Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 17.06.2010 June 17, 2010

from Inside Europe· ·

On today's programme: Britain apologises for the Bloody Sunday killings - Spain scrambles to shore up its economy - The exploitation of young African footballers in France - How to celebrate the World Cup German style - Bridging the ethnic divide in Slovakia - Is Belgium on the verge of breaking up? - A vicious murder casts doubt on Britain’s hate crime laws - Gearing up for Wimbledon Spain scrambles to shore up its economySpain’s two largest labour unions have called for the first general strike in over eight years. The unions, which represent over 2 million workers, are planning ...



On today's programme: Britain apologises for the Bloody Sunday killings - Spain scrambles to shore up its economy - The exploitation of young African footballers in France - How to celebrate the World Cup German style - Bridging the ethnic divide in Slovakia - Is Belgium on the verge of breaking up? - A vicious murder casts doubt on Britain’s hate crime laws - Gearing up for Wimbledon Spain scrambles to shore up its economySpain’s two largest labour unions have called for the first general strike in over eight years. The unions, which represent over 2 million workers, are planning to take to the streets on September 29th to protest against a government plan to reform the country’s labour law. Recently they staged a strike over another issue: the looming budget cuts. The government has been forced to take these measures by fellow members of the eurozone. The aim: to avoid the kind of debt crisis that has already engulfed Greece. From Madrid Stephen Beard reports. Britain apologizes for Bloody Sunday killingsThis week the results of a twelve-year-long inquiry into Bloody Sunday concluded that the British army opened fire on unarmed civilians during a civil rights march in Derry in 1972. They shot dead 13 Catholics and injured another 14 people, one of whom died later. The incident, which became known as Bloody Sunday, ranked among one of the most controversial of the Troubles. Michael Doherty took part in the 1972 demonstration – he’s also the director of a charity called the Peace and Reconciliation Group. Neil King asked him how the news was received in Derry. The exploitation of young African footballers in FranceThis year's World Cup in South Africa has put the spotlight on African football. Many of the continent's top players go to Europe to become key members of professional leagues and stars to their countrymen. But behind the glamour of their success lies a shameful flipside. Thousands of African children hoping to make it big in Europe leave their homes in the company of people presenting themselves as football agents, who claim they can get the child into a professional team. Once in Europe, these young players are often abandoned, left destitute and alone. Genevieve Oger has more from Paris.How to celebrate World Cup victories German styleThe World Cup is underway in South Africa and the Germans are feeling pretty good about it so far. Going into the event, people were rather pessimistic. Injuries had robbed the German national team of some of its best talent, including team captain Michael Ballack. But the boys had an impressive debut, trouncing Australia 4 to nil in their first group match. Now World Cup fever here is rising. But, this being Germany, it's best to set some ground rules about all the excitement. Kyle James has these thoughts from Berlin. Bridging the ethnic divide in SlovakiaIn Slovakia, last weekend’s election defeat of Robert Fico’s leftist-nationalist coalition holds out the intriguing prospect of reconciliation with neighbouring Hungary. Slovak-Hungarian tensions dominated the election campaign, in a country where 10% of the population are ethnically Hungarian. But with a mixed Slovak-Hungarian party likely to form part of a new centre-right Slovak coalition, those tensions could finally begin to ease. Rob Cameron reports from the Slovak capital Bratislava.Flemish separatists in Belgium push for more independenceIn Belgium Flemish separatists emerged as the strongest party in last week’s general election. The New Flemish Alliance under Bart de Wever gained a wafer-thin majority ahead of the French-speaking socialist PS party, paving the way for difficult coalition talks. The NVA had campaigned on a promise to break away from Wallonia which is French-speaking and poorer than Belgium’s Flemish north. So, just how likely is a breakup of Belgium? Neil King put that question to Markus Wunderle, an analyst with CRISP, the Brussels-based centre for research and information on socio-political issues. A vicious murder casts doubt on Britain’s hate crime lawsThree years ago the UK was shocked by the brutal killing of a young woman by a gang of teenagers. 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death while her boyfriend Robert Malton barely survived in a park near their homes. Both were attacked simply because they were so-called Goths - people who dress in dark clothes, often dye their hair black and listen to a certain type of music. Sophie's family and friends are fighting to have the UK's hate crime laws changed to include cultural subgroups. Lars Bevanger reports from Manchester. South-West London gets ready for the tennis event of the yearIf you are fed up with the World Cup’s noisy Vuvuzelas or frustrated because your team has yet again failed to perform, you may find solace in Wimbledon. The world's oldest and most popular tennis tournament is about to start in south-west London. Proceedings are a lot calmer and more orderly here, and what’s more the fast exchanges on the court and the inevitable left-right movement of spectators’ heads almost rule out the use of Vuvuzela trumpets. Andy May has this report on a great tennis tradition. Dining on Thai in a parkWhile Germany isn’t known for its large immigrant population, it is thought to be home to the second largest group of Thais living outside Thailand. And many of these have flocked to the capital. The Thai population is not highly visible, but you can travel to a small park in western Berlin to sample the tastes and sounds of Bangkok. Deborah Kolben sent us this report from Berlin.