How did the Black Death change Europe?

How did the Black Death change Europe?

Period somewhat imprecise, historians tend to frame the Late Middle Ages between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries to speak of a transition stage between the medieval and modern world. The Late Middle Ages still belong to the Middle Ages, but in their evolution, medieval social and cultural features are losing ancestry , while a series of structural changes that contain the requirements for the development of a qualitatively new social system: the Modern Age .

These profound changes are generated by the accumulation of small variations in all areas of the Late Middle Ages. In the social and economic scene, transit meant the appearance of a class of entrepreneurs (associated in unions) and another of urban wage-earners who worked, saved and consumed in an economy that, with many limitations, evokes the capitalist. The investment of funds in different fields (manufacturing, commercial and agricultural) led to the search of increasingly specialized personnel, which raised the general level of instruction. Education became more secular, and a new interest arose in science and technology.

The progressive implantation of these mutations used a series of factors that we can not consider triggers, but determinants, since they acted as regulators and even as accelerators of change: the social, economic and agricultural crisis, hunger, war and, above all of them, the black plague.

The crisis of the Middle Ages

The crisis of the Middle Ages

If the European High Middle Ages was a stage of scarcity, structural rigidity and survival against external enemies, in the late Middle Ages the man raises his head for the first time and looks at a horizon that finally launches to explore. The old society of monks, warriors and peasants is now joined by the bourgeois, an inhabitant of the villages, or cities, which will complicate the old feudal order with its demands. The development of agriculture leads to an unusual economic prosperity, which will allow the flourishing of Romanesque and Gothic art, as well as the birth of universities, and whose impulse to trade relations will open new communication routes between peoples.

Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, these characteristics dominated the journey of European society. However, with the XIV, the formula began to show signs of exhaustion . The volume of agricultural production, based on the rotation and the three-year rotation, lost balance with respect to the much greater growth of the population. The three-year alternation did not allow the land to rest enough, and many of the broken soils were not fertile enough . A succession of torrential rains and bad harvests gave rise, between 1315 and 1318, to famines in a large part of Europe . “This is the tempest with which the tragic 14th century opens,” the French historian Jacques Le Goff would say.

The Buonsignori of Siena, the Scali, the Bardi or the Peruzzi of Florence

The Buonsignori of Siena, the Scali, the Bardi or the Peruzzi of Florence

The world of finance, which had developed since the end of the twelfth century in parallel with trade, suffered a severe setback at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The mass of circulating currency began to remain small for the needs of the economy, to which were added loans to the kings, who made their bureaucracy grow and embarked on strenuous wars. The Buonsignori of Siena, the Scali, the Bardi or the Peruzzi of Florence, all of them great families of medieval bankers, will break upon entering this century . On the level of construction, the technical limitations became evident, and at the end of the 13th century the cathedral of Beauvais collapsed under its own weight. The cathedrals of Cologne, Narbonne and Siena, clear exponents of Gothic gigantism, will be unfinished due to lack of funds.

The XIV, in addition, was a century of wars . The territorial struggle between France and England known as the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) was devastating, but not the only one. Italy spent the century engaged in civil clashes, as did Castile, who lived the fight between brothers of Pedro I the Cruel and Enrique de Trastamara, while Germany suffered a period of great political anarchy. To these pulses by power we should add the numerous social revolts that took place, both peasant and bourgeois. France lived that of the Jacquerie (1357), a burst of hatred of the humble classes towards the lords. England also saw a peasant uprising in 1381, although the most bloodthirsty was unleashed in Flanders between 1323 and 1328. For the French historian Henri Pirenne, “it was an attempt at social rebellion directed against the nobility in order to snatch judicial and financial authority ” The atrocity of the struggle was refined to the point that the nobles and the rich were forced to kill their own parents before a crowd. “Men felt disgust to live,” expressed a chronicler of the time.

However, the peasant revolts were no more than isolated, local and discontinuous explosions, without any consequence in the medium or long term. It can be said that, in general terms, their insurrections were shorter, bloodless and sterile than those carried out by the bourgeoisie against the urban oligarchies in the large industrial towns of the Netherlands, in the German cities on the Rhine or in Italy.

Amid social tensions, crises and wars, appeared in 1347 the most lethal epidemic known to the Middle Ages, the Black Death , which would leave an unprecedented trail of death and misery. “With so much horror this affliction had entered the bosom of men and women, that one brother abandoned the other and the uncle the nephew and the sister the brother, and often the woman her husband, and what greater thing it is and almost incredible, the fathers and mothers avoided visiting and attending to the children as if they were not theirs, “Boccaccio describes in the Decameron . For the anonymous author of Journeys of Juan de Mandeville , a classic of literature also written in that century, “it seemed as if there had been a battle between two kings, and the most powerful and with the largest army would have been defeated and most of their murdered people. ” Around 48 million people would have died directly or indirectly , either through contagion, abandonment -in the case of the elderly and children- or lack of basic resources.

