Wales reconfines, curfew in Slovenia: European countries react to second wave

New European nations are taking drastic measures to contain the pandemic.

By Writing with Belga and AFP

LWales on Monday declared a two-week lockdown in an attempt to break the second wave of the new coronavirus, taking the toughest measures in a UK which tackles the issue in a scattered order. Confined in a block on March 23 during the first wave, the country most bereaved in Europe by the pandemic (more than 43,000 dead) reacts to the resurgence in a localized way for the second, sometimes at the mercy of tensions between London and communities and local governments.

From Friday, the more than three million inhabitants of the British province will have to “stay at home”, announced Monday the Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford. The duration of this “firewall” is the shortest that can be introduced to be effective, he said at a press conference, stressing that intensive care units are currently “already full”.

All non-essential businesses will have to close, leading to a situation comparable to the lockdown introduced in the UK seven months ago, which was gradually lifted before the summer. Main difference: primary and some secondary classes will resume the second week of this confinement, the first corresponding to school holidays.

Curfew in Slovenia

The Slovenian government for its part announced on Monday the entry into force of a curfew from Tuesday, in an attempt to stem the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two million inhabitants of this member country of the European Union will not be allowed to go out between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for strictly necessary travel, according to a decree adopted on Monday by the government. Gatherings will also be limited to 6 people against 10 previously and all travel between the 12 regions of the country banned. The restrictions also affect schools: since Monday, only elementary-level students are allowed to go to class, the oldest having to take online courses.

Slovenia, which had succeeded in limiting contamination in the spring, is this time overwhelmed: the number of infections has doubled in one week and the capacity of hospitals is no longer sufficient to accommodate all patients. Health authorities have been forced to stop tracing contacts of infected people for lack of sufficient staff. In total, 190 deaths and more than 13,500 cases have been recorded since the emergence of the pandemic, according to official statistics.


The Government prioritizes European funds in aid over loans

The marathon summit of the European Union that agreed in July to distribute the funds for the recovery after the coronavirus left Spain with 140,000 million euros, an amount that will represent a significant injection of money for the reactivation of the country. However, the Government is going to focus for now on getting half of that amount, about 70,000 million. The other half will be able to wait for the next government, whatever color it is, to manage them. This temporary resignation is not trivial: the first tranche will be direct aid from the EU to Spain; the second, in the form of loans, with their corresponding requirements and conditionalities that, for now, the Executive will not have to meet.

The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, has assumed this approach by being in favor of leaving a part of the aid – that of the credits – for the next Government. For now, Economía only wants non-refundable money transfers. “The Government does not rule out loans at all, but we have a plan for six years,” he indicated in an interview on Radio Nacional.

The European Central Bank calls for funds to arrive in early 2021

Calviño recalled that the expected period to request transfers is until 2023, although there is a term for loans that goes further, until 2026. The current Executive of Pedro Sánchez concludes his term in 2023 and has drawn up “a two-phase plan »that coincides with that political calendar. “The priority is to carry out the investments that can be financed with these transfers,” Calviño pointed out. If necessary, they would apply for the loans, but to the extent that they do not have to depend on that line, they discard using it.

The difference of the loans is that they imply conditionality for the Government of the day. The EU decided to launch two channels for the money to reach the member states. And in the case of credits, Brussels will closely monitor certain economic measures and policies. Something that, in the case of aid, will not be so restrictive. In addition, credits compute to quantify public debt. And the Kingdom of Spain’s commitments to creditors may approach 120% of GDP by the end of this year.

The Minister of Economy insisted on linking the approval of the Budgets to be able to channel the first 27,000 million planned for 2021. “Without budgets they will not be able to be carried out,” he said. The European Commission has rejected that without budgets Spain is going to run out of funds.

The Government expects the Spanish economy to grow in the fourth quarter above the 1.5% predicted by Funcas, although it has recognized that growth will not be of the same intensity as that estimated by the Government for the third quarter (around 13 %).

“Our forecasts are higher (1.5%), but it is clear that the fourth quarter must have a lower growth than the third because it is the effect of the rebound. Given the sharp decline we had in the second quarter, the third is the rebound and the fourth will normally have a less intense growth, “said Calviño.

The minister stressed that this reduction in GDP growth in the fourth quarter “is not a problem”, quite the opposite, because as long as the economic recovery continues, Spain would be “on the right track.”

The vice president has insisted that the current moment is one of “extremely high uncertainty”, but has stressed that positive indicators prevail over negative ones. Thus, he stressed that the use of credit cards, for example, “has risen a lot last week” and the job market continues to have a “very positive” behavior, creating jobs.


A green push from the Basque Country for small European farmers

The farmers play a fundamental role in the transition towards a more sustainable economic and social model. However, it is often not easy for small producers to take the appropriate steps in this regard. Sometimes simply due to lack of information. To respond to this problem, four young Basques have created Dataseeds, a platform that puts at the service of European agricultural SMEs a huge amount of data with which to facilitate that green transition.

Borja Gascón Ybarra, Andrea Briones Palomero, Paula Sanz Álvaro and Aura Cristina Guerrero Olaya -all of them Biscayan between 22 and 24 years old and graduates in International Relations- are the creators of the project, the only Spanish among the twelve finalists in the contest EUDatathon 2020. It is an annual event organized by the European Union that invites each year teams from around the world to develop ideas that connect and use open data provided by EU institutions, agencies and other providers.

Dataseeds competes with two other projects on the continent to win the category European Green Deal, one of the four into which the contest is divided. The other three are Social Economy, Democracy in the EU and Digital Europe. The European Green Deal is the roadmap to provide the Union with a sustainable economy through the efficient use of resources, the restoration of biodiversity and the reduction of pollution.

The continent’s agricultural SMEs will find in Dataseeds «all the information that is relevant for them to they can make their ecological transition themselves», dice Borja Gascón Ybarra. Data on current legislation, agricultural policy, financial aid, scientific resources or contacts of interest. A huge amount of information divided into different sections “to make it a little more accessible”, Andrea Briones Palomero tends: resource efficiency, sustainable transport, packaging and waste management, etc.

“For example, regarding packaging, we provide information that small farmers can use to help them substitute materials that may be dirty or polluting by others that are more ecological, without this involving a significant expense and they can maintain both efficiency and profits, “says Gascón Ybarra. Furthermore, Dataseeds aims to become “a kind of ‘coworking’ place where different agricultural producers in the European Union can upload useful information that they want to share with others,” he adds.

Financial aid and visibility

At the moment, Dataseeds – which aspires to become an application – has secured third place in its category at the EUDatathon 2020. Next week, between October 13 and 15, the winning projects will be announced. Regardless of the final result, the four young people from Biscay are satisfied because being among the 12 chosen assures them, in addition to a notable economic injection, something that is just as or more important: visibility to investors who usually come to this type of contest in search of ideas to transform into business projects.

They will always have, in addition, “the merit of being practically the only finalist project created by students. The rest are the work of people who work in companies ”, boasts Andrea.


US election: Europeans want Trump to defeat – politics –

Biden oder Trump? Biden!

Most of the total of more than 9,000 respondents believe that Trump’s tenure to date has had a negative impact on their country. The Germans particularly strongly reject Trump.

In the US presidential election on November 3rd, a large majority in Germany and six other European countries would like incumbent Donald Trump to be defeated. This comes from a poll by the polling company YouGov, which was published on Thursday. According to this, 71 percent in Germany hope for a victory for the democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Germans strongly against Trump and for Biden

Only eleven percent of Germans would like the Republican Trump to stay in office for four more years. In Denmark, according to the survey, 80 percent are for Biden and only six percent for Trump. The incumbent US president does best in Italy, where 20 percent want him re-elected. Questions were also asked in Great Britain, France, Spain and Sweden.

Video: Bizarre Trump appearance

Negative effects on their country

Most of the total of more than 9,000 respondents believe that Trump’s tenure to date has had a negative impact on their country. Germans and Spaniards say this most often with 69 percent each, Italians least often (50 percent). Few think Trump is a good president: 5 to 15 percent, depending on the country. A large majority consider him a bad president – 76 percent in Germany.


The Government prepares legal changes to achieve investment of all European funds

Spain faces a challenge like none in its recent history: the management of 140,000 million euros that in the next six years will arrive from Brussels in the form of transfers and loans. It is a spectacular injection that will fatten the public budget in subsequent years. To get an idea of ​​the magnitude of the aid, in the last year, all state investment was around 25,000 million. It may seem that the new resources will only derive advantages, but the truth is that managing to spend them will not be easy. This is what can be deduced from the execution of the funds that Spain received from the previous European budget six-year period that lasted between 2014 and 2020: the country has only spent 34% of the more than 56,000 million.

The bulk of this money is committed, around 80%, and it is not expected that any amount of the total will have to be returned because we did not know which projects to allocate the resources to. But Raymond Torres, Funcas joint director, highlights that Spain presents lower execution and commitment figures for structural funds than other European countries. Therefore, the foundation of the old savings banks warns that “without organizational improvements or reforms of the processes, monitoring and execution of projects, Spain will only be able to attract a part of the funds available for 2021-2027”.

Funcas warns of the risk that the country will not be able to be agile enough to spend the money that corresponds to it and that it is essential not only to support the recovery after the pandemic, but to turn the production system around and direct it towards the most cutting-edge sectors, with more potential and that have the capacity to provide higher quality jobs and to sustain the Welfare State.

The Government has to send to Brussels in October a draft of your national plan recovery and at the beginning of 2021 the concrete development of the program, something that the Executive affirms that it will fulfill in a timely manner.

In addition, the country will undergo periodic evaluations. As Cándido Pérez, partner responsible for infrastructure, government and health at KPMG recalls, the great immediate challenge is that by the end of 2022, 70% of all projects have to be committed. It is, after the most immediate of the coming months, the great test that Spain will face.

Projects and legal changes

Pérez considers that it would be smart if, among the existing projects, already underway, or on which work has already been carried out, those most aligned with the community agenda for the coming years –Because they are oriented towards digitization or the ecological transition, or because they focus on health, education or territorial and social cohesion– they should be part of the payroll of those who present themselves in Brussels.

Although that will not be enough. The volume of investments to be made is huge. One hurdle to jump will be the current existence of ‘bottlenecks’ in project management and development. To achieve that ‘decongestion’, options that go through legislative changes are being considered. This is something that Silvia Lacarra, PwC’s strategic consultant, has an impact on, who explains: «We are thinking of streamlining all processes, in the design of an agile mechanism; because what cannot happen is not being able to spend the resources.

Lacarra specifies that “one of the angles” to make public investment more flexible involves changing the law that governs the public sector contracting. “This program has to change the regulatory framework,” defends Lacarra, who clarifies that this should not imply that the awarding process loses guarantees, but it must meet the objective of mobilizing private investment. State attorneys are already studying how to make the relevant regulatory changes.

Public-private collaboration

These should also go through the drawing of a clear scheme for public-private collaboration. Is a formula that is little used in Spain and that the situation may require, although, according to Lacarra, provided it is expedited.

Marciala de la Cuadra, Deloitte’s public sector consulting partner, insists on the same. Consider what to do «The necessary modifications in the public procurement frameworkto streamline processes and, in particular, to facilitate public-private collaboration in the execution of actions ”.

This week, from the CEOE, Ínigo Fernández de Mesa affirmed the need for investment linked to European funds to “make sense”, “generate employment not only in the short term but in the long term” and “modernize and strengthen the production system” . Fernández de Mesa defends public-private collaboration and considers that the participation of companies’ money can work as a guarantee that the plans presented make sense, they are sustainable and efficient.

Fernández de Mesa announced that the employers are designing fifteen tractor projects with the capacity to pull the economy as a whole to present them to the Executive.

According to Cándido Pérez, although the Government must be the one to lead the challenge, it must not act behind the back of the private sector.

De La Cuadra also points out that, in addition to public-private collaboration, it is necessary to promote inter-administrative cooperation (central-regional-local) to accelerate the channels that will allow the funds to reach the respective beneficiaries according to the competences that each one has. The autonomies already elaborate plans to present to the Executive.

