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Majed Nehmé to ST: Covid-19 has penetrated the current world system and all possibilities are open

Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Afrique Asie magazine Mr. Majed Nehme has argued that the current situation in the world after the outbreak of Coronavirus crisis could be summarized in a quote penned by the Italian writer and politician Antonio Gramsci in his book ‘Letters from Prison” [1927-1937] :“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old world is dying and the new one cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

He told Syria Times e-newspaper that Coronovirus [Covid-19] penetrated the current world system, which was already dying, and it could completely destroy it. “The question that one can pose here is: what is the type of system that would emerge from this political, economic and geo-strategic fight?”

Mr. Nehmé wondered whether the new world system – after the end of  Coronavirus crisis-would not be under the hegemony of the wild west, or whether the dominant powers will fight fiercely to keep their dominance that is waning. “Will there be a series of wars, intifadas, civil wars inside the globalized imperialist center?? All possibilities are open.”

In response to a question about why there were three countries most specifically struck with Corona like Italy France and Spain (more than other European countries), Mr. Nehmé replied: “It is too early to give a final judgment on the cause of large number of deaths in these three countries. We have to observe the situation in Germany and the UK in particular.. All indicators show that Germany and Britain will witness in the next weeks a dangerous development in health sector and the death toll of coronavirus cases in these two countries will exceed the tally of deaths in Italy, Spain and France.”

The EU health policy

He underscored that the health system imposed by the European Union has led Europe to where it is today.   

“The EU health policy involved the gradual withdrawal of direct state funding of health care services to be replaced by private health insurance,” Mr. Nehmé  added .   

He believes that this health policy besides economic liberalism policy, which have been imposed by the EU, are behind the failure of the precautions taken in so any ways by France to fight Coronavirus. “The French successive governments have implemented the EU policies without taking into consideration the interests of poor and middle classes.. These policies have resulted in catastrophic outcomes, especially in the sector of health..  Around 200.000 beds in French Public hospitals plus hundreds of hospitals have been closed over the past 30 years, so that private hospitals can profit under the pretext of austerity measures and shrinking deficit. So, there have been protests against the health system and many doctors and nurses moved to work at private hospitals.”  

“During the current coronavirus crisis, the French people have discovered that the public health system does not have enough hospital beds, test kits, disinfectants, respirators, face masks for protecting doctors and nurses and workers in the fight of this virus,” Mr. Nehmé  stated.

"Actually, what is happening now in France is similar to what is happening in the other western countries that have abandoned healthcare system for the interest of profitable hospitals.  The official discourse on public healthcare has changed and it has started to talk about the catastrophic outcomes of the collapse of public health sector , but we are not sure if this discourse will be trashed after the end of Covid-19 crisis,” he concluded

Interviewed by: Reem Haddad / Basma Qaddour