"The extreme right gathers the citizen's anger against the elites"

Josep Fontana, historian, publishes ‘The century of the revolution’

"The extreme right gathers the citizen's anger against the elites"

The 21st century has brought confusion, uncertainty, lack of confidence in collective progress and democracy. How did we get here? Josep Fontana reconstructed in 2011 the path traveled in a book of 1,200 pages, For the empire , which reached the Arab spring and the movement of the indignant. In The century of the revolution. A history of the world since 1914 adds and revises its copious documentation, updated until today. The data provided in the chapter “The era of inequality” are chilling and, if the trend is not corrected, many of today’s readers will be the future poor.

“I had the finished book,” says Fontana, “but I wanted to wait to see the results of the North American elections. Since 1945 the presidents of the USA they can change the trajectory of the world, as it did with the Roman emperors. “

How did we get here?

By many factors. One of them is fear. Fear is a determining factor in political attitudes. The exaggerated fear of the Russian revolution was decisive in the failure of the Second Spanish Republic or the reformism of the Weimar Republic. On the other hand, this same fear and the strength of the unions favored negotiation and reformist policies to satisfy the population.

Is not it now that we have forgotten the stupor in the face of the barbarism of the two world wars, when we opted for a game of alternations, a right-wing party that created wealth and a social-democratic party to distribute it?

Social democracy played a very important role in the attainment of benefits such as those of the welfare state, which were granted as antidotes to the revolution. In 1968 it could be seen that the threat of new revolutionary movements had passed, when the French Communist Party refused to support the student protests, while in Prague the options of a socialism with a human face were frustrated. Lost the fear of the USSR and the threat of revolution, the minority of 1 per 1,000 of the richest could sleep peacefully. Why make unnecessary concessions?

What date does it put?

Social progress, understood as the sum of a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth and an improvement in living conditions, ended around 1975.

What happened?

Taking the oil crisis as an excuse, the fight against the unions was launched and the relocation of companies was favored, which weakened the capacity of the workers to improve their working conditions and their salaries. All this contributed to a global economic restructuring as the basis of a new global corporate order, without the obstacles that the nation-state opposed.

And now?

The crisis that began in 2007 and 2008 worsened the situation. The most serious is that, overcome the crisis, inequality has run wild and continues to grow day by day. The consequences can be very serious.

In his book criticizes the economist Thomas Piketty.

Yes, because his approach that inequality is a permanent feature of human history hides the value of struggles such as those that allowed the progress made by the workers movement. All this helps to promote the idea that there is nothing to do, and encourages inaction, at a time when they have been losing even a part of the gains that the workers’ movement had achieved in a century and a half of social struggles, while the peasants of the underdeveloped world are robbed of the use of common goods, such as land and water.

How do you explain the irruption of Trump and Le Pen?

Image result for trumpCitizens who saw their situation worsened have ended up losing trust in the elites that governed them, including the members of a social democracy that has ended up integrating itself into the system. In the absence of an independent left with enough force, it has been the far-right parties that have picked up that collective anger. It is a movement that started in Eastern Europe, gained strength with Brexit and now takes a new dimension with Trump. But in the long run these parties do not have programs that can satisfy their demands, so we do not know what can happen in the future.

But Trump is not against the interests of that power, quite the contrary.

Trump came from the system, but he knew how to show himself as someone who wanted to end “the swamp of Washington,” so that many of those who felt marginalized and forgotten by the old system, such as the white workers of a decadent industry or farmers, They put their hopes in him. The skill with which it is handled can be seen in cases such as its proposals to reduce banking regulations, which legitimizes saying that what is involved is that banks can give more credits to companies so that they can hire more workers, When what is really about is to allow the bank to return to their old practices of speculation.

Is not lying punished?

The right has always known how to play with the prejudices of the people. The mistake of the left has been to persist in convincing with rationality. The importance of prejudices (racial, gender, etc.) is a determining factor in personal decision making.

Can not the fear of the effects of inequality, of the migratory catastrophe, act as a brake on that voracity of which you speak?

