Athens’ first mosque to open in the fall

The project, which has been going on for more than a decade, had once again had to be delayed because of the Covid-19 epidemic. Saturday, June 27, the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs announced that the first official mosque in Athens (since the country’s independence, in the early XIXe century) should finally open its doors in a few months. The building is located in Elaionas, a former industrial district of the capital.

→ READ. Coronavirus in Greece, tensions between the Orthodox Church and the government

“Procedures have been partly delayed due to the pandemic, but we are accelerating work and the mosque should open by the end of autumn”, said the ministry in a press release sent to Agence France-Presse. Contacted by the latter, another government source estimated that the end of October could be a realistic date for the opening, “If there is no new containment”.

Opposition from the Orthodox Church

The project to build an official mosque in Athens, the only European capital that does not currently have one, was launched in 2007. But it quickly met with very strong opposition from the extremely powerful Orthodox Church in Greece , which had considerably delayed the works. The former primate of Athens, Mgr Christodoulou, had in fact been right with a first project, decided in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games, and the site chosen in 2000 near the airport. “There is no question that tourists arriving in the country see a minaret as their first monument! “, he rebelled at the time.

While the neo-Nazi party has also demonstrated in recent years against the project, the country also maintains a complicated relationship with Islam. In the wake of the occupation, for almost four centuries (from 1453 to 1821), by the Ottoman Empire, its inhabitants developed a strong nationalist feeling against Muslim Turkey. A feeling which has been reinforced since then by the exchange of the Greco-Turkish populations in 1922, and by the disputed Turkish occupation of a part of Cyprus…

Places of improvised worship

The new Athenian place of worship, whose construction, with state funds was completed in 2019, will accommodate 350 worshipers. The capital is estimated to have around 250,000 Muslims. So far, the only mosques in Greece have been located in the border region with Turkey, where a Turkish minority of 150,000 people resides. Elsewhere in the country, Muslims, largely refugees and migrants, use improvised places of worship, often in apartments or cellars.

This week, the Muslim Association of Greece protested the imminent closure of a prayer hall in Piraeus, which had been open since 1989. Authorities said the place had not received a permit, but could get one and reopen after evaluation.


Lisbon council already has more cases of covid-19 than Greece – coronavirus

The municipality of Lisbon recorded 76 more new confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to the daily bulletin released this Sunday, June 28, by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS). The municipality of the capital now totals 3,423 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, more than the whole of Greece, which has registered 3,376 accumulated positive cases.

Lisbon, with 509,500 inhabitants (4.95% of the national population), exceeds the number of cases in the Mediterranean country, which has a population of 10.4 million, 20 times greater than that of the Portuguese capital.

In the municipality led by Fernando Medina, there is an incidence of 6.72 cases per thousand residents. In Greece, this figure is only 0.32 cases per thousand inhabitants.

Lisbon Metropolitan Area beats Denmark cases
The outbreak in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon (AML), which has been accentuated since the lack of definition, on May 4, means that the group of these 18 municipalities has already lost 15,386 infected people. This figure would place the AML in 59th place in the list of countries with the most cases.

Despite having a population of 2.86 million people, the AML has more confirmed cases than countries like Denmark (12.675) or South Korea (12.715), which have populations of 5.8 million and 51.3 million , respectively.

Currently, AML has the four counties with the most cases in the country. In addition to Lisbon, Sintra has 2,564 infected, Loures has 1,791 cases and Amadora surpassed Vila Nova de Gaia this Sunday and has 1,645 positive cases.

Thus, Sintra – which has 391 thousand inhabitants – has only 127 fewer cases than Croatia, a country with a population of 4.1 million.

And the Porto Metropolitan Area has more cases than Norway
After being one of the areas most affected by the pandemic in the first two months, the Metropolitan Area of ​​Porto (AMP) has been experiencing a reduced number of new infections in recent weeks.

Even so, with 9,638 cases, the region, which has 1.7 million residents, exceeds the figures reported by Norway (8.846), a country that has three times the population (5.4 million inhabitants).

