Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 20.02.2010 Feb. 19, 2010

from Inside Europe | Deutsche Welle· ·

A mercy killing in Britain reignites the debate over euthanasia - Is the single currency fundamentally flawed? - Switzerland drags Europe into a visa dispute with Libya - A call to give up technological treats over Lent - Turkey's working class heroes take on the government - Greece's smoking ban goes up in a puff of smoke - Has a French soccer star shot an own goal by taking to the stage?
Is the euro single currency fundamentally flawed?

Finance ministers from the European Union have told Greece it will have to introduce additional austerity measures if the country ...



A mercy killing in Britain reignites the debate over euthanasia - Is the single currency fundamentally flawed? - Switzerland drags Europe into a visa dispute with Libya - A call to give up technological treats over Lent - Turkey's working class heroes take on the government - Greece's smoking ban goes up in a puff of smoke - Has a French soccer star shot an own goal by taking to the stage?


Is the euro single currency fundamentally flawed?

Finance ministers from the European Union have told Greece it will have to introduce additional austerity measures if the country is to achieve steep deficit reduction targets this year.

The Athens government is struggling with a debt mountain set to reach 120 percent of its GDP this year. The EU says that needs to be reduced to under 3% by 2012. There have been fears that Greece's problems could impact other stressed economies in the eurozone. So have the rules governing the euro single currency been flawed from the start? Helen Seeney put that question to Irwin Collier, Professor of Economics at the Free University in Berlin.

Switzerland drags Europe into a visa dispute with Libya

A long running spat between Switzerland and Libya took a new turn this week. It began 18 months ago when Swiss police arrested Muammar Gadhafi’s son in Geneva.

Since then the Swiss have banned members of the Gadhafi family and the Libyan government from entering Switzerland. This week, Tripoli hit back, denying entry visas to citizens from the 25 European countries that make up the Schengen free-travel zone. Imogen Foulkes has the details from Berne.

A mercy killing in Britain reignites the debate over euthanasia

A veteran British broadcaster was arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday after he admitted that he smothered a lover who had AIDS.

70 year old Ray Gosling made the confession in a television programme about assisted suicide. The case has re-opened the debate in Britain over mercy killings and euthanasia. Olly Barratt reports from London.

Montenegrin is officially a language

This Sunday is International Mother Tongue day – designed to celebrate linguistic diversity and raise the plight of those languages that risk becoming extinct.

But what about so-called new languages that are developing? One of those is in the tiny Balkan state of Montenegro, which broke away from Serbia in 2006. It's now rewritten its constitution replacing Serbian with Montenegrin as its official language. And this is a country that takes the notion of mother tongue quite literally. Mark Lowen has been discovering multilingual Montenegro.

A Welsh supermarket cracks down on millies with budgies and scrunchies

In Wales a branch of the supermarket chain, Tesco, has caused a bit of stir by banning customers from shopping in their pyjamas and barefeet.

Apparently shoppers have been offended by the sight of some customers wandering down the aisles in their nightwear. From the UK, Carol Allen has this postcard on the merits of this unexpected sartorial trend.

A new taste sensation for Italians

In Italy there's a hot debate underway over a new McDonald’s hamburger. It’s called the “McItaly” and it’s made with certified Italian ingredients.

Italy’s agriculture ministry is so pleased with the burger that it’s lent its prestigious official certification label to it. But not everyone is so enthusiastic. And as Megan Williams reports from Rome, it’s not just a matter of taste.

A call to give up technological treats over the 40 days of Lent

A British development agency, Tearfund, is calling for people to cut their carbon emissions over Lent in order to help the less fortunate in developing countries.

The organization's co-called Carbon Fast is a 40 day journey promoting a lighter carbon footprint through simple energy saving measures - like giving up your mobile for a day. The organization's Campaign Director Ben Niblett told Helen Seeney more.

Turkey's working class heroes take on the government

For nearly two months, protests have been taking place across Turkey following the government's decision to privatize the state tobacco company.

That decision led to 10,000 tobacco workers being laid off with little hope of any compensation. Some of them are now on hunger strike and earlier this month tens of thousands of public employees staged a one day strike to show their solidarity with the tobacco workers. The row has focussed attention on the wider issue of workers rights in Turkey. But the government is determined not to give in. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul on this escalating labour dispute.

Greece's smoking ban goes up in a puff of smoke

The Greek government currently has more pressing matters on its agenda than tobacco.

But the country's much trumpeted legislation aimed at stamping out smoking has been declared a failure by health campaigners. Greece is Europe’s most tobacco addicted nation. Lack of enforcement and widespread public defiance are being blamed for the Greeks’ inability to conform with European standards. As Malcolm Brabant reports, Greek rebelliousness is one of the biggest obstacles facing a government trying to stabilize its economy.

Has a French soccer star shot an own goal by taking to the stage?

The French footballer turned film star Eric Cantona has taken his career in another challenging direction, by making his debut on stage.

The former Manchester United hero is appearing in Paris in a new play directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni. Over the past decade he’s become an established cinema actor, and recently published a book of his own photography. Now he’s taking on what‘s been described as a highly demanding acting role that will inevitably be scrutinised by the critics. So why's he doing it? Alasdair Sandford has been finding out more in Paris.