The Economy Circle calls for an increase in investment in health care in Spain by € 12,000 million

The covid-19 has been a test that has tested the health system and, given all the shortcomings that have emerged, solutions are needed. This is the conclusion of the Circle of Economy, which sees it as essential to put the health system at the center to deal with the coronavirus crisis and overcome it prosperously. To do this, they call for an increase in investment in health by 12.24 billion euros so that Spain’s public spending in this area is equal to that of Europe: Spain is currently at 8.9% of GDP and European average is 9.9%.

The conclusions of the Circle of Economy have been drawn up by a commission of nine specialists who have projected the needs of the state health system five years from now. “It won’t be easy, but we have to go further. Prevention is always better than cure,” said Andreu Mas-Colell, chairman of the commission of experts that drafted the report and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology ( BIST), as well as ex-minister of Economy of the Generalitat.

In this sense, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa – present this Friday afternoon at the presentation of the report – has agreed with the vision of the Circle of Economy: “We need a more preventive and not so reactive attitude “. Island, however, did not want to get into the numbers game and limited himself to saying that “structural changes are needed, such as putting primary care at the center.” So far, the head of Health has been satisfied with the increase of 3.5 billion euros in health promised by the new state budgets. “This is not a one-day flower, it must be a sustained effort,” he noted.

The Secretary of Health of the Generalitat, Marc Ramentol, also spoke at the presentation of the report; the president of the Cotec foundation, Cristina Garmendia; the president of the Circle of Economy, Javier Faus, and the secretary of Industry of the Spanish government, Raül Blanco. In fact, the industry sector is one of the areas that have generated the most debate. Both Blanco and Ramentol have agreed that the healthcare industry needs to be strengthened so that in a crisis situation companies do not have to vary their production to lend a hand in terms of health, as happened at the beginning of the pandemic when Seat began to make respirators or textile factories made masks. Blanco has stated that an industrial policy is needed “to help respond to these needs” and sees European funds to deal with the covid-19 crisis as “a window of opportunity”. Ramentol also values ​​the European economic injection as an opportunity to bet on “digitalization and modernization”. “We lived anchored in a twentieth-century public health system,” he warned.

Spend money better

In the report, the Circle of Economy insists on the need to provide more funding to the health system, but above that, they prioritize one more aspect: spending money well. The entity advocates a total facelift, through the improvement of infrastructures – they ask that the expansion of the Hospital Clínic be carried out -, an increase in the salary of professionals, invest in new technologies and personalize care health. Challenges that can only be achieved through “efficient public-private collaboration and good coordination between administrations.”

And if from the very beginning the entity has valued the covid-19 as a “test” in the health system, all the leaders present at the event have shown their willingness to rethink the model to try to get a better score in the next exam. For now, this examination is not over, as Illa, despite being optimistic about a horizon with vaccines and saying that the situation is improving, has warned that Spain is still “bad”.


Joe Biden the Catholic accepts the right to abortion

“For too many democratic activists, abortion has become a litmus test of democratic orthodoxy,” lamented in August the Jesuit Thomas Reese in the magazine America. It is undoubtedly by virtue of this maxim that Joe Biden evolved on the subject of abortion which tears Americans apart.

While Donald Trump, from rather liberal and progressive New York circles, has become the voice of “pro-life” fiercely hostile to abortion, Joe Biden has taken the opposite route to get closer to “pro-life”. choice ”.

→ PORTRAIT. Joe Biden, a second Catholic president for America

Over the course of his long political career, Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, installed on the right wing of the Democratic Party, did not hide his aversion to abortion. And Senator Biden has consistently voted in favor of the Hyde Amendment – passed each year by Congress – which more or less largely bans federal funding for the practice, slashing the budget for Planned Parenthood and other organizations, and banning a covered by the Medicaid health insurance system, intended for the most disadvantaged.

He reconciles his Catholic belief with his views on abortion

His campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2019 was the occasion for his rapprochement with the progressive current of the party. While on a trip to North Carolina, Joe Biden explained how he reconciled his Catholic belief with his views on abortion: « I am ready to accept for myself, personally, the doctrine of my Church [sur le moment où la vie commence], but I am not ready to impose it on any other person ”.

