PORTFOLIO world economy 2021 day by day


It is not only the Covid in life, even if it is true that the epidemic leaves us little respite. Back in pictures on the events that marked the year 2021.

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The Bibendum deflates

Bibendum, mascot of the Michelin group. Photo: HAMILTON / REA

Employees expected bad news, but not of this magnitude. At the beginning of January, the management of Michelin announced the elimination of 2,300 jobs in France, that is to say a little more than 10% of its workforce in the country. This decision is cause for concern in areas where this large French industrial group is particularly established, such as the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, where it is the largest private employer. The company motivates its decision by developing low-cost tires, mainly of Chinese origin, calling into question the European tire model, which is more durable and therefore more ecological. These job cuts also symbolize the financialization of the industrialist, which formerly represented a certain “social humanism”. 


Sounds of boots in Burma

PHOTO: Zuma Press / Réa

The Burmese generals had not digested the stinging defeat of the party they supported in the legislative elections of November 8, 2020 against the National League for Democracy (LND), the party of Ang Sang Suu Kyi. On February 1, citing alleged electoral fraud, they decide to put an end to the progressive democratization that the country has been experiencing for ten years. The state of emergency is declared, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces now concentrates all powers. Ang Sang Suu Kyi and other LND members are arrested. In order not to give the military a pretext to use force, the population protests peacefully. Without success. The repression will intensify. 


Bottled global trade

PHOTO: Kaung Zaw Hein - Sopa Images / Zuma / Réa

Sometimes a simple gust of wind can stop international trade. This was demonstrated by the grounding on March 23, in the Suez Canal, of the container ship Ever Given, which interrupted maritime traffic. For seven days, this 400-meter-long tanker effectively prevented navigation on the canal, which stretches for nearly 200 km. This link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, through which 12% of world trade passes, has been found to be impractical, with more than 400 boats waiting. A reminder that international trade depends on a few strategic points. In addition to the Suez Canal, there is the Panama Canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East and the Malaka Canal, which connects Asia to the Middle East.


Joe Biden presents his plans

PHOTO: Doug Mills - The New York Times / Redux / Réa

“America is on the move again. " In his first address to Congress, Biden welcomes since entering the White House in January, an emergency plan was adopted to help American homes affected by the pandemic. It confirms its megaprojects to invest in the country's infrastructure, long neglected. And he announces his desire to devote a large plan of 1,800 billion dollars to American families (childhood, health, education…). A plan that he intends to finance by increasing the taxes of the richest. To overcome the resistance of his opponents, Joe Biden does not forget to mention the rise in power of China and the need to unite the nation against this rival. 


When the fight pays off

PHOTO: Clément Martin - Hans Lucass

After twenty-two months of struggle, the chambermaids at the Ibis Batignolles hotel won their case at the end of May. If they are not integrated into the Accor group, their working conditions and salaries are revised upwards by STN, the subcontractor who employs them. The 17 chambermaids, the two housekeepers and the teammate went on strike in July 2019, before falling into short-time work in March 2020. They denounced the inequalities of treatment with the employees of the hotel. Among the advances, a salary increase from 250 to 500 euros per month through a basket bonus, a drop in the work rate, which goes from 3.5 to 3 rooms cleaned per hour, and the installation of '' a time clock, so that overtime is billed, or the presence of two union representatives on site with fifteen hours of delegation. The sanctions taken against the strikers are canceled. According to the CGT-HPE, which supported the strike, Accor gave in to their determination in order to restore its brand image and not to miss the resumption of activity.



Respite for the unemployed


A sledgehammer for the government and a glass of champagne for the trade unions who brought the case to the judges! On June 22, the Council of State suspended in summary one of the most important components of the unemployment insurance reform: the new calculation of the daily reference salary which is used to set the amount of benefits. This is a huge relief for job seekers, nearly a million, affected by a drop in their benefits. However, this respite was short-lived. Even before the judges' decision on the merits, expected by the end of the year, the Ministry of Labor has come into force. The rules harden the conditions for compensation are all entered into force on 1 st  of December.



Summer is blazing

PHOTO: Sputnik / ABACA

Temperatures reaching up to 49.5 ° C under the effect of a "heat dome" in Canada, devastating fires in Greece, the United States, Siberia and all over the world ... Summer 2021 will have perfectly illustrated how destructive the consequences of climate change can be for the environment. In recent years, these “mega-fireplaces” have been increasing in number and increasing in size. The eight largest known fires in California since 1932 took place between 2017 and 2020. In Siberia, 15,000 square kilometers of forest, the equivalent of twice Corsica, were destroyed in the summer of 2021.



Taliban capture Kabul

PHOTO: Jim Huylebroek - The New York Times / Redux / Réa

No one, including the Taliban no doubt, expected the country to fall into their hands so quickly. Once the United States withdrew from the large military base of Bagram, near the capital, on July 1, events accelerated. From August 6, the provinces fell one after the other into the hands of the Taliban, starting with those of the North. The national army, deprived of American air support, offered no resistance. President Ashraf Ghani flees abroad. On August 15, the Taliban therefore controlled Kabul, causing panic among the Afghans who wanted to leave the country and real chaos at the airport in the capital.



Angela Merkel hands over

PHOTO: Kay Nietfeld - Zuma / Réa

In Germany, election nights often take the form of a play of colors. And the federal election of September 26 was no exception. After having been led since 2013 by a red / black coalition, the “GroKo” (SPD / CDU-CSU), the Germans will be governed for the next few years by the “traffic light” coalition, bringing together the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Liberals (FDP). With his victory in front of the CDU (25.7% to 25%), the leader of the SPD, Olaf Scholz, will succeed Angela Merkel at the end of 2021. After having remained at the head of the chancellery for sixteen years, the conservative leader leaves behind a stronger and more dynamic country, with the status of inevitable first industrial power in Europe.



Green light for the taxation of multinationals


Five years of negotiations - which is short - initiated a world revolution on the taxation of multinationals. This is based on two pillars: the first makes it possible to reallocate part of the profits artificially transferred in tax havens to the territories where the activity really takes place. It's a bit of a gas factory, but it's a step in the right direction. The second pillar establishes a minimum tax rate of 15% on profits housed abroad. A big blow to the economic model of tax havens. The implementation is for 2023. The practice will have to be monitored, but this will remain as a major change in philosophy: even in a period of globalization, we can give fiscal 

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