Behind the scenes of Brussels – Containment: the debate prohibited

It only took a few moments, on March 16, for the Head of State and his government, in the name of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, to place the French under house arrest and deprive them of most of their freedoms civil, political and social that we thought inalienable: freedom to come and go, freedom of assembly, freedom to undertake, freedom to work, etc. Justice has almost been brought to a halt, lawyers confined, provisional detentions automatically extended, the police (understood in a very extensive sense since they include municipal police officers and the like) invested with full powers apply these custodial measures.

Containment without legal basis

This suspension of the rule of law was done without legal basis. Indeed, the decree of March 16 restricting the movement of citizens does not fall within the powers of the executive, since only a judicial judge, the liberty judge, can normally decide on an individual basis. Nevertheless, administrative justice, in this case the Council of State, validated it on the basis of the jurisprudential theory of “exceptional circumstances”, which is probably not its most inspired decision.

It was only on March 23 that Parliament gave a legal basis to the measures announced on March 17 by hastily passing the law creating a “state of health emergency” which authorizes the government to trigger it “in the event of a disaster. health endangering, by its nature and gravity, the health of the population ”, a particularly vague definition. This whole law cultivates vagueness, the offenses it provides for example leaving a large part to police interpretation and therefore to arbitrariness. Renewable by Parliament – possibly for a period longer than two months – it gives full powers to the executive, Parliament being stripped of its powers and reduced to the role of mere spectator. If the Assembly has not changed the government’s plan, the majority being what it is, the Senate, dominated by the classic right, has fortunately managed to introduce some safeguards in this improvised text and poorly put together in providing in particular that it will cease to apply in any event on 1er April 2021, unless a law to the contrary is passed. A fundamental clarification which the government services had curiously not thought of.

Not quite a dictatorship

It is remarkable that this exceptional legislation, justified by the use of a warlike language unique in Europe (“We are at war”) was not the subject of a referral to the Constitutional Council, the opposition, all as forbidden from terror as public opinion, having given up exercising its rights, an unprecedented fact, when it is a particularly serious attack on the rule of law. The constitutional judges were only seized on one point of detail, the suspension of the time limits to judge the questions preliminary of constitutionality (QPC), a provision which it moreover validated.

As long as the state of health emergency applies (until the end of July we have just learned), France is no longer a democracy, even if it is not quite a dictatorship. In his time, François Mitterrand denounced the “permanent coup” that were the institutions of the Fifth Republic. The coronavirus has made it possible to carry out this institutional logic. The head of state, relying on a submissive majority and facing non-existent opposition, seized all the levers of power by invoking the need to preserve the health of the French and a health emergency that he does did not want to see it coming, he who ten days earlier encouraged the French to continue living as before.

This parenthesis of the rule of law was accompanied by the brutal halt of a large part of the economy, a logical consequence of confinement. Above all, the government decided, without any consultation, which businesses could remain open, forcing companies to lay off more than 11 million private sector workers.

Lack of debate

It is truly staggering that these exceptional powers entrusted to the State to apply a brutal and without nuance confinement to an entire country, one of the hardest in Europe with those of Spain, Italy and Belgium , did not give rise to any debate, as if there was no other choice. However, never a democracy used in the past this method to fight against a pandemic (there was only partial confinements at the beginning of the previous century), in particular during the Spanish flu of 1918-1919, of the Asian flu of 1959 or of the Hong Kong flu of 1969. The fact that containment was a solution invented by China, a totalitarian regime, to contain the coronavirus pandemic should at least have questioned its legitimacy. However, it imposed itself almost naturally, all playing in reality when Italy took the decision to confine the whole of its population from March 10, which caused a domino effect, each wanting to show that he was also keen to protect its population: Spain imposed it on March 15, France on March 16, Belgium on March 18 …

However, there was room for debate and on all fronts. On the principle of containment itself first. Because it is only a stopgap aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and avoiding congestion in hospitals which could result in additional deaths. Clearly, the virus will continue to circulate and kill those it must kill after the containment is lifted – in a proportion that no one knows – since it does not exist and will not exist for one or two years a vaccine and that treatments are still in the experimental stage.

Containment is a political trap

Obviously, no one realized that it was going to be very difficult to get out of the containment once decided without political damage, a part of the public opinion risking to be self-persuaded over the days that it is in eradicating the disease. If the pandemic continues to kill, and it will, the government will be automatically accused of endangering the health of its citizens to save “the economy”, a swear word for some French people as if working for a living was secondary to health… In other words, the temptation will be strong to return to blind confinement to silence the controversies or to get out of them as late as possible, the path chosen by France after six weeks of state of emergency sanitary.

This is also why countries like Sweden, Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands either have not adopted this strategy, letting life take its normal course, or have applied it with much more finesse, which made it possible to avoid passing through the box of exceptional powers entrusted to the executive and especially to break the economy.

Why confine an entire country?

