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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Friday 11th of June 2021
 
Afternoon
Africa


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The parabola was described thus by Thomas Pynchon
Misc.


“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It's The Parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused to believe- that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return.’’

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These Dream-like Photos of the Amazon Reveal a Hidden Nightmare @Gizmodo
Misc.



Artist Richard Mosse used multispectral photography to create large-scale images, which he refers to as “living maps,” that capture the forest in a state of dire decline, one that could lead to irreversible tipping points in just a few decades. 

They are part of his new Tristes Tropiques exhibition, a body of work that describes the destruction being carried out across what Mosse calls the Amazon’s “arc of fire,” the area of land with the highest number of fires per year in the rainforest. 

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"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" @jairbolsonaro
Misc.


And spoke of "Trails of death and destruction. Ideologically infected human souls and biologically perverted children" #UNGA

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Is a gray whale's record migration from the North Pacific to Namibia's coast evidence of climate change? Whale Sparks Climate Debate With Record 17,000-Mile Migration
Misc.



A gray whale’s record journey from the North Pacific to the waters off southwest Africa indicates the behavior of the species has been impacted by climate change.

The whale traveled 27,000 kilometers (16,777 miles) -- a record migration for a member of the cetacean family -- to where it was first sighted off the coast of Namibia in 2013. 

The whale’s genome has now been sequenced, showing that it was born in the North Pacific, according to a team of researchers from the U.K.’s Durham University and the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

“What we don’t know, however, is whether this remarkable long migration is just accidental vagrancy, or whether its presence in the Atlantic represents a foraging excursion, permitted by passage through the Arctic pack ice,” Rus Hoelzel, an evolutionary biologist who carried out the sequencing, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The gray whale was until recently presumed extinct in the Atlantic, with the last known sighting in Namibian waters being reported by whalers in the 1740s

The whale’s presence, along with several sightings in the North Atlantic over the past decade, indicates possible movement due to global warming.

“The most likely travel route for the Namibian whale was via the Arctic, a passage only made possible due to the receding ice flows attributed to climate change in recent years,” the researchers said in the same statement.

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THE SKELETON COAST IS A strip of desolate, unforgiving earth; a place where parched desert dunes ripple toward the Atlantic Ocean.
Africa


Sailors, having wrecked their vessels in the heavy fog that spills off the land most mornings, found themselves trading life at sea for a hot, hellish terrain.

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09-MAY-2021 :: The Lotos-eaters
Misc.





In the afternoon they came unto a land 

In which it seemed always afternoon. 

All round the coast the languid air did swoon, 

Breathing like one that hath a weary dream. 



Then some one said, "We will return no more"; 

And all at once they sang, "Our island home 

Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam." 



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Skeleton Coast of Namibia. moonlight is reddened by the low, long line-of-sight across the Atlantic. But near center of the frame Venus still shines brightly, its light reflected in calm ocean waters @Rainmaker1973
Africa


This photo was taken on September 11 from the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. The moonlight is reddened by the low, long line-of-sight across the Atlantic. But near the center of the frame Venus still shines brightly, its light reflected in calm ocean waters

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Peru Signals Leftist Revival Will Spread Across Latin America @BW
Law & Politics



The apparent electoral win in Peru of Pedro Castillo, a rural union activist from a Marxist party, over conservative rival Keiko Fujimori signals what may be a far-reaching shift to the left in a region ravaged by Covid and filled with fury at ruling elites.

Candidates on the left appear poised for victory in Chile, Colombia, and Brazil over the next 16 months. 

With leftists already running Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, and Bolivia, it could resemble the “pink tide” at the start of this century, kicked off by Venezuela’s election of Hugo Chávez in 1998.

“You may have to start thinking about a radically different looking Latin America,” says Brian Winter, vice president of Americas Society/Council of the Americas

“There are deep implications for these countries’ relations with the U.S. and China and their policies toward things like the drug war.”

