The Economist: Europe

Europe

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Alexei Navalny, Russia’s poisoned opposition leader, has a Siberian success

LAST MONTH Alexei Navalny, Russia’s main opposition leader, stood in the middle of Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia and the country’s third-biggest city, explaining how to liberate it from occupation by crooks and thieves. For thus has he famously dubbed the United Russia party. The party is the country’s largest, and the vehicle through which President...

Europe’s asylum compromise

IT TAKES A lot of misery to jolt European politicians into action on migration. Only when bodies started piling up on Lampedusa, an Italian island near Tunisia, did European leaders in 2013 first properly acknowledge the refugee crisis at its border. At its peak in 2015, when 1m people entered the EU, only the very worst stories cut through. In one...

Greece’s navy is in need of a refit

“WE GAVE THE Turks a lesson in seamanship,” boasts Andreas Stefanopoulos, a reservist in Greece’s navy. The jingoistic mood that swept Athens after a collision in the eastern Mediterranean on August 12th, in which a newish Turkish frigate suffered visible damage while a 40-year-old Greek one was apparently unharmed, is yet to fade. Morale in the armed...

The Spanish government proposes a new law on history

Germany’s bail-out brings worries about its long-term effects

GERMANY’S FAMED Kurzarbeitergeld programme, which funnels government cash to workers whose hours are cut by employers, is the “gold standard” of furlough schemes, reckons the IMF. It has been widely imitated across Europe by governments seeking to protect jobs and incomes from the full ravages of covid-19 lockdowns. In Germany, under relaxed criteria...

Angela Merkel is losing patience with Vladimir Putin

VLADIMIR PUTIN and his officials refuse to utter the name of Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin’s leading opponent, in public. But in Berlin, where Mr Navalny has been recuperating in hospital since his poisoning in Siberia on August 20th, he is the talk of the town. Mercifully, on September 7th he emerged from a medically induced coma. German doctors caution...

The number of migrants arriving in Italy is up again

AFTER A PAUSE because of bad weather, the landings began again on September 8th. Three boats carrying 56 people reached Italy’s southernmost island, Lampedusa. A sailing vessel with 62 aboard put into the port of Crotone on the Italian mainland. That day’s events highlighted the ways that migration across the central Mediterranean has changed. First,...

Sex, lies and philosophy on the Paris left bank

A FRENCH LEFT-BANK philosopher runs off with his father’s younger lover, who is herself now married to an ex-president, during his own failed marriage to a novelist, the daughter of another Parisian philosopher, who was his father’s best friend. Were a scriptwriter to pitch the plot, it would be dismissed for convoluted implausibility. Except that...

Last of the centre-lefties

ARGUMENTS ARE always worse when they involve family, politics or money. They are especially bad when they contain all three. So it proved when EU leaders sat down this summer for four days of talks about issuing €750bn-worth ($884bn) of common debt. Rather than left versus right, the main fight was left-on-left. Europe’s small band of social-democratic...

Turkey’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, takes to the world stage

PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN likes to cut to the chase. Others may think the multilateral dispute over territorial waters, continental shelves and hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, which has brought Turkey close to war with Greece, is complicated. For Turkey’s leader, however, it is simply an “example of modern colonialism” by European countries,...

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