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Economist, May 2-8, 2015

One week ahead of Britain's national elections, polls are too close to call between the two leading candidates, the Tories' incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband. The Economist divides its cover between the two, casting the election as a choice between risks: for the economy (Miliband) and for a possible UK exit from the European Union (Cameron).

"The Tories’ Europhobia, which we regretted last time, could now do grave damage," the magazine writes. "A British exit from the EU would be a disaster, for both Britain and Europe." But ultimately, the editors see the recipe for a "fairer Britain" proposed by Miliband as a greater risk to the nation's future: "Despite the risk on Europe, the better choice is Mr Cameron’s Conservatives." Read the full editorial here.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The Economist is a leading international magazine of economics and politics, founded in 1843 in London.

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Geopolitics

Olaf Scholz: Trying To Crack The Code Of Germany's Enigmatic Chancellor

Olaf Scholz took over for Angela Merkel a year ago, but for many he remains a mysterious figure through a series of tumultuous events, including his wavering on the war in Ukraine.

man boarding a plane

Olaf Scholz boading an Air Force Special Air Mission Wing plane, on his way to the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana.

Michael Kappeler / dpa via ZUMA Press
Peter Huth

-Analysis-

BERLIN — When I told my wife that I was planning to write an article about “a year of Scholz,” she said, “Who’s that?” To be fair, she misheard me, and over the last 12 months the German Chancellor has mainly been referred to by his first name, Olaf.

Still, it’s a reasonable question. Who is Olaf Scholz, really? Or perhaps we should ask: how many versions of Olaf Scholz are there? A year after taking over from Angela Merkel, we still don’t know.

Chancellors from Germany’s Social Democrat Party (SPD) have always been easy to characterize. First there was Willy Brandt – he suffered from depression and had an intriguing private life. His affected public speaking style is still the gold standard for anyone who wants to get ahead in the center-left party. Then came Helmut Schmidt. He lived off his reputation for handling any crisis, smoked like a chimney and eventually won over the public.

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