the United Kingdom plans to cut its budget

New budget arbitrations linked to Covid-19 threaten the UK’s development aid commitments. For years, the country has been cited as an example in this area. The UK is the only G7 country to devote 0.7% of its Gross National Product (GNP) to development aid. Notably because this United Nations objective, a resolution whose 50th anniversary was celebrated this year, has become a legal obligation in this country.

“C‘is in part the result of years of civil society mobilization that forced the UK government to enshrine this commitment into law “, confided to franceinfo Africa Robin Guittard, spokesperson for Oxfam France.

By announcing an additional investment of £ 24.1 billion over four years in defense, unmatched for 30 years, Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted on November 19 that he could cut international aid to preserve a budget already under great pressure due to spending related to the novel coronavirus. This aid could be reduced to 0.5% of GNP. Boris Johnson was however committed in his electoral program to maintain it.

In early September 2020, the head of British diplomacy even denied an article in the newspaper The Times that Britain was seeking to reallocate billions from defense and intelligence aid. “There are a lot of crazy rumors in the media”, Dominic Raab then declared. “I’m not going to prejudge the full spending review, but we are absolutely committed to helping a billion poor people and making sure we link our actions with our most important foreign policy goals, starting with climate change. “.

A promise that 185 associations and NGOs again reminded Boris Johnson last week in an open letter. “Reversing your commitment to maintaining the 0.7% target would signal that we are a nation eager to balance the books on the backs of the world’s most marginalized people, many of whom are facing the impact of Covid. -19 in addition to existing difficulties “, they say, according to The Guardian.

“Taking a step back from our international commitments is not the solution and risks damaging the UK’s position on the international stage as we define our role in the post-Brexit world”, these different organizations still insist. In the same vein, Oxfam Great Britain noted in a statement published on November 17 that “reduced aid undermines moral authority (from the United Kingdom) when she needs it more than ever because she is preparing to welcome (in 2021) the G7 summit and the UN climate change negotiations “.

It is also the British influence which preoccupies former British Prime Ministers David Cameron (2010-2016) and Tony Blair (1997-2007). They called on Boris Johnson to preserve this level of aid in a statement to the newspaper The Telegraph. David Cameron (Conservative Party) and Tony Blair (Labor Party) estimated that this 0.2 point drop, mentioned to offset the costs linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, would jeopardize the “soft power” British. “Abandoning the 0.7% target would be a moral, strategic and political error, denounced David Cameron. We must keep our promises to the poorest countries and not break them “, he added.

Tony Blair argued that this aid was one of the most “great successes of British soft power” and that she had contributed to “reduce the number of deaths due to fatal diseases” in Africa. “Neither the climate challenge nor that of Covid-19 can be met without Africa, he added. Neither those of extremism and uncontrolled immigration. Changer (the level of aid, editor’s note) is a serious strategic error “. The former Labor Prime Minister pledged in 2005 to achieve this 0.7% target set by the UN. It was first released under the leadership of Conservative David Cameron in 2013.

The UK’s new financial priorities are expected to be known on November 25, 2020.

No Trojans, no secret service (

Foto: cirquedesprit/Stock Adobe

In April, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Hamburg was given the opportunity to use state Trojans. Secret service employees can use it to read encrypted messages on end devices without the approval of the courts, even with professional secrets such as journalists, doctors or lawyers. Civil rights initiatives have now lodged a constitutional complaint. You rightly criticize the threat of massive and unlawful interventions in the freedom of the press, telecommunications secrecy and informal self-determination by security authorities that can hardly be controlled. The privacy of countless people would be worth even less than it is now. In addition: The grand coalition also wants to expand the use of the state trojan for secret services at the federal level, a legislative proposal recently went through the cabinet. A successful lawsuit in Karlsruhe would have a signal effect as far as Berlin.

For many people it is otherwise simply a mockery that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution should be given more powers despite numerous scandals, a complete failure as a democratic early warning system and despite open right-wing sympathies. Instead of providing the authorities with new means of surveillance, they should be completely destroyed.


