May will be a decisive month in the economic reopening

The single currency opens the day with slight losses against the dollar, when some markets in the region return from a long weekend for the Labor Day holiday. The narrative for European stocks is mixed this morning, following recent losses in the tech sector internationally. Despite the prevailing positive tone given the more accelerated advance of vaccines and the prospects for an economic reopening, the environment of global uncertainty continues to inject caution into the operations of the euro. The euro area contracted 0.6% in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous three months and, although the average expectation was of a 0.8% drop, the figure still places the bloc in a technical recession. Germany and Spain were the biggest draggers, with decreases of 1.7% and 0.5% respectively, while France exceeded expectations with an advance of 0.4%. Italy also contracted, with a quarterly decrease of 0.4%, although to a lesser extent than expected. Investors are now focused on the progress of vaccines and the prospects for normalizing access to their borders.

The US dollar traded weaker in the G10 yesterday, offsetting strong action on Friday that lined up with typical month-end flow. This morning, the dollar cut some of yesterday’s losses, leading broader gains across the entire G10 currency board. The calendar for the day included the reading of the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, which contracted to 60.7, from 64.7 in March. The fall was generalized this month, although employment and production registered the biggest setbacks. As markets generally expect growth and inflation indicators to print at elevated levels for the next period, market reaction to strong data prints has been limited in recent weeks. Conversely, any downside surprise may have a bigger impact on the US dollar, as it goes against expectations. Because of this, the markets will closely follow the most relevant and sensitive publications, such as the trade balance and factory and durable goods orders today, and non-farm payrolls next Friday. Beyond this, attention will be drawn to comments from Robert Kaplan and Mary Daly of the Federal Reserve.

The pound was the best performing currency in the entire G10 space yesterday, despite internal political issues regarding Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s possible violation of spending rules and the conservative party’s declining popularity in the US. surveys. This morning, instead, the greenback pushed the cable below its 50-day moving average. The meeting of the Bank of England and the Scottish elections on Thursday will be the focus of attention for the pound this week. On the first, speculative abounds as to whether or not the central bank will signal a reduction in its quantitative easing, with only a minority of experts anticipating that weekly purchases will be smoothed out as of Thursday’s meeting. However, given that the data do not show a definitive trend of what economic conditions look like after the de-escalation of measures, the decision is still controversial and probably premature. That is why we expect the Bank of England to delay such an initiative on its QE program until the May meeting.

The Mexican peso operates marginally below a critical level against the dollar, in a dynamic fundamentally motivated by the broader trend of the greenback at the beginning of the week. Local media report on a tragic accident in the Mexico City subway, where at least 20 people died and another 70 were injured. The economic calendar for the week will focus on the publication of inflation figures next Thursday, with expectations that the general intra-annual data will exceed the 6% threshold. Last week the economic result for the quarterly year ended in March was released, with a growth of 0.4% in relation to the previous quarter, above expectations of stagnation. Although moderate, the rebound in economic activity leaves some encouragement to Banco de México, indicating that the accelerated rise in prices could also be gaining strength from the underlying activity of the economy.


HEALTH: Patients who end up in the ICU for Covid are younger and worsen faster

The Hospital del Mar. detects that patients with Covid-19 who end up in the ICU have worsened more quickly, in three or four days while before, in general, they could be a week in the plant, says the head of Intensive Care Medicine of the Sea, the doctor Joan Ramon Masclans, a l’ACN. Currently, 30% of patients admitted to the hospital by Covid are in the ICU, while in previous waves they were close to 20%. These changes are associated over time with the dominance of the British variant. The average age tends to go down and is in the range of 50-60 years, while before it was more in the 60-70 years. Masclans asks do not lower your guard in reopening measures, because with 500 patients in the ICU of Catalonia, the margin is “very small”.

Dr. Masclans points out that, although the age of patients admitted to the ICU is quite variable, in recent weeks it has tended to fall; now 40% of patients in this hospital are under 60 years old. One factor may be vaccination in older groups or in at-risk patients, which explains the drastic drop in cases in residences or in the elderly.

