The strict limitations on mobility caused by the coronavirus are beginning to have a direct impact on the luxury residential market in Barcelona. The real estate supply with prices above 2 million euros does not find a buyer among the national demand. This has been confirmed by the luxury real estate agency Barnes Barcelona that, since the pandemic broke out, ensures that the average sale price in this market segment has been between 500,000 euros and one million euros, with average prices of 6,000 euros per square meter. for homes in perfect condition.
“The coronavirus continues to change every day everything it touches. Although it is true that luxury is a sector less exposed to crises, the impact of the pandemic on mobility around the globe has produced notable changes in the evolution of the high-end residential real estate market in Barcelona, as well as in the actors that comprise it “, explains Elizabeth Hernández, director of Barnes Barcelona.” At the moment, the real estate supply with prices above 2 million euros, which until the beginning of the crisis found potential buyers from abroad, does not find a buyer among the national demand, so its owners are forced to lower their prices or resign themselves to not selling. “
Flats over 2 M do not find a national buyer, so their owners either lower prices or resign themselves to not selling
A situation very similar to the one that is being experienced in Madrid with the practical disappearance of the rich Latin Americans from the market and with a national buyer who looks closely at any transaction that exceeds one million euros.
In this sense, Hernández emphasizes, “the city’s super-luxury is on stand-by, waiting for a vaccine against Covid 19 to return the market to normal. French, Italian, Russian, Belgian and British, the nationalities with the most presence in the foreign market from the Catalan capital, they continue analyzing your investment possibilities from a distance for when the borders open. The current stabilization of prices and the absence of international demand opens a 6-month window of opportunity for the closing of operations that favors both buyers and owners, “he says.
In his opinion, “the news about effective vaccines that could be marketed in early 2021 They have brought some optimism to the market, although there is still a long way to go until it returns to normality ”. The expert emphasizes that “Barcelona is, by far, the most desired Spanish capital for the purchase of main residences by foreigners who not only come to work, but are in love with the city and want to stay to live, so the absence of this profile of buyer or investor is being noticed in the number of transactions, but also allows national demand to access the market with more competitive prices ”.
What is the most sought after luxury home?
The local buyer’s interest in acquiring ‘premium’ homes in Barcelona is still very stable in the two main areas of this market, Eixample and the upper area, which concentrate two out of every three homes for sale of more than 500,000 euros. Eixample accounts for 34% of the city’s luxury offer, while Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and Pedralbes, the considered high area, another 32% of the total.
The average home in the high-end market is sought as a main residence, it has around 150 square meters, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and outdoor areas. Although refurbished or in good condition homes are preferred, the demand does not rule out acquiring properties to reform as long as there are notable reductions in the sale price.
Luxury market experts recognize that the coronavirus has generated a lot of uncertainty and fear, both in buyers and sellers, although he does not believe that prices have too much downward path. “There may be specific corrections in properties that were already priced above the real market price before the coronavirus, but I think that right now we are in a good time to buy, since in the medium term and especially when a vaccine is found, the real estate market will perk up again, “one of them recently explained.
In Madrid, for its part, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index, the capital of Spain registered in the third quarter of the year a 3.5% decrease in prices compared to the previous year and 1.6% compared to the previous quarter. Regarding the evolution for the end of the year, the consultancy firm expects that the impact on ‘prime’ properties will continue to be softer than on average prices in Madrid.
“The forecast is that the Average value of free housing in the capital falls by around 6% in 2020 and it will recover 4% in 2021. In the case of ‘prime’ assets, an approximate decrease of 4% is estimated at the end of the year, with a subsequent growth of 3% in 2021 “, explains Carlos Zamora, partner and director of the Knight Frank’s residential area. “In the Madrid prime segment we are seeing a different scenario from the residential sector in general in Madrid, and also at the national level. Here the price adjustments will be predictably lower at the end of the year, since They are properties that maintain a high demand and that in many cases are considered by investors as a safe haven ”.
First falls in luxury homes: from 10% in Madrid to 20% in Costa del Sol
The luxury residential has not been immune to the effects of the health and economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus and the first price falls are already registered
In the case of Madrid, the area that has seen a most significant decline of the average prices in these assets has been the Downtown district (-5%), where the square meter stands at about 7,300 euros. Salamanca, which has the highest average value in the capital for these homes (about 9,000 euros per square meter), has barely registered a decrease of 1%. For its part, in Chamartín, in the second quarter of the year there had been no decrease compared to a year earlier in the prices of these homes.
“This fact is motivated in part because, after the health crisis and the confinement, the housing demand needs have changed and the search for homes with large green areas, terraces and gardens has increased, and it is in this area where a large part of the available supply of single-family properties that meet new needs is concentrated, “concludes Zamora.
