Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 10.06.2010 June 11, 2010

from Inside Europe· ·

On this week's program: Germany announces huge budget cuts - France's luxury sector welcomes weak euro - Estonia set to join the eurozone - Romanian medics seek their fortunes abroad - Women call on the Vatican to be ordained - Poland's presidential election divides the nation - Ukraine on track to host Euro 2012 - Europe's soccer fans enthuse about World Cup - Watching TV the old-fashioned wayGermany announces mega austerity packageThe German government unveiled an unprecedented savings plan this week, aimed at slashing federal spending by more than 80 billion euros by 2014.The proposed cuts will mainly target unemployment ...



On this week's program: Germany announces huge budget cuts - France's luxury sector welcomes weak euro - Estonia set to join the eurozone - Romanian medics seek their fortunes abroad - Women call on the Vatican to be ordained - Poland's presidential election divides the nation - Ukraine on track to host Euro 2012 - Europe's soccer fans enthuse about World Cup - Watching TV the old-fashioned wayGermany announces mega austerity packageThe German government unveiled an unprecedented savings plan this week, aimed at slashing federal spending by more than 80 billion euros by 2014.The proposed cuts will mainly target unemployment benefits, child payments, and civil service jobs. Germany's opposition parties have criticized the measures, claiming they'll hit the poor and spare the rich. Sabina Casagrande has the details.Britain prepares public for cutsBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has warned of "painful" cuts to public spending so the UK can bring down its budget deficit.In a major speech, Cameron said the previous Labour government had created a debt crisis and that Britain's finances are in a worse state than he realized. He warned of difficult decisions to come on pay, benefits and pensions. Labour accuses the Prime Minister, and his coalition colleagues, of hypocrisy. Olly Barratt reports from London.France's luxury sector welcomes weak euroThe euro has tumbled in recent months amid fears that countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal are unable to pay their debts.The single currency has fallen about 15 percent against the US dollar since January. While some see this as disastrous, for others - especially the continent's exporters - the euro's downslide has been a blessing. Eleanor Beardsley has more from Paris. Young Romanian medics seek their fortunes abroadOver the past few months, the Romanian media has been full of reports of hospitals that have effectively run out of money.Last month, for example, the University hospital in Bucharest announced it had just under four euros left in its bank account. Other hospitals have had to cancel all but urgent operations due to a lack of basic equipment. It's just part of the on-going crisis affecting the Romanian health service. Unsurprisingly, more and more medics - from doctors and specialists to pharmacists and nurses - are looking to the West for jobs. With more on the situation, here's Tom Wilson in Bucharest.Estonia gets the green light to join the eurozoneEstonia is set to become the seventeenth country to use the euro as its currency.It has met all the economic criteria required by the European Central Bank and looks set to replace its own currency, known as the kroon, with the euro on January 1, 2011. This former Soviet Baltic republic is joining the eurozone at a time when the currency is facing the biggest crisis of its existence. So what does this decision look like from the perspective of debt ridden Greece which has shaken the eurozone to its core? Malcolm Brabant has this Postcard from Athens.Women call on the Vatican to be ordained in the Catholic ChurchA small group of women held a vigil in front of St. Peter's in Rome this week.They demanded that the Catholic Church allow women to be ordained as priests. As Megan Williams reports, the protest comes at the end of a year-long celebration of the church's all-male priesthood.Poland's presidential election divides nationThe snap presidential election will take place in Poland on June 20th.This follows the death in an air crash in Russia of president Lech Kaczynski. There are two main contenders: liberal parliamentary speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, who now serves as acting president, and the late president's twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is the leader of the nationalist opposition. The former favors deeper European integration while the latter is likely to follow his late brother's euro-skeptic policies, which often set Poland at odds with its EU allies. Rafal Kiepuszewski reports from Warsaw.Europe's soccer fans enthuse about World CupOver the next few weeks, billions of people all over the world will be watching it and talking about it.32 countries are involved - and there can only be one winner. It's the World Cup in soccer, of course. In the following report, Andy May looks at the hopes and expectations of European fans down in South Africa.Ukraine on track to host Euro 2012One European country which didn't make the World Cup this time round is Ukraine.But the government and sporting officials there are closely following the tournament in South Africa because in 2012, Ukraine will be co-hosting the European soccer championships with Poland. Just last week, UEFA said it was satisfied with Ukraine's preparations to host the tournament. But the country still has a mammoth task ahead of it to build stadia, hotels and infrastructure. Markian Lubkivsky is the Director of Ukraine's Euro 2012 Organizing Committee and he told Helen Seeney more.Club in Berlin watches TV the old-fashioned wayTelevision has certainly changed a lot since the 1930's when it first became a serious threat to radio as the new mass medium.The intervening years have seen the arrival of color TV, stereo sound, widescreen, 3D, HD, Teletext and all kinds of other innovations. Well, a club for television enthusiasts in Berlin, called the Gernsehclub, is very much into mixing the past with the present - and in more ways than one. They meet on a regular basis, not only to enjoy episodes of brand new series which haven't made it to German TV, but also to re-live the magic of cult series from the 1960s and 1970s. But the very fact that they choose to watch TV together is, in itself, a link to history. Honorary club member Neale Lytollis has this report.