- Deep divisions still exist between the former East and West Germany, despite decades of massive public investment, wrenching demographic change, and growing prosperity.
- A big proportion of free-floaters in the east German electorate encourages traditional parties to try extra-hard to woo them.
- Polling shows that in early May, the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (afd) overtook both of Germany’s traditional centrist rivals to become the most popular party in the east.
- Easterners tend to differ from almost everyone else from the former Soviet Bloc on attitudes towards Russia and Ukraine.
- The east remains markedly older, more thinly populated, and less diverse; and east Germans remain underrepresented in elite professions.
Central banks around the world are pausing tightening campaigns as inflation eases and economies slow. Inflation-targeting regimes are keeping their own houses in order, while the US Fed's key inflation gauges fell to the slowest annual paces since late 2021.
Two massive earthquakes on Monday have devastated cities and towns across Turkey and Syria, with death toll of over 16,000. This is one of the worst natural disasters this century, alongside the 2004 Sumatran Tsunami, 2010 Haiti earthquake and 2008 Cyclone Nargis.
A raft of U.S. data and European inflation numbers will give guidance on how the world's top central banks will navigate the way ahead, including the hotly debated "no landing" scenario. Reports on U.S. durable goods orders, home prices, manufacturing and consumer confidence threaten to cement expec