Inside Europe: The Inside Take on European Affairs (23.01.10) Jan. 23, 2010

from Inside Europe· ·

On this week's programme: Haitian expats in France pull together - Europe's perspective on Barack Obama's first year - Greeks try to laugh off their woes - The merits of the World Economic Forum - Is Iceland on collision course with Britain and the Netherlands? - Squatters go after posh property in Paris - Fishy fashion on European catwalks - Is beekeeping the latest buzz in London?
Haitian expats in France pull together

International aid efforts for the earthquake victims in Haiti are gathering speed, but the crisis is far from over.

As Haitians scramble to rebuild their lives from ...



On this week's programme: Haitian expats in France pull together - Europe's perspective on Barack Obama's first year - Greeks try to laugh off their woes - The merits of the World Economic Forum - Is Iceland on collision course with Britain and the Netherlands? - Squatters go after posh property in Paris - Fishy fashion on European catwalks - Is beekeeping the latest buzz in London?
Haitian expats in France pull together

International aid efforts for the earthquake victims in Haiti are gathering speed, but the crisis is far from over.

As Haitians scramble to rebuild their lives from the rubble, France's large Haitian community pulls together in organising relief efforts for friends and relatives across the Atlantic. John Laurenson sent us this report from Paris.

Europe's perspective on Barack Obama's first year

Twelve months after taking office, Barack Obama is still facing a host of unresolved issues.

The Massachussets elections were the latest indication that discontent is growing on Obama's home turf, but how do Europeans feel about the president's achievements so far. Neil King put that question to Antonio Missiroli the Chief Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels.

A new Obama musical kicks off in Germany

Barack Obama has taken centre stage here in Germany, literally. A new musical called Hope premiered this week.

Hope tells the story of the 2008 election as well as Barack and Michelle Obama’s romance. There's also a singing Sarah Palin, go-go dancers and a Hillary Clinton solo. Washington has gone Broadway - on the German stage at least. Kyle James went to a rehearsal and has this report.

Greeks try to laugh off their woes

Greeks have had little to laugh about in the past few years. Forest fires, social unrest, and growing EU pressure to tackle a ballooning budget deficit.

But the nation's troubles are generating belly laughs for Athenians. They're flocking to a play called "Mother Greece", which satirises just about everything that's going wrong in the country. From Athens, Malcolm Brabant reports.

The merits of the World Economic Forum

Next week leaders from business and politics will once again gather in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum.

It's the 40th anniversary of the World Economic Forum, but according to critics this annual jaunt rarely produces any tangible results. What do the delegates actually get up to in Davos? Imogen Foulkes - a five time veteran of the event - sent us this postcard from Switzerland:

Ukraine's Orange Revolution hits a snag

Last Sunday's elections in Ukraine have cast doubt on the achievements of the Orange Revolution back in 2004.

The pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted from power five years ago, has taken the lead in a first round of voting. He'll square off against the current prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a runoff poll on February 7. The big loser is Victor Yushchenko, the current president and the man who led the Orange Revolution. Geert Groot Koerkamp has the details.

Is Iceland on collision course with Britain and the Netherlands?

Iceland used to be a cash haven for foreign savers, but everything changed when the country's banking system collapsed in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Iceland could face the wrath of Britain and the Netherlands if a controversial compensation bill for British and Dutch savers is rejected by Icelanders in a referendum on March 6. Neil King asked Baldur Thorhallson, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland, how likely a no vote is and what sort of impact this could have on Iceland's EU membership bid.

Squatters go after posh property in Paris

A group of French housing activists have taken over a historic mansion in one of Paris' most exclusive neighbourhoods.

The squatters say the building is fair game, because like many of the city's apartments, it's unoccupied. It's owned by an elderly heiress who has been living in a nursing home. She wants it back, but the squatters aren't in a hurry to get out. Genevieve Oger has more from Paris.

Fishy fashion on European catwalks

A rather unusual alternative material produced by a company in southern Germany is causing quite a stir in the fashion world.

It's light, tear-resistant, and one-hundred percent recycled. It's all-natural, and processed without harmful chemicals. This former waste product is being turned into shoes, clothes, furniture and even wallpaper. As Susan Stone reports, salmon leather is making a splash in the fashion world.

Is beekeeping the latest buzz in London?

English bees are facing a growing crisis. According to new scientific data, the population of managed honey bees in England has fallen by more than 50 percent in two decades.

These figures are so alarming that conservationists are calling on people to take up beekeeping in English towns and cities. Olly Barratt has this report from London.