Spain and France agree to ask for more European solidarity and cooperation with third countries for migration

They defend the European fund against Poland and Hungary but disagree on Turkey and do not advance proposals for the EU-Mercosur agreement

MADRID, 30 (EUROPA PRESS)

The Secretary of State for the EU, Juan González-Barba, and his French counterpart, Clément Beaune, agreed this Monday on the need for greater European solidarity to manage migration and curb illegal migration, as well as the need to work and involve more the countries of origin and transit.

They have stated this at a press conference after meeting in Madrid in which, however, they have not gone down to the details. Beaune has not elaborated his proposal that he has mentioned in interviews about the possibility of restricting visas to personalities from countries that do not accept the repatriation of illegal immigrants.

Thus, he has limited himself to saying that a discussion and an approach is necessary between the European partners on the “levers” and “incentives” that European countries can develop towards the countries that are the origin and transit of migrants and also have their own challenges. “We want to cooperate so that there is European support for these countries but that there is also a commitment on their part to help us,” he said.

The two have agreed on the need to reinforce the external dimension of the migratory pact. According to González-Barba, “the Spanish experience shows that cooperation with countries of origin and transit, operational cooperation and the opening of legal channels are the main instruments to control irregular immigration.”

Beaune, for his part, also pointed out that France has shown solidarity with its European partners every time it has been necessary to welcome immigrants, but that a permanent mechanism is “indispensable”. However, it has not commented on the working document that Spain handed over to the EU last week with other partners from the south of the EU, all of them first-entry countries (Italy, Malta and Greece).

RECOVERY FUND

The two officials have also closed ranks regarding the European post-Covid recovery fund and its conditionality to respect the rule of law despite the blockade maintained by Poland and Hungary. Beaune has been convinced that it will be possible to find solutions in a few weeks, but “if the blockade persists, other options can be considered.”

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González-Barba, who will travel to Poland this Tuesday, insisted that, for Spain, the text negotiated by the German presidency of the EU and the European Parliament “is the only one that can generate the necessary consensus.” Spain, he said, does not conceive that on January 1 the recovery fund may not be in force.

PCR TO ENTER IN SPAIN, NOT IN FRANCE

At the bilateral level, Beaune has ensured that there are no misgivings between Spain and France regarding the different entry control measures in the framework of the pandemic. Spain requires negative PCR for travelers entering by boat or plane, but France does not.

González-Barba has pointed out that it is a demand of the autonomous governments – “co-governance in the Spanish case, as you well know, is more complicated, he said – and has influenced that, in any case, it is about minimizing the effects on mobility.

From the outset, he pointed out that the French PCR certificates are being accepted, making a “flexible interpretation so as not to create more difficulties.” He also recalled that those who enter by land are not required, so that the inhabitants of cross-border areas are exempt.

In any case, they have agreed to stay in contact to see if improvements in the sensitivity of the cheaper and less laborious antigen tests are announced in the coming weeks, and they can start using them.

The two European officials have highlighted the close cooperation of both countries against terrorism and have jointly committed to strengthening European instruments. At the bilateral level, they are working to hold a Summit of the two governments in the first months of 2021 in France – the last one was held in Malaga in 2017.

However, Madrid and Paris continue to have different positions on how to deal with the tensions between Greece and Cyprus with Turkey. González-Barba has reiterated his solidarity with the European partners and has insisted on asking for a “negotiated solution between the parties avoiding incidents” that could prevent it. Beaune, however, has insisted on making “decisions that translate into collective firmness.”

Another matter of discrepancies is the EU-Mercosur agreement, discussed at the meeting but only to make an “assessment of the status of ratification” of the agreement. González-Barba has insisted on defending that it would be beneficial not only for Spain but also for the EU and to strengthen the European presence on the continent.

France is one of the countries that insist on demanding environmental guarantees from Ibero-American countries, while Spain recently signed a letter together with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden to ask the European Commissioner for Trade , Valdis Dombrovskis, the signing and ratification of the Agreement.

