Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 19.03.2011 March 19, 2011

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This week: EU governments reassess their nuclear programs - What lessons did Chernobyl teach? - Arab turmoil means big bucks for human smugglers - Foreign despots own mega mansions in London - Spain's immigrants bear the brunt of the financial crisis - Czech TV takes on the country's military intelligence - Will the living make way for the dead in Britain? - Creepy crawlies inch into Dutch cuisineEuropean governments reassess their nuclear programsThe events in Japan over the past week have highlighted the dangers of the nuclear industry.These dangers have existed for decades. Here in Europe, governments are reviewing their ...



This week: EU governments reassess their nuclear programs - What lessons did Chernobyl teach? - Arab turmoil means big bucks for human smugglers - Foreign despots own mega mansions in London - Spain's immigrants bear the brunt of the financial crisis - Czech TV takes on the country's military intelligence - Will the living make way for the dead in Britain? - Creepy crawlies inch into Dutch cuisineEuropean governments reassess their nuclear programsThe events in Japan over the past week have highlighted the dangers of the nuclear industry.These dangers have existed for decades. Here in Europe, governments are reviewing their nuclear programs and reassessing energy policy. The situation differs across the continent. In our roundup, we look at reaction in Germany, France and Russia.What lessons have been learned from the Chernobyl disaster?It was almost 25 years ago that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what is now Ukraine exploded.It was the worst nuclear accident in history. Its death toll is still unclear, even today. What is known is that hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, and tens of thousands have become sick since then in the catastrophe that impacted much of Eastern Europe. While the circumstances and the responses are vastly different between Ukraine then and Japan now, the Chernobyl experience provides an interesting lesson. Some experts within Ukraine worry that the country might fare just as badly should such an event happen again. Karen Percy visited the reactor site and has this report.Arab turmoil translates into big bucks for human smugglersEuropean governments are increasingly concerned about the influx of illegal immigrant from trouble spots in North Africa and the Middle East.The continuing unrest in those regions has already led to thousands fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea. Earlier this month, a Greek government minister visited neighboring Turkey to discuss the issue. Turkey has become one of the main entry points into the EU, as it has fairly relaxed entry controls. Dorian Jones reports on how the city of Istanbul is now a major center for human smuggling. We tour the mansions owned by foreign despots in LondonThe families of some Middle Eastern despots have amassed large holdings overseas, including swank properties in London.Real estate in the British capital is one of the key repositories of wealth for the Arab elites. Our reporter Stephen Beard - accompanied by a specialist in up market properties - has gone to take a closer look at some of this ill-gotten real estate.Czech television takes on the country's military intelligenceThe head of the Czech military police has been suspended pending an investigation into an armed raid on the country's public television station.A dozen military police officers, some in full combat gear and carrying automatic weapons, burst into the offices of Czech Television last Friday during the primetime evening news, seizing sacks full of material. Czech TV has since filed criminal charges, and the opposition is calling for the minister responsible to resign. Rob Cameron has more from Prague.Spain's immigrants bear the brunt of the financial crisisIn just over a decade, Spain was transformed into a multicultural society thanks to a booming economy and an open immigration policy.But since the financial crisis hit home back in 2008, unemployment has rocketed and the climate has hardened for the millions of migrants living there. Mass amnesties are a thing of the past, identity controls are a daily occurrence and work permits are routinely refused. Hazel Healy has more from Madrid. The living may have to make way for the dead in BritainBurial grounds across the UK are filling up fast.As a result, local councils are pushing to take over parks and other recreation areas in order to create more cemeteries to bury the dead. But in many places, the living won't have it - and they're putting up a fight. Lars Bevanger went to an area of South London where the problem is becoming acute. Creepy crawlies inch into Dutch cuisineThe Netherlands is famous for its windmills, tulips and clogs, but not, perhaps, for its cuisine. A new initiative, though, may change that.A trade organization called Venik has been founded to promote the consumption of insects - and it has the backing of the Dutch government and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization FAO. Eating insects is nothing new in many parts of the world. But it's not so common here in Europe - despite the fact that worms, crickets, caterpillars and the like are a good source of protein and are less taxing on the environment than steaks and lamb chops. Marian Peters is the General Secretary of Venik and she told Helen Seeney more about the organization.Berlin's Friedrichstadtpalast gets revivedIn the roaring 1920s, the Friedrichstadtpalast was the biggest and most famous venue in Berlin for revue-style productions.After the war, when the city was divided, the Friedrichstadtpalast ended up on the eastern side of town and became the crown jewel of show theater in communist East Germany. But then, after German reunification in 1990, it was seen as a relic and out of touch with modern audiences. The venue drifted on until 2007 when businessman Bernd Schmidt became general manager. He was determined to transform the Friedrichstadtpalast into Europe's top address for revue-style theater entertainment. Leah McDonnell has been finding out how successful he's been.