Miguel Á. Martínez-González: “The covid will disappear, obesity will not” | Fortune

Doctor, specialized in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, started up this same department at the University of Navarra. Miguel Ángel Martínez-González (Málaga, 1957) is also a visiting professor at Harvard. He has led the Predimed research network, the largest trial to date on the effects of the Mediterranean diet and health habits. Just published ¿What are you eating? Science and Consciousness for resistir (Planeta), in collaboration with the popularizer Marisol Guisasola.

What mistakes are the most common when it comes to eating?

There is no field where there is so much confusion, due to interference from the food industry. Ingredients such as white bread, pasta, potatoes … or pizza, which has too much salt, are associated with the Mediterranean diet. And the salt is not funny at all. We must say goodbye to many myths, in addition to the fact that there is another reality, and that is that we eat too much bread. There is too strong a lobby in the food industry that prevents these habits from being changed, in addition to making labels that no one reads. There are conflicts of interest on the part of some scientists, who receive funding from brands to develop projects, and in the end they create confusion, such as that which exists with red and processed meat. There are too many scandals in food.

Why have you decided to take out the shame in this book?

Because there is too much confusion, because myths and pseudoscience have to be debunked. This is an interest free book, especially since it is not funded by the food industry. All this work is the result of the research work carried out at the University of Navarra, in which 23,000 volunteers have participated in 250 studies. It seems that the coronavirus pandemic is the largest that we have suffered in recent times, and it is not. There are other non-infectious pandemics, which damage us daily and are related to diet, such as myocardial infarctions, strokes, Alzheimer’s, breast or colon cancer, diabetes, depression or obesity. And all this can be prevented with a correct eating pattern.

Is the concept of the Mediterranean diet a mixed bag?

What has been done is wrong. What we call today the Mediterranean diet is the type of diet of the Mediterranean populations in the fifties and sixties, what our grandparents ate. And that is not the eating pattern that these countries follow today. Not everything goes, that’s why you have to put a red traffic light on everything that is not part of this diet, and pizza does not enter there. Not even the potatoes that are pure starch. It is necessary to explain what this diet is rich in, scientifically considered the healthiest of all.

Illustrate us with the information you handle.

In one study, we have changed the dietary pattern of 7,500 people over five years, and we have seen a 30% reduction in myocardial infarctions, stroke, or cardiovascular death. We have seen that these changes reduce the disease that causes the most deaths in the world.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

There are foods that should be given a red light, such as meat. The traditional diet of the Mediterranean countries is characterized by a low consumption of red meat and processed meat products. In this group are dairy products, rich in saturated fat. This diet only included fermented dairy, such as cheese and yogurt, but in small amounts. I always say that before a piece of fruit or a dairy, fruit is preferable.

And what foods have a green traffic light?

The olive oil. The Mediterranean diet is high in fat due to the high consumption of oil, which has proven health effects. Also for fresh, unprocessed vegetables. This includes vegetables, greens, fruits, legumes, nuts and cereals. This does not include potatoes, which are not part of this diet. You have to consume natural or semi-processed products. A tomato does not need labels and a hake, either, because they are real foods, and the most absent from the shopping cart that comes out of the supermarket.

Any more food to add to the shopping cart?

Without falling into excesses, fish and shellfish, common in this diet, and a source of protein, whose consumption varied depending on the proximity to the sea. The consumption of eggs is also allowed, three or four times a week, and wine in moderation during meals. What not to include are the Frankfurt sausages, loaded with chemical additives. We do not know the amount of preservatives and stabilizers, of chemistry that is put into these foods. And this leads to premature death.

There’s a boom of the miracle diets to lose weight, what do you think of them?

All these diets are effective, but in the short term, because the weight is gained again. It’s the yo-yo effect. They are extreme diets and do not have that flavor of the Mediterranean diet. The doctor Grande Covián said it, the food on a dessert plate. When you follow these types of more balanced diets, you have a more modest, but healthier, weight loss. I also want to say that the proceeds from the copyright of this book will go to fund food and public health research. Because there is another pandemic, as serious as the coronavirus, and it is obesity, and there is no sign that it will disappear. The coronavirus will disappear in two years, obesity will not.

What should work meals be like?

Work meals are everyone’s responsibility. It is easy to end a meal of this type with desserts, this means ending with sugar. Worst. Choose a plate or two of vegetables. Training is not incompatible with having criteria.


Despite international rejection, Turkey continues its climb in the eastern Mediterranean – ANHA | HAWARNEWS

Turkey has extended the term of the reconnaissance carried out by its ship “Uruç al-Raies” in the eastern Mediterranean until 4 of next month, during a notification issued by the Turkish Navy yesterday Saturday, in which it confirmed that “Uruç al-Raies “and the ships” Ataman “and” Genghis Khan “will continue to operate in an area south of the Greek island of Rhodes.

The Turkish Navy announced earlier this month that the ship “” Uruç al-Raies “will carry out a seismic survey in the eastern Mediterranean from October 12 to 22, and in another notification indicated that survey work in the region will continue until October 27. This October.

The European Union gave Turkey until December to “review its approaches to the eastern Mediterranean”, or else it will impose sanctions.

The dispute between Turkey and Europe escalated on August 10, when Turkey sent a ship to explore natural gas and warships into waters that it claims sovereignty with Greece.



The return of China and the ships of India take the port of Valencia to historical figures

21/10/2020 05:00

Ahead of

He port of Valencia in the last two months it has become a positive anomaly within the Spanish pandemic economy. In an environment of generalized decline in productive and commercial activity, the maritime enclave accumulates two consecutive months of historical records in freight traffic and container movement (TEU) thanks to the recovery of its two main customers, United States and China, but, above all, to the strong increases in trade by sea with the markets of India, Turkey or Canada.

The Valencian terminal, the one with the highest volume of traffic in Spain, combines ‘import-export’ exchanges with what is known as transit movements, large container ships that use the port as a stopover for other smaller ships to reload and Redistribute merchandise to other European docks. In September, according to data released by the Port Authority of Valencia (Valenciaport), 477,194 containers were stowed, the highest figure in that month since there are records. It is the second consecutive record, after more than half a million TEU last August.

So far in 2020, the total figures are still lower than those of 2019. The halt in international trade at the start of the pandemic, in February and March, was noticed in all global ports and in maritime traffic. But the recovery of China, whose locomotive has been reactivated and whose sales to Spain already exceed those of Germany, and the growth of other issuers or recipients of goods such as Algeria (+ 14.13%), India (+ 10.11%) , Canada (+ 36.83%) or Italy (+ 26.84%) explain the strong rebound in the last two months. United States and ChinaIn that order, they continue to be the main clients, although not yet with the same figures of 2019. They are followed by Algeria and Turkey, without counting on the movement that occurs between the Spanish ports themselves.

Victor Romero. Valencia

The Chinese stoppage and the increase in traffic with the United States explain the change in the ranking in the first four months. The PAV delays the award of the expansion and cuts the budget

“In the accumulated of the year [enero-septiembre], the total merchandise handled by Valenciaport amounts to more than 58.4 million tons, which represents a decrease of 5.21% compared to the same period of the previous year, although the gap is narrowing, since it is two points less than the accumulated data for August, when the decrease was 7.41%, and more than three points lower than the negative 8.85 points in July. A circumstance that is also repeated in TEU traffic, which in the first nine months of the year reached 3,929,306, 5.35% less than the accumulated in 2019, but two points better than the accumulated in August and almost the half of the accumulated fall of 9.94 points that was registered at the end of July. These are percentages that are already half of those registered before the summer, so if the trend continues, the year could end in positive figures both in containers and in tons managed “, they point out from the port authority, which presides Aurelio Martínez.

The good figures contrast with the stagnation of Spanish foreign trade. While the port of Valencia It grew in August at a rate of 7%, Spanish exports plummeted in the same month by 9% and imports even more by 17%. In the case of the autonomy that the port hosts, sales of products abroad experienced a better performance, with a slight growth of 1.7%, thanks to the agricultural sector and the partial reactivation of production at the Ford factory in Almussafes (Valencia).

