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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition May 16, 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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The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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51 Numeri

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1 minuti
coronavirus briefs

The Chinese city of Wuhan, which recently ended a stringent lockdown, recorded its first new infections since early April. South Korea, which had also largely brought the epidemic under control, reported a cluster of new cases linked to nightclubs in Seoul. Lebanon reimposed its lock-down after a spike in covid-19. The government has faced widespread protests recently. It blamed people who ignore social-distancing rules. Brazil recorded its highest daily death toll. It is the sixth-worst affected country by cases and fatalities. Disneyland Shanghai reopened for business after shutting for three months. The limited number of visitors must have a digital health code. The White House ordered everyone in the building to wear a face mask, except Donald Trump and Mike Pence. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/ coronavirus…

7 minuti
the world this week

Politics Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, set out a path for easing lockdown in England. His message has changed from “stay at home” to “stay alert”. Restrictions will be eased in phases, depending on how quickly infections fall. Those who can’t work from home are urged to return cautiously to their jobs. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales published their own advice. Emerging, into the light France lifted many lockdown restrictions. Primary schools and nurseries have reopened. Most people are allowed to go back to work, with social distancing. Even hairdressers are operating again, but with compulsory masks and no coffee to chat over. New York state also took tentative steps towards reopening; three of its regions have met seven criteria, such as a 14-day decline in hospital admissions from covid. In Wisconsin the state…

5 minuti
on the blink

SEVENTY YEARS ago this month Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister, proposed a European “coal and steel community”. With that humble agreement governing two commodities, six war-ravaged countries created a common market that evolved into the European Union. The journey towards integration since then has been bumpy, but it has had a sense of direction. National leaders came and went, the Berlin Wall rose and fell, economic hurricanes struck and blew themselves out. Somehow, the EU muddled through. It deepened, building the world’s largest single market, letting its people move freely across borders and creating a common currency. It broadened, as 22 states joined the original six, including 11 that had suffered for decades under communism. It cemented peace and spread prosperity. Today, Europe is a beacon of liberal values and…

5 minuti
goodbye globalisation

EVEN BEFORE the pandemic, globalisation was in trouble. The open system of trade that had dominated the world economy for decades had been damaged by the financial crash and the Sino-American trade war. Now it is reeling from its third body-blow in a dozen years as lockdowns have sealed borders and disrupted commerce (see Briefing). The number of passengers at Heathrow has dropped by 97% year-on-year; Mexican car exports fell by 90% in April; 21% of transpacific container-sailings in May have been cancelled. As economies reopen, activity will recover, but don’t expect a quick return to a carefree world of unfettered movement and free trade. The pandemic will politicise travel and migration and entrench a bias towards self-reliance. This inward-looking lurch will enfeeble the recovery, leave the economy vulnerable and…

3 minuti
first, do no harm

EVERYTHING HAPPENS faster in a crisis. Faced with covid-19, vaccine-makers are cutting as many corners as they safely can. Anti-viral drugs are being rushed into clinical trials. Even so, it will be months until anything is available. With 297,000 people recorded dead, the wait is agonising. But caution is crucial. Medicine’s history is full of promising treatments that, when tested, turned out not to work or even to cause harm. Many governments hope salvation can come sooner, with contact-tracing apps on smartphones—even as a row brews over Apple’s and Google’s grip on the technology. These apps can be used to automate the difficult process of tracking down people who have been in contact with those diagnosed with covid-19, which is vital for keeping tabs on the virus. Countries from Bahrain and…

3 minuti
reopen and shut

NEVER BEFORE have governments erected safety-nets as generous as those they have created during the pandemic. In Britain 7.5m furloughed workers’ wages are being paid in large part by the state, which is spending more on them than it is on health care. In France the government is topping up the majority of private-sector workers’ incomes after their hours were cut. America has increased unemployment benefits by $600 per person per week, almost trebling the average payout. Since March a staggering 34m or so claims for this kind of support have been made (see United States section). Germany and Japan have boosted their existing subsidy schemes for furloughed or partially furloughed workers. These policies have been indispensable. Replacing lost incomes has averted suffering, prevented economies from falling apart and ensured public…