Football: Ahmad Ahmad suspended for five years by Fifa

The news fell this Monday, November 23 morning on the website of the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa). The ethics commission of the world body suspended for five years the president of the African Confederation Ahmad Ahmad, fining him in addition 185,000 euros, in particular for embezzlement.

The 60-year-old Madagascan leader, at the head of African football since March 2017 and candidate for a second term, was also placed in police custody on suspicion of corruption in June 2019 in Paris.

No prosecution had been brought against him, but his arrest had defied the chronicle at the time.

Read also EXCLUSIVE. Football: a French company suspected of corruption with the president of CAF


The internal justice of Fifa, of which Ahmad Ahmad is vice-president, estimated that the head of the African Confederation “had failed in his duty of loyalty, granted gifts and other advantages, managed funds inappropriately and abused of his function as president of CAF ”, indicates the body the same press release.

The ethics commission’s investigation “focused on various issues related to the governance of CAF, including the organization and funding of a pilgrimage to Mecca, its connections with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities, ”according to Fifa.

The grievances of the instance will be detailed in the full decision, published within sixty days on the Fifa website.

Ahmad Ahmad, who has temporarily abandoned his post after being struck down by the coronavirus, is therefore banned for five years “from any activity relating to football”, at national and international levels, and may appeal against this suspension to the Arbitral Tribunal of sport.

A difficult first term

This former football coach and politician, who was Secretary of State for Sport and Minister of Fisheries in Madagascar, announced at the end of October that he would seek a second term at the head of CAF in March 2021.

In the summer of 2019, Ahmad Ahmad had requested the help of Fifa to supervise his organization, weakened by several controversies and governance problems. Fifa number 2 Fatma Samoura had notably carried out a six-month mandate but this one, which aimed to accelerate the reform process within the body, had not been renewed in early February 2020.

In addition, dismissed in April 2019, CAF Secretary General Amr Fahmy sent a letter to Fifa in which he accused Mr. Ahmad of corruption – payment of bribes to several leaders, personal use of funds from the CAF – and sexual harassment against several Confederation employees.

Read also Coronavirus: CAN 2021, a “puzzle” for African football

Tax haven damage: missing $ 427 billion

For the first time, new reporting rules allow more precise assessments of tax evasion. However, those involved remain anonymous.

Kayman Islands, a paradise: for groupers and corals – and tax evaders Foto: Alex Mustard/imago

BERLIN taz | Worldwide, more than 427 billion US dollars in taxes are lost every year because multinational companies shift their profits to tax havens or private individuals hide their assets from the tax authorities. This is the result of a study by the Tax Justice Network, which is the first to evaluate new OECD data. With this missing tax billions, almost 34 million nurses worldwide could be employed, as the independent tax experts calculate.

For the first time, the new study is able to estimate global tax evasion relatively precisely because the OECD countries have agreed that multinational corporations must use what is known as country-specific reporting. The companies have to state how high their turnover was in the individual countries – which in turn can be used to calculate how much taxes they would have had to pay if they had not shifted their profits to tax havens.

Tax Justice Network had already requested this “country-specific reporting” in 2003 and has now been able to get the OECD to publish the figures. However, the data was aggregated and anonymized so that it is not possible to identify which companies are saving a lot of taxes. At least the data reveal which countries are particularly affected by tax evasion – and how tax evasion works.

Multinational corporations move about $ 1.38 trillion in profits annually to countries with particularly low tax rates. These offsetting tricks save the corporations about $ 245 billion in tax payments. A further $ 182 billion is lost to states every year because individuals have more than $ 10 trillion in financial assets parked in tax havens.

Are tax havens mostly small islands? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that

Tax evasion is particularly damaging to poor countries: on average, they lose around 5.8 percent of their tax revenue. In the richer countries it is “only” 2.5 percent.

Conversely, however, it is rich countries that organize global tax evasion. It is a prejudice that tax havens are mostly small islands in the ocean. The five most important tax havens are: The Cayman Islands, which are part of the United Kingdom as “British overseas territory”. The financial institutions there are controlled directly by the City of London and are responsible for the loss of $ 70 billion in tax revenue worldwide. Next up is the UK, which is down 42 billion. Third place is occupied by the Netherlands (loss of 36 billion), Luxembourg (27 billion) and the USA (23 billion).