That the port of Valencia is able to grow in a national environment of slack in foreign trade gives clues about its leadership position in the Western Mediterranean. The site is in the process of awarding the concession for its northern macro-extension, with an estimated investment of 1,000 million euros and which the shipping giant aspires MSC through its subsidiary Terminal Investment (TIL), with which it operates and develops container terminals. However, the new infrastructure project has yet to receive approval from Puertos del Estado, the state company that presides Francisco Toledo, after the changes introduced in the initial planning in February of this year.


Turkey discovers new natural gas reserve in the Black Sea

The Turkish government announced the discovery of deposits of billions of additional cubic meters of natural gas in a huge reservoir in the Black Sea.

The announcement, made this Saturday by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on board the Fatih drillship, alludes to the discovery of 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea, while the total volume of the TUNA well -1, the find of which was announced in August, is about 405 billion cubic meters.

“Our vessel continued working after finding the first gas field. During the new explorations, an additional 85 billion cubic meters were found. The total volume amounts to 405 billion cubic meters “Erdogan wrote through his Twitter account.

In addition, after expressing the hope that with discoveries like this, Turkey’s dependence on foreign natural gas will decrease significantly, it has announced that the goal is now to begin extraction of gas from the field in 2023.

The Turkish leader added that Turkey will continue to search for hydrocarbons in both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. According to the head of state, the country plans to become a net energy exporter.

However, the search for gas in the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean Sea has caused a conflict between Turkey and Greece and Cyprus, and by extension with the European Union (EU), because the three countries dispute exploitation rights. of hydrocarbons in the same waters.

mrp / mjs / so /


In a new escalation, Turkey announces a seismic study in the eastern Mediterranean – ANHA | HAWARNEWS

The maritime notification indicated that two other ships, Ataman and Genghis Khan, in addition to the Uruk Reis, will continue to operate in an area that includes the south of the Greek island of Kastelorizo, from Monday to October 22.

And there is a dispute between the two countries over overlapping demands for sovereignty over oil and gas resources in the region, and the foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece met last week and agreed to hold bilateral talks on the differences.

Notably, Turkey had withdrawn Uruk Reis from the disputed waters “to give diplomacy a chance” ahead of an EU summit.

While the European Union confirmed after the summit that it could punish Turkey if it continued its operations in the region, a move Ankara said would lead to increased tension in relations between Turkey and the European Union.

The dispute escalated on August 10, when Turkey sent a ship to explore natural gas and warships into waters disputed by Greece, and the tension culminated in late August, when the two countries conducted parallel military exercises.



the Chancellor’s complex relations with China, Russia and Turkey

Ethics and pocket: values ​​and interests. That is one constant dilemma in German foreign policy. Angela Merkel knows this well, for many years she has struck a difficult balance, promoting the international business of the DAX 30 while denouncing human rights abuses and defending democracy beyond her borders. But 2020 has gotten in his way. The opacity with which China concealed the beginnings of the pandemic, the abuses of Beijing in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the poisoning with Novichok of the Russian opponent Alexéi Navalni and the Turkish aggressiveness in the eastern Mediterranean are making it impossible for the Chancellor to maintain her equidistant pragmatism . Their position, which has come to be seen as lucrative and inspiring, may end up being seen as self-serving, contradictory, and ultimately counterproductive.

Few leaders in Europe, and throughout the West, know how to quickly get the presidents of China, Russia and Turkey on the phone. When things go wrong with the coronavirus, with Ukraine or Belarus, with Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh or Libya, It is Merkel who speaks with Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But is his unappealable recourse to dialogue with these autocrats really effective? Is his conciliatory and negotiation-prone character worth the fait accompli and testosterone? Can the commercial interests of the largest European economy be demarcated from the foreign policy decisions of its Executive?

