More about this edition of Network Europe:
100 Days of Angela Merkel
As the grand coalition government in Germany is celebrating its first one hundred days in office, opposition leaders and analysts are getting increasingly worried, about the slow path of economic recovery in the country. Angela Merkel has gained brownie points on the international stage. The Christian Democrat chancellor is widely credited for instance as the person who broke the deadlock over the EU budget in Brussels last December. But at home, Merkel pledged to tackle growth and unemployment, and the reforms taken on this front so far, have so far not yielded results.
Sales Hit By Bird Flu
In France as in the rest of Europe, poultry sales have been badly hit by bird flu. France is the European union’s number one poultry producer and exporter. French Authorities said this week that forty three countries were restricting, or banning imports of poultry and poultry products from France. Last week the French government unveiled a special fifty two million euro package for struggling producers. The Authorities were confident the money would reach them by this week-end. France is now in the process of vaccinating seven hundred thousand domestic ducks and geese in certain high risk areas.
The 20th Anniversary of the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme
This week sees the 20th anniversary of the murder of Sweden’s Prime Minister, Olof Palme, on a street in Stockholm. The assassination of the late charismatic leader shocked the nation, and in a way marked the end of an era, in Sweden’s political history. Details surrounding the murder remain a mystery, and police admit that they are no closer to finding the killer, this two decades after Palme was gunned down.
Focus on Belarus
The presidential election in this country bordering Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Russia are due in two weeks time. Controversial authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, is of course campaigning for reelection. What’s his track record so far as president ? Well it’s been difficult for voters to assess the situation because there are no independent radio and TV stations in Belarus. But a new radio station is hoping to carry uncensored news to the Belarusian people. It’s called Radio Racia. The station is based in the eastern Polish city of Bialystok, and has launched programmes in Belarusian, targeted at audiences across the border.
Quentin Tarantino’s Latest Production
It’s called the Movie Hostel, and like all films involving Tarantino, the blood count is high. “The movie has been a huge hit in the United States. But the brutal, gory horror film met with a decidedly mixed reception when it premiered recently in Prague: much of it was filmed in the Czech Republic, though it is in the neighboring Slovakia – where the film is set – that the film has met with the strongest criticism.