“Black list” not very targeted

None of these countries appear on the “black list” of the EU, which lists unruly tax havens. Instead, there are Palau or Trinidad and Tobago, which refuse to cooperate with the European authorities – but cause almost no tax damage. The states on the “black list” are jointly responsible for around 1.72 percent of global tax losses – while EU states cause around 36 percent.

The study also calculates how great the damage is in individual countries. Germany loses around $ 35 billion in taxes every year. That’s the equivalent of $ 429 per inhabitant. The Federal Republic of Germany is itself a small tax haven: other countries escape about $ 3.4 billion in corporate taxes due to the local laws.

It is no coincidence that the study is now being published: This Friday, the G20 finance ministers are meeting for a virtual conference. Tax Justice Network wants the country reports to name the individual companies so that the corporations can be held accountable.


Soon a European army?

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – Defense policy experts from the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) want to end the EU’s security powerlessness. Their proposal: endow the Commission with its own armed forces. A decision which would require a real “revolutionary momentum”.

Par Thorsten Jungholt (World)

He started again. During the debate in the European Parliament on the repercussions of the American elections on Wednesday, Josep Borrell first conveyed his congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden for this “ historic victory “. Then, the EU’s foreign affairs official quickly got to the heart of the matter: for him, Europe must “ strengthen its strategic autonomy, better manage its capacities and protect us effectively If it wants to be able to fully exploit the opportunities offered by a new era of partnership between the EU and the United States.

Since the Spanish Social Democrat was appointed High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy almost a year ago, he has had nothing to say but these words. During his inauguration speech, he notably declared that the EU must learn ” the language of power “. At the Munich Security Conference, he stressed that Europe should not be satisfied with “ slip in comments every day to express your concern », But actively defend its interests, both diplomatic and military.

And Josep Borrell was able to translate his words into actions: he has already campaigned for the deployment of soldiers in Libya, and would not be opposed to a strengthening of the European military presence in the Sahel either. “ The era of the conciliatory European Union, when it is not naive, has lived », Wrote the head of European diplomacy in the newspaper Die Welt. “Virtuous soft power is no longer enough in today’s world. We must add a dimension of hard power

The Battlegroups have never intervened in the absence of a political agreement.

Yet in reality, Josep Borrell is a king without a kingdom. Foreign policy decisions require the unanimity of the 27 member states, while recourse to the military remains the responsibility of national governments.

Of course, since 2005 there have been European combat troops, known as the Battlegroups. These are two military devices made up of 1,500 soldiers each, which are made available to the EU to enable it to react quickly to possible crises. These battalions are equipped with heavy equipment such as tanks and combat helicopters, and are led for six months by a framework nation, which is one of the Member States providing the bulk of the contingent, according to a principle of rotation. Currently, these are Germany and Italy. Other countries are participating with smaller numbers.

However, the Battlegroups have never yet intervened in the absence of a political agreement. So far, no member state has even volunteered to take on the role of umbrella nation for the first half of 2021 – although Europe has around 1.4 million active troops.

The Commission is currently negotiating with Berlin and Rome to extend their mission for at least three more months. The German defense minister has hinted that he might be willing to do so, provided the other countries take more responsibility. If the discussions are going well, this quack is already a serious setback for the geostrategic ambitions of Josep Borrell.

The Spaniard nevertheless received support from the German Social Democrats. ” The geopolitical situation and European values ​​oblige the EU to take an active role in security policy », We can read in a twelve-page reflection document drafted by the SPD group’s working group on security and defense policy in the Bundestag – in line with Josep Borrell’s objectives. However, they add, in crisis situations “ the Commission still depends too much on the will of one and the other ”. The hour would therefore have come ” to take a courageous step towards the creation of a European army ».

The proposal of the SPD defense policy experts is called “the 28th Army”. Rather than focusing on the development of cooperation between the 27 national armies as has been done until now, a separate army would thus be created, in parallel with the national troops. The 28th Army would be directly subject to the Commission and placed under the responsibility of a new Defense Commissioner.