In recent months, Joe Biden has strengthened his position in favor of “Women’s right to choose” and pledged to challenge, as much as possible, the tightened restrictions under Trump’s tenure. The president wants to repeal both the Hyde amendment – often referred to as a “domestic gag” – but also the “Global gag”, a rule in force only under the Republican presidencies since Ronald Reagan and reinstated by Donald Trump in 2017, which blocks American aid to organizations deemed favorable to abortion abroad.

A conservative supreme court

Last but not least Joe Biden would like a federal law to protect the right to abortion, if by chance the historic judgment “Roe against Wade” of the supreme court which legalized in 1973 abortion in the United States was postponed. in question. A prospect envisioned by Donald Trump who appointed three justices to the Supreme Court, including conservative Amy Coney Barrett in October.

US presidential election: Kamala Harris, a woman of today

“Joe Biden has no room for maneuver to influence the Supreme Court”, notes the historian Romain Huret, director of studies at EHESS. But according to him, even conservative, the court will hesitate to cancel this judgment, in view of public opinion. According to a 2019 study by the Pew research center, 61% of American adults – and 56% of Catholics – said they were in favor of abortion ” in all cases “ or ” in most cases “. For their part, 55% of Protestants and 77% of Evangelicals are hostile to it. ” in all cases “ or ” in most cases “.

450 abortion restrictions have been promulgated by states

However, the right to abortion has been declining for years, both under Republican and Democratic presidencies, in particular thanks to the activism of the religious right. For ten years, 450 restrictions on abortion have been promulgated by states according to the Guttmacher Institute, specializing in the study of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The institute ranked eleven Southeastern and Central states in the category “Very restrictive”, against four that remain “Favorable” and only one, California, “Very favorable” to abortion. Abortion is therefore becoming more and more difficult to access and more and more expensive, € 1,300 on average according to family planning.

United States, federal justice reshaped by Donald Trump

Joe Biden has little power to influence their policy, while health is one of their prerogatives. If he pleads for abortion to be considered “An essential health service” who should be supported by Obamacare, the affordable care law, Romain Huret doubts he is ready to sacrifice part of his political capital to lead this fight: “Barak Obama is exhausted on this issue of abortion which opens endless debates and divides Democrats. To get their vote on Obamacare, he had to give up the cost of abortion ”.


Poland is torn apart over abortion

” It’s the war ! “, ” Get the hell out of here ! “, chant in unison thousands of angry young Poles. An air of degagism reigns in the streets of the country, since Thursday, October 22, the day when the Constitutional Court, close to the conservatives in power, declared abortion in case of fetal malformations, contrary to the constitution. This Friday, October 30, a giant demonstration is planned.

Seven days of anger

Poland has entered a zone of turbulence from which we do not see the outcome, while the health situation could offer the government the opportunity to proclaim a state of emergency to put an end to the protests which have been chained without interruption, despite the grouping bans due to the pandemic.

To attacks on churches targeted on Sunday 25 October, the leader of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński responded by denouncing the ” barbarity “ « against what is sacred to us ”. The Catholic episcopate is partly held responsible for the decision of the Tribunal, especially as its president, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, quickly welcomed it.

The situation escalated, as feminist activists interrupted Sunday masses and tagged churches. Scuffles erupted between protesters and ultra-Catholic nationalist militias on Monday evening when women’s groups began to block traffic in towns.

Iron glove strategy

Faced with popular fury, the government is playing the card of police firmness. The organizers of the protests could also be brought to justice, facing up to eight years in prison. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Deputy Prime Minister for the past few weeks (as he has been pulling strings of the country from a distance so far), took a dramatic tone to call on Tuesday “All members and supporters” from PiS to “Defend the Church at all costs”, which would represent “The only universally recognized moral system in Poland ».

“It is an attack aimed at the destruction of Poland. Its success would mean the end of the history of the Polish nation as we know it ”, he warns. On social networks, such a speech immediately echoed that of Communist General Wojciech Jaruzelski, on December 13, 1981, announcing martial law in Poland.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski also invoked public health. “At this stage of the epidemic, these events will certainly cost the lives of hundreds of people”, he said. The opposition, for its part, denounces the Tribunal’s decision as a “Bomb” intended to distract from the weakness of the health system and the mismanagement of the health crisis.

