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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 01/28/2017

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 Donald Trump started his term as America’s president. Surrounded by Washington’s power-brokers, Mr Trump’s inauguration speech was a remarkable populist attack on political elites, whom he lambasted for neglecting “struggling families”; he vowed to end “American carnage”. Americans, he said, would no longer “accept politicians who are all talk and no action”. Soon after being sworn into office Mr Trump signed a wide-ranging executive order allowing federal agencies to stop participating in any part of the Obamacare law they deem to be onerous, ahead of a forthcoming bill in Congress to rescind his predecessor’s signature policy. He also declared that America would not join the TPP trade deal and ordered work to start on building a wall along the Mexican border (but was hazy as to how it will be paid…

5 мин.
in retreat

AMONG the many things that Donald Trump dislikes are big global firms. Faceless and rootless, they stand accused of unleashing “carnage” on ordinary Americans by shipping jobs and factories abroad. His answer is to domesticate these marauding multinationals. Lower taxes will draw their cash home, border charges will hobble their cross-border supply chains and the trade deals that help them do business will be rewritten. To avoid punitive treatment, “all you have to do is stay,” he told American bosses this week. Mr Trump is unusual in his aggressively protectionist tone. But in many ways he is behind the times. Multinational companies, the agents behind global integration, were already in retreat well before the populist revolts of 2016. Their financial performance has slipped so that they are no longer outstripping local…

3 мин.
it’s a mad, mad, mad, maduro world

“HE WHO leads must listen even to the hardest truths,” said Simón Bolívar, who liberated much of South America from Spanish rule. The leaders of Venezuela today, who claim Bolívar as their inspiration, ignore his dictum. Venezuela’s economy shrank by nearly 19% last year, according to a leaked early estimate by the central bank (see page 37). That would be bad even for a nation at war, which Venezuela is not. Inflation was 800%. Shortages of food and medicine are causing hunger and looting. Infant mortality is soaring. Caracas is the capital city with the world’s highest murder rate. The leaders of Venezuela’s “Bolivarian revolution” shut their ears to such truths. The central bank has not formally published data on growth or inflation since the beginning of 2016. After the leak,…

3 мин.
jaw, jaw

WELCOME to the topsy-turvy new politics of trade. America, the creator and seven-decade-long defender of the global trading system, now has a president who seems determined to shake that system up and who may end by wrecking it. Although China is the rising power, one that has often not played by the rules, its president, Xi Jinping, has taken to defending the status quo. It is not yet clear whether Donald Trump’s belligerence is simply a ploy designed to win trade concessions from China and others, or whether he is prepared to foment economic warfare—and worse—if he is thwarted. But no relationship matters more than that between the world’s biggest and second-biggest economies. The shape of a new economic order, and much besides, will be determined largely by how Mr Trump…

3 мин.
tablets of learning

MORE than 250m children in developing countries are not in school. Those who do attend often fail to learn anything. According to one study of seven African countries, primary-school pupils receive less than two-and-a-half hours of teaching each day; teachers are absent from class about half of the time. Even when they show up, theirs is a Potemkin pedagogy, lecturing to nonplussed pupils. Only about a quarter of secondary-school pupils in poor countries would reach the basic level of attainment on standardised international tests. Into this void have stepped low-cost private schools. For a few dollars each month, they give parents an alternative to the public sector. Such schools are common—about 1m of them are scattered across developing countries—but until recently this has been a chaotic cottage industry of tiny, unregulated…

3 мин.
empowering the vilest malefactors

VICTORIAN England was a good place to be an abusive husband. Even “the vilest malefactor has some wretched woman tied to him, against whom he can commit any atrocity except killing her, and, if tolerably cautious, can do that without much danger of the legal penalty,” John Stuart Mill wrote in 1869. Court reports were filled with accounts of men mutilating their wives and receiving light sentences. But things were starting to change. A law specifically criminalising violence against women and children was enacted in 1853. The women’s movement of the late 19th century called for harsher punishments and sexual equality. A century later the rise of feminism in the West and elsewhere brought new legislation, more sensitive policing and belated recognition that living with someone should not be a…