Around 48 million people would have died directly or indirectly from the Black Death

Around 48 million people would have died directly or indirectly from the Black Death

The first impact of the plague was, therefore, demographic. The lives it took in just seven years would take two centuries to recover, while the survivors would reorganize in a different way. During the epidemic years, the rural population had moved to the cities in search of food and companionship, and given the large number of vacancies left by the plague, it would not have to return. The countryside was depopulated, while life in the cities was revitalized , driven by the concentration of fortunes that followed the high mortality. The old rural aristocracy, accustomed to living comfortably off rents, found two possibilities: to rent their land at lower prices or to exploit it directly, hiring farmers and paying them ever higher wages. The seignorial power lost, therefore, part of its purchasing power, while day laborers, suddenly valuable due to their scarcity, saw their welfare increase.

The growth of urban fortunes leads many wealthy bourgeois to invest large sums in the countryside. The passivity of the nobility during the feudal period had greatly reduced the productivity of the land, and the emergence of these agents will mean a revitalization of agriculture, introducing new methods and pursuing profitability objectives . The day laborers will soon understand that the bourgeois – some with newly acquired titles – will not be more kind or less demanding than the old gentlemen. However, the criteria of rationality will make agricultural work increasingly intelligent and systematic, and will generate an upward cycle that will affect all sectors.

While the field grows, a similar phenomenon occurs in the cities.

While the field grows, a similar phenomenon occurs in the cities.

Social struggles allow the bourgeoisie to capture higher levels of power , and the accumulation of capital opens a new stage for entrepreneurship, although this time with a more logical approach, almost scientific, to avoid the mistakes of the past. “That before there were great businessmen can not be doubted, but it is now when – probably as a consequence of the difficulties, the complications, the weakening of commercial life – some normative ideas begin to be introduced into the business technique. : secular sense of time, sense of precision and foresight, sense of security “, explain specialists Alberto Tenenti and Ruggiero Romano.

The shortage of arms and the rise of the bourgeoisie were decisive for the development of technology , one of the hallmarks of the Renaissance, closely linked to the parallel advance of science. The machines reduce the amount of force and work necessary, and appear to serve a certain class, the bourgeoisie, which finds in them a concrete response to their needs. In the technical ascent an essential change of mentality prevails, since manual labor – the mechanical arts – was despised during the Middle Ages. Leonardo da Vinci claims it when he says: “In my opinion, the sciences that are not born of experience, the mother of all certainty, and that do not end in a defined experience, are vain and full of errors”. Science and technology go hand in hand, and good proof of this are the calculations of the architect and sculptor Filippo Brunelleschi, prior to the construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence.

In the technical ascent, an essential change of mentality prevails

The case of Santa María del Fiore is a paradigm of the transformation that took place. Its construction had been delaying since the late thirteenth century. The lack of money and manpower was postponing the project until, finally, it was retaken in 1417. For its spectacular dome, of a scale never seen before, superior to that of the Pantheon in Rome, Brunelleschi had to invent enormous mechanisms with pulleys to raise the construction materials as the works took height.

The irruption of the machines reduced the need for a motive force, but also significantly cut the construction time . The machine not only replaced the person, but also improved it, at least in terms of their work rate. A concept, that of time, totally new, associated in the Renaissance mentality with the shortness of life that medieval man experienced throughout the hectic 14th century.

The technique reverberated in the industrial activity, which re-emerged in the years after the plague. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries left us in the West inventions as significant as paper, the mechanical clock, the application of gunpowder to firearms, blast furnaces, the printing press or crank-crank system, which would have so many uses , in addition to innumerable innovations in navigation and cartography.

The great epidemics of the fourteenth century , mainly the plague, but also others of malaria, cholera, typhus or leprosy, contributed to the development of health prevention . The Health Boards established in Florence and Venice in 1348 to alleviate the innumerable problems generated by the plague were an antecedent of the permanent magistracies that would appear in the fifteenth century in Milan, Florence and Venice, and which are characteristic of the administrative bureaucracy of the Modern age. In addition, in the passage from the 14th to the 15th century the reverence professed towards the human body diminished, which began to be investigated from a medical point of view. The Renaissance plastic representation of man as a beautiful and proportioned being aroused interest in anatomy, and, from this science, curiosity also extended to physiology.

The neutrality of death

The neutrality of death

In the course of the medieval man to the Renaissance the experience of death had a determining weight. The arrival of the plague in Europe generated such a commotion that the art of dying took on a decisive importance . Little by little, the bulk of the community of the faithful ended up displacing their religiosity to the moments before death and neglected every purpose of a Christian life, a corruption of religiosity that the clergy did not know how to stop. By centering the meaning of existence in the transit to the beyond, there was an agony before the uncertainty of salvation that had little to do with the accidental-and even happy-trance toward the eternal life proposed by Christian doctrine. It was an interpretation of death other than the religious one. In the fear of the Judgment of God, the sense of the macabre arose, a reaction of repulsion at the ugliness of death and the sight of the putrefying body.

