quarta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2017

Bye, bye Lisboa! / Lisboa vai acolher mais 23 hotéis nos próximos dois anos


Bye, bye Lisboa!

ANTÓNIO SÉRGIO ROSA DE CARVALHO 13/09/2015 – PÚBLICO

A Câmara de Lisboa abdicou da sua responsabilidade planeadora e reguladora, abrindo a caixa de pandora.

Em 1990 Barcelona com 1,5 milhões de habitantes atraiu 1,7 milhões de Turistas. Em 2014 Barcelona recebeu 7,5 milhões de Turistas. Rendimento anual através do Turismo atingiu os 12 mil milhões de euros.

Nas Ramblas, em cada 10 transeuntes, 9 são turistas. 1991: 23,7191991 dormidas; 2003: 37,224 dormidas; 2013: 69,128 dormidas.

Assistiu-se assim, à tranformação de toda a cidade num Parque Temático Turístico e à redução de todas as actividades a uma única, omnipresente e obsessiva Monocultura. O Turismo.

Todo e qualquer sentido do Viver e Habitar quotidiano foi dominado e reduzido à erosão permanente do visitar, do residir temporário, do permanente happening nocturno e da festa contínua.

Ao permitir este consumir de forma erosiva, predadora e esgotante, de todas as características que, precisamente, constituíram o atractivo e o motivo da vinda e, originalmente, o apelo de vísita, Barcelona cada vez mais, e paradoxalmente, foi transformada num local onde Turistas apenas encontram outros Turistas. Uma plataforma globalizada, esvaziada dos seus conteúdos, dos seus moradores e autenticidade original.

Tudo isto levou a uma crescente revolta local, com movimentos cívicos e crescentes manifestações de rua, culminando este processo com a eleição de Ada Colau para presidir o Município.

A primeira medida de Colau foi instalar uma moratória durante 1 ano, de todo o licenciamento para novos projectos turísticos, incluindo hóteis, hostels, reconversões para alojamentos temporários, etc.

Levou também à produção do já famoso Documentário “Bye Bye Barcelona”, no qual, todas estas situações e desafios são ilustrados.

Entretanto, Colau entrou em confronto directo com a airbnb e a Booking.com, exigindo destas organizações especialistas em estadias temporárias, a relação completa das moradas e registos de ofertas dos seus sites.

A todos os endereços ilegais serão impostas multas de 15.000 a 90.000 euros, oferecendo Colau como alternativa ao pagamento das multas pelos proprietários destes alojamentos, a disponibilização pelos mesmos, destas moradas durante três anos, como habitaçào social, para os residentes locais.

A recusa das organizações referidas de disponibilizar as informações exigidas, poderá levar à proibição de acesso a estes sites especializados em oferta de alojamentos temporários, em todo o território da Catalunha.

Alfama recebeu recentemente, a visita do Secretário de Estado do Turismo e do Ministro da Economia, que triunfalmente e com um distanciamento “blasé” em relação a um possível papel regulador, equilibrador, planeador, recusaram qualquer reflexão ou dúvida quanto ao crescimento avassalador da oferta e transformação de todas as residências, em alojamentos temporários, sem qualquer tipo de regulamento ou limites, dedicados ao Turismo.

Nesta irrealista e irresponsável atitude caracterizada por um “laissez faire, laisser aller” in extremis, até criticaram uma tímida e tardia preocupação, formulada por um dos grandes responsáveis por esta ausência de gestão e planeamento, Manuel Salgado.

Com efeito, Manuel Salgado ao anunciar em 2008 “A Baixa nunca será um bairro residencial” e ao propor exclusivamente um investimento na hotelaria, residências universitárias e alojamentos de curta e média permanência, entregando a dinâmica do investimento únicamente às exigências dos “mercados”, abdicou da sua responsabilidade planeadora e reguladora, abrindo a caixa de pandora.

