Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Recovery Fund. Europarlamento e Commissione litigano come lavandaie ai trogoli.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-09-29.

Cabanel Alexandre. L'angelo caduto. 1847. Museè Fabre di Montpellier. Particolare

A parte il trascurabile fatto che il Recovery Fund ha al momento in dotazione zero euro, ossia non ha denari di sorta né in cassa né quindi da distribuire, la sua gestazione si presenta distocica, bloccando di fatto tutto l’operato della Unione Europea.

I liberal socialisti europei sono sul piede di guerra, ancora malconci all’annuncio del decesso di Sua Giustizia Ruth Ginsburg, cui conseguirà la perdita del massimo centro di potere americano, da sempre loro amico fidato.

È una vicenda pallocolosa ed arzigogolata, ove le parole altisonanti celano interessi monetari di vilissima bottega.

* * * * * * *


«Differences were laid bare among EU countries on the link between respect for rule of law and EU funding on Tuesday (22 September).»

«The conditionality was also one of the main hurdles EU leaders had to overcome at their summit in late July, when it took them five days to strike a deal on the budget and recovery package»

«Having produced a vague compromise in July, divisions among EU governments remained between those who want the possibility to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not being respected in a given country, and those who want to narrow the conditionality down to fraud and corruption.»

«Ministers from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden spoke about the need for an “effective” mechanism»

«”We really need a direct link between EU funding and adherence to the principles of rule of law,” Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said.»

«While the ministers from Denmark and Sweden acknowledged that the basis of the final mechanism needs to be based on the deal struck by EU leaders, they also warned against moving an inch away from that»

«Hungary and Poland, however, had threatened to block the €1.8 trillion budget and recovery fund, if the new conditions become too strict and have a broader link to the respect for the rule of law»

«And a delay in unlocking the economic stimulus is a no-go for most member states»

«The European Council [EU leaders’s summit] did not support the conditionality as proposed by the commission in 2018, otherwise we would see a clear reference to this»

«Szymański was backed by Hungary’s justice minister Judit Varga, who said the “only task is to stick to leaders’ fragile compromise …. Those who want more or bigger, they all risk that very fragile compromise and the rapid adoption of the whole package»

*

«Abbiamo urgente bisogno di un accordo globale sul pacchetto …. le trattative procedono troppo lentamente e così corriamo il rischio di ritardare anche il Recovery Fund»

«Il bilancio comunitario per il 2021-2027 e il Recovery Fund sono politicamente e tecnicamente inseparabili e il tempo stringe»

«la spaccatura più importante è sulla condizionalità legata al rispetto dello stato di diritto»

* * * * * * *


Nella loro modestia ed umiltà, i liberal socialisti ritengono di essere gli inappellabili giudici supremi della moralità e dell’etica di tutto il resto dell’universo, che anatemizzano, e con il quale non intendono avere rapporto alcuno, se questo non condividesse la loro Weltanschauung. Ça va sans dire, essi considerano la propria ideologia una verità assoluta, la verità, che gli altri devono accettare, e loro imporla. Senza se e senza ma.

Capito questo, resta immediatamente comprensibile quanto stia accadendo, anche perché molti stati dell’Unione dell’ideologia liberal non sano proprio cosa farsene.

Poi, sotto il sudario, il lenzuolo funebre, si cela il dissesto del sistema di industrie e servizi che i liberal socialisti si sono costruiti nel corso di decenni: sistema che vive di erogazioni di denaro pubblico e che ora necessità più che mai del denaro europeo, pena la bancarotta.

*


Germania: negoziati lenti, rischio ritardo sul Recovery Fund.

Ambasciatore tedesco in Ue, nodo stato di diritto su bilancio Ue.

“Abbiamo urgente bisogno di un accordo globale sul pacchetto” sul quadro finanziario pluriennale Ue e il Recovery Fund, ma le trattative procedono “troppo lentamente” e così “corriamo il rischio di ritardare anche il Recovery Fund”. E’ il monito dell’ambasciatore tedesco presso la Ue, Michael Clauss, in una nota in cui fa appello ad “aumentare notevolmente il ritmo dei negoziati” in corso tra il Consiglio Ue e il Parlamento Ue. Il bilancio comunitario per il 2021-2027 e il Recovery Fund “sono politicamente e tecnicamente inseparabili” e “il tempo stringe. L’Europa deve mantenere la sua parola”, avverte Clauss, evidenziando come i nodi si concentrino principalmente nelle trattative sul bilancio Ue. In particolare, l’ambasciatore riferisce che la spaccatura più importante è sulla condizionalità legata al rispetto dello stato di diritto, mentre sull’introduzione di nuove risorse proprie dell’Ue le parti sono “già vicine”.

*


EU migration pact to deter asylum.

The European Commission unveiled its long-awaited migration and asylum pact on Wednesday (23 September).

Following months of delays, it is one of president Ursula von der Leyen’s core proposals and comes with promises not to repeat past failures, which turned EU states against one another.

“The old system to deal with it in Europe no longer works. The commission’s package on migration and asylum, which we present today, offers a fresh start,” she announced.

The existing system saw Greece and Italy largely abandoned to deal with tens of thousands of arrivals on their own, while over a million settled in Germany.

The new one includes ideas that are likely to appeal to the more anti-immigrant doctrines of countries such as Hungary or Poland.

It includes placing extra emphasis on returns, making sure countries outside Europe accept back their nationals, while at the same time speeding up asylum procedures.

The whole comes amid a backdrop of recent fires that destroyed an open-air prison for refugees and migrants in Moria, an EU hotspot on the Greek island of Lesbos.

It also comes after Greece suspended asylum claims for a month earlier this year, as thousands of people were pushed backed into Turkey.

The commission’s latest efforts to overhaul the rules is designed to act as a deterrence for anyone not obviously entitled to international protection.

In practice, it means everyone arriving at an EU external border will have to go through security, health, and identity checks within five days.

They will not be able to immediately contest those findings, which will ultimately determine their fates.

The idea is to deny asylum to most people, especially anyone coming from a country where the recognition rates for international protection drops below 20 percent.

“It has to be done very quickly and I think that many of those will have a negative decision,” EU commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson told reporters on Wednesday.

People are then to be shuffled into a 12-week asylum border procedure, which does include appeals.

Here, they will be granted access to a normal asylum process later on or returned with the help of a beefed up Frontex, the EU border and coast guard agency.

Anyone alone and under the age of 18 will not have to go through the asylum border procedure, nor will families with children under the age of 12.

The commission is also demanding member states create an independent monitoring system to make sure rights are not violated throughout the process.

Part of that proposal includes turning the Malta-based European Asylum and Support Office (Easo) into a European asylum agency to make sure capitals are doing their jobs correctly.

But years of neglect and suffering in the EU hotspots in Greece, combined with the commission’s refusal to launch infringements against Athens for violating EU laws, is likely to cast a shadow over any such monitoring system.

On Wednesday, EU commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas described those Greek closures as a model for migration management.

“As we proved in Evros at the beginning of March, Europe can now effectively ensure border management,” he said.

The statement carried with it an insight into the commission’s thinking on how to juggle the competing interests of EU member states when it comes to migration.

Schinas had previously described it as a mix between solidarity and responsibility.

The term he coined on Wednesday was “permanent effective constant solidarity”, a phrase that was meant to appeal to everyone whether in Athens, Budapest, or Berlin.

Return sponsorships

“We have looked for a solution between the red lines,” said Schinas.

“And we have done so by introducing a new concept which we call ‘returns sponsorships’ that allow to do something that is new,” he added.

The idea is a departure from the previous commission, which had demanded a mandatory system of quotas that required each EU state to take in people arriving on Italian and Greek shores.

EU states will now be given the option to return people instead, in a bid to help remove the pressure on the member state put under pressure by arrivals.

Those that choose to return someone from the member state under stress will have eight months to do it or will be required to take in that person to finalise the return from their own territory.

The member state sponsoring the returns, will be able to select the nationalities of the asylum claimants they handle.

The commission describes the sponsorship as a viable alternative to relocation, the practice of accepting migrant arrivals already on European territory.

In reality, the proposal is a numbers game based on a distribution key that can be triggered by the commission on its own or by request from a member state under arrival pressure.

The key is based on population size and GDP of the member state and aims to calculate its share of aid to another in need.

Numbers game

It is not straightforward.

For instance, Greece wants 100 people relocated from its territory.

The distribution key is applied and determines two other EU states must take in 50 percent each, meaning they each have 50 people to relocate or return.

But one of the member states refuses to help, resulting in a contribution shortfall.

The commission will then demand everyone to revise their contributions in a so-called “solidarity forum”.

If there is a still a shortfall capped at more than 30 percent, then it can apply a “critical mass correction mechanism”.

The mechanism gives the commission the power to demand the member state with the shortfall to increase its contribution by 50 percent.

In this case, it would mean they would need to relocate or return 25 people.

“What that means is that we have corrected to ensure ‘critical mass’, ” said a commission official, noting the country under pressure will always get at least 70 percent of what was demanded.

Rights groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam International were unimpressed, however, with both describing the proposals as one that shores up walls and defences against asylum seekers and refugees.

“The commission has bowed to pressure from EU governments whose only objective is to decrease the number of people granted protection in Europe,”said Marissa Ryan, head of Oxfam’s EU office.

Similar comments were given by Amnesty, who said the EU scheme will do little to help those most in need.

*


EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link.

