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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition August 17, 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.

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

Politics An indicative vote in Argentina’s presidential election suggested that the opposition, led by Alberto Fernández with the country’s previous president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (no relation), as his running-mate, would handily win the actual election in October. The Argentine peso shed a quarter of its value against the dollar and its main stockmarket fell by 37%. Investors fear the return of Ms Fernández, whose policies between 2007 and 2015 ruined the economy. The result was a blow to the incumbent Argentine president, Mauricio Macri. After the poll he announced a number of giveaways to win over voters, including tax cuts, more welfare subsidies and a three-month freeze in petrol prices. The election of Alejandro Giammattei as Guatemala’s president threw doubt on the safe-third-country agreement signed by the outgoing president, Jimmy Morales, with…

5 мин.
markets in an age of anxiety

LOOKING FOR meaning in financial markets is like looking for patterns in a violent sea. The information that emerges is the product of buying and selling by people, with all their contradictions. Prices reflect a mix of emotion, biases and cold-eyed calculation. Yet taken together markets express something about both the mood of investors and the temper of the times. The most commonly ascribed signal is complacency. Dangers are often ignored until too late. However, the dominant mood in markets today, as it has been for much of the past decade, is not complacency but anxiety. And it is deepening by the day. It is most evident in the astounding appetite for the safest of assets: government bonds. In Germany, where figures this week showed that the economy is shrinking, interest…

3 мин.
finger on the button

IN 1973Major Harold Hering, a veteran pilot and trainee missile-squadron commander, asked his superiors a question: if told to fire his nuclear-tipped rockets, how would he know that the orders were lawful, legitimate and from a sane president? Soon after, Major Hering was pulled from duty and later kicked out of the air force for his “mental and moral reservations”. His question hit a nerve because there was, and remains, no check on a president’s authority to launch nuclear weapons. That includes launching them first, before America has been nuked itself. The United States has refused to rule out dropping a nuclear bomb on an enemy that has used only conventional weapons, since it first did so in 1945. Many people think this calculated ambiguity is a bad idea. It is unnecessary,…

4 мин.
speak up

WHO IS THE greater threat to free speech: President Donald Trump or campus radicals? Left and right disagree furiously about this. But it is the wrong question, akin to asking which of the two muggers currently assaulting you is leaving more bruises. What matters is that big chunks of both left and right are assaulting the most fundamental of liberties—the ability to say what you think. This is bad both for America and the world. The outrages come so fast that it is easy to grow inured to them (see International section). The president of the United States calls truthful journalism “fake news” and reporters “enemies of the people”. In June, when a reporter from Time pressed him about the Mueller inquiry, he snapped, “You can go to prison,” justifying his…

4 мин.
a world without beaches

THE OCEAN covers 70.8% of the Earth’s surface. That share is creeping up. Averaged across the globe, sea levels are 20cm higher today than they were before people began suffusing the atmosphere with greenhouse gases in the late 1800s. They are expected to rise by a further half-metre or so in the next 80 years; in some places, they could go up by twice as much—and more when amplified by storm surges like the one that Hurricane Sandy propelled into New York in 2012. Coastal flood plains are expected to grow by 12-20%, or 70,000-100,000 square kilometres, this century. That area, roughly the size of Austria or Maine, is home to masses of people and capital in booming sea-facing metropolises. One in seven of Earth’s 7.5bn people already lives less…

3 мин.
land of hope and worry

AFTER DECADES of mismanagement and corruption, Zimbabwe is a wreck. Its people are poor and hungry (see Middle East & Africa section). By early next year about half of them will need help to get enough food, says the UN’s World Food Programme. In a country that was once among Africa’s most industrialised, electricity flickers for only a few hours a day, often at night. Factories and bakeries stand idle while the sun shines. Workers arrive after dark, hoping that if they are patient they will be able to switch on their machines or ovens. In homes people wake up in the middle of the night to cook or iron their shirts. Freshwater taps work for a few hours once a week. Tendai Biti, an opposition MP and former finance…