All analysts agree that the growth of inequality is a very serious danger for the future, but nobody is willing to implement policies that eliminate it. On an international scale, we know exactly what the solution is. If policies that favor the emergence of more prosperous and egalitarian societies are applied in Africa, they will not need to leave. But what is done is to remove to the peasants the lands they cultivate and give them to foreign companies that exploit them without consideration. The situation will become explosive with the combination of an unstoppable demographic growth, desertification as a consequence of climate change and the consequent increase in poverty. If we have not been able to solve the challenge posed by the first arrivals of immigrants, how can we face what millions can represent trying to assault Europe to escape hunger and poverty?

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New test for term life insurance: The costs are important

Risk life insurance in the test: costs have the greatest weight

Risk life insurance in the test: costs have the greatest weight

The main criterion for the valuation are the costs of term life insurance. The test differentiates between so-called gross and net premiums . The former are the contributions that a customer would have to pay a maximum in the year. By contrast, net contributions are the actual annual costs after surpluses generated by the insurer have been offset against the gross premium.

While both amounts are almost identical for some insurers, the costs for other companies are very different. At the same time, the gap widens with increasing duration and amounts to more than 150 euros per year for a 30-year insurance period. Interested parties should therefore consider how much they have to pay if the company does not make any surpluses before concluding a tariff with supposedly low net premiums. If you prefer to play it safe, choose an offer with minor differences.

The net contribution accounts for half of the total, the gross contribution 30 percent. In addition, insurers’ financial strength contributes 20 percent to the valuation. This means that it is judged whether the company is solvent over the entire term or whether insured persons have to reckon with premium increases due to financial difficulties.

Tip: In the case of term life insurance, apart from age and state of health, it is mainly the amount of the insured sum that determines the costs of the hedge. As a rule of thumb, it is true that three to five times the annual net income to agree. However, it often makes more sense to calculate the demand more accurately. For example, if there are children in the family, the total should be set higher.




   In order to find out which offers can score in terms of costs, the tariffs of the entire market were examined in term life insurance. However, only the offers that have at least a good rating were included in the Focus-Money ranking. The tariffs of BNP Paribas Cardif and Deutsche Lebensversicherungs-AG are among the best offers for all three tested terms. They were the only ones to receive top marks for their net contributions , supplemented by the direct insurer Europa, which, however, lags behind its gross premiums. The cheapest are the offers at a ten-year term. Here the tariffs cost between just under 31 euros and around 56 euros net per year.

The best term life insurance with a ten-year term:

  • Alliance – LCO
  • AXA – ALVT2
  • BNP Paribas Cardif – Protect24-U 1.0
  • DBV – ALVT2
  • German life insurance AG – LOU (DL)
  • Stuttgart – T20
  • Europe – E-SRL (direct)
  • HUK24 – WB24 (direct)

Service: With the risk life insurance comparison calculator you can find the individual protection at the best price from a variety of tariffs.


As the term increases, the costs for term life insurance increase. Thus, for the best contracts in the test over a period of 20 years between around 43 euros and 96 euros annually payable. Here the tariffs of BNP Paribas Cardif, German life insurance AG, Europe and HUK24 were rated outstanding.

For a contract period of 30 years, insured persons have to pay between just under € 72 and about € 127 for mortality protection.

The best offers at a glance:

  • BNP Paribas Cardif – Protect24-U 1.0
  • Canada Life – Risk life comfort
  • German life insurance AG – LOU (DL)
  • Zurich Life – Eagle Star Risk Life basic
  • HUK24 – WB24 (direct)

For health issues despite possible risk premium to be honest

 The costs for a term life insurance depend both on the desired sum insured and after the insurance period. In addition, there is the so-called risk factor of the insured . If, for example, he has a physically demanding job or a risky hobby, some providers often require a supplement. The same applies to people with previous illnesses. Because these increase the risk that the benefit case could actually occur. Therefore, potential customers have to answer some health questions before the contract starts. They should stick to the truth and conceal nothing. Otherwise, there may be problems with the insurer in the event of a claim.

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Detained one of the owners of the urbanization of the famous for hiring the commissioner Villarejo

Detained one of the owners of the urbanization 

The Police and the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office have today developed an operation in the framework of the ‘Tandem case’ in search of new ‘clients’ of the commissioner José Manuel Villarejo , imprisoned since last November. Thus, it has proceeded to the arrest of one of the owners of the luxury urbanization La Finca in Madrid , where many of the personalities and athletes of this country live, such as Cristiano Ronaldo or James among many others.

The arrested is, according to La Vanguardia sources of the investigation, Francisco Lorenzo Peñalver confirmed and next to him a second person linked to the employer has been arrested. He appears as a director of La Finca Real Estate, created in 2016 after the merger of the companies Procisa and Lugarce. The agents of the Internal Affairs brigade today registered the offices of the construction company Procisa, in the same business park of the Finca, in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid).

This businessman is the third ‘victim’ of Villarejo’s recordings . This commissioner, known for his participation in the ‘sewers of the State’, had recorded and then kept conversations of his private businesses despite being a public official as well as his goings-on. After his arrest and search at his home on 3 November, the police seized all the material he is now analyzing.

Of those recordings, three criminally operative operations have already been detected: a former chief inspector of the police detained and sent to prison for hiding money of illegal origin in his daughter’s garden; several people in charge of a law firm who hired Villarejo for a job on another firm of the competition; and now one of the most responsible for La Finca.

Forensic deactivate Villarejo

Forensic deactivate Villarejo

Precisely for the piece opened after the registration of the firm Herrero y Asociados, Villarejo must declare this Wednesday. The commissioner was hired to get information from another firm . A few days ago, he was transferred from the prison of Estremera to the Gregorio Marañón hospital before an attack that he himself defined as “imminent death”. The former police high command would have requested his release for health reasons. However, both the hospital and the prison itself denied that his state of health was so serious as to be endangered by his stay in prison.

However, the magistrate requested the forensic unit of the National High Court a report on his state of health in case he should be released or impose a less severe restrictive measure such as prison in view of his alleged seriousness. According to this legal sources confirm to the legal forensic bodies have also rejected their health status is serious.

Crisis management” report

Crisis management" report

After more than six hours of registration, the businessman, with a significant fortune, has been transferred to police agencies waiting to be brought to justice. Researchers have found evidence linking this businessman with the controversial Commissioner Villarejo, arrested after detecting that he would have charged several million euros for making reports for companies or individuals in a personal capacity but using the information he had available to be an active member of the National Corps. Police.

According to the investigation, it is suspected that Peñalver would have hired Villarejo for a job of “crisis management”, that is, to obtain privileged information to favor him in a conflict he had with third parties.

Peñalver’s name already rang because, according to El Confidencial , he had to pay, along with his partner Eduardo García Cereceda, 4.95 million euros and assume three fiscal crimes each to avoid being imprisoned. They admitted, after an agreement with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and Attorney’s Office, that loans were made from the company Procisa, which not only did not return but did not declare the Treasury. Peñalver is CEO of the company and responsible for the business park that is located within La Finca and where its offices are located.

Police information at the price of gold

Police information at the price of gold

What “sold” Villarejo was police information, but on a personal basis and charging astronomical prices, to solve all kinds of problems. According to what is being researched, these crisis procedures would involve obtaining sensitive information about people with whom their client had a conflict, from family members, people with whom some type of sentimental relationship has been maintained, to industrial espionage.

The contacts and information that Villarejo would have within the Police, given the years in the body and the power that has been achieved, would have used them to profit personally, according to the investigation developed by the Police, Prosecutor’s Office and the judge of the Audiencia Nacional Diego of Aegea. Part of that money would have hidden through companies on behalf of third parties in tax havens to be detected neither by the Treasury nor Spanish Justice.

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What lies ahead in 2011?



In U.S.A. Republicans prefer to see Obama fail to economic success; in Europe, 27 countries pull in different directions

The global economy ends 2010 more divided than at the beginning of the year. On the one hand, countries with emerging markets such as India, China and the Southeast Asian economies are experiencing strong growth. On the other hand, Europe and the United States face stagnation – in fact, Japanese-style malaise – and tenaciously high unemployment. The problem in advanced countries is not a recovery without employment, but an anemic recovery. Or worse, the possibility of a double-dip recession.

