Local Daily News 10th May

Companies reduce their profits by up to 80% due to rising costs

Inflationary pressure, aggravated by the complicated geopolitical situation that is currently being experienced as a result of the war in Ukraine, is taking its toll on companies’ income statements. The rises in costs of both energy and raw materials are reducing profits by up to 80%, in a dynamic that is also forcing most companies to revise their prices upwards. The most intensive sectors in the use of electricity, such as metal and some branches of textiles, are the ones that are suffering the most from the impact.

The imbalances between supply and demand registered as a result of the covid health crisis began to generate an escalation in the prices of energy, raw materials and transport throughout the past year, a trend that, far from stopping, has intensified in this early 2022 in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The increase in inflation, which stands at 10.5% per year in the province of Alicante, is the most obvious proof of this spiral that is not yet in sight, and that is having serious consequences for Business.

One of the sectors that is suffering the most from the situation is metal, since it is a very intensive industry in the use of energy. The president of the Federation of Metal Entrepreneurs of the Province of Alicante (Fempa), Luis Rodríguez, does not hesitate to point out that business margins “have been reduced to the bare minimum. The incidence of cost increases in our sector, especially energy, is being brutal, but there are also other issues that have an influence, such as raw materials and, also, wages. Profits, in the end, may have fallen by 80% or even more”.

Hence, many companies are left with no other way out than to pass on these increases to the prices they charge their customers. At first – he emphasises – he has been resisting almost heroically, also forced by the contracts that were signed at the time, but in the renegotiations the current reality has had to be reflected.

Textiles, especially the finishing subsector, a large consumer of electricity, is another industry that is suffering particularly from this inflationary trend, to the point that some companies have been forced to submit temporary employment regulation files. The president of the Association of Textile Entrepreneurs of the Valencian Community (Ateval), Pepe Serna, highlights that “we are going through a very complicated situation. When we thought that we were beginning to overcome the effects of the pandemic, we have found ourselves with a war conflict that has done nothing but complicate things.”

The impact on footwear is more moderate, although it does not escape the problem. According to the president of the national and regional employer association, Marián Cano, “until now, companies have been following a policy of reducing margins, but what has been happening in recent months is leading them to review rates, because the situation is untenable”.

The toy industry, for its part, has been able to avoid the sharp increase in costs in the first quarter of the year, because, as a result of the strong seasonality, production at this time is at a minimum. In any case, and according to the general director of national manufacturers, José Antonio Pastor alerts, “from now on companies are going to have to suffer these price increases, with repercussions, right now, unpredictable. The situation, of course, It’s extremely critical.”

Along these lines, a survey carried out by the consulting firm Grant Thornton reveals that almost 70% of businessmen in the Valencian Community and, by extension, in the province of Alicante, plan to increase the prices of their products due to the inflationary spiral, a percentage that has increased by 29 points in relation to a year ago.

The Ministry of Health will finance "smart" monitors for people with type 2 diabetes

 It can be a before and after in the control of diabetes. The Ministry of Health has just given the green light to financing type 2 diabetes patients for the new “intelligent” monitors, which allow a continuous reading of the blood sugar level and notify the patient in the event of a drop.

These new devices will benefit some 8,000 people in the province of Alicante who currently depend on test strips to control the disease, according to Francisco Pomares, coordinator of the Comprehensive Care Plan for Diabetic Patients in the Valencian Community.

Until now, these devices were financed for people with diabetes 1 and in a few months they will also be free for patients with type 2 diabetes who meet a series of requirements. The main one is whether they are patients who have to undergo intensive insulin therapy, with multiple daily doses or with an insulin pump and who require at least six digital punctures per day for self-monitoring of blood glucose.

Another of the great novelties is that, in addition to the endocrine ones, family doctors will be able to prescribe these devices, “so now we are going to carry out a training period in Primary Care so that the professionals of the health centres know how to use them” , highlights Pomares.

The Ministry of Health has given until December 31st, 2024 for the autonomous communities to provide the devices to all patients, but the objective is that in the Valencian Community this process begins as soon as possible. “The idea is that at the turn of the summer we start”, adds Pomares. The implementation will be done in phases and at the moment the ministry and autonomous communities are working to see which groups of patients are going to be the priority.

The continuous glucose monitors that are going to be financed represent an improvement over the “flash” monitors, which are the ones that the Ministry of Health has paid for up to now. “The flash monitor gives you the reading every time you check the phone. The new ones measure continuously and have alerts that help the patient to adjust the treatments and also warns you in case of decompensation”, explains the coordinator of the Diabetes Plan of the Valencian Community.

The use of these devices reduces episodes of severe hypoglycemia and glycemic variability, while reducing the number of daily strips required to control blood glucose.

Some 5,000 people in the province of Alicante have a “flash” monitor to control diabetes. They are especially sick with type 1 diabetes, since until now the Ministry of Health only contemplated their financing for these patients. In November 2020, the financing of these devices was agreed for patients not diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes but who are insulin dependent due to other diseases they suffer from.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that acts progressively and is the most common type of diabetes, according to the Spanish Diabetes Federation. In fact, it is ten times more common than type 1 diabetes. It is a serious condition characterised, generally, by insulin resistance. This means that, despite the fact that the body releases a lot of insulin, it cannot act as it should. Therefore, the insulin produced by the pancreas cannot work properly, or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to allow glucose to move from the blood into the cells and be converted into energy.

