The hour of the moderates

 History does not repeat itself And it is not cyclical either.

History does not repeat itself And it is not cyclical either.

There is always, in historical processes, some new element that prevents drawing simplifying and inaccurate symmetries. But it is true that there are times that rhyme with others. This is what happens today: the Second Monarchical Restoration, in the person of King Don Juan Carlos, begins to rhyme with the final stage of the First Restoration, initiated with Don Alfonso XII and which concluded, after a long reign, with the abdication of Don Alfonso XIII. And I do not say this because I believe that we are on the verge of repeating the outcome, but because I understand that there are analogous presuppositions in both moments, capable of triggering today a political crisis whose meaning and scope I am unable to foresee. These budgets are: 1. The marginalization by the political system of a significant part of the citizenry. 2. Rampant corruption. 3. The discredit of politics and politicians.


The most serious error of the First Restoration was the marginalization of the working class

 absent from the turn of parties: Cánovas / Sagasta and their respective successors – and the Republicans – which was not corrected by the wasteful effort of the Moderate Party, founded now a century by Melquíades Álvarez-. The current marginalization has nothing to do with that, but it exists and is growing. The first sign of alarm -small but significant- was given by the indignant , so praised by some as none by others. But it is that, beyond the outraged , what begins to be perceptible is the division of society into two groups, which I call the “installed” and the “not installed.” I include within the “installed” those who, because of their work or professional situation,

enjoy a solid position, that is, not only the officials, but tutti quanti are integrated into stable structures – whatever they may be – and have effective instruments of self-defense; and I consider, however, as “not installed”, those who lack a comparable security. Many of these “not installed” are young, but not all, because the most serious of the current situation is that large sectors of the middle class impoverished by the crisis are entering this group. Look, please, the demonstrations that take place -I do not mean the student rabble- and you will see that many are citizens who, a few years ago, nobody would have imagined in such a trance. And there is only one explanation: they are desperate and no longer believe in anything or anyone.

Regarding rampant corruption I can not say that you do not know.

Regarding rampant corruption I can not say that you do not know.

Only to add that, to the social debasement that corruption causes, we must add the one caused by exorbitant remunerations lacking proportionality and logic, a tax system that discriminates against labor income, and inequalities that already reach unsustainable limits.

There is also little to add to the discredit of politics and politicians. The correct trajectory of service displayed by many of them is covered by the instrumentalization of politics by partisan leaders, made up of perennial politicians, who seem to have no goal other than the achievement and preservation of power, putting the service of this objective a boundless sectarianism and a systematic conversion of the adversary into an enemy.

This being the case, the current problem in Spain is more political than economic.

This being the case, the current problem in Spain is more political than economic.

I am not unaware of the magnitude of the external private debt that has to be amortized and the dramatic cuts that this requires, but I also know that there is a non-negligible productive fabric, that there is human and financial capital, that the infrastructures are more than enough, that we have in the world, a cultural environment that favors our expansion, and that all these resources are only waiting for structural reforms that restore confidence and make possible the recovery of consumption, investment and credit.

The problem lies in the inability exhibited until recently by politicians to face reality, as well as in the Cainite confrontation that still exists between the two major parties, which prevents them from adopting together those difficult decisions that, in a well-constituted State, they would provoke the unity of the dominant political forces.

There is a lot of talk about giving politics back to politics. It is necessary, but it will only be possible if politicians confront the capital issues by consensus, because only in this way will they be able to counteract the corporate resistances that will have to overcome, both on the right and on the left. Is this chance possible? I would like to believe that yes, although the way in which PP and PSOE have faced the latest street incidents does not pay for optimism. But let’s hope that the moderates on both sides can impose their respective tenors and wild boar.

The EU today takes measures to protect its companies in Iran against US sanctions.

The EU today takes measures to protect its companies in Iran against US sanctions.

Two Iranian women walk in front of the US embassy in Tehran (Ali Mohammadi / Bloomberg) Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Whatsapp 0 > 07/08/2018 08:29 | Updated 07/08/2018 16:50 Related topics

The European Union (EU) makes effective this Tuesday a series of measures to limit the impact of US sanctions on Iran in European companies, opening the door to claim compensation for damages and protect Europeans doing business with the Republic Islamic

Given the concern of European businesses with the Persian country, Brussels has updated its legislation to reassure investors and ensure they recover the damage they may cause those extraterritorial sanctions considered “illegitimate,” European sources said.

If the sanctions of the United States are aimed at regulating the conduct of European Union companies even though they are not related to US law, they are illegitimate and illegal.

“If the sanctions of the United States are aimed at regulating the conduct of the companies of the European Union even if it is not related to the US legislation, they are illegitimate and illegal,” the sources said. According to the EU, companies will have to respect the sanctions but this mechanism will allow them to “mitigate their impact”.

Legally, the measures suppose an update of legislation already in force since 1996, known as the “blockade statute”, in response to possible extraterritorial sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Libya. Brussels already announced in May that it would update this statute, when the United States decided to withdraw unilaterally from the nuclear pact sponsored by the UN Security Council.