A dozen regional analysts consulted by Bloomberg Businessweek agree that the public mood is surly, and that incumbents, mostly on the right, are in trouble. 

They’re divided on where things are headed and whether what happened two decades ago offers useful guidance. 

But some suspect that the regional turmoil augurs shakeups across the globe.

“Given the devastating economic and health impact of the pandemic and accompanying corruption, the public mood is ‘throw the bums out,’” says Cynthia Arnson, who heads the Latin America program at the nonpartisan Wilson Center in Washington, D.C

“Expect outsiders to win elections. The word that comes to my mind is not so much ‘left’ as ‘volatile.’” 

Indeed, Sunday’s midterm elections in Mexico saw the ruling leftist Morena party lose some of its dominance.

With a population of almost 600 million in three dozen countries, Latin America defies easy generalization. 

There are patterns, however. It’s the globe’s lowest-growth, most violent, and most unequal region

And the economic standouts, the tigers—Chile, Colombia, and Peru—are facing radicalization. 

Currencies are in decline, bond yields are rising, and fund managers who’ve increased stakes in emerging markets are worried.

The pandemic hit Latin America harder than any other region and continues to take an unspeakable toll. 

More than 25 million have been infected with the coronavirus in the region, and almost 1 million are dead. 

Health systems were quickly overwhelmed; the many workers in the informal economy suffered. Those without bank accounts couldn’t benefit from government aid. 

Vaccines have been slow to arrive because governments failed to negotiate for them; the rich and politically powerful have gotten shots either on quick trips to Miami and San Diego or through connections at home, leading to influence peddling scandals.

But the pandemic didn’t create dissatisfaction; it exacerbated it. Much of the region was aflame in late 2019 with hundreds of thousands in Chile protesting a fare increase in public transport and in Colombia demonstrating against police brutality. 

Those in the streets spoke of disenchantment over inequality and inherited privilege.

Coronavirus pushed those demonstrators indoors for more than a year, and illness, poverty, and anger festered. Now they are back outside, even more fired up.

“The right hasn’t provided or delivered,” says Sergio Guzmán, director of Colombia Risk Analysis, a political risk consulting firm in Bogotá

“They promised rural education, infrastructure, equality, water, and sanitation and, lo and behold, we haven’t had any of those things. So the next step is rejection of the business class and the current economic model.”

These countries are heavily dependent on exports of soy, oil, and copper, and commodity prices are spiking, as they did 15 years ago. 

But this time, no one expects the governments to be flush enough to spend much on popular programs because they are so mired in debt. 

And not only is there no Chávez—a charismatic ideologue seeking international leadership—but Venezuela and Cuba are understood to be failures, not models.

Another important difference: The street demonstrations in Chile, Colombia, and Brazil are driven by youthful activists, not opposition leaders

It remains unclear what the electoral impact of those youths will be, and how many will vote.

The expected shift will strengthen relations with China and reduce pressure on President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela to hold free and fair elections, two developments that will challenge the Biden administration. More broadly, the U.S. will find it harder to influence events.

Chile

Perhaps the biggest change looming is in Chile, which for three decades has been South America’s investor standout, a laissez-faire laboratory whose success has been unequally distributed. A communist, Daniel Jadue, is leading the polls for November’s presidential election.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Jadue, 53, urged international investors to “think about the role they’ve played in the mess and problems of the region.” 

He said only those willing to contribute to the well-being of Chileans will be welcome to operate there if he is elected. 

He added that the change under way in Chile is the result of “people coming to the realization that neo-liberal policies are incompatible with democracy.”

In mid-May, elections were held for drafters of a new constitution to replace the dictator-era one of the 1980s. 

The government’s right-leaning coalition failed to get the one-third it needed to block proposals. 

Most of the drafters chosen are newcomers to electoral politics and include feminists, indigenous advocates, and leftist activists who’ve been leading the demonstrations.

Outgoing President Sebastián Piñera signaled the concerns of the business class when he said in a recent speech that he hoped water and property rights would be safeguarded in the next constitution. 