Along these lines, a personification of death emerges in iconography as a being that acts on its own initiative and whose power seems irresistible. “A woman in black cloak wrapped / with such fury that I do not know if never / in Flegra would show the giants”, sings the poet Petrarca in the triumph of death , in the fourteenth century. The frequent experience of death as an entity neither benign nor malignant, but terrifyingly neutral, gradually transforms the collective perception of it . Thus, it goes from generating a psychic horror or a physical repulsion to represent a universal force that is projected onto all men. “Death is impartial and does not perform any ethical function, it is the symbol of a law that applies to all men without exception and without moral motivations,” Romano and Tenenti explain.

It will be in the neutrality of death when man becomes aware of himself

It will be in the neutrality of death when man becomes aware of himself

as a man, and not as a Christian. An individual dimension of existence appears through death , which is at the same time the destiny of all and the fate of each one. And, from that individualism, one feels love for his life, even knowing that it is brief. And it harbors a deep melancholy before the abandonment of earthly joys. The dance of death , one of the first choral manifestations of the new secular culture, is presented as a sarcastic metaphor of the impartiality of death, which dances with all social classes, from the bishop to the emperor or the peasant. But, at the same time, there appears in her the insurmountable bitterness of physical annihilation, which gives a meaning to earthly life and which seems to forget the promises of paradise. There arises a longing for glory, for wanting to endure in earthly life, very characteristic of the Renaissance. The tombs are adorned to raise some dead over others in memory, and, for the first time, the portrait acquires iconographic genre dyes. The great men of the Renaissance will want to perpetuate their greatness in a vain desire for human survival, for bodily immortality .

The vitalist sense of Renaissance man and his individualism owe much to the experience of death, which flies over the entire fourteenth century, but which is revealed with all its exterminating power, hand in hand with the plague, in the second half. The development of commercial routes made the period suitable for the rapid transmission of a large part of the population. But if the century evolved in a way that seemed to favor the transmission of the plague, it caused such a demographic, economic and psychological upheaval that precipitated the transformation processes that, in a surreptitious way, had been taking place, and that would culminate with the passage of a medieval society to another Renaissance one.

The plague contributed to the weakening of feudalism

The plague contributed to the weakening of feudalism

led to the accumulation of capital in the hands of the bourgeoisie and projected on the collective sensibility a secular sense of death that weakened the Christian myth of paradise, inclining men toward earthly prosperity and prosperity. The new man who emerged from the plague exhibited, in addition, an observation capacity and a scientific inclination that led him to be more careful with the prevention of epidemics, setting in motion the first rudiments of modern epidemiology. The circle of causes and effects caused by the plague then closed definitively.

This article was published in number 568 of the magazine Historia y Vida. If you have something to contribute, write to redaccionhyv@historiayvida.com.

MicroBank microcredits help create 279 jobs in Aragon in 2015

Image result for microbankZARAGOZA, 21 (EUROPA PRESS)

The financing granted by MicroBank, the social bank fully participated by CaixaBank, has contributed to the creation of 279 jobs in Aragón in 2015, according to a report by the Institute of Social Innovation of the ESADE business school, on the initiative of the financial entity.

For the whole of Spain, the figure reaches 21,321 jobs in the past year. Since its founding in 2007, MicroBank’s support through small loans has been a “key” piece for the generation of 155,000 jobs, with a significant impact on the welfare of families and economic growth.

The Report on the impact of micro-loans, based on a survey among MicroBank loan recipients for the sixth consecutive year, shows that one of the main conclusions of this type of credit has been the creation of jobs in both processes of setting up new businesses, as well as the expansion of existing ones.

In fact, 93 percent of the financed entrepreneurs continue to work in their own business and 29 percent have hired a worker since the granting of the microcredit, CaixaBank detailed in a press release.

The entity has stressed that 43 percent of entrepreneurs say they plan to hire a worker in the next 12 months. In these cases, the expectation is to incorporate two employees on average per microenterprise.

IMPULSE OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Microcredits are one of the main instruments to facilitate access to credit, as reflected in the fact that 50 percent of respondents say they could not have opened or expanded their business without having a microcredit. Another 27 percent believe that they could have done it, but with many difficulties.

In addition, the income generated by a microenterprise is the main source of remuneration for a person in 30 percent of cases, while it is for two people in 27 percent of business initiatives. These figures highlight the importance of business success not only for the entrepreneur but also for their immediate environment.

In 30 percent of the cases, the contribution of the entrepreneur’s income to the family budget is higher than 75 percent, while in another 29 percent it represents between 50 and 75 percent. Only in 14 percent of the initiatives does this contribution represent less than 25 percent of the family budget.

