Business & Finanz
The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 12/02/2017

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

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The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 Min.
the world this week

Politics More than 300 people were slain by jihadists who attacked a mosque attended by Sufi Muslims in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. Up to 30 terrorists armed with automatic rifles and flying an Islamic State banner mounted the assault in a region that is more used to attacks on Coptic Christian churches. An IS-affiliated group in Sinai has a record of persecuting Sufis, beheading a 100-year-old cleric late last year. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s president, ordered his armed forces to use any means necessary to restore order. Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term as Kenya’s president. Two people were killed in opposition protests against his inauguration. Raila Odinga, who lost to Mr Kenyatta in the recent disputed election and does not recognise the result, upped the ante by saying he would…

5 Min.
the war the world ignores

YEMEN lost the title of Arabia Felix, or “Fortunate Arabia”, long ago. It has suffered civil wars, tribalism, jihadist violence and appalling poverty. But none of this compares with the misery being inflicted on the country today by the war between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis, a Shia militia backed by Iran. The UN reckons three-quarters of Yemen’s 28m people need some kind of humanitarian aid. Mounting rubbish, failing sewerage and wrecked water supplies have led to the worst cholera outbreak in recent history. The country is on the brink of famine. The economy has crumbled, leaving people with impossible choices. Each day the al-Thawra hospital in Hodeida must decide which of the life-saving equipment to run with what little fuel it has. Perhaps the worst of it is that much…

3 Min.
borderline solution

NORTHERN IRELAND barely featured in last year’s Brexit referendum campaign, in which Britons were more interested in matters of migration and money. Yet the future of the 500km border that separates the North from the Irish Republic—and which will soon separate the United Kingdom from the European Union—has become one of the trickiest issues of the exit talks. The winding border has revealed a tangle in the “red lines” laid down by Theresa May. After leaving the EU, Britain wants to do its own trade deals with the rest of the world, which means leaving the EU’s customs union. And, like Ireland, it wants to maintain the open, invisible border that was enhanced by the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, ending three decades of violence. This presents a problem: having a…

4 Min.
chief activist officer

IT OUGHT to be a love-in. American companies support tax cuts and deregulation. As The Economist went to press, President Donald Trump was pushing the Senate to pass a sweeping, business-friendly tax reform. Instead, CEOs have reason to feel uneasy. In the first year of his presidency, executives have found themselves embroiled in public disputes with Mr Trump on everything from immigration to climate change. His advisory councils of business leaders have disbanded. The second year of his presidency is unlikely to be much smoother. Some of these spats between the Oval Office and the corner office reflect Mr Trump’s peculiar style of governing. But they point to something bigger, too (see page 55). Executives who would rather concentrate on commerce are finding it ever harder to avoid politics, in America…

4 Min.
expelling chinese people from chinese cities

IN ALL countries, a big influx of migrants tends to provoke grumbles among the natives. In China, however, the migrants most frequently grumbled about, and treated with the greatest hostility, are not foreigners but other Chinese: rural folk who move to the cities in search of a better life. This has been on show in the past few days in the capital, Beijing. On November 18th a blaze in a ramshackle warehouse-cum-apartment-block killed 19 people believed to be migrants from elsewhere in China. The authorities are now using “fire safety” as a pretext to drive thousands of other migrants out of the basements, air-raid shelters and shanties where they live (see page 51)—often by cutting off their electricity and water. It has amounted to a mass expulsion from the capital. It…

3 Min.
a job half-finished

THE permanent revolution rumbles on. Ten years after the financial crisis, Europe’s bankers must wonder whether the regulatory upheaval will ever cease (see page 63). Next month two European Union directives start to bite. MiFID2 will make trading more transparent and oblige banks to charge clients separately for research; PSD2 will expose banks to more competition from technology companies, and each other, in everything from payment services to budgeting advice. A new accounting rule, IFRS 9, also kicks in, demanding timelier provisions for credit losses. The global capital standards drawn up after the crisis, Basel 3, may at last be on the verge of completion—implying yet another uptick in equity requirements for some European lenders. Amid this blizzard of letters and digits, the European Commission is pushing ahead on yet another…