No início do processo, antes da crise e respectiva transformação, motivada pela mesma crise, da cidade num gigantesco negócio de estadias temporárias, e acima de tudo, do exôdo maciço de toda a juventude Portuguesa, estes, naturalmente os potenciais habitantes de uma Baixa ainda vazia , ainda teria sido possível planear / estabelecer um equilíbrio.

Assim também, a possível inserção da totalidade da Baixa num regulamento de rigor Patrimonial determinado pela Unesco não convinha à liberdade de manobra de intervenção e licenciamento de Manuel Salgado, pois iria impedir a sua política de “fachadismo” e de destruição sistemática dos Interiores Pombalinos pelos “investidores”.

Agora, dramaticamente é tarde, e provavelmente de forma irreversível Manuel Salgado e os dois ilustres visitantes de Alfama vão acabar perversamente por “ter razão” na sua irresponsável atitude e ausência de visão.

Entretanto, brevemente, em frente a Alfama vai surgir o novo terminal de Cruzeiros, aumentando o “potencial” e alargando, através das respectivas intervenções e arranjos da envolvente incluindo possivelmente a desejada desactivação da estação de Santa Apolónia, a plataforma da Monocultura.

Bye Bye Lisboa!

Historiador de Arquitectura

Lisboa vai acolher mais 23 hotéis nos próximos dois anos
As novas unidades na capital portuguesa representam mais 2175 quartos.

LUSA 18 de Janeiro de 2017, 15:10

Lisboa deverá receber 23 hotéis nos próximos dois anos, enquanto a nível nacional o número de novas aberturas deverá ser entre “40 e 50”, estimou hoje Karina Simões, da consultora JLL.

As novas unidades na capital portuguesa representam mais 2175 quartos, dos quais cerca de 70% previstos para 2017, acrescentou Karina Simões, na apresentação do balanço do sector imobiliário de 2016 e das perspectivas para 2017.

Aos jornalistas, Karina Simões notou a “euforia em torno do mercado”, com crescimento exponencial, que tem feito subir preços, pelo que a “concretização está mais difícil”, mas o interesse dos investidores mantém-se.

“Não há retrocesso do interesse, mas das concretizações, e começa-se a olhar para localizações não ‘prime’ (mais valorizadas)”, comentou a especialista, referindo notar-se já uma dispersão das atenções pelo país.

Além de Lisboa, Porto, Algarve e Madeira, os investidores estão a olhar para outras cidades, como Coimbra e Aveiro, onde os hotéis “têm que ser mais polivalentes: dedicar-se ao lazer e a business (negócios)”.

Sobre o alojamento local, a responsável pelo segmento da hotelaria na consultora referiu que 2016 foi o ano da consolidação e argumentou que este tipo de oferta turística está a revitalizar e dinamizar as baixas de Lisboa e do Porto.


"Prevemos que 2017 confirme o crescimento dos principais indicadores da actividade turística, quer por parte da procura, quer da oferta, que se caracteriza por maior diversidade e qualificação", disse.

Berlin prepares for Trump’s wrath


Berlin prepares for Trump’s wrath
German deputy finance minister warns country may be next on president-elect’s trade hit-list.

By JANOSCH DELCKER 1/19/17, 5:25 AM CET

BERLIN – Germany may be next on Donald Trump’s hit list.

For months, the president-elect has railed against Mexico and China over what he describes as unfair trade practices.

Now, German officials are preparing for the wrath they believe is coming their way.

“The main focus of the debate is on Mexico and China. But when it comes to the issue of a trade surplus, Japan and Germany are the next countries on the list,” German Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn told POLITICO, following a series of unofficial meetings with members of Trump’s transition team in New York and Washington.

Ahead of Trump’s inauguration Friday, Spahn traveled to the U.S. last week for a series of informal talks with Trump allies, including Peter Navarro, the head of Trump’s newly formed White House National Trade Council.

During those talks, Spahn said he stressed that Germany’s massive trade surplus was not a strategy to support the German economy on the backs of international partners — the line Trump has taken when arguing against China’s trade policy.