De-escalation in hypotheses

Feminists are calling for the Constitutional Court to step back on abortion and for the abandonment of reforms to the judicial system. “Let them leave the women alone and deal with the pandemic”, launched Marta Lempart, leader of Strajk Kobiet (“Women’s strike”), in the main opposition newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza. But the hope that the Tribunal will reverse its decision is weak, if not zero. Its composition – contested due to its reshuffle after the PiS came to power in 2015 – will not change for several years.

In Poland, access to abortion is further reduced

Rewriting the Basic Law to redefine the limits of the protection of the life of all human beings is even less possible, neither the PiS nor the opposition being able to gather a two-thirds majority to do so.

Assuming that the PiS wants to soften the impact of the decision, several hypotheses are being considered by experts in public law. A new law on abortion could specify that the new restriction applies exclusively to embryos with Down’s syndrome, as proposed by the small right-wing party Porozumienie (Entente), of Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin, an ally of the PiS. This would reopen the possibility of terminating pregnancies which are known to only lead to the death of the embryo or newborn.


The limitation of an already restrictive law

By prohibiting abortion in the event of a serious malformation of the fetus, the Polish Constitutional Court ratified the virtual ban on abortion on October 22.

Out of the 1,100 cases of abortion recorded in 2019, 1,074 cases are linked to a fetal malformation. Abortion remains possible in two cases: risk of death for the mother and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.

According to a poll published Wednesday, October 28, more than 65% of Poles disapprove of the Tribunal’s decision, and nearly 69% would be in favor of a national referendum on access to abortion. According to another poll, the popularity of the ruling PiS has dropped from 36-39% to 26%.


The Spanish government is preparing more aid for restoration

The second wave of coronavirus is especially punishing the restaurant sector, which in territories such as Catalonia has been forced to close to curb the rise in infections. The sector, which is still suffering from the wear and tear of the first months of the pandemic and a half-gas summer, is now facing new health restrictions in many parts of the state that should lead to more financial aid. Precisely in this scenario, the Spanish government is preparing a series of new measures for bars and restaurants. So he has advanced it The country this Thursday and have confirmed sources from the Ministry of Economy to ARA.

The department headed by Nadia Calviño is leading a negotiation with other ministries, from Finance and Labor to Tourism and Social Security. The Sánchez executive is working to be able to take more measures and have an aid plan “in the coming weeks”, according to sources from the Ministry of Economy. The proposals would be in line with those approved so far: exemptions, bonuses or ICO guarantees, among others, so that the sector can face the fall in activity and catch air in the coming months.

“We can not stand more closed, we will starve more than the virus”

Meanwhile, the sector points out that the measures approved so far are no longer “sufficient”. Specifically, the Spanish hospitality industry estimates the amount needed to guarantee its survival at 8.5 billion euros and points to “direct aid and lost funds such as those approved in France and Germany,” said the president of ‘Hospitality Spain, José Luis Yzuel. Precisely, the scenario in which Spain lives is not far from that of other European countries, despite the fact that the weight of tourism here is higher. For this reason, some European governments have already given the green light to new aid aimed at the most affected sectors.

Italy last week activated a battery of measures worth 5.4 billion euros aimed at workers in the restaurant, but also sports, culture and leisure. For its part, the United Kingdom has approved an item of 2.4 billion that will include non-refundable aid for activities that have had to close or reduce schedules. Money that will be transferred directly to the current account of the beneficiary, according to the British government. In the same vein, France has approved grants of up to 10,000 euros for SMEs, while it has decided to extend the ERTOs until September. These are just a few examples of measures that since the restoration hope that the Spanish government will approve as soon as possible to “reverse the situation in the coming months,” said the hotel management.

The hotel industry that does not serve at home will be able to access the extraordinary self-employed benefit


Tangled up in reality (

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Vice Prime Minister of Poland and Chairman of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), speaks during a debate in the Sejm. In parliament, Kaczynski accused the opposition of having instigated mass protests across the country against a clear tightening of the abortion ban.