“Free ourselves from the heavy questions of sovereignty”

Political control would be ensured by a Defense Committee of the European Parliament. As in Germany, MEPs would thus decide on the deployment of troops by a simple majority on a proposal from the Commission. This is what distinguishes this SPD proposal from other initiatives previously launched, such as that of the former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski, who proposed the creation of a “European legion” like the French foreign legion. .

According to the concept paper, the strength of the 28th Army would be based on that of the Battlegroups, with an initial contingent of around 1,500 soldiers. In the medium term, a brigade of combat troops should be added to reach around 8,000 soldiers, including support elements such as logistics and medical personnel.

« The objective is to improve the EU’s capacity for action by freeing us from heavy questions of sovereignty »Explains Fritz Felgentreu, rapporteur for defense policy within the SPD group. ” In addition to the force of action that already exists in trade matters and the greater determination that we wish to achieve in the world of diplomacy, the 28th Army could durably strengthen the military pillar of European cooperation. »

The SPD report contains many proposals in terms of funding, equipment, working language, remuneration and concerning the complex issue of parking space, the EU obviously not having its own territory. The European treaties should also be amended. However, German defense policy experts do not claim to provide all the answers.

Fritz Felgentreu and his acolytes call for a ” revolutionary momentum to stimulate the evolutionary process »Creation of the European army. Initially, their idea of ​​the 28th Army would have limited operational readiness and capacity. But in the longer term, it could, as it evolves, “ assume numerous missions of the national armed forces in the fields of the army, navy, aviation and cyber-security, and thus lead to a real European army “. The report concludes by stressing that in the absence of such a project, the only alternative would be to accept that Europe continues to suffer from its powerlessness in the area of ​​security policy.


Ahmad Ahmad, CAF president, suspended for five years by FIFA

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Radio Foot’s program today: Ahmad Ahmad, CAF president, suspended for five years by FIFA: reactions and consequences on African football. Our tribute to Augustin Sidy Diallo, the president of the Ivorian Football Federation, who died on Saturday. Manchester City beaten 2-0 by Tottenham: how to explain the difficulties of Pep Guardiola’s team?

Arsenal held in check in Leeds (0-0): Nicolas Pépé expelled, can he still revive with the Gunners? The almighty AC Milan after their victory against Naples yesterday (3-1): another double from Ibrahimovic but the Swede came out injured. What are the Rossoneris worth without Zlatan? Napoli weakened by the absence of Victor Osimhen? We will also talk about Juventus Turin and the return to form of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Around Annie Gasnier: Habib Beye, Patrick Juillard and Hervé Penot. Director: Laurent Salerno. Preparation: Marie-Amélie Motte.

Read also: African Football Confederation: Ahmad or lost ambitions


“Wearing a mask in elementary school hinders children’s learning”

A masked elementary school pupil in class on May 12, in Villers-lès-Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle.

Tribune. Thursday, October 29, the Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, Jean-Michel Blanquer, announced at a press conference that“Currently, at the time of the school holidays, there were twenty-seven closed structures out of the 21,500 in the country, ie 0.04%” ; what “The number of Covid cases over the last seven days was 8,223 students, remember that there are 12,400,000 students in our country, or 0.07%” and “The school is therefore in reality a secure space”.

Based on these data, the minister then announced: “The mask becomes mandatory for all students from the preparatory course so that these students and their teachers protect themselves as much as possible from any risk of possible contagiousness even if we know that the contagiousness of small children towards adults is, it seems. low ».

Without denying the current health reasons, as psychologists specializing in neuropsychology, we wonder about the impact of such a measure on the cognitive and cerebral development of the child. From a theoretical point of view, managing a mask entails an additional constraint drawing on limited attentional resources. Maintaining attention, being deprived of half of the facial information and having access only to a filtered voice, also requires tapping into these limited attentional resources. For a child, expressing himself through a mask is also an additional constraint on getting involved and participating in class life.

Deprived of lip movement

According to Stanislas Dehaene, neuroscientist and professor at the Collège de France, president of the Scientific Council for National Education (CSEN), neurosciences have identified at least four determining factors in the speed and ease of learning: attention, active engagement, feedback and consolidation (L’Express, 2018).