“As we have been trying to explain to our European partners for years, this surplus is not a problem, but rather an advantage,” Spahn, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU,) said in an interview at his office in the German Finance Ministry. “Considering that, for years, this has been proven hard to explain in Brussels, we will probably need a couple more rounds in D.C., as well.”

In April, the U.S. put Germany on a list of countries which Washington suspects are behaving unfairly to support their economies.
Germany exports significantly more than it imports, which is a source of consternation for many of its international partners, including the United States, who in the past have criticized Berlin for taking advantage of the trade surplus while at the same time not doing enough to spur imports.

Instead of investing the money they make, critics say, Germans prefer to save, preventing the recovery of crisis-ridden eurozone countries and slowing down global growth.

In April, the U.S. put Germany, along with China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, on a list of countries which Washington suspects are behaving unfairly to support their economies.

Germany’s current account surplus, a broader trade measure that includes the trade surplus, has almost doubled over five years, from around €145 billion in 2010 to €256.1 billion in 2015. The figures for 2016 have not been released yet, but monthly reports suggest that the surplus remains similarly high.

As Trump takes office, many in Berlin are concerned that Germany might soon find itself in his crosshair as China has done. But Germany doesn’t control its economy or the markets in the way that China does, Spahn argued.

“We need to make clear that there is a difference between the U.S. trade deficit with low-wage countries [like China] on the one hand, and with a high-wage technology country like Germany on the other hand,” Spahn said. “In the European Union, it’s the market that makes decisions at the end of the day.”

Referring to a recent interview with Bild, in which Trump said German cars are ubiquitous on the streets of New York while very few American cars are seen on German roads, Spahn said that, ultimately, it’s the consumers who determine what gets bought, not governments.

If “BMWs or Mercedes sells well in the U.S. while a Dodge sells rather poorly in Europe, it’s because of decisions made by consumers, not by the state,” he said.

Spahn’s visit to America wasn’t only about trade — it was also about getting to know some of the people around Trump who he and his colleagues at the finance ministry will have to deal with once Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States

The 36-year-old minister, who rapidly rose through the ranks of the CDU to become deputy finance minister within a decade, emphasized that reaching out to the incoming administration and its staff, many of whom are political newcomers, is a priority — especially as Germany took over the presidency of the G20 in December.

“In light of Germany’s G20 presidency this year, contacts with the new U.S. administration are particularly important,” Spahn said.

Merkel intends to use the G20 presidency to safeguard multilateral cooperation. In the light of Trump’s election victory, however, concerns have grown in the German capital that the international forum could lose much importance.

Meeting with Trump’s team, Spahn said he made it clear that for Germany, international organizations are, at this moment in time, “crucial for promoting dialogue and for providing a framework to coordinate” cooperation.

“If the new American president has suggestions for how to improve this, we are open for a conversation,” he said. However, he added, “one thing needs to be clear: The motto ‘We don’t care about multilateral cooperation’ is not our motto. This doesn’t solve a single problem – quite the opposite.”

“Trump is certainly asking justifiable questions and we need to be responsive,” he said. “It’s true that Germany, for example, has clearly missed the mutually agreed target of spending 2 percent of its budget on defense to reach the target that was agreed among NATO members.”

Particularly when it comes to Europe, it is important to seek contact with the new U.S. president and his administration on all levels to try and reverse any bad impressions he might have formed of the EU.

“It is not on that Nigel Farage was the first European politician to seek talks with him,” Spahn said, referencing to the Brexit advocate and former UKIP leader. “This, apparently, has left a disastrous image of the EU. All the more, we now need to make sure to tell him, self-confidently, what the EU is actually capable of. “

Read the full interview in English and in German.

