The Economist Continental Europe Edition July 17, 2021

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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51 Números

en aquest número

1 min.
coronavirus briefs

Indonesia recorded more than 50,000 new covid-19 infections on July 14th, the second-highest number (after Brazil) of any country. Cases have been rising rapidly and spreading throughout the archipelago. The government has ordered restaurants and places of worship to close in the worst-afflicted regions. Record numbers of people in France signed up to get vaccinated after Emmanuel Macron announced that people who have not been jabbed will be barred from entering restaurants, cafés and shops and not allowed to travel on trains from August. The British government confirmed that all remaining pandemic restrictions would be lifted in England on July 19th. Thanks to a successful vaccine roll-out, deaths from covid-19 are low, but rising as infections soar. London’s mayor said passengers will still have to wear masks on the city’s transport network. →…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets all over Cuba. They have a long list of complaints, from the communist dictatorship’s inept handling of covid-19 to empty supermarket shelves and power cuts. Miguel Díaz-Canel, the president, decried the protests, the largest sign of popular revolt in six decades, and deployed riot police. Nearly 150 people have gone missing. Many of these are thought to have been arrested. It remained unclear who was behind the murder last week of Jovenel Moïse, the president of Haiti. The national chief of police declared that a Haitian doctor who lives in Florida plotted the attack. More than a dozen former Colombian soldiers said to have been involved in the plot were paraded on Haitian television. Conspiracy theories abound, involving senior Haitian politicians. A power vacuum…

5 min.
biden’s new china doctrine

OPTIMISTS LONG hoped that welcoming China into the global economy would make it a “responsible stakeholder”, and bring about political reform. As president, Donald Trump blasted that as weak. Now Joe Biden is converting Trumpian bombast into a doctrine that pits America against China, a struggle between rival political systems which, he says, can have only one winner. Between them, Mr Trump and Mr Biden have engineered the most dramatic break in American foreign policy in the five decades since Richard Nixon went to China. Mr Biden and his team base their doctrine on the belief that China is “less interested in coexistence and more interested in dominance”. The task of American policy is to blunt Chinese ambitions. America will work with China in areas of common interest, like climate change,…

3 min.
rule of lawlessness

SOUTH AFRICA offers dry kindling for political conflagration. Unemployment and inequality are preposterously high. Many people lack food, power and running water, while members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) gorge on graft. In the two years before covid-19 there were more protests than probably at any time in the democratic era. The pandemic, Africa’s worst if official statistics are to be trusted, has killed at least 65,000 people and plunged many more into destitution. Yet the violence that has engulfed the country in the past week is not a spontaneous protest against such ills (see Middle East & Africa section). It was incited, and in some cases perhaps instigated, by people close to the former president, Jacob Zuma. Their narrow aim is to have him released after his imprisonment…

3 min.
the mask slips

THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS thronged the streets on July 11th. Some stoned the police and looted posh shops. Such outbursts are unprecedented in Cuba since the communists secured their hold on power in the 1960s. “Freedom!” and “Down with the dictatorship!” they chanted, and “Patria y Vida!” (Fatherland and Life), quoting an underground reggaeton song that mocks Fidel Castro’s tired slogan of “Fatherland or Death”. All this poses an extraordinary challenge to the dull bureaucrats who rule Cuba, after the death of Fidel and the retirement of his younger brother, Raúl, earlier this year. The regime has responded with repression (see America’s section). “Revolutionaries, to the streets,” urged Miguel Díaz-Canel, the president who this year took the helm of the Communist Party, unleashing troops, police and loyalist mobs wielding baseball bats. At…

3 min.
carbon and capture

CARBON PRICES are the most cost-effective way to fight climate change—but for them to work properly, emissions must be priced everywhere. On July 14th the European Commission unveiled its plan to levy what would, in effect, be a tariff on some carbon-intensive imports which, by virtue of having been produced outside the EU, are not subject to its cap-and-trade carbon-pricing scheme. The idea is to stop European firms from responding to the carbon price by moving production to parts of the world where they can pollute without penalty, to shield them from being undercut by rivals from such places and to encourage foreign firms who want to sell to Europe to go green. There are sound reasons for applying carbon prices to imports. But working out how to go about it…