This total foreclosure of a country is all the more questionable since whole regions were and are almost untouched by the virus: why impose the same treatment in Creuse as in Ile de France, in Puglia as in Milan ? Why not have it confined to the extent of the pandemic, just like Germany, where the Länder are competent in public health, has done with the success we know? Thus, from the start, two foci were identified in France: the Oise and Mulhouse. However, rather than reacting immediately by isolating these two regions and deploying military medical means to relieve hospitals, the government procrastinated, allowing the virus to spread. It remains staggering that it was not until March 24, a week after the decision to confine the country, that the military medical service was sent to reinforce Mulhouse! From there to think that total containment was also motivated by the inability of the authorities to anticipate the crisis, there is only one step that I will be careful not to take.

Similarly, the choice of companies to close and the precautions to be taken would also have been a possible area of ​​discussion. For example, it quickly became known that air conditioning allowed the virus to circulate more than a meter and contaminate many people. So does closing shoe repair shops, art galleries or florists and leaving supermarkets open make medical sense? Likewise, was school closure necessary? All this was left to the discretion of a bureaucracy without control and without any consultation with all economic and social actors.

Why place an entire population under residence?

Finally, it appeared very early on that the disease was overwhelmingly fatal for people over the age of 70 (average age of death in Italy or France: 80) and those with serious pathologies, in particular clear the weak. Was it therefore rational to confine all assets and plunge the country into recession? Perhaps we should have focused on protecting these at-risk groups rather than putting a whole country under wraps without thinking of tomorrow, especially since we know full well that the virus is here for a long time.

The debate becomes, at this point, particularly emotional, because it refers to our relationship to death. Why has such a pandemic, which is not the first the world has faced and which is especially far from being the most deadly in history, led states to decide on unprecedented measures while knowing that they were not a cure? Why such a panic, especially when you compare the mortality caused by the coronavirus with that of other diseases? Although we must still be careful, since five months after its appearance, we still know very little about covid-19, which should warn us about the scientism that seized us, the doctors having said everything and its contrary to this pandemic, making political decision particularly difficult. However, let’s remember that 400,000 new cancers are diagnosed each year in France and that 150,000 French people die from it, and yet tobacco and alcohol are still not banned, while that would avoid much of it. If all life deserves to be saved, why be so casual about cancer? Similarly, seasonal flu (while there is a vaccine that a large majority considers dispensable) kill each year between 3,000 and 15,000 people (not to mention the more than 30,000 deaths from the Hong Kong flu in 1969 in a country of 51 million inhabitants or the equivalent number of deaths in 1959 in a country of 45 million inhabitants), seasonal respiratory infections 68,000 people, road accidents 3500 people to which must be added the disabled for life. And yet, no one has thought of banning the car (and every measure aimed at strengthening safety has its share of protests, remember the 80 km / h) or to make the fight against pollution or junk food a categorical imperative.

If we look at the statistics of mortality in the world, we see that hunger (yet easy and inexpensive to eradicate), malaria, AIDS or even wars (often made with the weapons produced by our industries) kill infinitely more than the coronavirus will ever kill.

Choose your comrade side, but there is only one good side, that of containment!

It would probably be necessary to question the responsibility of the audiovisual media in this panic which has taken hold of Western public opinion (with a German exception, German televisions having voluntarily decided to treat covid-19 in the place it deserves). Announce every morning the number of dead without putting them in perspective (compared to the usual average of the dead, their age, the comorbidity from which they suffered, etc.), devote entire newspapers to the pandemic can only shake even the best made heads … Imagine that every morning the number of deaths in France is truncated for all causes and that all the newspapers are devoted to it: who would still dare to simply live?

This is not to say that a death is immaterial, but simply that any public policy must be subject to a cost-benefit assessment. If we do not ban the sale of weapons, tobacco, alcohol, cars, trucks, thermal power stations, it is because collectively we believe that the cost would be greater than the benefit we would derive from it. But this debate, in the emotional surge that has been going on for two months, is in fact prohibited. Those who dared to question the chosen strategy and especially on its duration were pilloried by the most radical, those who are heard. To be opposed to the prolongation of confinement is to be for the “sacrifice” of those who are sick, “to spit in the mouth of the dead” and so on. In short, choose your comrade side, but there is only one good side, that of containment! I have even been threatened with death, myself and my family, by good people who believe that all life must be saved at any cost without the contradiction of their words touching their minds for daring to me. question in two tweets from April 9, three weeks after the start of confinement: ” It’s crazy when you think about it: plunging the world into the worst recession since the Second World War for a pandemic that has so far killed less than 100,000 people (not to mention their advanced age) in a world of 7 billion inhabitants. Seasonal flu, which kills especially young children, is between 290,000 and 650,000 per year worldwide. And everyone fucks, but serious. “

The worst recession of all time outside of the war (and more)

However, confinement will lead to an unimaginable recession by its violence: it should reach between 8% and 15% of GDP, an unprecedented decline in activity in peacetime (we must go back to 1942 to record a recession of -10 %). We have never brought an economy to a complete halt as we have just done, we must be aware of this. Partial unemployment now affects nearly twelve million workers (one in two private workers!) And the layoffs caused by thousands of business bankruptcies will number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions once the partial unemployment scheme supported by the state will expire (because it costs a fortune). And the longer the shutdown, the more difficult it will be to restart. The cost generated by the establishment of a social safety net and by economic plans will lead to an unprecedented deterioration in public accounts and the young generations who will have to pay twice for confinement: by the loss of their jobs and by raising taxes for those who will keep it.