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Illa opens the door to test for Covid in pharmacies | Economy

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has confirmed, after the meeting of the Interterritorial Council held in Extremadura this afternoon, his predisposition that pharmacies can begin to do antigen tests. To this end, Health has asked the autonomous communities that those who want to test for Covid-19 in pharmacies, as requested by the Community of Madrid, present a detailed plan.

This plan must include aspects related to personnel, means, personal protective equipment, records and facilities in the pharmacy offices so that they can adequately carry out the coronavirus detection tests.

Therefore, the minister has not refused that these tests can be carried out in pharmacies, although he has warned that it is a technical debate in which there are reservations of a legal nature and professional groups. “The more diagnostic tests the better, as long as they are well done,” Illa added.

The performance of antigen tests in pharmacies has been demanded by both the Government of the Community of Madrid and the Catalan Government, which have defended the professionalism of the pharmaceutical staff to carry it out despite the reluctance on the part of groups such as the Nursing or Public Health experts.

The regional government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso has insisted on many occasions on the request that antigen tests can be done in the pharmacies of the Madid Community, which has a network of more than 2,800 stores of this type, and has defended that its “professionals are trained, guarantee safety and hygiene and the results can be communicated to the Madrid Health System”.

The regional government, in addition, has pointed to massive tests and rapid diagnosis as key factors in managing this second wave regarding the incidence of Covid-19 in the Community of Madrid, where more than 3 million have been carried out of tests since this pandemic began, with an average of 190,000 weekly.

Today, the European Commission has endorsed the training of “additional test operators other than health personnel” to carry out antigen tests, including pharmacists, in order to “guarantee sufficient capacities and resources for sampling, the tests and the presentation of reports “, as expressed by the community organism through a document published this Wednesday.

For its part, Illa has announced that the Government and regional executives have agreed to create a working group so that the next Interterritorial Health Council present a package of recommendations in relation to the December long weekend and Christmas.

The bridge of the Constitution and the Immaculate Conception next to Christmas are looming on the horizon as the next great health challenge facing the ministry led by Salvador Illa. His department, together with the autonomous communities, is already working to agree on guidelines that allow safe mobility and celebrations that do not fertilize a hypothetical third wave of the pandemic.

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Ecuador News – Ecuador Live – Coronavirus in the US: 5 figures that show how the pandemic is out of control | BBC World from London

BBC World London

Political uncertainty and the health emergency intersect in the US: while the Donald Trump government focuses on asking for recount and contesting the result of the elections, the coronavirus pandemic is experiencing its worst moment in the country.

With winter approaching and with the lack of a national plan to deal with new outbreaks, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths multiply.

For days, US media critical of Trump’s management had pointed out that the president, who spent more than a week without speaking to the press, did not seem to show interest in his obligations and in the course of the pandemic, while tries to reverse the results of the elections from Twitter and the courts.

On the afternoon of this Friday, however, Trump appeared again in front of the cameras to promise that a potential vaccine will be ready before the end of the year and ruled out the possibility that his government will impose a new quarantine to face the pandemic.

“This government will not be closed. Hopefully the … whatever happens in the future, who knows what government it will be? I guess time will tell. But I can tell you that this government will not go to a shutdown,” he said.

A day earlier, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading authority on infectious diseases, had called for redoubled efforts in the face of the increase in cases because an effective vaccine, he said, would not be immediately available.

“Help is on the way. But it is not here yet,” he said.

Fauci has not been the only one to draw attention to the growing number of infections in the United States.

Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the nation is going through a “dangerous season,” while CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta called the situation a “humanitarian disaster.”

Meanwhile, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, who was recently appointed as a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force, described the current outlook as “covid hell.”

According to Osterholm, although the United States is not the only place in the world where cases are rebounding again, the situation becomes more critical for two reasons: first, because it is the country with the most infections and deaths in the world and, second, because the outgoing government does not seem interested in taking mitigation measures in his remaining in office.

