The threat of zero movement
A communiqué posted on Facebook by Movimento Zero on February 4th called on the police not to commit administrative crimes or arrests. The justification is: “Since our fellow citizens are involved in a tenth – common – state of emergency, this situation forces us, who are responsible for guaranteeing individual rights and freedoms, to recognize the side of sober reason.”
This means that Movimento Zero is addressing the civil disobedience of PSP and GNR in terms of non-compliance with the law to control situations violating the state of emergency. This is a very serious position by this far-right inorganic movement that poses a threat to public health by reporting on the practices of negationist groups.
Pedro Abreu, Lisbon
Execution of the budget
From what is known about the 2020 budget year national accounts, we have a feeling that the country in general could be a little better than it is. Currently, conceptual considerations on public and national accounting do not play a role. For ordinary people who are permanently slaughtered by the disastrous news we see every day, either by the increase in the number of people infected with the new coronavirus or by the endless rows of ambulances outside the hospital emergency rooms (a minimum of organization reduced at a glance …) The point is to know how good the budget implementation deficit has been. We owe it in part to volume of sales due to a less severe than expected deterioration in the economy, but also to overall spending that has not increased where it was expected and probably where it would be needed. If we had spent what was necessary, we might have been spared the oppressive spectacle that thundered some segments of the NHS, with constant and shameful announcements of operational disruptions, some of which were vastly exaggerated. In any case, we saw the usual contractionists handling the staff of finance to the sound of wailing and the little music of custom.
José A. Rodrigues, Vila Nova de Gaia
Deadly waves in Europe
One of the most statistically rigorous data for assessing the severity of the pandemic is the number of deaths per country, measured as the death rate relative to population. Portugal held the first wave well, much better than Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and England. In the second wave, more noticeably in December and January, Portugal lost the good position achieved in the first phase with 13,500 deaths (on February 4), accompanied by the huge wave that again swept Spain (60,370 deaths) and Italy (90,241 deaths) ) and England (109,335), France (77,595) and even Germany multiplied the number of deaths from the first wave by 6 (60,482). A highly developed country like Switzerland had a strong second wave that was added to the first and recorded a total of 9,500 deaths as of the reference date 4/02. Belgium ranks first on the European mortality rate with more than 21,000 deaths out of a population of 11.5 million. The worst of the Nordic countries was experimental Sweden (11,939). Eastern European countries were spared from the first wave. In the second case, a huge wave swept across the Czech Republic (16,826 deaths), Poland (38,344) and Hungary (12,832).
The intermittent prevention, the cleverness of averse customs, the terrified economy, the habituation and neglect in summer and autumn resumption made the continent a pasture for the virus to climb and create deadly peaks. Hopefully vaccines will help fight this plague of the 21st century.
José Manuel Jara, Lisbon
The gods must be mad
On the 1st, Miguel Coelho (“The Gods Must Be Crazy”) asks the PUBLIC about the rationality of current monetary policy (Europe and the US), which is continuously expanding the money supply; and strange is the apparent lack of investor concern about the ability of countries to meet their public debt obligations. Attention is also drawn to the abnormality of negative interest rates.
On the same day, Alastair Crooke, in the Strategic Culture Foudation, reflected on the ongoing political and economic dynamics and identified a hegemonic dynamic in the economic sphere, in which markets (and interest rates) no longer function freely. But they are administered by the Treasury, the value of assets is no longer related to income or profit, monopoly oligarchism has replaced corporate capitalism and innovation, and small businesses have been crushed, and careful consideration is no longer limited to currency and debt problems.
The lack of an escape would stem from central banks’ refusal to risk the crash when trying to stem the expansionary spiral. In other words, we are all on a train with no brakes and there is nothing the political leaders can do, it seems to be complete.
Pedro Gonçalves, Maia