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Stanislas Dehaene, from neurosciences to educational sciences

From a theoretical point of view, wearing a mask in children would therefore impact these first two pillars: attention and commitment. Attentional and engagement functions are strongly linked to the prefrontal cortex (front part of the brain) which matures throughout child and adolescent development based on physiological factors and environmental stimuli. What impact can the constraint of wearing a mask have on this maturation?

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Corona is forcing even more migrants into the boats

Neight they squeeze into the fishing boats. Many first head far out into the Atlantic to avoid the coast guard. Others stalk their way north in stages along the coast. A good 1200 kilometers of way lie ahead of them. If the sea is calm, you will be there a week later: in the Canary Islands.

Africa then lies behind them. For example the place Saint-Louis in Senegal. It has been like a ghost town since spring. The European tourists who usually come by direct flight from Paris for a beach holiday or the international jazz festival stayed away. The residents of the city in northwest Senegal have so far been able to live well from them and from fishing. Around 100,000 jobs in the country depend on tourism. But since the corona pandemic broke out in March, holidaymakers no longer travel to countries like Senegal or Morocco.

To this end, more and more people from West and North Africa are making their way to Europe, albeit via a life-threatening detour: Instead of the Sahara, Libya and the Mediterranean, one of the most important migration routes now leads to the Canary Islands. More than 18,000 migrants have already landed there this year, hundreds of new ones arrive every day – from Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal; some even set sail in Gambia, which is 2,400 kilometers from the Spanish archipelago. Around 600 boats made it this year.

There is no more space on the port of Arguineguín in the southwest of Gran Canaria. On some days, up to 2,300 newcomers crowd there, who are registered and tested for Corona. Most of them spend their first nights in the open air. Only a dozen showers and a couple of Dixie toilets are ready for them. The Spanish media call the first point of contact for all new migrants “Camp of Shame”. Not only because of the catastrophic situation in Arguineguín, the Spanish government wants to set up tent camps for up to 7,000 people as soon as possible. About 5500 migrants are currently housed in hotels and other holiday complexes that are empty due to the Corona crisis. The aim is to create humanitarian conditions that are “as humane as possible” before the migrants are returned to their countries of origin as soon as possible.

The newcomers want to go straight to Europe, Spain, France or Germany. However, the Spanish government has only flown a few people to the mainland who are particularly vulnerable. They want to prevent the western route from attracting even more migrants. “Europe wants to turn us into a prison island,” complain Canarian politicians. Human rights activists fear that what happened on the Greek island of Lesbos, where thousands of migrants are trapped, could repeat itself. Residents do not want a “second Moria” that could deter tourists. You haven’t forgotten the Cayuco crisis in 2006. At that time, almost 32,000 West Africans landed in the Canary Islands.


In Sweden, avoid at all costs the migration “catastrophe” of 2015

At 21, Sharif Omari no longer dreams. The young Afghan no longer has the strength. If he does not find a job before December, his residence permit will not be renewed. He risks being sent back to Kabul, where his mother made him promise never to return, when she sent him to Iran after his father’s death. It was in 2015. He was 16 years old. “Suddenly the borders opened up, says the young man. I followed those who were leaving for Europe and I arrived in Sweden. “

That year, 163,000 asylum seekers crossed the kingdom’s borders – a record in Europe for this small country of 10 million inhabitants. Almost a third of the new arrivals are Syrians. A quarter come from Afghanistan. Among them, many unaccompanied minors, like Sharif: 35,000 in total, two out of three of whom are of Afghan origin.

Echoing the ” we make it “ (“We will get there”), launched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on August 31, 2015, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven insists in Stockholm: “My Europe does not build walls. ” Words that come to haunt him today.

Because if, five years later, the German Chancellor assures that she would take “The same essential decisions”, Stefan Löfven wants to do everything “So as not to return to the situation of autumn 2015”, as he keeps repeating. For the first time, on September 9, the Social Democratic leader even made the link between the“Importance of immigration” and the « tensions » within Swedish society.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Sweden, the right reaches out to the far right

Social segregation

In the public debate, it is no longer a question of the failure of integration: social segregation, accentuated by the glaring lack of housing; unemployment of people born abroad three times higher than that of native Swedes; the violence of gangs, established in neighborhoods with a large immigrant population …

One of the most sensitive political issues at the moment concerns the reform of asylum policy. It should perpetuate the measures adopted in the emergency, in 2016. Permanent residence permits were then abolished, humanitarian asylum restricted and family reunification limited. The conservative right and the far right want to go even further and impose quotas.

