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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition February 9, 2019

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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 мин.
the world this week

Politics Donald Trump gave his state-of-the-union speech to Congress, delayed by a week because of wrangling over government spending. He again called for tougher curbs on illegal immigration, calling it a “moral duty”. He also said that any new trade deal with China “must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices…and protect American jobs”. In a rare cordial moment, Mr Trump welcomed the record number of women in work, drawing whoops and cheers from Democratic congresswomen, who had dressed in white for the occasion. Virginia’s state government seemed unable to find anyone to run the place who has not either applied boot polish to his face while at college or been accused of sexual assault. Ralph Northam, a Democrat who was initially unsure whether he was one of those depicted…

5 мин.
crude awakening

IN AMERICA, THE world’s largest economy and its second biggest polluter, climate change is becoming hard to ignore. Extreme weather has grown more frequent. In November wildfires scorched California; last week Chicago was colder than parts of Mars. Scientists are sounding the alarm more urgently and people have noticed—73% of Americans polled by Yale University late last year said that climate change is real. The left of the Democratic Party wants to put a “Green New Deal” at the heart of the election in 2020. As expectations shift, the private sector is showing signs of adapting. Last year around 20 coal mines shut. Fund managers are prodding firms to become greener. Warren Buffett, no sucker for fads, is staking $30bn on clean energy and Elon Musk plans to fill America’s…

3 мин.
time to worry

THE WORLD is used to a thriving German economy. A decade ago, during the financial crisis, it shed relatively few jobs, as unemployment soared elsewhere. Since then it has been an anchor of fiscal stability while much of the euro zone has struggled with debt and deficits. Its public debt is below the target of 60% of GDP set by EU treaties—and falling. Thanks to labour-market reforms introduced during the 2000s, Germans enjoy levels of employment that beat job-friendly Britain, even as inequality is barely higher than in France. Its geographically dispersed manufacturing industries, made up of about 200,000 small and medium-sized firms, have mitigated the regional disparities that have fuelled populism across the West (see Europe section). Yet the German economy suddenly looks vulnerable. In the short term it faces…

4 мин.
death of a nuclear pact

WHEN IT TURNED 30 in 2017, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty was ailing. Russia had proposed ripping up the pact in 2005. When it was rebuffed it tested an illegal cruise missile, the 9M729. A few years later the Obama administration called out Russian cheating. In December 2018 America’s NATO allies belatedly backed America. So, when Russia failed to meet a deadline to destroy the missile this month, America pulled out of the treaty and Russia soon followed. The only pact to ban an entire class of nuclear weapons will thus expire in August. The task for America and NATO is to meet the Russian challenge without triggering an arms race that would split the alliance and jeopardise what is left of global arms control. Under the treaty, America and…

4 мин.
how to deal with the mullahs

THE CRY of “Death to America!” has rung out in Tehran every Friday since the Islamic revolution of 1979. But the ritual is hollow. The mullahs know they have failed their people. Iranians are much poorer than they should be; promises of justice have been drowned in the blood of enemies and supposed sinners; and theocracy has made Iranians less pious. Protests occur often, even among the poor who make up the regime’s base (see Middle East & Africa section). Yet the mullahs remain in charge, despite war, sanctions and decades of enmity with America—or perhaps because of them. To the alarm of Israel and many Arab states, Iran has spread its influence, helping save the odious regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and ensuring that the Saudis remain bogged down…

3 мин.
a qualified pass

IT HAS LONG been obvious that the boss of the World Bank should be chosen on merit, not by nationality. When President Harry Truman picked its first head in 1946, India was still a colony and the People’s Republic of China did not exist. America provided most of the institution’s capital and it was felt that its creditors on Wall Street needed the reassurance of an American at the helm. Today China is the second-biggest economy and America provides less than 17% of the bank’s capital. But America still picks the bank’s president as part of a deal with European governments who choose the head of the IMF. True to this anachronistic tradition, President Donald Trump this week named David Malpass, a senior official at America’s Treasury, to fill the vacancy…