More economic problems for FC Barcelona. In the midst of the financial crisis due to the coronavirus hit, the Treasury has imposed a millionaire penalty to the Blaugrana entity.
The Central Delegation of Large Taxpayers of the Tax Agency claims almost nine million euros in withholdings for income from work / professional (January 2012-June 2015) not paid, to which adds a fine of another 14 million euros for this question: 23 million euros total.
This sanction was ratified by the Central Administrative Economic Court just before the summer, but the football club appealed to the National Court to have the payment suspended. The Catalan team has managed to get the contentious-administrative chamber of the high court to postpone this disbursement after alleging the damages and “its difficult repair” of the immediate payment of the same.
In order to defer the payment of taxes and achieve oxygen thanks to this precautionary measure, FC Barcelona highlights before the magistrates “the exceptional situation of the covid-19 pandemic, which has generated a substantial reduction in your income, by carrying out its activity in one of the sectors most affected by the economic crisis derived from the health crisis (public entertainment), which justifies, in its opinion, the adoption of exceptional measures “.
On the one hand, Barça alludes to the decrease in the market value of your players: “Covid-19 has not only affected the club’s income and expenses, but has also temporarily devalued your most precious intangible, that is, the value of its staff “, reads the judicial order consulted by El Confidencial.
“The compromised situation of the treasury and the refusal of various financial institutions to grant it a guarantee do not preclude providing a guarantee”
On the other hand, the team that today leads a management committee after the resignation of its former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, highlights that the “significant decrease in its income has been reflected in the financial situation of the FCB”, and adds: “The decrease of the income and substantial maintenance of the FCB operating expenses [más de 16 millones de euros mensuales de media en el último semestre] have resulted in a pressing decrease in your result, which would prevent it from facing the amounts derived from the settlement and sanctioning agreements “.
For all the foregoing, the court that judges the case understands this precautionary measure to be appropriate, which was opposed by the State Bar. However, the magistrates do not grant him partial dispensation from guarantee that Barça also asked for. “The compromised situation of the club’s treasury, as well as the refusal of various financial entities to grant you a guarantee, it does not exclude the provision of a guarantee in any other of the forms admitted by law to respond, where appropriate, to the amount of the penalty “, explains the National Court.
Crisis at all levels
FC Barcelona is experiencing one of the worst crises in its history. To the economic problems must be added its difficult institutional situation (without a board in the absence of elections) and the bad sporting moment that the club is experiencing, twelfth in La Liga after only one victory in the last six games and with its franchise player, Lionel Messi, increasingly disenchanted.
As this media has advanced, the club barely has 30 million of its own funds to face its complicated day-to-day life, which places it increasingly close to bankruptcy (former suspension of payments). Against this background, the interim board led by Carles Tusquets He is trying to agree to a salary cut with his staff of 190 million euros, which would allow him to stay alive. Hence, the sanction imposed by the Treasury comes at the worst moment for the club, whose current financial crisis considers “conjunctural and exceptional”.
Barça only has 30 million to avoid bankruptcy
For this reason, Carles Tusquets, the current president of the management committee that presides over the club after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu, has asked the players for a salary cut of close to 40%
This is not the first time that the club or its stars have had problems with the treasury. One of the tax controversies that persecute him comes from the tax treatment of agents and intermediaries who participate in the signings of footballers.
The Treasury detected that these agents billed the club for services rendered in the multimillion dollar transactions of football stars. However, since 2015, the Treasury has applied a criterion in which it understands that intermediaries do not provide these services to the club but to the player in question whom they represent.
This differentiation means that the agent’s fees have to be paid by the footballer, so if he wants to pass them on to the team, he has to do so by raising his income and later liquidating the services with the representative. TO tax effects, this represents a substantial change, since it goes from the agent billing the club with 21% VAT to the footballer paying a marginal rate of 52%.
Boris Johnson has found a way to lift the spirits of Tory MPs and the rank and file of the party. Polls place the Conservatives fairly on par with Labor – some with Keir Starmer’s party. in front-, which is a big drop from the December 2019 elections, which the Tories won by 11.5 points difference. Dozens of Tory MPs are making no secret of their displeasure at the unfulfilled promises the prime minister made at the end of the summer. At that time, the government anticipated an imminent return to economic normality. The second wave of the coronavirus has required the return of the most drastic measures, so far without very positive results.
Everything is depressing for the Tories shortly before the final culmination of Brexit. The alternative that Johnson presents, the candy with which he tries to make his party and the population forget the hardships of the present, is to return to the past and the naval glories of the empire. It is time to brighten the great power character of the United Kingdom with a large increase in military spending.
Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House in January leaves London without a reliable ally in Washington, even though Donald Trump’s erratic character and his disinterest in European countries were not a guarantee for British foreign policy either. But Biden is a pragmatist that it will try to rebuild relations with Europe and the importance of NATO, and there the United Kingdom can play a relevant role. The downside for London is that a post-Brexit Britain is less interesting as an intermediary in the dialogue with the Europeans for the US. Furthermore, Biden has already made clear that the future of Ulster is a matter that interests you especially.
To remedy this, Johnson has opted for rearmament. An extra expense of £ 16 billion over the next four years. The largest increase in real terms since the time of Margaret Thatcher. There was a prior commitment to increase Defense spending by 0.5 points above inflation, so the final figure could be around 21,500 million.
“This is our opportunity to end the era of withdrawal, transform our Armed Forces, strengthen our global influence, unite our country, invest in new technologies and defend our people and their way of life,” said Boris Johnson.
The Ministry of Finance had resisted Defense requests until now. It was Johnson’s personal intervention that closed the debate. The increase in public spending during the pandemic will force Foreign Minister Rishi Sunak to completely review the budget that was presented in March. Next week, Sunak will present the new data to Parliament. Expected to confirm that UK finances have taken the hardest hit since World War II.
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Under current conditions, analysts see no alternative but to increase taxes – a very difficult drink for conservatives to accept – although no decision in that regard is expected until 2021 when the final economic impact of the pandemic is known.
The Bank of England has predicted that the drop in GDP will be 11% this year, the largest decline in the last three centuries.
Always ready to live up to imperial glories or to emulate Winston Churchill for whom the naval force was the best standard of British influence, Johnson intends to pay special attention to the Navy as a symbol of foreign policy and of the country’s global strength. The extra money will serve to complete the strike group of the two new aircraft carriers already delivered to the Navy, but still pending their final deployment (the first of them will do so next year). Frigates, support ships and aircraft what do you need they were still in the air due to budgetary problems. “More warships for the Royal Navy” is the goal that Johnson has announced.
The Green Party has compared the increase in spending to the £ 4 billion added for the fight against climate change. “We are walking blindly into a dystopian video game without a public debate” about the country’s priorities, has said its number two, Amelia Womack. Pacifist NGOs have been more aggressive in criticizing. “Tanks and warplanes will not keep us safe from the most serious threats we face: pandemic, poverty and the climate emergency. Covid-19 has revealed the superficiality of naive opinions that argue that weapons give us security. You cannot attack a virus with nuclear weapons “, has denounced Symon Hill, of the organization Peace Pledge Union.
The construction of the two aircraft carriers was commissioned by the Gordon Brown Government a decade ago. After coming to power and at the beginning of the era of austerity, David Cameron seriously considered selling one of them, still under construction, but the high price meant that there were no candidates. The contracts made made it more expensive to cancel the order than to carry it to the end, even though the deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan showed that the Army was most in need of the money.
As a symbol of the country’s military power, aircraft carriers belong to an earlier era. These giants of the sea are now much more vulnerable due to the advancement in missile technology. The Chinese anti-ship missile Dong-Feng 21 It is its most recognized adversary since it was put into action in the early 1990s. Mounted on a mobile platform from the ground, it has an operational range of about 1,700 kilometers. It is designed to attack large ships, especially aircraft carriers. It can land on its target at a maximum speed of Mach 10.
It’s not that China has kept its ability to make aircraft carriers obsolete a secret. In military parades, he has presented later versions of the Dong-Feng with a range of 3,000 kilometers.
The reality is that Boris Johnson is not interested in declaring war on China. It is enough for him to warm the patriotic spirits of the Tory deputies who cannot explain how the prime minister could so quickly lose the support he obtained at the polls less than a year ago.
One of the most recurrent common places among those who make European politics and those of us who comment on it is Jean Monnet’s phrase according to which “Europe will be forged in crises.” It has turned out to be true many times: had it not been for the crisis exchange rate of the early 1990s, the economic crisis of 2008 or the current crisis of the coronavirus, it is very likely that the euro would not have been founded, nor would the union levels that we currently enjoy would have been achieved. But it is a dangerous phrase: it seems to affirm, also, that when things go well (if that happens one day, in the near future), the European Union it will stand still.
But despite the risks, let me use it one more time: the biggest inadvertent crisis the EU has suffered in the last four years, when it was just emerging from the euro crisis, has its own name: Donald Trump. Trump started a trade war with the EU, encouraged Boris Johnson to carry out a hard Brexit, threatened to remove the United States from NATO, he became the political reference for the leaders of the two countries that do the most to break the founding values of the EU, Poland and Hungary, he tried to impose his criteria for the use of technology on Europe and fooled with the leader of the closest adversary from the EU, Russia.