Another change they are noticing in recent weeks is a higher proportion of patients in the ICU compared to those on the floor than in other waves, when they did not reach 20%. Critical patients are now 30% of the total admitted to Covid-19 and has at some point reached 40%. “The mechanism is this: they are patients who are admitted to the plant and get worse faster,” he points out.

“The only novelty is the British strain, which was first said to be transmitted more but not necessarily combined with more severity. We have no further explanation that in some cases it can cause more severity. By the strain itself or that certain people they may be more susceptible to inflammation and there may be genetic conditioning, “suspended the head of critics of the Sea.

Alert hospitals to reopen measures

Dr. Masclans calls for the reopening measures not to be confused with lowering the guard because the situation in hospitals is very tense, with patients in extended ICUs, that is, admitted to spaces that have been converted for intensive care, but which in reality they are not, such as semi-critical or post-surgical recovery, and with the same professionals or colleagues from other specialties.

Living after the ICU

The head of Intensive Care Medicine of the Sea points out that patients leaving the ICU have sequelae, although from hospitals try to apply preventive measures, such as early physiotherapy or reduce admission if possible. It is known as ‘post-ICU syndrome’, caused by breastfeeding fingers or by the drugs themselves, among others.

In addition, Covid not only affects the lungs, but other organs, which will have to return to normal. The sequelae, which can be physical and mental, such as sleep disorders or stress, improve over time, but patients need specialized care. “The ICU is not just life or death. Luckily most of them survive but many days pass and these days they take their toll,” reflects the intensivist doctor.

The pandemic remains stable despite a slight rise

The speed of spread of Covid-19 in Catalonia (the Rt) has risen to 1.03, one hundredth more this Wednesday, while the risk of regrowth also increases by 5 points, to 287, according to the latest balance of the Department of Health. In parallel, the incidence at 14 days rises again from 277.33 to 279.09. 1,784 new cases have been reported confirmed by PCR or antigen testing, for a total of 597,482. 12 new deaths have been reported, with a total of 21,824 deaths throughout the pandemic. There are 1,626 patients admitted to hospitals, 4 less than in the previous balance, and 507 people in the ICU, six more than 24 hours ago.


Challenges for Turkey: managing an institutional crisis | Finance Blog at 9

Since the beginning of this year, one of the keys to the evolution of assets in emerging countries has been the rise in interest rates in the US. History tells us that when there is a significant rise in the cost of financing in USD, those countries with levels of external debt (in the hands of non-national investors) and also denominated in USD, suffer a notable volatility in their financial variables in general and exchange rates in particular. This is due to an outflow that occurs from those assets considered riskier (debt from emerging countries, especially that denominated in local currency), in the face of an increase in the expected profitability in the “risk-free” (US debt). ).

However, this does not necessarily have to be the case and the IMF has pointed this out recently in an article. A rise in interest rates in the US does not have to be inherently negative for emerging countries, but will depend on the reason for this movement. In the event of a surprise effect on monetary policy (an anticipation of interest rate hike expectations by the Fed on this occasion, anticipating a tightening of accelerated monetary policy), yes it tends to lead to an outflow of investment flows from emerging countries. This occurred in 2013, when the Fed’s QE programs (taper tantrum) were soon to exit, and in 2018, when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates four times.

However, If these interest rate rises were produced by the perception that economic activity is being better than anticipated or, in the current situation, because the vaccination campaign is being successful, it does not have to lead to these frictions. In fact, what is found in the IMF study is that on these occasions investment inflows are observed in emerging markets. Although this is the general trend, differences may occur between countries, since the least benefited, which could even observe tensions in investment flows, would be those countries that have a limited percentage of exports to the US and a high volume of external debt. Turkey, South Africa or Argentina are examples of countries that meet these characteristics: low trade volume with the US and high external debt ratios.

But we can’t let go idiosyncratic cutoff factors, which, in some cases, may accentuate the problems that emerging markets will face in the coming months. This would be the case of Turkey, who is immersed in an institutional crisis.

During the past month, Erdogan removed the Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey and, weeks later, the deputy governor. This decision could have been due to the open conflict of interest in relation to the intervention interest rate hikes carried out by this institution since last November (+875 basis points). This tightening of financial conditions leads the country into an economic recession and raises the risk for the political stability of the Erdogan government. (In recent weeks, rumors of possible electoral advancement have circulated due to the growing discontent of the population).

The uncertainty about the next steps of the Central Bank of Turkey, the place of its supposed independence and doubts about the governance and quality of the country’s institutions has already led to a strong outflow of flows abroad which is reflected in the depreciation of the TRY in all its crosses (more than 13% depreciation against USD accumulated from decision to 04/12) and the collapse of the Turkish stock market (over 11%).

Turkey currently has two macro-level problems that a monetary tightening would help address: on the one hand, a high and out of control inflation (it has doubled since the end of 2019 to about 16%); on the other, a strong need for external financing (The needs derived from the payment of debt coupons, short-term foreign debt repayment and current account deficit amount to USD 250,000 million over a 12-month horizon).

In this context, the application of a very restrictive monetary policy, that would need additional increases in intervention rates, would contribute to the stabilization of inflation in the medium term (disincentive to consumption, brake on the depreciation of the currency and its pass-through effect towards inflation), in addition to attracting capital flows from abroad to cover financing needs. In any case, a monetary restriction strategy must be credible, for which it must have greater certainty of quality and institutional stability, precisely the factor that is now (rightly) in doubt.

If this path is chosen, the tightening of financing conditions would push Turkey into a recession that could be similar to the decline in growth observed in 2018. The contraction in domestic demand sharply reduced external financing needs (reduction of the current account deficit, with a sharp drop in imports).

A refusal to maintain the upward bias in interest rates (Erdogan has on numerous occasions expressed his opinion that it is high interest rates that cause high inflation) will slow down the attraction of investment flows to Turkey and will cause a sudden stop. Capital flight in an environment of growing financing needs would make it necessary to impose capital controls. The stabilization of the currency would go through a strong sale of reserves which, given Turkey’s reduced position (negative net reserves), would lead the country to request aid from the IMF.

The last country among the largest emerging countries to request an aid program from the IMF was Argentina in 2018, after the imposition of capital controls, in a situation in which the outflow was greater than the central bank itself could. manage. Months after the request, the adjustments to the public accounts, among other measures, ended up deteriorating the political position of then-president Macri, who lost the elections the following year.

Although there could be a third escape route for Turkey (for another country to serve as a lender to compensate for the outflows suffered), the situation facing the Turkish executive will not be easy in the coming months. All eyes will be on the following meetings of the Central Bank of Turkey. The decisions of this institution will be key to determine the independence and credibility of the institution, as well as the duration of the chapter of institutional uncertainty in this country.


We will have a new iPad Pro at the end of the month, and it will come with a small problem | Tablets

Despite the fact that in March 2020 Apple launched new iPad Pro to the market, in the middle of the confinement, this year will repeat the strategy by bringing new models of its most professional tablets to the market. Thus, at least, the main analysts of the North American ecosystem point it out, who also predict a qualitative leap in the hardware that will reach stores this year.

These are models that will not substantially modify everything seen so far in the range, since 2018, when it modified its design to integrate Face ID, leave the frames to a minimum and adopt the second-generation Apple Pencil. Even if there will be a new component that, as they say in the US, could change the rules of the game hereinafter. A virtue that, in the first moments of his arrival, will also be his most important defect.

Component supply issues

That element that is going to differentiate the iPad Pro of 2021 from those of last year is the screen, which according to all indications it is going to be the first mini-LED in the range, which is going to produce huge improvements in tablets. On the one hand, they are panels that do not reduce the quality seen in the previous two generations by a single gram and, on top of that, they occupy much less space (and energy consumption) which gives rise to either thinning the tablet in thickness, or offering a little more space to integrate new components or make existing ones larger. Like for example the battery.


But the problem with those mini-LED panels is that manufacturers are not supplying to Americans of sufficient quantity enough to arrive on launch day one with guarantees of providing all stores and points of sale with the number of units planned. Specifically of the 12.9-inch model. Something that, internally, would have already caused a first delay in its announcement and that, definitively, that event could occur at the end of this month.

As we reminded you before, in 2020 the iPad Pro landed in stores on March 21 and surely for this year those of Tim Cook had similar plans. That low rate of production of mini-LED screens could have affected those forecasts For this reason, April appears as the new month in which these models will be revealed to all users, once they have secured minimum quantities to have a launch at the same level as the previous models.


The power of the City crumbles three months after Brexit | Markets

What until the end of last year was the great financial temple of Europe, the British City, begins its collapse only three months after Brexit. English law, used preferentially for all types of operations, is in decline, due to the legal uncertainties that the United Kingdom’s break with the European Union has sown.

The exit of the club was negotiated until the last minute by the current British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who strove to sell the agreement as very positive for the country. But the European negotiators left without closing a major issue: that of financial services. There is not a letter on this subject. And its effects are already being noticed, according to the financial and legal sources consulted.

Investment banks, venture capital managers and market platforms have fled to Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin or Frankfurt and, to a lesser extent, Madrid to keep the European passport. Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Citi, among other entities, have created subsidiaries to operate in the EU, due to the loss of community safe conduct.

“London is a financial center, among other issues, due to the relevance of English law. Well defined, efficient, with very fast and predictable court resolutions. It is in a way this environment of legal certainty that has generated, over time, an enormous attraction to the United Kingdom, where banks, funds and financial institutions have gone, followed by lawyers, investment bankers and different service providers ”, says Miguel Lamo de Espinosa, partner of Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, coordinator of Banking and Restructuring.

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo foresees that the jurisdictions of other countries will gain weight

But this idyllic situation in which British law was practically exportable to anywhere else in the world thanks to the EU agreements is over. Once and possibly forever.

An investment banker explains that Goldman Sachs already operates its direct lending business from Paris instead of London, adding that Amundi, when investing in Spain, did so from its team in the City, but now it does so from the capital as well. French. It’s more, Credit Suisse has decided to make Madrid its center of operations in the Twenty-seven with a team led by Wenceslao Wunge, its boss in Spain.

The partner of Gómez-Acebo & Pombo highlights that the loss of hegemony of British laws in the financial world is beginning to be seen. “On the one hand, I anticipate fiercer competition with New York law in certain financial transactions. On the other, a more recurrent use of the local rights of the different jurisdictions in which it is invested, as long as they provide minimum legal guarantees ”, he anticipates.

Miguel Lamo de Espinosa anticipates that a gradual transfer of part of the decision-making center in London operations to other capitals is already beginning to be noticed, although he rules out a radical or accelerated movement. “In any case, it will be interesting to see how it develops and the movements made by both the United Kingdom and the other jurisdictions, as well as the EU, in this situation,” he says.

The possibility of a financial regulation agreement is on the table. The UK and the EU have created a forum to discuss an alliance, Bloomberg published last week. But this agreement, if it is achieved – it is expected to be tortuous – will not be the panacea either, since the substantive discrepancies on the law will still be there.

“It will be interesting to observe the effects that Brexit may have on the export of English law, something that, in my opinion, has been surprisingly little analyzed, taking into account the relevance that this law has had in the constitution and maintenance of London. as a global financial city ”, explains the partner of Gómez-Acebo & Pombo.

Attract SPAC and IPOs

  • Markets. Data from Cboe Global Markets reveal that the hegemony of the British Stock Exchange has ended in favor of other markets, among which the Dutch one stands out (see graph). The lack of equivalence, which implies that an EU intermediary has to buy the shares of a company on a Community market despite the fact that these are also listed in the United Kingdom, has been a serious blow. Similarly, the EU also does not allow banks or European companies to trade key derivatives on London-based platforms. The annual amount of derivatives with obligation to negotiate are those of interest rates in euros, dollars and pounds, and also those of debt, with an aggregate amount compared to the underlying assets of almost 570 trillion in 2019.
  • Strategy. The United Kingdom wants to position its market as one of the most friendly for SPAC (Special Purpose Purchasing Companies) premieres, which are causing a sensation around the world and IPOs in general. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the country’s financial conduct supervisor, studies regulatory changes. The premiere of Deliveroo, one of the worst in history on the British stock market, with a collapse of 26% in its first session was a failure. Mutual fund distribution giant Allfunds, with strong ties to the UK, has chosen Amsterdam for its eventual debut on the market.


Turkey quadruples its number of infections in a month, to 40,000 daily

Istanbul, Apr 1 (EFE) .- The numbers of contagion with coronavirus have multiplied by four during the month of March, to around 40,000 daily, according to the data made public this Thursday by the Turkish Ministry of Health, which also shows a sharp increase in deaths, although of lesser magnitude.

With 40,806 confirmed cases today, the number of people who have tested positive for covid quadruples that of March 1, the day on which 9,800 cases were registered, but also exceeds the worst days of the pandemic at the beginning of December, when the daily figure oscillated around 32,000 infections.

The number of deaths, 176 in the last 24 hours, is also much higher than the approximately 70 of a month ago, in addition to marking a clear jump compared to 150-155 in recent days, although the opposition parties have been months ensuring that the official figures are not reliable.

The municipal registry of deaths that occurred in Istanbul shows an average of 280 deaths (from any cause) in the last five days, some 60-70 cases more than the usual rate before the pandemic in this city of 16 million inhabitants, which is home to one fifth of the population of Turkey.

In any case, concern increases, and the provincial director of Health of Istanbul, Kemal Memisoglu, explained today to the Turkish agency Anadolu that the country is “certainly experiencing the third peak” of the pandemic since it was declared a year ago.

In April 2020, the number of daily deaths reached 127 cases, then dropped to less than 20 in summer and began a new rise in autumn until reaching, on December 23, what is so far the record number of 259 dead.

By gradually lowering the figure to 60-70 daily deaths in the first week of March, the Turkish government began to ease restrictions and allowed a limited opening of hospitality establishments, but this week it announced a new closure that It will be effective from the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, which begins on April 13.

At the same time, the vaccination campaign that began in mid-January with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine continues, to which the German BioNTech / Pfizer has been added this week after Ankara acquired 4.5 million doses of this drug.

Seven million citizens or residents have already received the two doses of the vaccine, and another 2.3 million have already had the first injection, with a total of 16 million doses administered.

The vaccination phase has already ended, at least with the first dose, of all those over 65 years of age, in addition to health sector workers, and people between 60 and 65 years of age and employees of some strategic sectors are being cited such as Interior, Defense, Justice or Education. EFE




| Q: SYS: en-ES: 07002000: Sanitation and health: Epidemics and pests |




Only in the middle of the month would there be significant rains in the core region

The climate, and above all, the lack of rain, is once again the protagonist of the agricultural campaign, which in many cases both soybeans and corn are defining yields.

But the forecasts are not encouraging for the core region. In the Agroclimatic Outlook Report prepared by the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange, abundant rains will only begin on the 15th of this month.

At the beginning of the first stage of the perspective, the front step that made its entry in the previous stage will be completed, causing abundant rains over the north of the agricultural area, and moderate to scarce values ​​over the rest of its extension. Along with the front, the south winds will advance, causing a thermal decrease over the south and the center of the agricultural area, but without reaching its northern end.

From the middle of the first stage of the outlook, the tropical winds will return, producing a hot period in most of the agricultural area, with the exception of the western mountainous areas.

At the beginning of the second stage of the outlook, from the 11th to the 17th of this month, a storm front will pass with very little activity, whose only noticeable effect will be to cause a thermal drop over the west and south of the agricultural area. , with the risk of frost in the mountainous areas, but without reaching the north of its extension.

Next, the tropical winds will blow, causing very high maximum temperatures in the center of the agricultural area, while the western mountainous areas and the Atlantic coast will observe less intense records.

Towards the end of the second stage of perspective, the passage of a storm front will begin, producing general rainfall of varying intensity over the north and east of the agricultural area, and scarce values ​​over the west.

In February it only rained 23% of the historical rate. The monthly average of the last 30 years in the region is 100 to 120 millimeters this month with a clear gradient in favor of the east. But to date only the accumulated reached 25 millimeters.


February ends with 395 deaths with Covid in Malaga, the blackest month of the pandemic

February It has been the worst month of the pandemic, which has already been completed a year, especially in terms of loss of life. Total, 395 people have died with coronavirus in Malaga this month, which is a third of all deaths from the virus, which since last March are already 1,399 in total.

A black month that says goodbye with one more fatality in the province of Malaga and 13 more in Andalusia, where Covid has killed 8,434 people since March 2020, and that closes a dramatic start to the year in the province. The data reflects what was already known: that this third wave of Covid has been much harsher and more lethal than the previous ones.

