Now it is clear what it is – and where the barrel comes from

Now it is clear what it is – and where the barrel comes from

Only then can he bring his products to market and sell them.

Opposition politician Juan Carlos Romero Hicks criticized the lack of a holistic strategy and schedule for normalizing the gasoline supply. The fight against gasoline theft is important, but there should be no shortcomings in the offer. According to his own statements, President López Obrador wants to secure supplies with the reorganization of the state oil company and new refineries – he does not want to call off his crusade against gasoline thieves. "We’ll see who gets tired first"said the President. "We won’t take a step back."

López Obrador also called on the citizens involved in the fuel theft to stop. From mayors of the communities through which the pipelines run to police officers, members of organized cartels to Pemex employees – they are all involved. Some petrol stations preferred to buy stolen and cheaper petrol. It is rumored in social networks about petrol stations, which had to close due to a lack of fuel since the distribution change, that all these years they did not get their deliveries directly from Pemex, but from the thieves.

"It’s like cancer. And the cancer has spread"says author Ana Lilia Pérez, who has written several books on gasoline theft in Mexico and the Pemex involvement, in a television interview. She explains that only 20 percent of the stolen fuel is illegally tapped from the pipelines. The majority is stolen within the oil company, sometimes in gasoline trucks with incorrect or double bills. Pemex, however, said that around 58,000 barrels were stolen a day in 2017. Of this, 43,000 barrels from tapping the pipelines and only 15,000 barrels from Pemex plants.

Pérez also put herself in danger with her research. The author had to flee into exile in Germany for a while because of threats. She currently lives in an unknown location. She is sure: "The enemy of Pemex is in (their own) house."

It is still unclear when the petrol bottleneck will be over. Experts doubt whether transport in tank trucks is a good alternative to overhead lines in the long term. It is estimated that transport in vehicles is ten to 15 percent more expensive than with pipelines. The shortage of fuel has one advantage, at least for the capital: The smog bell, which is otherwise thickly swirling over Mexico City, is currently a little thinner.

The ruling coalition of populists and right-wing extremists in Italy is confronted with protests. Media reports of up to 200,000 people who took to the streets on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Rome against the course of the populist government. Various trade union federations had called for the protest in the central Piazza San Giovanni, in which they called for more equality, a right to work and against racism. "The government has to get out of virtual reality and into the real world"said the general secretary of the Cisl trade union confederation, Annamaria kill a mockingbird courage essay conclusion

"The country must be united, not divided"

Official figures themed about the participants in the demo "Futuro al Lavoro" (German: "Future for work") did not exist. Media reported up to 200,000 people. "The country must be united, not divided"said the general secretary of the Cgil trade union confederation, Maurizio Landini. Many representatives of the social democratic Partito Democratico were also present at the protest.

The government, made up of the populist five-star movement and the right-wing Lega, has been in office since June last year and polarizes with a tough anti-migration line as well as with its budget policy and the rejection of European institutions.

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Clashes between protesters and police broke out in Turin. The partly masked people had demonstrated against the evacuation of an occupied house. "Turin has been held hostage by several hundred criminals", declared the right-wing extremist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and threatened prison sentences. The Ansa news agency reported that twelve demonstrators assigned to the anarchist scene had been arrested. 

Sources used: dpa news agency

A driver in Bandenitz (Ludwigslust-Parchim district) was caught with 3.35 per mille breath alcohol. Police in Ludwigslust said the 59-year-old man was noticed by police officers in a patrol car with his unusual driving style on Saturday evening. The police took the driver to have a blood sample and obtained his driver’s license.

An excavator dug out a 200-liter barrel. Construction workers discovered a pungent smelling liquid in it. Now it is clear what it is – and where the barrel comes from.

The 200-liter barrel found on Monday during earthworks on the outskirts of Hagenow in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania contained slightly toxic bromine acetone. The pungent-smelling liquid was used by Russian armed forces stationed there as a cleaning agent for military equipment, said the Ludwigslust police station. It is easily flammable and slightly toxic as it can cause shortness of breath. 

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 After finding the damaged barrel, the fire brigade pumped the liquid into other containers and transported it away. The excavator driver who uncovered the barrel briefly complained of nausea, but reportedly did not need medical treatment. The blocking of the road that passed by had been lifted again.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Italy’s mountain of debt is immense, the EU has already sent a warning letter to Rome. Further measures could now be taken that would cost Italy a lot.

Because of its debt budget, Italy threatens to initiate an EU deficit procedure. If Rome does not change its course of action, Brussels could ultimately impose heavy fines. They can amount to up to 0.2 percent of annual economic output. This was 1.75 trillion euros in 2018. The fine could be up to 3.5 billion euros. It is also possible that Italy will receive money from the billion-euro EU structural funds.

However, the road to punishment is long. According to a recommendation by the EU Commission, the majority of Europe’s finance ministers have to give the green light to open the procedure. This can then drag on for several years. The approval of the majority of the member states is required again for every important procedural step.

