Eighty-six days – Column of Adolfo Zableh Durán – Columnists – Opinion

They did a study to see how much work time was needed to buy the new iPhone 12 according to the average salary of various countries. While it takes a Swiss little more than four days, in the United States it takes six. What is the last country in the rankings? Well, Colombia, who else would it be? While in countries with alarming poverty like India and Mexico it takes fifty-four days to buy the latest Apple toy, it takes Colombians eighty-six days. Eighty-six and a half days actually, because you can be sure your employer isn’t going to give you that half a day.

If, on the other hand, you are a congressman, you can release your iPhone in a couple days, faster than a Swiss. That could be a good portrait of our country, a place where a few ‘Swiss’ rule many Colombians. And the gap is widening, as evidenced by this week’s salary increases. Thirty years ago, a congressman earned fourteen minimum monthly wages, today he earns thirty-seven, but don’t worry, we are doing well and improving. And that little is said about the number of Colombian workers who do not earn even a minimum. That is, while many are eating a cable, others are not even enough for the cable. We believe that the minimum wage is the ground, but the truth is that there is a thick subsoil that is much worse.

Some politicians have kept silent and others have come out with technicalities to justify a situation that is unjustifiable. They have been very respectful of the constitution that sometimes criticize and have said that the increase is mandatory by law, as if they could not do anything about it. Meanwhile, economists draw studies and equations to affirm that the minimum in Colombia is one of the highest in the world. Street is what some and others lack; street and humanity.

Also, on what account a salary increase for parliamentarians? Is it an award for how well they have done or what? Not only are they going to earn much more this year that is already beginning, but they are going to receive a retroactive payment of almost twenty million pesos for what they did not get in 2020. And, above all, now they are going to rest for three months without stopping receiving salary So it’s not just a matter of money, but of privilege. Ask for three months on leave from your job, and see how long it takes to kick you out like a dog and hire a more starving dog to do the same for less money.

Duque has just raised the salary of congressmen, when in the campaign he promised that they would be frozen, and since everything bad that happens in his government is the fault of his predecessor, I assume it is a matter of days before he holds Santos responsible for the measure. Although I understand that he has; Even if it is covered by a slight veneer of respectability, politics is an enormous and complex network more similar to the mafia than to anything else, and the head of everything cannot command if its subordinates are not happy, in them lies its true power, not in the vote of the citizens.

But, beyond the outrage at the difference in salary increases, the point is that in Colombia the cost of living rises faster than salaries in general, that is why you cannot buy the same things that you bought before (from hamburger combo for lunch to own house), and household that does not have at least two income is lame. No idea how long we will need in ten years to buy an iPhone, but more than eighty-six and a half days, for sure. Eighty-six days of work to have a phone, and then you can’t even use it because it comes without a charger, supposedly to “take care of the planet.” Bitch life.



the end of january six

The Casademont will play the season in the month of January, where up to six decisive appointments await him in both the Endesa League and the Champions League. The Aragonese team will be measured in the domestic championship with Real Betis, Estudiantes, Fuenlabrada and Bilbao Basket, four direct rivals in the fight for salvation; and in the continental tournament they will face Nizhny Novgorod, in Russia, and with Start Lublin, in the Prince Felipe pavilion, with the need to add the victory so as not to compromise their presence in the next phase, which will bring together the 16 best competition sets. The six games will mark the future of Zaragoza in the current course.

Receive Real Betis (January 2)

The first obstacle attends to Real Betis, a team that started the course with doubts, with numerous imbalances in their game, but which has been increasing its benefits as the competition progressed. The Andalusian squad not only added two new players – Jerome Jordan and Jerome Randle – but also opted for the change of coach. Joan Plaza replaced Curro Segura on November 30, and the team, since then, has increased its performance on both sides of the court, until leaving the relegation places to the LEB League this week. Two consecutive victories – against Fuenlabrada (86-79) and Unicaja de Málaga (111-114) – have led to the rise of the Sevillians, which will be presented on Saturday at the Príncipe Felipe pavilion (8:45 pm) in their best moment of the season. For now, they are already tied with the Aragonese in the standings, both with four victories won.