Political problems

Torres points out that the more centralized countries tend to have better execution results. In any case, it encourages the creation of an organ effective coordination between administrations or mechanisms to avoid or correct that there are institutions that delay the execution of their projects.

The management of the funds will require legislative changes to streamline contracts and investments. And also, reforms linked to the recommendations that Brussels makes to each State which, in the case of Spain, go through the sustainability of pensions, budgetary strengthening, as well as those related to the labor market.

To address all of this, the country will have to overcome political fragmentation and polarization and pass laws in Congress. Lacarra trusts that differences will be overcome. Because he insists: “The risk is not spending the resources.”

More information


400 minor migrants supported in ten European countries

Ten European Union (EU) countries will welcome 400 unaccompanied minor migrants evacuated from the Greek island of Lesvos after the gigantic fire in the Moria refugee camp, the German Minister of the Interior announced on Friday (September 11th) , Horst Seehofer, specifying that Germany and France would each take care of 100 to 150 of these children.

These 400 unaccompanied minors have already been transferred to mainland Greece after the fire that devastated the unsanitary and overcrowded camp, and left the more than 12,000 people who lived there in the greatest poverty.

On the island of Lesbos, survive in the camps

“We are in discussion with other countries” of the EU that can accommodate these children, said Horst Seehofer during a press conference with the European Commissioner for Migration, Margaritis Schinas, who was participating by video from Athens. The Netherlands had offered Thursday, September 10 to take care of a hundred migrants, half of them minors.

The European Union is tearing itself apart

« [L’incendie du camp de] Moria is a stern reminder to all members of what we need to change in Europe ”, judged Margiritis Schinas, who was then to meet with the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “We need solidarity in migration policy” of the EU, he added.

→ READ. In Greece, refugees under very high pressure

The Moria tragedy has reignited the debate on the reception of asylum seekers in Europe, over which the EU countries are tearing themselves apart. The European Commission is due to present at the end of the month a long-awaited, and several times rejected, proposal for a new pact on migration and asylum.


the United States is putting pressure on the Europeans

The standoff between the United States and the three European countries that signed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal intensifies as Sunday October 18 approaches, the date scheduled for the automatic lifting of the arms embargo conventional to Iran. In a column published, Monday, September 14, in the daily Le Figaro, the head of the American diplomacy Mike Pompeo denounces the “ appeasement strategy Of Europeans and puts pressure on Emmanuel Macron by criticizing France’s refusal to extend the arms embargo and to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Disallowance in the Security Council

Last week in London, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom reiterated their opposition to the United States’ attempt to restore multilateral sanctions against Iran. The American administration had suffered, Tuesday, August 25, a disavowal to the Security Council of the United Nations, of which thirteen members out of fifteen (without the United States and the Dominican Republic) had rejected the validity of the American request. According to these countries, Washington, no longer part of the agreement concluded in 2015 with Tehran since 2018, has no legal basis for triggering a return of international sanctions at the UN.

“Mike Pompeo throws a stone in the pond by asserting that the UN sanctions against Iran, suspended by the agreement, will be in force soon and by implying that the United States will use its whole arsenal of extraterritorial sanctions to block arms sales to Iran, estimates François Nicoullaud, analyst and former French ambassador to Iran. This gesture of spite will not change much to the position of the Europeans who give priority to the preservation of the agreement. A reinstatement of UN sanctions could lead Iran to withdraw from the agreement, or even from the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT). The main thing today is to buy time while waiting for the American presidential election. »

For his part, former Vice President Joe Biden explains that, if he is elected to the White House, the United States will return to the 2015 agreement, if Tehran returns to the strict application of its commitments. “With our allies, we will work to strengthen and expand the provisions of the agreement, while addressing other areas of concern.”, affirms the Democratic candidate in a column published on the CNN site, a position very close to that defended by Paris and other European capitals.

Tehran accelerates its disengagement

In response to the unilateral withdrawal and the “ maximum pressure »From Washington, Tehran is stepping up its policy of disengagement on several points of the agreement: its stock of enriched uranium, the level of enrichment, the number of its centrifuges and their development.