Entrepreneurship by necessity (that is, those people who want to open their own business because they do not have a better option in the labor market) represents 20 percent of the beneficiaries of a MicroBank loan to set up a microenterprise in 2015. It is of entrepreneurs who either did not have a job or were afraid of losing it.

OPTIMISM WITH RESPECT TO THE FUTURE

OPTIMISM WITH RESPECT TO THE FUTURE

People who have requested a loan are optimistic about their future. 70 percent believe that their business will grow fairly or moderately in the coming months, while 26 percent say it will remain stable; and only 1 percent predicts that sales will fall and that it should close.

Based on the current development of the company, 57 percent say it works well and 12 percent believe it is going very well. In addition, a majority percentage of those who have expanded an existing business say that their business is better than the previous year and only 6 percent say it is worse.

Entrepreneurs are convinced that opening their own business allows them to face new challenges and develop new professional skills, although 92 percent say they are aware that it implies more dedication and less security and stability than a salaried job.

PROMOTION OF BUSINESS TISSUE

The analysis of the survey carried out by ESADE shows that 67 percent of the microcredits awarded in 2015 have been used to expand an existing business, while the other 33 percent has served to launch new initiatives.

72 percent of the companies do not have their own legal form and those that lead them are autonomous. The limited company is the most common legal form, with 21 percent of the cases, while the rest obtains very residual percentages.

Most of the businesses created have a single owner (72 percent) or two (22 percent), which highlights the preponderance of the self-employed.

CaixaBank has pointed out that an important chapter is that referring to the sector chosen by the beneficiaries of the microcredits to develop their activity. 48 percent of the businesses are part of the professional services chapter, followed by retail, with 29 percent, and the hotel and restaurant industry. Those that are related to new technologies slightly increase compared to previous years (4 percent of the total).

In the section on professional services, there are various activities, from those related to aesthetic centers and hairdressers to law firms, consultancies, taxis, transport companies or photography studios.

BENEFICIARY PROFILE

Image result for beneficiaryThe analysis of the profile of the entrepreneur helps to complete the vision about the type of client that subscribes a microcredit to finance himself. Men represent 50 percent of the total, compared to 31 percent of women. The other 19 percent are loans granted to legal entities.

The majority group consists of entrepreneurs aged between 36 and 49, who represent 42 percent of the sample, followed by the range between 26 and 35 years, 20 percent of the total. The beneficiary of a Microbank loan has an average of 40 years.

Most of those who have received a microcredit have secondary education (42 percent), followed by those with higher education (32 percent), which have increased with respect to data from previous reports. The proportion of entrepreneurs without studies remains very low and does not exceed 1 percent.

Regarding the geographical origin, as in the previous reports, 75 percent of the total are Spanish. With 17 percent are those from America and 6 percent are from other European countries. Those who have arrived from Asia or Africa barely reach 1 percent.

Some 65 percent of the total already worked as self-employed before granting the microcredit and 19 percent were salaried. The proportion of entrepreneurs from an unemployment situation is 15 percent, a percentage lower than that recorded in previous reports, “a behavior possibly related to economic recovery.”

Fully participated by CaixaBank, MicroBank is the only bank in Spain dedicated exclusively to the financing of projects through microcredits. It offers loans for self-employed workers, entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises; and personal and family microcredits, which aim to meet needs that overcome a temporary difficulty and facilitate personal and family development. In its activity, MicroBank collaborates with 566 social activities throughout Spain.

Argentina craves football, a victory and credit

Argentina craves football a victory and credit

Argentina after an unexpected draw in their debut against Iceland , is eager to find against Croatia, immersed in the controversy over the departure of Nikola Kalinic, good football, the lost credit and a victory with which to maintain their options to reach the round of 16.

It will not be easy. If Iceland, a theoretically smaller team, managed to sign boards in its debut in a World Cup, the next opponent of the table led by Jorge Sampaoli is not any team. It is the team of Luka Modric, who masterfully managed the Balkan side to victory against Nigeria (2-0). Without a doubt, a test of fire for Argentina.

Argentina, of the nine points that aspired to achieve in the group stage, stopped adding two. The shortage of variants in his coming-out at the Spartak stadium in Moscow opened a period of need. The Albiceleste needs victory with urgency; and you need, in equal measure, to earn credit.

In the run-up to the World Cup, the credibility of the current world runner-up was based on its history, but already in Russia its aspirations demand football.

With that goal, during the week Jorge Sampaoli matured his tactical ‘revolution’ without Marcos Rojo, without Lucas Biglia and without Ángel Di María. The mutation of the scheme, from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2, will motivate changes in almost all lines.