Play on the Nizhny Novgorod court (January 5)

Casademont aspires to the next round of the Champions League, a challenge that must be completed in the last two days of the first phase. The first appointment is scheduled for January 5 in Russia, on the Nizhny Novgorod track (5:00 p.m.), and has a considerable demand. It is, in fact, the most competitive workforce of all those that make up Group D, as evidenced in the Príncipe Felipe pavilion, in the first round match.

Then, Zaragoza’s victory took place on the horn, with an accurate triple by Dylan Ennis from eight meters away, when the duel seemed to be heading irremediably to extra time. Until the launch of Ennis, Casademont had been unable to defeat a rival with significant obstacles in their squad: the Russian team, which had not competed since October 18, appeared in Zaragoza with only eight players available, and with the accumulated fatigue from their long journey from Nizhny Novgorod.

It is measured with the Students (January 10)

Casademont visit Estudiantes, another team marked by the rigors of qualifying – it is fifteenth. The Madrilenians have added five victories in the 16 games played, although their game shows a surprising regression and is currently immersed in a particularly unproductive period. In fact, he has only won one of his last eight games, and it was by the minimum against Bilbao Basket (77-78), the penultimate classified. The defeats occurred against Joventut de Badalona (97-70), Barcelona (78-92), Burgos (91-71), Unicaja (90-92), Valencia Basket (81-86), Andorra (81-73) and Iberostar Tenerife (64-90).

Fuenlabrada goes to Prince Felipe (January 16).

Casademont will start the second round against Fuenlabrada, in the Príncipe Felipe pavilion, against a team also threatened by relegation. And not only will the victory be at stake, but also in particular ‘basketaverage’ among the contenders, a factor that could be decisive at the end of the season. The people of Madrid, in this sense, were imposed by a single point to the Zaragozans (82-81), on November 11, in the game of the eleventh day. Of course, Javier Juárez’s team is now experiencing a stretch of insecurity. Not even the victory obtained in Malaga, on December 22 (84-90), has modified the unhealthy aspect of a team that recently lost to UCAM Murcia (84-81), Valencia Basket (61-68), the Herbalife Gran Canaria (87-71), Bilbao Basket (70-74) and Real Betis (86-79). Right now they are counting one more win than Casadmeont Zaragoza.

The first phase of the Champions League closes (January 19)

Sergio Hernández’s team will receive Polish Start Lublin on January 19, at the Príncipe Felipe pavilion, in the duel that will close the first phase of the Champions League. David Dedek’s team no longer have a chance to enter the next round of the tournament, having bitten the dust in their four European matches. Of course, they offered a tenacious resistance to Casademont Zaragoza, in the first round match, which in the end the Aragonese won with a triple on the horn of DJ Seeley (85-86).

Casademont currently leads Group D, although their presence in the next round of the tournament is by no means guaranteed: behind the Aragonese is Nizhny Novgorod, also with a balance of three victories, both with a win advantage over Falco Szombathely. Only the first two classifieds will access the second phase of the tournament.

Visit to a Bilbao in the relegation zone (January 23).

The Zaragoza team will then move to Bilbao, where a rival permanently punished by the misfortune of injuries awaits them. Especially damaging has been the absence of Ondrej Balvin, one of the most decisive players in the Endesa League. Since October, with the season already underway, the club has added Jovan Kljajic, Goran Huskic, Regimantas Miniotas, Alade Aminu and John Jenkins to its ranks. However, Bilbao Basket does not finish reacting and remains embedded in the penultimate position of the table, with only three victories to its credit.

In Zaragoza, in the match of the first round, Álex Mumbrú’s men fell apart from the first adversities and were overwhelmed by Casademont (105-76). In addition, Bilbao Basket also lost in December to Estudiantes (77-78), Unicaja de Málaga (75-91) and San Pablo Burgos (96-86); while his only victory this month was against Fuenlabrada (70-74), in someone else’s rodeo.


Match preview: Chelsea host West Ham on matchday fourteen – naaju

Chelsea receives this Monday at 2:00 p.m. the visit of West Ham at Stamford Bridge during his fourteenth game in the Premier League.