It should not be forgotten that unemployment is also a health catastrophe, but more diffuse and therefore socially more acceptable: we thus estimate at 14,000 the deaths which it causes each year in France by induced diseases. And how not to speak of its procession of misery, hunger, social downgrading, etc. The effects of confinement are also going to have terrible consequences on the minds of French people, on violence against women and children, on their health (for example, early screenings for cancer, stroke, heart attack are suspended and nothing is known about suicides, etc.), about dropping out of school (how many children have simply disappeared from the system? ).

A lastingly weakened rule of law

Finally, to believe that public freedoms, democracy, will come out intact from this episode is just a sweet dream. The state of health emergency will remain enshrined in our law for a long time exactly as the state of emergency, launched in 2015, was finally incorporated into ordinary law. It is rare for a state to give up on its own the powers gained over the legislature and the justice system. The tracking of individuals, via smartphones, which some consider to be a necessity, could well become the rule in the name of safeguarding our health which has become THE priority, privacy being reduced to the rank of concern of another age. Having chosen total containment and the state of emergency will leave lasting traces in French democracy.

I do not pretend to provide an answer here. Simply, the first elements of the deconfinement show that another way would have been possible: confinement not department, wide discretion left to local authorities, referral to the judicial judge to register the carriers of the virus, etc. I just regret the absence of democratic deliberation before the establishment of the state of health emergency and its extension. As if sacrificing generations under the age of 60 and suspending the rule of law were obvious facts.

In provisional conclusion, I think that we should not be mistaken about the meaning of the unimaginable event that we are experiencing: it is the triumph of individualism, that of the immediate health of the individual in the face of well-being current and future collective. The terms of the debate are in reality identical to those of climate change: should we accept to sacrifice our immediate well-being to ensure the survival of the human species?

Some reading tips:

Note from the magistrates’ union on the state of health emergency

“Let us beware of falling into a sickly, viro-induced, social and political reactivity”

The catastrophic cost-benefit of containment

Breaking out of blind confinement

Dare to discuss confinement (a Belgian point of view)

Will the remedy ultimately be worse than the coronavirus? (a Swiss point of view)

“Let us die as we wish” and “I prefer to catch covid-19 in a free country than to escape it in a totalitarian state”


Spain does not earn credit to the EU

Make no mistake, the financial aid from the European Union will be accompanied by some kind of conditionality.

The almost record time in which theHeads of State and Government of the EUTheir last videoconference meeting only allowed us to think about a historical agreement or, as it was soon revealed, that it had been another summit of procedure in which almost everything was left for later. Gaining time at a time is the community custom. Actually, and deserves to be underlined, after a stormy month and a half in which the divisions between blocks question the being or not being of the Union again, a point has already been reached in whichthe twenty-seven agree on the need for a reconstruction plan, from an extraordinary common budget,to face the deep economic crisis that the coronavirus pandemic will cause. However, we are still very far from acommon postureon how the aid to the States should be. Hence, the European leaders chose to meet again for May and, meanwhile, continue to negotiate. Or, as always happens in the EU, try the psychological technique of encouraging one of the parties to end up giving up and giving in. It collides, yes,So much hesitation before the gravity of the situation, which requires speed.

Spain is one of the countries most played, both for the devastating consequences of theCovid-19in our economy as well as by the very low state of our accounts. This has caught ustsunamiwith aunsustainable debt of almost 100% of GDPand atripped deficit; Here is the tremendous setback that the Government has just received due to the 2019 makeup deficit that Brussels has had to correct and raise to 2.8% after an ex-ante examination. This scenario leaves youSnchezgreatly diminished in its credibility and in its ability to defend our interests before the rest of the community partners, and forces it to exercise realism when seeking support, as far as possible. This attitude is not in keeping with the propaganda obsession to put out chest within our country in order to disguise its erratic management of the pandemic. But the Spanish are not better defended in Brussels – quite the contrary – withimpossible dataand even less withhat rabbits that are real tripping. It is what has happened for weeks with thesterile stubbornness in the crown, when as it has been repeated until satietyMerkelthey are not even allowed by the EU treaties. And it is what happens now with that occurrence of theeuropean perpetual debt, which no other leader has endorsed because it is prohibited in the ECB, as he could well have explained to the President of the Government some person in charge of the Bank of Spain if he allowed himself to be advised.

Snchez is evidenced by taking for granted that the rules can be changed, as if at this juncture we could affordlegal adventures in the EU, on whose shared criteria we depend. An Adanist attitude could undermine the efforts being made by the economic vice president,Nadia Calvio, so that Spain gains weight in this tough negotiation in which we play so much. The creation ofan economic recovery fund linked to the EU budget-whose size and financing must be defined- is news that can be welcomed. But, let’s not kid ourselves,the aid will be accompanied by some type of conditionality, and it is unfortunately logical that countries with healthier accounts did not know how they manage the Snchez economy andChurches.