The new drafters are pushing to reduce inequality and increase inclusiveness, and it’s unclear if they can do that without sacrificing economic growth and investor confidence.

Colombia

Raúl Gallegos, based in Bogotá for Control Risks, a global risk consulting firm, says he expects that next May, leftist candidate Gustavo Petro will win the presidency of Colombia

Petro came second to conservative President Iván Duque in 2018. He is firmly ahead in polls now.

“You have a very young population in Colombia, with 4.5 to 5 million new voters,” Gallegos says

“Even if you take out the 46% who say they won’t vote, that still leaves you a couple million young progressive voters. I see a coalition emerging, an anti-establishment cocktail, of the very poor who have no work and the progressive middle class who worry about the environment and equal rights for neglected and indigenous communities.”

In his youth, Petro, 61, joined the M-19 guerrilla group—infamous for its violent 1985 takeover of the supreme court—then helped dismantle it and entered more conventional politics. 

He was elected mayor of Bogota, where his tenure got mixed reviews. A senator, he has twice run for president, losing by 2 million votes last time.

Colombia is a rarity in the region—it has never had a leftist government. 

This is generally attributed to three things: the decades-long terror campaign by the Marxist guerrillas known as the FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; the Cold War, during which the country was firmly allied with the U.S. against the Soviet Union; and the aid to the FARC and other terror groups from neighboring Venezuela, which led many Colombians to reject the leftists as foreign invaders.

But all of those phenomena have shifted. The FARC was essentially dismantled in the 2016 peace accords, the Cold War ended three decades ago, and for the past seven years Venezuela has been in such crisis that it can’t afford the same level of interference.

Between the pandemic and an influx of nearly 2 million Venezuelan refugees, President Duque was dealt an awful hand. 

But he’s made a hash of it, spending his first year trying to redo the FARC deal, the second sending troops to quell street protests, the third in viral lockdown, and now as a lame duck after proposing a tax increase that caused major civil eruptions and the resignation of his finance minister.

Brazil

Finally, there is Brazil, a wild card. Covid has been especially devastating, killing hundreds of thousands of Brazilians, and President Jair Bolsonaro has taken plenty of blame for denying its threat, declining to promote masks and distancing, and failing to obtain vaccines promptly. 

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets against him recently. And right now, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who served as president from 2003 to 2011 and was a major figure in the pink tide, is polling as the favorite to win in October 2022.

“They were completely spontaneous and disorganized demonstrations,” says Thomas Trauman, a researcher at Fundação Getulio Vargas, a Brazilian think tank. 

“It’s very hard to know where things are headed. We are at the beginning of a new commodity cycle. There’s a decent chance that by the end of the year, vaccines will be plentiful and growth will be at 5%.”

Bolsonaro, who’s on the far right politically, spent like a leftist during the pandemic, filling the pockets of tens of millions of Brazilians. 

This brings up another point some analysts made: Politics are less about ideology and increasingly about personalities.

Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, came from the left, moved sharply right, and now is a singularly powerful leader in the process of removing all institutional obstacles to his growing authoritarian rule. And his approval rating hovers around 90%.

One regional outlier is Ecuador where, last month, Guillermo Lasso took office as the first conservative in a generation.

 To win, however, he pivoted to a center-left audience that had picked social democrats and indigenous party candidates in the first round, and with whom he is trying to maintain a tenuous working majority in the national assembly. 

His inauguration was greeted by a major bond rally. But as Andrés Mejía Acosta, an Ecuadorian political scientist at Kings College in London, notes, Lasso “faces the challenge of a difficult economic situation and slow vaccine rollout.” He says the clock is ticking against him.

“The way to think about what is happening may be less a shift to the left than the exhaustion of the political party model,” says Alejandro Velasco of New York University. 