Authors:


Janosch Delcker  

We’re not out to punish Britain, but you need to shed your illusions / Guy Verhofstadt



Boris Johnson warns French president François Hollande against trying to ‘administer punishment beatings’ in the manner of ‘some world war two movie’ to any country that tries to leave the EU. Speaking in Delhi on Wednesday, the foreign secretary was responding to comments from one of Hollande’s aides who said Britain should not expect a better trading relationship with Europe once it is outside the EU


We’re not out to punish Britain, but you need to shed your illusions
Guy Verhofstadt
Although the EU will negotiate a fair deal, the days of Europe à la carte are over

Guy Verhofstadt is chief Brexit negotiator for the European parliament
Wednesday 18 January 2017 20.10 GMT

Brexit really does mean Brexit. Theresa May’s long-awaited speech this week finally outlined some of her government’s negotiating objectives. Now we know that Britain wants to leave the European single market it helped to create, the customs union, and the European Union as a whole.

With only a few weeks left to the likely invoking of article 50, triggering the start of talks on Britain’s withdrawal, this clarity was much needed, and will help EU governments and the European parliament to prepare for the discussions to come. I have no doubt, however, that the process we are about to embark on will be a challenging one.

The EU will work in a frank and open manner to help deliver a Brexit that is least harmful for all concerned, but we must be honest with each other too: the days of UK cherry-picking and a Europe à la carte are over.

Contrary to the deeply unhelpful comments by the British foreign secretary Boris Johnson yesterday, who suggested that François Hollande was trying to “administer punishment beatings” in the manner of “some world war two movie”, no one in Europe wants to “punish” either Britain or the British. I have never heard any MEP or European leader call for this, in private or public.

But it is an illusion to suggest that the UK will be permitted to leave the EU but then be free to opt back into the best parts of the European project, for instance by asking for zero tariffs from the single market without accepting the obligations that come with it. I hope that British people will

China's Xi Jinping says Paris climate deal must not be allowed to fail


China's Xi Jinping says Paris climate deal must not be allowed to fail
President says ‘we only have one homeland’ in a coded warning to Donald Trump not to dismantle the agreement

Tom Phillips in Beijing
Thursday 19 January 2017 03.11 GMT

The world must not allow the Paris climate deal to be “derailed” or continue to inflict irreparable damage on the environment, Chinese president Xi Jinping has said, amid fears the rise of Donald Trump could strike a body blow to the fight against global warming.

Trump, who will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, has threatened to pull out of the historic Paris agreement and dismissed climate change as a Chinese “hoax” and “expensive… bullshit”.

But in an address to the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday, which observers saw as a high-profile bid to bolster China’s image as a reliable and dedicated climate leader, Xi issued a direct challenge to those views, warning “there is only one Earth in the universe and we mankind have only one homeland”.

“The Paris agreement is a milestone in the history of climate governance. We must ensure this endeavor is not derailed,” the Communist party leader said.

“All parties should work together to implement the Paris agreement. China will continue to take steps to tackle climate change and fully honor its obligations,” Xi added, according to a transcript published by Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

Just a few months ago, climate campaigners hailed a major breakthrough in efforts to tackle global warming when Barack Obama and Xi jointly announced that their countries, the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases, would ratify the Paris accord.

“We have a saying in America that you need to put your money where your mouth is,” Obama said at the time. “And when it comes to combating climate change that is what we are doing … we are leading by example.”

Signatories of the deal, which came into force in November last year, agreed to keep global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

However, Trump’s shock election – and the presence of so many climate sceptics in his administration – has thrown the US’ commitment to such goals into doubt.

In his Geneva speech Xi reaffirmed Beijing’s pledges to slash its emissions and sought to position China, which remains the world’s top polluter, as a global pacesetter on climate change and sustainable development.

“We should make our world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development,” he told his audience.

“Man coexists with nature, which means that any harm to nature will eventually come back to haunt man. We hardly notice natural resources such as air, water, soil and blue sky when we have them. But we won’t be able to survive without them.”

“Industrialisation has created material wealth never seen before, but it has also inflicted irreparable damage to the environment,” Xi went on. “We must not exhaust all the resources passed on to us by previous generations and leave nothing to our children or pursue development in a destructive way. Clear waters and green mountains are as good as mountains of gold and silver. We must maintain harmony between man and nature and pursue sustainable development.”