Photo: Radek Pietruszka / PAP / dpa

In some realities, even the most stubborn beliefs shatter. If even Polish nationalists bow to the pandemic and hold the annual “independence march” on November 11th in Warsaw as a motorcade, this is due to the dramatic situation in the Polish health system in general and the corona situation in particular – which no one can ignore. Not even the PiS tip around Jarosław Kaczyński, who apparently got hopelessly entangled in attempts to use them tactically for himself. As in 2016, the PiS wanted to tighten the restrictive abortion law as a gift to the Catholic Church. At that time, mass protests stopped the project, and hundreds of thousands will take to the streets in 2020 – despite Corona. Wing fights are raging in the PiS and the Sejm faction is threatened with secession. The government did not want to accept Corona aid from Germany – the election campaign with an anti-German mood does not fit. But in fact, Kaczyński and more and more Poles are less and less compatible – the majority rejects the restrictive abortion laws, the church is regarded as an authority for fewer and fewer Poles. Social achievements of the PiS have allowed many people to live with it in a kind of truce. That is over in the reality of the crisis.


Cristina Kirchner warns La Rosada: there are no votes to approve abortion

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner found out that Alberto Fernandez Finally, he will send to Congress the bill to legalize abortion, like almost everyone else, on the C5N channel. It was with the interview of the Secretary of Legal and Technical, Vilma Ibarra. That is the first, of not a few, reproaches that they are launching from the Senate to the Pink House.

In Balcarce 50 they are not far behind and defend themselves: “We were paying more costs for not sending it, as we had promised since the campaign, than sending it.” The resolution and who ends up paying for the broken dishes if there is a revival of 2018 is what is at stake.

Part of Kirchner’s DNA, post-Resolution 125, is not to bring to the venue a proposal that is not known to be approved. Let’s change enabled the discussion on abortion but with Mauricio Macri admitting to being against it. This is not the case of Alberto Fernández: although in Rosada herself they admit that their debate, even with a final defeat, can help divide the opposition. “Also to the ruling party”, they ironize in the Senate.

In Christianity they bet that they will blame their boss for not having been able to column their troop. “They already make it known that she is against it,” they sow suspicion. Although during his government he was against it, at least in public the now Vice said that it was the militancy of her daughter Florencia that made her change her vision.

Look also

The Secretary of Energy provided a report in which he spoke about the rates, the segmentation of subsidies and the impact of the Gas Plan on the industry and public accounts, the state of YPF and the possibility of bringing another regasification ship. Also, from his dialogue with Cristina and Alberto.


The conclusion, they believe, is whether or not he manages to “column” the troops. In Christianity, they stop when they remember the vote for equal marriage: “Some of our people, with Nestor (Kirchner) sitting there next door, voted against. There is no party discipline on these issues.”

With the dispute over the future of Daniel Rafecas as a solicitor as a backdrop, with different optics for his treatment, the Vice President began to send an underground message to the Government for the new legislative crusade: today there are no votes in the upper house, as in 2018, to approve the legal interruption of pregnancy.

That was, they say close to him, the first strategic error that he blamed on the Government: for months the “green” and “blue” votes have been monitored in the Senate; Before confirming the shipment, no one from La Rosada asked for the updated survey. They do not give precise figures but they do the vote today would be similar to that of two years ago: they were 38 against and 31 in favor.

For now, Cristina Kirchner did not tell the President personally, with whom, according to sources close to both, do not deny it, he would not have spoken since shortly before the now famous public letter. The head of the todista bloc of the Senate served as emissary. “Life and the Constitution must be respected. The Constitution is pro-life”, was the repercussion of José Mayans from Formosa, something that in Balcarce 50 they imagined because of their “heavenly” condition. “Deaths from clandestine abortion practices are the 74th cause of death,” added the senator, trying to minimize the problem. In La Rosada, they tell him that hospital discharges for abortions in his province, unlike the country as a whole, are a relevant statistic.

Beyond his personal position on an issue that cuts across party discipline both in the ruling party and in the opposition, the government noted the evaluation of the moment as “inappropriate” that Mayans personified in Vilma Ibarra, author and spokesperson of the project. There you could detect, between the lines, the thought of Cristina Kirchner, as confirmed by the Vice.

