All posts by Francisco Marques Pereira

(GUA) What are the Hong Kong protests about?

(GUA)

Mass protests against changes to extradition law have shaken the city. We look at why

Police officers use pepper spray against protesters in Hong Kong
 Police officers use pepper spray against protesters in Hong Kong early on Monday. Photograph: Vincent Yu/AP

Hong Kong has been rocked by protests as hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated at the weekend against legal changes that would make it easier to extradite people to China from the semi-autonomous city. This is what the amended extradition law would do, and why it is so controversial.

What is the proposed extradition law?

Hong Kong’s amended extradition law would allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China for the first time. Supporters say the amendments are key to ensuring the city does not become a criminal refuge, but critics worry Beijing will use the law to extradite political opponents and others to China where their legal protections cannot be guaranteed.

The government claims the push to change the law, which would also apply to Taiwan and Macau, stems from the killing last year of a Hong Kong woman while she was in Taiwan with her boyfriend. Authorities in Taiwan suspect the woman’s boyfriend, who remains in Hong Kong, but cannot try him because no extradition agreement is in place.

Under the amended law, those accused of offences punishable by seven years or more in prison could be extradited. The new legislation would give Hong Kong’s leader, known as the chief executive, authority to approve extradition requests, after review by the courts. Hong Kong’s legislature, the legislative council, would not have any oversight over the extradition process.

Why are Hong Kongers so angry about the bill?

Many Hong Kongers fear the proposed extradition law will be used by authorities to target political enemies. They worry the new legislation spells the end of the “one country, two systems” policy, eroding the civil rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents since the handover of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997.

Many attending the protests on Sunday said they could not trust China as it had often used non-political crimes to target government critics, and said they also feared Hong Kong officials would not be able to reject Beijing’s requests.

Legal professionals have also expressed concern over the rights of those sent across the border to be tried. The conviction rate in Chinese courts is as high as 99%. Arbitrary detentions, torture and denial of legal representation of one’s choosing are also common.

What do the bill’s supporters say?

Supporters say the legislation is necessary to plug a “loophole” in the current law and protect Hong Kong from becoming a “haven for international fugitives”. Officials have promised to safeguard against abuses, pledging that no one at risk of political or religious persecution will be sent to the mainland and stressing the role of local judges as “gatekeepers” for extradition requests. Suspects who could face the death penalty would not be extradited.

How much is Beijing pushing for it?

Hong Kong officials have repeatedly said the bill has not come from the central government in Beijing. However, Beijing has voiced its backing for the changes. China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday that it “firmly supports” the Hong Kong government in passing the law.

In an editorial on Monday, the state-owned China Daily said: “Any fair-minded person would deem the amendment bill a legitimate, sensible and reasonable piece of legislation that would strengthen Hong Kong’s rule of law and deliver justice.”

What are the wider fears about Beijing’s influence on Hong Kong?

Many in the protests on Sunday said they felt overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness in the face of mainland China’s increasing political, economic and cultural influence in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s top political leader is not elected by ordinary voters but by a 1,200-strong election committee accountable to Beijing. Half of its legislature are chosen through indirect electoral systems that favour pro-Beijing figures.

Many Hong Kongers also cited the jailing of leaders and activists from the 2014 Occupy Central movement– a 79-day mass civil disobedience movement – as well as the disqualification of young localist lawmakers as signs of the erosion of civil freedoms.

Resentment towards China has been intensified by soaring property prices – with increasing numbers of mainland Chinese buying properties in the city – as well as the government’s “patriotic education” drive, and the large numbers of mainland tourists who flock to Hong Kong.

Many Hong Kongers are also concerned about China’s growing control over the city’s news media, as they increasingly self-censor and follow Beijing’s tacit orders.

What happens next?

The chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Monday she was determined to pass the extradition bill. She promised to further improve it, but members of the public appear unconvinced.

Activist groups are calling for strikes, a boycott of classes and protests on Wednesday, when the bill’s second reading will resume.

(P-S) The End of the World As We Know It

(P-S)

Last month, under pressure from US President Donald Trump’s administration, Google terminated its cooperation with Huawei, thereby depriving the Chinese smartphone maker of the license to use Google’s Android software and related services. The move marks both a new pinnacle in the Sino-American conflict and the end of US-led globalization.

BERLIN – After three decades of moving toward a single global market governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization, the international order has undergone a fundamental change. The United States and China are locked in a tariff war that at first seemed to be about the bilateral trade balance, but has turned out to be about much more. Until recently, one could find hope in the fact that, despite frequent exchanges of threats, the two countries were negotiating. Not anymore.

Last month, under pressure from US President Donald Trump’s administration, Google terminated its cooperation with Huawei, thereby depriving the Chinese smartphone maker of the license to use Google’s Android software and related services. The move poses an existential threat to Huawei. But, more than that, it marks both a new pinnacle in the Sino-American conflict and the end of US-led globalization. The message from the US is clear: technology and software exports are no longer just a matter of business; they are about power. From now on, the US will put might over market.

Now that the conflict has assumed the form of a hegemonic struggle, China may have to pull out all the stops to protect its national champions. That means withdrawing as quickly as possible from all supply chains that rely on US-made high-tech inputs, particularly semiconductors. China would have to start sourcing all the necessary components domestically, or from safe partners within its orbit.

In the medium term, this adjustment would effectively divide the world into two spheres of economic competition. Sooner or later, all smaller powers dependent on global markets would have to choose a side, unless they are somehow strong enough to withstand both American and Chinese pressure. With China and the US both demanding clarity, even economic giants like the European Union, India, and Japan would be faced with an intractable economic dilemma.

Assuming that an open, unified global market does indeed become a thing of the past, the question, then, will be how China plays its cards. As America’s largest creditor, would it see a currency war as its ace up the sleeve? If so, an already dangerous struggle for global technological preeminence would become a broader and more immediately perilous conflict.

The danger is not just that economic rivalry, protectionism, and trade restrictions would threaten global prosperity; it is that these developments also would raise the risk of a serious political confrontation. Technological sovereignty would take the place of trade and exchange, and the nationality of corporations – even major multinationals – would become just as important as their business model.

Still, it would be a mistake to conclude that this whole conflict was brought on solely by Trump and his neo-nationalist agenda. Two days after Google announced its decision, the New York Times published a commentary by Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World is Flat, echoing many of Trump’s attacks on China’s unfair trade practices. If that is where the previous ideological high priest of globalization now stands, China is facing off against not just Trump’s America, but liberal America, too.