Trump or Biden? Anyway, Europe will have to reinvent its defense whoever wins
Jana Puglierin *. Berlin
Europeans are not sufficiently prepared to give more in defense and security. There will be an awakening even with a president like Biden in the White House
But once again that crisis ‘forged’ Europe. European countries not only committed (not very credibly, certainly) to increase defense spending to meet the requirements of the OTAN and demanded by Trump, but even began to talk about a possible European army with a self defense strategy. When Trump imposed tariffs on European imports, The EU responded by imposing its own on the importation of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, an emblem of America that votes for Trump, which ended up taking part of its production out of the United States. The EU started talking about something akin to industrial policies to strengthen the european technology, such as the one developed by Ericsson or Nokia for 5G networks. It even had, for the first time, a relatively credible tool to force unruly countries to comply with the rule of law: to condition the receipt of aid on compliance.
The two words that were repeated in the European Comission, the ‘think tanks’ and among the European intellectuals were “strategic autonomy”. The idyll with the United States, which had lasted since the end of World War II, was ending; Trump, it was thought, had done nothing but accelerate a trend that was already there underground, and now Europeans had to learn to manage alone in military, commercial and geostrategic matters. The process would be slow. Yet it was inevitable and unstoppable.
Whoever wins, Europe will continue to see the United States as an elephant
Jana Puglierin. Berlin
Whatever the end result of the US elections, one conclusion is clear: it is practically impossible to unite Europeans as a counterweight to the United States.
But was it? As soon as Joe Bidenwon the presidential election, doubts began to be expressed. First, the German Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, public an article in the Brussels newspaper ‘Politico.eu‘in which he said that “in a world marked by increasing competition for power, the West will only be able to stand firm and defend its interests to the extent that it remains united. Europe continues to depend on the United States for its military protection, both nuclear and conventional, but the United States will not be able to carry the banner of Western values alone. In an unusual act, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, disavowed it in an interview: “I strongly disagree with the German Defense Minister in ‘Politico,” he said. “I think it is a historical misinterpretation. Luckily, if I am correct, the Chancellor [Merkel] does not share this point of view. The United States will only respect us as allies if we are honest, and if we are sovereign when it comes to our defense. ” Trump’s trade for Biden, Macron said, it should be an opportunity to “continue to build our independence in the same way that the United States and China do.” In an even more unusual act, Kramp-Karrenbauer publicly stated that he agreed with the French president, but not entirely: “Without the nuclear and conventional capabilities of the United States, Germany and Europe cannot protect themselves. It is the harsh reality ”.
The two sides of the discussion are somewhat right: strategic autonomy is the objective that the EU should pursue, but it is doubtful that it has the political capital necessary to achieve it in the medium term. Meanwhile, dependence on the United States will persist. But, in any case, this public shock shows that the presence of Trump allowed to forge consensus which, in its absence, will be more difficult to sustain. His presence functioned as a accelerator of the tasks that the EU had pending but He was in no hurry to do it, and as much as we celebrate his departure from power, it is possible that the European tendency to leave things by halves is underpinning. Why should we continue with the frenetic pace of autonomous technological, military and commercial plans if old America is back in Washington, the one that was politically hardened in the Cold War and the sacred notion of protecting Europe?
What’s changing (and what’s not) in EU-US trade relations in the Biden era
Nacho Alarcón. Brussels
The Biden Administration will represent a change in some economic and trade policy issues, but other aspects are here to stay
Trump, in that sense, leaves a huge void in European politics. All analysts have been hoarse to repeat that the good old days will not return and that, no matter how much the Democrats rule, or later a more traditional version of republicanism, United States it will continue to urge Europeans to, for example, spend more on defense or align with them in the confrontation with China. But not seeing that man in the White House will make us relax. Macron It will try not to make it happen, but it will. And, in a sense, we will be able to invoke Monnet again, but with a twist: “The Trump presidency was a crisis that allowed Europe to be forged, but it was too short a crisis.”
El Jefecito debuted earlier with La Albiceleste than with River, which would be a hallmark for his entire career. He defended the national team’s jersey at 19, at the hands of Marcelo Bielsa, in a 2-2 draw against Uruguay on July 16, 2003. Later he had his debut at the Millionaire, where he played two seasons (and was 2004 Clausura champion) before signing with Corinthians in 2005.
After his experience in Brazilian football (where he won a title), he jumped to Europe: West Ham and Liverpool (reached the final of the Champions League in 2007) were the shirts he defended in England, before moving to Barcelona in 2010.
All Mascherano titles at Barcelona In the culé team he adapted to playing as a central marker and won 18 titles accompanied by Lionel Messi: four Spanish Super Cups, four Leagues, four King’s Cups, two Champions League (2011 and 2015), two European Super Cups and two World Cups. Clubs
The experience in China and the return to Argentina After eight years defending the Blaugrana jersey, he signed with Hebei China Fortune FC After his experience in Chinese football, Juan Sebastián Verón finally convinced him to join Estudiantes, in November 2019: he played eleven games in 2020 and decided to hang up the booties after the loss to Argentinos this afternoon.
