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Network Europe

Published söndag 16 april 2006 kl 05.30
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Romanian property boom: Sitting on a goldmine?
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Will the royal factor last the distance?
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Going out of fashion fast...

In the programme:

Italy says Basta Berlusconi - or did they? We take a look at the risk for political paralysis in Rome

France famously rid itself of its monarchy over 200 years ago - but now one of the top runners for the presidency is Royal..and its not just a play on words..

The EU sees part of its mission as encouraging democracy in applicant countries - but it also appears to be encouraging property prices. We report from Bucharest. 

And a case of draconian treatment of patients in mental institutions in the Czech Republic - is uncovered.


Political Paralysis in the “Eternal city”

Going going gone.The world watched as Italians went to the polls this week to vote in national elections. After much gusto, from all sides of the political spectrum the Italian electorate voted out Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - but by a nail bitingly narrow margin. Technocrat, former Prime minister - and most recently President of the European Commission, Romano Prod, is set to head up the new center-left coalition that won the majority of votes. But as we report from the eternal city, it’s already proving to be a rocky transition. And this is only the beginning….

French Royalty

The nine week crisis over the youth job contract in France has seriously dented the presidential ambitions of prime minister Dominique de Villepin. It has also done a lot of damage to the credibility of the centre right UMP camp. Commentators say that along with Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the only politician who looks good in France these days, is a woman: fifty two year old Ségolène Royal. An opinion poll this week showed that the elegant media savvy politician could lead the left to victory in next years’ presidential elections. Who is Royal, and what’s behind this so called Royal factor?

Bubbly in Bucharest

Joining the EU is a monumental undertaking with thousand of pages of laws and regulations to be adopted and harmonised. Scholars of international relations say that the prospect of joining the EU has a stabilising far beyond the Union’s present borders...Now property investors are discovering another effect in Bucharest, Romania, which is, according to experts, one of the most attractive real estate markets for investment in Europe today. Fancy an apartment in the capital city of the EU’s soon-to-be eastern frontier state?

Shock therapy for the Czech Republic?

The improvement of living standards across Eastern Europe over the past 15 years is what we hear about in the headlines. But there are pockets where progress hasn’t been made. An international NGO is planning to take the Czech Republic to court over the use of caged beds to restrain mental patients in some Czech institutions. The Mental Disability Advocacy Centre, which is based in Budapest, is currently gathering evidence before mounting its legal challenge. Shocking as seems - Hundreds of patients in the Czech Republic are believed to be restrained in such cages.

Closing Music:  “We’re from Barcelona”, I’m from Barcelona

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