Dispute over EU corona funds in Italy: an acid test for the government

Italy’s coalition was a stopgap solution from the start. The quarrel about the money from the Recovery Fund could lead to a permanent break.

Distribution struggles in Rome Photo: Vincenzo Livieri / ZUMA Wire / dpa

ROM taz | Is Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his coalition facing the end – or is he making a fresh start? The answer could already be given at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. It will be supplied by the small party Italia Viva (IV) of the former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, which has threatened to break the coalition for more than a month if Conte does not meet it on numerous points.

Renzi had started his campaign against Conte in early December. The main subject of the dispute was the Recovery Fund, the reconstruction plan for which Italy is to receive 209 billion euros from the EU budget. Renzi was bothered by the content of the plan as well as by Conte’s ideas of how the government should manage the use of resources. Renzi is demanding a significant increase in funds earmarked for health care, schools and infrastructure. At the same time, he vetoed Conte’s plan to entrust management to a six-person committee of experts; this would largely slow down the cabinet and coalition, he complained. Renzi also threatens day after day that the two ministers of his party will resign if there is no agreement.

The center-left government, which has been in office since September, is facing its greatest ordeal since it was formed in September 2019. At that time, the head of the right-wing populist League, Matteo Salvini, had the first Conte government burst, which the League side with the anti-establishment -Kraft Movimento5Stelle (M5S – 5-Star Movement) saw. Salvini wanted new elections to be quick and then to become head of government himself.

But to his surprise, the two arch enemies, the M5S and the moderately left Partito Democratico (PD), agreed on a new coalition, which also included the small, radical left list Liberi e Uguali (LeU – Free and Equals). Especially Matteo Renzi, then still in the PD, had favored this new alliance, which was born as a purely negative coalition against the Lega.

But as soon as the new government was in place, Renzi split the PD and founded his own small association, Italia Viva, which, however, remained in the ruling coalition with four partners. The fact that the government has been holding on since then was not least due to the fact that it was quickly confronted with the corona emergency – and that the two big partners M5S and PD largely pulled together in taking measures against the pandemic and its social consequences. Above all, Conte experienced a significant increase in popularity during the pandemic.

As in summer 2019, it is again a Matteo, now Renzi instead of Salvini, who is sawing on Conte’s chair

Renzi, on the other hand, is faced with the fact that his party does not come out of the polls low of 2 to 3 percent. His answer is now that he wants to give Italia Viva more profile in the alliance, if necessary with an all-out coalition conflict.

Therefore, Conte suspects that Renzi is less concerned with the content than with replacing the Prime Minister. And as in the summer of 2019, it is again a Matteo, this time Renzi instead of Salvini, who is sawing Conte’s chair. A possible solution is a resignation of Conte and then immediately the formation of a successor government with the same partners and the same head of government, but a completely renewed cabinet. But Conte does not trust this solution, since he suspects that Renzi could then pull the demand for a change at the top of the government out of his hat. If a last-minute agreement is not reached, there is a risk of new elections, which could mean the political end for Renzi’s party.

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Biden draws on Obama’s legacy for rebuilding

Joe Biden has a challenge to your first hundred days of government: “One hundred million vaccinations in one hundred days,” announced this Friday. And to complete the objective, the Americans have to contribute something: “One hundred days of mask,” he asked.

A challenge “Bold but possible” with which he intends to leave the pandemic behind at the same time as the four years of Donald Trump’s government. There will be a country to rebuild as if it emerged from the Great Depression. For this work, he has chosen Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s former ambassador to the UN who was also his National Security advisor, whom he presented this Friday as director of the Council for Domestic Policy.

In the year of #BlackLivesMatter Biden highlighted where this descendant of slaves has come, but Rice went further by displaying it as proof that she carries “Service in the blood”. Not any African American would have taken that statement well, had it not come from one of them. Rice promised to do everything in his power to rebuild the country “better than ever” and bring “all Americans much closer to the American dream.”

You will not be alone. The president-elect assured that he has a coordinated national effort underway and promised use all your power President to destroy the virus that continues to claim lives. “We cannot wish it to go away, we have to face it.”

It will take something that escapes his hands, the unity of Congress when it comes to approving a package of aid that Trump has not achieved, no matter how much he seeks it and has a majority in the Senate with his party. Biden yesterday urged lawmakers not to leave Washington this Christmas without approving a ransom May it ease the financial distress of Americans during the holidays. Even if they do agree, he promised it won’t be the only package. Help is on the way. This will be just a first step. There is much more to do.

They accompany him in this task many of the same familiar faces of his administration with Obama to which he has awarded different positions. Denis McDonough, former chief of staff in the White House, will head the Veterans Department, and his longtime friend, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsak will return to serve as secretary of agriculture.

No revolutionary bets

Vilsak wielded his own personal story of adopted son and self-made man on Friday, without that comforting to those who expected Biden to bet on Marcia Fudge for the position. And not just because she is African-American, but because she would have transformed the ministry that focuses on the produce of deep America into an agency that watches over farm workers and soup kitchens, putting the emphasis on nutrition rather than pockets of money. farmers who return votes. Biden has not been so revolutionary, but he has awarded the Ohio congresswoman the Department of Housing, where she will be able to take care of the African-American population and other minorities that make up much of the social housing of the Roosevelt era, already converted into urban ghettos.

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The Roman Colosseum will be reborn with the reconstruction of its arena

Angel Gomez Fuentes

Correspondent in Rome

Updated:

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For him Coliseum a new page opens. The arena of the Flavian Amphitheater, its central stage, in which one day gladiators and beasts were fought, with shows of all kinds. Yesterday the long awaited international competition for the design and construction of the arena was opened. Renowned architects and architecture firms have until February 1, 2021 to submit their design ideas. The goal is to begin reconstruction in 2021. The announcement was made yesterday by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dario Franceschini: «It will be a high-tech, reversible and non-invasive structure. The reconstruction of the arena of the Colosseum is a great idea, which has given the

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Two ways of understanding reconstruction

With four days to go before the official collection of signatures begins, the pre-candidates in the Barça elections continue to strive to seduce the Catalan social masses. Joan Laporta, who announced the management team of Estimem el Barça, and Víctor Font, who presented the three new directors of Sí al Futur, were the main focus of the day.

Laporta unveiled a human group that mixes people from his previous stage at the club with new faces. “They all have in common a love for Barça, knowledge and judgment. There are people on the team who already have the experience of having done so. They know the bread that is given and they have football criteria, which is an important aspect. They are people who think hard and think well, an optimistic team that always sees the glass half full. We want to reverse the situation and turn Barça upside down “, said the pre-candidate, who boasted of building a board” with heart and values ​​”.

The list consists of Rafael Yuste, Antonio Escudero, Alfons Castro, Aureli Mas, Josep Maria Albert, Xavier Barbany, Mikel Camps, Xavier Puig, Joan Soler, Josep-Ignasi Macià, Jordi Llauradó, Josep Cubells, Elena Fort, Juli Guiu and Jaume Giró. “We need people with drive to regenerate the club and make Barça a world reference again,” said Laporta.

“Barça is a club that has a soul, but it must have a great demand and leadership. It must also compete and win from the management. These people put their value at the disposal of Barça in the most difficult moment of the season. “We will work hard and work well, because it is the most important challenge of our lives,” said the former president, who will be announcing the executive team in the coming days. “The club is in a dilapidated situation. We must return to take the suitcase and go out to sell the club “, he acknowledged. References to Johan Cruyff were constant during the event.” We feel heirs of Cruyff, who linked the symbolic dimension of our club with sporting success. ” , summarized Laporta.

“Barça is a way of understanding life and Catalonia, of spreading values,” recalled Elena Fort, the only woman on the management team. “We are for gender equality and parity. Seeing what we did in the previous stage we are not in doubt. We have women in the executive team that we value very much “, clarified Laporta.

Víctor Font, who revolved his act around the role of women in the world of football, presented his three new councilors. Annamari Basora, Carolina Fabregat and María José Balañá joined Joana Barbany and Maria Teresa Andreu to form part of Font’s board of directors. “That we can have five women on the board who bring us talent and courage is the most tangible part of our desire to bring the club to the 21st century,” said the pre-candidate. Among Font’s proposals is the creation of a women’s section of all the sports that form part of the Barça entity, always based on adequate financial management that makes its viability possible. “Now the members are worried about two things: that the ball enters and that there is money in the box. It is so serious the situation that we need for the first time that people vote not only with the heart, but also with the head ”, said Font.