We can get an idea of ​​how bleak the situation is by reviewing some of the figures that have sounded the alarms of the medical and scientific community.

1. A historical record of cases
For months now, the US has held the sad position of being the country with the most cases and deaths from coronavirus in the world.

Of the more than 53 million infections reported globally, more than 10.3 million are from the United States, almost 20% of the global total in a nation whose population represents 4% of the planet.

But if the overall numbers are alarming, what has happened in recent days has been a major concern.

On Thursday alone, the US surpassed 160,000 new cases in one day, almost a week after crossing the record of 100,000 daily infections.

Two states, Texas and California, were the first this week to report more than a million people infected, while others, like Florida, are following suit.

The increase has been a trend in recent weeks in more than 40 states and, based on models from several universities, the figure could get worse in the days to come.

According to the CDC, it is expected that between 630,000 and 1,700,000 new cases will be reported in the country before December 5, although the agency points out that the estimate may fall below.

“Over the past few weeks, more cases have been reported than expected in the prediction. This suggests that the current forecast may not reflect the full range of cases that will be reported in the future. Projections for new cases should be interpreted accordingly.” indicates on its website.

2. Increasing number of hospitalizations
The scene is familiar: as happened in the spring and summer, hospitals in many states are again beginning to run out of beds, now at a greater rate.

Currently, there are more Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US than at any time before the pandemic.

As of November 12, more than 67,000 people were receiving hospital care after testing positive for coronavirus, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project, a monitoring system for the pandemic.

As of this Friday, 17 states reported a general increase in hospitalizations.

The previous record dates back to April 15, when New York was the epicenter of COVID-19 in the US, and 59,940 hospitalizations were reported nationwide.

“The new record for hospitalizations shows that we have entered the worst period of the pandemic since the original outbreak in the Northeast (in New York and nearby states),” wrote the creators of the Covid Tracking Project on Wednesday.

3. Deaths are on the rise again
The CDC registered as of this Friday more than 242,200 deaths, a mortality rate of 73 per 100,000 inhabitants in the United States.

And they reported 1,859 deaths from covid-19 on November 10, the highest figure since the more than 2,500 registered on June 25, an anomalous day because by then the weekly average had been falling to about 600.

In fact, on November 10, the average death toll of 1,000 was exceeded for the first time in the previous seven days, something that had not happened since August.

Trevor Bedford, an analyst at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Research Institute, recalled on Twitter that deaths during the pandemic generally begin to rise three weeks after cases skyrocket.

“I estimate that the United States will report more than 2,000 deaths per day in three weeks,” he wrote.

The mathematical model of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects some 399,162 deaths in the US by February 1 if current conditions are maintained, but if protection measures are further relaxed, it estimates that the figure would be around 513,657.

4. Critical situation in many states
If at the beginning of the pandemic the epicenter was more “concentrated” in some states (such as New York and later Florida), now epidemiologists warn that the situation is more complicated by the increasing number of cases reported throughout the world. country.

As Frieden tweeted, this is because the United States entered “the exponential phase” of spreading the virus, so it is foreseeable that the situation will significantly worsen in most states.

However, he clarified that not all places are currently experiencing the same rate of spread of covid-19.

“For example, South Dakota (the state with the highest rate) has 100 times the spread of Vermont,” he said.

5. The White House as the epicenter
For many US media outlets, a reflection of how the pandemic is out of control in the country is the situation in the White House itself, in which nearly 200 people, from the president to members of his personal and service team, safety, have tested positive or have had to isolate themselves due to being in contact with the virus.

More than 30 people, including Trump, his wife and their youngest son, on dates close to the event for the nomination of Amy Conney Barret for the Supreme Court.

The president himself had to be hospitalized and a few weeks later several aides to Vice President Mike Pence also fell ill.

In early November, after an election night event in which Trump was proclaimed the winner while the counts were still continuing, a new outbreak was reported: Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, one of his campaign bosses, and another dozen officials tested positive. (BBC WORLD)

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