Mascherano, an emblem of the Argentine National Team Mascherano became an emblem of the Argentine National Team: the Jefecito won the Gold medal at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, and was runner-up at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (with the unforgettable crossing of Arjen Robben in the semifinal against Holland).
He was also part of the Albiceleste that reached the finals of the Copa América in Peru 2004, Venezuela 2007, Chile 2015 and the United States 2016. The World Cup in Russia in 2018 was the end of 15 years defending the national team’s jersey.
The covid-19 epidemic has hit hard and by surprise. The scientific world has been working from the beginning to find solutions that allow to contain and prevent the disease effectively. It is hard work as it requires time, effort, and investment. And the hopes are above all on the possible vaccine that allows to face the disease by coronavirus with greater peace of mind, both individually and collectively.
“Some anti-aging strategies, due to their action at the cellular level, can improve the defenses of our elders”
Between the risk factor’s associated with a greater morbidity and mortality due to covid-19, have been found, among others, the obesityand associated metabolic disorders such as diabetes o la hypertension arterial, in addition to cardiovascular disease previous or the respiratory insufficiency. And, no doubt, contracting the disease at a advanced age it has been one of the worst predictors. We have all lived with despair the news that pointed out how the virus was preying on our elders.
Why is this high mortality at advanced ages? Undoubtedly, all the alterations that we have indicated and that predispose to a worse prognosis are more frequent among the elderly. Just look at the arterial hypertension, whose prevalence soars after 65 years, affecting 70% of the population. But another reason is undoubtedly the aging of our defenses, in what is called immunosenescence.
Our defense system against infections It is made up of a multitude of components, which among others can be classified as humoral immunity (the famous immunoglobulins that are measured in the IgA and IgM antibody tests) or cellular (the lymphocytes T or B). Aging can negatively affect both the number of cells (leukocytes) and their level of activity.
For example, older adults generally have fewer naïve T cells that respond to attack by a new invader, or B cells that produce antibodies. In addition, in older people there is an imbalance in the production of inflammatory substances, necessary to combat any infectious process. It is what is called in English ‘inflammageing‘, joining the terms’ inflammation’ and ‘aging’ (inflammation and aging). This state, of low intensity chronic inflammation, makes our immune system less ‘sensitive’ to external stimuli, such as an infection or a vaccine.
All of this can explain the greater susceptibility of the elderly against covid-19. But it is also a cause for concern, because the effectiveness of some of the more than 50 vaccines in development it could be greatly reduced in the elderly. Experience with vaccines such as influenza indicates that it may be necessary to enhance them to improve their effectiveness in the elderly, either with a higher dose viral antigen, either by using adjuvants. But that strategy can be difficult to apply in a race against time such as that of the coronavirus vaccine, since specific clinical trials would have to be developed.
Speaking of ongoing trials, some of them, such as phase 1 developed by Moderna in the US, indicate that the response in people over 56 years of age is similar to that found in young people. Another trial, Sinovac’s in China, has also found good results in older adults around the age of 89, compared to adults in their 60s. However, the Pfizer study with BioNTech in Germany shows an effectiveness in older people that is halved than in young adults. And we do not know if those levels will confer virus protection. In addition, a analysis recent 18 clinical trials of vaccines against covid-19 found that many of them could be excluding for different reasons to elderly subjects, which would mean that the results may not accurately reflect the impact of these vaccines in the elderly.
At this point, what alternatives are there? One of them could be enhance the action of the immune system. And for this, the anti-aging strategies could be the answer. One of the strategies that we already mentioned in this space, diet that mimics fasting de Valter Longo, found that the immune system was somehow ‘reset’ due to caloric restriction. One of the mechanisms by which hypocaloric diets or fasting seem improve longevity in animal models it is the inhibition of a metabolic pathway related to cell replication, which is called mTOR. Could this help improve immune function?
That is what was proven in a study using an mTOR inhibitor, to see if the risk of infection. This substance was administered for six weeks and it was observed that the subjects in the intervention had a lower risk of infection in the following year and a better response to flu vaccine. With these precedents, other mTOR inhibitors are currently being tested, similar to the rapamycin, to verify if they can reduce the risk and severity of covid-19 infection, given the history of a positive effect with other coronaviruses.
Another possible candidate to improve the response of the immune system would be the metformin, of which we already spoke in this space recently. It has been possible check that diabetic patients treated with this drug have a lower risk of dying or being hospitalized for the disease. Apparently, obesity and diabetes can induce an immune deficit similar to that of advanced age, which is why a clinical trial with metformin will be launched to assess whether it can prevent or reduce the effects of COVID-19 in the elderly; and another trial that will check whether this drug improves the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in this group. These two jobs could open the door to its use to improve the response to the vaccine against the virus in the elderly.
