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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 04/22/2017

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 Theresa May surprised her opponents—and her own cabinet—by calling a snap general election in Britain for June 8th. Since becoming prime minister in the wake of David Cameron’s defeat in the Brexit referendum last summer, Mrs May has consistently ruled out fresh elections. But she now wants her own mandate in order to end “division” in Parliament over the negotiations to leave the European Union. Opinion polls give her Conservative Party a 20-point lead, though the electorate is in an irascible mood. George Osborne, one of the most powerful politicians in Britain until the Brexit vote, decided to quit as an MP. The former chancellor of the exchequer had been criticised for trying to stay in Parliament while taking up a new job as editor of a newspaper. Voters in Turkey narrowly…

5 мин.
time to decide

FRANCE is not just deeply unhappy, it is at war with itself. The first round of the presidential election, on April 23rd, could send any two of four candidates into a run-off on May 7th. They range from the odious right to the vicious left, with two pro-market reformers in the middle. Seldom has a European democracy been so torn between progress and disaster. After votes for Brexit, Donald Trump and, last week in Turkey, for a constitution that cements Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power (see page 21), the battle over liberal internationalism has moved to the cradle of the Enlightenment. The fate of France is not all that is at stake. The European Union will stall if one of its driving forces is in chaos or hostile. It may even fail,…

5 мин.
game change

FOR an event that was supposed to settle a big political question once and for all, last year’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union has proved spectacularly disruptive. First it did for the government of David Cameron, who had called it expecting a win for Remain. Then it provoked renewed calls for separation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which opposed Brexit. Now Theresa May, who entered Downing Street only last summer, has called a snap general election for June 8th, having previously insisted that such a course would cause further “instability”. Britons are facing their third national poll in two years. Mrs May says the election is necessary to protect the Brexit process from mischievous opposition parties that plan to derail it. That is nonsense: although most MPs, including…

3 мин.
the rise of intolerance

FIRST came the fake news: a doctored video, making it look as if the governor of Jakarta, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, was disparaging the Koran. Next, mass protests flooding the city centre with outraged Muslims. Then came blasphemy charges that the police, under public pressure, eventually lodged against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, usually known as Ahok. Before long a seemingly pedestrian election became a referendum on the role of Islam in Indonesian politics. Was it permissible for a Christian to hold the second-most prominent elected office in an overwhelmingly Muslim country? On April 19th voters delivered their verdict: no. Ahok, once the clear front-runner, had won the first round of the election, in February, by a slim three percentage points. But supporters of the eliminated candidate appear to have plumped for Ahok’s remaining…

3 мин.

DECADES ago travelling by air in America was a glamorous affair. Today it signals delays, discomfort, extra charges and the threat of violence. A video of a passenger being forcibly dragged from a United Airlines flight on April 9th, after too few people volunteered to give up their seats, has sparked an outpouring of complaints about flying in America. Passengers are right to moan. America’s airlines really do compare badly with foreign ones. European carriers are the best point of reference. Air fares are higher per seat mile in America than in Europe. When costs fall, consumers in America fail to enjoy the benefits. The global price of jet fuel—one of the biggest costs for airlines—has fallen by half since 2014. That triggered a fare war between European carriers, but in…

3 мин.
broken dealers

STOCKMARKETS are the public face of finance; indices like the S&P 500 are widely reported proxies for economic health. But they are dwarfed by the corporate-bond markets. In 2016 American equity issuance amounted to just under $200bn; for corporate bonds the total was $1.5trn. The market for corporate debt is not just vast, at $50trn globally, it has also been growing fast as a result of ultra-cheap borrowing. Issuance in America has risen by half over the past five years. Yet despite its importance as a source of financing for companies, the corporate-bond market is shockingly archaic. Even basic price data are hard to come by. Whereas stocks can be traded at the click of a button, buying and selling corporate bonds often requires a phone call to a trading desk…