Chelsea He wants to be victorious again in the match corresponding to the fourteenth day after suffering a defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the previous match by a score of 2-1. Since the competition began, the hosts have won six of the 13 matches played so far in the Premier League, with 26 goals for and 14 against.

On the visitors’ side, West Ham had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace during the last match, so he will try to keep adding points to his leaderboard against Chelsea. To date, of the 13 games he has played West Ham in the Premier League, he has won six of them with a figure of 21 goals for and 16 against.

Focusing on performance as a home team, Chelsea They have achieved a balance of three wins, one loss and two draws in six home games, which shows that they are slipping points in their fiefdom, giving the visitors hope of achieving positive results. At home, West Ham They have a record of three wins, two losses and a draw in six games that they have played so far, so they are quite a strong opponent away from home that the hosts will have to face.

The two rivals have met before at home ChelseaIn fact, the numbers show 15 wins, five losses and five draws in favor of the home team. The last time they faced each other Chelsea and West Ham in this competition it was in July 2020 and the match ended with a 3-2 result in favor of West Ham.

Analyzing the situation of these teams in the Premier League qualifying table, we can see that the locals are above West Ham with a difference of one point. Chelsea He arrives at the meeting with 22 points in his locker and occupying the eighth place before the game. For their part, the visitors are in ninth position with 21 points.


The Six Week War

The extension of Turkey’s sphere of influence and the weakening of Russia in the South Caucasus were possibly the most significant global consequences of the warlike outcome of the Upper Karabakh conflict in November 2020.

At the time of the Soviet Union, that mountainous region was an autonomy belonging to Azerbaijan, but in 1988 the Armenian community of Upper Karabakh, the majority, rebelled against the Azerbaijani rule of Baku and wanted to incorporate its territory into Armenia. The peaceful coexistence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis was replaced by violence, exodus and ethnic cleansing. The result of the confrontation was tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees on both sides.

In 1994, Russia arbitrated a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan for Upper Karabakh. With some eventual disruption, that arrangement kept the conflict frozen until 2020.

With the help of Turkey, on September 27 Azerbaijan launched an offensive during which it managed to reconquer a good part of Upper Karabakh, including the former capital Shusha (Shushi for Armenians), and regain the vast adjacent territory that the Armenians held as a belt. security around the old autonomy. Under the agreement signed on November 9 by the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinian; The President of Azerbaijan, Iljam Aliev, and the Head of State of Russia, Vladimir Putin, Moscow has sent a contingent of almost 2,000 peacekeepers to Upper Karabakh to ensure the safety of the Armenians in the territory that Baku failed to recover . Russian soldiers will also control the corridor that links Stepanakert (capital of Nagorno Karabakh) with the State of Armenia. Azerbaijan, in turn, has achieved a corridor (via Armenia) that allows it to directly access its enclave of Nakhichevan and from there to Turkey. The hopes of self-determination of the Armenians of Upper Karabakh are now being dashed after the substantial cut-back of the territory under their control. From Baku’s perspective, even autonomy doesn’t seem like a possibility for them.

Russia is an ally of Armenia, where it has a military base, but it also maintains good relations with Azerbaijan and sells war equipment to the two countries. While Armenia is a poor state, isolated and dependent on Moscow, Azerbaijan, enriched thanks to hydrocarbons, is key in the supply routes to Turkey and Europe.

Artillery rain at StepanakertA wounded man is transferred to a hospital in Stepanakert, in Nagorno Karabakh, following the attacks of the Azerbaijani artillery on 28 October. Dmitry Lovetsky AP

In its successful war offensive, Azerbaijan has used weapons acquired in Turkey and also in Israel, especially drones. The Azerbaijani Army, trained in Turkish academies and advised by Turkish military advisers, has proven superior to the Armenian, more outdated in its equipment and combat techniques.

The “six-week war” for domination of Upper Karabakh has cost thousands of lives (Baku estimates its military casualties at 2,783 and Erivan at 2,425). As an ally of Baku, Ankara has claimed a place for itself in monitoring the agreement arbitrated by Russia and will maintain a contingent of observers on the ground in Upper Karabakh. Turkey thus returns to a zone of confluence of ancient empires, where Russia believed it had secured a privileged role.