When cells shorten their telomeres, reaches a limit in which they can no longer be replicated and go to what is called state of aging. These ‘zombie’ cells that do not initiate the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death have detrimental effects on other cells since they secrete a whole series of substances that negatively affect the function of those that are still active. Senolytics are substances that favor the elimination of this type of cells, such as quercetin, found in foods such as Apple, the onion or capers, and which also, by the way, has antiviral activity. Wave physics, found in the strawberries and that the Mayo Clinic in the US is testing in a trial with 70 over 60s to assess whether it reduces the impact of the new virus. This could be a third line of action, along with mTOR inhibitors or metformin.
These strategies, used before administering the vaccine against covid-19, could improve its effectiveness and also do so without the need to develop formulations with a specific dosage or preparation for this group of older people. An aging immune system is a weaker and poorly regulated immune system. Some anti-aging strategies, due to their action at the cellular level, can improve the defenses of our elders. Something very necessary in these times.
The Ministry of Health This Wednesday added 1,623 deaths to the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, most of them dated in the months of March, April, May and June. This modification is a consequence of the review of the information that the communities enter into the epidemiological information system (SiViEs), which has also caused changes in the numbers of hospitalized cases.
Until this Tuesday, there were 36,495 deaths from covid-19 confirmed, the first dated in Valencia on February 13. Now, the total goes up to 38,118. Those 1,623 extra deaths come, for the most part, from the update carried out by Health and the autonomous communities (a part is due to the usual delay in notification, which causes the figures for the last days to be underestimated).
The April figure is the one that has varied the most. The new historical series adds 601 deaths and brings the total to 15,575. It is the month with the most deaths since the start of the pandemic. In relative terms, however, June is the month in which deaths increase the most after the update. 328 to 571, 74%. Until May 31, 28,826 people died from covid-19. And since June 1, 8,792 have died. The 500 missing deaths have no date assigned.
With the new corrected series, The day with the most deaths from covid-19 since the start of the pandemic is still March 30, but instead of 888 deaths, now there are 906. It is the only day above 900.
These variations are a consequence of the change in data collection carried out at the beginning of May, which already in June, after two weeks with the total death toll frozen, caused Health to add 1,179 deaths at once.
“As of May 11, the data was collected individually again. From that moment, the autonomous communities began a process of updating and debugging the database, introducing individually (with all the variables of interest) the cases that had previously been facilitated in an aggregate way, “explains the ministry.” Once the quality of the individualized information updated by the CCAA has been verified, the aggregate notification information used to give the data until May 10 for the highest quality data of the individualized notification collected through the SiViEs “.
15,000 fewer hospitalizations
The number of deaths is not the only data that has varied substantially: the total number of cases, the number of hospitalizations and the number of ICU hospitalizations have also varied. The data that has changed the least is that of total infections. 5,105 have been added, 0.4% of all those notified until this Tuesday. The hospitalization figures have undergone major changes.
After review, 15,056 hospitalizations have been eliminated, informs Health. That is 8.46% of the total hospitalizations until this Tuesday. The data for Cantabria, which has revised its figure down by 46%, Catalonia (-26%), the Basque Country (-18%) and La Rioja (-17%) are the ones that have varied the most.
More important has been the adjustment in the ICU data: 2,185 income less than those recorded until yesterday, 13.74%. More than half, 1,253, correspond to Catalonia (-38%). The Basque Country (-30%) and Cantabria (-29%) have also reduced their ICU numbers by almost a third after reviewing each case.
A red carpet awaits multinationals when it comes to setting up their company in the Netherlands, with a extra in tax benefits. But leaving is not going to be so easy. A bill from the green left GroenLinks, which has the support of three of the four government parties, is committed to fine the companies who decide to move to another country that does not tax dividends. The companies would have to compensate the Dutch Treasury for the tax revenue they would lose by leaving these Netherlands. Tax evasion must be at least a little more difficult in one of the countries that has earned the worldwide reputation of a tax haven.
This standard has been baptized as the “Unilever Law”, a company that exemplifies how these plans would affect whoever decides to leave. The multinational hygiene and food products company, the Omo detergent and Magnum ice cream company, is being a headache for the Liberal government Mark Rutte. Since its founding in 1930, the Anglo-Dutch giant has maintained two independent headquarters, one in London and one in Rotterdam, as well as two separate tax entities, although it has always operated as a single company, with a single board of directors. But Brexit has made him rethink this structure, opting to unify into one of his tax entities, but in which country?
How Holland leaves half Europe tax-free thanks to a ‘sandwich’
Imane Rachidi. Hague
The Dutch system is estimated to cost the rest of the world a minimum of € 22 billion annually in evaded tax revenue
The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have spent two years pressuring the company and trying to persuade it to choose their country as the headquarters for its sole corporate headquarters. And there can be only one winner: London – which has no tax on dividends – has been chosen, but The Hague is not ready to give up and lose with this operation a millionaire amount in tax revenue.