In fact, AMP presents a number of cases per thousand inhabitants of 5.58, still above the 5.37 registered in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon. At the national level, the incidence is 4.04 cases per thousand people.


This is all waiting for you if you plan to fly soon …

Aviation is slowly emerging from its corona aroma, but it does not happen by itself. The proliferation of corona measures has made flying a kind of Russian roulette. Airlines and passengers are completely in the dark about what is and is not allowed.


From Europe, this summer ????

In the end, it still seems a little complicated, because day by day the statements are changing. In addition, this reopening of the borders in a disorganized manner is not ” without health risk “, as highlighted today in its editorial The Echo tourist. In fact, if from the 15th of June, the airports of Athens and Thessaloniki will welcome visitors from 29 countries, including France (without quarantine, except for the ile-de-france), and if, without surprise, in the words of Jean-Pierre Mas, president of Business travel, Greece, as well as the Spanish islands are currently the top destinations sold on the French market, the tourist season in mediterranean countries is not saved for all that.

Not only are these reservations are late, but the Greek authorities are concerned, highlights The Echo travel the increase in the number of new cases of Coronavirus (97 for the single day of Monday 8 June, almost a third of which relate to travellers abroad) in their country which had been relatively untouched since the beginning of the pandemic. “Anyone who believes that we are rid of the virus, is mistaken “, has also accused the minister of citizen Protection, Nikos Hardalias.

Portugal plays the safety

The pandemic is not ended, WHO is endlessly repeated. But the mediterranean countries that depend heavily on tourism are put in the head to save the summer of 2020.

Precursor, the Office of tourism of Portugal -one of the countries least affected by the epidemic, and had thus, as early as 24 April, took the lead in announcing the creation of a label “Clean & Safe” to distinguish the tourist operators ensuring compliance with the requirements of hygiene and cleaning for the prevention and control of Covid-19. Campgrounds, hotels, resorts, accommodation, private, business entertainment tourist and travel agencies can apply for this certificate, which is valid for one year, which guarantees their future customers the respect of the sanitary protocols.

Just reward for these efforts, Portugal comes, the first in Europe, to pick up the label “Safe Travels”. This label is awarded by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), an association that was founded in 1990 in Brussels, brings together more than 200 enterprises in the tourism sector, among the largest in the world.

This distinction, which strengthens the destination image as being “safe” in Portugal, should be beneficial to him in the context of pandemic today.

The brunello wine of Montalcino is one of the best in the world (Banfi/ DR)
… and Italy, the promotion of ” on-line “

The other countries, although they all emphasize the respect of the sanitary rules, seem to opt for more traditional methods. Let’s take Italy. This country is playing in the background the promotion of ” on-line “. It has launched a new free application (ItaliaVR) to be uploaded to the Apple Store and Google Play. Objective : to discover Italy in virtual reality, after choosing his ideal trip tour : gourmet, back in time and history, crossing I’ Italy authentic … In the clear, it is a dream to make you want to go there then … but for real, this time. However, the current functioning of this application leaves a bit dubious…

In addition, the Office of tourism of Italy offers users to participate from 7 to 26 June games related to Italian cuisine by logging on to his page Facebook to win a holiday in Italy or… the greedy baskets.


The star of the film “Big Change” barely making ends meet

Valentine Titov viewers fell in love with the cult films Shield and Sword and Big Break. Despite fame, the 78-year-old actress lives very modestly. Not to say poor.

Valentina Titova experienced in her life the betrayal of her colleagues, separation from her daughter, and difficult financial situation. However, the star of the Soviet films does not lose heart on self-isolation: “I live in the old way, I put in order the apartment, myself and I comply with these standards.” Such little things make her happy.

Valentina Antipovna does not hide – her no financial airbag. “My pension is 16 thousand rubles a month due to the lack of ranks … They also added four thousand due to the virus. As a result, 20. I understood: I can live on them poorly and economically,” StarHit quotes her.

Half of the amount from the actress goes to rent. She learned to save.