Differences were laid bare among EU countries on the link between respect for rule of law and EU funding on Tuesday (22 September).

EU affairs ministers discussed negotiations between member states and the European Parliament on the bloc’s seven-year budget and its pandemic recovery fund, where rule-of-law conditionality has been one of the key political disagreements.

The conditionality was also one of the main hurdles EU leaders had to overcome at their summit in late July, when it took them five days to strike a deal on the budget and recovery package.

Having produced a vague compromise in July, divisions among EU governments remained between those who want the possibility to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not being respected in a given country, and those who want to narrow the conditionality down to fraud and corruption.

Ministers from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden spoke about the need for an “effective” mechanism.

“We really need a direct link between EU funding and adherence to the principles of rule of law,” Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said.

“This is more than only protecting the budget against fraud and corruption,” he added.

While the ministers from Denmark and Sweden acknowledged that the basis of the final mechanism needs to be based on the deal struck by EU leaders, they also warned against moving an inch away from that.

“We simply can not accept any watering down of the mechanism,” Finland’s EU minister Tytti Tuppurainen warned.

Hungary and Poland, however, had threatened to block the €1.8 trillion budget and recovery fund, if the new conditions become too strict and have a broader link to the respect for the rule of law.

And a delay in unlocking the economic stimulus is a no-go for most member states.

Poland’s EU affairs minister Konrad Szymański said on Tuesday that the legislation on rule-of-law conditionality should stick to the leaders’ agreement.

“The European Council [EU leaders’s summit] did not support the conditionality as proposed by the commission in 2018, otherwise we would see a clear reference to this,” he said, referring to the European Commission’s original, tougher proposal.

He said the new legislative proposal should “address the flaws” of the 2018 proposal.

“We cannot accept any mechanism that is not legally sound, circumvents treaties, undermines institutional balance, proposes disproportionate measures, and could be used to exercise political pressure on member states,” he said.

Szymański was backed by Hungary’s justice minister Judit Varga, who said the “only task is to stick to leaders’ fragile compromise”.

“Those who want more or bigger, they all risk that very fragile compromise and the rapid adoption of the whole package,” she said.

Varga referred to EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s recentstate of the union speech , in which the German politician said such conditionality should protect against fraud, corruption, and conflict of interest, but did not go further.

And all that leaves the German EU presidency stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Four big political groups in the European Parliament, the centre-right EPP, the Socialists and Democrats, the liberal Renew and the Greens have said they would not approve the budget and recovery package unless there is a strong rule-of-law link.

The German EU presidency plans to come forward with its own version of a possible compromise by the end of the month in talks with MEPs.

Meanwhile, Hungary and Poland are already under EU scrutiny for violating European rules and values.

On Tuesday, ministers also discussed the state of play of the two, so-called ‘Article 7’ sanctions procedures against Warsaw and Budapest.

The commission said the situation had not improved in either of the two countries and that serious concerns persisted.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Unione Europea. Cipro blocca le sanzioni europarlamentari alla Bielorussia.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-09-14.

Cirpo 001

«Cyprus blocking EU sanctions on Belarus»

«Cyprus is holding hostage EU sanctions on Belarus in return for a new Turkey blacklist, EU sources said, as Greek and Turkish ministers traded harsh words in the European Parliament (EP)»

«The Cypriot president, Nicos Anastasiades, agreed, along with the 26 other EU leaders at a summit in August, to impose visa bans and asset freezes on Belarusian officials guilty of violence and election rigging»

«But in recent days, his diplomats in Brussels imposed a so-called “scrutiny reservation” on the move – a temporary veto – on grounds they needed to carry out technical checks before going ahead»

«Most member states have not been told what Anastasiades really wants»

«But some capitals have been given a new set of Turkish names he wants to add to an existing EU blacklist on Ankara over its oil and gas drilling in disputed Cypriot waters.»

«They [the Cypriots] said they’re checking details [on Belarus], but they’re not really checking anything …. They just want the others to agree to their new Turkey list first …. They’re trying to link the two issues, to adopt the Belarus and Turkey sanctions as a package»

«But at least one, German Green Reinhard Bütikofer, found Varvitsiotis “exceedingly polemical”»

«”Please, no more flags and maps,” the committee chair, German centre-right MEP David McAllister, said after some EU deputies objected to having Çavuşoğlu’s graphics on the EP video-screen. …. “If you have no patience to see the reality, I don’t have to show it, frankly speaking,” Çavuşoğlu replied.»

«”By defending one side, the EU has become a party to the conflict,” Çavuşoğlu said.»

* * * * * * *


Cerchiamo di riassumere, per quanto sia possibile.

Le ultime elezioni presidenziali in Bielorussia sono state definite fraudolente da parte dell’europarlamento della Unione Europea e perfettamente corrette dal resto del mondo, in primis Russia e Cina.

La componente di sinistra dell’europarlamento sostiene che in Bielorussia viga un regime dittatoriale, mentre gli altri affermano il contrario.

I liberal europei sostengono ed aiutano concretamente l’opposizione bielorussa, adesso in gran parte spostatasi all’estero, mentre la Russia ha rimarcato che sarebbe disposta all’intervento militare al fine di evitare rovesciamenti del quadro politico attuale.

Si noti infine come il voto europarlamentare di sanzioni dovrebbe essere riconfermato dalla Commissione Europea e, quindi, dal Consiglio Europeo.

* * *

Con un pil annualizzato del -14.7% e con una produzione industriale del -12.3%, l’europarlamento potrebbe meglio occuparsi della attuale crisi economica, ma grande è la tentazione di ergersi a giudice del proprio prossimo, di cercare visibilità politica, ed infine di trovarsi un qualche nemico esterno.

A questo punto emergono in tutta la loro evidenza le contraddizioni dell’Unione Europea.

Intanto, i liberal socialisti hanno perso la maggioranza che avevano avuto in passato, poi la trafila decisionale dell’Unione è un capolavoro di farraginosità.

Il caso attuale è patognomonico: uno stato microbico come Cipro, 1,141,166 abitanti al 2013, è legalmente in grado di bloccare l’intero iter parlamentare.

In poche parole, l’europarlamento è semplicemente impotente.  Al massimo potrebbe mettere sanzioni, che poi non sarebbe in grado di mantenere, a stati sovrani che le ignorerebbero tranquillamente.

Non comandano in casa propria, figurarsi poi in quelle altrui.

European Court of Justice. Sentenze obliate. Più castrata di un cappone.

*


Cyprus blocking EU sanctions on Belarus.

Cyprus is holding hostage EU sanctions on Belarus in return for a new Turkey blacklist, EU sources said, as Greek and Turkish ministers traded harsh words in the European Parliament (EP).

The Cypriot president, Nicos Anastasiades, agreed, along with the 26 other EU leaders at a summit in August, to impose visa bans and asset freezes on Belarusian officials guilty of violence and election rigging.

But in recent days, his diplomats in Brussels imposed a so-called “scrutiny reservation” on the move – a temporary veto – on grounds they needed to carry out technical checks before going ahead.

Most member states have not been told what Anastasiades really wants.

But some capitals have been given a new set of Turkish names he wants to add to an existing EU blacklist on Ankara over its oil and gas drilling in disputed Cypriot waters.

“They [the Cypriots] said they’re checking details [on Belarus], but they’re not really checking anything,” an EU source told EUobserver.

“They just want the others to agree to their new Turkey list first,” the source said.

“They’re trying to link the two issues, to adopt the Belarus and Turkey sanctions as a package”, a second EU source said.

A compromise was expected next week, the source added.

But a third EU source said Anastasiades was “unlikely” to get what he wanted.

One reason was because “at this stage, defusing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean is of greater importance”, the source said.

But a second reason was because some EU capitals felt sympathy for Turkey’s views.

The broader Mediterranean clash was “a very difficult territorial dispute based on competing claims that haven’t been resolved yet,” the EU source told this website.

And Anastasiades’ tactics were making him unpopular, the source indicated.

“It’s weird to agree to something [Belarus sanctions] at the highest political level and then to tie your agreement to a completely different political situation [the Turkey dispute],” the EU diplomat said.

Cypriot denial

The Belarus crisis has seen thousands of pro-democracy activists arrested, beaten, and tortured.

The Mediterranean one has seen Turkey send military convoys into Cypriot-claimed waters and, more recently, to Greece-claimed ones near a Greek island, prompting Greece to scramble its navy.

For its part, Cyprus denied it was trying to link Belarus and Turkey.

“We categorically deny that we have threatened to block the Belarus sanctions unless there is a tough package on Turkey. Cyprus from the very beginning recognised the gravity of the situation on Belarus,” a Cypriot source told this website.

There was EU “political consensus” for “both sanctions procedures, for Belarus and the eastern Mediterranean, to move swiftly ahead, in parallel,” the source added.

“It is standard practice for member states to study proposed listings and it is simply wrong to interpret the fact that we are currently studying the proposals made only a few days ago as an intention to block,” the Cypriot source said.

Meanwhile, the Greek deputy foreign minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, told MEPs in Brussels on Thursday that Athens wanted to resolve the Mediterranean problems via “dialogue”.

But he said Turkey must first withdraw its forces.

Varvitsiotis also called for new EU sanctions “designed to make the people of Turkey put pressure on their government to change course”.

In the meantime, the Greek military would not back down, he added.

“We’re going to defend ourselves alone if we have to,” he said.