Gabriel Mercado will enter in defense to form together with Nicolás Otamendi and Nicolás Tagliafico; Eduardo Salvio and Marcos Acuña will shield them from the flanks; Javier Mascherano will remain as the only ‘5’; Cristian Pavón, Enzo Pérez and Maximiliano Meza will split two positions, while Willy Caballero will repeat as goalkeeper and Leo Messi and Sergio Agüero as the main offensive references.

 however Argentina still depends too much

 however Argentina still depends too much

which continues to appeal to its commitment to the blue and white shirt. That is something that “is intact,” announced Jorge Sampaoli.

The attacker of Rosario, the top scorer in Argentina and Barcelona, ​​has an opportunity to retaliate against Croatia’s failed penalty in the debut against Iceland.

Messi left for Nizhny Novgorod with wounded pride and bruised spirits, but it remains the main argument of the Albiceleste while awaiting the maturity of the collective.

“Thanks to the goals that he got, we are all here,” Cristian Ansaldi defended him at a press conference.

“We are all with him, that a penalty has failed does not mean anything,” added Paulo Dybala.

The 22 internationals know that Messi’s smile is the antidote to doubts. “This is going to change once we win again,” Ansaldi closed.

Opposite, Argentina will find a team that lives in a state similar to a roller coaster. On the one hand, happy for his good debut against Nigeria with a solid football that served to get three points after winning 2-0. The goals scored by Oghenekaro Etebo and Luka Modric’s penalty goal were enough for the Balkan side to take the lead in Group D.

But not everything was happiness in Croatia. After the clash the controversy with the expulsion of the concentration of Nikola Kalinic, who refused to enter the field in the last minutes.

The technician Zlatko Dalic decided that his player was going to be the last change, but the attacker said “no”. In its place, Marko Pjaca entered and the images that could be seen after Kalinic with the serious gesture are already World Cup history. After two days, he left the concentration.

Focused on soccer, Dalic could vary his scheme and some pieces to stop Messi. In the defense, it is possible to move Vida to the left side after Ivan Strinic’s irregular game. In that case, Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren would be the central pair.

The coach of Croatia also meditated on the entry of Mateo Kovacic or Milan Badelj as a pivot behind Ivan Rakitic and Modric to give strength to midfield. In the midfield, Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic would be joined by the right and left bands, respectively, to put balls to Mario Mandzukic.

The objective of Croatia will be, with change of plans or without them, adding three other points with which to ensure practically the round of 16. And, by the way, leaving Argentina almost sunk, which not only needs to win: it also needs to win well to recover the credit and that criticism of Messi is history.

The Government achieves a saving of about 17 million thanks to restructuring operations of the debt portfolio

Image result for reduce interestThe Minister of Public Administration and Finance, Concepción Arruga, accompanied by the general director of the Office of Budgetary Control, Francisco Rojas, analyzed this morning the financing strategy for 2014 of the Autonomous Community and has advanced that the Riojan Executive has saved close to 17 million euros thanks to the restructuring operations of the debt portfolio carried out between the end of 2013 and 2014, “which has allowed us to reduce interest rates on loans and lengthen the amortization period”.

Arruga explained that “the Government of La Rioja is carrying out an active management of the debt portfolio of the Community, mainly with those operations that were subscribed in 2012 and 2013, to reduce interest rates and lengthen the amortization periods. after the conditions that are currently in the markets are more beneficial. ”

Thus, so far in 2014, the Executive has closed six refinancing operations of long-term loans that “have allowed us to obtain financing at cheaper rates and longer terms.” These operations have resulted in annual savings of almost 1.7 million euros and 5.9 million euros throughout the life of the operations.

These operations are in addition to the one carried out at the end of the year, which meant the cancellation of the loan of 70.8 million that the Executive signed in 2011 in the framework of the Supplier Payment Plan. For this, the Government of La Rioja contracted three new operations with which an annual savings in interest of more than 1.7 million and almost 9.9 million euros was achieved if we take into account the entire repayment term of the loans . In addition, last year the Government of La Rioja carried out two refinancing operations in the short term that resulted in savings of 765,486.11 euros.

In this way, thanks to this active management, 90.01 percent of the debt of the Autonomous Community of La Rioja is covered with long-term debt (of which, 20.33 percent are public debt issues ) , compared to 53 percent in 2011, and 9.99 percent in short-term loans.

Arruga has endorsed this good management of the Executive in this matter, supported in the improvement of the financial markets, the reduction of the risk premium, and the structural reforms carried out by the State, since it has allowed that in 2013, of the 47 million euros budgeted by the Government of La Rioja in Chapter III referring to interest, only 32.8 million have been executed.

Guarantee of good management 

Image result for good managementFor the Minister of Finance, these data show that the Government of La Rioja is being a guarantee of good management, having been able to adapt to the economic context and the market situation. And all this, he added, “also fulfilling the objectives of the beginning of the legislature that were conditioned to a reduction of the public deficit with a reasonable level of indebtedness while maintaining the quality of public services and the tax advantages for the Rioja people”.