Li Shuo, Greenpeace’s China climate policy adviser, described Xi’s speech as “a very important political signal … especially in the context of the incoming US administration”.

The activist said he believed Xi’s call to arms on the climate was designed to pressure Trump’s White House into sticking to his predecessor’s commitments while simultaneously highlighting China’s role as a responsible climate leader.

“It is a calculated move… it is their first move on the chess board and I expect further moves if they are needed at a later stage,” said Li.

“China has a very important and a very special role in keeping the US on course and we would very much like to see them use their leverage on that,” he added.

Zhang Haibin, an expert in environmental diplomacy from Peking University’s school of international studies, said Xi’s speech was a response to the global “uncertainties and concerns” that Trump’s election had thrown up, including over climate change.

The president’s words “sent a strong signal to the world” about China’s determination to tackle global warming.

Zhang said Beijing would stick to its climate commitments since it understood the importance of cutting deadly air pollution but argued China would not want to serve as the world’s “sole leader” on climate change.

“We regard ourselves as a developing country and, in addition to that, we’ve got pollution issues and are facing an economic slowdown at home,” he said.


Additional reporting by Wang Zhen

Theresa May's Brexit speech: what the national newspapers say




Theresa May's Brexit speech: what the national newspapers say
Roy Greenslade

PM’s words cause unsurprising joy in pro-leave papers while pro-remain media question her interpretation of her mandate

The advantage of the prime minister’s speech being leaked in advance is obvious: two successive days of adoring front-page headlines for Theresa May.

As far as the Daily Mail is concerned, Margaret Thatcher has been reborn: “Steel of the new Iron Lady”. Other headlines on six successive pages reflect its ecstasy at her decision to quit the single market, renegotiate customs union membership and dispense with the European court of justice: “A great nation is reborn”; “Europe split over May’s vision – but even Tusk calls it ‘realistic’; “Thumbs up from bosses”.

An op-ed by Dominic Sandbrook calls the speech daring, decisive and momentous and compared May favourably to Thatcher. As for the editorial, it praises an “impressive” May for presenting a vision of Britain “as a fully independent, global power”.

It continues: “Mrs May left our partners in no doubt that if they fail to offer the right terms, she is ready to walk away from the table and out of the EU with no agreement at all …

“In a subtle yet undisguised threat, she reminded them gently that a trade war would jeopardise EU firms’ £500bn investments in Britain. It would also put at risk millions of European jobs that are dependent on exports to the UK worth £290bn a year.”

No, I agree, not really much of a surprise. The Brexit-campaigning Mail has been May’s greatest supporter from the moment she emerged as the woman most likely to succeed David Cameron.

As unsurprising is the joy evident from the coverage in the Sun (with a punning front page headline, “Brexodus”, on a mocked-up tablet of stone), the Daily Express (“Deal or no deal we will leave the EU”) and the Daily Telegraph (“May’s bold terms for Brexit”).

In its editorial, the Sun says May’s Brexit vision “is so close to ours we couldn’t have written it any better. It was a magnificent, historic speech – a game-changer for Britain and for Brussels”.

It calls her speech “hugely ambitious, optimistic and crafted to appeal to every level-headed person in Britain”. As for EU members “she was commendably steely in urging them to focus on the potential gains for both sides, not on ‘punishing’ Britain”.

But the Sun has “two reservations”. It is worried about possible drift during the transitional period between the day Britain leaves and new deals taking effect. And it is troubled by the fact that parliament will get a final vote.

Why? Because “it provides a focal point for two more grim years of divisive campaigning by diehard Remainers still hoping to turn back the clock”.

The Telegraph, which carries an op-ed by Boris Johnson heaping praise upon his leader, joins in the adulation. It was an “excellent speech” offering a “clear sense of direction; this was real leadership, of the sort we see all too rarely.

“It is no exaggeration to describe this speech as a defining moment in British politics, one that will one day be remembered in the same light as Lady Thatcher’s famous Bruges address, which launched the modern Eurosceptic movement.”

