Inside Europe: The Inside Take on European Affairs (09.10.2010) Oct. 14, 2010

from Inside Europe | Deutsche Welle· ·

On today's programme: The EU signs a major trade deal with South Korea - Can the Celtic Tiger claw its way back into the black? - Is Bosnia a failed state? - The Dutch fight alcoholism with alcohol - Britain's druids receive official recognition - Kurdish children in Turkey haunted by their prison trauma - Can Abkhazia go it alone? - Descending into the bowels of Paris. The EU signs a major trade agreement with South KoreaThis week the EU hosted a Europe-Asia summit. While the talks brought together 46 nations, the focus was on the EU's relations with China ...



On today's programme: The EU signs a major trade deal with South Korea - Can the Celtic Tiger claw its way back into the black? - Is Bosnia a failed state? - The Dutch fight alcoholism with alcohol - Britain's druids receive official recognition - Kurdish children in Turkey haunted by their prison trauma - Can Abkhazia go it alone? - Descending into the bowels of Paris. The EU signs a major trade agreement with South KoreaThis week the EU hosted a Europe-Asia summit. While the talks brought together 46 nations, the focus was on the EU's relations with China and a range of issues from trade to human rights.But there was little agreement between Beijing and Brussels at the talks. However, on Wednesday, the EU was able to sign an historic free trade agreement with South Korea. Christoph Hasselbach has the details.Can the Celtic Tiger claw its way back into the black?It was once known as the Celtic Tiger, but these days Ireland is grappling with a crippling debt crisis. On Wednesay, Fitch cut Ireland's credit rating putting further pressure on the government.The country is saddled with a debt set to hit 155 billion euros this year – that's more than 100,000 euros for each of the country's one and a half million households. The economic situation is so dire that it could fuel emigration. Anne Marie McNerney has more from Dublin.Bosnia's elections cast doubt on EU futureThe people of Bosnia-Herzegovina voted last weekend in general elections. And although moderate politicians gained ground in the Muslim-Croat half of the country, hardliners remain entrenched in the ethnic Serb entity.The results have cast a shadow over Bosnia's plans to eventually join the European Union as well as the reform process in the country. In the following Postcard from Sarajevo, Mark Lowen has these thoughts on where Bosnia goes from here.The Dutch fight alcoholism with alcoholFor many years, the golden rule for the treatment of alcohol addiction has been abstinence, with alcoholics encouraged to go through a twelve-step programme to be weened off "booze". But in the Netherlands, social services have been experimenting with a programme that allows severe alcoholics to keep drinking up to 5 litres of beer a day.While the idea has been tried before in Canada, it's never been attempted before in Europe until now. A year into the Dutch trial, health officials think its been a complete success. Nik Martin went along to find out why it may pay to keep feeding the habit – at least for now.Will Speakers Corner take off in Berlin?For the past 150 years, the people of London have had a platform to air their personal views on any given topic. They've simply headed down to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park and held forth to anyone who wants to listen.Speakers Corner is an institution – popular with locals and tourists alike. And now, the idea has been transported to the German capital, Berlin. The question is, will it take off? To find out more, Leah McDonnell has visited both venues and begins her report in London.Kurdish children in Turkey haunted by their prison traumaThe Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK has extended a ceasefire with the Turkish government until the end of October. The PKK said the move was to encourage an end to a war that has killed more than 40,000 people since 1984. Kurds make up about a fifth of the country's population and the PKK has been fighting for greater rights.Five years ago, in an attempt to defeat the rebels, the Ankara government passed a tough anti-terror law which meant juveniles would be treated as adults if they were suspected of supporting the rebels. Over a thousand children some as young as 13 were imprisoned, often in adult jails. Following international pressure the law was reformed this summer and many of the children have now been released. But as Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir, the main Kurdish city in Turkey's southeast, the children's nightmare is far from over.Can Abkhazia go it alone despite international isolation?The tiny Black Sea coastal region of Abkhazia says it's striving to build an independent state, unrecognised by most of the world. One of its major problems is a seriously small population, because around a quarter of a million people were forced out during its war for independence from Georgia in the 1990s.Abkhazia's military protector, Russia, has stationed troops and their families there, but the Abkhazians want civilians to move in too. Matthew Collin went to meet some of those who've chosen to live in a conflict zone.Britain's druids receive official recognition for their beliefsDruids in the UK have finally won their struggle to be recognized as a religion. The Druid Network, an organisation representing the religion in Britain, was granted charitable status in a decision that not only gives it tax breaks but also lets the religion take its place alongside more mainstream beliefs.It's thousands of years since the Celtic pagan faith emerged in Europe. And the Druid Network says it's been a long hard struggle to achieve recognition. Its founder is Emma Restall Orr and she told Helen Seeney more.Descending into the bowels of ParisParis is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. But there are parts of it few have ever seen. For instance - underground. The city's Catacombs date back to Roman times when they were vast underground limestone quarries.By the late eighteenth century, those quarries had to be reinforced to support the new, expanding city above. And so, the quarry cavities were slowly filled in and walled passageways were created. Today, some parts of the catacombs can be visited, other parts are off limits. But as Don Duncan reports, that doesn't stop people from visiting the closed off areas below the City of Light.