The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition April 4, 2020

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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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1 min.
coronavirus briefs

Boris Johnson contracted covid-19, the first political leader of a country to do so. The British prime minister is self-isolating at Number 10. Austria made it compulsory to wear face masks in supermarkets. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have put similar measures in place. The captain of an American aircraft-carrier docked in Guam asked the navy for help following an outbreak of covid-19 on board. Around 100 sailors on the uss Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the new coronavirus. The world’s biggest condom-maker, which is based in Malaysia, warned of a global shortage because it has had to shut factories. Forecasters have already predicted a baby boom because of couples staying at home. The Wimbledon tennis tournament was cancelled. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/ coronavirus or…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics Scientists advising the American government about the covid-19 outbreak predicted that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die, even with partial lockdowns and social-distancing measures in place. Donald Trump warned his compatriots “to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead”. The United States now has more reported infections than any other country. New York city has recorded more deaths from the corona-virus than all but half a dozen countries. Lagging behind other states, Florida at last ordered people to stay at home. Fortress China With most of its newly confirmed cases of covid-19 now being found among travellers from abroad, China closed its borders to most foreigners. On a visit to Zhejiang province, President Xi Jinping said curbing imported cases, which mostly involve returning Chinese citizens, had become the “most…

6 min.
a grim calculus

IMAGINE HAVING two critically ill patients but just one ventilator. That is the choice which could confront hospital staff in New York, Paris and London in the coming weeks, just as it has in Lombardy and Madrid. Triage demands agonising decisions (see Briefing). Medics have to say who will be treated and who must go without: who might live and who will probably die. The pandemic that is raging across the world heaps one such miserable choice upon another. Should medical resources go to covid-19 patients or those suffering from other diseases? Some unemployment and bankruptcy is a price worth paying, but how much? If extreme social distancing fails to stop the disease, how long should it persist? The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has declared that “We’re not going to…

4 min.
bottomless pit, inc

IN THE PAST month the biggest business handout in history has begun. The goal of helping firms survive temporary lockdowns is sensible, but it is hard not to feel uneasy (see Business). At least $8trn of state loans and goodies have been promised to private firms in America and Europe, roughly equivalent to all their profits over the past two years. Over half a million European firms have applied for payroll subsidies. Some of these handouts will involve grubby choices: Boeing, embroiled in the 737 MAX crashes, might get billions of taxpayer dollars. Broad rescue schemes could also leave a legacy of indebted, ossified firms that impede the eventual recovery. Speed is essential, but governments also need a clearer framework to organise the jumble of schemes, protect taxpayers and preserve…

3 min.
don’t waste a good crisis

THE PANDEMIC will have many losers, but it already has one clear winner: big tech. The large digital platforms, including Alphabet and Facebook, will come out of the crisis even stronger. They should use this good fortune to reset their sometimes testy relations with their users. Otherwise big government, the other beneficiary of the covid calamity, is likely to do it for them. Demand for online services has exploded and the infrastructure behind the internet has proved to be admirably reliable (see Science and Technology). Newcomers such as Slack and Zoom, which help businesses operate remotely, have become household names. And although some tech supply chains are creaking and online advertising spending has dipped, overall the big five firms are seeing surging demand. Facebook has said that messaging activity has increased by…

3 min.
gas, guns and guerrillas

MANY KINDS of misfortune make a country prone to conflict; Mozambique has them all. It is poor. FRELIMO, its ruling party, is predatory and corrupt. Much of its vast territory is barely governed at all. It has a recent history of civil war: a 15-year inferno that ended in 1992 and cost perhaps 1m lives, and a milder six-year uprising involving the same rebel group, RENAMO, which formally ended last year. Into this explosive mix, two blazing matches have been tossed: jihadist terror and the discovery of natural gas. As we report this week, a poorly understood insurgency is spreading in Cabo Delgado, a province in northern Mozambique (see Middle East & Africa section). So far the conflict has killed more than 1,000 people, aid workers estimate, and forced at least…