Carlos Barragan

That it is accepted to lose the idiosyncrasy of Hong Kong, between the indifference and the conformity of world public opinion, is the greatest symptom of a change of era between the superpowers

China: Hong Kong, the Uyghurs and covid-19

2020 was going to be the big year for Germany and China. Berlin had been carefully preparing for months its rotating presidency of the European Council, from July to December this year. The climax was to come in September, when an event was scheduled to take place in Leipzig (Germany). EU-China summit with the leaders of the 27 and the Chinese president. There, a bilateral investment protection agreement was to be signed with great pomp that would make the bloc the preferred partner of the Asian giant.

But the summit did not take place. There was hardly a video conference. The agreement was not reached either. And it seems difficult to finally reach an ambitious and consensual text by December, the deadline for Brussels. The EU has been disappointed by Beijing’s unwillingness to step forward. Europe demands reciprocity – that European companies can do in China what Chinese companies are allowed in Europe – and Beijing does not want to make that qualitative leap. The president of the European Commission (and former Merkel Defense Minister), Ursula von der Leyen, assured that China had a lot to do.

The agreement was ruined by the lack of economic progress, but the European side was seeing less and less politically digestible an agreement with China in the current context, regardless of the letter of the text. The image of Beijing has fallen whole in recent months due to political repression in Hong Kong – where it has ended judicial independence and freedom of expression – and in Xinjiang, where it is estimated that one million of members of the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority are in concentration camps. But also due to the increasing aggressiveness with Taiwan and the feeling that Beijing concealed the severity of the coronavirus in the early stages of the pandemic, which made it impossible to tackle it in time. In addition, it continues to refuse international experts to travel to Wuhan for an independent investigation and has raised its financial contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO), already questioned in its impartiality, increasing doubts about its independence.

Enrique Andrés Pretel

Under normal circumstances, WHO is often profiled in the media. But these are not normal circumstances and the proof is that you are reading this confined to home

These reasons have also led Merkel to distancing itself from China in recent months, blurring, one year after leaving power, one of the pillars of his legacy: his political and, above all, commercial approach to China. In her fifteen years at the Foreign Ministry, she has traveled to the Asian giant twelve times, always accompanied by a select group of businessmen. The chancellor has helped large transnationals such as Volkswagen, Siemens, Mercedes and BASF do multi-million dollar deals in the world’s second largest economy.

An example of this distancing is Germany’s turnaround on the thorny issue of 5G. If the German government, led by Merkel, began by defending the possibility that the Chinese Huawei participated in the deployment of this new telecommunications standard in its territory, now it is maneuvering so that, in practice, it is out of the game. After defending the importance of the free market and the need to adopt the latest technologies as soon as possible, the government’s draft of the new Telecommunications Security Law does not prevent Huawei’s participation, but it qualitatively limits it in practice. According to the economic daily ‘Handelsblatt’, the legislation provides for a technical control and a political scrutiny of each provider of critical elements of telecommunications networks.

File photo of Russian opponent Alexei Navalni.  (Reuters)File photo of Russian opponent Alexei Navalni.  (Reuters)
File photo of Russian opponent Alexei Navalni. (Reuters)

Russia: Navalny and the Nord Stream 2

For Merkel, Putin’s Russia has always been a difficult interlocutor, but an interlocutor. The chancellor did not consider cutting off the dialogue even in 2014, when Moscow militarily annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and armed and financed a separatist guerrilla in eastern Ukraine. He supported expelling Russia from the G8 and imposing a series of sanctions from Europe that are still in force, but kept in contact. In fact, it was mainly her, although she led the then French president, François Hollande, by the hand, who a year later he brought Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the table, to seal the Minsk Accords.

Merkel has endured a lot from Putin (perhaps more than anyone) and not only in foreign policy, where the chancellor has received rudeness and indifference from the Russian president when addressing the crises in Syria, Libya or, more recently, Belarus. Also in matters that directly affected Germany. In 2016, the Bundestag suffered a serious cyber attack that experts say was launched from Russia, but Moscow denied the biggest. And last year a Chechen ex-combatant and confidant of various Western secret services was shot in broad daylight in Berlin. The author of the shots, arrested shortly after, was a Russian agent. But for the Kremlin it was all a hoax.

