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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition December 10, 2016

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.

Страна:
United Kingdom
Язык:
English
Издатель:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
Периодичность:
Weekly
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8 мин.
the world this week

Politics In a referendum, Italian voters rejected constitutional reforms put forward by Matteo Renzi, the prime minister, which would have weakened the Senate in order to ease the passage of laws and given the federal government more power. “No” votes beat “Yes” by a decisive margin of 20 percentage points. Mr Renzi tendered his resignation. Germany’s Angela Merkel called for a ban on the burqa “wherever legally possible”. Her statement was part of a speech on Western values in which the chancellor sought to address concerns about the influx of migrants as she prepares to run for re-election. She promised that sharia law would never supersede German principles of equality. In Austria’s presidential election, Alexander Van der Bellen, a former leader of the Green party who ran as an independent, beat Norbert Hofer,…

5 мин.
america’s new business model

HIS inauguration is still six weeks away but Donald Trump has already sent shock waves through American business. Chief executives—and their companies’ shareholders—are giddy at the president-elect’s promises to slash burdensome regulation, cut taxes and boost the economy with infrastructure spending. Blue-collar workers are cock-a-hoop at his willingness to bully firms into saving their jobs. In the past few weeks, Mr Trump has lambasted Apple for not producing more bits of its iPhone in America; harangued Ford about plans to move production of its Lincoln sports-utility vehicles; and lashed out at Boeing, not long after the firm’s chief executive had mused publicly about the risks of a protectionist trade policy. Most dramatically, Mr Trump bribed and cajoled Carrier, a maker of air-conditioning units in Indiana, to change its plans and keep…

3 мин.
the freedom to dress modestly

ANGELA MERKEL, Germany’s chancellor, is often seen as the West’s last best defender of the liberal order against a tide of populism. She is likely to win reelection next autumn, but faces a challenge from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany. So Mrs Merkel needs to buck up her own party, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union, which is disillusioned with the “welcome culture” for refugees that she has promoted. Speaking to party delegates on December 6th, Mrs Merkel promised that the events of 2015, when 890,000 refugees claimed asylum in Germany, “can, shall and must not be repeated”. She vaunted her government’s European values of sexual equality and religious tolerance. And, in a line that drew long applause, she added that “the full veil is not appropriate for us, and should…

4 мин.
salvaging the wreckage

ITALY’S outgoing prime minister goes by the name of Il Rottamatore, or “Demolition Man”. By gambling on a deeply flawed constitutional referendum, which he lost by a humiliating 20-point margin on December 4th, Matteo Renzi now risks wrecking Italy’s fragile politics and economy. Many see his defeat as yet another eruption of populism, after the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. Granted, anti-establishment parties spearheaded the No camp. But many Italians rightly rejected Mr Renzi’s amendment to protect existing democratic norms, not to smash them. This newspaper supported a No vote. We thought Mr Renzi’s attempt to emasculate the powerful Senate, combined with a lopsided electoral law for the Chamber of Deputies, would have concentrated too much power in the hands of the prime minister—who, coincidentally, is one Matteo Renzi.…

3 мин.
homework for all

IT IS easy to be cynical about school-test results, particularly when you are grading the performance of something as complex as a country’s education system. Undaunted, every three years the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is run by the OECD club of mainly rich countries, tests more than half a million 15-year-olds in three subjects—maths, reading and science—to give a snapshot of national school-policies. The latest results were published on December 6th and again show stellar achievement in East Asia. Singaporean pupils are roughly three years ahead of American ones in maths (see page 52). Some argue that differences in national scores are a result of parenting and innate culture, and therefore that policymakers can do little to improve pupils’ performance. Last week one wag argued that the lesson…

3 мин.
shape up

A MOOD of excitement has gripped the oil industry since OPEC, a cartel of producers, resorted last month to its old trick of rigging the market to shore up prices. After two years of crisis, firms at last scent an end to cheap oil. Bankers are again throwing money at North American oil companies to drill in onshore shale beds, pushing junk-bond yields to their lowest levels since 2014. On December 5th and 7th respectively, Mexico and Iran struck potential deals with some of the world’s biggest oil firms to develop vast prospective oilfields. The animal spirits are understandable. During most of the industry’s history, from the days of the Rockefellers, to the post-war dominance of the Seven Sisters, to OPEC since the 1960s, cartel-like behaviour has always ended up underpinning…