The role of women is paramount for her directive to work. “The facts will allow us to reinforce the differences of project. I’ve been explaining this for a long time. We really want to bring Barça into the 21st century and this is one of the differences with other projects “, explained Font in the presentation of his three new directors.

The pre-candidate also wanted to dispel the doubts that arose from the public letter of Xavi Hernández and made it clear that his project is firm, and that of Terrassa is the cornerstone. “Xavi has a contract as Qatar’s ambassador, and it is Qatar’s day. He wrote the letter a month and a half ago and refers to his situation in the country. He has said the same as me. We have a project worked on in recent years in which Xavi is very important, he is the cornerstone. We have known each other for years, we have established a relationship and we have been working ”.

Xavi, champion in Qatar

Xavi Hernández, in fact, was proclaimed champion of the Emir of Qatar Cup yesterday. Al-Sadd got rid of Al-Arabi 2-1 in the final. “While the time will come later to take the next step in my career, for now I am focused on enjoying my time here and making the most of the opportunity to play a small role in the exciting journey to Qatar 2022 “Moving to Qatar with my family was a good decision,” said the coach.

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Taiwanese mission explores possible reconstruction aid in Sula Valley

San Pedro Sula, Cortés.

With the purpose of know the damages left by storms Eta and Iota, and to explore reconstruction aid possibilities, a diplomatic mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and representatives from the Taiwanese company Overseas Engineering & Construction Company (OECC) met with the Sula Valley Flood Control Commission (CCIVS).

During the working session, the visiting delegation and technicians from the CCIVS explored emerging investment projects for the reconstruction of the hydraulic system of the Sula Valley.

After learning about the affected areas, the president of the diplomatic mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan), who met with the CCIVS, Augusto Chan Fu Chan, reported that “we have seen and made an analysis of the damage caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota and see if later we can make an enhancement in the construction projects of the Sula Valley.”

Can read: Intensify attention in markets and shopping centers of SPS to detect COVID-19

Asked if he was impressed to see the damage caused by Eta and Iota, he replied: “Very much, I have never seen such great damage and we never thought the damage was so strong.”

“So these damages leave a very big impression on us and, obviously, we want to make the greatest effort to help with programs or funds for reconstruction,” he said.

He stated that the Republic of China (Taiwan) “demonstrates fraternal solidarity towards Honduras.”

Financing

The Secretary of the Interior, Justice and Decentralization, Hector Leonel Ayala, accompanied the diplomatic mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and members of the OECC in order to inform them about the damage caused by the storms.

At the meeting, Minister Ayala explained to the Taiwanese delegation about the damage left to the road infrastructure and bridges, as well as the impact on the infrastructure for flood control.

“They are going to analyze within their government and within the possibilities of the private sector, to offer financing or that even in bilateral cooperation some resource may be available, whether it is what is currently being dealt with between both countries or some additional financial availability ”, detailed the official.

Ayala said that “the social housing matrix was proposed to them and that 120 million lempiras are immediately required for flood control.”

Further: Doctors sound the alarm and ask the population to take care of the rise of the pandemic

Likewise, he explained to them “that in the long term a whole review of all the channels must be carried out, such as the Chambers and Martínez channels, which are the reliefs of the Ulúa and Chamelecón rivers, which also have to be dredged,” he said.

The diplomatic delegation was accompanied by representatives of the construction company OECC, based in Guatemala and responsible for the development of multiple infrastructure projects in that country and in Haiti.

Within the framework of national reconstruction After the hit of hurricanes Eta and Iota, the Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, promised through a telephone communication with the Honduran Foreign Ministry to respond with the resources in the most timely and immediate manner.

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Zoning crisis in the land allocated to Topbaş

The 15-acre IMM land next to the Florya Koru Houses, owned by Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, the son-in-law of former Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) Mayor Kadir Topbaş, who resigned and left his duty, is on the agenda again. The zoning plan of the land, which was owned by the Mass Housing Administration (TOKI) in the Bakırköy Florya Şenlik District, which was transferred to the property of IMM by barter, was changed in July 2016. The “secondary education” function in the field became a “special education area”, and the “social cultural facility” function was added to the section reserved as “health facility”.

THE COURT CANCELED

In October 2016, some of the parcels were allocated free of charge for 25 years to the World Academy of Local Government and Democracy, under the administration of Kadir Topbaş and his advisors and former member of the AKP, Mustafa Ünal, for educational purposes.

A decision of annulment for the plan has been issued in all the cases filed separately by Bakırköy Municipality, IMM Council members and Istanbul Provincial Health Directorate for the plan change made for the land including the allocated parcels. When the land became unplanned, the new IMM administration prepared a zoning plan proposal.

In the proposal, the parcels owned by IMM; It was arranged as “municipal service area, park, kindergarten, health area, education area”. The plan proposal was brought to the agenda in the October parliamentary sessions. In line with the opinion of the commissions with the majority of the AKP-MHP group, the parcels were arranged as “education, vocational and technical education facilities and high schools”. The parcels subject to allocation have been given the function of “vocational and technical education facilities”. IMM President Ekrem İmamoğlu vetoed the decision and sent it to the parliament to be discussed again. At the parliamentary session on 11 November, the decision was reconsidered and the majority of the People’s Alliance did not change its opinion. The plan passed as “the decision to persist”.

The 15-decare IMM land next to the Florya Koru Houses belonging to Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, the son-in-law of former IMM President Kadir Topbaş, who was sentenced within the scope of the FETO investigation, came to the fore again.

WHO IS IN THE FOUNDATION MANAGEMENT?

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the World Academy of Local Government and Democracy Foundation, Kadir Topbaş, and his deputy is Mustafa Ünal. Among the members of the board of trustees are Beykoz Mayor Murat Aydın, Bağcılar Mayor Lokman Çağırıcı, Topbaş’s advisors Sabri Dereli, Sefer Kocabaş and Mehmet Duman.

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Does the common Lord’s Supper separate the sacrament and the church?

Dhe historical reconstruction of the biblical origins of the Eucharist, rich in detail and based on current research, is certainly the strongest part of the vote “Together at the Lord’s Table” by the Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians (ÖAK). Occasionally, of course, more certainty is claimed than can actually be achieved, for example, with an argumentum e silentio popular not only among liturgy historians, it is asserted that the words of institution only found their way into the prayers of thanksgiving about bread and wine in the fourth century, which in view of the The worship service context in which Paul delivers the institution report is unlikely. It is anachronistic when the ÖAK connects differences in the ceremonial form of the Lord’s Supper in New Testament times with later confessional differences.

On the Catholic side, at least since the Council Constitution “Dei Verbum”, nothing stands in the way of historical-critical exegesis. Scripture does not, however, interpret itself, as the crisis of the Reformation scriptural principle has shown. The exegetical findings do not prejudice the interpretation or evaluation of the further development of the Eucharist. Whether, for example, the early church sazerdotalization of the office, according to which bishop and priest represent Christ, the true priest of the New Covenant, at the celebration of the Eucharist, is scriptural or – according to the evangelical doctrine of the general priesthood – represents a mistake, can even be biblical do not decide, any more than the question of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Historical evidence of this is the Last Supper dispute between Luther and Zwingli about the importance of the “hoc est corpus meum”.

It is all the more astonishing that the ÖAK gives the “Leuenberg Agreement of Reformation Churches in Europe” (1973), according to which “the risen Jesus Christ in his body and blood given for all through his promising word with bread and wine” is given as one sustainable Evangelical-Catholic consensus regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To want to see this in this way is of course illusory, as the Agreement has deliberately “excluded” doctrinal differences between Lutherans and Reformed, so that every member church of the Leuenberg Agreement, which in 2003 named itself the “Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe” (CPCE), is named Can receive the Lord’s Supper formula with their respective confessional tradition. Should that now also apply to the Catholic Confession?

Objection cannot have been surprising

The ÖAK could not have been really surprised by the now officially published objection of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as the Vatican does not conduct its dialogue with the CPCE on the basis of the Leuenberg Agreement, as the Prefect of the Congregation, Luis Cardinal Ladaria, reminds: In the ÖAK- Votum lacks a clear commitment to the real presence of Christ “vere, realiter et substantialiter” in and under the signs of bread and wine, as has already been achieved internationally in some Lutheran-Catholic dialogues. Or should such progress only testify to the undesirable idea of ​​a “unified Church” (Cardinal Reinhard Marx)?

At the autumn plenary assembly of the bishops, Bishop Georg Bätzing tried to downplay the ÖAK vote for which he was jointly responsible: It is not about intercommunion, but about the well-founded individual conscience decision of believers to participate in the meal of the other denomination. The ÖAK vote claims, regardless of the intricate question of conscience, to provide theological legitimation for the reception of the Eucharist and Lord’s Supper by members of different denominations. Such a meal community is called intercommunion.