“Sweden, which was much more generous than the European average before 2015, is aligning itself with the minimum level, to the point that we are happy that there is European legislation which prevents doing less”, note Anna Lindblad, lawyer at the NGO Asylrättscentrum. She denounces a rhetoric which “Presents 2015 as a disaster” and “Demonize refugees”.

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Medvedev wins Masters and wants to turn the page Nadal-Djokovic-Federer

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With his first coronation at the Masters on Sunday in London, Russian Daniil Medvedev is approaching 3rd place in the world, according to the ATP ranking and is turning a page in world tennis: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are no longer invincible, including in major tournaments.

It is a page that is turned in world tennis, at the end of the 2020 season, truncated by the Covid-19: Thiem and Medvedev are convinced that Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are no longer invincible, including in the big tournaments. This thanks to the first coronation at the Masters in London, acquired Sunday, November 22, by the Russian Daniil Medvedev, world n ° 4, against Dominic Thiem, who remains the world third.

At the dawn of a year 2021 whose calendar remains unresolved, the “Big 3” remains the stallion of world tennis: Novak Djokovic (winner of one of the three Majors played, in Australia, and two of the three Masters 1000) and Rafael Nadal (titled for the 13th time at Roland Garros) by the results. Then Roger Federer by the aura.

But Dominic Thiem (3rd in the world at 27) and Daniil Medvedev (4th at 24) are now behind them in the ATP ranking and, more importantly, in terms of level of play. In London, where the eight best players of the season were gathered. , the Austrian and the Russian both beat Djokovic and Nadal. Federer was not present, having ended his season during confinement in the spring.

However, Medvedev considered his final against Thiem to be “the most difficult victory of (his) life” … the day after an exceptional half against Nadal.

Defeat the Big Three, like Nalbandian

The last to have managed to beat the three world leaders in the same tournament before winning the title there is David Nalbandian at the Masters 1000 in Madrid in 2007. The Argentinian then beat Nadal in the quarterfinals, Djokovic in the half and Federer in the final .

“It shows what I’m capable of when I play well, that I feel good mentally and physically. Now I have to produce such a game more and more often, “analyzed Medvedev, who had already marked the 2019 season with a memorable final at the US Open where he had pushed Nadal in the 5th set.

Medvedev thus ended the year 2020 with ten matches won consecutively to win the title at the Masters 1000 in Paris and then at the Masters at the end of the year in London.

“It’s a huge confidence boost for the next Grand Slam tournaments and others. I hope to continue at this level,” added the player who was born in Moscow and has lived in Monaco for years.

For his part, after three lost finals (Roland-Garros 2018 and 2019 against Nadal and Australia 2020 against Djokovic), Thiem finally won his first major title this year, at the US Open, becoming the first player outside “Big 3 “to put his name on the prize list of a tournament of this caliber since Stan Wawrinka in 2016 at Flushing Meadows.

“One day Roger, Rafa, ‘Nole’ and Andy will not be there anymore”

He can also boast of having a clearly positive record against the sacred monsters on their last meetings: he has beaten Djokovic five times in seven games, Federer five times in six duels and Nadal three times in four games.

And even if he thinks that in the next years Djokovic (33 years old), Nadal (34 years old) and Federer (39 years old) “will still play to win the big titles”, Thiem can, him, see further and imagine being part of the next generation.

“Roger, Rafa, ‘Nole’ and also Andy (Murray) have made a huge contribution to our sport, but one day they will not be here anymore,” said Thiem. “And then it will be very important to keep all the fans in tennis. They brought in. It will be our challenge: to play the big tournaments very well, to become huge stars ourselves. “

But the “old” will still defend their trophies dearly in 2021. “I will work hard to be ready from the start of the season”, promised Nadal after his defeat in the half in London.

With AFP