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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 11/24/2018

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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NOK 2,165
51 Utgaver

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8 min.
the world this week

Politics The hard Brexiteers in Britain’s Conservative Party opposed to Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU struggled to get enough support to depose her. The deal will have a rough ride in Parliament. In a warning shot, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which Mrs May relies upon for a governing majority, voted against her government on budget measures, claiming she had broken promises about the treatment of the province under the deal. The focus switched to Brussels, where Mrs May engaged in some shuttle diplomacy to iron out the details of her agreement ahead of an EU summit. Russia tried to get its nominee chosen as the new head of Interpol, the international policing organisation. After last-minute opposition by many countries, a South Korean was elected instead. The main objection to…

5 min.
the truth about no deal

THE BRITISH body politic is again convulsing. Theresa May has appointed new ministers, including her third Brexit secretary and counting, following another round of cabinet resignations. The prime minister’s own backbenchers are feverishly (if ineptly) plotting to bring her down. The Labour opposition’s position is hopelessly unclear. The cause of this chaos is that those with long-standing delusions about what Brexit would mean have been forced to swallow a dose of reality. With negotiating time almost up, Britain has the imperfect deal that it was always going to get. Promises of having cake and eating it have given way to a less appetising offering. Yet among Brexiteers, one hopeful fantasy lives on: the idea that, if all else fails, Britain can prosper outside the European Union without signing a deal at…

3 min.
see no evil

FEW POLITICAL murders are as gruesome and well recorded as that of Jamal Khashoggi. The exiled Saudi journalist was throttled, dismembered and probably dissolved in acid in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month. Turkish intelligence has leaked the faces and names of the 15-man hit squad sent from Riyadh on private jets. Western spooks have listened to audio recordings of Khashoggi’s last excruciating moments. After weeks of lies, the Saudi government has admitted the guilt of its goons. The only question is whether the crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, personally ordered the hit. President Donald Trump appears not to care. “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” he announced in a remarkable statement on November 20th, adding that America would remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia. He sees the…

3 min.
stamp them out

IN RECENT YEARS many rich-world politicians have at last woken up to the blight of expensive housing. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, describes pricey houses as “the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation”. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, has promised a “robust, comprehensive, life-changing” impact on the housing market. Australia’s new prime minister has fretted that youngsters are putting off parenthood while they save up for homes. Recognition is growing that rapid house-price inflation has caused intergenerational inequity, destabilised finance and constrained economic growth. If only the rhetoric was matched by action. Dysfunctional government policies, which have coincided with lower real interest rates, have pushed prices up (see Free exchange). The fundamental mistake is excessive regulation of house-building in and around successful cities. But a second senseless distortion makes things…

3 min.
agency problems

IT IS A lesson straight from undergraduate economics. Do not give the regulated power over the regulators, unless you want consumers to lose out and producers to game the system. The merger of water suppliers and their regulators in Britain in 1973 provides a good example. Water companies fiddled their pollution targets; Britain’s rivers and beaches became the dirtiest in Europe. After the separation of firms and supervisors in 1989, Britain soon had some of the cleanest rivers on the continent. That lesson has been learned in many places around the world. National regulators are increasingly independent of the firms they regulate. But international ones still have further to go—and none further than the specialised agencies of the United Nations, such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for shipping, the International…

5 min.
staying alive

“YOU KNOW,” says a trader in “Margin Call”, a film about the crash of 2008, as he stands high on a building above Wall Street, “the feeling that people experience when they stand on the edge like this isn’t the fear of falling—it’s the fear that they might jump.” Suicide fascinates us. It is at once appalling and yet, in the darkest places in our minds, appealing. It is the most damaging sort of death. A child’s suicide is a parent’s worst nightmare, and a parent’s marks their children for life. It is a manifestation not just of individual anguish but also of a collective failure: if society is too painful to live in, perhaps we are all culpable. The suicide rate in America is up by 18% since 2000. This…