Inside Europe: The Inside Take on European Affairs (30.01.10) Jan. 30, 2010

from Inside Europe | Deutsche Welle· ·

On this week's programme: France takes aim at the burqa - The European burqa situation - Croatia's rocky road to Europe - German youths mark Holocaust Remembrance Day - Italian mummy's boys under pressure - Punitive psychiatry in Russia - Is Turkey reneging on its commitments to Kurds? - Pulling the plug on virtual friends - Saucy sheep cause a stink in Warsaw - Veggie Day takes off in Belgium.
France takes aim at the burqa

France is moving closer to banning the full Islamic veil in public buildings and transport. A parliamentary report released this week recommended as ...



On this week's programme: France takes aim at the burqa - The European burqa situation - Croatia's rocky road to Europe - German youths mark Holocaust Remembrance Day - Italian mummy's boys under pressure - Punitive psychiatry in Russia - Is Turkey reneging on its commitments to Kurds? - Pulling the plug on virtual friends - Saucy sheep cause a stink in Warsaw - Veggie Day takes off in Belgium.
France takes aim at the burqa

France is moving closer to banning the full Islamic veil in public buildings and transport. A parliamentary report released this week recommended as much.

Home to Europe's largest Muslim community, France is the first country to tackle this controversial issue. Relatively few women wear the full face covering. But for the ones who do, the impending legislation is a source of angst. Genevieve Oger has more from Paris.

The burqa in Europe

France has reignited the burqa debate in Europe. A ban on the wearing of the full Islamic veil is being studied in several European countries.

National legislation and policies differ markedly within the 27-member bloc. We have a roundup of the "burqa situation" in four EU member states, including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria.

Croatia's rocky road to Europe

Croatia is considered the leading hopeful among aspirant EU countries. It hopes to conclude its entry talks this year so that it can join the bloc in 2012.

This week the European parliament reviewed Croatia's progress towards membership of the European Union. Christoph Hasselbach has more details from Brussels.

German youths mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

With fewer and fewer Shoah survivors around to tell the story, it gets more and more difficult to explain to the younger generation what happened under the Nazi dictatorship.

As Hardy Graupner reports from Berlin, some 80 youngsters from all over Europe met with a survivor to get all their questions answered.

Italian mummy's boys under pressure

A government minister in Italy has triggered an unusual debate. Renato Brunetta, the Minister for Public Administration, wants a law obliging young Italians to leave the parental nest at 18 to stop them from being dependent on their parents.

The minister's comments have again focussed attention on the reputation that young Italian men have of being mamma's boys. In this Postcard from Italy, Megan Williams wonders whether Brunetta's proposal is justified.

Punitive psychiatry in Russia

A Russian woman who believes happiness can be promoted through poetry has been ordered to undergo a month long psychiatric evaluation by the country's Supreme Court. Human rights activists say the ruling against Yulia Privedyónnaya is a sign that the Russian authorities are resorting to Soviet-style methods to silence independent voices and activists.

During communism, thousands ended up in psychiatric wards, among them well-known dissidents like Vladimir Bukovsky. The practice all but disappeared following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. But over the past few years there's been an increasing number of cases involving punitive psychiatry. Geert Groot Koerkamp has been finding out more in Moscow.

Is Turkey reneging on its commitments to Kurds?

Last month Turkey's highest court banned the pro-Kurdish political party, the DTP. The DTP, it argued, was linked to the PKK - the Kurdistan Workers Party which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the United States. As a result of the ban dozens of Kurdish politicians, including several former DTP mayors were arrested.

The crackdown also targeted Muharrem Erbey - an author, lawyer and Vice-President of Turkey's Human Rights Association. Erbey's arrest and detention has been sharply criticized by Human Rights Watch and the international writers group, PEN. Guy Degen met Muharrem Erbey's defence lawyer in the southern town of Diyarbakir and has this report.

Pulling the plug on virtual friends

Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter we can nowadays make friends with people we don't know and will probably never meet. For many, that's what's so exciting about the internet. But is virtual friendship fatigue setting in?

Thousands of people have been signing up to a new website which deletes all your social networking contacts at the click of a button. It's called suicidemachine.org and is based in Rotterdam. Walter Langelaar told Helen Seeney more.

Saucy sheep cause a stink in Warsaw

When the Warsaw underground recently commissioned an art installation for one of its stations, little did it know that the project would run into problems with Poland's powerful Roman Catholic church. The trouble is, the installation is a bit naughty.

The installation shows inflatable sheep which apparently were purchased in a sex shop, involved in what conservative campaigners have described as indecent acts. Church groups have also said the work offends religious feelings because of its title "Lamb of God". Rafal Kiepuszewski has this report from Warsaw.

Veggie Day takes off in Belgium

Last year, the Belgian city of Ghent reinvented itself as Europe’s vegetarian capital. It launched a campaign to encourage people to eat less meat. And as part of that campaign it decided that each Thursday, local government cafeterias would serve meat-free meals to public employees.

Since then, schools have been persuaded to join in as well, because the organisers say cutting meat consumption reduces the risk of childhood obesity. Nina Haase visited a school in Ghent to get a taste of the trend.