Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 21.05.2011 May 21, 2011

from Inside Europe· ·

On this week's program: What does the Strauss-Kahn sex scandal mean for the IMF and Europe? - How the EU is squandering billions in North Africa and the Middle East - Why gay asylum seekers are finding it tough to get to Europe - The UK grapples with soaring youth unemployment - Why drug abuse is soaring in Russian schools - The Czechs celebrate their own unique beer festival.France split over Strauss-Kahn sex scandalDominique Strauss-Kahn, who was charged with sexual assault after an alleged incident with a maid in his New York hotel suite last weekend. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his ...



On this week's program: What does the Strauss-Kahn sex scandal mean for the IMF and Europe? - How the EU is squandering billions in North Africa and the Middle East - Why gay asylum seekers are finding it tough to get to Europe - The UK grapples with soaring youth unemployment - Why drug abuse is soaring in Russian schools - The Czechs celebrate their own unique beer festival.France split over Strauss-Kahn sex scandalDominique Strauss-Kahn, who was charged with sexual assault after an alleged incident with a maid in his New York hotel suite last weekend. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his post as head of the IMF this week - a move that threw his native France into a tizzy.Some have been shocked at the way the man they saw as a leading candidate for the presidency has been treated by US authorities, while others are now asking how a man surrounded by so many rumors of bad behavior toward women could have been protected by the nation’s press. Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris.Is Europe losing its grip on the IMF?Fallout from Strauss-Kahn's arrest reaches a lot farther than France. His resignation from his post as managing director of the IMF means it's global.Leadership of the IMF has been a prerogative of Europe (just as the head of the World Bank has always been an American). Matt Hermann spoke with Dominique Moisi, an analyst of French and international affairs at the Institute for International Relations in Paris, and asked him – what does this mean for the future of the IMF? Russia cracks down on drug abuse in schoolsRussia has a drug problem. In fact, government statistics claim the nation has become the biggest heroin consumer in the world. Moscow estimates that some 12 tons of pure heroin are trafficked to Russia every year, mostly from Afghanistan.The problem has become so bad that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has stepped in. On a diplomatic level, he has brought up the issue in talks with his counterparts from Afghanistan and Central Asia (through which most of the drugs pass en route to Russia). And at home, he has announced a new drug testing initiative aimed at trying to ensure that school-aged children stay clean. Jessica Golloher has the details from Moscow. Czechs celebrate their own unique beer festivalYou've probably heard of Munich's Oktoberfest, Europe's best-known beer fest, but there's a new kid on the block – one with a mighty heritage of its own.Serious beer drinkers from around the world are descending on the Czech capital Prague, which for the fourth year now is hosting a beer festival. Rob Cameron went along to find out how the young festival was going over with visitors and locals…and sample a few brews.Is the EU squandering billions in aid money?The European Union has come under fire in the wake of the popular revolts in North Africa and the Middle East for squandering billions over the past decade and failing to promote democracy.A study by Open Europe, a think tank in Brussels, says that while EU money had ostensibly come with strings attached, they never followed through on enforcing them, and kept on funding autocrats who committed abuses. It also claims that a lot of the aid money ended up going directly into the pockets of now deposed leaders of Egypt and Tunisia. Vanessa Mock reports from Brussels.Is Europe failing to protect gay asylum seekers?Homosexual acts are illegal in 76 countries, including seven which invoke the death penalty for breaking this law. Fearing for their lives, some gays and lesbians seek asylum in Europe.But despite EU legislation recognizing persecution on the basis of sexual orientation as grounds for asylum, not all EU member states treat this matter equally. The result is a fractured EU-wide policy that doesn't offer equal protection for gay and lesbian asylum seekers in all EU countries. Laura Schweiger reports from Brussels.Is Romania's judicial system blocking closer EU ties?The differing application of justice across the EU is one of those issues that requires constant attention, and has implication for wider European integration. Problems in the Romanian judicial system, for example, appear to be hampering the country's efforts to join the European Schengen space, the 25-nation zone within which residents can travel without passports.Key Schengen nations like France, Germany and Holland cite Romania's stalled judicial reform process as one of the prime reasons to keep their borders closed. Tom Wilson visited a court in Bucharest to find out more from judges, lawyers and the citizens they serve. The UK grapples with youth unemploymentBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to tackle the problem of youth unemployment in the UK. There are close to a million 16-24 year olds out of work – with warnings that the problem is likely to get a lot worse.Cameron has pledged around 65 million euros to subsidise an increase in the number of on the job training places for young people. But many experts point to a lack of basic qualifications in many of Britain's youth that contributes to the problem. Nik Martin reports from Reading, just outside London, on young people's search for work. Living it up at an "Undead Conference" in HamburgWhen does a life begin, when does it end, and who decides? When should we switch off life support for someone who has been declared brain dead? And how can the suddenly trendy zombie literature help us with these problems?Well, a recent conference in Hamburg named "The Undead – Life Sciences and Pulp Fiction", invited people working in the fields of art, philosophy, science, medicine and theology to get together and attempt to answer some of those questions. Julian Bohne was there. Ukraine's Femen activists protest topless for changeAcross Europe Ukraine is mainly known for the Klitschko boxing-brothers and the artfully braided blond hair of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Timoshenko. However, during her time in government she didn't manage to establish more rights for women in a country that is among the poorest and most corrupt in Europe.If women work at all, they earn 30 percent less than men in the same position and they are seldom in influential positions. At the same time there were hardly any feminist movements. But a group of young women want to change all that. Their weapons: Traditional Ukrainian floral wreaths and their bare breasts. From Kiev, Mareike Aden reports.