If the ÖAK paper regards the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper as forms of celebration of an identical meal which, with Jesus Christ as host, is open to all baptized people regardless of their confession, this amounts to a separation of sacrament and church, which is not only for the Roman church, but also is unacceptable to the churches of the east. What the unity of the churches should actually consist of cannot be stated consensually – unless one does not mean what one says and raises a Reservatio mentalis to the ecumenical principle, with which every conflict of conscience can then be avoided. If you want to make progress ecumenically, you need more hermeneutics of difference instead of a consensus at any price.

Helmut Hoping is Professor of Dogmatics at the Theological Faculty of the University of Freiburg.

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John Achkar, revolution through reconstruction

Located in the heart of the Geitaoui district in Beirut, a disused gas station has become the headquarters of the volunteers. Under its rickety awning, sofas, chairs and trestle tables have been placed to help distribute aid. The back of the store has been transformed into a kitchen and a sort of huge pizza oven has just arrived. On a fabric banner, John Achkar and his friends wrote the name they gave to their gathering place: “Nation Station”. Because “If we can rebuild a building on our own, without the State, then we will have shown that we can also rebuild the country”.

Before the explosion of August 4 which devastated the port of Beirut and several districts of the city, including Geitaoui, this long blond young man, aged only 29, was already playing on several tables: business consultant and manager of the A family business of gadgets and toys, he is also an actor and has become known through his stand-up shows.

→ REPORT. Beirut: in devastated neighborhoods, life is timidly resuming

Since then, he has added strings to his bow: co-founder of “Nation Station” and coordinator of two projects born there, in the first hours of the disaster, “Génération Nylon” to cover the windows and gutted windows with plastic, then “ Rise Up Lebanon ”to help small businesses reopen their stores.

Nylon generation

On the very evening of the explosion, he came to visit Josephine and Mazen, a couple of childhood friends who had stayed in the neighborhood a few miles away, to ask them what they needed. They asked for tarpaulins. “Several of us struggled to find funds and, in four days, we provided plastic sheets to 4,000 families”, tells John Achkar between two devastated shops.

“Our parents laughed at us and called us ‘Generation Nylon'”. And it was when he saw his hairdresser uncle, completely dejected in front of his shop, that he realized the need to target artisans and traders as a priority, many in this mixed and rather popular district of central Beirut.

Most of the volunteers who work at “Nation Station” did not know each other a month ago. But many have already worked with NGOs, during the influx of Syrian refugees in 2012-2013, even – like John himself – as early as 2005, to help the victims of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict.. “We have the methods”, assures the young consultant, passed by several foreign universities.

Find an income-generating activity

The general distribution of food during the first few days has given way to a « audit » specific needs, based on “Vulnerability criteria” (number and age of family members, existence of income, etc.). The long talks with each one are also a way of listening to the afflicted, of helping them to envisage the future.

Everyone is invited to find an income-generating activity, even the oldest who can “Make canned goods or yogurt, which we will ensure an outlet in the neighborhood grocery stores”. “We must succeed in creating a sustainable ecosystem”, sums up the young man, surrounded by sorting bins rather rare in Lebanon.

“To prove that another system is possible”

As much as in Martyrs Square, where they have participated in most of the demonstrations since October 17, John and his friends are convinced they are ” the revolution “. “A revolution perhaps more important still: to prove that another system is possible, that there is an alternative to corruption and confessionalism”, he says.

To succeed, John Achkar gave himself without counting. One evening, drunk with fatigue, he fell asleep at the wheel and his car sped into the ditch. “Everyone has burned out. I am the only optimist, he laughs. Having said that, yesterday I stayed at home to write reports: I was not well. “

The ground and the work in common keep those who remain. But today is the hour of truth. A large part of the student volunteers have returned to their homes, and are preparing to resume classes.

For a month, John Achkar’s consulting firm continued to pay him his salary, out of solidarity. But now, the calls of the foot are more urgent. “Will I find an employee to replace me or rather continue? he asks himself. We can’t let go now. He faut show the neighborhood that we can get results. “

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His inspiration: “The experience of corruption woke me up politically”

“My parents always warned me against politics: in their eyes, it is the cause of the country’s ills,” says John Achkar. When I was in master’s degree, I came to do an exchange at Sciences-Po Paris and then an internship at Unesco. One of my professors, Lebanese, knowing that I wanted to return, warned me by warning me: ‘Either you join the system, or it expels you’. Back in Lebanon, I saw by working with international NGOs, which go through local partners, how they are caught up in the system of corruption and confessionalism. And when I took over the family toy business, many of which are imported from China, I had to pay 3 million Lebanese pounds just to get my container back. There, I really woke up politically. “

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Economic stimulus program: Macron’s plan against the corona crisis

So The suffering and economic damage caused by the coronavirus and the fight against the pandemic in France are great – for French President Emmanuel Macron, the crisis is also a unique opportunity. His government presented an ambitious economic stimulus program on Thursday with which it wants to pump 100 billion euros into the French economy in order to combat the economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

Macron is not just about combating the short-term consequences of the crisis. The many billions are intended to change the course of the French economy permanently, make it more modern, more competitive, more prosperous and greener. At least that is the president’s claim, who will have to face the electorate again in two years’ time.

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The plan, which the government has dubbed “France Relance” or “New Start in France”, is setting the course for the French economy to emerge stronger from the crisis, Macron said before the plans were presented to journalists. “More sovereignty, economic independence and an accelerated ecological restructuring of the economic model” were part of this.

For the politician, the 100 billion euro plan may be the last opportunity before the next elections to fulfill his election promises from 2017 to a certain extent. At that time, Macron had promised to modernize the French economy, reduce unemployment and provide more social equality in society.

In this ambitious program, the then shooting star of French politics, who is now struggling with poor poll numbers, has not progressed as far as he originally wanted. The 100 billion program could change that.

The politician frankly admits this – and also admits that the results of his policy have so far lagged behind the promises Macron. “We struggled with the fact that these transformations were too slow.” The economic stimulus program could now bring new momentum.

Paris plan with a view of Brussels

A mix of investments, corporate tax cuts and labor market programs are envisaged. The investments should, among other things, flow into research and make the economy “greener”. For example, investments are to be made in the railroad, in the production of hydrogen and in programs for the thermal insulation of houses.

The government has obviously written these ecological priorities into the plan with a view to Brussels. There, the EU Commission will distribute the 750 billion euros from the EU reconstruction plan, which the EU states agreed on at the marathon summit in July, in the coming months.

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The money is to be used primarily for green investments; So it fits perfectly that a hydrogen strategy and investments in the energy efficiency of buildings in France are among the Commission’s eligible climate priorities.

Around 40 billion euros from the EU reconstruction plan initiated by Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel are earmarked for France. According to Prime Minister Jean Castex, they should flow into the French reconstruction plan and thus cover 40 percent of the costs. The remaining 60 billion euros are to be financed with new debts.

France’s debt burden would increase further; For this year, a total debt of more than 120 percent of economic output is expected, exactly twice the permissible debt under the Maastricht criteria for the stability of the euro. However, debt as a percentage of GDP is also so high because of the economic slump; if the economy recovered, it would decline again.

However, it is questionable whether the measures can live up to Macron’s ambitions, because the government wants to achieve a lot at the same time with the project – possibly too much. The program is not only intended to make the economy more competitive in the long term, but at the same time to stimulate the economy and secure jobs.

A reduction in VAT is out of the question

This is to be ensured by an extension of the short-time work allowance and subsidies for employers, which make it more attractive to employ young workers. In view of these urgent short-term measures, however, the long-term objectives of the program threaten to be neglected.

Paris does not want to copy a crisis measure by the federal government. His counterpart Bruno Le Maire for France rejects a reduction in value added tax, which Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is applying for a limited period until the end of the year to boost consumption.

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Unprecedented bailout policy

The program for short-time working and other support measures for employees have already ensured that French households have enough money to go shopping.

Like other countries, France is currently experiencing the worst economic slump since World War II. Between April and June, economic output collapsed by 13.8 percent, which is much more pronounced than in Germany, where the decline was around ten percent in the same period.

The government also expects the number of unemployed to rise by 800,000 this year. During the election campaign three years ago, Macron promised to reduce the high unemployment rate, especially among young people.

French President Macron receives Chancellor Merkel

French President Macron receives Chancellor Merkel for deliberations in his summer residence on the Mediterranean. On the agenda are, among other things, the multi-billion dollar Corona aid package and international conflicts.

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