“Look at Peru. Castillo has very little support in congress. He will be a weak president with a limited mandate. He may not last. And then everything is up for grabs again.” —With Stephan Kueffner




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21 OCT 19 :: The New Economy of Anger
World Of Finance


The real-time Feed is a c21st Netflix and is both unputdownable and incendiary. 

From Chile where protestors burned down the headquarters of ENEL [The Electricity Generating Co] after a proposed price increase and a state of emergency has been imposed.

All over Latin America from Peru to Ecuador to Haiti to Honduras, Demonstrators have taken to the Streets. 

The IMF cut the projected economic growth rate for Latin America from 1.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent, citing domestic policies and the U.S.-China trade war and clearly nose-diving economic opportunity is creating tinder-dry conditions


Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, 

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’



The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. 

Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feed- back loop.

Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.”


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02-JUN-2020 :: Fast Forward
World Of Finance



However, what I am noticing is a metastatic expansion of Protest

the ‘’Slaves’’ are now in revolt

This is a moment of Maximum Danger to the Control Machine


It is about the Haves and the Have Nots. Its about the moment of Epiphany when the Have Nots appreciate the predicament in which they have been placed and identify with each other rather than a ‘’boogaloo’’ structure that has been placed upon them.

Will they have that moment of Epiphany? Well There certainly has not been a more ‘’conducive’’ moment.


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"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" @jairbolsonaro
Law & Politics


And spoke of "Trails of death and destruction. Ideologically infected human souls and biologically perverted children" #UNGA

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The number of new cases of #covid19 reported to WHO has now declined for 6 weeks, and deaths have declined for 5 weeks”, says @DrTedros at @WHO presser. @kakape
Law & Politics


"However, we still see a mixed picture around the world.” Deaths went up in Africa, Americas and Western Pacific last week.

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When will B.1.617.2 (Delta) be the dominant variant in the US? Could be next week (or next 2 weeks) based on trends SGTF (~B.1.1.7) now < 50% based on last 5 days. source: @my_helix @DiseaseOutbreak @alexbolze
Misc.


When will B.1.617.2 (Delta) be the dominant variant in the US?  
Could be next week (or next 2 weeks) based on trends in our testing data & sequences available. SGTF (~B.1.1.7) now < 50% based on last 5 days.  source: @my_helix @DiseaseOutbreak

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Mass graves of the uncounted. This ground report from Prayagraj @BDUTT
Misc.


As India records its highest COVID deaths in a single, crossing 6000 and Bihar corrects its death data on orders of the court,  those of us name called as vultures will draw your attention again and again and again to mass graves of the uncounted. This ground report from Prayagraj

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What local news reports tell us about Covid-19 mortality in rural areas of North and Central India @scroll_in @muradbanaji @aashishg_ & Leena Kumarappan
Misc.






It is likely that the great majority of rural Covid-19 deaths in many parts of India have gone unrecorded.

The scale of this rural epidemic remains largely hidden in official figures. 

But a flood of news reports tell a tale of infection sweeping rapidly through villages, high mortality, minimal testing, and health systems unable to keep up.


The reports describe a total of 1,297 deaths from villages with an estimated combined population of around 480,000. 

This means that in these villages taken together around 0.27% of the population died of suspected Covid-19.

Using crude death rates from 2018, we should expect a total of around 174 deaths in these villages during the periods covered in the reports. 

The reports thus describe around 1,123 “excess deaths” in these villages.

Put another way, the mortality described is more than seven times expected

We’ll call the ratio of excess deaths to the total population excess mortality. 

Taken together, the reports describe excess mortality of 0.23%, or 2.3 excess deaths per thousand population.

In individual reports, excess mortality varies from 0% to 0.95% with a median value was 0.29%.

Thirteen of the reports describe excess mortality of over 0.5%. 

It seems that during this wave when a village was hit by a Covid-19 outbreak, it was not very uncommon for one in every 200 villagers to die in a month or less.

The great majority of deaths described in the reports were not from confirmed Covid-19. 

However, it seems likely that most were, in fact, from the disease

Based on the reports it appears that fewer than 10% of the deaths described were officially recorded as Covid-19 deaths.