It is not a secret that both share a torrential past. Hours before the first consequence of the Cristinista “officials that do not work”, in the Senate they reproached Ibarra today that, beyond the new public announcement (of a project that has been postponed since March and that now it was promised to send this month but undated), have not yet seen the final text in Congress. “We do not have tools to negotiate with the senators,” they recriminated near the former president. The bottom line: “We don’t know if the project can be modified or they want it to be approved as it comes.”

From La Rosada they rejected the proposal: “It is not like the Budget that you can talk about raising or lowering an aliquot.” “The project has been known for months,” they argued.

Another “error” they blame is that the Health Commission, which may delay or accelerate the process, is not only chaired by a “heavenly” opponent (the radical Mario Fiad) but the vice president would also vote against it (the Santiago José Emilio Neder).

And there is one last point, which is worthy of note for La Rosada: several senators began to show concern for their safety in the future virtual session. “It is not the same to have a march here outside (of Congress) that there are demonstrations of ‘green’ and ‘blue’ outside their homes in the provinces,” they repeat.


Protests in Poland and Belarus: the revolution is a woman

The demonstrations in Belarus and Poland differ in important respects. What they have in common is the following message: Don’t mess with women!

Neither the women in Poland (photo) nor those in Belarus want to put up with everything any longer Photo: dpa

The revolution is a woman. It is no different in Belarus than in Poland. Women have been demonstrating in both countries for weeks and months – against the brazenly falsified presidential election in Belarus and against the almost total ban on abortion in Poland, which the ruling national populists are trying to impose under the Constitutional Court. Here as there, the anger that has built up over many years breaks out.

In Belarus, it is the sovereign’s civil rights that President Alexander Lukashenko and his followers have disregarded for decades. In Poland, it is especially the women’s right to self-determination, which has been trampled underfoot since the political change in 1989. At the mass demonstrations, the Polish women demand nothing less than their participation in the political life of Poland.

While the Belarusians define themselves as sovereigns with their own voice for the first time, the Polish women are demanding back their rights that have been systematically taken from them over the past 30 years. They openly denounce that the highly praised “compromise” of 1993 between opponents and supporters of an abortion law in Poland was made over the heads of women – mostly by male ministers and MPs and – also male – Catholic bishops.

The law, which was already extremely restrictive at the time, only provided for an abortion in three cases: in the event of rape of the woman, in the event of danger to life and limb of the pregnant woman and in “a high probability of a severe and irreversible malformation of the fetus or an incurable, life-threatening disease “.

Don’t mess with women

Only in the latter case could the woman concerned decide for herself whether she wanted to carry such a pregnancy or not. In the first case, the prosecutor has decided so far, in the second a medical committee. The Constitutional Court in Warsaw decided, at the request of a national populist member of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS), that this last decision, which the woman still had while pregnant, was unconstitutional.

The PiS underestimated the consequences of tightening abortion laws through the back door of the Constitutional Court, as they only looked at the numbers: 1,100 legal abortions in 2019. That many more abortions are illegally performed, estimated up to 100,000 a year , hardly matters here. Because it’s about something completely different. About women who demand the same right to make decisions as men have.

So while the women in Belarus stand in front of their husbands to protect them from brutal beatings by the police and from torture in the regime’s prisons, the Polish women ask the men: “Are you on my side? Then come with me! ”The big loser will be the Catholic Church in Poland, which wanted to write its morality in the penal code. But the PiS government is also wavering. The political lesson for authoritarian politicians is: “Don’t mess with the women of your country! It could mean your end ”.


Demos against the abortion ban in Poland: Solidarity from Germany

Claudia Roth takes the side of the protesters against the abortion ban in Poland. Pro Familia writes a letter to Maas and Merkel.

Claudia Roth (Bündnis90 / Die Grünen) has shown solidarity with the protesters in Poland Foto: Christian Spicker/imago

BERLIN taz | The Vice President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth, has shown her solidarity with the protesters in Poland who have been taking to the streets for more than a week against an almost complete ban on abortions. The news channel of the public television in Poland, TVP Info, showed Roth on Monday on its online page with the slogan of the protesters “This is war”.