Its implementation is updated today following the announcement of the resumption of sanctions by Washington, with which it seeks to economically isolate the Iranian Executive, forcing foreign companies to reduce or close their businesses in the Persian country.

Rulings in foreign courts based on these sanctions will be annulled

Rulings in foreign courts based on these sanctions will be annulled

Brussels hopes to give legal protection to its companies, “especially those that do not have a physical presence in the United States”, with a “legal protection” that minimizes risk by canceling the set of decisions that emanate from these sanctions and affect companies European In addition, it will annul in the community territory the judgments in foreign courts based on said sanctions and will specifically prohibit European citizens compliance.

In this way, according to EU legislation, European companies can denounce not only the United States for the damages that these sanctions may cause, but also American or European firms that decide to unilaterally break a contract as a result of Washington’s impositions.

Authorization to abandon activities in Iran

In case of wanting to abandon their activities in Iran as a result of sanctions, European companies will have to ask for an express authorization from the European Commission (EC), which will be able to make exceptions only if the companies manage to prove that Washington’s measures hinder their activity .

The measures seek to maintain the preservation of the EU’s financial channels with Iran and ensure the export of Iranian gas and oil, and reiterate support for the implementation of the agreement, “fundamental for the security of the EU,” the sources stressed. “The EU will remain firm in its protection of the economic actors that do business with the Islamic Republic in accordance with the provisions of the UN Security Council and community law,” they added.

In addition, the EU reiterates the need to “maintain a structured dialogue” to guarantee the implementation of the agreement, which according to the UN Iran is respecting, and ensure the normalization of economic and trade relations with that country, especially in key sectors such as banking and finance, oil or transport.

On the other hand, the EC had launched a process in May aimed at removing obstacles for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance activities in Iran, although sources from this institution told Efe today that it “is not currently a financial instrument in the country. ” “We also depend on the fluctuations of the market and we would be equally affected by the sanctions, so we are not a viable financing instrument,” said the sources, who assured that the EIB does not currently finance any activity in Iran.


The Government renews the short credits with the bank to avoid more defaults

Economia agrees with BBVA, CaixaBank and Sabadell maturities of one and six months

Image result for caixabankThe Government of the Government has opted to postpone the problems of liquidity that has caused the expiration of short-term loans for more than 1,000 million euros, renegotiating new deadlines very limited with creditor financial institutions waiting for the central government authorize them to convert them in the long term and, finally, end up in the hands of the Autonomic Liquidity Fund (FLA).

Yesterday, the Govern issued a statement in which it reported the renewal “during 2016 of all lines of credit and short-term loans with the corresponding financial institutions for a value of 1,072 million euros.”

These loans correspond to three credit institutions, CaixaBank , Banc Sabadell and BBVA . The BBVA loan, for around 100 million euros, was due since the end of last year and, in accordance with the stipulations of the financial prudence legislation, generated 2% late interest (200 basis points in technical jargon).

The entity chaired by Francisco González agreed with the Departament d’Economia de la Generalitat, which is headed by vice-president Oriol Junqueras, to renew this financing for a period of six months, with the payment of the corresponding late payment interest. . This credit was the most pressing, since the default was close to 90 days after which the entity must provide this credit, which triggers the financial cost.

In the case of CaixaBank, chaired by Isidro Fainé, the option has been to renew these credits, for an amount of around 800 million euros, with monthly maturities, at a minimum cost of 0.05%. Finally, the Sabadell, whose financing for a figure of around 290 million expired at the end of last February, the renewal has also been made to six months, but in this case the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has waived the collection of interest for late payment.


Provisional Exit

Image result for exitThe Departament d’Economia has opted for this provisional exit in order to avoid greater evils, among them that the interests of these debts will skyrocket. The sources consulted by this newspaper have indicated that the previous Govern, headed by Artur Mas and with Andreu Mas-Colell as head of Economy, had informed the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations last October, whose head is Cristóbal Montoro, his oppressors. financing needs, requesting at the time the conversion of most of that short debt into long-term debt.

The current regulations of the FLA establishes that this mechanism assumes the debts of the autonomous communities that have adhered to it, when the expiration date comes, provided that it is a period of more than one year.

After this first formal request, the Catalan administration assures, and in view of the fact that the aforementioned authorization was not approved, which must be carried out by a Council of Ministers, it was interested several times before the Treasury, always without obtaining a definitive answer. The same sources point out that, however, this authorization has arrived for other autonomous communities in similar or similar situations of financial distress.

Yesterday, the Govern reported that after the renewal of short-term credits “the amount of this request for authorization to sign long-term operations has been extended to 1,614 million euros, by incorporating new operations that come to an end, according to the agreement with financial entities. “

In addition, the heads of the Government have raised to the Treasury to advance 700 million on account of the settlement of the regional financing system of 2014, which the central government pays between June and July, to meet their cash needs, especially the payment of the extraordinary pay of June of the officials of the Catalan administration. Montoro has raised his initial rejection to the advancement of the calendar.

