Episodes about #politics

 

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The Europeans The Europeans

What the hell is the European Way of Life?

This week we’re heading into the belly of the EU beast to talk about who’s going to be running the show for the next five years. Alberto Alemmano, aka the busiest man in Europe, is here to unpick some controversial decisions by Ursula von der Leyen as she gets ready to take charge in November. Plus, skeletons and Macron portraits.

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The Europeans The Europeans

Back for your Görlitzening pleasure

WE'RE BACK, with a new look for a new season. This week we're catching up on the summer's Italian drama and tackling the delicate question of Nazi relatives. And we're heading to Görlitz, on the German-Polish border, to find out why why so many voters in eastern Germany are putting their faith in the far-right AfD.

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The Europeans The Europeans

Portugal's revolutionary drug policy

Scotland now has the highest rate of drug-related deaths in Europe — even higher than the United States. The shocking statistics have prompted calls in Scotland for a move towards the decriminalisation of drug use, taking the lead from a radical change of approach in Portugal. Portugal went from a full-blown opioid crisis in the 1980s to having one of the lowest rates of drug deaths in Europe today. We called Andreia Alves, a social worker with the Lisbon NGO Crescer, to find how a more humane policy makes her work easier. Also: turtle doves, VIP tour guides, and the art of the Spanish compromise.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

When politicians talk about love

This week we’re talking about what happened when Actress, the electronic musician also known as Darren Cunningham, made British and Dutch politicians debate the meaning of love. We’re also talking about French extravagance, the gentrification of Berlin, and the magic of medicine. 

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Morals and the Mediterranean

We don't call it 'the migrant crisis' anymore. Yet, every day, people attempt the treacherous crossing to reach our shores, and more than 500 people have died trying this year alone. This week we're talking about the politics of fear and the laws of the sea with the Italian migration expert Matteo Villa. We're also talking about rockets, bees and Greece's return to the right. 

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Brave and competent women

This week, the European women steering the ship. Katy and Dominic discuss the case of Carola Rackete, the rescue boat captain who has come to symbolize the moral divide over migration, as well as the nomination of Germany's Ursula von der Leyen and Christine Lagarde to two of the most powerful jobs on the continent. In the meantime, the biggest Czech protests since the fall of communism have been giving the populist billionaire PM Andrej Babiš a run for his money. We ring up Benjamin Roll, one of the young leaders of the growing protest movement.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Notes from Black Europe

What does it mean to be black in Europe? This week's guest Johny Pitts went on a five-month journey around the continent, interviewing black Europeans and exploring his own identity. The result is his brilliant new book, 'Afropean: Notes from Black Europe', which makes the case for a community that crosses borders. Also this week: the role of railways in the Holocaust; whether or not we should talk about Merkel; and a strange reward for good behaviour.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Eldorado

This week, the strange and rather wonderful story of how the BBC tried (and failed, pretty badly) to create a European soap opera back in the 1990s. Former 'Eldorado' star Kai Maurer reflects on how his unlikely role playing a German beach bum kicked off his acting career and how the show was ahead of its time. Plus: a landmark Spanish court ruling and the ugly realities of European consensus politics. Read the article that sparked Katy's El Dorado obsession here. Should we launch a campaign to get the BBC to bring it back?

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Europe needs culture

Hands up if you've got a better idea of what's happening in American politics than European politics, despite living on this side of the pond? This week André Wilkens, the new director of the European Cultural Foundation, argues that Europeans need to get better at telling their own story — whether it's in the form of a Hamilton-style hit musical or otherwise. Also: scooter wars, holograms, and when the left gets tough on immigration.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Who won?