There were 700 Greek inhabitants on the island beside the Turkish operation, he noted, and “we’re not going to say to these people: ‘Listen you’re not Greeks anymore. You don’t live in Greece’.”

Varvitsiotis held up a map of Turkish maritime claims which showed they amounted to control of half the Aegean Sea.

And he accused Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of “revisionist” territorial claims.

“He [Erdoğan] is trying to cultivate a populist, nationalist, and Islamic front and we should never forget that,” Varvitsiotis said.

Exceedingly polemical?

Most MEPs voiced solidarity.

But at least one, German Green Reinhard Bütikofer, found Varvitsiotis “exceedingly polemical”.

And the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who spoke to the same EP committee later on Thursday, held up his own map, which showed that Greek island maritime claims would mean Turkey “had no access to international waters” in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Please, no more flags and maps,” the committee chair, German centre-right MEP David McAllister, said after some EU deputies objected to having Çavuşoğlu’s graphics on the EP video-screen.

“If you have no patience to see the reality, I don’t have to show it, frankly speaking,” Çavuşoğlu replied.

“I’m proud of my ancestors’ [Ottoman] empire, but we have no intention to establish a state like this,” he said.

The EU foreign relations chief Josep Borrell and German foreign minister Heiko Maas were “shocked” and “very disappointed” when Greece announced a new maritime deal with Egypt in August, Çavuşoğlu added.

“Our warships have clear orders from the president of Turkey not to fire first”, he noted, but he urged Greece not to “harass” his vessels.

And Turkey’s top diplomat warned the EU against “blind solidarity” with its member states, no matter if they were right or wrong, in signs the dispute was getting worse.

“By defending one side, the EU has become a party to the conflict,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Consiglio Europeo. Hanno stanziato denari che non ci sono.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-07-22.

2020-07-21__Testo 013

Accordo sul Recovery Fund: all’Italia il 28%, 209 miliardi.

Gentiloni: “La decisione più importante dopo l’Euro”. Gualtieri: ‘Sì all’anticipo dei fondi’.

«I leader europei hanno raggiunto l’accordo sul Recovery Fund e il Bilancio Ue 2021-2027 al termine di un negoziato record durato quattro giorni e quattro notti, nel summit più lungo della storia dell’Unione Europea. ‘Una giornata storica per l’Europa’, secondo i protagonisti. Il fondo ha una dotazione di 750 miliardi, di cui 390 di sussidi. Il bilancio è stato fissato a 1.074 miliardi. ‘Con 209 miliardi l’Italia ha migliorato l’intervento a suo favore rispetto alla proposta originaria della presidente von der Leyen’, ha detto il premier Conte, aggiungendo che la costruzione di una task force per le riforme è la priorità, ‘perché dovrà partire al più presto’.»

«Il Recovery Fund ha una dotazione di 750 miliardi di euro, di cui 390 miliardi di sussidi. Il bilancio è stato fissato a 1.074 miliardi.»

*

Anche l’Europarlamento va convinto. Asticella altissima sul Recovery Fund.

«Davanti al Consiglio europeo, Sassoli elenca le condizioni dell’Aula a cui spetta l’ok finale sul fondo: risorse proprie, governance dei soldi affidata alla Commissione e all’Eurocamera, abolizione dei rebates. Punti irricevibili, intesa lontanissima.»

«Parlamento europeo, organismo cui spetta l’approvazione finale del piano anti-crisi da covid. Le asticelle fissate dal presidente dell’Eurocamera sono altissime»

* * * * * * *

C’è ben poco di cui cantare vittoria.

L’accordo raggiunto in Consiglio Europeo dovrebbe essere approvato dall’europarlamento, ma questo non è per nulla un passo scontato, anzi.

Ma questo è solo il primo degli ostacoli.

Qui si trova il testo dell’accordo, di cui ne riportiamo degli estratti.

«Al fine di dotare l’Unione dei mezzi necessari …. la Commissione sarà autorizzata a contrarre prestiti, per conto dell’Unione, sui mercati dei capitali»

«alla Commissione è conferito il potere di contrarre, per conto dell’Unione, prestiti sui mercati dei capitali fino a 750 miliardi di EUR a prezzi 2018»

«L’autorità di bilancio esercita il controllo politico, che deve essere definito di comune accordo tra il Parlamento europeo, il Consiglio e la Commissione»

«Data la necessità di erogare celermente il sostegno per la ripresa, è importante creare le condizioni adeguate per la rapida attuazione di progetti di investimento, in particolare nelle infrastrutture. La Commissione è invitata a presentare, prima del Consiglio europeo di ottobre, proposte in merito alle modalità per accelerare e agevolare le procedure negli Stati membri»

«I relativi pagamenti saranno effettuati entro il 31 dicembre 2026»

* * *

Riassumiamo.

– Il Consiglio Europeo, privo di risorse, ha deciso di autorizzare debiti sul mercato per 750 miliardi, sempre poi che li trovi.

– Sempre che l’europarlamento approvi, la metodologia di spesa, erogazione, dovrebbe essere decisa a fine ottobre.

– Resteranno sul groppone valanghe di debiti.

*

Ci si domanda quanto ci sia da esultare.

Quei fondi sembrerebbero essere una pallida chimera. Discutere su come spendere ciò che non si ha parrebbe una discussione sul sesso degli angeli.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Consiglio Europeo. Orban. Rutte pone anche la condizione del ‘rule of law’.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-07-21.

Moreau Gustave. Le chimere. 001

«New condition on funds would take weeks to discuss»

«Prime Minister Viktor Orban said other European Union leaders had rejected his proposal to speed up an ongoing rule of law procedure against Hungary, complicating talks to secure a deal on the bloc’s emergency pandemic funding»

«Hungary is against a Dutch motion that would require countries taking grants to agree to be bound by the rule of law»

«Orban said a new mechanism adding conditions to pandemic funds “would take a long time to be negotiated” because it’s a legal instrument. “We are not against it, let’s discuss it, but it takes weeks,”»

«The proposed rule of law mechanism is one of the key bottlenecks for EU leaders who have so far failed to unlock an agreement on a 750 billion-euro ($860 billion) response to the crisis»

* * * * * * *

Il problema è drammaticamente semplice ed al momento attuale non risolvibile.

La corrente dei liberal socialisti intende porre nel Consiglio Europeo come condizione preliminare all’erogazione dei fondi agli stati la loro completa adesione alla sua ideologia.

Tale visione era stata preannunciata da un documento dell’europarlamento.

Europarlamento. Diktat al Consiglio Europeo su Budget e Recovery Fund.

Erano state poste quattro condizioni irrinunciabili.

«Ma anche qualora il Consiglio Europeo trovasse un accordo, questo dovrebbe essere approvato dall’europarlamento. Questo augusto consesso ha di questi giorni rilasciato un vero e proprio Diktat, articolato in quattro punti, quattro condizioni non contrattabili.

– Accettazione incondizionata dell’ideologia liberal socialista come precondizione alle trattative.

– La prima è nessun taglio al bilancio: la prospettiva di una dotazione finanziaria più vicina all’1% del reddito nazionale dei 27 cumulato è respinta.

– La seconda condizione è prendere così com’è la proposta del piano anticrisi da 750 miliardi con l’attuale equilibrio: 500 per sovvenzioni a fondo perduto agli Stati più colpiti e 250 per prestiti a tassi di favore.

– La terza: introduzione rapida di almeno due nuove risorse proprie della Ue.

– Quarta condizione poteri di controllo sulle spese del Recovery Fund.»

* * * * * * *

Sotto questa luce, la possibilità di un accordo a 27 diventa ancor più remota.

*


Orban Says EU Leaders Rejected His Rule-of-Law Demands.

New condition on funds would take weeks to discuss, Orban says

Talks enter third day for emergency stimulus deal in Brussels

*

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said other European Union leaders had rejected his proposal to speed up an ongoing rule of law procedure against Hungary, complicating talks to secure a deal on the bloc’s emergency pandemic funding.

Hungary is against a Dutch motion that would require countries taking grants to agree to be bound by the rule of law, Orban said on the sidelines of a debate between EU leaders in Brussels on Sunday. He said the EU should instead pursue the rule of law procedure against Hungary that began in 2018, while channeling resources as quickly as possible to fight the economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Orban said a new mechanism adding conditions to pandemic funds “would take a long time to be negotiated” because it’s a legal instrument. “We are not against it, let’s discuss it, but it takes weeks,” he said.

The proposed rule of law mechanism is one of the key bottlenecks for EU leaders who have so far failed to unlock an agreement on a 750 billion-euro ($860 billion) response to the crisis.

“I think we have a good chance to make a deal,” Orban said, adding an agreement was “not about Hungary, but about Europe.” Orban also said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was the one who could block an accord. “If there is a break, it’s because of him, not because of me,” he said.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Europarlamento. Merkel predica il suo credo, ma sono ben pochi i convertiti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-07-15.

Buco nell'acqua. Lago Berryessa. California. 001

Buco nell’acqua. Lago Berryessa. California.


«La cancelliera tedesca Angela Merkel, in apertura del suo discorso alla plenaria dell’Europarlamento a Bruxelles. Merkel, al suo primo viaggio all’estero dai mesi del lockdown, ha riepilogato i punti-chiave del semestre Ue a guida tedesca: diritti, coesione, clima, digitalizzazione e responsabilità della Ue nel mondo»

«Dobbiamo cambiare l’Europa, se vogliamo preservarla. La nostra economia è stata colpita violentemente dal virus»

«La cancelliera ha invitato a una maggiore coesione, dichiarando che il principio-guida della presidenza tedesca sarà la maggiore solidarietà fra i paesi Ue»

«La cancelliera ha invitato a una maggiore coesione, dichiarando che il principio-guida della presidenza tedesca sarà la maggiore solidarietà fra i paesi Ue»

«le posizioni degli stati sono distanti su Recovery fund e bilancio settennale»

«Dobbiamo andare verso un’economia a emissioni zero. Per me è importante che la neutralità del clima, come obiettivo, venga formalizzata in maniera giuridica»

«La cancelliera ha poi sposato la linea della vicepresidente della Commissione Margrethe Vestager sulla web tax, la tassa sui ricavi dei colossi del digitale»

«La sfida è enorme. Questa crisi è peggiore di quella di 10 anni fa»

«La ripresa economica è inseparabile dal Green deal e dalla digitalizzazione» ha poi aggiunto von der Leyen, chiedendo agli eurodeputati di non trascurate il bilancio pluriennale»

«Polemico il primo intervento dei capigruppo, a opera del leader del Ppe Manfred Weber: «L’Europa non è un bancomat, sia detto con chiarezza come saranno rimborsati i soldi del Recovery fund. Servono risorse proprie». Dacian Cioloș, leader dei liberali di Renew Europe, ha incalzato Merkel per la tutela della democrazia, minacciata anche «da figure interne al suo partito (il Ppe, ndr) come Viktor Orban».»

«Arriva l’attacco diretto di Jörg Meuthen, esponente tedesco del gruppo di ultradestra Identità e Democrazia: «Lei porta alla tomba l’idea di Europa – ha detto – Con ideologie socialiste prendete i soldi ai cittadini»»

* * * * * * *

Con la presidenza Merkel emergono alcuni fatti nuovi.

Sui temi caldi da discutere al consiglio Europeo prossimo venturo, oltre al fronte degli stati ‘virtuosi’ emerge la durissima posizione di altre parti politiche trasversali.

«il leader del Ppe Manfred Weber: «L’Europa non è un bancomat, sia detto con chiarezza come saranno rimborsati i soldi del Recovery fund. Servono risorse proprie».»

Ma Herr Manfred Weber è un popolare tedesco, di origine Cdu, proprio il partito di Frau Merkel.

«Dacian Cioloș, leader dei liberali di Renew Europe, ha incalzato Merkel per la tutela della democrazia, minacciata anche da figure interne al suo partito (il Ppe, ndr)»

Jörg Meuthen di Identità e Democrazia:

«Lei porta alla tomba l’idea di Europa. …. Con ideologie socialiste prendete i soldi ai cittadini»

* * *

Si possono nutrire serissimi dubbi che Frau Merkel abbia una presidenza proficua e serena.

*


Merkel: «Serve accordo su Recovery Fund, sosterremo 500 mld per il fondo». Von der Leyen: crisi peggiore di 10 anni fa.

Alle 18 l’incontro fra i quattro presidenti della Ue per fare il punto sul negoziato sul bilancio Ue 2021-2027 in vista del Consiglio del 17-18 luglio.

«Dobbiamo cambiare l’Europa, se vogliamo preservarla. La nostra economia è stata colpita violentemente dal virus». Così la cancelliera tedesca Angela Merkel, in apertura del suo discorso alla plenaria dell’Europarlamento a Bruxelles. Merkel, al suo primo viaggio all’estero dai mesi del lockdown, ha riepilogato i punti-chiave del semestre Ue a guida tedesca: diritti, coesione, clima, digitalizzazione e responsabilità della Ue nel mondo. «La nostra economia europea è stata fortemente scossa, milioni di posti di lavoro si sono persi, i cittadini hanno vissuto la paura della propria sopravvivenza economica e ora hanno bisogno del nostro sostegno» ha aggiunto la cancelliera.

Merkel: i diritti valgono per tutti. L’Europa più forte se rafforziamo coesione

Merkel si è soffermata sul tema dei diritti, sottolineando come la sospensione delle libertà nel vivo della pandemia non debba diventare un precedente per «svuotare» i principi democratici. La cancelliera ha invitato a una maggiore coesione, dichiarando che il principio-guida della presidenza tedesca sarà la maggiore solidarietà fra i paesi Ue.

Recovery fund: bene proposta Commissione, ora accordo entro l’estate

Merkel è tornata anche sul dibattito sul recovery fund, già anticipato in conferenza stampa. «Bene che la Commissione abbia aderito a proposta franco-tedesca – ha detto – Serve una intesa, spero entro l’estate, abbiamo davanti l’abisso per la nostra economia. Sosteniamo la dote da 500 miliardi per tutta l’Europa». In un secondo momento, rispondendo agli interventi dei capigruppo (si legga sotto), Merkel ha riconosciuto che «le posizioni degli stati sono distanti» su Recovery fund e bilancio settennale. La cancelliera ha anche annunciato un rafforzamento del programma Garanzia Giovani, nell’ottica di un interesse attivo per il futuro di giovani e bambini.

Clima, obiettivo emissioni zero. La Ue sia sovrana nel digitale e avanti con Web tax

«Dobbiamo andare verso un’economia a emissioni zero. Per me è importante che la neutralità del clima, come obiettivo, come venga formalizzata in maniera giuridica. La tappa del 2050 è intermedia». Merkel ha ribadito anche il peso di una rivoluzione tecnologica della Ue, rivendicando l’urgenza della «sovranità digitale» della Ue su materie come intelligenza artificiale e quantistica, oltre alla «protezione della fake news». La cancelliera ha poi sposato la linea della vicepresidente della Commissione Margrethe Vestager sulla web tax, la tassa sui ricavi dei colossi del digitale: 

Brexit, accordo entro l’anno. Non voltiamo lo sguardo sulle migrazioni

Merkel ha poi parlato delle «responsabilità» della Ue nel mondo, ovvero il quadro di alleanze e relazioni internazionali del blocco comunitario. Merkel ha auspicato un accordo sulla Brexit entro l’anno, anche se «eufemisticamente» sono stato compiuti pochissimi progressi. La cancelliera ha invitato poi i partner a «non voltare lo sguardo» su un’altra urgenza in agenda del semestre, le migrazioni.

Von der Leyen: sfida enorme, crisi peggiore di quella di 10 anni fa

«La sfida è enorme. Questa crisi è peggiore di quella di 10 anni fa». La presidente della Commissione, Ursula von der Leyen, ha commentato così il semestre tedesco inaugurato da Angela Merkel a Bruxelles. Von der Leyen ha ribadito l’importanza di approvare in tempi rapidi Next Generation Eu, il pacchetto da 750 miliardi previsto dall’esecutivo per il bilancio comunitario. «La ripresa economica è inseparabile dal Green deal e dalla digitalizzazione» ha poi aggiunto von der Leyen, chiedendo agli eurodeputati di «non trascurate il bilancio pluriennale». Von der Leyen ha anche parlato dei rapporti della Ue con i partner internazionali: «Partenariato con l’Africa sempre fondamentale -ha detto – Mentre con la Cina serve un rapporto più equilibrato. E ora bisogna inaugurare la Conferenza sul futuro d’Europa».

Weber (PPE): l’Europa non è un bancomat

Polemico il primo intervento dei capigruppo, a opera del leader del Ppe Manfred Weber: «L’Europa non è un bancomat, sia detto con chiarezza come saranno rimborsati i soldi del Recovery fund. Servono risorse proprie». Dacian Cioloș, leader dei liberali di Renew Europe, ha incalzato Merkel per la tutela della democrazia, minacciata anche «da figure interne al suo partito (il Ppe, ndr) come Viktor Orban». Arriva l’attacco diretto di Jörg Meuthen, esponente tedesco del gruppo di ultradestra Identità e Democrazia: «Lei porta alla tomba l’idea di Europa – ha detto – Con ideologie socialiste prendete i soldi ai cittadini».

Recovery fund: serve un accordo

«Il Consiglio europeo deve prima giungere a un risultato» sul Recovery Fund e «poi dobbiamo lavorare insieme al Parlamento europeo», aveva già sottolineato Merkel durante un punto stampa a Bruxelles insieme al presidente del Parlamento Ue, David Sassoli, prima dell’inizio della plenaria. Per «affrontare le conseguenze» della pandemia e «trovare la risposta giusta» alla recessione «abbiamo bisogno di un accordo su strumenti che siano affidabili per il quadro finanziario pluriennale», ha detto Merkel.

Alle 18 è previsto l’incontro fra i quattro presidenti della Ue convocato da Ursula von der Leyen per fare il punto sul negoziato sul bilancio Ue 2021-2027 in vista del Consiglio europeo del 17-18 luglio. La presidente della Commissione ha convocato i presidenti del Consiglio europeo Charles Michel, Merkel e il presidente del Parlamento Ue David Sassoli. Si tratta di appuntamenti importanti per capire lo stato delle discussioni tra i governi sul pacchetto piano di rilancio economico-bilancio pluriennale della Ue.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Europarlamento. Diktat al Consiglio Europeo su Budget e Recovery Fund.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-07-14.

EP-051364A_Tajani_Brexit

La gestione del blocco europeo ha un meccanismo così complesso e farraginoso da renderlo nella pratica ingovernabile.

Di questi tempi si assiste al braccio di ferro tra gli stati per cercare di definire budget e Recovery Fund quasi impossibile trovare la quadra nel Consiglio Europeo.

Ma anche qualora il Consiglio Europeo trovasse un accordo, questo dovrebbe essere approvato dall’europarlamento. Questo augusto consesso ha di questi giorni rilasciato un vero e proprio Diktat, articolato in quattro punti, quattro condizioni non contrattabili.

– La prima è nessun taglio al bilancio: la prospettiva di una dotazione finanziaria più vicina all’1% del reddito nazionale dei 27 cumulato è respinta.

– La seconda condizione è prendere così com’è la proposta del piano anticrisi da 750 miliardi con l’attuale equilibrio: 500 per sovvenzioni a fondo perduto agli Stati più colpiti e 250 per prestiti a tassi di favore.

– La terza: introduzione rapida di almeno due nuove risorse proprie della Ue.

– Quarta condizione poteri di controllo sulle spese del Recovery Fund.

* * *

In sintesi, il blocco europeo non deciderà mai nulla.

*


Parlamento Ue: quattro condizioni per dire sì ad accordo dei 27 per rilancio post Covid-19.

Un accordo tra i governi al Consiglio europeo non è l’accordo definitivo. Subito dopo la fumata bianca al vertice Ue – se ci sarà – sarà la volta del negoziato con il Parlamento. Ecco un’indicazione degli Eurodeputati che i Ventisette non dovrebbero prendere alla leggera affinchè la difficile trattativa sul piano per la ripresa economica (750 miliardi proposti con l’emissione di obbligazioni comunitarie più ampia della storia europea) e sul bilancio 2021-2027 (altri 1.100 miliardi per 7 anni proposti dalla Commissione) possa andare in porto. Una ovvietà, naturalmente, essendo noto che il Parlamento europeo avrà l’ultima parola sul quadro finanziario pluriennale dell’Unione.

Merkel, lavorare al massimo in uno spirito di compromesso

Angela Merkel è stata avvertita quando si è presentata nell’emiciclo di Bruxelles al primo confronto con i deputati in qualità di presidente di turno della Ue. D’altra parte, il monito della cancelliera ad abbandonare le “linee rosse” invalicabili, a lavorare al massimo in uno spirito di compromesso non era rivolto solo ai soliti “frugali” (Olanda, Austria, Svezia e Danimarca), all’Est recalcitrante perché timoroso di perdere punti (cioè dotazioni finanziarie) per la coesione e l’agricoltura, al “fronte” del Sud (Italia compresa) affinchè accetti alcuni dei punti di vista del Nord (e anche di Berlino) su una supervisione stretta da parte dei governi sull’uso degli aiuti anticrisi (più stretta di quanto proposto da von der Leyen).

Quel monito era rivolto anche al Parlamento, che a grande maggioranza ritiene le proposte della Commissione una base di partenza e non una base dalla quale si può (si deve) andare indietro. Basti pensare che la proposta originaria degli eurodeputati prima del Covid-19 era di avere un bilancio 2021-2027 di circa 1.300 miliardi di euro e oggi si tratta di 1.100 con tendenza al ribasso.

Le 4 condizioni poste sul tavolo

Il presidente David Sassoli lo ha ricordato agli altri “presidenti” Ue Merkel, von der Leyen e Michel: gli eurodeputati pongono sul tavolo del negoziato quattro condizioni per il via libera. La prima è nessun taglio al bilancio: la prospettiva di una dotazione finanziaria più vicina all’1% del reddito nazionale dei 27 cumulato è respinta. La seconda condizione è prendere così com’è la proposta del piano anticrisi da 750 miliardi con l’attuale equilibrio: 500 per sovvenzioni a fondo perduto agli Stati più colpiti e 250 per prestiti a tassi di favore. La terza: introduzione rapida di almeno due nuove risorse proprie della Ue.

Nel 2018 la Commissione aveva lanciato l’idea di un tributo nazionale per ogni chilo di plastica contenuto in imballaggi non riciclati. Poi si pensa all’estensione delle risorse proprie basate sul sistema di scambio di quote di emissioni inquinanti ai settori marittimo e aereo. Quarta condizione poteri di controllo sulle spese del Recovery Fund: occorre un accordo tra le istituzioni Ue per garantire che ogni nuovo strumento di bilancio anticrisi ricada sotto la supervisione parlamentare.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

I soliti maligni sussurrano che sia BlackRock triturare i socialisti europei.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-13.

Giulio Romano. Mantova. Palazzo Te. Caduta dei Giganti. 002 Particolare

L’importante non è possedere.

L’importante è poter disporre.

«conta chi governa i consigli di amministrazione»

*


Blackrock. Mr Fink, il vero padrone del mondo.

Blackrock è la più grande società di investimenti a livello mondiale e gestisce direttamente oltre 6,300 miliardi di dollari. Ma questo è solo la punta di iceberg.

«Attraverso BlackRock Solutions – risultato di continui investimenti in sistemi tecnologici integrati altamente sofisticati – BlackRock offre soluzioni di gestione del rischio e piattaforme d’investimento ad un’ampia rosa di clienti istituzionali, detentori di un patrimonio complessivo di oltre 7.000 miliardi di dollari.»

Più tutto il resto.

Fondata da Robert S. Kapito e da Laurence Fink nel 1988, ha basato il suo successo su alcune semplicissime considerazioni.

– Una società di investimenti può ammaliare un potenziale cliente, ma se non lo fa guadagnare perde sia il cliente sia il suo entourage. I clienti soddisfatti sono fedeli e portano immediatamente altri clienti. Il guadagno assicurato è la migliore forma pubblicitaria possibile.

– Gli investimenti devono essere copiosi, fruttiferi e stabili nel tempo. Quindi, pochissimo mordi e fuggi. Solo investimenti strategici. La platea deve essere semplicemente il mondo.

– Tipicamente, si rileva un pacchetto di compartecipazione in una società produttiva sana. Non un pacchetto di maggioranza, sarebbe troppo oneroso, ma di dimensioni tali da poter nominare membri nel cda e da poter influenzare la condotta della società stessa.

– Le società delle quali BlackRock detiene una partecipazione azionaria formano un network virtuale di aziende sane e redditizie, che si spalleggiano le une con le altre. Per esempio, una società produttrice utilizzerà delle banche ove sia presente Blackrock, si servirà da fornitori Blackrock, venderà ad utilizzatori Blackrock.

– Ma la idea portante è utilizzare il denaro degli altri, ossia degli investitori, per ottenere il condizionamento del cda di una società, obbligandolo alla generazione di reddito da ripartire tra gli azionisti ed alle norme comportamentali su riportate. La conditio sine qua non è una gestione impeccabile di quanto conferito. A nessuno mai interesserà come il denaro sia investito purché esso frutti utili copiosi.

– La onestà di comportamento nei confronti degli investitori che hanno conferito il loro denaro da gestire è il cuore del comportamento di BlackRock, e ne condiziona eticamente ogni azione. Infatti nessun investimento dura nel tempo se è utilizzato in modo improprio.

– Nella realtà dei fatti, BlackRock ha introdotto una filosofia di investimenti volta sicuramente al profitto, ma molto di più al controllo: in altri termini, al potere.  Non solo. Se è difficile entrare nel suo organico, è facilissimo uscirne: le progressioni di carriera sono fortemente meritocratiche, basate solo sui risultati ottenuti. Si viene così a formare una scuola dirigenziale di elevato valore, che potrebbe in ogni momento transitare alla politica surclassando i classici candidati mediatici. In altri termini: è un nuovo modo di fare politica.

– Da ultimo, ma non certo per ultimo, Mr Fink ha il discretissimo accesso a tutte le inside di ciascuna azienda di cui BlackRock detiene azioni, e ce le ha ancora quando esse sono discusse. Un potere enorme, degno del servizio informativo di una grande superpotenza mondiale.

Mr Laurence Fink è il vero, reale quanto discreto, padrone del mondo.

* * * * * * *

Il 1° gennaio 2000 una azione BlackRock valeva 17.5$: oggi ne vale 501.02: un caso più unico che raro.

Ad oggi amministra e gestisce oltre 7,000 miliardi di Usd.

Adesso i liberal socialisti dell’europarlamento si stanno domandando se non sia BlackRock ad interferire con i loro programmi oramai dépassé, a partire dal ‘clima’.

*

«Recently, the European Commission selected BlackRock, one of the most powerful financial companies, which manages over €6 trillion in assets, and known to be a key investor in fossil fuels, to provide paid advice on the integration of social and environmental objectives into European banking regulation»

«Not a good match»

«Given the prominent role expected from private finance in the European Green Deal, we seem to be off to a bad start»

«According to the Green Deal, new rules are needed for banks – many of whom are major investors in fossil fuels»

«Dirty investments need to be discouraged, green investments must be facilitated»

«What BlackRock is now asked to do is to set the agenda for that debate, and they will even be paid €280,000 to influence the reform agenda for the financial sector.»

«They are awarded contracts from central banks, from governments all over the world and in the EU, it seems they have acquired a special status»

«That’s not a bad position for a financial powerhouse like BlackRock which is heavily invested in fossil-fuel companies and banks with big shares in a ‘brown economy’»

«It is the world’s biggest investor in fossil fuels with over $87.3bn in shares across the industry and share holdings in coal plant developers alone are worth $17.6bn.»

