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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition October 8, 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 Theresa May, Britain’ prime minister, outlined a timetable for Brexit negotiations, saying she would trigger Article 50, the formal process for leaving the European Union, by the end of March 2017. The pound fell to a fresh 31-year low against the dollar. But the FTSE 100 share index, which is made up of many export-dependent companies, surged to its highest level in more than a year. At the Conservative Party conference Mrs May promised to fight on a new centre ground in British politics. The UK Independence Party, which pushed for the Brexit referendum, continued down its spiralling path to obscurity. Diane James resigned as leader, 18 days after winning a fractious leadership contest. Nigel Farage, the former leader, is technically back in charge. UKIP’s chairman said the situation was unfortunate,…

5 мин.
the road to brexit

THE destination was decided in June, by simple majority: Britain is leaving the European Union. The journey, however, will be complex and perilous, beset by wrong turnings, chicanes and elephant traps. With 64m Britons in the back seat, perhaps that is why Theresa May has avoided talking about the road ahead. But at the Conservative Party conference this week the new prime minister could delay no longer. In a speech that thrilled party activists, she declared that she will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty by the end of March, triggering a two-year countdown that should see Britain leave the union in early 2019. She also hinted that she would be prepared to steer Britain towards a harder sort of Brexit, involving a wide separation of labour, product and financial…

3 мин.
saving colombia’s peace

ASK the people a question, and you may not get the answer you expected. That happened to David Cameron with the Brexit referendum, and now it has happened to Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president. In a plebiscite on October 2nd Colombians made fools of the opinion pollsters and voted to reject his government’s peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas by the narrowest of margins—less than 0.5%. For Mr Santos that was an embarrassment. He had lined up an array of international support for the deal. For Colombia it is dangerous. The agreement came after four years of hard talking, and almost certainly represented the best available compromise between peace and justice. FARC leaders who confessed to war crimes would not go to jail, but they would be judged and punished under…

4 мин.
from aleppo to mosul

SURVEY the rubble of the Fertile Crescent, and a disturbing pattern emerges: from the Mediterranean to the Gulf, those bearing the brunt of war are for the most part Sunni Arabs. Though they form the largest ethnic group and are heirs of fabled empires, many of their great cities are in the hands of others: the Jews in Jerusalem; the Christians and Shias in Beirut; the Alawites in Damascus; and, latterly, the Shias in Baghdad. Sunnis make up most of the region’s refugees. Where Sunnis hold on to power, as in the Gulf states, they feel encircled by a hostile Iran and abandoned by an indifferent America. The malaise goes beyond sectarianism. The Arab state is in crisis almost everywhere, aggravated by decades of misrule, not least by Sunni leaders. Think…

4 мин.
the chronic continent

IT MUST have been an exquisite moment. On September 30th the central bank in Athens issued a statement reassuring investors that the Greek banking system was safe—from a crisis engulfing Germany’s flagship bank. Any Schadenfreude felt in Europe’s periphery at Deutsche Bank’s tumbling shares should be stifled, however. Deutsche is not about to fail: it can survive a harsh funding squeeze, its solvency is not in doubt and if push came to shove, the German government would surely support it. But many of its woes are symptomatic of problems that bedevil the whole continent. Plenty would deny that. Deutsche is more leveraged than its peers; it is unusual in lacking a crown jewel around which it can base a business model; and it has a stack of derivatives whose prices are…

2 мин.
a thoughtful to-do list

ONE of the many unfortunate consequences of America’s presidential election turning into a reality TV show is the near-total absence of serious debate about economic policy. The vitriol on both sides of the partisan divide has made it all but impossible to have a minimal agreement even on the facts. Mendacity and insults have left no room for any substantive discussion about what the next president’s economic priorities ought to be. Whatever you think of Donald Trump, his populist, protectionist prescriptions are woefully short on policy detail; the few areas where concrete plans exist are internally inconsistent (slash taxes, increase spending and eliminate government debt). Hillary Clinton has reams of wonkish proposals, but she has trouble articulating an overall economic agenda and, amid the rhetorical mud-wrestling, her fiddly ideas have…