→ READ. The Iran nuclear deal was signed five years ago

1,044 centrifuges are in operation at the Fordo underground plant, said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (OIEA), on September 13. Iran has also launched a factory project of ” advanced centrifuges’ in Natanz, the site affected in early July by an explosion described by Tehran as « sabotage ».


MEPs push for greater climate ambition

► What new climate objective is Europe heading towards?

It was one of the most anticipated votes of the parliamentary re-entry in Brussels. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament spoke on Friday 11 September on the future “climate law” of the European Union (EU), pan central – because legally binding – of the “Green Pact” put on the table by the European Commission at the end of last year.

→ READ. Coronavirus: despite the health crisis, Europe wants to stay the ecological course

The members of this committee (the largest in number within the institution, and therefore one of the most powerful) have come out in favor of a 60% reduction in the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Enough to encourage the European Commission to be ambitious: from Wednesday September 16, on the occasion of her first State of the Union speech, the President of the European Executive Ursula von der Leyen should plead for a goal 2030 climate by 50% or 55% (compared to 40% today), to achieve climate neutrality in the Old Continent by 2050.

► Beyond the figures, what do the new European green ambitions imply?

In their report, the MEPs of the ENVI committee demand, on the one hand, that any new measure put on the table by the European Commission is consistent with the objective of climate neutrality, and on the other hand calls for the Member States be obliged to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by December 31, 2025.

→ ANALYSIS. Europe dreams of a world champion in the climate fight

“A majority also voted for financial sanctions to apply to states that do not respect their climate commitments and to allow civil society to use this law to take legal action against states that do not play the game”, specifies Frenchman Pascal Canfin (Renew Europe), head of the ENVI committee.

► Can the health crisis get the better of the EU’s environmental efforts?

The European Commission wants to believe not. All of its members keep repeating that the Covid-19 health crisis and its economic and social repercussions have not erased the climate emergency and that Europe must urgently take the turn of the transition green.

In Parliament, Agnès Evren, member of the European People’s Party (EPP) group, abstained from voting: she denounces a “Shallot race On the emission reduction target for 2030. If she says she is in favor of carbon neutrality in 2050, she sighs in spite of everything: “The risk of relocation and carbon leakage? All this happens afterwards, the important thing is in the display … “

Ursula von der Leyen, who carefully prepares her speech to MEPs, knows that the chamber is divided between those who think that a green European recovery is possible and those who doubt it. It will therefore be necessary to move forward cautiously (especially since the plenary vote on the climate law, scheduled for October, is far from certain), but move forward all the same.


Germany calls on Europeans to welcome refugees

A fire ravaged the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos. 25 firefighters and 10 vehicles are on site helping to evacuate the 12,700 asylum seekers housed in the overcrowded migrant camp. The large-scale rescue operation has been underway since several fires broke out early Wednesday, September 9, according to Greek firefighters. Always according to them, “Scattered fires in the meadow around the camp but also inside the structure” have started. The firefighters specify qu’“There are no casualties, but a few minor injuries with respiratory problems due to the smoke”.

→ INVESTIGATION. In Greece, refugees under very high pressure

According to local news site Lesvospost, more than 3,000 tents, thousands of containers, administration offices and a clinic within the camp have been burnt. Lesbos firefighters’ union president Yorgos Ntinos tells him the camp is “99% burnt”.

Consequently, “The island of Lesbos is declared in a state of emergency” Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on public television station ERT. A government meeting, with the Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff, is to be held on Wednesday morning “To examine the situation in Moria and the measures that will be taken”.

Migrants flee, the population angry

Nearly 500 migrants are on the road to the port of Mytilene blocked by the police, and others have taken shelter in the hills surrounding the camp. “Asylum seekers flee the camp on foot in the direction of the port of Mytilene but are blocked by law enforcement vehicles”, he adds.

→ REPORT. On the island of Lesbos, survive in the camps

Stand by Me Lesvos, an association bringing together locals and refugees, is alarmed on Twitter: “Everything is burning, people are fleeing”. “Some testimonies report that locals are blocking the passage (of refugees) in the neighboring village”, also adds the association.

“The area pays the price for indifference and abandonment”, continues the association of inhabitants which calls on the authorities to act quickly to find a solution for asylum seekers who will be homeless after the fire.