We've just elected a bunch of people to represent 500 million of us. But when it comes to the results of the European elections, most of us have been preoccupied with what happened in our own countries. This week we're zooming out to take a look at the continent as a whole with Caroline de Gruyter, the Oslo-based Europe correspondent for the Dutch newspaper NRC. Plus: Ibizagate, part 2; rural PR stunts; and the importance of correctly-spelled tweets.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

The wars of the future

Should machines have the power to decide whether a human on the battlefield lives or dies? Ulrike Franke spends her days imagining the wars of the future. We chatted to her about ‘killer robots’ and rogue drones. Plus: a far-right honey-trap and Germany in the age of the influencer.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Disinformation Wars

No, European governments are not handing out 'brothel vouchers' to immigrants; and no, the EU is not trying to ban bendy cucumbers. Euro-myths are as old as the union itself, but with elections just around the corner, setting the record straight feels more important than ever. This week's guest is on the frontlines of the fight against disinformation: Jules Darmanin, the coordinator of a new continent-wide band of fact-checkers. Plus: Julian Assange, Swiss democracy, and the world's greatest neighbours.  

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Nice One, Slovakia

This week, a little glimmer of hope from central Europe in the form of a new Slovakian president who refuses to fight dirty. And a little glimmer of the future in the form of our guest, bionic woman and tech journalist Mimi Billing, one of a growing number of Swedes to have got themselves... microchipped? Plus: Russian whale jails, a decades-old French mystery, and germs at the opera.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Political Tinder

This week, like so many other weeks, it's been easy to take a look at the world and think: how did things get so polarised? Ahead of the European elections, the battle lines are already being drawn: nationalists vs globalists, liberals vs conservatives. But a fascinating project is trying to get Europeans from across the political spectrum to actually sit down and talk about their differences. Sebastian Horn, the deputy editor of Die Zeit online, is on the line from Berlin to explain the thinking behind the Europe Talks project. Plus: changing populist fortunes from Budapest to Amsterdam, and the mathematics of soap bubbles.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

A taste of the nuclear apocalypse

This week The Europeans are heading underground to the nearest bunker. Julie McDowall, Cold War writer and expert on all things atomic, is on the line from Glasgow to talk about how different countries in Europe planned for nuclear war and what it’s like to visit Chernobyl, three decades after the disaster. We also talk about the woman shaking up Estonian politics, questionable ethics in Italian opera, and Slovenian sandwiches.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

The most isolated place on Earth

This week we're stretching the definition of Europe to the limit and travelling all the way down to the French-Italian research base in the Antarctic! By some miracle we managed to Skype the physicist Meganne Christian at the Concordia base about what it's like spending an entire year living in the most isolated place on Earth (albeit with decent Italian cooking). At the other end of the planet: bears, Viktor Orbán's bid to turn Hungarian women into baby-machines, and pop that pisses off the populists.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Kraemer vs Kraemer

This week, two Kraemers for the price of one! Dominic's brother, BBC political nerd Daniel Kraemer, is here to explain why Britain has the weirdest parliament in Europe. Don't worry, we kept the B-word chat to a minimum. Plus: Macron and Merkel's Duolingo pact, Ronaldo's millions, and the kindest grandma on the continent. 

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

The Bee Word

This week, the need for more buzz around Europe: the bee kind, and the excitement kind. Our very special guest to round off the year (and keep Katy company while Dominic was rolling around on the floor) is the Dutch writer Joris Luyendijk, who despite having been named Bad News reporter for De Correspondent has more hope than you might think for this continent as we roll into 2019. Trigger warning: there's a mention or two of the b-word as we talk about why Europe ain't so boring and the mysteries of the British psyche. Plus: Powerfrauen; an all-too-human robot, and the fight to save our pollinators.

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Katy Lee Katy Lee

Freedom

This week on The Europeans, two passionate defences of liberty, the political and the sexual. Renowned Hungarian rights defender Márta Pardavi is on the line from Budapest to talk about what it's like fighting with the increasingly authoritarian government of Viktor Orbán. And Paulita Pappel calls in from Berlin to chat about her work as a feminist pornographer. Plus: France's road rage, Luxembourg's road delight, and the greatest ever reason to uncork a bottle of wine.

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