Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 03.06.2010 June 5, 2010

from Inside Europe· ·

On this week's program: Turkish-Israeli relations hit rock bottom - Germany's president resigns - Stockholm's Love Festival leads up to Sweden's royal wedding - Duchess of York tells all on US television - Poland resisted swine flu scare - Unusual candidates gain power in Reykjavik - Hate crimes in Russia on the rise - New play explores racism in Germany - Italian marble cutter defies traditionTurkish-Israeli relations hit rock bottomHundreds of Turkish activists returned home to a heroes' welcome on Thursday. They were on board the Gaza aid flotilla which was raided by Israeli commandoes earlier this week.The incident, which ...



On this week's program: Turkish-Israeli relations hit rock bottom - Germany's president resigns - Stockholm's Love Festival leads up to Sweden's royal wedding - Duchess of York tells all on US television - Poland resisted swine flu scare - Unusual candidates gain power in Reykjavik - Hate crimes in Russia on the rise - New play explores racism in Germany - Italian marble cutter defies traditionTurkish-Israeli relations hit rock bottomHundreds of Turkish activists returned home to a heroes' welcome on Thursday. They were on board the Gaza aid flotilla which was raided by Israeli commandoes earlier this week.The incident, which left nine people dead, was condemned by Turkey's Prime Minister who described it as "state terrorism." Turkey and Israel once enjoyed close military and economic ties, but relations have deteriorated in recent years. Hugh Pope is a Turkey analyst with the International Crisis Group. He explained to Helen Seeney how Ankara's political role in the region is evolving.Germany's president surprisingly resignsGermany's President Horst Koehler took the country by surprise when he resigned from office this week.Koehler had been sharply criticized for remarks that seemed to suggest that his country's troops were in Afghanistan to protect German economic interests. Koehler was just re-elected for a second term last year. Sabina Casagrande has the details.Stockholm's Love Festival leads up to Sweden's royal weddingIn Sweden, there's mounting excitement over the country's royal wedding, which will take place on June 19.The 32-year-old heir to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria, will be tying the knot with her former personal trainer, 36-year-old Daniel Westling. The Swedes are gearing up for the nuptials with a Love Festival, which kicks off this weekend. Neale Lytollis travelled to Stockholm to find out more.Postcard from Europe: Duchess of York tells all on US televisionAnother royal - or ex-royal - was back in the headlines this week.Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, otherwise known as Fergie, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to tell her side of the "selling Prince Andrew for cash" video. In this week's Postcard from Europe, Carol Allen in London assesses British reaction to Fergie's performance on American TV.Poland resisted swine flu scareLast June, the World Health Organization declared H1N1, or swine flu, to be a pandemic - triggering a rush for the swine flu vaccine.Almost one year later, many countries are sitting on stockpiles of unused vaccine for which they paid hundreds of millions of euros. One country, though, bucked the swine flu trend, and didn't buy a single dose: Poland. So what do its people now think of that decision? Imogen Foulkes reports from Warsaw.Hate crimes in Russia on the riseAvoid moving about the city alone. Know your destination and walk quickly and directly towards it. In buses, trams and trains, sit close to the driver. It's best to travel between 8 am and 5 pm.These instructions sound as if they're for children traveling without an adult, but they're not. They're given to Africans when they arrive in Moscow. According to official statistics, so-called "hate crimes" in Russia last year left at least 71 people dead and at least 333 injured. And Africans are a prime target. Jessica Golloher went to one place, tucked away in the eastern part of Moscow, which offers much needed medical help and refuge to the victims.New play explores racism in GermanyHere in Germany, racism is the theme of a new play which has just premiered. "Being German is hard. Being Afro-German is even harder."That's the introduction to this work. A new generation of black German actors, tired of the usual typecasting as criminals or refugees for film and TV, has formed a theater ensemble called Label Noir. Their play, "Heimat - Bittersuesse Heimat," translates into "Homeland, Bittersweet Homeland." Alexa Dvorson has more.Unusual candidates gain power in ReykjavikThe people of Iceland haven't had much to laugh about over the past year or so. They've been experiencing tough times since the country's financial crisis in 2008.But they obviously haven't lost their sense of humor. They've just elected a standup comedian as the new mayor of Reykjavik. He's Jon Gnarr Kristensson and he set up the Best Party at the end of last year. The party broadcast its campaign pledges in a music video. Free towels in swimming pools and a polar bear for the local zoo were just a couple of the Best Party's pre-election promises. And apparently Icelanders were so fed up with their politicians that they voted the party in. Einar Orn Benediktsson was one of the Best Party's candidates and he used to be a singer in a pop group. Helen Seeney asked him what his reaction was when he discovered they'd won.Italian marble cutter defies traditionFor decades, architecture, urban design and interior design have been considered separate spheres, with professionals in each group sticking to their areas of expertise.Recently, though, these lines have begun to blur. Big name architects, for example, are taking on much smaller designs - everyday objects, furniture and even fire places. At a marble cutting business in Veneto, northern Italy, technology is combining with tradition to help one famous architect expand her horizons. Megan Williams has been finding out more.