The Trump administration’s latest move is meant to signal that the US will not hand over its dominant global position without a fight. Yet by precipitating a break in the existing trade relationship with China, the US will incur immense costs of its own.

No doubt turbulence awaits Europe, too. A rupture in the global economy would pose a fundamental challenge to the European – and especially the German – export model. Though the European Union will remain dependent on the American security guarantee and trade with the US, the bloc’s exporters have become increasingly reliant on the Chinese market. A scenario in which they are forced to decide between the two would thus produce a lose-lose outcome. True, in a full-scale technology war, the EU’s value as an ally to the US would increase, and the risks of punitive US tariffs on European exports would decline. But European exporters that have become more dependent on China would be squeezed.

Past experience has shown that Europe usually needs a crisis in order to move to the next stage of its development. If there is any silver lining in the current situation, it is that Europe may now have no choice but to develop a geopolitical strategy for the twenty-first century. The EU was largely spared a populist upset in the recent European Parliament election. Now it must get to work safeguarding its prosperity and sovereignty in an age of Sino-American rupture.

(Stuff) Huawei and partners to have self-driving cars as early as 2021

(Stuff)

Chinese telecoms firm Huawei says it will launch self-driving cars as early as 2021 in partnership with several European, Japanese and Chinese car manufacturers.

Dang Wenshuan, the company’s strategy chief, told the Financial Times that Huawei is developing self-driving AI software with Audi, GAC Toyota and Chinese manufacturers Beijing New Energy Automobile and Changan Automobile.

“From my understanding, we are working together to have a car that will be shipped in the year 2021 or 2022 using these [autonomous driving] components,” Mr Dang said. “This will be in China, but not only in China… it will also be in Europe.”

Audi signed a deal to use Huawei technology in future cars last year.
SUPPLIEDAudi signed a deal to use Huawei technology in future cars last year.

Huawei, which has been subject to blacklisting from Washington since May barring US companies from selling it components, is hoping to diversify its AI products as pressure on its telecoms operations grows.

The US is continuing to press governments across the world to drop Huawei from 5G network development plans, saying the company could be used by Beijing for espionage. Huawei denies the charge.

Huawei Mobile Automation Engine uses cellular networks for automated-drive features.
SUPPLIEDHuawei Mobile Automation Engine uses cellular networks for automated-drive features.

In a latest blow, it was reported that Huawei had been forced to delay the release of its latest Windows laptop due to restrictions on buying US components.

Last year, Audi signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei to develop smart car technology using new wireless connection standards, which the companies said would look at “intelligent driving and the digitalisation of services in the vehicle environment”. 

In November, Huawei announced it was developing a Mobile Automation Engine, designed to enable autonomous car technologies using cellular networks.

The company partnered with Jaguar Land Rover and Vodafone to show off a vehicle communication system for road safety alerts, such as lane changing or speed limit alterations.

Huawei’s work comes as technology companies race to develop self-driving technology.

US giants such as Google’s Waymo, Uber and even Apple have all launched self-driving car projects, as have most carmakers from Ford to Tesla.

The company said much of the value of a self-driving car would be in its information and communication technology, giving firms such as Huawei the opportunity to take a major slice of the market.

(AFP) NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

(AFP)

An image of the International Space Station (ISS) is projected during the public viewing of deployment of Kenya’s first nano satellite (CubeSat) from the ISS at the University of Nairobi in Nairobi on May 11, 2018

NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism — with stays priced at $35,000 a night — as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab.

“NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in New York.

There will be up to two short private astronaut missions per year, said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the ISS.

The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days. As many as a dozen private astronauts could visit the ISS per year, NASA said.

These travelers would be ferried to the orbiter exclusively by the two companies currently developing transport vehicles for NASA: SpaceX, with its Crew Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building one called Starliner.

These companies would choose the clients and bill for the trip to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adventure: around $58 million for a round trip ticket.

That is the average rate the companies will bill NASA for taking the space adventurers up to the ISS.

But the tourists will also pay NASA for their stay in space, for food, water and use of the life support system on the orbiter.

That will run about $35,000 per night per astronaut, said DeWit.

The space station does not belong to NASA. It was built along with Russia starting in 1998, and other countries participate in the mission and send up astronauts.

But the US has paid for and controls most of the modules that make up the orbiter.

The new space tourists to the ISS will not be the first: US businessman Dennis Tito had that honor in 2001. He paid Russia around $20 million for the trip.

P.O. (BG) Tory leadership candidates back UK net zero target

P.O.

I don’t care about Mrs May’s opinions.

She has prooven herself unwordy of any consideration.

The sooner she is out out of the goverment the better.

We don’t need loosers in the EU.

Only winners.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira




(BG)

As speculation continues over whether Theresa May will deliver a new net zero goal for the UK economy, all the candidates to replace her – bar one – publicly back new 2050 target

All of the frontrunners to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister have publicly confirmed they would introduce a net zero emission target for 2050 if they are selected as Conservative Party Leader.

(P-S) Europe’s Silent Majority Speaks Out – George Soros

(P-S)

What voters said in last month’s European Parliament election is that they want to preserve the values on which the European Union was founded. But can Europe’s leaders carry out the radical institutional reforms that voters also want?

LONDON – Last month’s elections to the European Parliamentproduced better results than one could have expected, and for a simple reason: the silent pro-European majority has spoken. What they said is that they want to preserve the values on which the European Union was founded, but that they also want radical changes in the way the EU functions. Their main concern is climate change.

This favors the pro-European parties, especially the Greens. The anti-European parties, which cannot be expected to do anything constructive, failed to make the gains that they expected. Nor can they form the united front that they would need in order to become more influential.

One of the institutions that needs to be changed is the Spitzenkandidat system. It is supposed to provide a form of indirect selection of the EU leadership. In fact, as Franklin Dehousse has explained in a brilliant but pessimistic article in the EU Observer, it is worse than no democratic selection at all. Each member state has real political parties, but their trans-European combination produces artificial constructs that serve no purpose other than to promote the personal ambitions of their leaders.

This can best be seen in the European People’s Party (EPP), which has managed to capture the presidency of the Commission since 2004. The EPP’s current leader, Manfred Weber, who has no experience in a national government, appears willing to enter into practically any compromise in order to remain in the parliamentary majority. That includes embracing Hungary’s autocratic prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

Orbán has posed a serious problem for Weber, because Orbán has openly flouted European norms and established what amounts to a mafia state. Nearly half the national parties constituting the EPP wanted to expel Orbán’s party, Fidesz. Instead of following through, however, Weber managed to convince the EPP to make a relatively easy demand on Fidesz: allow the Central European University (CEU, which I founded) to continue functioning freely in Hungary as an American university.

