Network Europe

This week: National TaboosStudy on the trauma of medical abortionsMoney is more taboo than sex in FranceShedding light on the privileges of former Communist bossesLobbying is taboo in SwedenDiplomacy negotiates taboosLaughing at Hitler


Study on the trauma of medical abortions

Abortion is taboo for many people all over the world. But what if you have a prenatal test, and find out your unborn child has a serious birth defect? The decision to end a pregnancy can be fraught with feelings of guilt, doubt and failure. A major study recently released in Holland examined those feelings. Radio Netherlands’ Barry Thorne investigates the trauma of the medical abortion of a much-wanted child.

Money is more taboo than sex in France

In France- Money is taboo. In recent weeks, French politicians have lifted the lid on their assets- and in the process, they’ve revealed a bit about French attitudes about wealth. The socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royale forcibly denied being rich as if it were a swear-word. Instead, she said she was just well off. On the right, presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has called an end to France’s traditional “down with the rich” culture. Radio France International’s Henry Samuel explored the touchy subject with Janine Mossuz-Lavau, a political scientist who has written a book called “L’argent et nous”, money and us. She says money remains one of the most sensitive subjects in France- even more so than sex- something she’s also researched

Shedding light on the privileges of former Communist bosses

In Poland, it used to be taboo to talk about former communist bosses and the special privileges they enjoy. Eighteen years after the fall of communism, the Polish government is taking steps to change that.

Lobbying is taboo in Sweden

Lobbyists: they’re active in politics, marketing and media. Yet Swedes don’t like the concept at all. Radio Sweden’s Azariah Kiros met a lobbyist, and examines what lies behind the public’s mistrust of the profession.

Diplomacy negotiates taboos

On some level, you might say that diplomacy is a process of negotiating taboos— You try to come to an agreement while skirting sensitive issues. Our EU correspondent Steven Castle says the great thing about the European Union is that it is an institution to get around taboos.

Laughing at Hitler

World War II is taboo in Europe, particularly in Germany. But a movie released this month breaks the long-standing German taboo against laughing at Adolf Hitler. Making fun of the Nazi Dictator is nothing new in the English-speaking world. Charlie Chaplin did it in ”The Great Dictator”, as did Mel Brooks in the Producers. Now a new comedy, ”My Führer--The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler”, has sparked a national debate in Germany.