Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs. 17.04.2010 April 17, 2010

from Inside Europe· ·

On today's programme: Poland’s political landscape after the plane crash - Hungary’s far right gains ground - A Greek man wants his picture removed from Turkish yoghurts - The poetic side of EU President van Rompuy - Atheists in the UK call for the arrest of the Pope - The faithful flock to a holy relic - Railing against the EU’s liberalisation of passenger traffic - Georgia’s ‘Try’ at Rugby Poland’s political landscape after the plane crashPoland is trying to come to terms with what has been described as the country’s single worst tragedy in over half a century. Last ...



On today's programme: Poland’s political landscape after the plane crash - Hungary’s far right gains ground - A Greek man wants his picture removed from Turkish yoghurts - The poetic side of EU President van Rompuy - Atheists in the UK call for the arrest of the Pope - The faithful flock to a holy relic - Railing against the EU’s liberalisation of passenger traffic - Georgia’s ‘Try’ at Rugby Poland’s political landscape after the plane crashPoland is trying to come to terms with what has been described as the country’s single worst tragedy in over half a century. Last weekend President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of high-ranking Polish officials were killed in a plane crash near the Russian town of Smolensk. But to what extent has this tragedy changed Poland’s political landscape? Neil King put that question to Piotr Kaczynski, an analyst from the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Hungary’s far right is gaining groundIn Hungary the centre-right Fidesz party won the first round of last Sunday's Parliamentary election by a landslide. The final round, on 25 April, will simply finalise the exact number of seats. The other 'winners' of the election were a far-right party Jobbik, which came a remarkable third, and will enter Parliament for the first time. Nick Thorpe reports from Budapest on who they are, and what they want.The advertising campaign that went sourLawyers in Athens say they are pursuing a criminal case against a Swedish firm which has used the image of an elderly Greek man to sell Turkish yoghurt.They claim that the photograph is an insult and a misuse of personal data and that the chief executive of the Swedish company could face 10 years in jail. From Athens Malcolm Brabant reports.The poetic side of EU President van RompuyThe EU's first President, Herman van Rompuy, has been criticized for being bland and boring since he was selected for the bloc's top job at the end of last year.But he's certainly making a name for himself in the more esoteric world of poetry. This week, he published an anthology of his haikus. These are unrhymed verses consisting of just 17 syllables, a format which originated in Japan. And the critics are agreed - van Rompuy's haikus stand out. Our correspondent John Laurenson has the detailsAnother milestone in Northern IrelandThis week Northern Ireland took a major step forward in the peace process after electing its own justice minister. The majority of lawmakers in the Belfast parliament voted for David Ford, the leader of the cross community liberal Alliance Party. His election marks the final step in Northern Ireland’s devolution process from London. Neil King asked David McKittrick, The Ireland correspondent of the Independent Newspaper just how great a milestone this is for Northern Ireland. Atheists in the UK call for the arrest of the PopeAtheists in Britain are planning to have the Pope arrested when he visits the country in September. Campaigners, spearheaded by the well-known authors Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, argue that as head of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is responsible for covering up a string of sexual abuse cases involving clergymen. The move has cast a shadow over what would be the first papal visit to Britain in almost three decades. Nicole Goebel has the details. The faithful flock to the Catholic Church’s most holy relicThe Vatican may be under fire from all sorts of quarters these days, but the faithful are still flocking to see the Church’s most holy relic. Last weekend, thousands of people travelled to northern Italy for a rare chance to see the Shroud of Turin. This linen cloth is believed by many Christians to have been wrapped around the body of Jesus Christ at his burial. It bears the image of a crucified man. The Shroud has been kept at Turin's Cathedral since 1574 and opportunities for the public to see it are rare. But it's now on display until May 23rd and around 2 million visitors are expected to travel to Turin. But as Helen Seeney reports, the debate over whether it's genuine goes on.Railing against the EU’s liberalisation of passenger trafficThis week transport trade unions descended on the European Railway Agency in Lille, protesting against what they see as an ill-fated attempt by the EU to liberalise passenger traffic. Since January European rail operators have been allowed to compete for passenger routes in all EU countries, challenging powerful state-run companies such as Germany's Deutsche Bahn and SNCF in France. The model was pioneered by the UK, where British Rail was nationalised in 1994. But many have labelled the British experience a catastrophe. Separating ownership of the tracks and trains has been blamed for several fatal accidents. So is the rest of Europe on the right track? Lars Bevanger reports from the railways of Great Britain.And Georgia’s ‘Try’ at Rugby – the ancient game of LeloOrthodox Christians in a village in the former Soviet republic of Georgia celebrated the Easter holidays in their traditional way – by staging a violent ball game. The game, called Lelo – which means ‘try’ in Georgian – pits one half of a village against the other. It’s seen in Georgia as a predecessor to rugby, although it’s much more chaotic. It survived attempts to ban it during the Soviet Union and is now considered to be one of the country’s treasured traditions. Matthew Collin went to find out more.