With the support of all partners, it now remains to formally announce a relocation plan that will allow it to continue legally as a British-only company. This is expected to occur in late November, as long as the “Unilever Law” doesn’t go through. If GroenLinks manages to get your project approved on the express track, it could force the company into two scenarios: backtracking, or a move with a hefty bill under your arm.
Unilever has recognized that, if the law is passed, your move to London will no longer make sense, it would not be profitable. The United Kingdom does not have a tax on dividends, and its decision is clearly motivated by the saving of that tax, for which it would be fined by the Netherlands. “That is exactly the goal of the legislation. If the law passes, Unilever will stay and this news will help secure the support of the majority of parliament “to prevent other companies from leaving, applauded Bart Snels, the deputy responsible for the bill.
Contrary to European legislation
If he left anyway, Unilever would have to pay 11,000 million euros before leaving Rotterdam. So, moving to the UK “would no longer be in Unilever’s interest, nor its shareholders and other interested parties, “the company acknowledged in a letter to the partners. It assures that, in any case, it will not paralyze the preparations for its departure because it believes that the legality of this legislation conflicts with international treaties and the tax arrangements between the UK and the Netherlands. The Council of State, an advisory body to the Dutch Government, has an opinion close to that of Unilever and considers that “I would not be responsible“pass this law by” coming into conflict “with higher laws.
The dividend tax had been under debate for the past several years, in part because of Unilever’s defensive attitude. When several British investors began to pressure the company to abandon its plans to consolidate its core operations in Rotterdam, Rutte tried to persuade them as a liberal would: proposed to eliminate the tax on dividends in the Netherlands, just to tempt the company into staying in the Netherlands.
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Imane Rachidi. Hague
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This decision was a political scandal in The Hague, which even led to an SMS exchange between the Prime Minister and the director of the company at the time, Paul Polman, who has always referred to the head of the Dutch Government as “Mark”, a good friend”. The press came to qualify the prime minister as Unilever’s “errand boy” and the public pressure was such that, in the end, the plan failed and Rutte pushed the idea away. The multinational decided that, without tax incentives, it was better to go to London. And that’s when GroenLinks got their red card – it shouldn’t be that easy to leave.
It is estimated that the Dutch state would lose several million euros due to the decision of the group of the detergents to unite in one its corporate structure, since this would turn the multinational, on paper, into a purely British company. For now, this will only affect the millionaire that the State coffers enter in tax on dividends. Unilever does not plan to close its Food and Refreshment branch in Rotterdam, and will also keep its research and development center in Wageningen, which saves the 2,500 jobs it has on Dutch territory.
200 million a year
The Minister of Economic Affairs, Eric Wiebes, said he was “disappointed” with Unilever’s decision to save the Netherlands tax by going to London, although it refused to assess the blow this will do to the Dutch treasury. “The fact that, in a formal sense, the central office is no longer located here, means that no tax on dividends will end here“, he acknowledged.
According to Unilever estimates, the Dutch state receives around € 200 million per year, a calculation made on the basis of the average paid in the last three years in dividend tax on Dutch shares. “I would have preferred that the company simplify its structure to a single Dutch woman at the helm,” said Hans de Boer, from the employers’ union VNO-NCW. But London came out winning. And for that, the greens insist, This law must come into force as soon as possible, even if it is through an emergency process.
“It is not right for companies to make such important decisions simply to avoid tax. When a company moves abroad for this reason, it is a way of tax avoidance “Snels noted. For this deputy, companies “have been able to obtain benefits thanks to the good facilities, infrastructure, education and other issues that have been found in the Netherlands. Therefore, a compensation is justified”.
The international business community in the Netherlands is also not satisfied with the relocation fine proposed by GroenLinks, a measure that will be preventive facing Brexit. This obstacle could also affect the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell, which also has one of its offices in The Hague and another in London. “GroenLinks wants to keep companies in Holland and we want that too. But with this proposal you put a fence around the country that says: you can’t go out, you can’t come in. Young companies, in particular, they will think twice before settling here, “warned the VNO-NCW union.
No control of corruption
In the midst of this debate, Transparency International (TI) has denounced the neglect of the Dutch Executive when it comes to punishing Dutch companies involved in illegalities in their activities abroad. Despite the increase in Dutch investment outside the Netherlands, the Government ignores the accusations of corruption leveled at Dutch multinationals abroad, so they end up getting away with business that is not entirely ethical in other countries. This is “clearly a breach” of international agreements against corruption and bribery, TI says.
