Inside Europe: The Inside Take on European Affairs 06.03.2010 March 11, 2010

from Inside Europe· ·

On this week's programme: Should Germany foot the bill for Greece? - A landmark fatwa against global terrorism - The EU authorises GM potatoes - Italian mammas compete for the perfect pasta - Immigrants go on strike in Italy - Bosnia struggles with its past - Fighting anti-semitism in Poland - Russia's Olympic athletes receive a frosty welcome - Could Seborga become Europe's newest state?
Greece tightens the purse strings

The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, has announced a new batch of austerity measures aimed at pulling the country back from the brink of bankruptcy.

The new measures include ...



On this week's programme: Should Germany foot the bill for Greece? - A landmark fatwa against global terrorism - The EU authorises GM potatoes - Italian mammas compete for the perfect pasta - Immigrants go on strike in Italy - Bosnia struggles with its past - Fighting anti-semitism in Poland - Russia's Olympic athletes receive a frosty welcome - Could Seborga become Europe's newest state?


Greece tightens the purse strings

The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, has announced a new batch of austerity measures aimed at pulling the country back from the brink of bankruptcy.

The new measures include salary cuts for civil servants, pension freezes and tax hikes on cigarettes, alcohol and luxury goods. But they've already sparked fresh protests in Greece. In this Postcard from Athens, Malcolm Brabant looks at how Greeks are coping with the cutbacks.

Should Germany pay for Greece's financial folly?

Germany has been facing mounting pressure to bail out the struggling Greeks. Germany is considered the EU's powerhouse and support from the Berlin government is seen as vital for any European safety net for Greek borrowing.

But most Germans fail to see why they should foot the bill for Greece's financial folly as we hear from Neale Lytollis in Berlin.

A leading Muslim scholar takes on global terrorism

A landmark fatwa condemning global terrorism has been issued by a leading Muslim scholar. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri proclaimed his fatwa – or Islamic religious ruling – in London. He's the founder of the global Minhaj ul-Quran movement.

Dr Qadri's fatwa is 600 pages long and is a direct challenge to al-Qaeda's ideology. He describes terrorists and suicide bombers as unbelievers. In this exclusive interview, Dr Qadri explains why he issued this fatwa.

Is the EU opening the door to genetically modified products?

After more than a decade of legal wrangling, the European Commission has approved the cultivation of a genetically modifed potatoe on European fields.

The Commission said it took the decision based on scientific grounds, in a move that has enraged environmentalists and delighted the biotech industry. Nina-Maria Potts reports from Brussels.

Preparing the perfect pasta - Italian mammas fight it out

Italians take their food pretty seriously, particularly pasta. And nowhere more so than in Bologna. It's the hometown of Bolognese sauce and the birthplace of tagliatelle and tortellini.

So it's no coincidence that Bologna is the venue for an annual pasta-making competition called the Golden Rolling Pin. Participants compete to roll out the best egg pasta dough in town. Dany Mitzman went along to see them in action.

Immigrants take concerted strike action

Immigrants went on strike earlier this week in many European countries. In Spain, Greece, France and Italy, they held marches, sit-ins and educational events. The strike which took place in Italy was largely symbolic as many immigrants simply couldn't afford to down tools.

Yet those who could, enlightened some Italians about the important role they play in the country, particularly as labourers. The strike gained momentum in Italy after a recent attack on an immigrant farmworker exploded into days of rioting. Nancy Greenleese reports from Rome.

Bosnia struggles to come to terms with its past

The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was back on trial in The Hague this week – at least for 2 days. Karadzic gave an opening statement outlining his defence before the trial was adjourned again.

He said the Bosnian war was just and holy, he also blamed the Muslims for starting it. Karadzic also claimed that the Muslims staged wartime atrocities. So what's been the reaction in Bosnia to these comments? Helen Seeney put that question to our Balkans correspondent Mark Lowen.

Taking on anti-semiticism with a spray can

Since the collapse of communism some twenty years ago, anti-Semitic graffiti has sprung up across Poland. But now a Polish artist has come up with a novel way of focusing attention on this problem and the sentiments behind it.

His solution is to put up his own graffiti saying 'I Miss You Jew'. The idea is to commemorate the three million Polish Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust as well as those who were driven out of the country during communist-era purges. Rafal Kiepuszewski has more from Warsaw.

Russia's Olympic athletes receive a frosty welcome

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is clearly not happy with his country's dismal performance at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Russian officials had been expecting athletes to take home some 30 medals from the Games and finish in the top 3.

Instead, Russia limped in at 11th place on the medals table with just 3 golds. On Monday, Mr Medvedev ordered those responsible to quit or be sacked. In this Postcard from Moscow, Jessica Golloher looks at how Russia's national pride has taken a beating.

Could Seborga become Europe's newest state?

The world is littered with micro states. Some created by a quirk of fate, others thriving as tax havens, or surviving as tourist curiosities.

A small medieval town in northern Italy would like to join their ranks. It's called Seborga and it's been striving for independence for over 40 years. But the Italian government doesn't recognize its claim to be an independent principality. Our correspondent John Oliver-Collins visited Seborga to find out if the locals have a valid case.