«Crucially, it has a stake in most big European banks»

«BlackRock’s advice runs the risk of being strongly-biased and could derail the debate on a crucial element of the EU’s strategy on sustainable finance.»

«the inclination of the European Commission to base its legislative proposals on banking regulation from advice from financial giants themselves.»

* * * * * * *

Poveri liberal socialisti europei!

Si credevano di essere i padroni luminari del mondo, di essere così forti da poter imporre a tutti la loro Weltanschauung, e stanno diventando segatura della storia.

Coronavirus seppellisce l’EU Green Deal. Riposa con i fu liberal.

Babis, PM ceko, vuole annullare il Green Deal per combattere il coronavirus.

New Industry Plan. Pochi fondi e niente green. Gli ululati dei liberals.

Romania. Il Green Deal è una ‘true religion’. Il gesto del dito.

Green Deal addio! Le Fiandre negano la firma del Progetto.

“Se il coronavirus contraddice il Green Deal,

tanto peggio per il coronavirus”.

Però si ricordi che

«The Green Deal needs EU unanimity to go ahead.»

*

Nota.

Il bilancio di BlackRock è trentacinque volte maggiore di quello dell’Unione Europea, e Mr Fink ne dispone a vista.

*

Is BlackRock setting agenda for EU climate policies?

Recently, the European Commission selected BlackRock, one of the most powerful financial companies, which manages over €6 trillion in assets, and known to be a key investor in fossil fuels, to provide paid advice on the integration of social and environmental objectives into European banking regulation. Not a good match.

Given the prominent role expected from private finance in the European Green Deal, we seem to be off to a bad start.

According to the Green Deal, new rules are needed for banks – many of whom are major investors in fossil fuels.

One of the arguments is that the risk inherent in such investments needs to be recognised fully in the rules, if we are to facilitate a transition to a greener economy.

Dirty investments need to be discouraged, green investments must be facilitated.

This makes the coming proposal on the integration of environmental, social and governance related objectives (ESG) into banking regulation, so important.

What BlackRock is now asked to do is to set the agenda for that debate, and they will even be paid €280,000 to influence the reform agenda for the financial sector.

That begs the question how BlackRock can be regarded as a consultant and advisor?

They are awarded contracts from central banks, from governments all over the world and in the EU, it seems they have acquired a special status.

Setting the agenda?

A couple of years back they provided the EU institutions for example with advice on EU stress tests for banks, and even participated in the auditing of banks. It advised the commission on the new EU Individual Retirement Savings Product (PEPP), and can enjoy the benefits of the market is being created.

And now this – a new contract on the environmental, social and social governance (ESG) is a new milestone in the category ‘conflicts of interest’.

That’s not a bad position for a financial powerhouse like BlackRock which is heavily invested in fossil-fuel companies and banks with big shares in a ‘brown economy’.

It is the world’s biggest investor in fossil fuels with over $87.3bn in shares across the industry and share holdings in coal plant developers alone are worth $17.6bn.

Crucially, it has a stake in most big European banks. For that, BlackRock has a vested interest in how, for example, environmental objectives are built into European banking rules.

These investments obviously have a bearing on the opinions voiced by BlackRock, and they steer the fund’s lobbying campaigns in the European Union and elsewhere.

By itself or in coalitions with other financial giants, it has spoken out consistently against a plethora of moves towards a more sustainable financial system, including some that are intimately linked with the consultancy work it is now paid to do for the commission.

It is not difficult to see the strong conflict of interest, and it can hardly have escaped the attention of the commission.

BlackRock’s advice runs the risk of being strongly-biased and could derail the debate on a crucial element of the EU’s strategy on sustainable finance.

The fact that BlackRock still won this contract, in spite of already having lobbied against strong rules on sustainable finance in the EU institutions, shows the EU commission accepting and facilitating undue influence from the financial sector.

It follows a classic pattern: the commission seems to believe that the perfect advisers are to be found in the ranks of the very sector that is under discussion.

In this way, the contract is only the tip of the iceberg.

It confirms a pattern that we have to do away with: the inclination of the European Commission to base its legislative proposals on banking regulation from advice from financial giants themselves.

There is now a lot of protest building, both inside the European Parliament and outside.

A group of MEPs from groups representing a comfortable majority have started challenging the commission, and almost one hundred civil society organisations ask in a joint letter, coordinated by the Change Finance coalition, that the European Commission cancels the contract.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Europarlamento. Adesso se la prende anche con la Repubblica Ceka.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-11.

Repubblica Ceka 002

I membri dell’europarlamento presentano una severa sindrome depressiva.

Già da tempo la Commissione Europea ed il Consiglio Europeo fanno orecchi da mercante a tutti i loro lai: li trattano come se non esistessero.

Poi, di questi giorni:

Beschlüsse der EZB zum Staatsanleihekaufprogramm kompetenzwidrig.

La Bundesverfassungsgerichts, Corte Costituzionale tedesca, ha stabilito che la sua autorità si estende anche sulle sentenze emesse dalla Corte Europea di Strasburgo, rovesciando così l’ardita interpretazione dei Trattati che le corti di giustizia europea sentenziassero in modo inappellabile dalle corti degli stati afferenti l’Unione.

Questa sentenza è un durissimo colpo ai liberal socialisti dell’europarlamento: la Germania si è schierata con gli identitari sovranisti, quali Polonia ed Ungheria. Non solo, renderà ancor più difficili le trattative della Brexit, visto che avrebbero voluto imporre al Regno Unito il predominio di quella Corte Europea di Giustizia dalla quale gli inglesi erano fuggiti.

Già anche senza questa sentenza i liberal socialisti se la passavano male: cercavano di demonizzare Polonia ed Ungheria, colpevoli di non aver accettato la loro ideologia.

Europarlamento e liberal tornano alla carica e si pigliano una mazzata nei denti.

*

Adesso stanno cercando un po’ di visibilità attaccando Mr Babis, il primo ministro ceko, che condannano sulla base dl sentito dire, come da loro abitudine consolidata.

«Czech prime minister Andrej Babis should not take part in the negotiations on the next seven-year EU budget because of his potential conflict of interests and possible misuse of EU funds»

«If the conflict of interest is confirmed».

L’inglese è lingua avara del modo condizionale, che usa quasi con riluttanza. Mr Babis non dovrebbe partecipare al Consiglio Europeo, ma solo se ‘the conflict of interest is confirmed‘. E poi: lo dicono loro, mica i Trattati. Infine, se al popolo ceko Mr Babis va bene, e se lo sono eletto, cosa dovrebbe importare ai liberal socialisti dell’europarlamento?

Poveri liberal! Orfani dell’European Green Deal da oltre mille miliardi che non c’erano, sberleffati sul ‘rule of law‘ contestato addirittura dalla Germania, ed adesso derisi persino dalla tranquilla Repubblica Ceka.

Cascami della storia, in attesa di essere tumulati in una fossa comune.

*


MEPs: Czech PM Babis can’t be in budget talks.

Czech prime minister Andrej Babis should not take part in the negotiations on the next seven-year EU budget because of his potential conflict of interests and possible misuse of EU funds, MEPs said Wednesday (7 May).

MEPs on the European Parliament’s budget control committee overseeing the spending of EU funds said Babis should “fully resolve” his potential conflict of interests before participating in budget talks.

If the conflict of interest is confirmed, MEPs said that Babis, a billionaire tycoon, should sell his business interests, stop receiving any public subsidies including EU funds, or step down as prime minister.

Babis is under scrutiny over millions of euros of EU funds paid to Agrofert, a food, farming, chemicals and media conglomerate he owned, and whose ownership he transferred to two trust funds in 2017.

The EU commission and its fraud agency have been investigating, and according to leaked reports last year the EU executive confirmed the conflict of interest. Babis has denied any wrongdoing.

MEPs on Wednesday in a report summed up their mission to Prague in February to find out about how authorities protect EU funds.

“Mr Babis should not be involved in the next MFF [budget] negotiations,” MEP Monika Hohlmeier, the chair of the committee, stated.

Hohlmeier said their concerns have “probably got a little deeper rather being alleviated in any way” with every meeting on the mission.

“The suspensions that we had going to Prague were substantiated, and we have quite a lot of worries that money is not reaching where it should reach,” MEP Daniel Freund said.

“We have the extraordinary situation in the Czech Republic that the prime minister is the biggest beneficiary of EU funds in the country, that is a situation we need to resolve as quickly as possible,” the German MEP added.

He said it was a matter of regret that the Czech government still had not replied to the commission’s audit, while the conflict of interest continues to exist unchecked.

Freund said the commission should come out with the finalised audit report as quickly as possible.

He argued that EU leaders should enforce EU rules and refuse to sit down with Babis to negotiate the budget.

The MEPs’ report calls for a better control in the Czech Republic on the conflict of interest – which is currently only based on a ‘declaration of honour’ with no follow-up.

MEPs said they found “oligarchic structures are fostered by an opaque system of dispersed control and lack of overview and responsibility for conflicts of interest.”

The MEPs also highlighted the Czech court of auditors’ limited competences, arguing it needs to be able to perform systematic on-the-spot checks of final beneficiaries.

“No government body was able to tell us who is exactly in charge of investigating these conflicts,” MEP Sandor Ronai said.

Babis and the agriculture minister Miroslav Toman cancelled their meeting with the delegation.

Police protection in Prague

The MEPs Prague trip saw them subject to personal attacks.

“I have never been so aggressively attacked by a prime minister [Babis] or had that be the case for colleagues,” Hohlmeier said.

“It went as far as colleagues needing police protection. I have never seen this in any other member state,” she said.

Babis, whose ANO party belongs to the liberal Renew group, labelled as traitors Czech members of the mission, MEP Tomas Zdechovsky from centre-right EPP and Mikulas Peksa from the Greens.

In its budget proposal, the commission proposed linking the disbursement of EU funds to the rule of law and the sound implementation of EU spending.

But the commission has been traditionally reluctant to shame governments that oversee misuse of EU funds.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Europarlamento e liberal tornano alla carica e si pigliano una mazzata nei denti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-01.

Vincent van Gogh - Vecchio che soffre

«Il Pil dell’Eurozona rischia di subire una contrazione del 15% e i leader europei hanno fatto troppo poco e agito troppo in ritardo. Questo l’avvertimento che la presidente della Bce, Christine Lagarde, avrebbe lanciato ai leader Ue – secondo quanto riferisce Bloomberg citando due fonti – durante la riunione in videoconferenza dei leader dell’Unione Europea» [Ansa].

E di cosa mai si sta occupando l’europarlamento? Di cosa mai?

*

Ecco gli aggiornamenti al 1° maggio.

Green European Journal. Unlimited Powers in the Time of the Pandemic

«Understanding the current situation in Hungary is made even more complicated by the fact that governments in many countries are using extraordinary powers to various degrees as a result of the crisis. Nevertheless, nowhere apart from Hungary are the powers so extraordinary and unlimited in time. In this respect, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has so far appeared weak, lacking in shrewdness and experience at the highest level. Europe now needs a leader with an image built on leadership, strength, and authority»

*

 EU Observer. Jourova: Hungary decree law does not break EU rules yet

Hungary’s recently-adopted emergency measures giving the government indefinite rule-by-decree powers do not warrant EU scrutiny yet, EU commission vice-president Vera Jourova said Wednesday. She added, however, that the context of persistent concerns over Hungary’s democratic backsliding “is increasing the concerns when we look at the emergency law”. “We are following how the Hungarian government is using the very wide discretionary powers,” Jourova added.

*

EU Observer. Polish law ‘undermining basis of EU legal order’.

The European Commission has opened a fourth legal case in its bid to stop Poland from crashing out of the EU’s legal order.

A new Polish law, which entered into force on 14 February, “undermines the independence of Polish judges,” EU values commissioner Věra Jourová said in Brussels on Wednesday (29 April). ….

*

«Hungary’s recently-adopted emergency measures giving the government indefinite rule-by-decree powers do not warrant EU scrutiny yet»

Hanno fatto un altro buco nell’acqua. Consiglio Europeo e Commissione li lasciano blatterare e non li considerano più in nulla. Di seguito faremo un po’ di storia, utile per comprendere quanto sta accadendo.


Nell’Unione Europea sta procedendo silenziosamente l’opera di contenimento dell’europarlamento da parte del Consiglio Europeo, consesso dei capi di stato e di governo, cui compete la direzione politica ed economica dell’Unione.

Ricordiamo come i liberal abbiano una instabile quanto risicata maggioranza nell’europarlamento e come EU Observer sia il loro organo di stampa.

*

I liberal odiano di odio ideologico, inter alias perché odiano quasi tutti, Polonia ed Ungheria, stati cristiani, identitari e sovranisti. Essendo impotenti ad agire, sfogano su EU Observer la loro rabbia.

«The EU’s justice commissioner Didier Reynders told MEPs on Thursday (23 April) that the bloc’s executive is concerned about both emergency measures in Hungary, and the non-postponement of the upcoming presidential election in Poland»

«However, the commissioner did not unveil any action the executive might take to follow up on their concerns»

«The emergency powers granted appear to be more extensive then in other member states considering the combined effect of broadly defined powers and the absence of a clear time limit»

«The criminalisation of stating or spreading false information related to the crisis is not clearly defined and accompanied by strict sanctions, it raises concerns regarding legal certainty and freedom of expression»

«Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s two-thirds majority in the Budapest parliament last month granted sweeping powers to his government»

«Orban allies argued the new powers can be revoked anytime by the parliament, but the government enjoys a two-thirds majority in the parliament, making it their prerogative alone to end the emergency»

«He said the commission will closely scrutinise how the measures are applied, and the commission will see “if there is some reason to act”, including launching a probe, the so-called infringement procedures»

«Reynders has also voiced concern over the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government plans to go ahead with the 10 May presidential elections via postal ballot, despite the pandemic»

«PiS-ally and incumbent president, Andrzej Duda, who has been the only candidate able to effectively campaign, is expected to win big, although turnout may be very low»

«Reynders also told MEPs the commission will ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to impose fines on Poland if the government does not comply with suspending the new disciplinary chamber of the supreme court, which the ECJ had ordered Warsaw to do so»

«The Warsaw and Budapest governments are already under the EU’s so-called Article 7 sanctions procedure over concerns of breaching EU rules and values. …. However, the procedures have been put on hold in the council of EU affairs ministers as sensitive political discussions are difficult»

«Reynders told MEPs that an “overwhelming number state of emergency or granted special powers to government” with a varying level of oversight by the parliament and other institutions.»

«The commission will publish the first annual rule of law report in September, checking the practices in all EU countries»

* * * * * * *

Resta davvero molto difficile comprendere se i liberal socialisti dell’europarlamento odino di più Polonia ed Ungheria oppure il Consiglio Europeo che nemmeno li considera. E mentre farneticano, la Lagarde prospetta il pil a -15% per l’eurozona.

*

Nota.

Fidesz in Ungheria e PiS in Polonia si sono conquistati la maggioranza parlamentare con libere elezioni. Visto che i liberal vorrebbero dettar legge in quelle due nazioni, potrebbero anche cercare di vincere delle elezioni democratiche.


EU Observer. Hungary and Poland in spotlight for lockdown moves

The EU’s justice commissioner Didier Reynders told MEPs on Thursday (23 April) that the bloc’s executive is concerned about both emergency measures in Hungary, and the non-postponement of the upcoming presidential election in Poland.

However, the commissioner did not unveil any action the executive might take to follow up on their concerns.

“Based on the [commission’s] preliminary findings the Hungarian legislation regulating the state of danger raises particular concerns,” he told the European parliament’s civil liberties committee.

“The emergency powers granted appear to be more extensive then in other member states considering the combined effect of broadly defined powers and the absence of a clear time limit,” Reynders added.

“The criminalisation of stating or spreading false information related to the crisis is not clearly defined and accompanied by strict sanctions, it raises concerns regarding legal certainty and freedom of expression,” he said.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s two-thirds majority in the Budapest parliament last month granted sweeping powers to his government.

It allows the Budapest government to suspend enforcement of certain laws, and not only ones related to the crisis. It also imposes jail terms for those disseminating news deemed untrue or distorted.

Orban allies argued the new powers can be revoked anytime by the parliament, but the government enjoys a two-thirds majority in the parliament, making it their prerogative alone to end the emergency.

Reynders said the commission has been monitoring emergency measures in all EU countries – but singled out Hungary and Poland.

He said the commission will closely scrutinise how the measures are applied, and the commission will see “if there is some reason to act”, including launching a probe, the so-called infringement procedures.

Hungarian MEP from opposition party Momentum, Anna Donath, said “monitoring is not enough, we need actions”.

MEP Balazs Hidveghi, from Orban’s Fidesz party, retorted by saying that the measures taken are in line with the country’s constitution.

“It is disappointing to see that the political left has used this extraordinary situation to continue with its partisan politics and spread false information, outright lies about Hungary,” he said.

Over a dozen parties in Fidesz’s political family, the European People’s Party (EPP) have asked group leader Manfred Weber to suspend Fidesz MEPs from their EPP group positions, in line with the party’s own suspension of the membership of the Hungarian ruling party last year.

However, those sensitive discussions and decisions cannot take place online, so any movement on that will have to come after lockdowns are eased.

Polish presidential poll

Reynders has also voiced concern over the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government plans to go ahead with the 10 May presidential elections via postal ballot, despite the pandemic.

PiS-ally and incumbent president, Andrzej Duda, who has been the only candidate able to effectively campaign, is expected to win big, although turnout may be very low.

Reynders raised concerns over the practical organisation of the poll, the chances of a fair campaign, and said that changes to the electoral law should not happen – as per the standards of the Council of Europe watchdog – close to election day.

Reynders also told MEPs the commission will ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to impose fines on Poland if the government does not comply with suspending the new disciplinary chamber of the supreme court, which the ECJ had ordered Warsaw to do so.

Article 7 on hold

The Warsaw and Budapest governments are already under the EU’s so-called Article 7 sanctions procedure over concerns of breaching EU rules and values.

However, the procedures have been put on hold in the council of EU affairs ministers as sensitive political discussions are difficult to conduct online, and meetings can only qualify as formal in person.

“For the time being, it is not possible to hold a formal council meeting,” Croatia’s EU ambassador Irena Andrassy, whose country hold the bloc’s rotating presidency, told MEPs.

Reynders said that the commission is scrutinising extraordinary measures in all member states in terms of rule of law, their effects on fundamental rights, and their impact on implementing EU law.

He said the the commission “will use all tools their disposal within the remit of its competence to ensure measures respect fundamental rights and values”.

Reynders told MEPs that an “overwhelming number state of emergency or granted special powers to government” with a varying level of oversight by the parliament and other institutions.