Thus, Arruga recalled, the Fitch agency improved the outlook for the debt of the Autonomous Community of La Rioja with a rating of triple BBB stable in long-term emissions and F2 in short emissions, which means that markets and institutions value the solvency trust and credibility of the region.

DEBT AUTHORIZATION 2014

On the other hand, last February the Council of Ministers authorized La Rioja to issue public debt for a maximum amount of 130 million euros with a term of up to 10 years and with a cost that can not exceed 75 basis points of differential with respect to the debt of the State of similar characteristics.

This authorization, which can only cover transactions formalized until December 31, 2014, is set to finance amortizations foreseen in 2014 and the annuity corresponding to 2014 of the return of the negative settlement of the system of financing of the Autonomous Communities of the regime common and Cities with Statute of Autonomy of the 2008 and 2009 financial years.

In this regard, the Minister of Finance has reported that tomorrow the Governing Council plans to approve a new issuance of public debt amounting to 130 million euros. After this authorization from the Governing Council, the Office of Budgetary Control will prepare the corresponding order that regulates the characteristics of the public debt issues of the CAR for the financial year 2014.

Arruga recalled that according to the latest data published by the Bando de España and relating to the fourth quarter of 2013, the ratio of debt to GDP in La Rioja stood at 14.7 percent, a percentage lower than that recorded by the whole of the Autonomous Communities that represents 20.2 percent of its GDP. These figures place the Autonomous Community as the fifth Community with the lowest interannual increase and as the fifth with the lowest debt over GDP. For 2014, the public debt target for La Rioja is 15.5 percent of GDP.

 

"We have paid for the trip with a loan"

We have paid for the trip with a loan

Hundreds of people affected by Air Madrid yesterday expected to fly in Barajas.  Paul and Family, they had to fly yesterday. (Jorge Paris) “We had to fly today to Quito, and nobody explains anything to us, I called Fomento and they sent me to Air Madrid”, says desperate Paul (he omits his surname), 31 years old, father of two children who were going to be baptized on Saturday 23 December, in the Chimbacalle parish of Mexico (Quito). “We have been in Spain for five years and this was the first time we returned,” he says.

He is accompanied by his wife, Gladys, also 31 years old. The two work as waiters in Leganés and have paid $ 12,000 for the baptism of the two children: Tábata, ten years old, who needs this ritual to be confirmed, and Brian, two. More than 100 people await you for the treat. “We had to ask for a loan to pay for the trip (1,250 euros for adults and 680 for children), and they tell us that we will not get back , and flights cost 2,900 euros on these dates.”

A few meters away, and with her one-year-old little girl on her back, we see another young woman. Without more information than confusion, confidences and rumors among those affected. Tied to the burning nail of a claim that has to arrive in time: “I have to fly now, for God’s sake”.

Alejandra Estrada, a 26-year-old Ecuadorian, arrived at Terminal 1 at Barajas Airport yesterday from 13.30 am from Milan, where she works as a domestic assistant. His time in Madrid was going to be a procedure, he had to link with a flight from a ” cheap company “, Air Madrid, to Quito.

His surprise came when he was going to check in at the Milan airport

His surprise came when he was going to check in at the Milan airport

The suitcase will not arrive in Quito, it will stay in Spain because Air Madrid has closed”, he was told. And she and her daughter may not be able to reach either, she later learned, already at Barajas. “Nobody informed us of this in Italy,” he says. “What do I do if they leave me on the ground, I do not know anyone here, where will I go?” He said. The girl, Jasmine, was finally going to meet her grandmother, but failing to love flashes and cameras, showing talent as an artist while her mother gave him porridge, juice, water …

Alejandra complained that she could not move with the girl and the suitcases, could not even get in the queue of claims, had to ask favors from strangers (“Take care of the girl for a moment, please” “, use solidarity . “My boy also bought a flight and we were going to meet next week, they were still selling tickets in Italy,” he says.

Puig on an electoral advance in Spain: "If there is a situation that has no way out, solutions must be taken"

If there is a situation that has no way out, solutions must be taken

The president of the Generalitat Valenciana and general secretary of PSPV-PSOE, Ximo Puig, believes that now “what matters least to Spain is more instability”, but he believes that “if in the future there is a situation in which there is no exit, you should take the appropriate solutions. “

This is what Puig said in an interview with Europa Press, when asked if the head of the central executive, Pedro Sanchez, should advance the general elections in Spain if there is a situation of ungovernability due to lack of support for the Government.

In this regard, he affirms that “in these moments what matters least to Spain is more instability”, after “many years with a situation of lack of legitimacy of government and problems of corruption”.

In his opinion, “now a new space has been opened” and there is “a majority that has supported a motion of censure” that must be “articulated in the minimum necessary to generate stability”. “This is what Spain is interested in,” he stresses.

However, he points out: “If in the future there is a situation in which there is no way out, the appropriate solutions must be taken, and now there is a new government willing to generate a shared agenda.”