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Countries to use debt as medicine against Covid-19

In 2020, the debt will be medicine against Covid-19. No country in the world will be able to face the ravages of the crisis due to confinement without resorting to indebtedness and a greater deficit.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that the countries will navigate the most indebted pandemic, including Mexico.

To face the emergency and support households and businesses, a fiscal cost of 3.3 trillion dollars is estimated worldwide, with an impact on gross public debt of 13 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said they will seek to provide more resources to reduce scarring in the economy, such as bankruptcies and unemployment.

The complete toolbox will be used to help countries face the deep recession in 2020 and begin partial recovery next year.

In this context, the G20 agreed to the provisional suspension of the debt service of the poorest countries due to the impact of Covid-19.

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent 66% of the world population and 85% of global GDP.

Mexico, as a member of the G20, backed the commitment to use all available fiscal and monetary policy instruments to confront the virus.


Drowned in liabilities

Italy, Spain, France and the United States will be the countries of a group of 21 whose debt and deficit will grow more this year due to the cost in terms of health and support to companies and households to face confinement by Covid-19, reported the IMF .

Meanwhile, Mexico, along with 11 other nations, will make a jump in its fiscal accounts, although it is not responding to the pandemic with measures equal to those of the main economies without incurring contingent liabilities.

The IMF Fiscal Monitor report detailed that Mexico’s public debt will increase from 53.4% ​​to 61.4% with respect to GDP. While the fiscal deficit will go from 2.3% of GDP, which reported in 2019, to 4.2%.


The document mentions the measures with fiscal cost that each country has announced in response to Covid-19.

In the case of Mexico, an action related to increased spending was highlighted through an emergency health fund, whose additional resources were requested from Congress and which can reach 180 billion pesos, equivalent to 0.7% of GDP in 2019.

The expense that Mexico will make for the advance payment of social pension and disability advanced for four months was noted. Another is the commitment to speed up VAT refunds.

One relief that Mexico will give is the one that it will grant to SMEs, with loans that will represent a cost of 25 billion pesos.


“Unimaginable shock” in the economy raises deficit by 6 billion | Coronavirus

The Portuguese economy is “almost stopped” and “suffering an unimaginable shock”, said on Monday night the Minister of Finance, anticipating losses in the annual GDP of 6.5% for every 30 working days of contention in the activity similar to current budgetary impact of between € 6 billion and € 7 billion.

In an interview with TVI, Mário Centeno preferred not to go ahead with new forecasts for the economy and public accounts, but he advanced with partial numbers that make it clear that, within the Government, there is no longer any doubt that the fall in the economy this year will hit all the maximums recorded, with public finances suffering because of that.

Centeno said, on the one hand, that, in the second quarter of this year, the fall will be “four to five times greater” than the biggest quarterly decline recorded in the previous crisis, in 2012, when GDP fell 4.3% in the second quarter. What this means is that, in the current quarter, we may be facing a year-on-year GDP variation of the order of 20%.

For the year total, Centeno’s accounts are less frightening, but still, they continue to break records by comfortable margin. The Minister of Finance says that, for every 30 working days (or about a month and a half, counting every day) of stopping the activity as it is currently occurring, there is a drop in the annual GDP of 6.5%.

The stop has been taking place since mid-February, which means, using the minister’s figures, that, if the current situation of containment continues beyond the beginning of May, the annual decline in GDP begins to approach the 10 mark %. Even so, in one of the few notes of optimism he decided to take a chance on, the minister said he believed that the annual reduction in GDP in 2020 “will not reach double digits”.

Another drop of optimism was given when asked when the economy will return to 2019 levels. “Probably, after two years”, projected Mário Centeno.

With the economy “stuck” and in need of state support, public accounts will inevitably suffer. And the figures that Mário Centeno decided to advance reveal that, after a surplus in 2019, Portugal may return this year to a deficit above 3%.

The minister explained that the public accounts will be affected not only by the increase in expenditure and decrease in revenue associated with the measures taken by the Government, but mainly by the effect of the economy’s fall on the Budget.

These are the so-called “automatic stabilizers” – which include the loss of tax revenue and the increase in social expenses associated with the economic crisis – and which, added to the cost of the measures taken, should lead, he said, to an impact of between 6 thousand and EUR 7 billion. This means a deterioration in the budget balance between 3% and 3.5% of GDP. Taking into account that, in the OE for 2020, the initial projection was of a surplus of 0.2%, the final value for the deficit may be close to and perhaps above 3%.

Even so, Mário Centeno did not want to show great concern about what will have to be done to bring public accounts back into balance in the future. “The patient is in a better state than in the previous crisis,” he said, arguing that “we are facing a crisis of a different and temporary nature and what we have to guarantee is that there is money to help with the acute phase of the crisis”.

Last week, as president of the Eurogroup, Mário Centeno led the European response to the economic crisis. This Monday he replied to those who say they hear that the Eurogroup’s response is insufficient, saying that “it was a victory for Europe”, but assuming that the half-billion-euro package of measures “is not the end of the line”. “We will have to continue to address several issues,” he said.

And, revealing that the Netherlands “was the last country to join” the decision, he said that deciding nothing was never an option. “I never admitted that the meeting was interrupted, precisely because we are in an emergency. Finance ministers could not afford to stop, ”he said.


