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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 01/14/2017

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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8 мин.
the world this week

Politics A dossier compiled about alleged links between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, and containing lurid tittle-tattle about the president-elect, was published on BuzzFeed. The dossier was based on unverified material prepared by an investigative firm for Mr Trump’s opponents. America’s intelligence agencies included a classified summary of its findings in its assessment of alleged Russian interference in the election. A spokesman for the Kremlin said it had no compromising documents on Mr Trump and called the allegations “absolute fantasy”. The Senate started the process to vet Mr Trump’s nominees to key posts. Democrats, pointing to a letter to them from the head of the Office of Government Ethics, said the confirmation hearings were being rushed and the vetting was far from complete. Rex Tillerson, Mr Trump’s pick for secretary of state,…

5 мин.
lifelong learning

WHEN education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart. That fundamental insight seized reformers in the Industrial Revolution, heralding state-funded universal schooling. Later, automation in factories and offices called forth a surge in college graduates. The combination of education and innovation, spread over decades, led to a remarkable flowering of prosperity. Today robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution. This time, however, working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers. Unfortunately, as our special report in this issue sets out, the…

3 мин.
speaking post-truth to power

DONALD TRUMP doesn’t give many press conferences. But when he does, as on January 11th—for the first time since July—they are utterly unlike the press conferences of any other American president-to-be. Speaking without notes, Mr Trump threatened and cajoled Mexico and the pharma industry (its shares tumbled). He boasted about his genius for business (and went some way to reduce his own conflicts of interest—see page 35). He poured scorn on a shocking report that Russian intelligence had dirt on him and had worked with his people during the election (he shouted down a reporter from the news channel that revealed the report’s existence). And that was just the highlights. It was such a spectacle (see page 33) and pointed in so many directions at once that you could fail…

4 мин.
handling a bully

AMERICA’S allies and trading partners await Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House on January 20th with trepidation. None is more anxious than Mexico. Mr Trump began his election campaign by damning Mexicans as rapists and killers of American jobs. He has repeatedly threatened carmakers that invest in Mexico with import tariffs. Ford cancelled plans to build a $1.6bn plant there. He renewed his vow to make Mexico pay for his border wall at a press conference on January 11th. “Mexico has taken advantage of the United States,” he declared. If Mr Trump matches his aggressive words with actions, the consequences will be grave. Mexico’s economy is closely entwined with that of the United States and Canada under the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The value of bilateral trade with its…

3 мин.
a greener grid

YOU cannot negotiate with nature. From the offshore wind farms of the North Sea to the solar panels glittering in the Atacama desert, renewable energy is often generated in places far from the cities and industrial centres that consume it. To boost renewables and drive down carbon-dioxide emissions, a way must be found to send energy over long distances efficiently. The technology already exists (see page 67). Most electricity is transmitted today as alternating current (AC), which works well over short and medium distances. But transmission over long distances requires very high voltages, which can be tricky for AC systems. Ultra-high-voltage direct-current (UHVDC) connectors are better suited to such spans. These high-capacity links not only make the grid greener, but also make it more stable by balancing supply. The same UHVDC…

3 мин.

TO ENTER parliament, a Dutch political party need only win enough votes for one seat. With no minimum threshold, there are lots of parties. Eleven succeeded in 2012, including two liberal parties, three Christian ones and one that cares about animal rights. In the next election, this March, polls suggest the total could rise to 13, with the addition of a pro-immigrant party and an anti-immigrant one (the country’s second). As small parties multiply, the large ones are shrinking. In the 1980s governing parties often held 50 seats in the 150-seat parliament; today they are lucky to reach 40. As with the Netherlands, so with Europe. The ideologies that held together the big political groupings of the 20th century are fraying, and the internet has lowered the barriers to forming new…