Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 09.04.2011 April 9, 2011

from Inside Europe· ·

Portugal calls for EU help - A former Ukrainian president is under fire over a dead journalist - Euroscepticsm is on the rise in the Czech government - Could Silesia break away from Poland? - Greece struggles with racist violence - London homeowners cash in on the royal nuptials - A glimpse of Sicily you won't find in a tourist brochure - The changing face of Russian women. Portugal calls for EU bailoutPortugal has joined Greece and Ireland on the casualty list of Europe's sovereign debtors after its prime minister, José Sócrates, requested a European Union bailout.The dramatic decision came ...



Portugal calls for EU help - A former Ukrainian president is under fire over a dead journalist - Euroscepticsm is on the rise in the Czech government - Could Silesia break away from Poland? - Greece struggles with racist violence - London homeowners cash in on the royal nuptials - A glimpse of Sicily you won't find in a tourist brochure - The changing face of Russian women. Portugal calls for EU bailoutPortugal has joined Greece and Ireland on the casualty list of Europe's sovereign debtors after its prime minister, José Sócrates, requested a European Union bailout.The dramatic decision came in the middle of a political crisis that has left the country in limbo and with spiraling interest rates on its debt. Rob Turner asked Alison Roberts - Deutsche Welle's correspondent in Lisbon - if this application for a bailout was inevitable?Ukraine widens the probe into the savage murder of a top journalistA former Ukrainian president is about to be tried for his alleged role in the murder of a popular journalist a decade ago.Leonid Kuchma denies any connection with the death of Georgy Gongadze, who was found beheaded while investigating government corruption. Geert Groot Koerkamp has the details. Silesia's German ties return to haunt Polish politicsPoland's nationalist opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has sparked controversy after accusing the Silesian ethnic minority living in the south of the country of covertly harboring pro-German sentiments.The comments were made following the start of a national census in which the inhabitants of the ethnically mixed province of Silesia are for the first time able to state their nationality as Silesian. The opposition leader is the twin brother of the late president Lech Kaczynski who had often raised the spectre of German domination. From Warsaw Rafal Kiepuszewski has the details.Is the Czech government shifting further to the right?In the Czech Republic the Education Minister has appointed a controversial ultra-conservative politician as an advisor. The move has sparked uproar, with minority and human rights groups signing an open letter in protest at the appointment.Ladislav Batora once stood as an independent candidate for the now-defunct far-right National Party, and is now head a Eurosceptic pressure group. Rob Cameron has more from Prague.French burqa ban to take effectControversial conservative policy is making the headlines in France as well, where next week, a long-awaited ban on dissimulating your face in a public place comes into force.In layman's terms it's otherwise known as the 'burqa ban'. John Laurenson has this postcard from Paris. Soaring prices are fuelling the theft of metals in GermanyPrices for many metals have risen dramatically over the past two years. The prices for a pound of copper or aluminium have almost doubled. It's expected that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will push them even higher as reconstruction efforts boost demand.But as metals become more expensive, they've become an increasingly attractive target for criminals. Over the past year in Germany, metals have been disappearing from building sites, railroad tracks, even cemeteries as thieves look for scrap they can sell for a good price. From Berlin, Kyle James reports.Austerity-hit Greece struggles with a rise in racist violenceTry as they might, there seems to be no quick-fix to Greece's financial problems. Officials from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank are in Athens this week to discuss Greece’s austerity budget. And as Greece teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, it has been plagued by all manner of social problems, including a surge in violent attacks on immigrants.The Pakistani Embassy in Athens says that 80 of its countrymen have been assaulted in the past three months. Greece is one of the main entry points to Europe and says it will build a fence to keep out illegal migrants. But as our Athens correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports, many migrants can't cope with conditions in Greece and are returning home.Exploring the dark side of ItalyOver the past few weeks, thousands of people fleeing the unrest in North Africa have arrived on Italian islands in the Mediterannean. But what kind of life awaits in what is perceived as the promised land of the EU?Take Sicily for example: sun, sand, fresh seafood, mosaic-filled churches. The Italian island offers all of the above, but also gripping poverty. A tour of a Palermo neighborhood shows travelers the ruins among the riches. Nancy Greenleese went along. London homeowners look to cash in on the royal nuptialsThe countdown is on: Only three weeks to go until the UK comes to a standstill for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. London home-owners are set to rake in about 114 million euros from rental income over the royal wedding weekend.Asian, American and other international visitors are prepared to pay top prices for a room - even if it's in someone's home. London's shortage of hotels has prompted royal wedding fans to look for alternative places to stay - raising questions over the city's accommodation needs during the Olympics. Nina-Maria Potts reports. From Bombshell to Babushka - the changing face of Russian womenRussia is known for a lot of things that are cold, vodka, the weather and often the culture. But, despite the harsh environment, many people say one of the warmest parts of the former Soviet Union is its matriarch…the babushka, or grandma.Grandma is seen by many as the glue of the family; she often takes care of the household, her children and even her grandchildren. But many specialists say that this maven could be in danger due to poor health caused by obesity and stress, among other things. Jessica Golloher has the details from Moscow.