Fidesz failed to comply. Even so, the EPP did not expel Fidesz, but merely suspended it so that it could be counted as part of the EPP when the president of the Commission is chosen. Orbán is now trying to reestablish Fidesz as a bona fide member of the EPP. It will be interesting to see if Weber finds a way to accommodate him.

The Spitzenkandidat system is not based on an intergovernmental agreement, so it could easily be changed. It would be much better if the president of the European Commission were directly elected from a carefully selected list of qualified candidates, but that would require treaty changes. The President of the European Council could continue to be elected by a qualified majority of the member states, as the Treaty of Lisbon prescribes.

The reform that would require treaty changes is justified by the increased democratic legitimacy conferred by the European Parliamentary elections. Turnout in the recent election surpassed 50%, up sharply from 42.6% in 2014. This is the first time that turnout has increased at all since the first election in 1979, when 62% of eligible voters participated.

Strangely enough, on this occasion, the Spitzenkandidatsystem promises to produce a dream team. French President Emmanuel Macron, who is opposed to the Spitzenkandidat system as a matter of principle, is largely responsible for this development. At a dinner with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the winner of Spain’s national general election, which preceded the European Parliament vote, the two leaders agreed to support two Spitzenkandidaten who would be ideal for the Commission and for the Council.

Germany is the main supporter of the Spitzenkandidat system. If Weber loses out, Germany will be pushing for Jens Weidmann, President of the Bundesbank, to become President of the ECB. He would hardly be ideal. In fact, he is disqualified by the fact that he testified before Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court against the ECB in a case seeking to invalidate the Bank’s so-called outright monetary transactions, a policy that was crucial to overcoming the eurozone crisis earlier this decade. I hope this fact will become more widely known.

Any other qualified candidate would be preferable to Weidmann as ECB president. As things stand now, France will not have any of the top jobs. It would be a good thing if Germany didn’t have one either, because it would leave more room for other countries.

There are many EU institutions aside from the Spitzenkandidat system that require radical reform. But that can wait until we find out whether, and to what extent, the promise held out by the parliamentary election results is realized. This is not yet the time to declare victory, relax, and celebrate. There is a lot of work to be done to turn the EU into a well-functioning organization that fulfills its great potential.

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(EUobserver) EU to discuss cyber attack on Moscow embassy

(EUobserver)

EU ambassadors in Brussels on Tuesday are to discuss a cyber attack on the bloc’s embassy in Moscow in February, following a report by US news website Buzzfeed, which said the EU external action service knew about it, but did not tell fellow European institutions. “We have observed potential signs of compromised systems connected to our unclassified network,” an EU spokesperson told Buzzfeed, amid suspicion Russia was behind the hack.

(EUobserver) Macron would ‘support’ Merkel for EU top job

(EUobserver)

French president Emmanuel Macron has told Swiss broadcaster RTS that he would endorse German chancellor Angela Merkel to be the next European Commission president if she wanted the post. The EU “needs someone strong” at the top, he said Tuesday. “If she were to want it, I would support her,” he added. Merkel herself has said she does not want to come to Brussels and will quit politics in 2021.

)

(EP) Multa a LaLiga porque su aplicación usaba el micrófono del móvil para cazar bares ‘piratas’

(EP) El organismo de los clubes de fútbol recurrirá la sanción de 250.000 euros que le ha impuesto Protección de Datos por no informar correctamente a los usuarios

La Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) ha sancionado con 250.000 euros a LaLiga por una infracción muy grave por no informar convenientemente en su aplicación oficial para móviles sobre el uso de la funcionalidad del micrófono en el momento de su activación. Y es que al encender la app se activa un acceso al micrófono y a la geolocalización de los usuarios con el fin de detectar la señal de televisión de bares y locales que emiten los partidos de fútbol de forma pirata. LaLiga ha anunciado que recurrirá la multa.

Aplicación oficial para móviles de LaLiga.
Aplicación oficial para móviles de LaLiga.

Los móviles cada vez captan más información sobre el usuario. Las aplicaciones utilizan estas funcionalidades para recabar esa información para distintos fines comerciales o de otra índole. La AEPD se muestra muy celosa de que los creadores de esas app informen puntualmente de esos usos a los dueños del móvil y recaben su consentimiento expreso.

La app de LaLiga, diseñada para ofrecer todos los resultados online y aportar información sobre los equipos de Primera y Segunda División, incorpora otras funcionalidades, como el uso del micrófono para captar el sonido de las retransmisiones y, mediante algoritmos similares a los que usa la app Shazam para detectar una canción, deducir si el cliente está viendo un partido de fútbol. Como la app también usa la geolocalización del usuario, comprueba así si el local donde se ve el partido puede ser susceptible de estar emitiendo el partido ilegalmente.

La AEPD considera que LaLiga cometió una infracción muy grave al vulnerar el principio de transparencia por no informar convenientemente a los usuarios de que su appactiva el micrófono para sus fines de combatir la piratería. Por ello, le ha impuesto una multa de 250.000 euros y le conmina a introducir mecanismos que refuercen el conocimiento por parte del usuario del momento en que el micrófono se active.

Recurso de LaLiga

LaLiga ha anunciado que recurrirá judicialmente esta sanción al considerar que la AEPD “no ha realizado el esfuerzo necesario para entender cómo funciona la tecnología”. LaLiga también considera que su app cumple en todo momento con los principios y requisitos establecidos en el Reglamento General de Protección de Datos (RGPD) y la Ley Orgánica de Protección de Datos y de Garantías de los Derechos Digitales (LOPDGDD), y en las guías y directrices publicadas hasta la fecha por las autoridades de control, incluida la AEPD.

La organización que preside Javier Tebas precisó este lunes que para que la funcionalidad del micrófono esté activa el usuario tiene que otorgar “expresa, proactivamente y en dos ocasiones su consentimiento”, para lo cual es debida y detalladamente informado, “por lo que no se puede atribuir a LaLiga falta de transparencia o información sobre esta funcionalidad”. Aquellos que no presten el consentimiento pueden igualmente seguir utilizando la app sin ninguna limitación.