The commissioner added that the most common fundamental rights restricted by the measures are: freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom to conduct business, freedom of expression, respect of privacy and protection of personal data.

He said measures need to be scaled back when the health crisis abates, adding “we must come back to normal checks and balances, and citizens must benefit fully from their rights”.

The commission will publish the first annual rule of law report in September, checking the practices in all EU countries.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Senza categoria, Unione Europea

Europa. Coronavirus. Epidemia e crisi economica.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-03-20.

Unione Europea 999

Gli stati europei stanno iniziando a prendere atto dell’epidemia da coronavirus.

Czechs shut borders to travelers from 15 countries.

Austria sets border checks with Switzerland, bans more flights over coronavirus.

Belgian government says schools, restaurants, clubs to close due to coronavirus.

France to close schools to curb coronavirus spread: Macron.

*

L’elenco potrebbe continuare, ma i provvedimenti, più o meno rigidi, vertono il porre in essere di zone messe in quarantena, la chiusura delle frontiere, delle università e delle scuole, dei locali pubblici, vietando gli assembramenti e limitando gli spostamenti della gente.

L’impressione sarebbe che ci si aspetti il picco verso la metà di aprile.

*

I governi sono combattuti tra la necessità di bloccare la diffusione del contagio e le conseguenze economiche di tali blocchi.

«On the economic impact, Macron said a package of measures unveiled by the European Central Bank would not be sufficient»

«We, Europeans, will not allow a financial and economic crisis to spread. We will react strongly and quickly. Together, European governments must take decisions on supporting activity, and relaunching it, whatever it costs»

«He said there would also be coordination among the Group of Seven nations»

* * * * * * *

I danni economici imputabili alla concomitanza dell’epidemia da coronavirus, crollo dei prezzi dei prodotti petroliferi e crollo delle borse europee non sono al momento quantizzabili, ma stime grossolane li indicherebbero a diverse centinaia di miliardi di euro in tutta la eurozona. Ma tale stima apparirebbe essere per difetto.

E tutto questo è accaduto in un momento di stagnazione e recessione economica dell’eurozona, aggravata dal fatto che la banca centrale ha ben poche armi a disposizione.

Ecb. Con i tassi negativi i margini di manovra sono quasi nulli.

I centoventi miliardi messi a disposizione per tutto l’anno significano in termini medi poco più di quattro miliardi e mezzo per stato: sono due gocce versate in un oceano. Adesso Mrs Lagarde promette 1,200 altri miliardi, che sono circa quaranta miliardi a stato, in termini medi, laddove la sola Germania ne ha stanziato 550 solo per sé.

Ma anche la Commissione deve lottare contro la difficoltà di reperire risorse.

New Industry Plan. Pochi fondi e niente green. Gli ululati dei liberals.

Sono cifre sconfortantemente basse.

Se poi ci si aggiungessero i perenni litigi in sede del Consiglio Europeo ed i mal di pancia dei liberal socialisti dell’europarlamento, si resterebbe davvero molto perplessi sulla possibilità di ripresa.

Romania. Il Green Deal è una ‘true religion’. Il gesto del dito.

Non a caso iniziano a farsi sentire le prime aperte ribellioni.

* * * * * * *


Czechs shut borders to travelers from 15 countries.

The Czech Republic will close its borders to travelers crossing from Germany and Austria and also ban the entry of foreigners coming from other risky countries to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday.

Czechs will also be barred from traveling to those countries, and to and from and other countries deemed risky, effective from Saturday (2300 GMT on Friday).

The full list includes other European Union members Italy, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Denmark, and also Britain, Switzerland, Norway, China, Korea and Iran.

International public transport vehicles with more than nine seats will also be banned from crossing borders.

Under a state of emergency declared for 30 days, the Prague government also banned international passenger transport, but kept freight business open.

Babis told a news conference the government would also ban public events of more than 30 people and impose closures of places such as sport centers, spa services and galleries.

Restaurants must close by 8 p.m. and refreshments at shopping malls will be banned altogether.

“It is clear there will be economic impacts. But now we have to do everything for the virus not to spread, to avoid having it here without control,” Babis said. “If we see the measures do not have sufficient effect, we will take more.”

Some border crossings were to be shut while others would be manned by police. Exceptions will be given to foreigners with residency in the Czech Republic and to cross-border workers.

The Czech Republic reported 96 cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. There have been no known deaths from the disease in the central European country.

(The story corrects paragraph 3 to show Norway not in the EU)

*


Austria sets border checks with Switzerland, bans more flights over coronavirus.

Austria will introduce border checks with Switzerland and Liechtenstein and ban flight connections with France, Spain and Switzerland from Monday to slow the spread of coronavirus, the government said on Friday.

The coronavirus reached Austria from neighboring Italy, which has suffered Europe’s deadliest outbreak, but it has yet to take hold as firmly.

Austria reported its first death on Thursday and has 432 cases so far, in contrast to the more than 15,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths in Italy to its south.

“We are now increasingly beginning to control the borders to Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the same way as we do with Italy,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told a news conference, referring to Austria’s two western neighbors. “From Monday there will be flight bans for France, Spain and Switzerland.”

The Alpine country on Wednesday shut its border to people coming from Italy, except for goods vehicles and some other categories such as people transiting Austria without stopping.

No restrictions have been imposed along Austria’s northern border with Germany.

Travel over landlocked Austria’s frontiers is generally unrestricted in normal times under the European Union’s Schengen scheme.

Austria also has flight bans in place for Italy, China, Iran and South Korea – all with some of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks.

It will also “lock down” two popular tourist regions in the mountainous province of Tyrol – the Paznauntal and St. Anton am Arlberg, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

Commercial activity in Austria apart from pharmacies, food shops and other stores selling essential goods and services will be suspended starting on Monday. Bars and restaurants will be open only until 3 p.m. and companies are requested to allow staff to work from home if possible, also from next week.

Kurz called on people not to panic. “All that a state needs to remain functional is of course maintained.” An aid program for companies hard hit by the spread of the sometimes deadly respiratory illness is being prepared, Kurz said.

Austria has already banned indoor events and gatherings of more than 100 people, forcing museums, theaters and larger bars to shut. Austrian schools are also due to close from Monday.

*


Belgian government says schools, restaurants, clubs to close due to coronavirus.

Belgium’s government on Thursday ordered schools, cafes and restaurants to close and tighter business hours for shops due to the coronavirus, following decisions by France and other European countries to limit all but essential activities.

The measures take effect from Friday at midnight central European time and run until April 3, although schools are set to be shut for five weeks, including the Easter holidays, Belgium’s caretaker prime minister, Sophie Wilmes, told a news conference.

“There is no lockdown,” Wilmes said, emphasizing that supermarkets and pharmacies would remain open and other shops would be required to close only on weekends. “We want to avoid the Italian situation and avoid lockdowns.”

The number of people infected with the virus in Belgium is 399, putting the spread of the disease at an earlier stage than in other parts of Europe. Three people have died so far.

Belgium’s government was torn between keeping schools open, as in the Netherlands, or closing them, as in France, and opted for closure, arguing that such steps would avoid a bigger crisis.

As in neighboring the Netherlands, all sporting and cultural activities, such as Brussels’ famed Atomium and Magritte museums, will be closed from Saturday morning for the next three weeks.

*

France to close schools to curb coronavirus spread: Macron.

France will close from Monday all nurseries, schools and universities to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address, calling the outbreak the nation’s worst public health crisis in a century.

To prevent the economy from nosediving during the crisis, Macron said France would offer help for businesses and would work with European partners on a major package to relaunch the economy, “whatever it costs.”

“This epidemic ..is the most grave public health crisis that France has known in a century,” Macron said in a 20-minute address delivered live on national television on Thursday night.

“Despite the efforts to slow it down, the virus continues to spread and is accelerating.”

Unveiling some of the most significant measures to date from a major European country outside of Italy, Macron said the aim was to slow down the disease enough that healthcare services can keep pace with the flow of patients.

“That’s our priority. That is why we must continue to gain time,” he said.

“From Monday, until further notice, nurseries, schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, will be closed. For a simple reason: Our children and young people, according to our scientists, are the ones that spread the virus the quickest, even if they have no symptoms.”

He also urged employers to allow their staff to work from home wherever possible, and said that people over 70 years of age or have existing health conditions should stay inside as much as they can.

Macron said, however, that municipal elections scheduled for this weekend would go ahead, after advice from public health specialists.

On Thursday, the French Health Ministry said the death toll in France from the coronavirus outbreak had risen to 61 from Wednesday’s 48.

It added that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France had also risen to 2,876 from 2,281, with 129 people in very serious, life-threatening condition.

MASSIVE ECONOMIC RESPONSE

On the economic impact, Macron said a package of measures unveiled by the European Central Bank would not be sufficient. He promised a concerted, bloc-wide response.

“We, Europeans, will not allow a financial and economic crisis to spread. We will react strongly and quickly. Together, European governments must take decisions on supporting activity, and relaunching it, whatever it costs.”

He said there would also be coordination among the Group of Seven nations, and that he would speak to U.S. President Donald Trump about that on Friday.

In a veiled reference to Trump’s decision to suspend some European travel to the United States, Macron said nationalism was not the answer to the virus.

He said the disease had no nationality, and that if national frontiers had to be closed, it would only be when it was essential and in coordination with the rest of Europe.