“And corruption is allowed, the rule of law is undermined and poverty and injustice perpetuated, “says Lousewies van der Laan, Dutch director of TI. Defendants do not sit in court, nor do whistleblowers get enough protection to fight for justice. The Netherlands, along with Colombia, South Africa, Latvia, Costa Rica, Canada and Austria, have one of the worst scores in the category of “largest exporting countries with limited application of the treaty,” according to the report. Export of Corruption 2020: evaluation of compliance with the Anti-Bribery Convention of the OECD.
Companies rarely go to Dutch courts to report corruption cases abroad for lack of precedent
In conclusion, only four of the 47 signatory countries, which represent 16.5% of world exports, actively enforce anti-bribery agreements. For the NGO, the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland are the best countries when it comes to combating corruption in their companies abroad. Although Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy are not doing anything bad either. None is worse than Holland, where the active application of the treaty has plummeted since 2018.
The Netherlands accounts for 3.1% of world exports and, between 2016 and 2019, they started 16 investigations and two court cases were opened on suspicion of bribery abroad, but only three were closed with sanctions. The Netherlands has “a rather weak anti-corruption culture, in which suspicious situations abroad are often overlooked.” Furthermore, the lack of clarity in the law about the terms of the business agreements reached also does not contribute to a culture focused on integrity. “There are no clear rules to return to the country or to the victims the amounts confiscated from proceeds of corruption. “
The companies or the victims they rarely go to Dutch courts to report corruption cases abroad due to lack of precedents and because the Public Ministry does not have sufficient capacity to investigate either. One of the affected companies is Crown jewel, the oil company Shell, involved in a corruption scandal in Nigeria together with the Italian company Eni, a case that is now in the Italian courts. Rome accuses both of pay bribes to secure part of the Nigerian oil field in a deal valued at $ 1.3 billion. The Italian Prosecutor’s Office has requested prison sentences for those involved. The Netherlands is still thinking about it, as it tries to retain companies that want to flee because of Brexit.
Barranquilla, where the epidemic curve due to the virus has been declining for weeks, is one of the 8 Colombian capitals in which the National Institute of Health is carrying out a complete study of Covid-19 seroprevalence. This research project seeks to understand how the virus has behaved in the country, what is the percentage of the infected population and how much immunity it managed to develop in people who overcame the disease, identifying the antibodies generated in their bodies.
Starting tomorrow and for 10 days, a sample of 1,400 volunteers will undergo blood tests and nasopharyngeal swab to measure the real impact of the virus in Barranquilla and try to know, precisely, how people were exposed to it and if they produced a immune response, whether they were asymptomatic or had mild, moderate or severe symptoms.
The results of the study, which in the coming weeks will move to Medellín, Bogotá, Cúcuta, Cali, Bucaramanga and Villavicencio, after its first stop in Leticia, will be definitive to adopt future determinations on the virus that continues to circulate throughout the national territory , expanding to regions where it had not reached a higher incidence, and in which people with underlying diseases would be exposed to its lethality.
No one should forget that Covid-19 has already killed more than one million human beings around the planet since the beginning of 2020, although The Economist magazine estimates that global deaths would exceed 2 million due to the excess of unaccounted deaths of official way.
It is hard to believe that so many months of confinement and restrictions have taught us so little. Too many unconscious continue to underestimate the extent of the virus, assuming it does not kill because most cases are asymptomatic. We walk on a tightrope in which, at the slightest oversight, the price to pay will be very high. How about having to face a new confinement like the one that Madrid and 10 of its neighboring municipalities are experiencing today, in Spain, due to a second wave?
Seeing dozens of people escaping, as if they were criminals, from a pool hall in the San Felipe neighborhood, after the arrival of the Police and the Covid Patrol, because they were violating the District’s measures, reveals that their main concern is not contagion, but the fine that may be imposed. Citizens who show infinite contempt for their own well-being and that of their loved ones, not to mention the risk to which they expose their co-workers or the citizens with whom they share transportation on a daily basis.
Without a mask, in a closed space full of people, what is the guarantee of not getting infected? Resisting believing that the virus is still with us is not only useless, but harmful and counterproductive. Out of tiredness, selfishness or pure cynicism, many decided to convince themselves that the Covid disappeared, they are deceived and in the process end up becoming a walking threat, refusing to protect the most vulnerable against the virus: the elderly, the sick and people with limited resources.
Those who consider that the virus is a Chinese tale should stop to reflect on the lightness of their actions by appealing to common sense. Just review the facts: three of the biggest coronavirus deniers, Presidents Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, as well as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tested positive, rectifying their lack of judgment, after suffering the ravages of the disease. .
Without a doubt, the research carried out in Barranquilla by the indefatigable team of the National Institute of Health, headed by its director Marta Ospina, will be of great use. This unpredictable virus still raises too many questions for the immunization phase, especially now when the risk of a second outbreak seems imminent. What do you do to avoid it?