Carlos Barragan. Kyiv

The end of the war in Ukraine sheds light on the turbulent geopolitical landscape. Europe is divided, the US is in internal crisis, Russia is weakened and China is positioned as the silent giant

What reasons could Merkel have to put up with this behavior? On the one hand, there are historical ties of Germany and Russia, in the cultural and human. Like the relations between Spain and Morocco, they are not always simple. There is also the conviction that carrot it is always better than stick, a thesis supported by the chancellor and her government.

But there is also the mere business. The most obvious and controversial example is the Nord Stream 2. It is a gas pipeline that directly connects both countries through the Baltic Sea and that, in addition to providing cheap energy insurance for the German private sector, is an oxygen balloon for Gazprom, the Russian state gas company. The project, which is close to completion despite opposition from Washington -which has imposed extraterritorial sanctions against the companies involved- and several European partners, represents a significant financial setback for Ukraine, which according to an estimate will stop receiving 1.8 billion euros annually in passing taxes.

But Merkel’s patience seems to be over with the Navalni case. The Novichok poisoning of the Russian opposition leader has shocked the chancellor, who has demanded cooperation from Russia and a thorough and transparent investigation of what happened, because only the Russian state possesses this nerve agent. The German government has warned that the use of chemical weapons cannot be left “without consequences” and has advanced talks with its European partners for a “joint response”. It will be time to see if the Chancellor is serious and is really willing to break the deck. The suspension of the Nord Stream 2 would be a good start.

Turkey: The eastern Mediterranean and the refugee crisis

Merkel has once again bet on dialogue on the last front that has been opened to her, the crisis in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece. Ankara’s oil prospecting in disputed waters has raised the temperature in the region. Numerous warships on both sides patrol the area and the possibility that human error could unleash an armed conflict has been warned.

The chancellor has once again displayed her ability to balance here, defrauding Athens and sparking skepticism within the EU. And at the last European summit he has gotten away with it. Merkel has opted to avoid confrontation with Turkey, sacrificing the possibility of building a common European front. He has insisted that we must show “solidarity” with Greece, but at the same time seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The chancellor has not taken sides with her community partner -as other members of the bloc have done-, but has wanted to act as a mediator, sending her Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, to speak with the two parties, as if they were two alike . Equidistantes.

Behind this diplomatic effort is its interest in keeping Turkey in NATO, but also its need, for internal political reasons, for Ankara to maintain its commitment to host Turkey in its territory. refugees arriving from Syria and Iraq, preventing them from advancing towards Europe. Because Merkel doesn’t want another crisis like the one in 2015, in which she kept her country’s borders open and allowed a million people to enter, but suffered great political wear and tear and caused a deep internal crisis within the conservative German bloc (and the take off of the extreme right). That cannot be repeated. Not a year from the elections.


The dangerous waters of the Mediterranean

The national agendas of Greece and Turkey continue to clash in the Mediterranean. Even if Turkey suspends its exploration south of the Greek island of Kastelórizo in the medium term, it will be difficult for the two to maintain a productive bilateral dialogue. The European idea of ​​a multilateral summit of all the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean is more promising, but has not yet materialized. Israel supports Greece’s right to delimit its continental shelf and favors regional cooperation as a member of the East Med Gas Forum (EMGF), but understand that the way things stand the chance for breakthrough is limited.

In a recent Bloomberg article, James Stavridis argued that “the most dangerous waters in the world are in the Mediterranean.” While this claim is debatable (the tensions in the South China Sea seem more sinister), few would disagree that there are dangers in the Mediterranean.

The current confrontation between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean is revealing. Since the beginning of August, the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis it has been conducting exploration in waters claimed by both Athens and Ankara. Since there is no agreement between the two, the United States is employing its typical equal-distance approach and characterizes these waters as “contested.” He Oruc Reis it returned to the port of Antalya on September 13, but it is unclear how long it will stay there.

Israel, for its part, supports Greece. On August 12, she expressed her full support and solidarity with Greece in its maritime zones and its right to define its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). However, unlike Israel and Cyprus, Greece has only recently taken concrete steps in this regard. Following the November 2019 agreement on maritime zones between Turkey and Libya; Greece embarked on an attempt to protect its sovereign rights, albeit belatedly.