Revolt against isolation of coronavirus cases

According to the Greek news agency ANA, the fires were said to have been started following the revolt of some asylum seekers who were to be placed in isolation, having tested positive for the coronavirus or having been close to a person who had been detected positive.

The firefighters also report in their press release that they have “Been prevented from entering the camp to intervene” by certain groups of refugees upon their arrival in the camp, and having called on the police to be able to continue the rescue operation.

Last week, authorities detected a first case of coronavirus in Moria camp and quarantined the camp for two weeks. After carrying out 2,000 screening tests, 35 people were detected positive for Covid-19 in Moria. “Only one person presented symptoms, the 34 others are asymptomatic”, assured the statement of the Greek Ministry of Migration. “The 35 people positive for the coronavirus were transported to a space provided for their isolation”, also specified the ministry.

NGOs denounce the confinement of asylum seekers in these structures which are not adapted to put in place the necessary barrier measures. And now with the fire “Everyone has dispersed and the positive cases have mixed with the others now”, worries this Wednesday morning a police source in Lesbos.

Germany calls on Europeans to take care of migrants

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Wednesday announced her “Deep sadness” in the face of the fire that ravaged the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, adding that the EU stands “Ready to help”.

“We stand ready to help, along with the Member States. Our priority is the safety of those who find themselves homeless ”, she said on Twitter, specifying that the Vice-President of the Commission, the Greek Margaritis Schinas, was going to visit Greece ” as soon as possible “.

Earlier in the morning, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced that the EU was funding the transfer and accommodation in mainland Greece of 400 children and adolescents from Moria camp.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, whose country holds the six-monthly presidency of the EU, has called on European Union countries to take care of migrants.


″ China is a far more robust and capable opponent for the US than the USSR ″

Is the American effort to counter the Chinese rise here to stay, whether or not Donald Trump is re-elected President of the United States?
Surely so. Biden declared that he intends to reactivate the project of American global hegemony. The completion of this project is incompatible with the rise of China. However, it is not known exactly in what ways Joe Biden intends to do so, if he wins the elections. From the information available, Biden’s policy towards China will not be much different from that of Trump. The design of a “Global Democracy Summit” to capture allies and build an anti-China front with them does not differ substantially from the new “Alliance of Democracies” proposed by Mike Pompeo. It is not enough for Biden to say that “the United States must be tough on China”. We must explain how. Will you change the terms of this trade war? Will it maintain the customs tariff policy on Chinese products? It will promote decoupling American and Chinese companies? Will you escalate the conflict by extending the confrontation to other areas, in addition to the trade war? Most likely it will not. It does not appear that Biden has much room for maneuver to reverse the anti-China policies already implemented by Trump. If Biden wins the elections, he could revive the global NATO project, and Europeans will be pressured to participate in military competition with Beijing. That possibility can also be realized with Trump, who has already taken some steps in this direction. However, it should be noted that the effort to counter the Chinese rise did not begin during the Trump presidency. It started in the days of President Bush and continued during the Obama presidency, with the designated pivot to Asia in its military component, seeking to guarantee freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and in the economic component with the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], to counteract China’s growing influence in the region, subtracting the signatories from its economic influence. None of the measures implemented worked, none of them stopped the Chinese rise. Trump tried to stem this rise by using other formulas, more drastic measures. Its effectiveness has yet to be determined.

Can China, after initially appearing weakened by the covid-19, can it be strengthened in relative terms of the pandemic, that is, with an economy even closer to that of the United States in terms of GDP?
It may indeed be reinforced, but it is not certain that it will happen. It is too early to make this assessment. There are several factors to take into account. Without being extensive in the considerations, it is necessary to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on China’s exports to the USA, on which China is highly dependent, in the project One Band, One Route, in the so-called decoupling and the departure of companies from China, mainly American. It is important to understand how China is going to counteract these setbacks, namely by giving priority to the development of its interior. But another important factor must be taken into account. Some argue that China has already started “its decoupling“of the American technological ecosystem. China already exports more to emerging nations than to the US. And, on the other hand, the impact of the digital yuan has yet to be assessed. The combination of these and other factors will allow us to give a more accurate answer.