Must take countermeasures

Italy has one of the highest national debts in the world. At the end of 2018 it was more than 2.3 trillion euros. That corresponds to about 132 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). A maximum of 60 percent is allowed in the euro zone. If a state is above it, it must take countermeasures to get the debt under control.

This is to ensure the stability of the common currency area. During the financial crisis, which hit Europe especially from 2010 onwards, excessive national debt brought the currency area to the brink of collapse and had devastating consequences for the economy and the labor market.

The message from Brussels could now burst into a delicate phase in Rome. An ongoing dispute has virtually paralyzed the coalition in Rome, which is why Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte saw himself forced to take cover on Monday evening and threaten to resign.

"Hurt a lot"

He called on the government partners to stick together, urged restraint towards the EU and warned against messages that could cause uncertainty in the markets. Recently, for example, Vice Prime Minister Matteo Salvini brought a possible breach of the deficit rules into play. Conte said it was fundamental to avert criminal proceedings against Italy that "hurt a lot" would.

The EU Commission had already sent a warning letter to Rome last week. According to the figures now confirmed, Italy did not make enough progress in combating its debt in 2018, the letter said. The government then justified their course.

"Follow the rules"

"The EU Commission must finally take decisive action and initiate proceedings against Italy", demanded the Deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr also with a view to controversial reforms such as the introduction of a basic income and lowering the retirement age. "The euro area can only be stable if all countries stick to the rules." The Greens MP in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, said: "There is currently no way around an excessive deficit procedure against Italy."

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So far, however, the EU has never imposed a fine. In 2016, for the first time ever, fines proceedings were initiated against Spain and Portugal for years of deficit violations. The Commission and EU finance ministers then refrained from fines. This was justified with the difficult economic and social situation. The federal government had initially insisted on reducing structural aid, but eventually gave in.

Sources used: news agencies AFP, dap

The Italian government was recently reprimanded by the EU for its insufficient restructuring of the budget. Now conciliatory statements come from Rome.

In the dispute with the EU over the country’s poor budget situation, a more cautious spending policy was announced. Finance Minister Giovanni Tria admitted on Friday in his answer to a letter from the EU Commission "need" one to reduce the budget deficit. However, he did not name any concrete measures. With a view to the budget for 2020 is one "Review of ongoing expenses" Tria just wrote.

Italy’s economy is more affected by the decline in growth than that of other EU countries, Tria said. Therefore must "the timing and extent of the adjustments" being checked.

"Not enough progress"

The EU had sent a warning to the government made up of the populist five-star movement and the right-wing extremist Lega on Wednesday. In a letter, the Brussels authorities asked for explanations that Rome "not enough progress" achieved in the budget restructuring. The letter is a preparatory step for a possible EU deficit procedure, at the end of which there could be a fine of 0.2 percent of the Italian gross domestic product.

Italy’s total debt, at over 130 percent of economic output, is the second highest in the euro zone. By 2020, the total debt should even increase to a good 135 percent. The EU-wide limit is 60 percent.

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The EU Commission had already sharply criticized the budget plans of the populist government in Rome for 2019 at the end of last year and recommended criminal proceedings. After Rome waived around ten billion euros in spending, both sides finally settled their dispute.

Sources used: AFP news agency

Pope Francis refused to kiss the hand of believers at an audience and caused irritation among pilgrims. But why did the pontiff allow others? Now the Vatican is expressing itself. 

Why did the Pope pull his hand away when several believers tried to kiss it? Millions of people have been puzzling over this for days. The Vatican has now revealed the secret: Francis wanted to prevent the spread of germs among the many pilgrims, said Pope spokesman Alessandro Gisotti in Rome.

On the Internet, the Pope was criticized for humiliating people with the gesture or for breaking church traditions. The video was clicked millions of times.

Video shows: Some believers are allowed to kiss the hand

The entire scene, which is around 14 minutes long, can be seen in the official transmission of the Vatican. There it becomes clear that several believers kiss his hand and the ring without hindrance. The scene can be seen in this video from minute 50.

During audiences, Francis often lets himself be hugged and otherwise has little fear of contact. But several people who all kiss the same spot? Even the Holy Father was worried about diseases that could spread in this way. 

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Traditionally, the ring is given to popes at the inauguration. To express their adoration and adoration, devout Catholics often kneel before the Pope and kiss him on the ring. However, Francis likes to be close to the people, repeatedly denouncing the demonstrations of power by church leaders and calling for humility. So he didn’t want a solid gold ring, just a gold-plated silver ring.

Sources used: dpaVideo news agency with prayer and reception on YouTube

Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to Rome today. A great success awaits the Chinese rulers there: Italy wants to join the prestige project "New silk road" connect. The EU and US are very concerned about this.

In the Italian capital, China’s President Xi Jinping should also be able to relax a bit. China is in a trade war with the US and the exhausting annual People’s Congress is only just over. In the Italian capital, the communist head of state will not only be able to enjoy the magnificent view of St. Peter’s Basilica, but in all likelihood also achieve a great symbolic success.

Because Italy wants to be the first major economic nation, the first member of the seven industrial powers (G7) and the first major EU state to support its initiative "New silk road" connect.