En su escrito de alegaciones, LaLiga manifiesta que la tecnología utilizada está diseñada para generar exclusivamente una huella de sonido concreta (fingerprinto huella acústica). Esta huella digital solo contiene el 0,75% de la información, desechando el 99,25% restante, por lo que es técnicamente imposible interpretar o grabar la voz o conversaciones humanas.

Dicha huella se transforma en un código alfanumérico (hash) que no es reversible al sonido original. La organizadora de la Liga Santander explica que el funcionamiento de la tecnología ha sido avalado por un informe pericial independiente que, entre otros argumentos favorables a la posición de LaLiga, concluye que esta tecnología “no permite que se pueda conocer el contenido de ninguna conversación ni identificar a sus potenciales hablantes”.

Además, agrega que este mecanismo de control del fraude “no almacena la información captada del micrófono del móvil” y “la información captada por el micrófono del móvil es sometida en el mismo a un complejo proceso de transformación cuyo resultado es irreversible”.

Según LaLiga, toda esta tecnología se implementó para alcanzar un fin legítimo, que es cumplir con la obligación de velar por la preservación de las condiciones de comercialización y explotación de los derechos audiovisuales y combatir la piratería, que estima en unos 400 millones de euros anuales aproximadamente.

LaLiga anuncia que la funcionalidad del micrófono dejará de ser utilizada al finalizar la presente temporada (30 de junio), como estaba inicialmente previsto, aunque la organización continuará testeando e implementando nuevas tecnologías e innovaciones para luchar contra la piratería.

P.O. (CNBC) Trump: If President Xi does not attend G-20, more China tariffs will go into effect immediately

P.O.

This is getting nastier by the minute.
President Trump is a master in confrontation negociations.
And he certainly has a point on the unfair to the US Workd trade.
If he succeds or not is anyone’s guess.
And we don’t know if it will damage the World’s growth.
Bur it’s only fair to say he had to try to fix these inbalances.
The World has to realize that it cannot continue to have unfair trade advantages with the US.
“That’s All  Folks”.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira




(CNBC) Trump is supposed to meet with Xi at the G-20 summit, which is scheduled for June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan. The leaders of 19 nations and the European Union are expected to attend.

In the telephone interview on “Squawk Box, ” the president said he’d be surprised if Xi did not attend. Trump said he has “a great relationship” with Xi, adding that “he’s actually an incredible guy.”

As the trade war between the U.S. and China continues, Trump has said he will continue raising tariffs on Chinese goods. He said his administration is currently taxing “35% to 40%” of the Chinese goods the U.S. imports. If an agreement isn’t reached, there are “another 60% and that’ll be taxed,” Trump said.

(CNBC) President Donald Trump on China, Mexico, tariffs and the Fed (Full Interview – 6/10/19)

President Donald Trump joins “Squawk Box” via phone to discuss the ongoing trade negotiations with China, the threat of tariffs on Mexico in the dispute over immigration, the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates in December 2018 and more. On Monday, June 10, Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to argue that President Trump is wrong to use tariffs in trade disputes with China and Mexico. According to Myron Brilliant, President Donald Trump is right to pressure China over protectionist trade and business practices, but should not use tariffs to do so. President Donald Trump called in to CNBC to argue his case for tariffs and to blast the Chamber of Commerce. President Trump told CNBC that the Chamber of Commerce protects Corporate America, not the American people. He also said that the U.S. uses tariffs to level the playing field, claiming that China will make a deal with the U.S. due to tariff pressures.

(FP) The Fed Is Trump’s Secret Ally in the Trade War

(FP) By lowering interest rates, the body is cushioning the blow of tariffs and convincing the president that they are working.

The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22, 2008.

In his various trade wars, U.S. President Donald Trump seems to have fewer and fewer allies. Early in his tenure, he slapped steel and aluminum duties on most of the world. He menaced the European Union and Japan with auto tariffs. He forced Mexico and Canada to sign a deal to rename the North American Free Trade Agreement, and then threatened Mexico with a new round of penalties unless the country did more to address immigration to the United States. South Korea only avoided new tariffs by signing a (mostly meaningless) new trade deal.

It is difficult to find a country, friend or foe, that has escaped Trump’s wrath. And even Trump’s fellow Republicans in the Senate have voiced skepticism about his latest tariff spat with Mexico and his plans for imposing duties on European cars.

But Trump has kept one key ally in his trade battles: the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Textbook economics teaches that tariffs make countries poorer by driving up prices, thereby reducing business competitiveness and cutting consumer purchasing power. The president and his advisors do not take that that idea seriously. Trump is, as he has tweeted, a “Tariff Man.” And many of his aides, including Peter Navarro and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are long-time proponents of the idea that tariffs should play a major role in trade policy.

The Fed has helped sustain the economic growth that Trump points to as evidence that his tariffs are working.

Economists at the Fed, however, do read economics textbooks. And whereas Trump may think that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” as he famously tweeted, the Fed believes the opposite—that they will drag down economic growth. This gap is excellent news for the president. Because the Fed believes that it should keep interest rates low to boost growth when the economy is slowing (so long as inflation is under control), it has refrained from raising rates over the past six months, in part to cushion the blow from the trade war. In doing so, it has helped sustain the economic growth that Trump points to as evidence that his tariffs are working.

The Fed has two mandates, established by law: to keep inflation and unemployment low. A year ago, on both these metrics, all signs pointed to a need to raise interest rates. The economy was in a decadelong expansion. Unemployment was touching historic lows. And the massive deficit-funded 2017 tax cut had stimulated the economy at a time when many economic models suggested that policymakers should be reducing stimulus to prevent inflation. Indeed, in 2018, inflation hit the highest level in more than five years. Surely, experts and investors assumed, the Fed would keep increasing interest rates to slow the economy and keep inflation contained.

One year and several tariff hikes later, things look rather different. It is understandable that the Fed believed it had to act. U.S. businesses and consumers alike are substantially exposed to trade. Consumers buy many things—from avocados to iPhones to cars—that are partially or wholly produced abroad. Businesses produce many goods using inputs from abroad. And they also sell abroad, making profits that help fund consumption in the United States. All these activities are made more difficult by tariffs.

Trump’s first tariff move, imposing duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March 2018, was relatively minor. Steel and aluminum make up a small share of U.S. imports, and President George W. Bush had done something similar in 2002. The trade war with China, the threats to slap auto tariffs on Europe and Japan, and constant antagonization of Mexico are an order of magnitude more disruptive. On Friday, Trump agreed not to impose tariffs on Mexico. By Monday, he was tweeting about the prospect of new tariffs. China and Mexico are two of the United States’ largest trading partners. Taxing trade with them will force consumers to pay more and will force companies to rework complicated supply chains. None of this is good for the economy in the short run.