The median excess mortality of 0.29% can thus be considered a conservative estimate of rural IFR during this surge. 

More pessimistically, the excess mortality of over 0.5% described in over a fifth of the reports could be closer to the true value of IFR in these areas during this surge. 





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States with such rulers can get “seized by senility and the chronic disease from which [they] can hardly ever rid [themselves], for which [they] can find no cure”
Law & Politics



Ibn Khaldun explained the intrinsic relationship between political leadership and the management of pandemics in the pre-colonial period in his book Muqaddimah 

Historically, such pandemics had the capacity to overtake “the dynasties at the time of their senility, when they had reached the limit of their duration” and, in the process, challenged their “power and curtailed their [rulers’] influence...” 

Rulers who are only concerned with the well-being of their “inner circle and their parties” are an incurable “disease”. 

States with such rulers can get “seized by senility and the chronic disease from which [they] can hardly ever rid [themselves], for which [they] can find no cure”

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09-MAY-2021 The Markets The Lotos-eaters
World Of Finance



On 8th March when the Bears had gotten hold of the US 10 Year, I wrote that I expected the 10 Year to target 1.45% well we got real close on Friday before the market reversed 


Ten- year yields initially plunged to a more than two-month low of 1.46%, then reversed to end the day at 1.58%. However, I am resetting my target Yield to 1.25% now.

Given the volume of money Printing and the extraordinary stimulus I have to say that the US Recovery is actually really weak and I believe it will be very short lived and the Penny will drop soon with the Bond Market and the Shorts will be forced to cover.

The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM! 

I beg to differ

Furthermore The Central Banks are in a corner. 

They have fired a lot of bullets and even if there was a meaningful bounce they cannot raise rates.

Here is why central banks are trapped and cannot raise rates even if inflation rises: @dlacalle_IA Feb 2 

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies



Euro 1.2184

Dollar Index 90.009

Japan Yen 109.42

Swiss Franc 0.89376

Pound 1.4167

Aussie 0.7774

India Rupee 73.0511

South Korea Won 1111.51

Brazil Real 5.0555

Egypt Pound 15.6665

South Africa Rand 13.5284

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08-FEB-2021 :: The Markets Are Wilding
World Currencies



@elonmusk I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts



Mr. Musk can pump [and dump] just about anything with a tweet. he has superpowers.

And on February 4 He tested that hypothesis

No highs, no lows, only Doge @elonmusk Feb 4 

Dogecoin is the people’s crypto @elonmusk Feb 4




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395,741 Active COVID-19 Cases in Africa @BeautifyData
Africa


-23.89% below record high from January 2021 

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With 9,147 new #COVID19 cases reported South Africa now officially enters the 3rd wave wave @rid1tweets
Africa


7-day average of cases up to 5,959 = 31% of 2nd wave's peak, therefore breaching the new wave threshold of 30%

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During the first wave, the peak of daily infections was 13 944 on 24 July last year, whereas the highest number of cases during the second wave was 21 980 on 8 January 2021.
Africa






The main form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in South Africa is the 501Y.V2 or Beta variant - it still accounts for over 90% of Covid-19 cases (based on our genomic data), says Richard Lessells, who was part of the team that first identified the variant.

For example, on 8 May the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) issued a statement saying South Africa had its first cases caused by the B.1.617.2 or Delta variant (first identified in India). 

At the time, there were five reported cases. By the end of the month, there were around 22 cases (most in people who had travelled), says Lessells.


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A man who had received two doses of a version of AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine died of the disease in Seychelles on Thursday.
Africa




The man, who was 54, is the first fully vaccinated person in the country to die of Covid-19, Jude Gedeon, the island nation’s public health commissioner, said at a press conference. 

He didn’t say how long ago the man had taken his vaccine or whether the case is being investigated by AstraZeneca.



