Inside Europe: The Inside Take on European Affairs (20.03.2010) March 25, 2010

from Inside Europe | Deutsche Welle· ·

On this week's programme: The EU and Middle East peace - Is the Pope failing his flock? - Berlusconi faces another corruption probe - Hungering for the truth about Romania's revolution - David Beckham's final bow? - Asylum seekers in Serbia - Afghan boys head for the Channel - Abortion shock tactics in Poland - Are Russian VIP's getting away with murder? - Leprechauns get their very own museum.
Promoting peace in the Middle East

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton wrapped up a tour of the Middle East this week with her first visit to Gaza, in a ...



On this week's programme: The EU and Middle East peace - Is the Pope failing his flock? - Berlusconi faces another corruption probe - Hungering for the truth about Romania's revolution - David Beckham's final bow? - Asylum seekers in Serbia - Afghan boys head for the Channel - Abortion shock tactics in Poland - Are Russian VIP's getting away with murder? - Leprechauns get their very own museum.
Promoting peace in the Middle East

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton wrapped up a tour of the Middle East this week with her first visit to Gaza, in a fresh push for peace.

The British baroness, who had been criticized by activists for failing to visit the Hamas- controlled territory sooner, said she wanted to assess the EU's aid programmes on the ground. Nina-Maria Potts reports.

Is the Pope failing his flock?

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed deep concern over the clerical sex abuse scandal that has rocked Ireland. The Vatican has faced sharp criticism over its handling of the affair. And now, revelations of child abuse by clergy are sweeping other European Catholic churches, including those in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.

The Catholic Church has set up an abuse hotline in Germany and hundreds of people have come forward alleging they were abused by priests between the 1950's and 1980's. Christian Weisner is with We Are Church - an international group which promotes liberal reform in Roman Catholicism. Helen Seeney asked him for his opinion on the Church's response to the child abuse crisis here in Germany.

Berlusconi faces new corruption probe

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is once again under investigation for corruption. This time, the media-mogul slash political leader is accused of putting pressure on the country’s communications watchdog to prevent the airing of talk shows where his leadership is critically discussed.

The allegations were reportedly recorded in phone taps by judges investigating political corruption. As Megan Williams reports from Rome, Berlusconi and his supporters have gone on the counter attack.

Hungering for the truth about Romania's revolution

It's more than 20 years since the revolution in Romania but mystery still surrounds some of the events that led to the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu. A former revolutionary is trying to force the government to finally publish all secret files relating to those events.

Tudor Maries is the head of an organization representing former protestors. And he's been on hunger strike for 2 months now to press his case. Tom Wilson sent us this report from Bucharest.

The final whistle for soccer star David Beckham?

Football star David Beckham is recovering from surgery on his Achilles tendon, his dream of playing a fourth World Cup for England in tatters. And at nearly 35, his injury could spell the end of his illustrious career.

That career started when he was only 14 at Manchester United - so what do people there think about their one time hero's less than perfect exit? Lars Bevanger sent this Postcard from Manchester.

Travel yes, asylum no

Last December, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro were granted visa-free travel to most of the European Union. Since then, Belgium and Sweden have seen a huge rise in asylum applications principally from ethnic Albanians from Serbia and Macedonia.

Belgium alone has had over nine hundred applicants since the start of the year. But they've been turned away, since economic deprivation is not accepted as legitimate grounds for asylum. And so, the first busloads of applicants have been returning to their home towns. Mark Lowen went to see the first failed asylum-seekers going back – and to hear their stories.

Afghanistan's lost children pin their hopes on Europe

An increasing number of Afghan children are taking great risks to reach Europe in their search for a better life. Many of these children are arriving here alone following dangerous journeys through Iran and Turkey – often after paying traffickers considerable sums of money.

United Nations aid agencies are becoming increasingly concerned about this issue. On last week's programme we heard from our correspondent Imogen Foulkes who spoke to migrants and aid officials in Venice. This week she's reporting from the French port of Calais.

Polish abortion controversy widens

Earlier this month pro-life activists shocked Poland when they launched a campaign with giant billboards depicting aborted foetuses and Adolf Hitler. The group said it was legitimate to make a link between abortion and Nazi crimes.

Now, a pro-abortion group has launched an ad campaign encouraging women to travel to Britain for abortions paid for by the National Health Service there. Their poster is a take on Mastercard's advertising campaign and describes abortion as "priceless". Abortion is illegal in Poland. Helen Seeney asked our correspondent there, Rafal Kiepuszewski, what the reaction has been to these campaigns.

Are VIP's getting away with murder on Russia's roads?

Public protests in Moscow, calls for a boycott of one of Russia's biggest oil companies, a protest song, and angry words by the President: all this has resulted from a car crash on one of Moscow's main roads several weeks ago.

The accident has drawn attention, once again, to an old problem: the irresponsible behaviour on the road by officials and wealthy businessmen who often ignore traffic rules, putting lives at risk. Geert Groot Koerkamp has the details from Moscow.

Leprechauns get their very own museum in Ireland

Thousands of parades took place around the world on Wednesday to celebrate St Patrick's Day. More than a million people took part in the revelries, including the odd leprechaun of course…

Now Dublin has decided to make leprechauns a permanent tourist attraction. The world's first Leprechaun Museum has just opened there and our correspondent Anne-Marie McNerney went along to find out a bit more about rainbows, pots of gold and the little people.