The woman at the heart of the dispute over one of Europe’s coronavirus hotspots says Spain’s government is exacerbating the crisis and depicts herself as a bulwark against socialist revolutionaries in its ranks.
To her supporters, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, head of Madrid’s regional government and perhaps the second most powerful elected official in the country, is the voice of resistance against a dangerous leftwing government running roughshod over democratic institutions and devastating the motor of the Spanish economy.
To her detractors, the leader of the region of 6.6m people is a rightwing ideologue who has been far too slow in responding to some of the highest infection rates in Europe.
Ms Díaz Ayuso, a 41-year-old who took office last year after a career largely spent in communications for her centre-right People’s party, portrays the regional administration as one of the most important checks on what she says is an “authoritarian”
Coronavirus has boosted total billionaire wealth to its highest level ever. Since the pandemic begun, the total wealth held by billionaires around the world has grown by a quarter to over $10 trillion.
The landmark co-insides with another in the billionaire world, that of the world’s first ever $200 billionaire. Jeff Bezos’s net worth crossed the $200 mark in August, just when UBS and PwC were tallying up the data for its annual report on billionaires.
That report, released on Wednesday (7 October), shows that collective billionaire wealth has grown at its fastest rate over any period over the past decade.
Between April and July, billionaires grew their wealth by 27% from $8 trillion at the beginning of April. This was largely thanks to government stimulus packages.
“Billionaire wealth is loosely correlated with