Bruno Le Maire announces 10 billion euros in additional savings, the Ukrainian army withdraws from Avdiïvka… Five things to remember from the weekend

Have you missed the news a bit in the last two days? We summarize the main information for Saturday February 17 and Sunday February 18

Bruno Le Maire announces 10 billion euros in additional savings, the Ukrainian army withdraws from Avdiïvka… Five things to remember from the weekend

Have you missed the news a bit in the last two days? We summarize the main information for Saturday February 17 and Sunday February 18.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, announced on Sunday a downward revision of France's growth forecasts for 2024, from 1.4 to 1%. This implies an “immediate effort of 10 billion euros in savings” starting this year, he added, invited to the 8 p.m. television news on TF1. Paris, however, maintains its objective of lowering the public deficit to 4.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2024.

This new growth forecast "takes into account the new geopolitical context", explained the Minister of the Economy, evoking at the same time the war in Ukraine, the Middle East, the "very marked economic slowdown in China" and "a recession in 2023 in Germany”. Bruno Le Maire assured that the executive would release these 10 billion euros in savings on state spending, committing “as for seven years” not to increase taxes.

The prospects for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip were fading on Sunday. The United States has threatened to block, once again, a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council and Qatari negotiators have expressed their pessimism about the possibility of a truce. The Prime Minister of Qatar, Mohammed Ben Abderrahmane Al Thani, said on Saturday that the negotiations had “not been very promising in recent days”.

In the Gaza Strip, the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younes, the second largest hospital in the territory, is “completely out of service,” the spokesperson for the health ministry in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip said on Sunday. , Ashraf Al-Qudra, to the Reuters agency. “There are only four medical staff left caring for patients,” he said.

The Ukrainian armed forces withdrew from the town of Avdiivka overnight from Friday to Saturday, at the request of the new commander-in-chief of the armies of Kiev, announced Ukrainian General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, who commands the area in which the town is located. A number of Ukrainian soldiers were captured by the Russians during their withdrawal from the town of Avdiivka, he also reported on Telegram.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the withdrawal was a “fair decision” to “save as many lives as possible”, as Ukrainian soldiers struggled to resist the onslaught of Russian troops. By Saturday evening, Russia claimed to have taken “full control” of the city. This is Russia's biggest symbolic victory after the failure of kyiv's counter-offensive last summer.

Relatives of Alexeï Navalny, whose death was announced by the Russian prison administration on Friday, have since accused the Russian authorities of having killed him, while his family was unable to access his remains. The Russian opponent's team had requested that his body be handed over "immediately" to Mr. Navalny's mother, who had been formally informed of her son's death. However, his relatives did not find his body in the morgue in the Arctic city of Salekhard, where the prison in which the opponent was detained is located and where the authorities had sent them back. “It’s obvious the killers want to cover their tracks. That’s why they don’t hand over Alexei’s body and even hide it from his mother,” Mr. Navalny’s team wrote on Telegram.

Furthermore, despite warnings from the authorities against any unauthorized demonstration, rallies were organized in memory of Alexeï Navalny, in Moscow, the day after his death on Saturday. In two days, the police made 401 arrests during these events, according to the specialized NGO OVD-Info.

At the World Championships in Nove Mesto, in the Czech Republic, the French clan won their third and fourth medals in four collective events on Saturday. The French, big favorites in the women's relay, assumed their status with authority, despite some scares after errors on the shooting range. Lou Jeanmonnot, Sophie Chauveau, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Julia Simon – who started in that order – won 38 seconds ahead of Sweden. The Germans complete the podium.

This success has a very special flavor since the four Blues enter the history of the French biathlon: they offer the French women's team its very first title of world champion in the specialty. Before them, only Corinne Niogret, Véronique Claudel and Anne Briand-Bouthiaux had won this race at a major international meeting. It was more than thirty years ago, during the Albertville Olympic Games, in 1992.

And also :

European elections. Fabrice Leggeri, former director of Frontex, joins the National Rally list

Education. Nicole Belloubet spoke out again on the level groups in middle school, without explicitly confirming the implementation of the measure announced by Gabriel Attal for the next school year

Senegal. The opposition authorized to demonstrate for the first time since the postponement of the presidential election

Disappearance. Alain Cribier, cardiologist known for inventing a revolutionary aortic valve replacement technique, has died

Soccer. In league 1, PSG wins in Nantes, Mbappé author of a penalty