Europe will give the green light to the second Covid vaccine on January 6 | Companies

If the first Covid-19 vaccine, that of Pfizer, will arrive as a Christmas gift, that of Moderna, it seems that it will come as a gift from Kings. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) advanced this Thursday that advances the scheduled date to issue its favorable opinion to January 6, since it had at most until the 12th of that month to review the medical data, as had previously advanced by itself organism.

The agency’s committee of experts will meet on that day to evaluate the data and decide if a favorable opinion is granted. With that recommendation, in approximately two days the European Commission would give its approval, which would allow its distribution as of January 8.

This Monday, the EMA already meets to assess that of Pfizer. If he receives the favorable opinion, the Executive of Úrsula von der Leyen will give the go-ahead on December 23 and vaccination will begin in the countries between December 27 and 29. Pfizer’s is approved and administered in the UK, US and Canada.

In the case of Moderna, the American drug agency (FDA) is expected to approve this product, so it is foreseeable that distribution in that country could begin on Monday. It is highly likely that if the FDA gives the green light to Moderna’s candidate this weekend, Europe will follow suit. In addition, taking into account that it is based on messenger RNA technology, like the one already approved by Pfizer in the US, the path is also paved for an alternative that has demonstrated an effective protection of 94.5% against the SARS-CoV virus -2.

This vaccine will be produced for the whole world (except for the USA) in Madrid, at Laboratorios Rovi, which will be in charge of formulating, finishing and filling the product. The pharmaceutical company will begin production from January.

“Today, ahead of schedule, the company has submitted the last pending data package necessary for the evaluation of the application. It contains specific information for the manufacture of the vaccine for the EU market,” the EMA explains in a statement regarding ahead of date, at a time when European health systems are under new pressure from a third wave of the pandemic.

The EMA advises that the meeting scheduled for January 12, 2021 will be held if necessary, in case it does not have time for approval on January 6.

“We have been able to review the schedules for the evaluation of the Covid-19 vaccines due to the incredible effort of all those involved in these evaluations: the presidents of the scientific committees, the rapporteurs and their evaluation teams, scientific experts from all the members of the EU states and my EMA staff, “said Emer Cooke, executive director of the agency.

The American laboratory is one of six that have signed a supply agreement with the European Commission to distribute to community partners. In this case, it provides 80 million doses, plus an additional 80 million.


Covid aggravates attacks against feminists in the Middle East | Blog Women

Solafa, Alieh, Sobnem, Hoda, Sanaa, Sepideh, Samar, Loujain, Eren, Sevval, Jila, Azza, Nassima… are the names of some of the activists imprisoned in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. It does not matter the sign of their governments. Respect for human rights, and in particular women’s rights, remains a pending issue in the Middle East, where persecution has not stopped with the pandemic. Femena, an organization that supports feminist movements in the area, has launched together with six other related entities a campaign to draw attention to the difficulties they face and mobilize public opinion in their support.

“The pressure on women rights defenders has increased throughout the region in recent years. But 2020 has been particularly violent for activists, who are working in the midst of the covid pandemic, while also dealing with the pandemic of violence against women, which has increased in recent months due to lockdowns by the new disease ”, declares Sussan Tahmasebi, Femena co-founder and director, in conversation with EL PAÍS. Hence, they have coordinated with other organizations to launch the campaign. The message, she explains, is: “Together we can protect and support women human rights defenders in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa).”

“Alieh Motalebzadeh is serving a three-year jail sentence for promoting women’s rights. The first time Alieh was imprisoned, she was only 17 years old. It was 1982 during the repression that followed the Iranian revolution. Iran has to stop persecuting activists. Freedom for Alieh ”, summarizes the tweet that accompanies the video about his case.

Alieh is just one of thirty activists jailed in Iran that the campaign is aware of. The fear is that, as in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, their number will be greater because in many cases their families are afraid or are ashamed and do not make it known. “If you are little known, the news does not appear in the press and sometimes it does not even reach the rights organizations”, sums up Tahmasebi. However, this activist considers that the number of detainees is not an accurate way to assess the growing pressure on women rights defenders in the region.