February deaths outnumber 172 January, a month with 223 deceased it had been the worst so far. Between the two they account for 618 fewer lives and many other families hit by this health crisis. And it is not a trivial number. They are almost half of all the dead.

The analysis of the figures deceased for weeks in February it opens a small door to hope, as there is a clear downward trend. In the first, 105 were reported, the second had 132 and the third 92. The latter, with 66 deaths, has been the one that has recorded the least (2 on Monday; 14 on Tuesday; 24 on Wednesday; 13 on Thursday; 7 on Friday and 5 on Saturday and one this Sunday).

Even so, it is far from the first months of the summer in which, as a result of the drastic confinement, the number of deaths from the first wave fell to zero. At the end of May it ended with 287, and until the end of July there were only two fatalities from Covid.

The main difference in February compared to last month is in the number of infections, which continues to decline. January ended with the positives soaring, with 1,787 new in one day, the record for the pandemic; while this Sunday the Ministry of Health has notified 162 cases. It is the second day of this week that the province manages to lower than 200 daily infections, after having 108 positives on Monday, the lowest figure in two months. The rest of the days have registered higher data.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, infections in the province have reached 84,158. And the number of cured is once again well above and triples the number of new positives. Thus, in the last 24 hours, 490 patients have managed to overcome this disease. 55,153 since March.

As a result of the improvement in the epidemiological situation, hospitals are beginning to take a breath. Although they still have a significant burden of coronavirus patients, in the last two weeks this has been reduced by half. This Sunday there are 377 hospitalized (yesterday Saturday there were 400), of which 57 are in the ICU (compared to 60 yesterday). Is the lowest figure since January 13, when there were 352 admitted.

However, in the last 24 hours they have communicated 14 admissions due to coronavirus in Malaga and a person has entered the intensive care unit. Since the pandemic began, 6,954 have needed hospital assistance after being infected with Covid.


Ireland’s conflict flares up again a month after Brexit

The conflict in Ireland, with a border separating the Republic from Northern Ireland, which has been so dramatic for decades until the signing of the Good Friday Accords (1998), is flaming up again: the customs controls in the Sea of Ireland in compliance with Brexit are unleashing the ire of a unionist, bringing to mind moments in history that have been overcome.

The conflict is coming due to the application of Brexit, which establishes greater control over products of animal origin destined for Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom. While the border of the irlandas It must be invisible due to the peace accords and the Brexit agreement, there are controls in the ports of Belfast and Larne to give the go-ahead to what enters the island. Controls that, for the unionists of Ulster, are a battlefield and, even, for the Government of Boris Johnson, since they can be interpreted as a kind of customs in the Irish Sea, between the island of Ireland and that of Gran Brittany.

But it is the agreement that Johnson wanted, which Theresa May fell for, with which he won an election and was sanctioned by the British Parliament. May’s deal meant a softer Brexit, but kept the border invisible in Ireland and did not create customs controls in the Irish Sea. But the agreement that Johnson signed does establish it, and this Wednesday, with the letter sent to Brussels and his statements against that control in the Irish Sea, he raises suspicions in Brussels about whether London intends to rewrite the Brexit agreement. For now, after more than three hours of meeting, London and Brussels they have agreed on a statement in which they are placed to “work intensely to find solutions to pending problems.”

In the midst of that conflict, another fuse was lit on Friday night, with the announcement that the European Commission planned to activate article 16 of Ireland’s protocol to the Brexit agreement to prevent the leakage of vaccines from the continent to the United Kingdom. Brussels ended up backing down, but unleashed even more tension.

In this context, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our commitment to the people of Northern Ireland and our Union is unwavering. Recent EU moves have undermined the Protocol and raised concerns. Now and in the future. , the place of Northern Ireland in the UK will be protected and strengthened. Urgent EU action is needed to resolve outstanding issues with the Protocol’s implementation, in order to preserve the benefits of the Good Friday Agreement and ensure that Ireland North benefits from Brexit like any other part of our UK. ”

The situation has worsened to the point that the Government of Northern Ireland has decided to announce the temporary suspension of physical controls on products of animal origin that arrive in the British province from the rest of the United Kingdom, due to the proliferation of threats from groups unionist paramilitaries. In the ports of Belfast and Larne have been found graffiti in which employees were identified as possible “targets” and after having seen people pointing license plates of their vehicles.

“The threat of violence is simply unacceptable,” European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said in Brussels, explaining that he was temporarily suspending the work of EU officials involved in controls at Northern Ireland ports.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin warned on Tuesday that the situation in Northern Ireland “is very sinister and ugly” and announced: “We will do everything possible to help defuse tension.”

Faced with this situation, the UK Government has asked the European Commission to extend the Brexit grace periods until 2023 on trade controls between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK to adapt to the new situation. In his letter, he calls for the temporary exemptions to be maintained for supermarket products, pharmaceuticals, refrigerated meats and packages crossing the island of Great Britain into Northern Ireland. “We have to ensure that grace periods are extended so that supermarkets can continue to provide consumers with the goods they need,” UK Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

However, Brussels has not yet accepted that request. According to the joint statement after the meeting by videoconference between Gove and the Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, in which the Deputy Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill participated, the two parties “reiterated their full commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and with the proper implementation of the Protocol [de Irlanda del Norte], protecting the achievements of the peace process, maintaining stability and avoiding disruption to the daily lives of the people of Northern Ireland and a hard border on the island of Ireland. ”

Furthermore, they “wholeheartedly condemned any threat or intimidation”, noting that “the safety and well-being of the people of Northern Ireland and our staff would always be the highest priority”. Lastly, Gove and Šefčovič concluded that the UK and the EU “would immediately work hard to find solutions to outstanding problems” and they called for a meeting next week in London.

The usual European Union rules on customs and goods at the Irish Sea border are not fully applied at this time, but the first grace period of all those agreed with the EU expires at the end of March.


The Spanish online shopper bought 3.5 times a month and spent 68 euros on average in 2020 | Up to date


Flexible plans for purchasing technology. Meet ISIT of Sothis Webinar

Diary of a tech salesman Read

2020 was a particular year in every way, and online commerce was not going to be less. Spaniards have become ecommerce experts, with an increase of more than one million users, according to the INE. has analyzed which have been the most relevant trends among online consumers in our country in 2020, and has discovered that users are characterized by doing their searches in the morning, in fact, 48% of Spaniards prefer this time while 40% of Spaniards prefer to try to get their products online in the afternoon and at night. If we focus on the days of the week, the analysis places Sunday and Monday as the days chosen to carry out your online purchases. From behind, they make their way on Tuesday and Wednesday. Surprisingly, Friday is the day least chosen by the Spanish to obtain their products.

During the previous year, an average of 3.5 times a month was purchased and an average of 68 euros was spent, four euros more than in 2019. At idealo they have also observed that users have taken advantage of the mobile application, and have detected an increase in the use of the “price alarm” tool, which notifies the user when the product reaches the ideal price that they have previously set. For convenience, consumers use price alarms in the app more than on the web. For example, in November 2020, 42% of the app users activated this function.

The use of the smartphone has been a determining factor in the new trends in e-commerce. In fact, the World Association of Communication (IAB) ensures that 72% of online shoppers use the internet as a purchasing channel and the number of Internet users has risen in 2020. These figures reflect the loss of weight of the computer as a device online shopping, which, despite being the most used device for this, is losing weight. Contrary to what happens with smartphones that year after year gain followers, especially among the younger audience.

The most searched categories also reflect the social changes produced in this very characteristic year. The digital transformation produced by teleworking and the increase in online shopping, as well as the greater use that we have given to technology, have caused the smartphone market to rank as the first most sought-after category. The war between Apple and Xiaomi has continued with its two flagship products, the Iphone 11 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro.

These consumption habits reveal the new needs that have arisen in 2020, although they will gain ground this year. New trends in search ensure the rise of technology with products such as smartphones, computers, televisions and smartwatches.

Adrián Amorín, country manager at, stressed that “analyzing consumer behavior during the previous year can give companies clues about the new needs and customs that have arisen after the pandemic. These changes are likely to be sustained over time and show us where e-commerce is heading in our country. The increasingly paramount importance of mobile phones, for example, will make many companies optimize the smartphone version of their websites ”.