The broadcaster quotes her as saying: “It is time for the German government and the European Union to increase the political pressure on the Polish government to the maximum and to demand European human rights standards.” Roth also posted this text on her Facebook page.

According to TVP Info, the State Secretary of the ruling PiS party in the Polish Foreign Ministry was “appalled” by the form and content of Roth’s contribution. The slogan “This is war” in the mouth of a German politician arouses the worst associations. “Pressure” from the federal government or the EU on Poland also lacks any legal basis.

The Polish demonstrators use the slogan to criticize the state’s “war” against their bodies. Roth’s office manager said that against the historical background it was insensitive to choose this particular image of the movement. That’s why it was removed from the Facebook page. The solidarity with the striking women will of course continue.

“Excessive violence” against demonstrators

In addition, the German Society for Family Planning Pro Familia has turned to the federal government about the ban on abortions in the neighboring country. “Please condemn attacks and violence by non-state actors, including right-wing extremist groups,” writes Pro Familia in an open letter to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). “Work to ensure that those who attack protesters are held accountable.”

The Polish Constitutional Court further tightened the already extremely restrictive regulation on abortion in Poland in October. Women now also have to carry fetuses that they know will be born with severe restrictions or will not survive the birth. Since then, however, protests by Polish women’s rights groups such as Strajk Kobiet (women’s strike) have not stopped. Throughout the country, they are now supported by unions, but also by taxi drivers and farmers. Large demonstrations paralyze inner cities like Warsaw.

At the same time, writes Pro Familia, footage shows how the police use tear gas and pepper spray against protesters. “The use of excessive force by law enforcement officers” would be contrary to international human rights law and the EU charter, which guarantee the right to peaceful assembly, the open letter said. Actions by right-wing extremist groups are also “worrying, as they can often act with impunity, which is in stark contrast to the repressive measures taken by the authorities”.

The women’s political spokeswoman for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Cornelia Möhring, said: “In Poland, the anger is discharging against the increasingly authoritarian government policy.” The protests are not only against the compulsory childbearing, but also against the misanthropic policies of the PiS government. Unfortunately, according to Möhring, little is to be expected from the federal government: at least the Union is also insisting on the so-called “protection of life” in this country. Solidarity with the Poles is all the more necessary.

Ulle Schauws, the women’s political spokeswoman for the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag, still sees the federal government as having an obligation. “The undermining of fundamental rights that the Polish government is directing against women, but also against LGBTI people, is unsustainable,” said Schauws. Also because Germany currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the federal government must increase the pressure on Poland and insist on compliance with the rule of law in the EU member state Poland: “The use of violence against protesting women and activists must be prevented.”


Abortion, cannabis, Mississippi flag … the results of local referendums in the United States

If there is a wave in these American elections, it is neither Republican red nor Democratic blue, but green, like the chlorophyll that tints the leaves of hemp. This Wednesday, at the end of the local referendums which accompanied the American presidential poll – at this time still very uncertain -, four new American states should legalize the recreational use of cannabis, despite federal prohibition. Six years after the pioneering legalization of weed in Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana are now part of America won by the relaxation of drug laws.

Magnolia flower

Without forgetting the therapeutic use, legalized in Mississippi as in more than two thirds of the United States now. In Oregon, one of the most progressive American states, voters approved the decriminalization of the possession (in small quantities, of course) and the use of all drugs (heroin, cocaine) such as therapeutic use of hallucinogenic mushrooms. A measure that says a lot about the turnaround of American society on the response to the consumption of narcotics in barely ten years. And this despite the very serious crisis linked to the use of opiates, which causes tens of thousands of deaths by overdose each year.

Read alsoAmerica in all its fractures

Another important result of these local referendums, although symbolic: voters in Mississippi voted in favor of changing their state’s flag. Since 1894, the banner of this southern state has in fact sported the Confederate emblem (a blue cross on a red background punctuated by 13 white stars), a symbol which the legislators of Mississippi had voted to withdraw in June, a few weeks after the demonstrations that followed the murder of George Floyd. The state, with a slave and segregationist past, was the last in the United States to float the southern emblem above its institutions, despite previous attempts to suppress it. Its flag will now consist of a magnolia flower on a blue background surrounded, of course, currency «In God We Trust».