But rate cuts—a form of economic stimulus—can slow the bleeding. They also support the stock market, which is as afraid of Trump’s tariffs as the Fed. Yet this dynamic is dangerous. The more tariffs Trump threatens and imposes, the more the Fed cuts rates.  And that, in turn, encourages him to threaten yet more duties.

The Fed’s shift toward monetary easing matters not only in economic terms. It has crucial political relevance, too. The state of the economy will be a key determinant of the 2020 presidential election. If the economy is doing well, Trump will claim credit. If it is doing poorly, he will face blame. Every time the Fed signals that it will move to support the economy, it is also boosting the prospects of Trump’s reelection.

The Fed is simply doing its job. If Trump’s trade policies threaten to boost unemployment or inflation, the Fed is obligated to respond. But America’s monetary policymakers nevertheless find themselves in a bind. They are often described as being “independent” of politics. True, they are not taking orders from the White House. But they are being driven, in effect, by the president’s trade tweets. No one wants the Fed to let the economy slow unnecessarily, which would mean fewer jobs and lower wages. But the Fed’s alternative is hardly more satisfying: using monetary policy to mitigate the costs of tariffs and to keep the economy humming as Trump claims credit for his tremendous economic victories.

(GUA) Portugal win Nations League as Gonçalo Guedes does for the Netherlands

(GUA)

Cristiano Ronaldo lifts up the trophy as the jubilant Portugal players party in front of their home fans after beating Netherlands to win the the Nations League.
 Cristiano Ronaldo lifts up the trophy as the jubilant Portugal players party in front of their home fans after beating Netherlands to win the the Nations League. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP

At the final whistle the celebrations from Cristiano Ronaldo were joyous but relatively restrained compared to the other occasions when he has added a trophy to his collection. He hugged his teammates. He even embraced the referee. Two arms raised to the skies, but nothing too elaborate. Ronaldo did not even mark the occasion by peeling off his top to remind us of the contours of his six-pack. Which was highly unlike him but a reflection, perhaps, that the Nations League is not quite up there with some of his other achievements.

At the same time, Ronaldo and his team could still reflect on another highly satisfying achievement to win the inaugural competition following Portugal’s success at Euro 2016. They still had a lot of fun celebrating the latest triumph. Ronaldo was the man to lift the new trophy, sealed with a kiss. Gonçalo Guedes, a 22-year-old Valencia attacker, scored the decisive goal and, yet again, it was difficult not to marvel at the country’s ability to produce gifted footballers.

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Ronaldo, the greatest of them all, did not even have to reach his most exhilarating heights but, ultimately, all that conjecture about whether he could be the first man to dribble past Virgil van Dijk in the past season felt like a sub-plot to the real story. That was a deserved Portugal victory on a night when the Seleçao might also have shown they are not always reliant on their five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Bernardo Silva certainly deserved his award as the outstanding player of these finals, having displayed the kind of soft-touch brilliance that made him such a prodigious performer in Manchester City’s successful title defence. Rafa Silva, one of Portugal’s substitutes, lit up the night once he entered the game and the official man-of-the-match award went to Rúben Dias, who was part of a defence that restricted the Netherlands to only a couple of opportunities. Ronald Koeman’s team found it difficult to get any real momentum and, crucially, their opponents were not as accident-prone as England’s defenders had been in Guimãraes on Thursday.

All of which must have made it a slightly strange evening for the hundreds, potentially thousands, of England supporters who were among the Estádio do Dragão crowd, having bought tickets in advance in the hope their team might be involved. Those supporters were determined to be heard – “shall we sing for you” being their way of introduction – and some clearly felt it was the kind of occasion that warranted booing Van Dijk, in common with Thursday’s game. At least there was no dissent during the Dutch national anthem this time. Or failed MEP candidates punching anyone from behind. It was much more what Uefa would have wanted – a decent match and a happy crowd, culminating with Ronaldo lifting the trophy amid fireworks and silver tickertape.

To begin with the different sets of supporters – all three of them – did not have a great deal to get excited about. Indeed the first Mexican wave started before the half-hour mark and it is never promising when the crowd has to make its own entertainment, especially that early into a match.

After that, however, Portugal took control, Bernardo Silva came alive and, slowly but surely, the Portuguese in the crowd started to make themselves heard above their English counterparts. Ronaldo’s nutmeg on Frenkie de Jong felt like the football equivalent of patting his opponent on the head, missing only the famous CR7 wink, and Guedes always looked eager to justify his selection ahead of João Félix, the 19-year-old Benfica forward who might be attracting the attention of Europe’s elite clubs but had to settle for a place on the bench.

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Koeman did make attacking substitutions by bringing on Quincy Promes, Donny van de Beek and Luuk de Jong during different stages of the second half. The problem for the Dutch was that, within seconds of Van de Beek’s arrival, Bernardo Silva had linked up with Guedes for the key moment of the night.

Bernardo Silva, as always, was acutely aware of the players around him. A more selfish player might have tried a shot once he had advanced into the penalty area. He shaped as if that was his intention, too. But it was a deception and instead he played a reverse pass into the path of Guedes, who was following up in a more central position. Guedes had Ronaldo to his right but decided to have a go himself and struck the ball powerfully enough for it to find the bottom corner of the net even though the goalkeeper, Jasper Cillesen, reached the shot.

One of the disappointments for Koeman was that, even then, his side could not apply concerted pressure. There were a couple of chances for an equaliser, most notably Memphis Depay with a header that was saved by Rui Patrício, but the late onslaught that might have been expected never materialised. Ronaldo soon had his hands on the trophy, with Portugal the first name to be engraved in its silver.

