Business & Finanz
The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 12/23/2017

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 year

The tone of Donald Trump’s first year as president was set at his swearing-in ceremony, where he delivered a blistering attack on the political establishment for inflicting “American carnage”. A row ensued with the media about the size of the inauguration crowd (it was small). His relationship with the press went downhill from there. Millions protested against the start of the Trump era at “women’s marches”. Mr Trump introduced a variety of controversial policies, aiming travel bans at citizens from several Muslim countries, pulling America out of a trans-Pacific trade deal, renegotiating NAFTA, setting in motion America’s exit from the Paris accord on climate change and recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Allegations were made that some in Mr Trump’s inner circle had made illicit contact with Russian officials. Michael Flynn’s resignation as…

5 Min.
the year of hurricane harvey

FOR those who care about a woman’s right to lead her life unmolested, 2017 began badly. A man accused of groping several women took office in the White House. (Donald Trump dismissed the allegations—as well as a tape of him boasting about his behaviour, which he called mere “locker-room talk”.) The year is ending somewhat better. In October Harvey Weinstein, a film producer, was accused of having spent decades harassing and assaulting actresses, and using his exalted position in Hollywood to intimidate and silence anyone who got in his way. He was forced out of the firm he co-founded and is being investigated by police. Further accusations against other powerful men followed, spreading beyond Hollywood into politics, journalism and the tech industry. Dozens were sacked or stepped down. Millions of women…

3 Min.
nice one, cyril

ON DECEMBER 18th South Africa’s ruling party picked a leader. The new head of the African National Congress (ANC) is Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the handful of heroes who negotiated the peaceful dismantling of apartheid in the 1990s. In 2019 he will probably be elected president of South Africa. It is absurd—and a sign of how poisonous ANC politics have become—that his rivals within his own party dismiss him as a tool of “white monopoly capital”. That he won the party’s top job anyway shows that there is still hope for South Africa. The choice should have been simple. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the candidate backed by Jacob Zuma, the country’s current president, promised more of the same. Under Mr Zuma’s administration, corruption thrives, state resources have been looted and democratic institutions have…

3 Min.
defending america, donald trump’s way

CRITICS of Donald Trump often charge that he is a man without principles. That is unfair. When it comes to one terrible idea—his conviction that America is stupid to want to lead a rules-based global order—the president is strikingly consistent. Back in 1987, weeks after Ronald Reagan startled the world by calling on Soviet leaders to tear down the Berlin Wall, Mr Trump placed full-page advertisements in major newspapers expressing a bleaker worldview. In an open letter to the American people, Mr Trump, then a property developer with a flair for publicity, called for his country to show more “backbone” abroad. He accused Japan and other American allies of “brilliantly” manipulating trade and currency flows to grow rich, while enjoying military security foolishly provided by America at no charge. Mr…

3 Min.
baccy to the future

SMOKING is a scourge. It is the leading preventable cause of cancer and kills over 7m people annually, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. In America, where it is linked to one death in five, it is estimated to cost more than $300bn a year in medical bills and lost productivity. Big Tobacco is doing nothing illegal by producing and marketing cigarettes. But the industry has an inglorious history of lying about the effects of cigarettes on human health. Although rates of smoking in much of the rich world are declining, tobacco firms fight measures, such as restrictions on advertising, that are designed to clamp down on cigarette use in emerging markets. No wonder people are cynical when they hear tobacco bosses evangelise about the benefits of new, lower-risk products such…

3 Min.
formidable nation

EVERY Christmas since 2013 The Economist has picked a “country of the year”. Rogue nations are not eligible, no matter how much they frighten people. (Sorry, North Korea.) Nor do we plump for the places that exert the most influence through sheer size or economic muscle—otherwise China and America would be hard to beat. Rather, we look for a country, of any size, that has changed notably for the better in the past 12 months, or made the world brighter. We make mistakes. In 2015 we picked Myanmar, for moving from “larcenous dictatorship” to “something resembling democracy”. We acknowledged that its treatment of the Rohingya minority was disgraceful, but failed to predict how much worse it would soon get. This year, after more than 600,000 Rohingyas fled their smouldering villages to…