According to the paper, “we will remain a pro-immigration society but will choose who we want to move here … a masterclass in common sense and is exactly what Britain voted for last June”.

It is particularly pleased at the “steel behind her words: Britain can be a good friend to the EU, or a bad enemy. And the EU today needs all the friends it can get”.

And it concludes: “The prime minister is doing what Britain wants, and doing it boldly. She deserves to succeed.”

The Telegraph columnist Philip Johnston also praises the speech, arguing that it lived up to its advance billing of being “major” and “groundbreaking”.

Stephen Pollard, in the Express, sees it in similar terms, “as the most important single speech by any British politician in my lifetime”.

In an adjacent leader, the Express reminds readers that “this newspaper began its crusade to get Britain out of the EU more than six years ago”.

Now, “at last, we have a prime minister who … understands the importance of delivering a real Brexit”.

The caption to the Times’s front-page picture of May striding into Lancaster House informs its readers that she is wearing “a £1,190 Vivienne Westwood suit”. Is that relevant?

As for the speech, its assessment is more measured. Impressed by how she “pulled off the trick of sounding both conciliatory and menacing”, it sees it as clever, nuanced “and arguably a fine one”.

It believes that May will have silenced those who said she did not know what she was doing and that her remarks “were meant chiefly to reassure critics at home that after six months with no running commentary she has a plan”.

The Times notes how the “shrewd advance briefing” of key sections of her speech “meant that any anxiety in the financial markets had been factored into the price of sterling” before she spoke.

It concludes by referring to an unnamed City trader who had welcomed the speech as “less hawkish” than expected: “This is an accolade that would have been hard to imagine last summer. Mrs May has deftly moved the goalposts to give herself the option of the hardest of hard Brexits.”

Then there are those titles that backed remain and are now doubtful about the government’s interpretation of its mandate following the referendum vote.

The Guardian thinks the speech “doubly depressing” and “riddled with its own streak of global fantasy”. It was, says the paper, “a reminder that Britain’s exit from the EU puts livelihoods, values and alliances at risk”.

May’s approach was influenced by her “conviction that the people voted for Brexit to control EU migration” and that “the Conservative party’s anti-European MPs are politically stronger, and thus more of a destabilising threat to her premiership, than the party’s pro-Europeans”.

Moreover, it was also “designed in equal parts to pander to the xenophobic press, and to keep backbench Brexiteers firmly on side”.

So, says the Guardian, “as a political manoeuvre” it “was a huge success” and will have strengthened her authority both in her party and in the country.

As for her saying that no deal would be better than a bad deal, the paper believes it to be “a bluff” which “may backfire at the negotiating table”.

Rafael Behr, writing in the Guardian, contends that May’s speech “was meant to be a beacon illuminating Britain’s future outside the EU. But, coming days before Trump’s inauguration, it should be read also as an unwitting requiem for the global order that is passing away”.

The Independent’s leader is unequivocally hostile to May’s speech, seeing her message as “extremely unwelcome” by offering a “damaging and undemocratic” Brexit.

It continues: “The terms she is talking about were not promised by the leave campaign in the referendum.”

Although May has agreed to obtain the consent of parliament to the eventual terms of exit, “the option to remain within the EU will not be on the table. For parliament and people, that is unacceptable.”

“She should, of course, have pledged a referendum for the whole of the British people on such a momentous move … it is more certain than ever that she is leading the country and her party into a certainly disastrous economic future – and will ignore the popular will.”

The Daily Mirror, ever aware of its readership being more anti-EU than its own long-held EU enthusiasm, is cautious. It says May “must be held to account closely as she initiates a tricky exit that will determine our country’s prosperity for generations to come”.

It wonders whether controlling migration from the EU, “which many people [meaning its readers] demand”, could prove counterproductive.

“Everybody wants to approach the future positively,” says the Mirror, “and it is in all our interests that a good deal is reached with other nations.”


And finally, let me mention a couple of half-decent headline puns in two free titles: “Don’t call me May be” (Metro) and “It’s May way or the highway” (City AM).  

I Want, I Want, I Want


I Want, I Want, I Want
Theresa May wanted to show a friendly yet tough face to her country's European allies. But her Brexit speech showed one thing above all: The British prime minister is blind to reality.
A Commentary by Christoph Scheuermann
January 18, 2017 12:46 PM

If it was Theresa May's goal to flood Europe with a glut of adjectives, then she was extremely successful on Tuesday. After Brexit, the British prime minister said, the United Kingdom will be "stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking." It will be a "secure, prosperous, tolerant" country, a "great, global trading nation" that is a good friend and ally.


But beneath the wave of superficial pleasantries, something much more uncompromising soon made an appearance behind the lectern at Lancaster House: the hard, craggy side of Ms. May. If the rest of Europe doesn't cooperate, the prime minister said, if the EU seeks a punitive deal in the course of the Brexit negotiations, it would have negative consequences for all involved.

Far from being a conciliatory address, May's speech was a catalogue of demands topped with a dash of threat. A great many of her sentences began with: "I want."

The advantage of May's speech is that Europe now at least knows a bit more about the direction Britain intends to go. Theresa May wants to pull the UK out of the single market and to no longer be subject to the verdicts of the European Court of Justice. She wants a free trade agreement and wants Britain to pay much less into the EU budget than it has thus far. And she wants to keep one foot in the customs union but hopes to keep the other outside -- though she didn't explain how she intends to perform this bit of gymnastics. The disadvantage of May's speech is that she has now convinced the rest of Europe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the British government isn't just nasty, but is also prepared to take the gloves off.


May was unable to be friendly and unyielding at the same time. Her speech was also an attempt to find her way out of the ditch into which she had pitched herself last autumn. Back then, she uttered the striking sentence: "If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you're a citizen of nowhere." It sounded like a declaration of war against the liberal, urbane, cosmopolitan Great Britain. Since then, much has changed. In the eyes of Prime Minister May, the world is once again full of opportunity. Openness is good, globalization perhaps is too and free trade is definitely a plus. At least from this perspective, May has once again become more pragmatic, which is to be welcomed.

Uncomfortable for Everybody

May is prepared to throw everything on the negotiating table that her country can offer the rest of Europe, including intelligence services, nuclear weapons and cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The prime minister didn't explicitly say so, but her message is clear: You on the Continent profit significantly from our contributions to European security, so don't push us away. That would be uncomfortable for everybody.

What is clear is that the government in London remains dependent on the goodwill of two partners: the EU and Donald Trump. Each has elements of risk. As soon as Britain, at the end of March, submits its formal, Article 50 notification to the EU of its intention to leave the bloc, time will no longer be on the country's side. If she's lucky, May will have 18 months to complete the divorce proceedings. When it comes to the framework that will govern the exit negotiations, Britain finds itself in a weak position. Furthermore, the EU has little interest in showing too much leniency with Britain and thereby risking that other countries might be tempted to follow the UK out the door.

When it comes to Donald Trump, nothing has changed: The situation remains unpredictable and chaotic. Even if May's government grovels its way into the good graces of the incoming U.S. president, it is unlikely that a British-American free-trade agreement would be completed as quickly as many Brexit fans in the UK hope. In this regard, May should be more honest with the citizens of Britain.

May used the majority of her Tuesday speech to promise her country a glorious future, but it is one over which she only has limited control. In the worst case scenario, it appears that she would rather slam the door shut and risk a cold, mucky Brexit than agree to a painful compromise. No deal is better than a bad deal, she said on Tuesday. If that is how she speaks with friends, one wonders how she might deal with enemies.