«Gig economy»

But voters also went to the polls to express themselves on socio-economic measures. This is the case in the District of Columbia (Washington) or in Florida, a state won by Donald Trump, where a majority voted in favor of a constitutional amendment aiming to increase the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. (12.8 euros) by 2026. To date, eight US states (including Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania) have followed this upward movement launched four years ago in California. Nevertheless, voters in this other very progressive state agreed with the companies of the «gig economy», Uber and Lyft, at the origin of a popular initiative, the «proposition 22», to prevent the reclassification of independent drivers and deliverers of VTC platforms into employees. And this, despite a law passed by California lawmakers last year.

Read alsoUnited States: the worst case scenario

Finally, in Louisiana, voters voted for an anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution, a few months after a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a law restricting abortion. Thus, the right to abortion will no longer be guaranteed in this state of the “Bible Belt” (an ultra-conservative southern region where very restrictive legislation in this area has flourished in recent years). Unlike Colorado, where voters refused to restrict access to abortion. It should be noted, and this is a first in the United States, that the voters of this state famous for its national parks were able to express themselves on the reintroduction of the gray wolf, which the federal administration has just removed from the list of species. in danger. According to the provisional results, they seem to have said “yes” to this environmental measure supported by scientists and environmental activists.

Florian Bardou


In Poland, access to abortion is further reduced

► Why this hardening in access to abortion in Poland?

The Constitutional Court declared itself in favor, Thursday, October 22, for a new tightening of the law on abortion, already very restrictive, by invalidating an article authorizing abortion in the event of a serious malformation of the fetus. The President of the Court, Julia Przylebska, considered that the existing legislation was « incompatible » with the country’s Constitution. The petition was lodged in court by a group of deputies belonging to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the far-right Konfederacja party.

“Behind this hardening, it is access to abortion as a whole which is called into question in Poland”, regrets Dorota Dakowska, lecturer in political science at the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies. Indeed, out of the 1,100 cases of abortion recorded in 2019, “1074 cases are linked to a fetal malformation”, recalls the researcher. Abortion remains possible in the event of danger of death for the pregnant woman and of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.

► What is the context of this decision?

Since 2015, Poland has been ruled by Andrezj Duda, a figure of the reactionary Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS). This political formation initiated a turn to the right in the country, on several subjects including that of the rights of homosexual persons. “The coming to power of the Law and Justice party has pushed conservative organizations to express themselves more”, says Frederic Zalewski, lecturer in political science and member of the French Society of Polish Studies.

In April 2020, a proposal to restrict abortion was presented by the Stop Abortion committee, headed by Kaja Godek, whose petition had collected more than 800,000 signatures. The initiative did not win its case in Parliament, but it illustrates the pressure of these conservative associations with which the Law and Justice party is trying to come to an agreement. “The political formation led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski is not a driving force on the subject of abortion but it must sometimes deal with the pressures of a fringe more to the right », considers Frédéric Zalewski.

► What could be the consequences?

“This decision reveals that the conservative right is structured by traditional values”, continues Frédéric Zalewski. Through this action, the Law and Justice party wanted to give pledges to its conservative electorate. “It is also the sign of his reverence towards the voters of the extreme right”, estime Dorota Dakowska.

For researchers, the decision of the Constitutional Court also reflects the influence of the current power. Since the arrival of PiS in 2015, the partiality of the Constitutional Court has often been contested. “The judges of this institution were appointed by the ruling party. The Constitutional Court is completely politicized ”, reports Dorota Dakowska. “Among these members, there are extremely conservative people like Julia Przyłębska, a rather brutal muse of the PiS. “

While Poland is also affected by the coronavirus epidemic, women dressed in black demonstrated on Thursday, October 22, before the Constitutional Court. According to data compiled by NGOs, the number of abortions performed clandestinely in Poland or in foreign clinics could reach nearly 200,000 per year. “ Other women leave to have an abortion in neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic or Slovakia ”, says the researcher. A figure that is likely to increase.