Inside Europe: The inside take on European affairs 25.09.2010 Oct. 1, 2010

from Inside Europe | Deutsche Welle· ·

On the program: Far-right party enters Sweden's parliament - Spanish workers prepare for national strike - Controversial Betancourt book published - Romania's wine industry rebounds - Latvia's media accused of bias - Bulgarian report unveils child abuse in state-run homes - Closure of Calais "jungle" doesn't stem migrant flow to France - Norway immune to economic woes - Artists play FrankfurtFar-right party enters Sweden's parliamentFar-right parties are once again booking increasing gains at polling stations in Europe.Only last weekend, the so-called Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration and anti-Islamic party, won its first seats in a Swedish parliamentary election. But it's not ...



On the program: Far-right party enters Sweden's parliament - Spanish workers prepare for national strike - Controversial Betancourt book published - Romania's wine industry rebounds - Latvia's media accused of bias - Bulgarian report unveils child abuse in state-run homes - Closure of Calais "jungle" doesn't stem migrant flow to France - Norway immune to economic woes - Artists play FrankfurtFar-right party enters Sweden's parliamentFar-right parties are once again booking increasing gains at polling stations in Europe.Only last weekend, the so-called Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration and anti-Islamic party, won its first seats in a Swedish parliamentary election. But it's not just in Sweden that a growing minority is adopting a more radical stance. Voters in a string of EU member states have also been shifting to the far right in recent years. So just how great a threat do Europe's far right parties pose? Neil King put that question to Daniel Poohl, the editor-in-chief of EXPO, a Stockholm-based research foundation that studies anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and racist tendencies in society. Spanish workers prepare for a national strikeTrade unions in Spain are planning to hold a one-day general strike next week.Tens of thousands of workers are set to take to the streets to protest against a radical shake-up in Spain's labor laws. The unions say the reforms will deepen the country's dire unemployment record, which is one of the worst in Europe. But the government says without reform, many more young Spaniards will join the dole queue. From Madrid, Stephen Beard reports.Betancourt book sparks controversy in FranceIn a week marked by the capture of French hostages in Niger and off the coast of Nigeria, perhaps the most famous French former hostage of them all, Ingrid Betancourt, has released a book where she tells of her ordeal.The former Colombian presidential candidate was held prisoner by Communist rebels in the Colombian jungle for six-and-a-half years. But, then and now, she has been a controversial figure. And her harrowing testimony of her life as a hostage has been criticized by some, as John Laurenson reports in this week's Postcard from Europe from Paris.Romania's wine industry reboundsRomania's wine industry has had spectacularly bad luck over the last century. War, disease, communist nationalization and revolution all led to the decimation of many ancient vineyards.However, thanks to a new generation of wine enthusiasts, things are finally looking up. Tom Wilson visited a small traditional vineyard that was narrowly saved from destruction just five years ago. There, a return to the traditional way of doing things is helping to produce top quality wine.Latvia's media accused of biased election coverageLatvia is gearing up for a general election on October 2, when Latvians will be choosing 100 new parliamentary deputies.The election campaign is well underway, but this year many Latvians have been noticing an unsettling change in the mass media. Many experts are criticizing the growing politicization of the media and are voicing concerns that much of the coverage ahead of next week's poll has been far too biased as to enable a fair election. From Riga, Gederts Gelzis reports.Bulgarian report unveils abuse and deaths of children in state-run homesAccording to a summary report released earlier this week by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), over 238 children have died from lack of care in state-run homes in Bulgaria over the past decade.The results are based on inspections that were carried out between March and June by the Sofia-based human rights organization. The BHC says most of the deaths were due to neglect, malnutrition and pneumonia. Neil King spoke to BHC attorney Margarita Ilieva about the investigations.Closure of Calais "jungle" has not stemmed migrant flow to FranceIt was a year ago this week that French police raided the migrant camp known as "the jungle" in Calais. As the world's media looked on, nearly 300 people were arrested.Most of the illegal immigrants had travelled thousands of kilometers from Africa and Central Asia to Northern France in a bid to claim asylum in Britain. Twelve months after the crackdown, the EU has criticized France for its treatment of asylum seekers, demanding that it makes improvements in respecting their rights. In Calais, there are claims that the aggressive policy has backfired and that more and more migrants are returning. Nik Martin went to the northern French port to find out.Norway appears to be immune to Europe's economic woesIt's been a summer of economic discontent in Europe. The European debt crisis has seen governments across the continent slashing budgets, public services and government workers as they fight to bring their runaway deficits under control.In one small corner of Europe, though, it's a different story - in Norway. The local currency remains stable, unemployment is low and the country has weathered the global financial crisis and the European debt crisis well. But as Mark Tamhane reports from Oslo, even the Norwegian government is beginning to question whether the country's luck at dodging economic woes will run out.Artists play the city of FrankfurtThe streets of Frankfurt are usually full of serious people dressed in serious suits striding purposely from one skyscraper to another.Spontaneity, frivolity or random conversations with strangers is not the order of the day in this German banking town. But a rather unusual art event is changing that - for a short time at least. Over a period of 20 days, international artists are taking their art out onto Frankfurt's streets as part of an event called "Playing the City." Kate Hairsine went along to take a look.