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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition October 22, 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.

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

Politics Vladimir Putin attended a summit with Angela Merkel in Berlin that also included the leaders of France and Ukraine. Russia’s involvement in the war in Syria has put a further strain on its relations with Europe and Mrs Merkel is threatening sanctions. Mr Putin had not visited Germany since Russia attacked Ukraine in 2014. He recently pulled out of a trip to France after François Hollande suggested that he wanted to discuss Syria. After seven years of negotiations, a trade deal between the European Union and Canada faced a big hurdle when the parliament of the Belgian region of Wallonia rejected it, saying it fell short on social and environmental standards. Negotiators in Brussels scrambled to overturn the decision. Barack Obama praised Matteo Renzi, the beleaguered prime minister of Italy, at a…

5 мин.

FOUR years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was America’s “number-one geopolitical foe”. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold war’s been over for 20 years,” scoffed the president. How times change. With Russia hacking the American election, presiding over mass slaughter in Syria, annexing Crimea and talking casually about using nuclear weapons, Mr Romney’s view has become conventional wisdom. Almost the only American to dissent from it is today’s Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Every week Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, finds new ways to scare the world. Recently he moved nuclear-capable missiles close to Poland and Lithuania. This week he sent an aircraft-carrier group down the North Sea and the English…

3 мин.
crushing the caliphate

TWO years after he vowed to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State (IS), Barack Obama is at last close to honouring his commitment. In the early hours of October 17th a long-planned military operation was launched to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second city. The battle will involve the Iraqi army, Kurdish soldiers, Shia militias, American special forces and the air power of a Western-led coalition. Mosul matters: it is the place from which the IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared his “caliphate”. The jihadists’ motto is “remain and expand”, but their state is fast retreating and shrinking. There is little doubt that Mosul will fall (see page 27). But how it is taken will determine whether the battle marks a lasting victory against jihadism or another chapter in the unending agony of…

4 мин.
float like a butterfly

MOST people know Elon Musk for his electric vehicles and desire to colonise Mars. He inspired the portrayal of the playboy and engineering genius who is the hero of the Hollywood blockbuster, “Iron Man”. Mr Musk is also one of the last entrepreneurs in America who seems to think that the publicly listed company can be useful. Two of his companies are listed: Tesla, a carmaker, and SolarCity, an energy firm. They have towering ambitions and valuations, and burn up cash as fast as his third company, SpaceX, burns up rocket fuel. Governance at Mr Musk’s firms is patchy and they may well fail (see page 53), but they are exactly the kind of exhilarating gamble that stockmarkets are meant to be good at funding. However, such octane-rich affairs have become rare.…

3 мин.
a royal mess

IT IS hard not to be moved by the sight of Thailand in mourning for Bhumibol Adulyadej, its late king. A week after his death, huge crowds continue to gather outside the royal palace in Bangkok and across the country. Some hold pictures of him; others light candles; others simply stand and weep. The demand for black clothes is so great that impromptu dyeing shops have sprung up, offering to turn brighter garments into something suitably sombre. Respect for the Thai monarchy may be reinforced through the education system and bolstered by strict laws against insulting the king, but it is genuine nonetheless. King Bhumibol reigned for over 70 years with diligence and dignity. Many Thais are distraught at his death. Yet it is hard not to feel that an opportunity is…

3 мин.
asterix in belgium

PLUCKY little Wallonia! On October 14th the parliament of this rust-belt region of Belgium voted against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a proposed trade deal between the EU and Canada. To its admirers, this French-speaking corner of ancient Gaul, with a population of just 3.6m out of the EU’s 508m, has taken an Asterix-like stand against the implacable forces of globalisation. Free-traders may seethe that such a tiny minority can threaten a proposed treaty seven years in the making. But they cannot disregard it. Failure to secure a deal with Canada would undermine much of the EU’s trade-negotiating policy, and raise troubling questions for Britain about trade with the union after Brexit. Politix v economix Wallonia, once Belgium’s steel-and-coal heartland, is the sort of place where a bleak view of…