Bercy to double emergency plan for economy to 100 billion euros

The coronavirus bill continues to increase. In an interview with Les Échos, the two bosses of Bercy, Gérald Darmanin and Bruno Le Maire, unveiled elements of the future amending finance bill and put forward several figures highlighting the important consequences of the epidemic on activity. The Minister of Economy first announced the new growth forecast for 2020, at -6%. A figure that matches the first quarter growth estimate published yesterday by the Banque de France.

Unknowns remain and this forecast may still change“, However, warns Bruno Le Maire. For now, the services of the ministry expect a gradual recovery in activity, but this estimate will depend in particular on the growth of other regions of the globe. The faster global trade resumes, the less the economy will be impacted. “The economic recovery will be long, difficult and costly. It will require efforts from all the FrenchWarns the Minister of the Economy.

The government will also considerably strengthen its emergency plan to support the economy: evaluated at 45 billion euros so far, its amount will increase to 100 billion euros, more than double, by adding all the measures taken in favor of companies. “These figures may still change as the economic situation and the need for support from businesses change rapidlyAdds Gérald Darmanin.

A significant cost for public finances

Two other economic indicators highlight the massive cost of the crisis for public finances. The government now expects a “7.6% of GDP deficitIn 2020, a figure that goes well beyond the 3.9% expected so far. This increase is explained firstly by a drop in tax revenue collected by the State, of the order of “€ 37 billionCombined with increased spending. “We will be at more than 170 billion euros in budget deficit whereas we had forecast 93 billion in initial finance law“, Says Gérald Darmanin.

At the same time, French public debt should briskly cross the symbolic 100% threshold: established at 98.1% of GDP at the end of 2019, it should explode, and move to “112% of GDP at the end of the year” This strong increase is justified by the Minister of Action and Public Accounts by the need to support businesses and thus avoid bankruptcies and layoffs. Nevertheless, in the long term, the executive promises to reduce its level: “sound public finances and debt reduction are necessary, as this crisis shows that the euro zone countries with a low level of public debt have more resources to support their economiesExplains Gérald Darmanin.


Faced with the health war, the Parliament adopts the amending finance bill

A combat project, giving the government firsts “massive protective weapons” This is how the amending finance bill (PLFR), presented on Thursday in the National Assembly, and adopted by parliament on Friday, was described. For health reasons, the deputies were few in number in the Hemicycle: the eight groups were only represented by their president, each accompanied by only two deputies. Non-registrants could also vote on the whole text.

In detail, the PLFR predicts a public deficit at half mast, established at 3.9% of GDP instead of the 2.2% that the government hoped to reach this year. A worsening of the cyclical deficit, and not structural, engendered in particular by a reduction of the tax receipts of the order of 10.7 billion euros in 2020, as well as by a massive rise of the expenditure to protect the economy. Household consumption should also fall by 2%, a decrease “marked and temporary“Which will focus in particular on”certain sectors, in the forefront of which accommodation and catering, leisure and culture, transport and other sectors whose consumption is not essentialSays the text. Employment is also expected to slow, despite measures for short-time working. Likewise, the investment will be “affected by the general slowdown in activityAs well as exports.

We have entered an economic and financial warSaid Bruno Le Maire, adding that the total cost of the epidemic could not be fully estimated at this time. The government is currently expecting French growth to drop to -1%, an estimate “provisional […] which could deteriorateAccording to the evolution of the epidemic in the world. The four major measures recently unveiled by the government – the strengthening of short-time working, the solidarity fund for SMEs, the deferral of tax and social charges and the state guarantee for loans, up to 300 billion euros – must nevertheless protect workers as well as companies, considered the boss of Bercy:the economic crisis should not lead to any dismissals. To lay off today is to slow down“Resumption of activity tomorrow, he said.

The minister confirmed that the French debt would exceed “100% of GDP in 2020” A jump “temporary but necessary“, Justified by the”political choice“From the government of”uniteBehind companies and employees. “When the house is burning, we don’t count the liters of water to put out the fire“Assumed the Minister of Action and public accounts, Gérald Darmanin. This increase will be done with the blessing of Brussels, the Commission having lifted, for 2020, “all regulatory constraints to which euro area member states are subject“Said Bruno Le Maire.

The boss of Bercy also reiterated that after the crisis, “rethinking globalization in terms of sovereignty“, And there would be a”before and afterIn the economic and financial field. “We will examine the strengthening of economic sovereignty“, He repeated, denouncing the too strong French dependence in certain sectors, like the drug. “The epidemic cruelly shows our weaknessIn this area, he regretted. In addition, the state stands ready to resort to “all instruments“At his disposal,”without exception», Including recapitalization and nationalization, to protect its industrial flagships.

National unity stands firm

Studied in the morning in committee, the project drew several criticisms from the opposition. “We must massively inject liquidity“In the economy, called the former presidential candidate (LFI) Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “The measures you are announcing, 45 billion, do not seem to us to be commensurate with the situation“, he added. Likewise, the France Insoumise group, as well as the non-registered Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, cited the American example, hoping that the State would bring money directly to households to deal with the crisis. Other elected officials also criticized the government’s forecasts, saying “optimistic“: Member of the Freedom and Territory group, Charles de Courson thus stressed that the losses caused by the crisis, calculated at”53 billion“Could quickly double. “We will no doubt have to adapt the support even further“, He hazarded.

