Hello Europe! Your favourite continental podcast is back with everything from salted snails to middle-fingered salutes on the menu. Dominic’s been walking on thin ice, and Katy’s been cocooning; there’s good news for Angela Merkel and bad news for press freedom in Slovakia. Eckard Helmers is on the line from Germany to explain how why Europe fell in love with diesel cars even though they’re poisoning our air. And we’re talking English — literally — with Marko Modiano, a linguistics expert in Gävle, Sweden, about how the language is taking on a life of its own in Europe.
Don’t forget to review, rate and subscribe!
Our first ever bonus episode! We enjoyed our conversation in this week’s show with Alexandra Pascalidou so much that we’re sharing the whole thing with you. Raised by Greek parents in a working-class Stockholm suburb, Alexandra went on to become a prominent journalist in Sweden. But along with the job came the threats: years and years of horrific threats from neo-Nazis who didn’t like the way she stood up for multi-culturalism.
Last year, something unexpected happened: a former neo-Nazi got in touch to confess he had tormented her for years, and he was sorry. And Alexandra did something even more unexpected: she decided to meet up with her former tormentor for coffee.
Katy and Dominic rang Alexandra in Stockholm to discuss her remarkable decision to forgive Martin, and why Sweden needs to take its neo-Nazi threat much more seriously. But along the way they also talk national identity, Eurovision, and what it means to be European. We think you’ll find it uplifting.
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not Alexandra Pascalidou. The Greek-Swedish journalist did something that would scare many of us: after years of threats from neo-Nazis, she invited one of them for a cup of coffee. Alexandra gives us a masterclass in forgiveness — and stay tuned later in the week for a bonus episode featuring her full conversation with The Europeans.
But first, actual wolves. After Belgium saw its first in a century, we’re taking a look at how different countries across the continent are dealing with 20,000 of the proud predators — and our guest Max Rossberg of the European Wilderness Society argues we need a total rethink.
Plus: the monster of Brussels, a monstrous week for Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn, and some less monstrous news to cheer us up at the end.
Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you enjoyed the show!
We’ve got two birthdays to celebrate this week. Independent Kosovo is officially 10, and your host Dominic Kraemer is officially old. Congrats to both!
As Kosovo marks 10 years since declaring independence from Serbia, we give our man in the Balkans Andrew MacDowall a call to explain the challenges that lie ahead for Europe’s youngest country. Meanwhile, Katy’s been huddling under a duvet in Paris with a cold this week — a great excuse to obsess over the Winter Olympics, not least that amazing Scottish invention, curling. Team Finland’s Oona Kauste is on the line all the way from South Korea with a staunch defence of the sport against allegations that it ‘looks weird’, and how she manages to juggle the Olympics with her career as a hairdresser and make-up artist.
Plus: out and proud LGBT Olympians, happy news for German commuters, and political truth, Dutch-style. Oh, and a mysterious Finnish tongue-twister. Anyone that solves the mystery gets a gold medal of their very own.
We’re growing an army of listeners across Europe and the world and it makes us SO HAPPY! If you’ve got a couple of minutes to spare, please help us spread the word even more by writing us a review on iTunes.
Hello from Paris and Amsterdam! Since we’ve seen a huge rise in listeners this week (welcome!) we’re in a giving mood, so we’re talking about organ donation. As countries across Europe weigh up how to save the most lives, transplant ethicist Greg Moorlock is on the line from Birmingham, England to discuss why Spain sees so many more donations than Germany and whether or not the Netherlands should make giving up our kidneys an ‘opt-out’ affair. Ania Jakubek in Warsaw is back to explain what’s going on with Poland’s new Holocaust law. Plus: a good (ish) week for Angela Merkel, and a bad one for French fashion designer Christian Louboutin and his famous red-soled shoes.
Thanks so much for the lovely reviews you’ve been writing — it’s not too late to add another to help people find the podcast across Europe and beyond!
We’ve had a load of new listeners join us over the past couple of weeks, mostly thanks to a recommendation in the British Podcast Awards‘ monthly PodWatch newsletter as one of 5 Podcasts That Will Change Your Life, and Buzzfeed picking us out of “thousands and thousands” of entries to name us one of the top 27 podcasts you should hear in 2018. Woohoo!
So, we just wanted to give all you newcomers a warm welcome. We think you’ll like it here. Say hello on Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to know what you think of the show.
Katy was particularly delighted by this message from a listener in Sofia documenting the first time the podcast has made someone MISS THEIR ACTUAL SUBWAY STOP because they’re just having such a goddamn good time. We look forward to ruining many other commutes all over the world.
Thanks so much for listening! And stay tuned for another generous helping of hearty European ear-stew next Tuesday.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: this isn’t the first time Katy and Dominic have collaborated on an artistic project. Before The Europeans, there was their death metal video.
Back in 2015 when Katy’s boyfriend Alex was living in Amsterdam (and Katy and Dominic got to hang out in real life all the time instead of Skyping each other) , Alex stumbled upon an abandoned pair of women’s spacehopper boots while he was walking down his street one day. They fit Katy perfectly! So, naturally, she and Dominic spent a day in Westerpark shooting a short action movie / death metal video. Katy hopes you are impressed by her stunts.
The music was free on Jamendo and is quite horrible. We are sorry.
We give you: “What Even Are These Things” (2015), shot by Dominic Kraemer, starring Katy Lee.