Was poor several times in her life. But we experienced these moments. There is nothing wrong with that, the body also needs a respite, it is impossible to endlessly exist under the motto “How I want!”. Now I live as I did not want, but I live … Life is a great test. If you pass it, then you are a man. And the rest is schizophrenia and idiocy, “the star admits.

She advises – no need to save, you just need to part with money. At 78, Valentina Antipovna looks gorgeous.

Do not turn into the old woman Isergil. And this is very easy: in the morning, don’t put on a bra and underpants, don’t pull on tights … Here you are cuttlefish … I want to be better. For example, I really do not like to dye eyelashes, but it is necessary. The actor must wear this uniform all his life, he is the face of the nation, “the celebrity is sure.

She does not complain about anything, but misses her daughter and granddaughter very much. They live in Greece and waiting for Titov to visit her.


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”


Coronavirus, the Greek exception

A healthcare system brought to its knees by ten years of crisis, an aging population, with 22% of seniors, a Mediterranean way of life with often three generations living under the same roof, a people considered undisciplined, etc. Greece combined risk factors to make the coronavirus pandemic, like in Italy or France, a national disaster. However, it totaled at the end of April “only” 2,566 cases and 139 deaths among its eleven million inhabitants.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest information in France and worldwide

However, Andreas Mentis, director of the Pasteur Institute in Athens, is careful not to speak of a “Greek miracle”: “DBehind any success, there is a good organization, with early and strict containment measures and a quarantine of travelers coming from abroad “. And the most astonishing, according to him, is that the Greeks ” at once ” bent to increasingly restrictive directives.

“An exemplary country”

Greece was “An exemplary country”, welcomed Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis by announcing on television on April 28, the first deconfinement measures from May 4, which will be spread out until June, but ruling out a recovery for the time being tourism, however vital for the Greek economy.

At the end of February, when news from Italy was alarming, rallies were banned. As soon as the first case of contamination appeared on March 11, nurseries, schools, high schools and faculties were closed. The 13th, when the country has its first death, it is the turn of shops, restaurants, stadiums, museums, beaches, etc. On the 16th, people from abroad are quarantined. Finally, places of worship close despite Holy Week before Orthodox Easter, before general confinement is imposed on March 23.

Five villages in the north of the country which are very affected are isolated from the world. Kyriakos Misotakis “Did a good job”, concedes Emmy Koutsopoulou psychiatrist from the Peristeri Solidarity Medical Center, in the suburbs of Athens. But it tempers: “The decision was easier to make in Greece than in France or Italy, because the consequences ofe the early stopal of the economy in Gare less, our large factories were already closed during the crisis. “

A powerless system in the face of the pandemic

If police checks and fines (for a total of more than eight million euros) have multiplied in the country, it was first of all the catastrophic images from neighboring Italy that caused the Greeks, panicked, to stay home. Especially since they know their health system, largely dismantled by the years of austerity, unable to cope with a pandemic.

“When my 79-year-old father relapsed from cancer in 2013, the treatment he needed was kept for a younger patient. When he died, I was also asked for his medication because the hospital lacked everything, ” angry coward Anna, 42-year-old civil servant. ” So, she continues, even if things are better, I also know that we will have noe lucky if the epidemic really breaks out in the country. I want to protect my mother who has cancer from sein. ” So, since March 11, Anna only leaves her home for essential errands.

18,000 doctors have gone abroad

In fact, between 2009 and 2017, the health budget was cut by 32%. Several hospitals have closed and 40,000 workers in the sector, including 18,000 doctors, have gone abroad. So those who remained have to deal with the virus with 50% fewer staff, only 567 intensive care beds and a single helicopter in the country to evacuate the sick.

Amnesty International has written an open letter to the Prime Minister “So that the government sees this crisis as a red flag.” ” Yes the system is not improved quickly we are facing disaster ”, dreads Gabriel Sakellarids, director of the Athens office. If the government injected 200 million euros into the medical system and hired 2,000 doctors for three years, according to Emmy Koutsopoulou, “We are still far from the mark”.