Despite criticism, the assembly voted unanimously on the bill. A “national unionGreeted by Bruno Le Maire, who thanked the deputies. The future remains very uncertain: “we are in an exceptional case“, And drops in revenue like increases in spending will only be”temporary“, Justified the rapporteur of the text, the deputy (LREM) Laurent Saint-Martin. However, “all effects”Of the crisis are not yet known: the final bill therefore remains uncertain. “We will have to do more“, Conceded the elected (LREM) Olivia Grégoire: this PLFR should therefore be followed by another, we do not yet know when.


Brussels suspends sine die the stability pact

The coronavirus crisis will have shattered part of the Brussels doctrine and the sacrosanct stability pact which limits public deficits to 3% of GDP and public debt to 60% of GDP.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. ARIS OIKONOMOU / AFP

In Brussels

The decision to suspend the stability pact had been in the air for several days. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed this in a video posted on Twitter on Friday afternoon. “Today and this is new and has never been done before, we are triggering the general notwithstanding clause. This means that national governments can inject as much into the economy as they need to. We are relaxing the fiscal rules to allow them to do so.

The coronavirus crisis, which paralyzes the world economy and paralyzes populations, will therefore have shattered part of the Brussels doctrine and the sacrosanct stability pact which limits public deficits to 3% of GDP and to 60 % of GDP public debt. Concretely, this means that the recommendations which had been formulated by Brussels last year against the Member States – including France and Italy – to get back into the nails of the pact are suspended until further notice.

European governments have stepped up rescue plans in recent weeks as whole sectors are shut down and population containment is tightening. Strongly attacked for having delayed taking stock of the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission has been chaining initiatives for a few days. After easing the state aid regime, Ursula von der Leyen was on Friday in favor of coronabonds, a European funding tool that is causing friction between certain member states. “I said you would do whatever was necessary to support Europeans and the European economyPromised the President of the Commission, welcoming the measures announced this week by the European Central Bank.


Who gets the most credit: Brady or Belichick? – NBC Boston

From 2001 to 2019, the New England Patriots have won the AFC East 17 times. The other two years ended in a tie in first place.

In that time frame, they went to 12 AFC championship games and nine Super bowls. Six have won.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been together for the entire race and – thanks to the past two decades – are now recognized as the best coach and quarterback in NFL history respectively.

Trying to share credit for a race never seen before the NFL domination and perhaps the most incredible trait in the history of professional sport – to some extent – is missing the point.

Did the ancient Egyptians stand in front of the pyramids and discuss whether the architect or builders deserved more credit? Did Mrs Wright analyze which of her children – Wilbur or Orville – was primarily responsible for the invention, construction and flight of the first plane?

There is something to be said just to close and appreciate the realization, isn’t there? Yup.

And we will get there.

But right now, with the engines going down Route 1 to pack Tom Brady’s remaining stuff and take him out of Foxboro forever, the question hangs on everything. Which man was most responsible for creating the story we’ve seen written in the past two decades: Belichick or Brady?

Results may vary. In fact, I know they will. But here’s how I see it.

If it hadn’t been for Belichick, there would never have been the mini-dynasty that they became in the decade 2000-2009.

If it weren’t for Brady, the Patriots would never have become the Super Dynasty that they became from 2010 to 2019 when they blew up the 60s Packers, 70s Steelers, 80s Niners and 90s Cowboys to become the only franchise that has dominated two decades.

Bill gets the first decade

The moment Mo Lewis cut an artery in Drew Bledsoe’s chest in September 2001, he is touched as the history of the NFL has changed. It wasn’t. It will only speed up a trial that began when Robert Kraft decided to hire Belichick to succeed Pete Carroll in January 2000.

Belichick took a look at the team’s register and management and started fumigating and renewing. In the end – despite the heavy contract that the Patriots gave Bledsoe in January 2001 to help strengthen public confidence and private investment in building CMGI Field (possibly Gillette Stadium) – Belichick was wary of being tied to a quarterback that the coach was able to routinely undress whenever he trained against him.

Especially a quarterback who had to be paid as the top of the market, as Bledsoe and his agent David Dunn made clear.

Brady was not enlisted in the sixth round of the 2000 draft as Bledsoe’s successor, but in September it became clear to Belichick that he had something. And it became obvious during the 2001 offseason and the training camp that – although not better than Bledsoe in all – the child who made $ 298,000 was more mobile, more precise, more ready in his pocket and destined to be more suited to handling a Bledsoe game.

Mo Lewis accelerated the process and – with a painful stroke – made the transition relatively painless. But the credit goes to Belichick for seeing what he had, promoting it and having the decision to pull the trigger.

The fact that the Patriots went 14-5 under Brady after starting 5-13 under Bledsoe is persuasive evidence that Brady was the missing piece. But Belichick created the register, built the culture and hired the right people – from managers to coaches – to put the team in a position to succeed. It deserves more credit.

