Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

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Here are today’s top stories for Europe.

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There’s less than a week to go until the final round of the French presidential election. Polls still show centrist Emmanuel Macron with a clear lead over populist Marine Le Pen, but their battle reflects profound differences that divide France. To broaden his base, Macron is trying to persuade voters that he hears their anger. While there could still be a Trump-like surprise, markets are upbeat: Fears of a “Frexit” from the euro have receded and bankers are cheering the prospect of one of their own in the Elysée Palace. — Andy Reinhardt

A worker holds a spanner during the production of a volute liner, part of a centrifugal pump, in the machine shop area at Weir Minerals Europe Ltd., a division of Weir Group Plc, in Todmorden, U.K. on Thursday, March 3, 2016. Weir Group Plc manufactures industrial pumps to transport liquids to the mining and oil and gas industries, and Weir's strategy is to establish, then service, its installed base. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

A worker holds a spanner during the production of a volute liner, part of a centrifugal pump, in the machine shop area at Weir Minerals Europe in Todmorden, U.K.

Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

U.K. manufacturing unexpectedly grew at the fastest pace in three years in April. A report supports the view that exporters are in a “sweet spot” because the pound’s decline has increased competitiveness while the U.K. can still trade freely with the European single market. Euro-area manufacturing also had a good April, figures from IHS Markit confirmed, expanding the fastest in six years as the bloc’s economy gains momentum.

Nearer the finish line. Greece has resolved the latest impasse over the terms of its bailout program with international creditors, opening the way for debt-relief talks and the disbursement of the next tranche of emergency loans. The indebted nation has agreed to further concessions on tax rates, pension cuts and Sunday store openings.

Putin’s German Trojan horse. The Russian leader may have found a way to undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel. Russian state TV has helped persuade some of the 2.5 million Russian-speaking voters in Germany to support the opposition AfD Party by promoting the perception that immigrants are freeloaders taking advantage of Germany. A third of the anti-immigrant AfD’s votes now come from Russian Germans.

Nein, danke. EU nationals still make up the largest share of foreigners living in Switzerland, but the rate of new arrivals is diminishing. Net migration has been slowing over the last two years and amounted to just 8,556 people in the first quarter, perhaps reflecting the effect of an anti-immigration plebiscite passed by the Swiss in 2014.

Alitalia begins bankruptcy proceedings. The Italian carrier, whose major shareholders are Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Italian banks, last week said it had exhausted all options to stay solvent after workers nixed a recapitalization plan involving 1,600 job cuts. The flagship carrier has been trying to turn around since a 2008 bankruptcy.

These tiny restaurants aren’t grand, but they’re great. Rising real estate prices and a cultural environment that favors a nimble “pop-up” approach has created a surge of very tiny, very intimate dining experiences all around the globe. Here are nine of the best, from Paris to Tokyo.


The Histoires by Mathieu Pacaud

Photographer: Jérôme Galland

Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha

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