How to lose weight and increase life expectancy with diet

When we consider the possibility of undergoing a process of weight loss, a wide range of possibilities opens up before us. If our idea is to search the internet we will find millions of tricks to lose weight what they promise great results in no time and with little effort, something that should lead us to doubt such diets.

But there are many other possibilities: nutrition experts agree that following a healthy and healthy diet and combine it with sports usual is the best solution for lose weight that we have left over. A combination that, beyond serving for a certain period of time, should become a daily habit to guarantee the figure in the long term.

But what if the secret was as simple as follow the most common diet in Spain? New studies reveal that the Mediterranean diet is the basis for achieving slim down, but also to achieve lengthening our life expectancies. And it makes perfect sense: Spain is, after Japan, the country with the highest life expectancy in the world.

Mediterranean diet to lose weight

Countries like France, Italy or Greece share the Mediterranean with Spain, but also the food they bring to their tables. Peoples that for years have shared a diet based on the fruits and vegetables, in eating fish and in olive oil, the best fat that we can ingest for the benefit of our body. Without forgetting legumes, cereals and natural products that have been established in our feeding.

Fruits, vegetables and healthy fats such as those from fish and olive oil are the basis of the Mediterranean diet

This Mediterranean diet is not only ideal for living for many years, but it is also very suitable for losing weight. The fact of replace butters and less healthy oils with olive oil, the use of aromatic herbs and spices instead of salt or not eating large amounts of red meat are factors that make this diet one of the most recommended by nutritionists.

In fact, the British public health service, the NHS, notes that “the Mediterranean diet has been linked to good health, including a healthier heart.” Therefore, many experts relate a diet rich in healthy fats such as those from olive oil, blue fish or fruits such as avocado in basic to take care of the heart.

Fruits, vegetables and fish, the basis of the Mediterranean diet (Photo: iStock)
Fruits, vegetables and fish, the basis of the Mediterranean diet (Photo: iStock)

People who follow the Mediterranean diet live, on average, more years and have lower risk of developing disease like diabetes, but also other conditions such as cholesterol or hypertension that can cause cardiovascular disease. Something that has even been confirmed by a recent study by the American College of Cardiology.

What to eat to lose weight

The food pyramid of the Mediterranean diet recommends eating many fruits and vegetables, lots of fish and nuts, and whole grains. In addition, it also allows the consumption of red wine, so it is not necessary to completely eliminate alcohol from our diet when we try to lose weight, as it happens with other processes of weight loss.

What the Mediterranean diet does is eliminate sugary drinks such as soft drinks and artificial juices, recommending tea and coffee instead. And if what we are looking for is to lose weight, the ultimate goal will be consume more calories than we consume daily; It is what is known as caloric deficit and to achieve it it will not be necessary to count calories, but to go outside.

The Mediterranean town is famous for being cheerful, fun, eager to go outside to live together with family, friends or neighbors. That’s one way to cut calories: playing sports, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Walk, stroll, lead a less sedentary life It is one of the formulas to lose weight half a kilo a week, a good mean to lose weight in the long term.

Spain shares with the Mediterranean countries its own culture in which food is a meeting point

Scientists consulted by the British newspaper Express agree that the Mediterranean diet helps not to overeat, one of the reasons that boycott the weight loss plans of many people. Eating healthy and healthy, eating in moderation and living a Mediterranean lifestyle, not very sedentary, is the basis for losing weight in the long term and, in addition, increasing life expectancy. What more could you want?


Nationale 7: trip to the borders of France

Mathias Depardon should have fixed this spring from the banks of the Tiger, in Iraq. Or at least that is what was on his agenda, before the pandemic and the border closure kept him in France. His country, which he had not yet photographed since 2009 – and at the time, already, by his band most widely open to the multiplicity of elsewhere, in Calais. In the meantime, he spent years in Turkey, where he built a documentary work often exhibited, in Arles and abroad, before being subjected to arbitrary imprisonment there in May 2017 – accused of ” propaganda terrorist ”for having documented the action of the PKK, enemy of Ankara -, and to be released, expelled, only after a hunger strike and weeks of insistence by the French State .

