncipe publishing house from Lisbon.

Narciso created RS Produções in Río de Mouro, municipality of Sintra, in the middle of the last decade, which he shares with Nuno Beats, DJ Nulo, DJ Lima and Farucox.

This year he released the EP “NXE” with London’s Endgame by Chinese publisher SVBKVLT. According to a biography available on Bandcamp at the time of launch, DJ Narciso is “bringing together a new wave of artists from Kuduro from Lisbon, [sendo] one of the youngest members of Príncipe who helped redefine the genre.”

One of the most influential European festivals, which annually collects names from various musical fields and commissions works by contemporary authors, Unsound will present projects in Krakow in its 20th edition, such as the premiere of Osmium, which features Hildur Guðnadóttir. , Slater of Sam Blanket and James Ginsburg, who will play with singer Rulli Shabara on instruments made especially for the occasion, according to a statement from the event.

Polish cellist and composer Resina will join Frenchman Aho San in the Ego Death project, also curated by Unsound.

The Contemporary Spółdzielnia ensemble, in turn, will present “Vitriolum”, in which musicians interpret works on 3D-printed instruments “based on Carpathian flutes and ancient double reeds.”

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From October 9 to 16, Unsound will also host Oren Ambarchi, Johan Bertling and Andreas Verlin as Ghosted, as well as Japanese solo artist Phew and more.

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Portuguese deep tech fund raises over €32m for blue economy projects

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Portuguese deep tech fund raises over €32m for blue economy projects

The fund’s first investment in the blue economy and climate action is in Fuelsave, a German cleantech company.

Faber, a Portuguese emerging technology venture capital firm, announces that its Faber Blue Pioneers I fund exceeded its initial target of €30 million to close at €32 million.

Southern Europe’s first venture capital fund focused on “deep tech” for ocean sustainability and climate change has already made its first investment in Fuelsave, a German cleantech company.

Announced late last year, Faber Blue Pioneers I is funded by institutional investors with an impact strategy such as the European Investment Fund (FEI) and Portugal Blue, Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos (through its part of Movendo Capital), Builders Initiative (the philanthropic arm of Builders Vision, impact platform founded by Lucas Walton, dedicated to creating a more humane and healthy planet and with an investment strategy in the oceans), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Champalimaux Foundation, as well as entrepreneurs Peter Reeve, co-founder of SolarCity, CEO of Aqualink and president of Sofar Ocean Technologies, and Pedro Bizarro , co-founder and chief scientist of Feedzai.

Thus, the fund completes its first closure with a core of investors who are in full agreement with the thesis of the fund, with sustainable and investment programs on a global scale in this area, accompanied by successful entrepreneurs who want to support and contribute to the sustainability of the oceans and climate action, which Faber hopes to leverage with additional investors to join the fund’s closed end by the end of 2022.

AI and climate and ocean data

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Faber combines a dedicated focus on early stage deep tech startups (pre-seed and seed) with thematic funds, teams and dedicated advisors who actively work with entrepreneurs to build global artificial intelligence (AI) and climate companies. and ocean data and technology.

The goal of the fund is to invest in a portfolio of 20-25 early stage companies that develop innovative high-tech solutions with global ambitions in areas such as blue biotechnology, food innovation, ocean clean-up technologies or the decarbonization of many industries. with a clear contribution to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 14.

The fund is managed by a dedicated investment team led by Rita Souza and Carlos Esteban (Partners) and Bruno Ferreira (Venture Partner) with extensive experience in investment, entrepreneurship and technology. The team will work closely with a network of experts, including strategic adviser Thiago Pitta e Cunha (CEO of the Oceano Azul Foundation) and scientific advisors Susana Moreira and Joana Moreira da Silva (science and innovation researchers at Ciimar), as well as with other scientists and industry representatives. experts.

At the time of the first closing, the specialized investment group (based between Lisbon and Barcelona) analyzed more than 600 start-ups from all over Europe, with a particular focus on those starting in the Iberian Peninsula or elsewhere. geographically and who are looking for a suitable partner to expand their activities in Portugal and thus take advantage of the conditions that the country offers to launch high-tech and innovative projects in the blue economy.

The fund’s first investment was in Fuelsave, a German cleantech company focused on the decarbonization of the marine industry, and Faber already has additional investments nearing completion and to be completed over the next few weeks.

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“We are proud to announce Faber Blue Pioneers I’s first major plan above the original goal with a remarkable group of investors who share our strong belief that science and entrepreneurs can accelerate innovation and have a positive impact on ocean and climate resilience. action. We are also very pleased to welcome Fuelsave to the fund’s portfolio as we believe its team will pave the way for the decarbonization of the maritime industry,” says Alexandre Barbosa, Managing Partner of Faber.

Faber is the first Iberian partner of 1000 Ocean Startups, a global coalition of incubators, accelerators, venture capital funds and other platforms dedicated to accelerating innovation with a positive impact on the oceans and supporting at least 1000 startups that are transforming the sustainability of the oceans, oceans and making a significant contribution to the Goal. United Nations in the field of sustainable development 14.

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