For many years, Greek governments put off difficult decisions, despite the continued increase in the Turkish presence in the vicinity. Illusions and inertia turned serious problems into potentially serious ones. Obviously, the economic crisis, a product of internal mismanagement, could not fail to affect foreign and defense policies.

The conservative Greek government that came to power in July 2019 signed two maritime agreements in response to Turkish actions: the first with Italy in June 2020 and the second (and more important) with Egypt in August. The areas of the Greek-Egyptian agreement intersect with those of the Turkish-Libyan. At the time of this writing, the scans of the Oruc Reis They have not violated the areas marked in the Greek-Egyptian agreement, but their explorations south of Kastelórizo challenge the traditional Greek position determined by international law which stipulates that the islands are entitled to an EEZ and a continental shelf. Turkey disagrees and advocates a delimitation based on equity. In doing so, Turkey is provoking Greece to predispose the international community to accept its argument.

Delimitation disputes in the eastern Mediterranean are not unusual. Israel and Lebanon, for example, have an unresolved maritime border dispute. Furthermore, the Greek-Egyptian maritime agreement is partial and does not cover all the islands (such as Rhodes) because Cairo decided to sail between the position of Athens and Ankara. When Ankara announced that it “would not allow any activity in the area in question,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry tweeted its surprise that such statements and accusations were issued by a party that did not know the details of the agreement.

The description of the problem is much easier than its solution. Mediators such as the United States and the EU, as well as permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia, have suggested a dialogue between Greece and Turkey. However, Greece is willing to discuss only the issue of maritime zones, while Ankara’s agenda covers issues that Athens cannot accept, such as the demilitarization of several Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. For Greece, everything that is threatened is not demilitarized. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 dramatically describes the threat.

The situation seems to be stagnant. The EU relies on Turkey on a number of issues, such as managing the refugee crisis, and has repeatedly delayed sanctions that were to be imposed for a long time. Even if some sanctions do eventually take effect, their impact will be limited. He Oruc Reis it has conducted its investigations without interruption in the Eastern Mediterranean without taking into account the soft statements issued by Europe. Furthermore, President Donald Trump, who has achieved foreign policy successes in the Middle East and the Balkans, initially failed to reduce tensions after his phone conversations with Prime Minister Mitsotakis and President Erdogan. Russia, which has very good relations with Turkey, could be willing to help defuse tensions, if asked.

At the level of public diplomacy, Turkey threatens Greece almost daily, increasing the risk of a military incident. (In mid-August, the Greek frigate Limnos accidentally collided with the Turkish ship Kemal Reis, damaging the right side of the stern).

In an optimal scenario, the activities of the Oruc Reis They will be frozen over the medium term in response to diplomatic pressure from the United States and Germany, although what will ultimately follow remains a mystery. NATO has been largely absent from the tensions in the Mediterranean, rather vindicating French President Emmanuel Macron’s “brain dead” comment. NATO is conducting technical talks to get out of the conflict, but does not elaborate.

One option that seems viable, but needs further elaboration, is a multilateral dialogue with the participation of the Eastern Mediterranean countries and external agents. The President of the Council of the EU, Charles Michel, has spoken in favor of a multilateral conference. The existence of East Med Gas Forum (EMGF), an initiative that includes Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian Authority, highlights the importance of regional collaboration between partners for energy issues in the basin. However, it is necessary to specify the conference agenda proposed by Michel.

This also applies to countries that could attend. Israel, for example, has already started exporting natural gas from its own reservoirs and does not welcome EU involvement in Middle East affairs (this is particularly true after the Abrahamic Accords were achieved). Furthermore, representing Lebanon, Libya and Syria, as well as Cyprus, in a way that satisfies both Anastasiades and Erdogan, could thwart the idea.

History suggests no reason for optimism. The waters of the Mediterranean continue to be a source of discord and, sometimes, of danger.

Source: BESA Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos is a research associate at the BESA Center and a professor at the European Institute of Nice and at the Democritus University of Thrace.