Chinese President Xi Jinping: A brokerages boom appears to have added more than half a percentage point to Chinese GDP in the first quarter as equities turnover surges. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Just what is going on in the Chinese stock market? There is a frenzied feeling about the equity market, where a world-beating rally has seen the bench(...)

Joining the EU during a recession is bad enough but Croatia’s own economy is also in severe difficulty: there has been no growth in five years and unemployment is at almost 20 per cent. Photograph: Reuters/Antonio Bronic

Croatia may be just days away from setting off the fireworks in celebration of its entry into the EU, but Luka Zucko is not all that enthusiastic. The(...)