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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 06/30/2018

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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 min.
the world this week

Politics Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, defied the pundits by winning an outright re-election victory in the first round of voting. His Justice and Development (AK) party, together with its allies, also triumphed in simultaneous elections to parliament. The elections marked a rise in nationalist sentiment. In his victory speech Mr Erdogan said the country had “voted for a decisive fight against the PKK”, an outlawed Kurdish group. The EU launched a new defence co-operation arrangement, dubbed EI2. Unlike other non-NATO schemes, it will focus on deployment in conflict zones. A European mini-summit on immigration made little progress. Italy demanded an end to the system whereby migrants must be processed in their first country of arrival. The British government’s plan for a third runway at Heathrow was passed by the House of Commons by…

5 min.
the tech giant everyone is watching

BIG technology firms elicit extreme and conflicting reactions. Investors love them for their stellar growth and vast ambition: the FAANG group of technology stocks, comprising Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (Google’s parent), is worth more than the whole of the FTSE100. Without them to power its growth, America’s stockmarket would have fallen this year. Yet the techlash has also entangled the digital giants in all manner of controversies, from data abuse and anti-competitive behaviour to tax avoidance and smartphone addiction. They have become the firms politicians love to hate. All but one. Alone among the giants, Netflix is a clear exception to this mix of soaring share prices and suspicion. Since its founding in 1997, the company has morphed from a DVD-rental service to a streaming-video upstart to the world’s…

3 min.
the final swing

FOR 12 years, Anthony Kennedy has been the Supreme Court’s swing vote. The court’s liberal and conservative quartets voted predictably. He did not—which is why those who want the Supreme Court to float above America’s partisan divide reacted with such dismay to his retirement, announced on June 27th. Justice Kennedy’s departure from the bench might sound like a minor detail set against everything else that is going on with America’s government at the moment. It is not. President Donald Trump now has the opportunity to appoint a second Supreme Court justice and with it to cement a 5-4 conservative, one might even say Republican, majority at a time when the constitution is under strain from a norm-breaking Republican president. The high stakes herald a gigantic fight in the Senate. Democrats are…

4 min.
the new palestinians

THE monstrous dictator has won. Bashar al-Assad has bombed, gassed and starved his enemies out of the biggest cities. He has made fools of Barack Obama and David Cameron, who said he should go but did nothing to bring his departure about. He has shrugged off the missiles that President Donald Trump fired at his bases. Half a million people have died. Six million people are displaced within Syria; a similar number have fled abroad. Most of the refugees are Sunni Arabs, who made up most of Syria’s pre-war population of 23m. Still more may be pushed out as Mr Assad moves to retake mostly Sunni rebel areas in the north and south-west of Syria. His state, meanwhile, is becoming more narrowly sectarian as Alawite (his sect), Shia and Christian minorities…

3 min.
free the rails

TRAINS are not quite the third rail of European politics. But they are still causing lots of angst. France has already endured three months of strikes, as railway workers protest against a planned liberalisation. In Britain, meanwhile, nostalgia for state ownership is on the rise. Around 60% of Britons support renationalisation of the railways, according to a poll published in January by Sky, a broadcaster. A botched timetable change in May, resulting in up to 43% of trains being delayed or cancelled each day by one operator, will not have improved commuters’ mood. The strikes and surveys show that rail competition is controversial. It is to be embraced nonetheless. Governments will soon have their chance to do just that. By June next year, new EU rules called the “fourth railway package”…

3 min.
the gaokao grind

IN THE past few days nearly 10m young Chinese have received their results from the world’s largest and most important academic exam, commonly known as the gaokao. In some places the news has been sent to them by text message—an innovation that has done nothing to compensate for the horrors of what they have endured: years of cramming at the expense of any other activity in the hope of a gaokao score that will qualify them for admission to a leading university. In China even more than elsewhere, achievement in education is judged not by how well you perform at university, but by which one you attend. Everything, therefore, depends on the gaokao. The exam is both cherished and despised. It is praised by many as being a relatively corruption-free method…