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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 05/13/2017

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 James Comey was sacked as director of the FBI by Donald Trump, taking Washington, and Mr Comey, completely by surprise. Mr Trump acted on the advice of the attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, who decided that Mr Comey had botched the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails last year. At the time Mr Trump had praised Mr Comey, but that was before he started investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Democrats, and others, called for the appointment of a special prosecutor. Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, visited the White House for the first time since Mr Trump’s election. Their meeting in the Oval Office was private, except for the presence of a photographer from TASS, the Russian news agency. Mr Trump urged the Senate not to “let the American people down”,…

5 мин.
macron’s mission

ON MAY 14th, as Emmanuel Macron takes up his duties in the Elysée Palace, spare a thought for what he has already achieved. To become head of state he created a new political movement and bested five former prime ministers and presidents. His victory saved France and Europe from the catastrophe of Marine Le Pen and her far-right National Front. At a time when democracies are being dragged to the extremes by doubt and pessimism, he has argued from the centre that his country must be open to change, because change brings progress. But spare a thought also for the difficult road ahead (see page 19). Mr Macron has started well, with a sober acceptance speech that evoked unity rather than triumphalism. Yet this is the first time he has been…

5 мин.
courting trouble

DONALD TRUMP rules over Washington as if he were a king and the White House his court. His displays of dominance, his need to be the centre of attention and his impetuousness have a whiff of Henry VIII about them. Fortified by his belief that his extraordinary route to power is proof of the collective mediocrity of Congress, the bureaucracy and the media, he attacks any person and any idea standing in his way. Just how much trouble that can cause was on sensational display this week, with his sacking of James Comey—only the second director of the FBI to have been kicked out. Mr Comey has made mistakes and Mr Trump was within his rights. But the president has succeeded only in drawing attention to questions about his links to…

3 мин.
you’re fired!

IT MUST have seemed like a good idea at the time. Why not get rid of an irksomely independent FBI director, who was making trouble for Donald Trump’s White House, by exploiting his mishandling of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails? After all, Mrs Clinton believes that James Comey cost her the presidency with a letter informing Congress in October that he was reopening the investigation into her use of a private e-mail server. Surely Democrats would be glad to see the back of him. Mr Trump has the power to sack Mr Comey. But nobody will be fooled by the quasi-prosecutorial memo drawn up by the deputy attorney-general, Rod Rosenstein, at the president’s request. If the trouble were Mr Comey’s handling of Mrs Clinton’s e-mails, he could have been sacked four months ago.…

3 мин.
state of disrepair

ANY amount of parental scrimping and saving is futile if the children run amok with the family credit card. For years, the government of India has tightened its belt, cutting its annual budget deficit from 5% of GDP in 2013 to nearer 3% now. But its parsimony has been matched by the profligacy of India’s 29 states. They have spent nearly all the money saved, leaving the country’s public finances no better off. The central government has only itself to blame. By implicitly guaranteeing bonds issued by states, and forcing banks to invest their depositors’ money in them, it has unwittingly created the conditions for a future fiscal debacle (see page 57). India can change course cheaply now—or expensively later. India’s states used to be the epitome of fiscal rectitude. It was…

3 мин.
the gift of life

THE earliest known description of surrogacy is an ugly biblical story: in Genesis, the childless Sara sends her husband to bed with her maidservant, Hagar, and takes the child as her own. It is this exploitative version of surrogacy that still shapes attitudes and laws today. Many countries ban it outright, convinced that the surrogate is bound to be harmed, no matter whether she consents. Others allow it, but ban payment. Except in a few places, including Greece, Ukraine and a few American states, the commissioning parents have no legal standing before the birth; even if the child is genetically theirs, the surrogate can change her mind and keep the baby. Several developing countries popular with foreigners in need of a surrogate have started to turn them away. These restrictions are…