Network Europe

It’s a hundred days since Angela Merkel took over as German chancellor: we go to Germany to hear from people who believe she is yet to produce results. Poultry sales are down in Europe, because of bird flu. That leaves farmers very bitter, particularly in western France: they’re angry at the media, the government, and the European union. We give them a chance to speak out. Twenty years after Olof Palme was gunned down, Sweden’s crime investigation squad says it’s still clueless about the murder of the late charismatic prime minister. And good news for people in Belarus: they now have access to uncensored news about their country, just in time for the presidential elections.

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.