While the country of 98,000 people has inoculated a greater proportion of its population than any other, it has seen a surge in infections, raising questions about the efficacy of vaccines as Covid-19 variants become more prevalent. 

So far, 68% of its people have received two doses of a vaccine.

Seychelles has used Sinopharm and Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca shot made under license in India, for almost all of its vaccinations. 

While the government has said that Covishield had been allocated mainly to people over 60 years of age in Seychelles it has, on occasion, been given to younger people.


While AstraZeneca’s vaccine showed in studies that it was almost 100% effective in protecting death from most Covid-19 variants, its efficacy against mild and moderate illness from the beta variant, first identified in South Africa, was just 22%. 

That mutation has been found in Seychelles.

Fully vaccinated people have died elsewhere. On June 3, Napa County in the U.S. said a fully vaccinated woman died of Covid-19 more than a month after getting her second Moderna Inc. shot, the New York Times reported.



While case numbers in Seychelles fell from an initial peak in early May, they are now remaining stubbornly high.

“Unfortunately the downward trend that we saw from mid-May seems to have stabilized and it is not going further down,” Gedeon said. 

“Community transmission is continuing,” he said, adding that restrictions on gatherings and movement may be tightened.

Gedeon urged people who had yet to take their second dose to do so after 1,538 people missed appointments for their second Covishield shot and 2,076 their second Sinopharm vaccine.

As of June 9, Seychelles had 1,293 active Covid-19 cases.



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.@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.
Africa







Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.



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Ceuta Beach Crisis: Another Episodic Diplomatic Tension between Rabat and Madrid @toumi_abdennour H/T @michaeltanchum
Africa


The relations between Madrid and Rabat are heating up, following the last month’s influx of Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on the Northern strip of Morocco. 

Eight thousand migrants entered the seaside border area, thousands of which returned to Moroccan soil after Spain sent troops to the enclave between the two countries.

Recently, Rabat is using the migrants card as a “nuclear” option in retaliation to Madrid, which provided COVID-19 treatment to Mr. Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front’s leader. 

Thus, this diplomatic episodic event between the two countries looks like a diplomatic provocation that might backfire on Rabat’s national interests in the face of this tragic humanitarian despair, manifested by thousands of Moroccan and non-Moroccan migrants who are seeking a better life elsewhere.

Aid and Protection or Law and Order 

Nonetheless, thousands of people of all ages; men, women, young people and children, managed to swim to Ceuta, in the middle of an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Madrid. 

Oddly, after passively observing the crossing for nearly 24 hours, Moroccan police decided to block the migrants and disperse the crowd, which had flocked to the Mediterranean coast.

Ceuta and Melilla, the two enclaves ruled by Spain for centuries, are the only land borders between Africa and the European Union.

Social injustice has deepened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco. Poverty has increased seven-fold according to data from the High Commission for Plan (HCP). 

Rabat’s measures of border closure due to COVID-19, which lasted more than fifteen months, have put an end to smuggling of all kinds of imported goods, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. and adversely impacted the whole northern region, leaving thousands of people without regular income.

As a result, several protests took place in Fnideq last winter due to the economic difficulties, despite the promises of the Moroccan government to tackle this thorny socioeconomic issue. 

However, Ceuta beach crisis turned from a tragic humanitarian issue into another episodic diplomatic tension between Rabat and Madrid. 

Rabat summoned the Spanish ambassador to convey its exasperation and asked for explanations after the treatment of Polisario’s leader in Spain.

Yet following the Ghali Gate, officials from both countries seem to want a cool-down in the rhetoric damaging the relations. 

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González declared that the influx of migrants to Ceuta was the result of a disagreement with Rabat.

Misleading Crisis 

The situation in Ceuta is becoming the Achilles’ heel of the bilateral relations between the two countries, affecting Morocco’s status as a privileged partner of the EU, which did not hesitate to show full support to Spain, while insisting on the normalization of EU-Morocco relations.