Brady may have helped them get where they did, but the Patriots were undoubtedly headed in the right direction and the fruits of Belichick’s designs were collected in 2003 and 2004.

Those Super Bowl wins – the first at the end of a season that started with the shooting down of lawyer Milloy in favor of Rodney Harrison; the second thanks largely to a dice throw on Corey Dillon – they were the victories for “culture”.

Disinterest imposed. All done for the greatest good of the team. Everything ego in your pocket. The most impressive aspect of the patriots was therefore their stamina and mental endurance. Brady was an important part. But so were Tedy Bruschi and Harrison, Matt Light, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel and so on.

Fifty-three very intelligent and capable players row together in the hold of the big ship while Belichick was over the bridge to trace a route. It was from 2001 to 2004.

The dips in 2005 and 2006 began the process that would have led Brady to become, largely on Belichick’s design, the engine.

The 2005 Patriots were hit by injuries – not a hindsight surprise when you consider the nine extra games played in the previous four seasons and the difficulty of staying on top. They started to see some friction to grow old – Troy Brown was 34 then – and the ongoing game was marked as well as their defense on the run. They went 10-6 and lost in the division round.

The following season, a protracted squabble over the contract led to the Deion Branch being swapped with Seattle shortly before the season began. Reche Caldwell led the team in receptions followed by Ben Watson, Troy Brown and Kevin Faulk. However, they were unable to advance to the Super Bowl, but lost on the road to the Colts.

That season, Brady got a toy he had never had in Randy Moss and a Troy Brown replica model named Wes Welker. The entire set of record sets went 16-0 and lost in the Super Bowl.

Which brings us to 2008. This is the season that many are aiming for when they say that it is Belichick’s genius that is most responsible for twenty-year success. The Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel starting in quarterback. Hadn’t he been a beginner from high school, yet the patriots still went 11-5?

Cassel was exceptional, better than anyone could hope for. But it’s still a sharp drop from 16-0 to 11-5.

In 2009, the central defense core was expelled or withdrawn: Vrabel, Bruschi, Seymour and Harrison. Belichick complained to Brady on the sidelines during a defeat for the Saints that season that “I just can’t get these kids to play the way I want them. So frustrating.”

The season ended with an ignominious home defeat against the crows in the AFC division playoff round.

Brady gets the second decade

The patriots renewed in the off-season and, in my opinion, Brady was at the forefront of finding their places where they had no business at that stage of their reconstruction. In 2010, the Patriots went 14-2, they were seed no. 1 and Brady was the unanimous MVP.

The offense, moving away from the narrow final position, enlisted two – Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez – and their production would become historic in 2011 when the Patriots arrived at the Super Bowl and lost again to the Giants. Brady launched for 5,235 career yards with 39 touchdowns and 12 picks.

In the 2012 season, he launched 637 times, a career high and one of three times in four seasons that attempted more than 600 passes. With a defense that too often seemed to resist better teams, it was Brady and the offense to score and score and score a little more. They were the first, third, first and third in points marked from 2010 to 2013. Defensively in that period they were eighth, 15th, ninth and tenth.

Even in 2013, when Hernandez was jailed for murder, Gronkowski was grounded due to back surgery and then with an ACL, Brady still ran by hitting the ball with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and – to a lesser extent – Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Shane Vereen.

They won the Super Bowl in 2014, winning a shootout against the Ravens in the Divisional Round, 35-31, and then overcoming a 24-14 deficit against the Seahawks in the fourth quarter when Brady moved to a completely different level in the fourth quarter.

The previous April, Belichick had enlisted Brady’s aspiring successor, Jimmy Garoppolo, in the second round. Brady, perhaps remembering the shrug that Drew Bledsoe had encountered Brady’s arrival 14 years earlier, would not have fallen asleep on the move with the team that ran Garoppolo.

Brady went on to launch 69 touchdowns and 16 predictions in 2014 and 15. He lost four suspension games in 2016 – Garoppolo overcame six quarters of Brady’s relief before hurting himself and giving way to Jacoby Brissett – but he still threw 28 touchdowns and two interceptions before ending that season with a 43- record. by-62, 466 yards in the Super Bowl when the Patriots canceled out a deficit of 28-3. Brady did it at 39.

At 40 in the AFCCG, without Edelman, without an injured Gronkowski, Brady and Amendola joined together to push the Patriots beyond the Jaguars and in the Super Bowl against Philly where he would have launched for 505 yards.

So let’s tell here. From 2010 to 2017, the Patriots have reached seven consecutive AFC Championship Games and the year they didn’t, Brady was the unanimous MVP. He wrote the filming of the playoffs against Ravens and Seahawks in 2014, the Falcons in 2016, the Jaguars in 2017 and led the team to two Super Bowl wins.

In 2018, Edelman was exiting an ACL and was therefore suspended for the first four games. Gronk was injured for a large chunk of the year. Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan were the main gimmicks for a while until the team faced Josh Gordon. It’s still? The team went 11-5, Brady put them on his back in the fourth quarter and overtime in Kansas City in the AFCCG and then the Patriots defense checked against the Rams and delivered a Super Bowl to Brady – apart from the shot at Gronk which led to the game’s winning touchdown – he just had to play OK to win the team.

