Your Evening Briefing
The evening briefing will soon be available in your inbox every day. Sign up here.
The ECB kept interest rates and its €60 billion-per-month asset purchasing program unchanged today. President Mario Draghi said policy makers are still waiting for inflation to catch up with the recovering European economy, putting off any discussion on winding back stimulus until after the summer. Even then, deciding when to start (and how fast to proceed) won’t be simple. — Andy Reinhardt
Brexit means Bruno. Brexit negotiators from Britain and the EU wrapped up four days of talks in Brussels — their second face-to-face meeting — with little to show for it. Citizens’s rights, the Irish border, and the size of Britain’s exit payment remain unresolved. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire set a tough tone yesterday concerning the bill, quoting a famously Euroskeptic former U.K. prime minister: “I will say what Margaret Thatcher used to say: ‘We want our money back’.”
Strained relations. The German government has warned companies against doing business in Turkey and cautioned travelers. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced a “new orientation” in relations. Germany is Turkey’s largest trading partner, while ethnic Turks make up Germany’s largest minority, but the relationship was already on a downward arc before Turkish authorities arrested a German activist this week
Boosting efficiency. Unilever, which fought off a takeover bid from Kraft Heinz, can see the activists circling around rivals Nestle and Procter & Gamble. In response, the Anglo-Dutch consumer-products giant is upping its focus on profitability by lifting prices and cutting spending on everything from employee travel to product ingredients. The strategy seems to be paying off, with a savings of more than €1 billion in the first half.
Addicted to oil. Three years since the 2014 oil slump, energy-rich Gulf Arab nations are still struggling to adjust, and their economies are just as dependent on the black stuff as ever. The post-oil economic ambitions of countries including Saudi Arabia are still a long way off.
Covering up the Nazis. Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower tried to suppress Nazi documents that showed Britain’s former King Edward VIII discussing his desire to make peace with Adolf Hitler, according to newly released documents from the U.K. National Archives. The two leaders tried to prevent the publication of telegrams from the World War II years, released Thursday, which make mention of Edward’s comments that were critical of Churchill and the war.
Hard riding. From grueling mountain stages in the Alps to a glorious finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Tour de France is the world’s best known and most closely-watched cycling race. Join our visual tour of the highlights as the finish line nears.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha