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Network Europe

Published söndag 15 januari 2006 kl 06.00
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Muddy waters - Bulgaria is trying to clean up organised crime before it joins the EU
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No smoking bans are sweeping across Europe
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Poverty has been cited as the main reason behind Last year's riots in France

This week:

Turkey is intensifying measures against a deadly outbreak of bird flu, Europe is on alert, and meanwhile Swedish scientists are warning there may be a milder form of the virus.

Efforts to crack down on organised crime in Bulgaria.

The importance of ferry links for sustaining peace in the Balkans.

Smokeless in Prague - we ask Czechs what they think of the country’s new smoking ban...


Bird Flu: Milder and more widespread?

United Nations animal experts warned this week, that the H5N1 strain of bird flu, that has killed two teenagers and a child in Turkey, could pose a danger to neighbouring countries. Authorities in Europe have stepped up precautionary measures. But as the world continues to focus on the reports of bird influenza, researchers in Sweden and Vietnam, indicate that there may well be, a milder form of the virus. This could have a negative aspect nonetheless..

Fighting organised crime in Bulgaria

The European Union is putting pressure on Bulgaria to arrest some of the country’s top organized crime bosses. The country is due to join the EU in January 2007, although the European Commission will review its accession timetable in April. Brussels has already told Sofia, that if it wants to join on schedule, it must first demonstrate that the government is more powerful than organized crime.

The Balkans: Danube ferries re-establish ties

Ten years since the end of the wars in the Balkans, how are the former Yugoslav republics getting on ? After the war, the river Danube became the new border, separating Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro, but the ferries linking Croatian Vukovar with Serbian Bacs had been destroyed in the fighting.  Now the ferries are back in service.

Poverty in France

A report by the UFE, the Union of European Families, earlier this week, says that some 2 million children in France live in poverty. In a rich country like France, that means children of single parents with a monthly salary of under 645 Euro. And that is simply not enough to make ends meet. 

Butting out in the Czech Republic

Bad news for smokers in Europe, but perhaps good news for everyone’s health. Smoking bans are contagious. Ireland was the first to introduce a blanket ban on smoking in public places, that was in march 2004, Italy and Sweden have now followed suit. The British government is divided on the issue, French MPs are also considering the move, but the British American tobacco lobby has launched a campaign to discourage them, warning French politicians that it’s risky from an electoral standpoint. But this time we focus on the Czech Republic. A ban there has been criticized by smokers as too harsh, and by the anti-smoking lobby, as too lenient.

Closing Music: Broadcast, “You and Me in Time”,

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