Hence, the tragic humanitarian event in Ceuta has unveiled the complex historical relations between Rabat and Madrid, notably under the ruling of the Socialist Workers Party, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez since 2018. 

Usually, Rabat gets along well with the Republican Party, whose agenda focuses on domestic politics rather than on extra-regional ones — and the right-wing governments are implicitly supportive of the Moroccan thesis regarding the frozen conflict in the Western Sahara dossier.

However, Rabat saw that lately, Spain’s domestic politics has been quite shaky under Prime Minister Sanchez, who is fighting for his political future and for the functioning of his odd national coalition government, which might lead to the loss of confidence vote in the Parliament, and early elections next fall. 

This would give an opportunity to right parties to regain power.

This helps better understand why Rabat is using the migrants card to put pressure on Sánchez government to back down from its latest timid rapprochement with Algiers, following the announcement of large-scale maritime and gas deals, and to cast light on the future of relation between Algiers and Madrid in the coming months.

How much leverage will Rabat gain from the migrants card? Some analysts have linked this scenario with Ankara’s migrants policy with the EU. 

This tactic looks suicidal for Rabat because neither the left- nor the right-wing politicians in Madrid would accept this humanitarian blackmail

Even other European countries traumatized by the migrants question such as France, this is a winning political card against the xenophobic RN Party. 

Morocco and Spain have solid commerce, agriculture and fishing co-operations. 

With hundreds of thousands of legal Moroccan immigrants generating millions of Euros, Moroccans remain as the largest diaspora of foreign workers in Spain.

Thus, is Rabat able to face the migration issue alone? Because, there are also hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing from Sahel countries via Mauritania, which is another country in water disputes with Rabat. 

This adds to the long-term national security threats posed by jihadist armed groups, which also constitute an integral part of the EU’s domestic security concerns.

Migrants vs. National Security 

The EU will continue to put pressure on Rabat to prevent irregular flow of migrants and migrants crossing from northern Moroccan shores, and to properly and efficiently readmit illegal immigrants on Spanish soil.

Migration is a key element of the EU members’ national security concerns, in particular those of southern EU countries such as Spain, Italy and France, where the migrants question is occupying a large space in domestic politics and political debate. 

The free circulation of people, goods and services is at the heart of the EU, who adopted a new strategy for the future of Schengen Agreement, in order to ensure security and mobility while also boosting resilience to migration-related challenges in Eastern or Southern Europe.

Rabat’s Spain policy is unlike its relations with any other European country—even with its former occupier France. 

The relations have always been tense because of the geographical proximity and the historical animosity between the two monarchies that goes back to the 16th century. 

Despite the cold yet peaceful relations between the two countries in the last century, Rabat is still sensitive to any political rub off on Morocco politics like a real constitutional monarchy, which the Spaniards have had established in the aftermath of the fall of General Franco regime in 1975.

In sum, the year 1975 is not only a political shift in the relations between the two countries, but also a diplomatic issue that Rabat has to deal with in its relations with its neighbors in Maghreb, African Union members, and lately European super-powers like Germany. 

Moroccan diplomacy has recently appeared active on the Libyan dossier and showed impressive efforts in its relations with western and central African countries, even with Arab monarchies like Jordan and the Emirates on the Western Sahara dossier.

Madrid is, however, assessing the ongoing tensions as a complex process in its relations with Morocco. 

Madrid won’t let the ambivalence issue of Western Sahara to hurt the two countries’ relations. 

These rhetorical tensions will end with a detente note, and the two countries might work together to extend their influence to tackle the serious question of migrants, which should remain exclusively as a humanitarian issue and not as a tool of diplomatic pressure.

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#SouthAfrica’s current account surplus rose to R267bn – the second largest on record – in Q1. @NKCAfrica
Africa





An improvement in the primary income account was the main driver, while the other balances moved sideways.

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President Muhammadu Buhari told young Nigerians on Thursday that they must "behave" in order to attract jobs and investment. @Reuters
Africa



Buhari, speaking on Arise TV, said security was essential in order for investment in the country, where unemployment rose to 33.3% in the fourth quarter.