Match stats

Possession

5644

NED56PRT44%

Goal attempts

7PortugalOff target2Holland9PortugalOn target2HollandCorners104Fouls614

Lineups

Portugal

  • 1 Rui Patricio
  • 20 Nelson Semedo
  • 4 Dias
  • 6 Fonte
  • 5 Guerreiro
  • 13 Danilo Pereira
  • 14 William Carvalho
  • 16 Bruno Fernandes
  • 7 Ronaldo
  • 17 Goncalo Guedes
  • 10 Bernardo Silva

Substitutes

  • 12 Jose Sa
  • 2 Joao Cancelo
  • 8 Joao Moutinho (s 81′)
  • 9 Dyego Sousa
  • 11 Jota
  • 15 Rafa Silva (s 75′)
  • 18 Neves (s 90′)
  • 19 Mario Rui
  • 21 Pizzi
  • 23 Joao Felix
  • 22 Beto

Holland

  • 1 Cillessen
  • 22 Dumfries 
  • 3 de Ligt
  • 4 van Dijk 
  • 17 Blind
  • 15 de Roon
  • 21 de Jong
  • 8 Wijnaldum
  • 7 Bergwijn
  • 10 Depay
  • 9 Babel

Substitutes

  • 13 Vermeer
  • 2 Hateboer
  • 5 Ake
  • 6 Propper
  • 11 Promes (s 46′)
  • 12 van Aanholt
  • 14 de Vrij
  • 16 Strootman
  • 18 Vilhena
  • 19 de Jong (s 81′)
  • 20 van de Beek (s 59′)
  • 23 Bizot

(DN) Portugal é o melhor destino europeu pela terceira vez

(DN)

Portugal foi eleito o Melhor Destino Turístico Europeu pelo terceiro ano consecutivo pelos World Travel Awards. Madeira recebeu a cerimónia da atribuição dos prémios.

O prémio Melhor Destino Turístico Europeu foi atribuído pela primeira vez a Portugal em 2017 e, desde aí, veio sempre parar ao nosso país. Em 2019, concorria com a Áustria, Inglaterra, França, Alemanha, Grécia, Irlanda, Itália, Noruega, Espanha, Suécia, Suíça e Turquia.

Mas, em 2019, Portugal recebeu mais três prémios do que em 2018, num total de 39 prémios.

Lisboa recebeu o prémio de Melhor Destino de City Break e Melhor Porto de Cruzeiros, a Madeira foi eleita o Melhor Destino Insular, os Passadiços do Paiva ganharam o prémio de Melhor Projeto de Desenvolvimento Turístico e o Dark Sky Alqueva recebeu o Prémio Europeu de Turismo Responsável. O Turismo de Portugal recebeu o prémio de Melhor Organismo Oficial de Turismo.

“É uma enorme satisfação receber o “Óscar” de Melhor Destino Europeu pelo terceiro ano consecutivo. Nos últimos anos, Portugal tem-se assumido como um destino imperdível e irresistível, e o facto de conquistarmos esta distinção de forma consecutiva mostra que a nossa estratégia está certa, dá frutos e é consistente”, disse o ministro-adjunto e da Economia, Pedro Siza Vieira. Trinta e nove prémios, a juntar ao galardão de Destino Mais Sustentável da Europa, atribuído em março.

“Estamos cada vez mais perto de sermos o destino mais sustentável do mundo”, concluiu o governante.

Recorde-se que Portugal foi eleito, em 2018, o Melhor Destino do Mundo pelo segundo ano consecutivo.

(DW) Boris Johnson ameaça dar calote na UE

(DW)

Favorito à sucessão da premiê britânica, Theresa May, político propõe reter o dinheiro que Londres deve a Bruxelas até que a UE melhore as condições para a saída do Reino Unido.

Ex-ministro do Exterior britânico Boris Johnson

Ex-ministro do Exterior britânico Boris Johnson

O ex-ministro britânico do Exterior, Boris Johnson, favorito para se tornar o próximo primeiro-ministro, sucedendo Theresa May à frente do governo do Reino Unido, ameaçou não pagar a fatura do Brexit enquanto a União Europeia (UE) não aceitar melhorar as condições da saída do Reino Unido do bloco europeu.

“Nossos amigos e parceiros têm que entender que o dinheiro será retido até que tenhamos mais clareza sobre o caminho a seguir”, disse Johnson em entrevista publicada neste domingo (09/06) pelo jornal The Sunday Times.

“Para obter um bom acordo, o dinheiro é um excelente solvente e um ótimo lubrificante”, acrescentou, em suas primeiras declarações após anunciar sua intenção de concorrer ao cargo de primeiro-ministro. Na entrevista, Johnson também insinuou que recusaria o acordo de fronteira com a Irlanda.

Johnson é o favorito suceder a primeira-ministra Theresa May, que renunciou oficialmente como líder do Partido Conservador na sexta-feira. Ela continua no cargo até um substituto ser escolhido, um processo que deve ser completado no final de julho. Johnson afirmou que é o único candidato que pode enfrentar o líder da oposição trabalhista, Jeremy Corbyn, e o populista pró-Brexit Nigel Farage.

Atualmente, 11 membros do Parlamento pretendem concorrer para substituir May. O líder do partido, que ganhou a maior quantidade de assentos nas eleições de 2017, se tornará automaticamente o novo chefe de governo britânico. Entre os candidatos, estão o ministro do Exterior, Jeremy Hunt, e o do Interior, Sajid Javid.

Rejeitado pelo Parlamento britânico, o acordo firmado entre Londres e Bruxelas prevê que o Reino Unido pague à UE em torno de 44 bilhões de euros.

Na semana passada, o presidente dos EUA, Donald Trump, recomendou que o Reino Unido não pague o que deve à UE. Ele também apoia Johnson como candidato à sucessão de May.

(GUA) Gove reboots Tory leadership bid with attack on Johnson

(GUA)

Environment secretary insists he is ‘in it to win it’ and vows to focus on overlooked families

Michael Gove
 Michael Gove’s campaign was blown off course after his admission of cocaine use. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Michael Gove has tried to claw his way back into the race to be Britain’s next prime minister with a pledge to govern for “overlooked families and undervalued communities” – and a series of personal attacks on frontrunner Boris Johnson.

The environment secretary’s campaign was blown off course at the weekendafter revelations about cocaine use. But on the day the Tory leadership contest launched in earnest, Gove insisted he was still “in it to win it”.

The backbench 1922 Committee announced that 10 contenders have mustered the support of the eight MPs they need to proceed to the first round of voting, with remainer Sam Gyimah the only one not to make the cut.

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MPs will hold the first round of voting on Thursday morning, with candidates who fail to win 17 votes or more being knocked out. Further rounds will be held next week, with the final pair of candidates then presented to grassroots Tory members for a vote.

Gove launched his campaign with a slick event in a Westminster skyscraper, at which he delivered a punchy speech, without notes.

He spoke about his “reforming zeal” as education, justice and now environment secretary, and highlighted what he said was his successful record.

The speech was peppered with policies, including pledges to abolish business rates for small and medium-sized businesses, protect ex-service personnel from prosecution over historic cases, and “create institutes of technology, with high quality vocational education, in every town.”