Confined to France and prevented from practicing beyond, but released from travel restrictions by his press card, he proposed to Release, from the first days of the state of health emergency, to cross the country by the National 7, from Paris to the border of an Italy where the virus already exerted its ravages – not far from Nice where it was born, in 1980 Paris, Orly, Fontainebleau, Nemours, Montargis, Briare, Nevers, Moulins, the Loire, the Lyon region, and then the South which is gradually opening, Valence, Montélimar, Avignon, Fréjus, Cannes, Nice, up to in Menton. At the option of some 3,300 kilometers driven in two weeks on the road to a sun that shone for almost no one, he set out to portray less urban centers or the eternity of postcards of spring landscapes than their interstices , their folds, these outskirts of cities and roads where, despite everything, a people often masked and wary. He returns to the state of France recounted in hollow by this strange journey which Released today publishes the beautiful fruits, together with the intimate echoes of what the threat of the virus has worked in us.


“I had never done this route before, the longest in France with 996 km. There was a symbolic meaning to follow that one, whose departure adjoins the Chinatown of Paris – just like the virus had left China – to come up against the closed border of Italy, the epicenter of the epidemic in Europe. I set out to drive 200 or 300 kilometers a day, with many stops. This Nationale 7, which was the holiday route, has lost its glamor, it has undergone various forms of downgrading. We walk along areas of supermarkets, commercial areas, fields, roundabouts by the thousands – this passion and French specificity. Like all roads in France, it is almost empty these days. There are just a few more truck drivers there than on motorways, for economic reasons – only French people. It becomes very beautiful in the South, on the middle ledge, overlooking the Mediterranean. A kind of French-style Mulholland Drive, a bit magical. ”

N7, km 295, Moulins (Allier). Loubna, disabled, goes out shopping for the first time in 72 hours. Failing to find masks, she protects herself with her scarf. Photos Mathias Depardon Photo Mathias Depardon for Liberation


“There was the excitement of the first Porte d’Italie day in Paris. And very quickly a melancholy, an ambient sadness to photograph this abandonment, this void of interstitial areas that were really not easy to grasp. I did not want to attach myself, as I had already seen a lot, to the large deserted squares, especially since it anchored the photo in a specific place, whereas I wanted rather to try to enter a shared condition on this geographical extent yet vast. But I expected to cross more scenes of life. I like, in my work, to isolate a subject from a context of activity, but there it was very difficult, since all my possible protagonists were already isolated by the force of things. However, I felt the social or geographic divisions, by doing a lot of portraits. I interviewed those I photographed, if only for the sake of exchange, but people are not easy to approach today, there is a mixture of psychosis and susceptibility. Everyone is suspicious, vis-à-vis everyone, it requires an additional effort.

“There were days when I had a harder time reaching out to people to talk to them, and I went into street photo mode, but every time I did it it boosted my spirits . I met all kinds of people, situations, homeless people, young people who worked at the Samu social, liberal nurses, truck drivers, farmers, delivery people, people who had set up disinfection companies, retired people who went out to do shopping … There were few families, few children. I was very struck to see a lot of elderly people on the streets, often isolated, neglected, who therefore had to go out well, but I also found that it was sometimes due to the fact that seniors have a hard time breaking their habits. . “

N7, km 164, Bonny-sur-Loire (Loiret). Photo Mathias Depardon for Liberation


“I crossed all possible makeshift masks, I was surprised by their number, but I found that the more I moved away from Paris, the less the zones seemed affected. Then there were the farmers who seemed to live in a parallel reality, whose life in the fields, on the tractor, has not really changed, as if social distancing was already their business all year round. I also felt strongly that for a large segment of rural life, the Covid was an urban evil from Paris – which is not entirely unfounded, of course. During the meetings, I heard all kinds of things, of dissatisfaction with the management of public authorities, a lot of concerns in particular among certain restaurateurs who feared that their restaurants would go there if it lasts. All kinds of more or less conspiratorial theories, too. But above all, when I asked people about their feelings in this crisis, many spoke of awareness, how to consume, the desire to refocus on more universal values ​​or to get out of a form of individualism. A butcher told me he was happy to see people showing a concern for eating healthier. Fishermen told me that they had never seen the sea like that, for them alone, with nature that lives again, that takes back its rights. It was very present. “