“There are many women who have been sentenced to jail time, but are waiting to serve their sentences. This limbo is used to keep them quiet and inactive. Others are questioned or are awaiting court hearings, “he says. “One thing is clear, the governments of this region are persecuting more activists, more systematically and with greater force and violence than ever, and in many cases for demanding the most basic rights. It is unacceptable and has to end ”.

Activists, Tahmasebi recalls, are attacked by both states and groups not linked to those. “Many face smear and smear campaigns, are prevented from traveling or have their assets blocked. There are those who have been kidnapped or victims of judicial harassment with preventive detentions or long prison terms. Some have even been tortured while in detention or threatened with death. In some cases, like in Iraq and Libya, they have been assassinated, ”he says.

High gender violence

But aren’t these problems the same as those suffered by all rights defenders, regardless of their gender? Tahmasebi wryly admits that “in a region where most countries are far behind in gender equality, the persecution of women activists is one of the few areas in which they are making progress towards equality.” However, women add others to the usual difficulties because of their condition.

“Most work in contexts where gender violence is already high and discrimination against women rampant. So personally they also suffer the weight of patriarchal society. As this type of work goes against cultural norms, many families do not support them in the face of pressure from the State, they see it as a disgrace. The same does not happen in the case of men ”, explains Tahmasebi. In addition, he points out, “activists also face reprisals for being women and when they are detained some suffer sexual harassment and even rape.” Sometimes they even face discrimination in their own rights environment, because, says the activist, “their demands are focused on social issues that are dismissed as minors by their male colleagues.”

“Saudi Arabia has adopted necessary reforms in women’s rights to demonstrate commitment to progress. Ironically, the activists who defended those same rights are in jail. He must immediately release Nassima al Sada, Nouf Abdulaziz and Mayaa al Zahrani ”, asks another of the campaign videos. It also denounces that, after two years in preventive detention, Loujain al Hathloul has been sent to the Anti-Terrorism Court. “Defending the rights of women is not terrorism,” he stresses.

Why are women’s rights such a sensitive issue not only in established autocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia but also in theoretical democracies like Iraq and Turkey? Activists “question gender norms and social hierarchy constructs, which is difficult to accept in places that tend to be very patriarchal and stratified,” Tahmasebi estimates, adding: “Since many activists talk about social justice, regimes Authoritarians fear that they may arouse feelings that have long been a source of discontent among the population ”.

Despite the bombastic declarations of support for human rights by, above all, Western countries, it is evident daily that they are subordinate to the political objectives of the moment. Even so, the campaign hopes that “international attention will push both the governments of the region and those of the West to adopt a balanced policy focused on human security, rights and the promotion of social justice for the citizens of this region. part of the world ”, sums up Tahmasebi. “We also hope that the UN will act forcefully on these issues, but for this it needs its mechanisms to receive support and funds,” he concludes.


Spanish banking, the second best digitized in the world | Companies

Spanish banking leads the process of financial digitization in the world. According to the study Digital Banking Maturity 2020, produced by Monitor Deloitte, Spanish banks are in second place in the world in digital transformation, only behind Turkey.

The report studies the functionalities that cover the digital channels of retail banking According to customer needs and based on the results, it divides the 318 banks analyzed into four categories: ‘Digital Champions’, ‘Digital smart followers’, ‘Digital adpters’ and ‘Digital latecomers’. Spanish banking is in the first of them, (digital champions), along with entities from Turkey, Singapore, Japan and Norway.

As Deloitte concludes, these entities offer a wide range of relevant functionalities for customers and an engaging user experience. In addition, they set key digital trends and have market-leading practices, making them “examples to learn from.” However, banks still need to improve digital sales processes end-to-end (E2E).

“Spain and the rest of the banks of the ‘Digital Champions’ not only surpass the rest of the banks in the number of digital functionalities, but also they are also positioned both in efficiency (-4.0 pp) and in financial profitability (+1.9 pp) ”, explains Gerard Sanz, partner of Monitor Deloitte.

Of the total ranking of 318 banks, 6 Spanish entities are among the top 25 banks worldwide in digitization.