The final verdict

So, see what my answer to this debate is now. Bill gets a bigger share of the first three Lombards. Tom gets a higher share than the second three.

So many people over the years have speculated that Belichick wants to prove that he can win a championship without Brady. I don’t know if it’s true.

I think if Brady was gone, Belichick would appreciate the opportunity, but I never thought he would have wanted to get rid of what he thinks is a quarterback capable of giving him a title that the others couldn’t.

Maybe that’s why we’re here. Belichick doesn’t see Brady as special as he once was. Great? Sure. Are there other guys who can do things they can’t do now? Belichick seems to think so. Brady has apparently survived its usefulness here.

Bill will do what he has done to so many other players. Go ahead. But this is the life cycle of the NFL.

From what I’ve been told and what I’ve collected, Brady agrees. He hoped to be special and to be able to write a different ending here, but to realize he couldn’t shock him. For a legend, it is rather well established.

Playing for Bill Belichick will help keep a player that way. And maybe even for that, Belichick deserves a lot of credit. He allowed Tom Brady to become Tom Brady because he was eternally and exasperatedly Bill Belichick.

Every. Single. Year.


Jokowi’s instructions for suppressing the impact of coronavirus on the economy

TEMPO.CO, JakartaPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo brought together almost all of his cabinet ministers in a limited meeting at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday 25 February 2020. Jokowi issued four instructions in an attempt to address the impact of the coronavirus or Covid-19 on the economy of the Indonesia.

First, the President asked all ministers to implement monetary and fiscal instruments to increase the resistance and competitiveness of the country’s economy. “I appreciate Bank Indonesia’s decision to lower its benchmark interest rate and relax its monetary policy to support the national economy,” said Jokowi.

The President also urged the issue of a tax policy, in particular on investments in the tourism sector. According to Jokowi, several tourist destinations such as regions such as Bali, North Sulawesi and Riau Islands have started to suffer the blow following the decrease in the number of Chinese tourists following the coronavirus epidemic.

“I ask everyone to optimize the domestic conference or tourism Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) in those regions and increase the promotion to target international tourists looking for alternative destinations other than China, South Korea and Japan”, Jokowi observed.

In addition, the President appealed to all ministries and institutions to speed up budgetary spending. The Minister of Internal Affairs was also invited to remind the regional leaders of the issue. “And be sure to speed up the disbursement of village funds.”

Jokowi therefore said that efforts to curb the current account deficit and the trade deficit must be seriously and effectively implemented. and continuously monitored.



The Court of Auditors deplores the halt to the recovery of public finances

It’s financial illness in the middle of the quinquennium. After two years of slightly reducing the deficit, the government of Edouard Philippe no longer seems to have the ambition to balance public finances, complains the Court of Auditors in its new annual report published on Tuesday morning. “The recovery in public finances, already very gradual in recent years, is now almost at a standstill, write the magistrates of the public accounts. Over two years, the reduction in the deficit would therefore be only 0.3 percentage point of GDP. ” It would indeed go from 2.5% in 2018 to 2.2% of GDP in 2020.

More than a planned and assumed renunciation of budgetary orthodoxy, this slow disintegration of effort is the result “From a succession of choices”, wrote the Court. The “yellow vests” crisis and the great national debate were right for the will displayed to strive towards a balance in public accounts at the end of the five-year term. The cancellation of increases in compulsory contributions – with the abandonment of the trajectory of an increase in the carbon tax and the increase in the CSG on part of the targeted pensioners – as well as the reduction of 5 billion euros in tax on income have indeed sealed the deficit figures for 2019 and 2020. Because the executive has been more timid in terms of savings.

“The choice was made to further increase the tax reduction measures, by only partially pledging these measures through savings measures”sums up the Court. The government assumed this policy through the voice of Gérald Darmanin. “We preferred to lower taxes faster than the deficit”, said the Minister of Action and Public Accounts in mid-September. Emmanuel Macron himself went there in his little sentence by declaring in November that the 3% deficit rule was “A debate from another century”. Too bad, says the Court of Auditors, that “the environment [économique] favorable in recent years has not been used to reduce the weight of debt to GDP “.

»See also – How France never stopped going into debt

How France never stopped going into debt – Watch on Figaro Live

An almost involuntary control of public finances

Given this context, it is almost fortunate that the deficit has not slipped. Spending has in fact been brought under control thanks to factors that the executive does not control and for which it is not responsible: France’s participation in the European budget and the persistent and historic low interest rates. The latter factor alone will reduce the debt burden by almost 2 billion euros in 2020. The real effort to moderate spending even appears between 2018 and 2020, “A little lower than what appeared in the public finance programming law”, note the magistrates of the rue Cambon, who joke “A less strict budgetary policy than it was programmed” at the start of the five-year term.

“All in all, none of the major aggregates of public finances would show improvement in 2020: once the effect of the exceptional and temporary measures had been neutralized, the effective deficit as well as the structural deficit would be almost unchanged, as would the debt”, which would drop very slightly to 98.7% of GDP, the Court ruled. This lack of structural improvement “Departs from the recommendation addressed to France by the European Council of Finance Ministers last July”.