Your Evening Briefing
Here are today’s top stories for Europe.
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While chaos rules over post-election British politics, there’s one inescapable truth: no matter what form Brexit takes, it will be felt strongest in manufacturing and trade. Our interactive map of pain or promise highlights the regions where Theresa May really has to make Brexit work. And there’s no time to waste. Our Brexit Barometer slipped again today after U.K. retail sales fell more than expected. — Andy Reinhardt
Economic uncertainty bubbles to the surface. A split among Bank of England policy makers widened this month as two officials joined Kristin Forbes in her call for a rate increase from 0.25% to 0.5%. The dissenters warned that inflation could rise more than previously thought as the labor market tightens and the pound weakens.
The same old France? Emmanuel Macron was swept to power last month on promises of new, business-friendly politics. But to Italians, his concerns about the sale of a “strategic” French shipyard to an Italian company indicate Macron may still harbor traditional French dirigiste tendencies.
Renewables are happening. A forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says solar power is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast. Solar and wind power already cost less than coal in the U.S.
Taking on the big guys. Boris Nuraliyev was a Soviet statistician when he started 1C, a company that sold business software. Today Nuraliev is a billionaire, and 1C, valued at $2.3 billion, is catching up to SAP and Oracle in the Russian market for enterprise applications.
Green energy from below. Built in the Victorian era, Britain’s sewers are warmed by water flowing into them from homes, with temperatures reaching as high as 21 degrees Celsius. If that warmth can be recaptured, it could supply more than a third of London’s heating needs, a new study reveals.
For “lady drivers.” Renault has a novel way of pitching its Twingo city car to women: with a nail polish that can also be used for covering car scratches. Women’s rights activists say it’s sexist and makes assumptions about “women’s beauty concerns and inability to drive.” The French auto giant is enjoying the buzz.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha