One of the Netherlsnds’ most controversial politicians, Geert Wilders, has thrust himself back into the spotlight this week. You may have heard of Mr Wilders, journalists usually put the word “controversial” in front of his name. He’s a parliamentarian known as an Islam-basher and it’s now emerged he is making a film denouncing Islam and arguing for the Koran to be banned. Immediately, parallels are being drawn with the film “Submission”, made by murdered Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh and writer Ayan Hirsi-Ali. That film pushed the issue of Moslem integration in Holland up the political agenda, especially after Van Gogh’s murder by an Islamic extremist.Listen to the report:
In France many say social unrest has been on the cards for some time. Dozens of police officers were injured on Monday and Tuesday during clashes with youths in a northern Paris suburb. The intensity of the violence took everyone by surprise – Molotov cocktails were thrown and even shotguns were fired, putting several policemen in hospital. The catalyst for all of this was the death on Sunday of two teenage boys who were killed when their motorcycle collided with a police car. The violent reaction from sections of the community’s rekindled memories of the nationwide rioting two years ago, when the protest act of choice was car-burning.
In case you haven’t come across the GPS sat-nav system yet, it’s a system of satellites that pinpoint your car and then beam information to the the voice under your dashboard, which in turn tells you verbally to turn right, left or go straight ahead. The EU’s ‘Galileo’ project is supposed to rival America’s GPS satellite navigation system. But being the EU there has been drawn out wrangling about how the project will be funded, stalling progress for months. Until now.
The Swedish government’s sparked a bad tempered debate this week over how schools should deal with the era of communist history in Europe and Russia. Sweden’s Education Minister wants to make classes on communism and the Soviet regime’s crimes obligatory. Some opponents say that by setting a rigid history syllabus for schools is itself quite authoritarian. Stalin would approve perhaps, if the subject was something other than his reviled gulags.
It’ll be a white Christmas for more European party-goers than ever before this year. Cocaine abuse is on the rise across Europe, and particularly in Spain. So far in 2007, Spanish police have intercepted five shipments each holding over 3 tonnes of the drug. With such high supply, prices have dropped and the Iberian peninsular is awash with the narcotic that keeps you up all night. DW’s Jerome Socolovsky reports from Madrid's Barajas airport, one of the key entry points for smugglers from Latin America.
Six weeks after Poles voted the conservative Law and Justice party out of office, Poland's new government is in place, with Prime Minister Donald Tusk at the helm. So what does the Polish man-in-the-street expect from the new leadership? And what does the new cabinet stand for? Michal Kubicki of Polish Radio's External Service reports.
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