Tag Archives: crisis

Swiss- Covid-19 has widened economic and health disparities, research findings | Instant News


(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Low-income households in Switzerland have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, while those with high incomes are still managing relatively well, according to a large-scale survey of people living in the country.

This content is published on 23 February 2021-12: 18 23 February 2021-12: 18 swissinfo.ch/jc

Those with a household income of below CHF4,000 ($ 4,480) saw their income fall by an average of 20% since the start of the pandemic, while household income with a monthly income of more than CHF16,000 fell 8%, according to a study by KOF link Swiss Economic InstituteExternal is released on Tuesday.

High-income households cut their spending more (about 16%) than low-income ones (12%), but for different reasons. Richer households cut their spending primarily because of their fewer needs and fewer opportunities to shop. While this reason also applies to low-income households, 11% of them say they cut expenses because they have less money.

Increasing inequality is also reflected in the level of household savings one year after the outbreak of the pandemic, said KOF. Although saving fell significantly among low-income households, it increased among the top half of income households. About 39% of those with a monthly household income below CHF4,000 even said they were forced to withdraw their savings to cover current expenses.

The study found that the mental health of low-income people has also continued to deteriorate since the pandemic outbreak last spring. People affected by unemployment are often reported to be in poor health, he said.

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The Italian 5Star Movement loses its luster – POLITICO | Instant News


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5Stars Italy is facing an identity crisis that threatens to split the movement in two.

After long defining itself as an anti-establishment movement, the party last week decided to support a government clearly led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, which was brought in after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s 5Star coalition government collapsed amid disputes over pandemic relief. plan.

But a rebel group of 31 purist 5Star MPs refused to follow the decision and voted against Draghi. Another 20 did not appear for the vote. Now they all faced expulsion from the party. And the 5Star Movement is grappling with what it means for the fake outsider, the Eurosceptic group to work with Draghi, Europe’s deepest insider. Draghi once ran the European Central Bank, was vocally pro-European integration and associated with it push economic policies in Italy in 2011 that are not in line with the anti-austerity of 5Stars, the origins of Eurosceptics.

Joining Draghi’s government also meant working with arch enemy, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.

However, being in Draghi’s coalition also gives the party a platform to pursue some of its top goals – such as an environmental agenda – and participate in how to spend the € 209 billion that Italy hopes to receive from its post-pandemic EU recovery. fund.

The split over the decision marks the culmination of a long-expected split between the pragmatic and purist wings of the party, which have always been united by an unexpected mix of ideologies. And that could result in the faction that broke away from the 5Star movement to form a new party. Even before Draghi’s rebellion, more than 40 previous 5Star MPs had left the dribs and drab movement.

“5Star was created to overcome the power of financial institutions over the people and the state,” said Senator Matteo Mantero, one of the 5Stars members who voted against Draghi. “Choosing this government means denying one of the reasons we emerged.”

Make a decision about Draghi

When Draghi was tapped earlier this month to form a new coalition government, the 5Star Movement was faced with a dilemma: supporting Draghi to stay in government and compromising some long-held ideals, or opposing him, losing power and influence but maintaining ideological purity.

5Stars asks questions of its members, and nearly 60 percent followed calls from party leaders to support the new government.

That’s when the defection started. Alessandro Di Battista, a prominent figure on the purist wing of 5Stars, quit the party, proclaimed, “My political conscience can no longer continue.”

Following his leadership, 15 senators and 16 lawmakers voted against Draghi in a confident vote on Wednesday and Thursday, leading 5Stars to announce the expulsion process on Friday.

“This is not the right person to manage [EU] recovery funds, ”said Mantero, citing Draghi’s past economic position and concerns about Draghi’s push for greater European integration and more repatriation of migrants.

But party loyalists argue that getting in power allows them to advance 5Stars’ environmental agenda, and establishes some conditions, such as the creation of a new green transition super ministry.

“Being in government, we can defend the results 5Stars has achieved, improve this country and the daily lives of its citizens,” said lawmaker Valentina Barzotti in a speech to the lower house ahead of the vote.

In fighting Draghi, the dissidents also violated the internal 5 Star rule to respect the online votes of movement members.

A 5Stars senator said that following the votes of the members is sacred: “The net must decide. Anyone who votes against the wishes of a member is against party values ​​and that is reason enough for expulsion. “

Defectors aren’t the only ones tempted to oppose Draghi, according to two 5Stars lawmakers. “There are a lot of doubts – we all have doubts,” said the senator.

Former Minister for Infrastructure Daniele Toninelli, a member of 5Stars, is open about his doubts.

In a video On social media, Toninelli said his vote for Draghi was “unconditional” and had to be earned on a daily basis.

The future of the 5Star Movement

If expelled, some dissidents say they will try to form a parliamentary group to help oppose Draghi’s rule. This may include some of those who have previously left 5Stars. In Battista beckoned she may be of help, writing on Facebook that it is “a time to build a strong opposition.”

But those close to the 5 Stars Movement say such breakaway groups will struggle to find common ground.

“It would be difficult for them to coordinate harmoniously,” said a former 5Stars insider. “They are too different – there aren’t many things that unite them.”

Others facing expulsion, including Mantero, plan to appeal their dismissal and return to 5Stars.

For now, the defection has given 5Stars less leverage in government – there are now more right-wing senators backing Draghi than representatives of the center-left.

In the long term, supporting established parties like Forza Italia could hurt 5Stars in the polls, said Lorenzo Pregliasco of polling firm You Trend.

“Supporting old political parties can have an impact on their vote,” said Pregliasco, adding that Draghi was less popular with 5Stars voters than Conte, the previous prime minister.

Currently, the 5 Star vote is only 15 percent nationally – down from the 32 percent that brought them to power in 2018.If that number holds, nearly three-quarters, or about 200 5 Star lawmakers, will lose their seats in the next election. .

Such an outcome could signal a ebb in the populist wave that brought 5 Stars to power in 2018.

Analysts say the 5Star Movement’s best chance of remaining a mainstream party is aligning itself with Conte, who has no party affiliation but is close to 5Stars and held approval ratings of above 60 percent for most of the past year.

Conte has for now returned to his job at the University of Florence, without making clear his next political move. But at his last press conference as prime minister, he suggested he could return, saying “to my friends in the 5Star Movement: I am here and I will be here.”

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Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States – Rocket attack in Erbil (16 February 2021) | Instant News


We, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the United States strongly condemn the February 15 rocket attack on Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. We extend our condolences to the victims, their families and the Iraqi people. Together, our governments will support the Government of Iraq’s investigation into the attacks with a view to holding those responsible to account. We are united in our view that attacks on the US and Coalition personnel and facilities will not be tolerated.

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Statement by foreign ministries of France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the United States (05 February 2021) | Instant News


LIBYA

5 February 2021

The governments of France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the United States welcomed the agreement reached by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum on Libya’s interim executive authority tasked with leading the country to national elections on December 24, 2021.

This critical step towards achieving an inclusive, negotiated political solution is the result of a process that is truly Libya-led and owned, United Nations mediation, and the support of the Libyan people. In this regard, we laud the outstanding commitment of the United Nations Mission of Support in Libya and Acting Special Representative of Secretary General Stephanie Williams. We look forward to fully supporting the work of Special Envoy Ján Kubiš.

We call on all current Libyan authorities and actors to ensure the smooth and constructive handover of all competencies and duties to the new unified executive authority.

Since the Berlin Conference, Libya has made significant progress towards securing lasting peace and stability, including through the reopening of the energy sector, the 23 October 2020 national ceasefire agreement, the roadmap for holding national elections in December 2021, and now the election of a unified interim executive authority. .

The long road still lies ahead. The unified executive authority must enforce the ceasefire agreement, provide essential public services to the Libyan people, initiate a meaningful reconciliation program, address critical national budgetary needs, and organize national elections. The new interim government, to be proposed by the appointed Prime Minister, must be truly inclusive, allowing all Libyans to be represented, including with regard to gender, ethnicity and regional origin.

We call on the delegates of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to retain their important functions, ensuring the focus of a new unified executive authority in preparing for and holding the elections decided by the Forum.

At the Berlin Conference on Libya last year, the international community committed to supporting the resolution of the Libyan conflict. In the spirit of that commitment, all Conference participants must now support the new executive authority in fulfilling its duties to the Libyan people, implement a full arms embargo, and support the immediate withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries.

We are ready to hold accountable those who threaten stability or undermine the political process in Libya.

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Health crisis in Brazil | Instant News


On January 17, weeks after other countries in Latin America and around the world started mass inoculation campaigns, Brazil finally gave its first Covid-19 injection in the state of Sao Paulo using the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company, Sinovac. The first injection is one of 6 million doses imported by the state-funded Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, which is helping to develop a vaccine.

A few days later on January 23, the federally funded Fiocruz Institute announced that it had received two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine ready-to-use from India and began distributing it nationwide. Since then, more than one million Brazilians have been vaccinated against the deadly virus.

However, Brazil’s national Covid-19 vaccination program is still in its infancy and it is unclear whether the country will be able to produce or import enough doses of the vaccine to immunize its entire population of 210 million by the end of the year.

Brazil, of course, is not the only country in the world struggling to vaccinate its citizens against the deadly virus in a timely manner. Lack of resources and infrastructure, coupled with rich countries stockpiling more doses than they need, means that many developing countries are unable to obtain sufficient doses to vaccinate even the most vulnerable members of society.

However, there is one thing that sets Brazil apart from all other countries that appear to be losing the vaccine race: The right-wing government refuses to recognize the severity of the crisis and is determined to block any efforts to contain the spread of the virus. .

Indeed, since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his government have done everything they can to prevent Brazil from responding to this unprecedented public health emergency in an efficient manner.

Bolsonaro not only claims that Covid-19 has just “a little flu” but also actively encourages his supporters not to wear masks or practice their distancing. He attended bustling events, shook hands and hugged people at the height of the first wave, and repeatedly ignored scientific consensus on how best to beat the virus. He is pushing for the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine and the anti-parasitic Ivermectin for use in the treatment of Covid-19, although scientists around the world warn that there is no evidence that the drugs are effective against the disease. He fired two health ministers in a matter of months because they refused to support the use of unproven treatments and tried to introduce simple physical distancing measures.

Beyond his efforts to downplay the severity of the crisis and spread misinformation about treatment methods, the president’s isolated foreign policy and aggressive stance towards China have also hindered Brazil’s efforts to secure a Covid-19 vaccine.

Quoted: ‘Brazil’s COVID-19 disaster: nothing less than a criminal’

Aljazeera.com

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