Gove’s performance was also laced with jibes about the overwhelming favourite, whom he referred to as “Mr Johnson”.

The pair’s bitter rivalry stems back to 2016, when Gove knocked Johnson out of the leadership race.

This time, Gove said, “if I get through, which I’m sure I will actually, to the final two against Mr Johnson this is what I will say to him. Mr Johnson, whatever you do, don’t pull out.”

Gove was also critical of Johnson’s flagship tax policy, which drew fire from other candidates on Monday, including Dominic Raab.

Johnson has said that if he becomes prime minister, he will increase the higher-rate income tax threshold at which the 40p rate starts to be paid, from £50,000 to £80,000.

The plan would cost around £10bn, with the benefit going to the highest earners. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell called the policy “irresponsible and shameful,” at a time when schools and policy forces are facing cuts.

Gove said, “one thing I will never do as prime minister is to use our tax and benefits system to give the already wealthy another tax cut”. He said he was in favour of tax cuts, but “the poor must come first”.

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In another implied criticism of Johnson, who has so far carried out few media interviews, Gove said he would confront Jeremy Corbyn directly rather than hide in a “bunker”.

And he added: “These are serious times; we need a serious leader. The stakes couldn’t be higher, the consequences couldn’t be greater.” Gove said he had “led from the front” during the Vote Leave campaign, and been “tested in battle”.

Confronted with the question of whether he had been hypocritical in taking cocaine, and going on to oversee as education secretary a system in which teachers would be sacked for doing so, he said he had learned from his mistakes.

Gove said that as justice secretary he had championed rehabilitation, seeking to emulate Winston Churchill’s promise always to look for “the treasure in the heart of man”.

Johnson gave his own rousing address to Tory MPs on Monday evening, telling the right-wing 92 group that he was an election-winner.

“I will do for this country what I did for London where we were able to lift the poor and the needy in our society while also sticking up for the wealth creators. If we can restore this basic philosophy we will carry all before us,” he said.

Gove had been regarded by many at Westminster as the most formidable challenger to Johnson, whom he knocked out of the Tory leadership race in 2016; but foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has stolen a march on him in recent days.

At his own launch, Hunt was introduced by work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd, and defence secretary Penny Mordaunt – two heavyweight supporters from opposite sides of the Brexit divide.

Brexit has dominated the debate in the early stages of the race. Raab, who like Johnson resigned from the cabinet over the issue, has mooted the idea of suspending parliament if MPs try to block a no-deal Brexit in October.

Johnson has also insisted he will take Britain out of the EU on 31 October, with or without a revised deal with Brussels. But Gove has suggested he would be more flexible, if a delay proved necessary to complete a deal.

The health secretary Matt Hancock’s campaign was boosted by the backing of Theresa May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington. Hancock’s slogan is “let’s move forward”.

Gove was introduced by the Tory rising star Kemi Badenoch, the MP for Saffron Walden, with other prominent supporters, including Nicky Morgan and the education secretary Damian Hinds, looking on from the front row.

In a frantic week of campaigning at Westminster, three more candidates – Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Rory Stewart – will hold launch events on Tuesday, with Johnson and home secretary Sajid Javid to follow on Wednesday.

Javid has struggled to win as many endorsements as Hunt or Gove after his campaign got off to a slow start, but has won the coveted backing of Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

(SMW) Savannah Tesoures records positive drilling results at Portugal lithium play

(SMW) Savannah Resources said it had recorded positive drilling results from the Aldeia prospect at its Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal.

Highlights included intersecting 45 metres at 1.67% lithium oxide from 89 metres, including including 22 metres at 2.00%.

‘These latest results from Aldeia and Grandao include the highest-grade ever reported at Mino do Barroso of 22m at 2% lithium oxide, demonstrating that the full scope of Mina do Barroso’s exciting potential is still being realised,’ chief executive David Archer said.

(BBC) O dia, 525 anos atrás, em que Portugal e Espanha dividiram o Novo Mundo

(BBC)

Pintura do século 15 sobre a assinatura do Trtaado de Tordesilhas
Image captionEsta pintura do século 15 ilustra como o Tratado de Tordesilhas foi assinado

Em pleno centro da Espanha, em meio às terras frias e áridas castelhanas, ergue-se uma pequena cidade de 141 quilômetros quadrados.

Atualmente ela é habitada por cerca de 9 mil pessoas e ostenta o título de “vila muito ilustre, antiga, coroada, leal e muito nobre”.

Ali ocorreu há 525 anos um fato histórico que determinou a configuração política e territorial da América, dividiu o mundo em dois hemisférios e definiu a língua e a cultura de milhões de pessoas.

Essa cidade, chamada Tordesilhas, está localizada ao norte de Madri.

Foi lá que, em 7 de junho de 1494, as duas grandes potências marítimas da época, Castela e Portugal, chegaram a um acordo para dividir as zonas de navegação do Oceano Atlântico e os territórios do “Novo Mundo”.nullTalvez também te interesse

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Documento do Tratado de Tordesilhas
Image captionO documento do Tratado é considerado o primeiro da história da América Latina

Apenas um ano antes, em março de 1493, Cristóvão Colombo havia voltado a Castela com uma notícia surpreendente.

A viagem que ele havia empreendido em 3 de agosto de 1492 a partir do porto espanhol de Palos de la Frontera, em busca de uma rota mais curta para a Ásia – onde os comerciantes europeus obtinham as especiarias usadas para temperar os alimentos, que atingiam preços muito altos -, havia dado frutos.

A expedição havia terminado com o descobrimento de novas terras até então desconhecidas na Europa.

As disputas entre Castela e Portugal pelo controle desses territórios começaram de imediato.

O ambiente lançava faíscas. Algo precisava ser feito para evitar a guerra.

Assim, em março de 1494, representantes de João 2º de Portugal e dos chamados reis católicos espanhóis (Isabel de Castela e Fernando de Aragón) se reuniram pela primeira vez em Tordesilhas.

Plaza de Tordesilhas
Image captionTordesilhas é um município da província espanhola de Valladolid, que hoje tem cerca de 9 mil habitantes

O objetivo era estabelecer um acordo que delimitaria as áreas de atuação de cada reino e restabeleceria a paz entre as duas coroas.

Tordesilhas era, naquela época, uma cidade importante em Castela. Tratava-se de um ponto estratégico de passagem graças a sua ponte medieval sobre o rio Douro.

Cercada por uma muralha, a cidade tinha cerca de 3.500 habitantes.

