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Economy

German And French Economies Grow Faster Than Expected

THE LOCAL (Germany), LES ECHOS (France)

Worldcrunch

BRUSSELS – Data released Wednesday showed the economies of Germany and France grew faster than expected between April and the end of June, raising hopes for a recovery across Europe.

The new figures show that Germany enjoyed its fastest growth in more than a year in the second quarter, with GDP expanding by 0.7%, beating earlier forecasts for the period. The results were attributed to an increase in domestic consumption, exports and public investment, German website the Local reports.

Meanwhile, France's GDP also grew 0.5%, which was 0.3% higher than preliminary data published in July, French business daily Les Echos notes. “This number confirms France is no longer in recession” and “amplifies the encouraging signs of recovery”, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovisci declared Wednesday morning.

Figures for the Eurozone as a whole will be released later Wednesday, but these surprising rebounds from the single-currency area's two biggest economies raise hope for the future of 17 countries that share the euro.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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