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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 04/01/2017

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 Britain started the process of leaving the European Union. Theresa May, the country’s prime minister, officially triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty in a letter hand-delivered to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. Scotland’s devolved parliament voted to request from the British government permission to hold a second independence referendum. However, both Mrs May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, want any poll to be delayed until after Brexit. Street cred Demonstrators staged anti-corruption protests in nearly 100 cities across Russia, responding to a call by the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. The protests focused on the alleged illicit wealth of Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister. A court sentenced Mr Navalny to 15 days in jail for organising an unauthorised protest. German authorities said they were investigating whether Turkey’s intelligence…

5 мин.
the negotiator

NINE tumultuous months after Britons voted to leave the European Union, the real Brexit process is at last under way. Theresa May’s dispatch of a letter to the European Council on March 29th, invoking Article 50 of the EU treaty, marked the point at which Britain’s withdrawal from the union became all but inevitable. For half the country’s population this was a moment to celebrate; for the other half, including this newspaper, it marked a bleak day. The future of both camps—and of the EU itself—now depends on what Mrs May does next. The negotiations are sure to be difficult (see page 26). Time is short, since Article 50 comes with a two-year deadline. The task of unwinding Britain’s membership of the club is fearsomely complex. Neither side is well prepared.…

5 мин.

DONALD TRUMP won the White House on the promise that government is easy. Unlike his Democratic opponent, whose career had been devoted to politics, Mr Trump stood as a businessman who could Get Things Done. Enough voters decided that boasting, mocking, lying and grabbing women were secondary. Some Trump fans even saw them as the credentials of an authentic, swamp-draining saviour. After 70 days in office, however, Mr Trump is stuck in the sand. A health-care bill promised as one of his “first acts” suffered a humiliating collapse in the—Republican-controlled—Congress (see Lexington). His repeated attempts to draft curbs on travel to America from some Muslim countries are being blocked by the courts. And suspicions that his campaign collaborated with Russia have cost him his national security adviser and look likely to…

3 мин.
sunlight over soot

COALMINERS cheered this week when Donald Trump issued an executive order to start unwinding Barack Obama’s flagship climate policies; the new measures include ending a moratorium on the leasing of federal land for mining. “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” declared Mr Trump. Yet the black stuff is still in a heap of trouble. In America cheap natural gas has surpassed coal as a source of power generation; no White House ceremony can do much about that. And for all the attention on America, much the more important chapter in the tale of coal’s decline is being written on the other side of the world. India is the third-largest carbon emitter, after China and America. No fuel matters more to it than coal: it fires up…

3 мин.
a hero disappoints

SHE is the woman who faced down an army. After the military regime in Myanmar refused to recognise the colossal victory of her National League for Democracy party in an election in 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi endured 25 years of persecution, including 15 years under house arrest. In late 2015, after many failed attempts to discredit and sideline her, the generals gave up and held a relatively free election. The NLD won again, in another landslide, and this time the army allowed the result to stand. Ms Suu Kyi’s dignified resistance to military rule has made her a hero to many around the world—and deservedly so. But the self-reliance and doggedness that sustained her through that long struggle have not stood her in such good stead since the NLD…

3 мин.
friction lovers

EFFICIENCY is at the heart of progress. Yet just as too much of a good thing (travel, say) can yield a bad (congestion), so excessive ease in transactions can generate costs, known in the jargon as a “facile externality”, such that less efficiency would actually be more efficient. In academic circles, especially Scandinavian ones, the notion is well established that innovations which eliminate too much hassle could do society harm. True to their cause, the high-minded theorists of facile externality go out of their way to make their ideas hard to understand. The effort required to master them has the happy effect of increasing their value, as intended. But it has also held them back from broad application. The good news is that this may at last be about to change. In…