Another young man drowned in the Bolulla river in Callosa d'en Sarrià

The Bolulla River in Callosa d’en Sarrià has claimed the life of a 25-year-old bather who drowned yesterday afternoon. This is the fourth death that has occurred in this place in just one month. On April 8th, two people died after falling down the Bolulla waterfall and nine days later another 24-year-old drowned when he was dragged by the waters and appeared in the Algar dam.

The latest drowning has occurred in the area known as the Bolulla River Strait. The emergency services were alerted shortly before five in the afternoon but unfortunately it was not possible to revive the young swimmer.

The Emergency Information and Coordination Centre was alerted that an unconscious man had been pulled from the water, at the height of the ravine of the Bolulla river strait, in the municipality of Callosa d’en Sarrià.

While the SAMU ambulance arrived at the scene, witnesses to the accident were performing basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres on the bather. The SAMU medical team has continued with advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other stabilisation techniques, but there was no response and the young man was certified dead.

The Provincial Firefighters Consortium also mobilised its troops to the scene, including a helicopter, but nothing could be done to save the bather’s life.

The people of Ukraine receive the "Europe Distinction" from Benidorm

They have been living a war and the invasion of their country by Russia for more than two months, resisting the scourges of a war that has ended thousands of lives. The Benidorm City Council has paid tribute this Monday to the people of Ukraine who have been awarded the “Europe Distinction” for their courage and capacity for resistance.

The city celebrated this May 9th, “Europe Day” an institutional plenary session in which on this occasion the Ukrainian citizens have been awarded, a decision made unanimously by the board of spokespersons. Thus, they wanted to recognize “the history, position and indomitable courage and resistance capacity of the Ukrainian people”, who for more than two months have been suffering a war conflict in their territory derived from the Russian invasion.

But in addition, this award aims to show the support and solidarity of the city of Benidorm with the people who suffer the consequences of that invasion, either because they have not been able to flee from Ukraine or because they have had to take refuge in other countries fleeing from the war.

The plenary session, which this year changed its usual schedule in the morning to a celebration in the afternoon, took place at 6:00 p.m. in the plenary hall of the City Council. The Ukrainian consul in the Valencian Community, Pablo Gil, who received the distinction granted by the local administration, attended him. The entire corporation participated in the plenary session and was attended by the national deputy Agustín Almodóbar; the regional deputy, Manuel Pérez Fenoll; the president of the Diputación de Alicante, Carlos Mazón; the deputy for International Residents, Juan de Dios Navarro; among other authorities, representatives of the consular bodies of Hungary, Romania, Belgium and Ukraine, and of the State Security Forces and Corps; delegates from Truskavets, from Odessa and the president of the May 9th Institute.

The mayor, on behalf of the city, has called for a continent “in peace”. He recalled that “75 ignominious days” of war have passed and that “we forcefully and from Benidorm condemn again”, because it is “the greatest threat that Europe and the European Union have at the moment in their immediate surroundings”. After reaffirming “the solidarity” of Benidorm and Europe with the people of Ukraine and reiterating the “maximum outrage at the aggression suffered”, Pérez has assured that “not respecting the sovereign decision of peoples and nations is an attack on the most elementary principles” of “Peace and international legality”, as well as of “the fundamental rights of man”.

For his part, the Ukrainian consul thanked “the Valencian society” for the “support” shown “in all possible directions that exist in solidarity, for the collection and sending of humanitarian aid but also for the excellent reception and attention of refugees and their children.

Pablo Gil has recalled the call received from the mayor of Benidorm in the first moments of the Russian invasion. According to him, he was “the first mayor who contacted me directly to offer the city’s support to Ukraine on all fronts: humanitarian aid, refugees, whatever we needed.” A city, he has assured, that “we always link to the future and progress” and that “knows more than any other about the peaceful coexistence between different nationalities and the prosperity and wealth that it entails”.

Before the plenary session, authorities from both countries met at the City Hall. The meeting was attended by the consul Pablo Gil, and the deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament, Serhii Demkenko; in addition to the president of the Diputación, the mayor of Benidorm, the deputy for International Residents, as well as Alessandro Anísenlo, a representative of the city of Odessa, as well as other members of different Ukrainian associations present in the province.

Mazón conveyed the actions carried out by the provincial institution to help the Ukrainian people and gave the consul a detailed report with the initiatives carried out by the institution since the war broke out in the country, such as the emergency package initially endowed with two million euros in origin, in order to provide humanitarian support to refugees in the conflict zone, through approved NGOs such as ACNUR, Red Cross, Caritas or UNICEF; among other initiatives.

“In the province, more than fifty municipalities have a registered Ukrainian population, people who during this period have welcomed relatives, friends and relatives,” Mazón said. The Provincial Council’s commitment “with the mayors who have been in permanent contact with Ukrainian associations to manage the reception of people fleeing the war has been constant from the beginning”.

The Provincial Council of Alicante has activated, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, various actions to help the refugees from this country materially, economically and humanely. Another of the initiatives carried out focuses on making the facilities of the Provincial Home available to the Red Cross, an entity declared by the Government of Spain to be responsible for applying the protocol for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, to accommodate around twenty refugees from this country. To date, some families with children have already temporarily passed through the facilities of the Diputación centre, while, in the coming weeks, and as determined and organised by the Red Cross, it is expected that more couples with children will continue to arrive.

The purpose has been to provide a “fast, agile and committed response to the Ukrainian people” through collaborations that are “essential and of vital importance in these times of international emergency in which it is essential that administrations, associations, companies and groups join forces to increase humanitarian aid and act quickly and forcefully”, declared the president.

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