The study shows that before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the digitization process had already accelerated, and that as a result of the popularization of mobile operations, this channel has surpassed online banking as a positioning channel. “Mobile banking surpasses online banking as a positioning channel and in Spain we have witnessed the launch of the first chatbots with consultative features,” says Sanz.


Pfizer, Oxford, Moderna … Which Covid-19 vaccine will you get? | Companies

What vaccine are you going to get to get immunized against the coronavirus? The short answer is that you will not be able to choose. The long version is that it will depend on a host of circumstances regarding which ones are authorized in Europe, the industrial capacity of the manufacturers, the European supply contracts and the vaccination schedule for groups that the Government designs.

At the moment, the alliance vaccine between Pfizer and BioNTech like the AstraZeneca. It is expected that the first doses of both initiatives can be distributed in Europe at the end of December and on a larger scale from the first quarter of 2021. In that race they follow Moderna, Janssen, the consortium of Sanofi y GSK Y CureVac (see graph).

For the moment, these are the companies that are going to distribute in Europe, since they are the only ones that have reached advance purchase agreements with the European Commission, to which the Member States adhere, as in the case of Spain. Only in the case of Moderna, the Executive of Ursula von der Leyen has not finished signing the contract. The countries can add other acquisitions to alternative companies, but at the European level it is not being done, since the centralized negotiation has been transferred to Brussels. Likewise, contracts for advanced candidates designed by Novavax, Medicago or the giant Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD) could be added in the future.

With these contracts, the EU has already reserved at least 1,305 million doses, but to which an optional 660 million can be added. By the proportional distribution with respect to the population of the country, Spain would have between 137 and 206 million vials if it is added to all commercial pacts.

Apart from these contracts, logically, the first vaccines to arrive will be the ones that are most advanced in the research process. In this section there are three initiatives: the North American Pfizer and the German BioNTech; the British AstraZeneca together with the University of Oxford, and the American Moderna. In these three cases, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) carries out a continuous evaluation of these trials to proceed with an almost automatic authorization as soon as sufficient medical data on efficacy and safety is available, something that could happen in the coming weeks.

Pfizer and BioNTech are leading that race, as this Wednesday they announced that they have concluded phase III (the last stage with thousands of volunteers before authorization) with an efficiency of 95% and that they plan to distribute in Europe before Christmas. Moderna also reported last week a preliminary efficacy of 94.5%. Its distribution could arrive in the first quarter of 2021. AstraZeneca is expected to offer efficacy data shortly and to begin distribution in December if it receives the approval of the EMA first. Salvador Illa, Minister of Health, already pointed out last month that he expects 3.1 million doses of this pharmaceutical for next month.

They go one step behind Sanofi (which expects to reach an authorization in the first half of 2021); Janssen (first trimester), and Curevac (third trimester). But in the case of the first two, what they would contribute to this race is a significant jump in large-scale production thanks to the manufacture of 1 billion doses a year each.

Hungary wants to skip the community purchase and take over Russian Sputnik V

In fact, one of the determining factors on which solution will be injected to each citizen is not only which one is authorized, but whether it is initially available. For this reason, when the Government decides what the vaccination schedule will be by groups and ages, it is expected that during the first months the available solution (Pfizer and AstraZeneca) will be injected without even the Administrations being able to choose other criteria such as price or ease of storage. Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, confirmed this Wednesday that any alternative will be welcomed with relish: “I really do not expect a competitive situation during the first nine months because every dose of approved vaccine that anyone can supply is welcome and will probably be used.” He also advanced that he hopes to have a new formulation of his product in 2021, since now it has the disadvantage of a distribution at 75º below zero.

Therefore, as the calendar progresses, for the Spaniards who are the last to be vaccinated, it is foreseeable that there will be a greater range of options.

All these companies are manufacturing vials simultaneously with their R&D with the aim of having millions of doses prepared when they receive sanitary authorization, although the great industrial leap is not expected until the second half of the year. The success of large manufacturers such as Pfizer, Sanofi, MSD, AstraZeneca or Janssen would be crucial for vaccines to reach health centers en masse.