As reuniões entre os embaixadores de João 2º e os reis católicos ocorreram em um magnífico e imponente palácio recém-construído em Tordesilhas. Sobre sua porta se encontravam o brasão real dos reis católicos e o do seu proprietário, Alfonso González de Tordesilhas.

O palácio havia começado a ser erguido em 1488 e, no ano seguinte, já estava pronto.

Casas do Tratado de Tordesilhas
Image captionAs Casas do Tratado de Tordesilhas são formadas por dois palácios

A construção, que está localizada sobre uma colina e continua de pé, transformada agora no Museu do Tratado, foi sede das negociações entre os embaixadores da Espanha e de Portugal para dividir o Oceano Atlântico e os novos territórios que Colombo havia acabado de descobrir.

O futuro da política atlântica dos dois reinos dependia do que fosse acordado em Tordesilhas, tanto que o rei português e os reis castelhanos acompanhavam de perto o desenrolar das negociações.

No entanto, o rei português havia adoecido quando esse processo estava prestes a começar. Ele tinha 38 anos e 30 meses depois estaria morto.

Devido a sua doença, João 2º permaneceu em Setubal durante todas as negociações. Da cidade portuguesa a 50 quilômetros ao sul de Lisboa, entretanto, ele trocava mensagens constantemente com os seus embaixadores.

Museu do Tratado de Tordesilhas
Image captionMuseu do Tratado de Tordesilhas: é o único documento espanhol inscrito no registro “Memória do Mundo” da Unesco, criado em 1992 para preservar os documentos patrimônios da humanidade. Ele não está mais localizado na Espanha

Enquanto isso, os reis católicos continuaram as negociações primeiro a partir da cidade vizinha de Medina del Campo – a 24 quilômetros – e depois na própria cidade de Tordesilhas, residindo na cidade de 8 de maio a 8 de junho.

A linha de Colombo

Deve-se ter em mente que, ao retornar de sua primeira viagem, Colombo sequer era capaz de localizar com precisão onde estavam as novas terras que havia encontrado a caminho do que pensava ser a Índia.

Então, quando os reis castelhanos lhe perguntaram como ele achava que o conflito entre Espanha e Portugal poderia ser resolvido, Colombo propôs que fosse traçada uma linha divisória de norte a sul conhecida como “linha de Colombo”, que, ao que tudo indica, passava por Cabo Verde e os Açores.

Isabel e Fernando apresentaram então a proposta ao papa Alexandre 6º para que mediasse o conflito.

Ilustração que reflete a distribuição da América Latina
Image captionA América Latina foi dividida por uma linha de norte a sul conhecida como “Linha de Colombro”

O pontífice, que era de origem espanhola e que devia favores aos reis católicos, admitiu a proposta. Mas, como ela lhe parecia excessivamente favorável aos interesses de Castela e descaradamente prejudicial aos de Portugal, na bula – ou seja, no documento oficial que emitiu a respeito – deslocou a linha divisória 100 léguas a oeste dos Açores e Cabo Verde.

Nesse ponto da negociação, João 2º aceitou o meridiano que parte o Oceano Atlântico de polo a polo.

Mas, no processo de discussões de Tordesilhas, os portugueses solicitaram um deslocamento da linha divisória para 370 léguas a oeste de Cabo Verde.

Eles basearam esse pedido na necessidade que tinham de poder retornar de São Jorge de Mina – um porto de domínio português localizado na África, na costa do Golfo da Guiné, no lugar atualmente ocupado pela cidade de Elmina, em Gana – sem ter que invadir a costa castelhana.

A reivindicação de João 2º foi aceita pelos monarcas espanhóis, imaginando que estavam concedendo nada além de água a Portugal.

Imagem geral de Tordesilhas, com ponte medieval em destaque
Image captionA ponte medieval sobre o rio Douro fez de Tordesilhas um importante ponto de passagem

Assim, em 7 de junho de 1494, as duas partes concordam em dividir o Oceano Atlântico com uma terceira e última linha, a “linha do Tratado de Tordesilhas”, localizada a 370 léguas a oeste das ilhas de Cabo Verde.

Tudo localizado a leste do meridiano acordado em Tordesilhas seria para Portugal, enquanto o que estava a oeste foi atribuído a Castela.

Os reis Isabel e Fernando, assim como seus embaixadores, esfregaram as mãos pensando que tinham ganhado o jogo.

O tratado, pensavam eles, deixava todas as terras do “novo mundo” nas mãos da coroa castelhana, enquanto Portugal teria que se contentar simplesmente com água.

Domínio português

No entanto, eles estavam errados.

Eles cometeram um erro grave.

Um erro gigantesco chamado Brasil, um enorme território então desconhecido e que, ao se encontrar no extremo leste da América, caía em cheio dentro da área de domínio português.

Assim, quando o navegador Pedro Álvares de Cabral chegou em 1500 ao litoral do atual Estado da Bahia, o Brasil passou para as mãos portuguesas.

Mapa
Image captionEste mapa de 1502 mostra o território do novo mundo descoberto por Cristóvão Colombo

Alguns historiadores consideram que é muito possível que os portugueses já conhecessem a relativa curta distância que separa a costa brasileira das Ilhas de Cabo Verde (4,663 km) e que foi por isso que pressionaram para “mover” a linha 270 léguas a oeste.

Ainda que há 525 anos tenha sido em Tordesilhas que Portugal e Espanha dividiram o “novo mundo”, o tratado firmado não na época não se encontra mais no local.

O documento original em castelhano assinado pelos reis católicos está em Lisboa, no Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, enquanto a versão em Português, com a assinatura de Juan II, é guardada no Arquivo Geral das Índias, em Sevilha.

De qualquer modo, o Tratado de Tordesilhas é o único documento espanhol inscrito no registro “Memória do Mundo” da Unesco, criado em 1992 para preservar os documentos patrimônios da humanidade.

Plaza Mayor de Tordesilhas
Image captionA Plaza Mayor de Tordesilhas data do século 16

Mas Tordesilhas tem mais história do que a relacionada com o Tratado assinado na cidade.

Os 800 anos de história que a cidade carrega pode ser apreciado em muitos de seus rincões, praças, ruas estreitas, igrejas, e palácios.

Começando pela sua maravilhosa Plaza Mayor, a praça do século 16 rodeada de colunas.

E continuando, por exemplo, com o mosteiro de Santa Clara, um extraordinário conjunto mudéjar do século 14 que no ano de 1362 o rei Pedro 1º ordenou que fosse transformado em convento.