“EVERYONE HAVE TO DO AN EFFORT”

He affirms that now the Executive has to present a budget that “portrays everyone” to make “a constructive policy”. “If Spain is not interested in having elections all have to make an effort to make the budget that nobody will like 100%, but this is the management of diversity,” he adds.

“What will happen if everything goes wrong?”, He asks, to say that he does not know, but that he is in favor of a “real policy and not fiction” or “political pop culture, but classical but permanent renewal ” In this sense, he adds: “The production of politics can not be in instantaneous times because it loses power and consistency.”

The head of the Consell emphasizes the “persistence and courage” of Sánchez who, in addition, “has shown that he is a politician with a background”. “The government has shown that it has the capacity to excite a majority of society and that is what the polls say, now we have to see exactly if it is capable of sustaining it and implementing those policies.”

IN SEPTEMBER “THE GOVERMENT MUST TIGHTEN THE ACCELERATOR”

IN SEPTEMBER "THE GOVERMENT MUST TIGHTEN THE ACCELERATOR"

In his opinion, it has created “a new atmosphere of dialogue that has released a lot of oxygen and can breathe”, but believes that now it is necessary to “land on concrete solutions to concrete problems and look at the medium and long term because you can not dribble in the short. ” As of September, it considers that it is “the moment in the government has to press the accelerator”.

Therefore, he insists that the new executive must be allowed to develop his work because “the alternative is worse” because “there is not”. “My assessment is very positive, although there are things that I would like to see faster than financing, but this is the first government in the history of democracy that not only has not had 100 days, it is that neither five days nor 100 hours and this is not very reasonable either. “

He recalled that Sanchez and advanced that “first was the motion of censure, then stabilization and then elections” and, therefore, believes that now should be “an effort” to “at least ensure stability a few months.”

In this way, he does not consider that “at this moment” there are “the circumstances” that Sánchez submits to a motion of confidence if the budgets do not go ahead. “At the moment these circumstances do not exist, all the instruments that the Constitution allows are there to be used, but they should always be from the general interest,” he says.

“VERY GOOD RELATIONSHIP AND COMMUNICATION” WITH MONCLOA

Regarding his relationship with the President of the Government, he points out that he is “open and affectionate” with a “permanently positive” tone, as well as maintaining “very good relationship and communication” with Moncloa and the different Ministries.

In fact, this September they will hold a formal meeting, still without a fixed date, from which they hope to obtain short-term agreements and “build a medium and long-term strategy”. “The Valencian Community wants to contribute to Spain and can do it, but for that it has to have the objective conditions such as financing and fair investments and take the slab out of the part of the underfinancing debt,” he emphasizes.

For Puig, with these “conditions” and a Mediterranean Corridor “in full form”, the Valencian autonomy can be “supportive” with the rest of the State’s territories because it will be able to “contribute more”. “We are going to be one of the locomotives of growth in Spain,” he predicts.

For this reason, will propose to Sanchez that the Community “is willing to participate and commit to a new project in Spain and a new territorial reality in which there are no privileges and, at the same time, the singularities are addressed but that there is equality among citizens” .

Phytoestrogens, menopause and hot flashes: little (or no) evidence of their benefits

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 Menopause is a time in the life of an adult woman characterized by the lack of menses. Under normal conditions it usually occurs naturally around the age of 45 and its cause is the lack of production of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in the ovaries. It is considered that a woman has reached menopause when she stops having periods for a year. However, the characteristic symptoms may start years earlier and include: changes in menstruation (more or less lasting, profuse and with more or less time between them); hot flashes and / or sweating (hot flashes, more usually at night) ; difficulty sleeping and concentrating; vaginal dryness; mood swings for no apparent reason; hair loss and, in the opposite direction, more facial hair.

The treatment of this symptomatology, more specifically the issue of hot flashes, has different therapeutic aspects . One of them, and framed in the so-called complementary medicine, is the use of phytoestrogens (compounds of plant and non-steroidal nature similar to some human estrogenic hormones) present is a wide variety of plants and that can be consumed, either as food such which or as a supplement. In particular and for the purposes pursued these phytoestrogens are usually found in soya, alfalfa and the so-called red clover (a legume with a special forage use).

With this approach, many women use treatments that are perceived as “natural” and safe, but often do not have good information about the effectiveness of their supposed benefits, nor about the potential risks.

Fortunately, from time to time, reviews of the scientific literature are published that lead us to doubt or at least help us. Such is the case of this article Phytoestrogens for menopausal vasomotor symptoms (“Phytoestrogens for vasomotor symptoms of menopause”) that without dizzy partridge, addresses the question of the effectiveness of this measure and its safety. His conclusions are quite concrete:

“There is no conclusive evidence to show that supplementation with phytoestrogens effectively reduces hot flashes or night sweats typical of menopause.”