Julien Gester photos Mathias Depardon


Corona and Europe: Asymmetric Crisis (

Europe is heading for a severe recession due to the Corona crisis. Aid measures worth billions will drive up national debt. This is particularly hard on highly indebted countries like Italy.

Europe is heading for a severe recession due to the Corona crisis. Aid measures worth billions will drive up national debt. This is particularly hard on highly indebted countries like Italy.

Photo: Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez / ZB / dpa

Corona makes Europe more unequal because the virus crisis has an asymmetrical effect. Take tourism as an example: in Greece, the particularly affected travel industry accounts for 30 percent of economic output. The most important industry is suffering from the fact that vacation activities have been brought down to almost zero. Most establishments fear bankruptcy, according to a survey by the Greek hotel association.

Some large EU countries such as Spain and Italy are also dependent on tourism as a source of around 15 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP). The economic structure in the export-strong Netherlands is completely different. Tourism plays a minor role in our neighbors with just five percent. In the two strongest EU economies, Germany and France, tourism activities are under ten percent, according to the information service Knoema. And unlike in Greece, a large part of this is due to domestic business trips.

There are also significant differences in economic strength, as the official unemployment figures illustrate. After a decade of boom, export vice world champion Germany reported an unemployment rate of around three percent at the end of 2019 – Italy, on the other hand, of ten percent. And in Spain and Greece there are even more people without a regular job.

Corona not only meets differently structured and differently successful economies, but is also known to hit differently hard when it comes to diseases. The health systems also showed different levels of resilience. Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzáles Laya said at the EU summit on Thursday that cuts after the financial crisis had weakened healthcare in Italy, France and the UK. Spain also had “solid health care in the past, but today it is less resilient than it could be”.

The colliery pays corona sufferers. According to figures from the World Health Organization, the pandemic in Germany claimed 31 deaths in Germany in mid-April, compared to 302 in mid-April and 339 in Spain. The 47 million citizens of Spain have been under house arrest since March 15 and are only allowed to go outside in a few exceptional cases. Even walking outdoors is strictly prohibited, unlike in many countries. The lockdown therefore has more drastic effects on the economy in Spain.

The crisis could also be particularly deep in Central and Eastern Europe. Although the economy in most countries has grown above average in recent years, special structural deficits have remained. According to a study by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Comparisons, Romania lost more doctors due to emigration to rich countries than any other EU country. The return of many nurses, construction workers and harvest helpers to their home country in the corona crisis is putting an additional burden on the already weak health systems in Bulgaria and Poland. The Viennese researchers are therefore expecting the worst economic slump since the global financial crisis in Central and Eastern Europe.

Bucharest, however, reacted to the emerging deep recession in a similar way to Berlin: with short-time work benefits, cheap loans and tax deferrals for companies. But while Chancellor Angela Merkel is mobilizing 1.5 trillion euros, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, who declared the state of emergency, can only “fire” at the Corona consequences with a small amount of billions. Analysts expect the economy to shrink by up to 6.6 percent.

The large EU countries are also likely to fall into a deep recession in the first half of the year. A decline of around 3.5 percent is expected for Germany. However, since the economy of China, its most important trading partner, is picking up again, Berlin hopes to get away with it with a black eye. According to the available forecasts, the slump is likely to be significantly worse in most EU countries.

The International Monetary Fund is now forecasting a deep recession. However, the IMF is expecting a recovery and economic growth of 4.7 percent in the euro zone in 2021 – provided the effects of the corona pandemic are brought under control in the second quarter of 2020. But like the downturn, the upswing will also be asymmetrical.