Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 04.06.2011 June 4, 2011

from Inside Europe· ·

On today's programme: Why Germany is pulling the plug on nuclear energy - Mladic faces war crime charges in the Hague - FIFA president Sepp Blatter retains possession of the ball yet again -Does Ukraine have to choose between east and west? - An historic vote in Malta to legalize divorce - Tourism takes off in France’s poorest district - There’s more to 3D imaging than meets the eye. Why Germany is pulling the plug on nuclear energyThe German government has decided to phase out nuclear energy by 2022. This would make Germany the first major industrialized power to shut ...



On today's programme: Why Germany is pulling the plug on nuclear energy - Mladic faces war crime charges in the Hague - FIFA president Sepp Blatter retains possession of the ball yet again -Does Ukraine have to choose between east and west? - An historic vote in Malta to legalize divorce - Tourism takes off in France’s poorest district - There’s more to 3D imaging than meets the eye.

Why Germany is pulling the plug on nuclear energyThe German government has decided to phase out nuclear energy by 2022. This would make Germany the first major industrialized power to shut down all its nuclear power plants in the wake of the nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima site.German chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed that the decision is irreversible. The decision constitutes a stark u-turn by the hitherto nuclear-friendly government led by Merkel’s conservative CDU party. The eight German plants that were taken offline following the Japanese crisis are to remain closed and the remaining 11 are to be shut down over the next 10 years. Arno Behrens is the Head of Energy at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Neil King asked him whether this phase-out is the logical consequence of Japan’s nuclear disaster or whether Germany is overreacting?Ratko Mladic faces war crime charges in the HagueThe former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic was extradited to the Netherlands this week where he is to stand trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. Mladic, who was arrested in Serbia last week, was one of the most wanted topmen from the Bosnian war of the 1990s. He is accused of orchestrating the massacre of thousands of Muslims and the bloody siege of Sarajevo. Mark Lowen has this postcard on the man who evaded capture for over 16 sixteen years.Berlusconi under pressureOn Tuesday, the trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resumed after a two month break. He’s accused of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and then using his office to cover it up. But Berlusconi is also now under pressure from voters. Just a day earlier, his centre-right coalition suffered a crushing defeat in local elections, including Milan, his hometown and the hub of his business empire. As Megan Williams reports, many observers say the results could be the beginning of the end for the country’s controversial leader. FIFA president Sepp Blatter retains possession of the ball yet againCorruption allegations dominated proceedings in another political forum as well this week – that of world football governing body FIFA. Despite mounting claims that many members of his Executive Committee took bribes in exchange for World Cup bid votes, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was re-elected on Wednesday. That’s in no small part because he was running unopposed. The man who was to have been his opponent, Mohammed Bin Hammam was suspended over allegations of ethics violations. Sordid stuff, but Deutsche Welle Sports Editor Matt Hermann says all is not yet lost.Ciphers and spooksFans of secret codes and ciphers have been gathering in the Czech capital Prague this week for a special conference entitled the Secret of Ciphers. Organised by a private university called the Prague College, the conference brought together experts and even former spies to talk about the secret world of cryptology – the sending of secret messages. Rob Cameron went along.European Court ruling on Khodorkovsky trialThe European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia was guilty of violations in its jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The Court said it had no firm proof that the case was politically motivated but it ordered Moscow to pay Khodorkovsky more than 24,000 euros in compensation. Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, was arrested in 2003 and jailed on charges of fraud and tax evasion. His lawyers have called this week’s ruling "a major victory". Geert Groot Koerkamp has more from Moscow.Does Ukraine have to choose between east and west?Russian President, Dimitry Medvedev, recently told Ukraine it must choose between east and west. You can’t sit on two chairs at once, he said. Medvedev’s aim is to put pressure on Kiev to join a Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan rather than pursue ever closer ties and a free trade agreement with the EU. Kerry Skyring has been in the Black Sea port of Odessa to find out whether Ukraine really does have a choice between east and west. An historic vote in Malta to legalize divorceThe small Mediterranean island of Malta is the last remaining EU state where divorce is still illegal.However, this is likely to change soon. Last weekend Malta’s pro-divorce movement achieved an historic victory in a non-binding referendum. Joseph Muscat is the head of Malta’s opposition Labour Party and a staunch supporter of the pro-divorce movement. He told Neil King more about why the issue of divorce is dividing the island. Tourism takes off in France’s poorest districtThe city of Paris set up a ‘greeters’ programme about four years ago. In case you’ve never heard of the term, greeters are local residents who volunteer to show tourists their favourite places in a city or neighbourhood. And now, Paris’ infamous 93rd district, made up of largely poor suburbs to the north and east of the city has got in on the act. The district has set up its own greeters programme to show visitors another side of working class life. Genevieve Oger has more.There’s more to 3D imaging than meets the eyeAfter the fabulous success of the science fiction blockbuster Avatar in 2009, a wave of 3D movies hit the cinemas. Since then there have been signs that audiences have become bored with 3D films. But cinema is just one field that utilizes 3D imaging. A festival here in Germany has showcased other areas where 3D is changing the way we see things. Kate Hairsine found out more in Karlsruhe.