The superfan of the Impressionists

The superfan of the Impressionists

Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922) spent twenty years intent on exposing the work of artists whom everyone believed to be painters (they would eventually become famous as “impressionists”). And, to be honest, his obstinacy had begun much earlier: for more than ten years he defended the landscapers of the 1830 school, or Barbizon , tooth and nail until he got his works accepted in the art market.

Durand-Ruel did not feel great sympathy for the Revolution or for the Republic. He declared himself monarchist at all costs, and contrary to universal suffrage. However, first of all he was a patriot, and for the good of the country he could get along with whomever was needed. As with Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau , a republican to the core. The same happened with religion. He was a Catholic of the daily mass, who even came to be arrested for protesting laws that suppressed religious acts. But this did not stop him from dealing with all kinds of artists, regardless of their political and religious beliefs, from the republican atheist Claude Monet to the anarchist Jew Camille Pissarro , passing by the commune Gustave Courbet (to whom he kept several works so that they were not confiscated by the State after the insurrectional episode of the Paris Commune of 1871 ).

The profession of dealer learned it from his father, Jean Durand-Ruel. At the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paul grew up surrounded by painters and paintings. While helping his father, he traveled throughout the provinces and throughout Europe to participate in auctions , and visited museums throughout the continent, in which he conscientiously trained his eyes. Like his father, he achieved recognition as an authenticator of works of art.

With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he moved to London

With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he moved to London

But his vocation as a dealer was clearly manifested at the Universal Exposition of 1855 in Paris . He fell in love with the work of the romantic painter Delacroix, who showed 35 works in it. He enthusiastically bought works by the members of the school of 1830 (by Delacroix himself, Corot, the school of Barbizon, Courbet and Daumier ), all of them despised by the critics of the moment, until he managed to get the public to accept them from the end from the 1860s.

With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 , he moved to London, where he opened a gallery (“German Gallery”, as he was inexplicably nicknamed) to exhibit works by French artists. In the British capital he fell in love with Impressionism , a passion that would last him forever. In his gallery, Durand-Ruel organized exhibitions in which he mixed conventional established artists, such as Corot, Millet, Courbet or Daubigny, with more risky ones, trying to attract a new clientele.

Upon returning to France, he met friends and colleagues of Monet and Pissarro: Degas, Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir, Sisley, Boudin, Morisot … But Durand and his admired artists sailed against the current. The academic world and the critics mocked the Impressionist works without fuss.

In 1873 he began to pass on to his group of impressionists a monthly sum, which gave them the freedom to work without having to attend to daily survival. Not only that: he also took care of the cost of materials , rent payments and even medical bills. In exchange for this gentlemen’s agreement (nothing was ever written), Durand-Ruel had exclusivity over the work of his artists (or at least the right to be the first to see his works), which would allow him to inflate prices .

Durand-Ruel was a close friend of many of the Impressionist painters and not only supported them financially, he also tried to help them with everything.

Durand-Ruel was a close friend of many of the Impressionist painters and not only supported them financially, he also tried to help them with everything.

But his lifelong customers did not believe his new aesthetic choice. To such an extent the business fell that, beset by debts, had to part with its private collection from the Barbizon school . He did it through intermediaries, because his name at that time was like mentioning the plague. Despite being in ruins, continued betting on Impressionism and believing in the effectiveness of exposing the works to win their acceptance based on insistence.

Durand-Ruel’s support for his artists had not only been financial, but also personal. He was intimate with many of them, and he tried to help them in everything . He often had to appease the always dissatisfied Monet, whom he even offered a room in his apartment to paint in peace. Many of them, in turn, corresponded with identical fidelity .

The United States would become the salvation of Durand-Ruel and the Impressionists. In 1885 he received an invitation to mount an exhibition, with all expenses paid, at the American Art Association in New York . There was the dealer with 300 works, and that he had to hear the gingerbread of some of his artists.

Puvis de Chavannes refused to participate in the show, and Monet was concerned that his paintings would leave the country “on the way to the land of the Yankees” … Durand had a reputation in the United States as a promoter of the Barbizon , and both the public as collectors approached his exhibition in 1886 without preconceived ideas.

The exhibition had to be extended and moved to larger facilities, and American collectors were encouraged to buy. Comforted, he coordinated another exhibition the following year, and opened a gallery in New York in 1888 . The times for borrowing had been left behind. In 1894 he buried his debts completely.

In 1905, Durand-Ruel organized at the Grafton Galleries in London what remains the largest and best exhibition of impressionist painting.

In 1905, Durand-Ruel organized at the Grafton Galleries in London what remains the largest and best exhibition of impressionist painting.

After the American success, Europeans would slowly come to accept Impressionism. In 1905, Durand-Ruel organized at the Grafton Galleries in London what remains the largest and best exhibition of impressionist painting . Only 13 works were sold, almost all to foreign collectors, but it received more than eleven thousand visitors.

In 1924, two years after his death, Monet confessed: ” All impressionists would have died of hunger without Durand-Ruel. We owe it all. ” Durand had first destroyed the state monopoly of the Académie Française on aesthetic values ​​with its commitment to the artists of the Barbizon, and had reached the point of anticipating the taste of world criticism by encouraging the Impressionists.