Price factor

Neither Russian nor Chinese

The vaccines that are not expected to arrive, at least not expected in the coming months, will be the Chinese or the Russian. These projects should previously request marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to proceed with the evaluation of trials carried out in other territories. “It is not absolutely necessary that there be tests in the EU, but it is necessary for companies to follow the regulatory procedures that guarantee the quality, safety and efficacy required in our territory”, Health sources explain. Nor has the European Commission negotiated a supply contract for these alternatives.

Hungary, which has Viktor Orban as prime minister, has raised a controversy within the EU by advancing that it will negotiate the purchase of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. That contract would be carried out outside the set of 27 and the Commission has already warned of the risk which involves vaccinating the Magyar population without following the strict controls of the tests by the EMA.

Given the enormous need due to the health and economic problem caused by the pandemic, price will not initially be a determining factor once the European Commission has already signed the contracts. But in amount, AstraZeneca is far apart, since its vaccine (two doses for 5.9 euros in total) is by far the cheapest, so in the medium term it may be a relevant factor for the authorities.

Currently, the department of Salvador Illa has not communicated the vaccination criteria, since it is debated in the Interterritorial Council in which autonomous communities participate, and which is joined by scientific societies, experts in bioethics, the Spanish Association of Vaccination and experts in mathematical models. But the minister has been advancing some ideas that they should first be administered to the elderly, health professionals and other risk groups.


Covid-19 drags a record number of listed companies to losses | Companies

The outbreak of Covid in the income statements of companies listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange has been devastating. The number of companies with negative attributable profit in the first half of the year has set a record of 50, 40% of the 124 that are traded on the market. The previous historical mark, of 49 firms in losses, dates from the first half of 2009, once the consequences of the Great Financial Crisis exploded.

This year, as compensation for the coronavirus plague, listed companies have had one more month, until November 1, to present their semi-annual accounts. And the balance is bleak. Not only because of the number of companies with red numbers on their bottom line of the income statement, but because 80% made less or lost more.

The third quarter results season has already begun, and in some firms the improvement has been noticed after the Great Confinement, such as in Banco Santander, which reduced the accumulated losses in the first nine months to 9,048 million from the historical 10,798 million that recorded between January and June. But the paralysis of the economy practically during the second quarter, in Europe and in most western countries, with its consequent impact on the business fabric and with the fall in exports, has been undeniable.

Only 25% of companies increased their turnover between January and June

Companies listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange, with the exception of Abengoa, in pre-bankruptcy proceedings and which has not published their accounts at the end of June, recorded losses of -17,338 million euros between January and June, compared to 23,114 million euros. profit from the same period last year. The Ibex companies were the main culprits, with joint losses of 15,602 million euros in the attributed result.

If the index companies are excluded, the losses of the rest totaled 1,736 million for Airbus (-1,919 million). Not including the aircraft manufacturer, they made about 183 million. The main sustenance outside the Ibex were the benefits of Prosegur (315.6 million), Deoleo (250.6 million), due to the effect of the debt restructuring for 575 million – which has left financial income that has been recorded as results of 259.2 million–, Catalana Occidente (149.3 million), Coca-Cola European Partners (126 million) and Logista (103 million).

Turnover, the great indicator of business evolution due to lower accounting contamination, was especially devastating. Only 25% of the firms on the Spanish Stock Exchange sold more than last year. Here PharmaMar stood out, on the Ibex again since September 21, which shot up sales by 308.4%, due to the recognition of 112.4 million euros as license income.

Firms that are not on the Ibex lost 1,736 million to Airbus

Among large companies, Cellnex shone with a 49% increase, thanks especially to the acquisitions it carried out last year in France, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain. However, the group of telephone towers ended the semester with losses. Grifols reduced its profit but increased its turnover by 10.5%. Their revenues also improved at remarkable rates Viscofan (9%), BME (9.4%), Deoleo (23.9%), Ebro Foods (23%), Faes (10.4%), Solarpack (384.4%) ) and Talgo (29.1%).

