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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 08/19/2017

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 One person was killed and 19 injured when a car was deliberately accelerated into a crowd of counter-protesters during a white nationalist rally at Charlottesville, Virginia. The nationalists, carrying Nazi and Confederate flags while chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”, were marching against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general. President Donald Trump’s ham-fisted response to the death of the counter-protester, in which he blamed “violence on many sides” outraged people across America as well as the rest of the world. Several CEOs from America’s biggest companies resigned from Donald Trump’s manufacturing council and the strategy and policy forum, two advisory bodies, after the president’s unconvincing response to the violence in Virginia. So many bosses departed that Mr Trump was forced to…

5 мин.

DEFENDERS of President Donald Trump offer two arguments in his favour—that he is a businessman who will curb the excesses of the state; and that he will help America stand tall again by demolishing the politically correct taboos of left-leaning, establishment elites. From the start, these arguments looked like wishful thinking. After Mr Trump’s press conference in New York on August 15th they lie in ruins. The unscripted remarks were his third attempt to deal with violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend (see page 27). In them the president stepped back from Monday’s—scripted—condemnation of the white supremacists who had marched to protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, and fought with counter-demonstrators, including some from the left. In New York, as his…

3 мин.
reality starts to dawn

FOR months, as the clock has ticked towards a two-year deadline for Britain to leave the European Union in March 2019, Theresa May’s government has been criticised for being ill-prepared, divided and unrealistic in its approach to Brexit. And rightly so. However, this week it took a belated step towards reality in the first two of a series of Brexit papers, on future customs arrangements and on Northern Ireland. It accepted explicitly, for the first time, that a temporary transition, or interim period, will be necessary to avert a damaging cliff-edge exit in March 2019, and that in this interim period Britain should be in a customs union with the EU. That is a big step forward. It is all the more surprising, because it came just days after Philip Hammond,…

3 мин.
how to build more efficiently

EVER since the financial crisis, the world has been plagued by weak productivity growth. One explanation is that in uncertain times firms are keener to take more people on to the payroll than to invest heavily in new equipment. The construction industry has been afflicted by such problems for decades. Since 1995 the global average value-added per hour has grown at around a quarter of the rate in manufacturing. According to McKinsey, a consultancy, no industry has done worse. Things are especially dismal in rich countries. In France and Italy productivity per hour has fallen by about a sixth. Germany and Japan have seen almost no growth. America is even worse: there, productivity in construction has plunged by half since the late 1960s. This is no trifling matter. The building trade…

4 мин.
modernising nafta

IN 1994 America’s economy was barely three years into its longest post-war expansion. Oil production fell to its lowest level for 40 years. Shares in a Steve Jobs-less Apple could be picked up for little more than a dollar; Jeff Bezos left his job at a hedge fund to set up a new kind of retailer, after learning of the fast-growing use of the internet. At the start of that year the North America Free-Trade Agreement came into force. It committed America, Canada and Mexico to eliminate most of the tariffs on goods between them within a decade. NAFTA was controversial from the start. Its critics have grown louder over time, despite its success in boosting trade and investment. Weeks before his election as president, Donald Trump called NAFTA “the worst…

3 мин.
double happiness

AUSTRALIA’S constitution has plenty of unfortunate clauses: the one allowing states to bar particular races from voting is especially distasteful, even though none does. But until last month few would have pointed to Section 44 as the cause of a political furore. It states that members of the federal parliament must not be “under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power”. More specifically, they must not be a “subject or citizen” of a foreign country. That seems clear enough, yet so far half a dozen members of parliament have been found to have broken the rule. Two senators resigned in July, having discovered that they were still citizens of countries from which they had emigrated as infants. The most recent MP to be rumbled, Barnaby Joyce, the…