With its intention to leave the European common market, May's government has opted for the path of willful self-mutilation, at least when it comes to the country's mid-term economic prospects. It will take many years before British diplomats are able to complete a free-trade agreement with the EU and with other countries. The fruits of Brexit, if there are any at all, will only grow slowly. Until then, May will have to offer her allies more than just the graciousness of continuing to allow them to export Prosecco and cars to Britain. May needs Europe. Adjectives alone won't help her.

terça-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2017

Jardim na Praça de Espanha vai ser “mais do dobro do Jardim da Estrela”


Jardim na Praça de Espanha vai ser “mais do dobro do Jardim da Estrela”

PSD acusa a câmara de enganar os lisboetas, PCP e CDS lamentam que o terreno do antigo mercado seja exclusivamente dedicado a escritórios. Manuel Salgado garante que esta vai ser “uma zona central de Lisboa”

JOÃO PEDRO PINCHA 17 de Janeiro de 2017, 22:35

A oposição uniu-se no voto contra, mas o terreno do antigo mercado da Praça de Espanha vai mesmo ser vendido em hasta pública. A decisão foi tomada esta terça-feira à tarde na primeira reunião da Assembleia Municipal de Lisboa deste ano, mas a proposta foi criticada da esquerda à direita, sobretudo pelo facto de a autarquia só permitir a construção de um edifício de escritórios naquele local.

“Quem passe por aquela zona da cidade a partir das sete, oito horas”, argumentou Modesto Navarro, do PCP, vê “um completo vazio”. O deputado municipal lamentou que a câmara não aproveite este terreno para fazer “habitação a preços controlados para jovens” e acusou a equipa de Fernando Medina de querer tornar a Praça de Espanha “num maior deserto”.

Crítica semelhante foi feita por Diogo Moura, deputado do CDS, que afirmou que “basta passear” por aquela área “para ver inúmeros espaços comerciais” em arrendamento, “muitos deles vazios”.

Para o vereador do Urbanismo da câmara, o que está em causa são diferentes “conceitos de cidade”. “É perfeitamente legítimo que cada um de nós tenha o seu conceito de cidade”, disse Manuel Salgado, que defendeu a criação de edifícios de escritórios naquele local por se tratar de uma das “zonas mais bem servidas de transportes” de Lisboa. “A Praça de Espanha”, acrescentou, “tem condições absolutamente excepcionais para concentrar escritórios.”

Mas os deputados do PSD acusaram a câmara de enganar os lisboetas e os comerciantes que saíram da Praça de Espanha em Setembro de 2015. “Durante anos a narrativa foi bastante diferente”, afirmou Sofia Vala Rocha, que trouxe vários recortes de jornais para lembrar que a autarquia há muito vem prometendo um jardim na zona. “O facto é que, em vez de um jardim, vem agora propor-se uma torre”, acrescentou depois o deputado social-democrata Magalhães Pereira, que considerou esta hasta pública “nefasta e prejudicial” para a cidade.

Por “Os Verdes”, Sobreda Antunes manifestou preocupação relativamente à construção no subsolo da praça, uma “área reconhecidamente sensível a inundações”. O deputado ecologista, à semelhança do que já fizera o colega do PCP, criticou a câmara por ter desenhado uma Unidade de Execução para a Praça de Espanha e não um Plano de Pormenor, o que obrigaria a discussão na assembleia municipal.

“A Unidade de Execução tem tanta validade como outro instrumento qualquer”, rebateu Manuel Salgado. O vereador garantiu que “a Praça de Espanha não será um deserto, mas sim uma zona central de Lisboa” e disse que sempre manteve a intenção de “fazer um grande jardim”, apesar do que alega o PSD. Aliás, acrescentou, o espaço verde será “mais do dobro do Jardim da Estrela”, aproveitando os locais onde actualmente há vias de trânsito e estendendo-se até à Avenida José Malhoa.


O terreno que vai agora para hasta pública foi ocupado durante décadas por um mercado. Tem mais de três mil metros quadrados e fica paredes meias com o Instituto Português de Oncologia, que terá um novo edifício em 2019 ao abrigo de um protocolo assinado na segunda-feira com a autarquia. O preço base de licitação do terreno é de 16,450 milhões de euros.