This two-track world poses some unusual risks. While Asia’s economic output is too small to drive growth in the rest of the world, it may be enough to drive up commodity prices.

Meanwhile, efforts on the part of the United States to stimulate its economy through the policy of “quantitative easing” may fail. After all, in globalized financial markets, money is looking for the best prospects in the world, and these prospects are in Asia, not the United States. So the money will not go where it is needed, and much of that money will end where it is not wanted, causing further increases in the prices of assets and commodities, especially in emerging markets.

Given the high levels of unemployment in Europe and the United States, it is unlikely that “quantitative easing” will mean an outbreak of inflation. It could, on the other hand, increase the anxieties about future inflation, leading to higher long-term interest rates, precisely the opposite of the objective of the Federal Reserve.

This is not the only risk of negative impact, not even the most important, that the global economy faces. The greatest threat comes from the wave of austerity sweeping the world, while governments, particularly in Europe, face the large deficits caused by the Great Recession and while anxiety about the ability of some countries to meet their debt payments contributes to the instability of financial markets.

The result of premature fiscal consolidation is almost announced: growth will slow down, tax revenues will decrease and deficit reduction will be disappointing. And, in our globally integrated world, the slowdown in Europe will exacerbate the slowdown in the United States, and vice versa.

In a situation in which the United States can borrow at unprecedented low interest rates, and given the promise of high returns from public investments after a decade of neglect, it is clear what should be done. A large-scale public investment program would stimulate short-term employment and long-term growth, which in the end would result in a lower national debt. But the financial markets demonstrated their shortsightedness in the years that preceded the crisis, and they are doing it again, by exerting pressure to cut spending, even if that means drastically reducing the necessary public investments.

What’s more, the political gridlock will ensure that little is done about the other pressing problems facing the US economy: foreclosures are likely to continue with all their fury (leaving aside legal complications); Small and medium-sized businesses are likely to remain deprived of funds, and the small and medium-sized banks that traditionally offer them may still struggle to survive.

In Europe, meanwhile, things are unlikely to go better. Europe finally managed to come to the rescue of Greece and Ireland. On the eve of the crisis, both countries were ruled by right-wing governments marked by a capitalism of connivance or worse, which demonstrated once again that the free market economy did not work in Europe better than it did in the United States.

In Greece, as in the United States, the task of clearing the mess fell on a new government. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Irish government that encouraged a reckless bank loan and the creation of a housing bubble was no better able to manage the economy after the crisis than before.

Leaving politics aside, real estate bubbles leave behind a legacy of debt and productive overcapacity in the real estate market that can not be easily rectified, especially when politically connected banks refuse to restructure mortgages.

In my opinion, trying to discern the economic outlook for 2011 is not a particularly interesting issue: the answer is grim, with little upside potential and a lot of downside risk. More important is: how long will it take for Europe and the United States to recover and can Asian economies seemingly dependent on exports continue to grow if their historic markets languish?

My best bet is that these countries will maintain a rapid growth to the extent that they turn their economic focus towards their domestic markets, vast and unexplored. This will require considerable restructuring of their economies, but both China and India are dynamic and resilient in their response to the Great Recession.

I’m not so optimistic about Europe and the US In both cases, the underlying problem is insufficient total demand. The ultimate irony is that there is simultaneously excessive productive capacity, vast unsatisfied needs and policies that could restore growth if they used that capacity to meet the needs.

Both the United States and Europe, for example, must adapt their economies to face the challenges of global warming. There are feasible policies that would work in the context of long-term budgetary constraints. The problem is politics: in the United States, the Republican Party would prefer to see President Barack Obama fail rather than witness an economic success. In Europe, 27 countries with different interests and perspectives pull in different directions, without enough solidarity to compensate. The rescue packages are, from this perspective, impressive achievements.

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Una universidad para el futuro

A university for the future

The Internet already allows access to a Harvard course from the most remote town on the planet. And that changes everything. The digital revolution will completely transform a university system that now has problems. The faculties will welcome students of different ages and nationalities while virtual education will gain ground. The competition will be global. And it will be fierce. 2 0

Students of the Faculty of Communication of the URL working in a classroom equipped with computers

Google parents, Larry Page and Serguei Brin, were trained within the walls of the prestigious Stanford University. The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, and the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, frequented the legendary campus of Harvard. Paradoxically, the digital revolution that has changed our society so much has had a relative impact on the institutions where it was created. In essence, the teaching system is not far from that practiced by Socrates 2,500 years ago: a teacher who imparts his knowledge or talks with a group of students. But the emergence of MOOCs (mass and free online courses), the proliferation of masters and postgraduate degrees, the growing mobility of students, the pressure of emerging countries, financing in a context of crisis and globalization are altering the schemes . There is no going back. The academic dinosaur is in full mutation.

What will the university of the future be like? Will the virtual model be imposed in front of face-to-face classes? Will it be democratized or will it be increasingly elitist and superspecialized? Is the public system economically sustainable? What will be the influence of the market? Will the traditional relationship between teaching and research be maintained? How will demographic changes affect? In the academic universe there is confluence in the need to rethink higher education, but the answers to these questions are still far from generating consensus.

The phenomenon that has precipitated the debate sounds like an ancient horn, but it also refers to the sound of an alarm, the signal that alerts of the arrival of a seismic movement in all the campuses. MOOCs have spread across the network like a honeysuckle. They exist on almost everything; from techniques for public speaking to quantum physics, from HTML5 programming to the study of the great enigmas of the universe.

“Thousands of people attend one or two MOOCs per year, many of them offered by leading university centers in the world, so it would be wrong to despise them. They do not replace a graduation, but neither do they claim it. Instead, they are a practical way for universities to offer opportunities for global learning throughout life, “says Dr. Hellen Carasso, a specialist in higher education at the University of Oxford, where the elites of the United Kingdom are formed. part of the foreigner.

MOOCs, which allow you to obtain a prestigious stamp from home, although without qualification, seduce millions of people

The temptation to obtain a degree that carries the prestigious seal of Oxford, Yale or Harvard from the home computer and in a few weeks or months has seduced millions of people. It is estimated that half of those who manage to finish the first week finish the course, but that does not seem to devalue the invention. There they are Coursera, platform that agglutinates the offer of courses on line of 800 universities of all the world, with more than seven million users; edX, promoted by Google, with 2.7 million users; Alison, with three million, or Udacity, with 1.6 million. Some astronomical figures to be an offer that took off in 2012.

In Spain the phenomenon has ignited with an enthusiasm worthy of a miraculous anti-crisis potion. It came hand in hand with the Polytechnic University of Madrid and already has platforms such as MiríadaX, which gathers courses from around thirty institutions and 800,000 users, or UniMooc, with 40,000, aimed at entrepreneurs. The European Commission figures in 253 MOOC programs in Spain, as many as in the United Kingdom and Germany combined. France, more skeptical, offers 88.

“It’s an interesting but passing phenomenon. The majority of MOOCs consist of digitizing the contents and putting them online, but the level of accompaniment is low. They have a great external impact, but as an educational model they are not an alternative, “says Carles Sigalés, vice chancellor of teaching and learning at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), a pioneer of online teaching in Spain.

In his blog, the rector of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, José Carrillo Menéndez, defends the so-called open access movement, considering that citizens “finance research with their taxes”, so “it is not legitimate” that they have to pay to know the results.

The MOOC and other online courses come as a glove to the so-called millennial generation, which needs to swell its curriculum to be in a position to compete in the squalid labor market. But there are other factors that explain the formidable demand. “The great change is that people are formed throughout their lives,” says Sigalés, to which adds a new market: “The training deficit of emerging countries – known as the Brics – also among adults” . In fact, the expansion of the UOC, he says, is partly due to the interest it raises in many Spanish-speaking countries.

In the absence of work, young people – and their families – invest in education, which has favored the emergence of masters and postgraduates. The centers have found in this offer the vein to try to compensate for a clamorous lack of resources, the other great workhorse in which two systems are opposed: the private and the public, the Anglo-Saxon and that of countries such as Spain, France or Italy.

In the United States, you have to be a good family or have to go into debt to study at a leading university. The president himself, Barack Obama, a law student at Harvard, has just returned his loan just eight years ago. They also get into debt – although under special conditions that only force them to repay the loan when they access a moderately paid job – the students of the United Kingdom, where, despite being public, the university has a high cost. Three years ago, to face the crisis, the Government of David Cameron took the unpopular decision to triple the rates. While in Spain a tuition costs 1,105 euros, on the other side of the Channel it reaches 11,200. And the price shoots up even more for citizens who do not belong to the European Union.

Dr. Carasso has participated in a study entitled Higher rates, higher expectations? which concludes that the increase in enrollment has not only discouraged the applicants but has made them “more responsible and selective”. “They take more into account the employment factor,” says the study, which notes another positive effect: the reduction of dropout levels. In Spain, with 1.4 million university students, the percentage of first-year drop-outs reaches 19% and among the scholarship students, presumably the most motivated, stands at 13.5%, according to official data.

“There will be a role for public universities in the future, but, in most countries, their income will not come from the government. There will be changes in the way of sharing costs between students and the State in enrollment rates. At the same time, new models of private universities and course providers will come into play, often focused on competing to attract students with degrees that can offer, at a lower cost, good job prospects, “Carasso warns.

Is low cost university coming? This idea appears in the study of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Higher Education on the 2030 horizon . Of the four scenarios that it draws, three pose a “more marked hierarchy among establishments”. That is, the difference between the elite centers will increase, which “will attract more funding, offer better working conditions and prestige and establish alliances with universities of the same rank”, and the rest. The research will be reserved for the first centers, while the second ones should be content with the transmission of knowledge. The study also considers a “liberalization of fees” and a “fierce” competition among “superstars” universities, which will open branches abroad under “franchises” and outsource part of their research to countries such as India or Thailand.

“New models of private universities and course providers will come into play, often focused on competing to attract students with degrees that can offer, at a lower cost, good job prospects,” predicts Hellen Carasso, of the University from Oxford

It is not clear how Ryanair will adopt higher education – prefabricated buildings where it will be paid even to take a virtual seat or campus? – but the UOC is on guard. “Online education does not mean low cost,” says Sigalés. In any case, even in the presence centers, the classrooms will cease to be the main scenario for the transmission of knowledge. The magisterial lessons in an amphitheater before fifty students will go down in history.

“The information that can be acquired through digital channels will reach students through this channel,” says Andreu Ibarz, general director of Blanquerna-Universitat Ramon Llull (URL), the largest private center in Spain. In his opinion, face-to-face classes only make sense in “small groups with practical contents”. And if you can use cutting edge technology, like the giant interactive tablet that has launched this course the Health Sciences faculty of the URL to teach anatomy, the better. The professor stops practicing as an oracle to become a guide, a function he often exercises through the internet.

“One of the biggest challenges is the mobility of teachers and students. It means that universities compete with others around the world to attract the best. It is also an opportunity, opportunities to collaborate in research with international partners are opened “, analyzes Carasso. Competition, internationalization and research are at the heart of a debate in which two models collide again: the Anglo-Saxon, which works with criteria of social and economic profitability by promoting private investment, and that of Latin countries, where the massive access to a university “historically allergic to the business world”, in the words of Dr. Ibarz.

The contempt for what the French pejoratively call “the Coca-Cola University” -in reference to the ability to influence the large corporations that finance university projects- allows maintaining academic purity, but is not very useful when it comes to paying for increasingly expensive research in times of lean times. “While Spain has opted to compensate for the cuts by increasing the number of students and proposing more graduate and master courses, the United States has opted to double investment in research to produce more patents that generate benefits later,” exemplifies Xavier Caseras, PhD in Psychology at the University of Cardiff, one of the leading establishments in Great Britain in clinical psychology and biomedicine.

“One of the problems of the public university in Spain is that it wants to reach everything. What quality can you offer when you have 87,000 students, like the Complutense? “, Says Ibarz, whose establishment -the URL- encompasses a constellation of centers, including the Esade business school, and which is committed to” excellence “and “Specialization” to be able to compete with European universities. The same philosophy follows the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (this, public), whose studies in economics and biomedicine enjoy worldwide prestige.

The thesis of excess supply is contradicted with numbers by the rector of the Complutense: “In the United States there are 309 million inhabitants and 3,277 universities, that is, one university for every 94,000 inhabitants; in the United Kingdom there are 61 million inhabitants and 241 universities, one for every 253,000 inhabitants. In Spain we are 47 million and we have 79 universities, that is, one for every 582,000 inhabitants. Where is the oversize? “

“The future of higher education involves carrying out useful research, which will allow society to return the investment it has made. In Spain, this culture is still pending, “says Jordi Llabrés, vice-rector for innovation and transfer at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB).

Jordi Llabrés, vice-chancellor of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), the first in Spain to have a vice-rector for innovation, defends a hybrid model. “The future is to conduct a useful investigation, to return to society the investment it has made. In Spain, this culture is pending, “says Llabrés, who leads a cooperation program with companies.

His vision is related to Carasso’s thesis: “The university will increasingly be the home of blue skies (an expression that defines basic research, which has no apparent practical objective) and will have the potential to commercialize its findings, through patents and the creation of spin-outs (companies that allow universities to market the results of their research). Institutions should go out and seek income in philanthropic funds, in line with the North American model. “

For Caseras, “the university of the future can not be a school for big children, but a place where knowledge is made and transmitted”. In his opinion, the Anglo-Saxon approach is more “rational”. “In Great Britain, the Government evaluates research centers according to what they contribute to society and renews funding based on results,” explains the doctor in Psychology, who left the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona to devote himself to the investigation. In his apartment in Cardiff there are half a dozen Spaniards. “Investing in training some students so that later those who excel to go abroad is a fiasco,” he laments.

In the field of internationalization, the Anglo-Saxon university has the best weapon: English, the frank language of the global world. In Spain more and more courses are conducted in the language of Shakespeare, but there is still a way to go.

The obsession to appear at the top of the rankings is also in full review. “Each university has its own mission and priorities. The winners make a note on the basis of a quality model, ignoring other legitimate definitions of quality “, questions Carasso. “Harvard holds the record for Nobel prizes, but in the future other parameters will be taken into account, such as the number of students who find work”, corroborates Ibarz.

Everything indicates that the universities that will survive the restructuring process will welcome students of different ages and nationalities living in an increasingly virtual space. Specialization and connection with social demand will be key to continue in the race. The mutation can be spectacular, but some values ​​will remain valid. Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

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Brevas and figs: the curious, tasty and generous history of the species bíferas

Image result for fig Everyone knows what the fig trees are ( Ficus carica ) and that the figs are the most traditional fruits (fig-fig, the thing can not be clearer). However, there are many doubts about the brevas … are they the same? Among those who know conclusively that not some believe that the figs come from “some” figs and the “other” figs … and in fact it does not have to be that way.

Let’s start from the basis that figs and figs are different things although visually they resemble a lot; and that at the same time both (figs and figs) are the “false” fruit of the same species , even of the same “individual”, biologically speaking.

As you will know the most posts, the brevas are the “false” fruit of those fig trees called bifurcations , that is, with two “harvests” throughout the annual cycle: on the one hand the end of June or the beginning of July, characterized for the presence of brevas; and on the other the August or September in which, now, are the figs the protagonists … the same tree, two “fruits”? You are right. More or less

Actually the brevas are those “fruits” of the previous season (figs in power) that have not reached maturity in August-September, remain in a kind of dormant state until the first heats of the following season … So, in the months of June or July, traditionally around the San Juan festival (like the pears that pay tribute to this festivity at the same time), the figs are collected, a “son” or fig that was not the previous year and that is breva in this .

Following with its traditional biological cycle, the fig tree offers its second harvest at the end of summer, beginning of autumn, with figs, now, as protagonists.