"Nobody is going to invest in an insecure environment. So I told them, I said they should tell the youth that if they want jobs, they will behave themselves," Buhari said. 

"Make sure that the area is secure. So that people can come in and invest."


"We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless," he said. "And you watch it, in a few weeks time, there will be a difference."

Attacks, particularly in the north, have targeted farmers, worsening food inflation, which stood at 22.72% in April. 

Buhari said if farmers could not operate safely, hunger would spread and the government could lose control.


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Planned expenditures for the next fiscal year: @herbling @BBGAfrica @MwangoCapital
Africa



- Kenya: Kshs. 3.66T ($33.9B)

- Tanzania: Tshs. 36.3T ($15.7B)

- Uganda: Ushs. 44.7T ($12.6B)

- Ethiopia: 561.7B birr ($13B)

- Rwanda: 3.81T francs ($3.8B)

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East Africa to Ease Debt Burden as Economies Rebound From Virus @economics
East Africa






Three East African states are betting on an economic recovery from the coronavirus fallout to boost revenues and lower fiscal deficits projected at a combined $16.4 billion in the year starting July 1.

Finance ministers of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania presented their 2021-22 budgets on Thursday, projecting growth in revenue as economic activity picks up. Spending plans have been increased in the countries except Uganda.

“The most relevant point is that growth was weak last year, so there will be a recovery,” said Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank. 

“It’s not so much the growth rate that matters as much as how quickly fiscal revenue recovers.”


Kenya


Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani announced spending plans of 3 trillion shillings ($27.8 billion), excluding redemptions -- compared with 2.89 trillion shillings in the previous fiscal year. 

Of that, 383 billion shillings will be invested in infrastructure, energy and information communication technology projects, including the building of railways, water plants and the development of the region’s busiest port in Mombasa. 

About 142 billion shillings will go to funding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four program to boost the health system, manufacturing, housing and food security.

The spending will probably lift economic growth to 6.6% this year from 0.6% in 2020. 

Yatani proposed tax measures and reviewed exemptions, with an aim of increasing ordinary revenue by 13%. 

That could help narrow the fiscal deficit to 7.5% of gross domestic product from an estimated 8.7% in the year ending June 30.

“We remain committed to reducing the level of tax exemptions to create parity of treatment, while also raising more revenues to fund social programs and reducing the fiscal deficit,” Yatani said.

The extent of growth this year will depend on whether there are further Covid-19 containment measures, Khan said.

Tanzania

Tanzania targets the lowest fiscal deficit among the three nations, at 1.8% of GDP, compared with an estimated 2.6% in the current fiscal year. 

That’s expected even as Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba announced a 4% increase in spending plans to 36.3 trillion shillings ($15.6 billion).

Nchemba is betting on a 9.2% increase in tax revenue. He proposed measures, including the introduction of a levy on transactions made from mobile-phone wallets with a target of generating about 1.3 trillion shillings in the fiscal year.

The government expects the economy to expand by 5.6% this year from 4.8% in 2020.

Uganda

Spending plans were reduced slightly to 44.8 trillion shillings ($12.7 billion), partly because external project financing is expected to fall by almost a third, according to Minister of State-designate for Finance Amos Lugoloobi.

The fiscal deficit is forecast to narrow to 6.4% of GDP from 9.9%. 

That estimate assumes that spending won’t be ramped up during the year, and that the government will achieve its target of increasing revenue by 15%.

The economy, now equivalent to $40 billion, is forecast by the government to grow 4.3% in 2021-22 from an estimated 3.3% in the period ending June 30.


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'The crux of Kenya's financial turmoil'' @Nikhil_Hira
Kenyan Economy




@Nikhil_Hira "The concern though is that the government is looking to finance its deficit through an already beleaguered taxpayer rather than look at controlling expenditure, which is really the crux of Kenya’s financial turmoil"




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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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June 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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