So far, I suppose, the bad news. However, there is still a long way to go in this regard. In the same study calls for the need to deepen the investigation of a specific compound, genistein (a phytoestrogen in particular) with which to appear have obtained results to some extent promising.

In any case, another of the important readings of the review of the state of the menopause-phytoestrogens question is the poor quality of the studies with which we conclude arriving at these conclusions. It is commented so much in the publication that I have commented …

“Many of the trials in this review were small, short-lived, and of poor quality, and the types of phytoestrogens used varied significantly”

… As in other articles, such as Phytoestrogens and other botanicals: on the problems of evidence-based evaluation (“Phytoestrogens and other plant molecules: problems in evidence-based evaluation “) when it is stated that given the poor quality of the published clinical trials …

“The quality of research in this field and the possible influences of the industry must be taken into consideration in order to define inclusion criteria for those studies in which a meta-analysis or review will be done.”

Beyond the phytoestrogens

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On a more positive note, it should be noted that those women who undergo menopause and who suffer hot flashes may obtain a significant reduction in their symptoms as long as they maintain an adequate weight . Thus, a recent pilot study highlights that losing weight could help alleviate the hot flashes that often accompany menopause (you have news about the results of the study in question in this link ).

Other recent research points to possible lifestyles that could interfere with those hot flashes of menopause. A possible way to control them to some extent could lie in the composition of the diet. This means that some caution should be observed with spicy foods as well as with the consumption of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco .

 

Canceled the debts of a worker by the law of the second chance

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“The first case of cancellation of debt with the Second Chance Act in a court of 1st instance of Spain Judge Javier León Mata of the Court of First Instance No. 4 of Badalona has issued the order 14/2017 by which is exempted of 27,000 euros for the first time in Catalonia to a person in situation of over indebtedness through the Law of the Second Chance, approved in July 2015.

Manel Fores, Legal Legal Director of Repara tu Deuda, explains the case: “AC, 55, engaged in a separation of assets and with a child, charged 1,480 euros per month and his creditors claimed approximately 50% of his salary”. Faced with this critical situation, he was over-indebted to be able to pay off his credits until there came a time when he could not face it and stopped paying. The creditors were BBVA, Banco Cetelem, Carrefour, FGA Capital Spain EFC, TIT Finance and Banco Santander.

Pol Andreu, lawyer and head of the legal department of Repara tu Deuda, points out that the present Order allows studying and analyzing the legal reasoning used by the Judge to substantiate the concurrence of the necessary requirements to agree on the exemption of the dissatisfied liability. “In this particular case, we are faced with a debtor in good faith, which also implies compliance with one of the legal requirements to be able to benefit from the exemption of the dissatisfied liability, one of the axioms that lead our legal system and whose concurrence, in cases like Mr. Casado’s, may be more than relevant to be able to resolve the exoneration on a pro forma basis “.

“Therefore, we must consider this Order as the first Judicial Resolution and, therefore, of interest and public access, which may be taken into account by other Courts and other legal professionals, and which, through its own casuistry and judicial practice, will allow create precedent and even generate jurisprudence “.

With his monthly salary as the sole asset, the client went to Repair Your Debt, a pioneer credit repair in Spain, in January 2016. “He had fixed expenses of 1,300 euros per month, leaving almost nothing to live on,” explains Fores. Repair your Debt attended him and offered all the service for 950 euros, to pay in 10 monthly payments. “First I went to four law firms – explains AC – that just to assist me they asked me for a provision of funds between 2,000 and 4,000 euros, also requesting total amounts for the procedure between 6,000 to 8,000 euros, so I can say that repairs your Debt has changed my life and given me the opportunity to start from scratch. “

It is the first case that a First Instance Court resolves in Spain through the Second Chance Act. Repair your Debt is the first credit repair firm through the Second Chance Act in Spain and currently has more than 800 cases pending resolution. “To this day, 100% of the files that we have managed have been successfully completed and given the typology of our clients -with little or no economic capacity- we believe that judges will end up forgiving the debt to all our clients”, says Manel Fores.

“The courts of first instance are demonstrating their competence with respect to the merchants even if they are not familiar with mercantile issues or related to the law of the second opportunity,” stand out from Repara tu Deuda. The non-entrepreneurial natural persons attend the courts of first instance and civil matters such as abuse, divorce, etc. are dealt with. “In just over a year, most of these courts have been updated with this new law and are undoubtedly proving their effectiveness as confirmed by the case of Badalona, ​​which has favorably resolved the first case in Spain.”

According to the repairer, based in Sabadell and present throughout Spain through franchises, is a procedure that could be welcomed by many people but ignorance makes it a tool still little used. In Spain, the number of competitions presented is around 1,400, compared to more than 100,000 per year that are processed in France or Germany.

Repair your Debt helps people who are in extreme situations to start from scratch. Although there is still a long way to go, since the approval of the Law, more than 150 cases have been resolved in Spain.