From the gastronomic point of view, the figs tend to be much more appreciated than the figs , although in all sincerity, I am almost convinced that this preference is due more to the size of one crop and another, undoubtedly less in the case of the figs. And I say this because, from the point of its characteristics, the breva, usually larger than the fig, is less sweet than this one, although it has more brown flesh. I believe that the exaltation of the excellences of the fig against the fig resides more in the lesser of its harvest and in that it is produced earlier, as a tasty foretaste of what is to come, the fig.

At the time of its consumption, there are innumerable possibilities. On the one hand we have direct consumption which, as almost always in the case of fruits, is my preferred option; but there is also the important catalog of “natural” sweets in which both ingredients are protagonists (especially the fig) as for example, the compotes, the “fig bread”, jams, pies … not to mention its presence as an ingredient complementary in “main” dishes , very usually accompanying dishes and stews made with meats of different origin, with game, and so on.

For all those who are wondering why my insistence at the time of talking about “false fruit” , the answer is more biological than practical. Actually, well the figs, well the brevas are the meeting in a same vegetal receptacle, denominated of technical form sicono that reunites to an important quantity of the true fruits, technically drupeolas (or small drupes in which we eat so much the fleshy part , like the “bone” that we colloquially call nuggets and that are crispy when chewed).

By the way, if you are one of those that you like that mixture, for my excelsa, of cheese with quince … do not stop trying to change that quince for some good figs, when they arrive, or now with brevas.

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The judge figures in at least 23 million the embezzlement to the Canal de Isabel II of Madrid

Judge Eloy Velasco believes that the embezzlement to the public coffers by the detainees for the case of Canal de Isabel II would amount to about 25 million dollars (23.3 million euros at the current exchange rate), only in the operation that It involved the purchase of the Brazilian Emissao.

The judge raises that number in the order issued last night, which ordered the entry into prison eludible with bail of 4 million euros for the former financial director of Canal de Isabel II, Maria Fernanda Richmond, and 100,000 euros for the former manager of the Canal , Adrián Martín, detained in the Lezo operation together with former Madrid president Ignacio González.

In the car, it is stated that both would be involved in the diversion of this money to tax havens to enrich “unfairly” “certain people.” The magistrate maintains that in 2013 the Brazilian company Emissao was bought, “fictitiously overvalued”, an acquisition that was made without any control for the “deviation of public money from Madrid” to “third-country bank accounts with opacity”.

Barcelona offers the Agbar tower as the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency

The Agbar tower (now called the Glòries tower after formalizing the sale to the Merlin Properties Socimi group) is the building that the Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat and the State will offer as the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency.

This has been decided by the three administrations, represented by the Mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau, the Minister of Health, Toni Comín, and the Minister of Health, Dolors Montserrat, at a meeting held this Friday to give a new impetus to the Barcelona bid . The president of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, will defend the proposal before the European Council, most likely at the meeting of the heads of government in June, although the decision could be postponed for a few more months.

Many member states have the same aspiration as Spain (Brussels sources speak of 16 countries), although according to the latest information the main rivals of Barcelona in this dispute would be Amsterdam, Vienna, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Surveillance by surprise of 3% prosecutors puts the case against the ropes

The chief anti-corruption prosecutor, Manuel Moix, has relieved, by order of the State’s Attorney General, José Manuel Maza, the prosecutors investigating the case of the 3% commissions that allegedly charged CDC of businessmen and that currently a judge of El Vendrell (Tarragona).

The illegal financing of CDC was being investigated by the Civil Guard and, after knowing the fulminating relay, sources in the current of the investigations have assured this newspaper that the cessation of the prosecutors of Anticorruption José Grinda and Fernando Bermejo was going to have unpredictable consequences .

According to tax sources, as of this moment, prosecutors from the Anticorruption delegation in Catalonia, Fernando Maldonado and Teresa Duerto will be in charge of the investigation. The same sources point out that “the substitution corresponds to the strategy of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office so that the prosecutors delegated by the Anti-Corruption assume the cases of its territory and those of the Special Prosecutor’s Office can deal with the affairs of Madrid”.

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