In the programme:
Integration blues in Sweden.
Will this year’s World Cup Championship in Germany change the country?
France strikes back at fake designer handbags, jeans and t-shirts.
We visit Romania’s German speaking minority and meet the Netherlands latest rap-music sensation - namely, the country’s Minister of Justice...
Beware of the Glass ceiling
Tackling the integration of minority and migrant communities is on the agenda across Europe. This week - a poll held in Sweden showed it to be one of the most important issues on voters minds going into the national elections in September. On the heals of the poll this week came a study-report from the Swedish Integration Department that gives Scandinavia’s largest nation top marks in closing the gaps between native Swedes and foreign-born residents – but points out that there is still much to be done with reports of even university-educated immigrants being often frozen out of the job market for years.
Teutonic retail revolution
As German sport fans look forward to hosting the football World Cup this summer, the business community is hoping soccer fever will amount to shopping fever too. Normally, German law only allows retailers to open their doors between 6am and 8pm on work days. But for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, stores will be allowed to extend their hours and even trade on Sundays and public holidays. Sounds logical enough - but for Europe’s largest economy it amounts to nothing short of retail revolution.
The (designer) empire strikes back
Counterfeiting costs France six billion euros and some thirty thousand jobs a year. With brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Christian Dior, it leads the world with fashion and luxury goods and makes the country an obvious target for pirates. Now, French companies are sharpening their vigilance. This week a Chinese court ordered (bizarrely enough) - a French retailer, Carrefour, to pay Louis Vuitton almost four hundred thousand euros for selling copies of its handbags in a Chinese branch. Now, the French government is also pulling out the big guns against the counterfeiters.
No place like home?
Freedom of movement has had, and is having, a big effect for societies all over the continent. In Romania - often associated with its large number of ethnic minorities - over the last decade and a half, a large number of ethnic Germans and Hungarians have decided that a better life was waiting for them in their ancestral homelands.
New political rhetoric = Hip-Hop showdown
Is it a case of the media is the message? Proof that politics and culture are really the same animal? Or simply a case of ”politicians going where no politician has gone before”…In the Netherlands right now - the conservative minister of Justice, Piet Hein Donner, is duelling with Maastricht city mayor, Gert Leers over drug-policy. Two politicians at loggerheads is nothing out of the ordinary, but this particular tête à tête is in the form of competing hip hop songs!