Outstanding impacts

For the rest, the declines were generalized, and especially intense in companies linked to the sectors that have been shattered by Covid: those linked to tourism, restaurants and leisure. In addition to the collapses in the turnover of Aena (-47.7%), Amadeus (54.7%), IAG (-57.6%) and Meliá (-63.3%), outside the selective of the Spanish Stock Exchange Of particular note were the falls –for the gigantic nature– of the AmRest restaurant group (-26.3%), Codere (-55.7%), eDreams Odigeo (-88.3%) and NH Hotel Group ( -62.4%).

Thus, the first half of 2020 ended with the largest number of companies in losses. In the same period of 2009, with the global banking crisis already beginning and with the collapse of the Hispanic brick, which led to the bankruptcy of companies such as Martinsa Fadesa, the number of listed companies in losses was 49. So far, it was a high unknown in Spain.

11 years ago, despite everything, the then three great emblems of the Ibex –Santander, Telefónica and BBVA– achieved benefits. On this occasion, the strong provisions of the banking sector have wiped out the accounts of the two entities with losses of 11,955 million. The teleco endured with a profit of 830.8 million. Furthermore, the deterioration is not only seen in the income statement, but also in the balance sheet. Ibex firms destroyed 45,000 million assets in the first half, as published by CincoDías on August 31.


TUI will resume Canary Island cruises for British and German tourists | Companies

TUI, the largest tour operator in Europe, is willing to throw the house out the window to try to clean up the large accumulated losses (2,000 million euros between October 2019 and June 2020) since the coronavirus health crisis broke out. And it has directed the spotlight on the Canary Islands, the only place in Europe that meets the two essential conditions to welcome tourists in winter: good weather and a controlled sanitary situation.

Despite the fact that the German Executive continues to demand a 14-day quarantine for those travelers who go to the Canary Islands (unless they prove a negative PCR from the fifth day), TUI is flying from October 3 to the Canary Islands with a daily operation In order for all pilots to add hours of activity and be available from December 1, the date on which the high season will start. Flights from the United Kingdom are de facto suspended for the 15-day quarantine set by the Executive of Boris Johnson, although some airlines, such as the case of Jet2 has already set the return of operations with the Canary Islands for November.

TUI’s attack to boost tourism is going by air and also by sea. TUI Cruises, the tour operator’s cruise division, has been one of the two cruise companies (the other is Hapag Lloyd) that has received authorization from the Government of the Canary Islands to resume operations as of November 5. The TUI Cruises roadmap establishes a schedule of two weekly cruises in November and four weekly from November, of which two will go to the German market and another two also to the United Kingdom. In the case of the United Kingdom, the flights will depart from Bournemouth and will land in Gran Canaria or Tenerife. From the airport, travelers will be transferred to the port and there they will start the boat trip for seven days, with prices ranging between 800 euros per person for November, 715 euros per person in December or 1,350 euros per person for the first week of January. .

Alfredo Serrano, general director of the International Association of Cruise Lines in Spain (CLIA, for its acronym in English), assures that the return of the boats to the Canary Islands is good news after six months of stops, but that shows the delay in the decisions, since Germany already did it four months ago and Italy two ago. “That is the good part; the bad news is that we do not have a common regulatory framework and that can lead us to impose different rules for each autonomy ”.

The first estimates emphasize that the cruises of both companies could bring up to 400,000 tourists between November and May to the Canary Islands. Serrano recalls that in 2019 there were more than 2.5 million travelers and that the target set barely represents 16% of the total. The cruises will be limited to the seven Canary Islands and will not be able to connect with other areas, such as Cape Verde or Madeira.

70% occupancy and negative PCR before boarding

The conditions to guarantee safety on the journeys will be set by the cruise passenger. These can only be European, since the Government of the Canary Islands assumes that they are the companies that have signed the strictest protocols.

The agreement signed between the shipping companies and the Government of the Canary Islands establishes the obligation to carry out a PCR or serological test with a negative result before boarding, a maximum occupancy of 70% and that there is a device ready to deal with positives on land or perform quarantines. The first ships to cruise between the islands will be TUI’s Mein Schiff 2, which will depart from the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Hapag Lloyd’s Europa 2, departing from Santa Cruz de Tenerife.