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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition March 14, 2020

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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1 minuti
the coronavirus crisis

The World Health Organisation officially declared covid-19 to be a pandemic: “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” America announced a travel ban on visitors from Europe (except Britain and Ireland). The lockdown in northern Italy was extended to the whole country. Most shops were ordered to close. In Germany, Angela Merkel said that 60-70% of the country’s population may contract the disease at some point. Xi Jinping said there had been a positive turn to contain covid-19 in the province of Hubei. Outside Hubei, China reported three days with no newly confirmed cases of local infection. The central bank of Nigeria will, in effect, ban imports of hand sanitiser. The governor said this would boost local production. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/ coronavirus or download…

7 minuti
the world this week

Politics Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, said that he would be prepared to continue in office past 2024, when his fourth and supposedly final presidential term expires. The Russian parliament voted this week to amend the constitution to reset to zero the number of consecutive terms that he has already served. The trial began in the Netherlands of four men—three Russians and a Ukrainian—who are charged with involvement in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The four were not in court, having refused to turn themselves in, but the court decided that the trial can go ahead without them. Rishi Sunak, Britain’s new chancellor of the exchequer, had been expected to increase borrowing. But the scale of fiscal loosening in the government’s budget was still surprising. A…

5 minuti
the politics of pandemics

TO SEE WHAT is to come look to Lombardy, the affluent Italian region at the heart of the covid-19 outbreak in Europe. Its hospitals provide world-class health care. Until last week they thought they would cope with the disease—then waves of people began turning up with pneumonia. Having run out of ventilators and oxygen, exhausted staff at some hospitals are being forced to leave untreated patients to die. The pandemic, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared it this week, is spreading fast, with almost 45,000 cases and nearly 1,500 deaths in 112 countries outside China. Epidemiologists reckon Italy is one or two weeks ahead of places like Spain, France, America and Britain. Less-connected countries, such as Egypt and India, are further behind, but not much. Few of today’s political leaders…

3 minuti
v is for vicious

WHEN FACED with a bewildering shock it is natural to turn to your own experience. As covid-19 rages, investors and officials are scrambling to make sense of the violent moves in financial markets over the past two weeks. For many the obvious reference is the crisis of 2007-09. There are indeed some similarities. Stockmarkets have plunged. The oil price has tumbled below $40 a barrel. There has been a flurry of emergency interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Traders are on a war footing—with a rising number working from their kitchen tables. Still, the comparison with the last big crisis is misplaced. It also obscures two real financial dangers that the pandemic has inflamed. The severity of the shock so far does not compare with 2007-09. Stockmarkets…

4 minuti
vlad the indefinite

WHAT A CONVENIENT thing a tame parliament is. On March 10th, acting on a proposal from the first woman in space (now a celebrity MP), the Russian Duma approved an amendment to the country’s constitution that would reset the clock barring anyone from serving more than two consecutive terms as president. As it happens, that would allow Vladimir Putin, at present ineligible to run for another term when his current one expires in 2024, to stay on for two more six-year terms after that date, assuming he can win two more elections on top of the four he has won already. By then, in 2036, he would be 83, and would have ruled Russia for 36 years, as long as Ivan the Terrible. Two of the world’s biggest military powers,…

4 minuti
how to reform chile

FOR MUCH of the past 30 years Chile has stood out from the rest of Latin America as a country that seemed to be doing most things right. It combined an open market economy with the rule of law, stable institutions and growing social provision. Poverty rates fell steeply and most Chileans became middle-class by official measures. The large, sustained and sometimes violent protests that have shaken the country since last October have therefore come as a shock. They have called into question the success of the “Chilean model” and its future. What happens now in Chile matters beyond its borders. Its protests, which have resumed this month (see Books & arts section), are just one manifestation of the discontent sweeping Latin America. Several other countries have also seen protests, though…