Is Friday the new Saturday

We're back from our summer break with an enticing idea: what would happen if we only worked four days a week? Far from spelling economic disaster, the Portuguese economist Pedro Gomes argues it would boost the economy and our well-being at the same time. We chat to him about his excellent new book, 'Friday Is The New Saturday: How A Four-Day Week Will Save The Economy'. We're also talking about naughty European banks, a lucky Neopolitan scratchcard, and — of course! — the return of ABBA.

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AreWeEurope The Europeans
20

The Case for Colour

Taryn de Vere set herself a joyful challenge in January: to dress up each day as a household object, from a bottle of toilet cleaner to a sack of potatoes. This week, the person dubbed Possibly The Most Colourful Woman in Ireland joins us to make the case for injecting a little more fun into our wardrobes. We're also talking about ghost flights, a relaxing Berlin transport initiative, and whether Italy's 80-year-old president will ever be allowed to retire.

19

Malta’s abortion taboo

When the European parliament elected a new president last week, many of the headlines focused on one thing: the fact that she's against abortion. But Roberta Metsola's public stance is not at all unusual in a country with one of the strictest abortion bans in the world. This week we're asking: where does this incredibly strong taboo come from? Researcher and activist Liza Caruana-Finkel is here to fill us in. We're also talking about Chinese influence at European universities, and the case of a toilet that went all the way to Italy's Supreme Court.

18

The Europeans’ Christmas Party!

Producers Katz Laszlo and Wojciech Oleksiak join Katy and Dominic from Amsterdam and Warsaw to discuss elephant retirement, tree fraud, and festive traditions around Europe. Local snacks included.

17

The life of a reindeer herder

It's that time of year when reindeer start cropping up on all kinds of Christmassy consumer goods, from snowglobes to Advent calendars. But for the indigenous Sámi people of northern Europe, herding these remarkable animals is a way of life — and one that is increasingly under threat. This week we speak to Sámi herder and climate change expert Jannie Staffansson about her community's intimate and profound relationship with reindeer. It's an animal-themed episode this week, so we're also talking about a bee miracle in the Canary Islands, and how a European sheep can somehow be rare and a threat to biodiversity at the same time.

16

The Subtle Art of Subtitling

Millions of us have spent this pandemic bingeing on international films and television, transported far away through the magic of the screen. But there's an underappreciated army of workers who make it all possible: the subtitlers. This week we chat to Russian subtitler Max Deryagin about how Netflix has shaken up the industry and why things sometimes get lost in translation. We're also talking about the new Germany, the failures of Britain's asylum policy, and the woman on Romania's new 20 lei banknote.

15

Move Fast And Fix Things

'Move fast and break things' was Facebook's corporate philosophy in its early days. Europe now wants to do the opposite when it comes to the harmful effects of social media: move fast and fix things. This week we're taking a look at the EU's plan to rein in the tech giants with the help of one of our favourite European tech nerds, Guillermo Beltrà of the Open Society European Policy Institute. We've also got a special Outer Space edition of Good Week Bad Week.

14

Pushbacks

It’s dawn in the Aegean Sea. A dozen asylum seekers are crammed into a rubber dinghy, hoping to land on the Greek island of Lesbos. They are already within EU waters — and they have the right, under international law, to claim asylum. But a huge ship is blocking their way. This week we are looking at the phenomenon of pushbacks: illegal efforts to push people back across a border so that they cannot claim asylum. And we’re looking at mounting evidence that the EU’s border agency, Frontex, has witnessed or even participated in these pushbacks.

13

Trapped at the EU border

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding at the edge of the EU. Asylum seekers are finding themselves trapped in the forest between Poland and Belarus, caught up in a political game, and literally freezing to death. Marta Górczyńska, a migration lawyer who has been helping some of the new arrivals, explains what's happening on the ground and what international law has to say about this shameful situation. We're also talking about the Council of Europe's hijab fiasco and Italy's mafia maxi-trial. Plus, a tale of cough sweets and generosity.

12

What the hell just happened in Poland?

Wondering why everyone is suddenly talking about the prospect of a 'Polexit'? This week we're talking to excellent Polandsplainer Jakub Jaraczewski about why the government in Warsaw has just got itself into a huge legal mess. We're also talking about the downfall of Austria's Wunderkind, why so many young Spaniards live with their parents, and the mysterious power of the European chestnut.

11

The château, the walrus and the rogue Danish artist

This week we're delving into the Czech PM's secret purchase of a French château, an extremely bold Danish artistic experiment, and, oh yes, Wally the Walrus' tour of the European coastline. Plus, political scientist Arndt Leininger is here to decrypt the German election for us.

10

Submarines and rainbow families

A year into the protest movement in Belarus, what are things like on the ground? This week we talk to the poet Hanna Komar about her own experience in detention, and the extraordinary "algorithm" of solidarity among women in the movement. We're also talking about Russian gas, Norwegian oil, and the magnificence of Emma Raducanu.

9

The Belarus solidarity algorithm

A year into the protest movement in Belarus, what are things like on the ground? This week we talk to the poet Hanna Komar about her own experience in detention, and the extraordinary "algorithm" of solidarity among women in the movement. We're also talking about Russian gas, Norwegian oil, and the magnificence of Emma Raducanu.

7

Europe’s next illiberal democracy?

Slovenia, aka Katy's favourite country, is increasingly drawing comparisons with Hungary and Poland when it comes to the state of its democracy. Can this worrying direction of travel be reversed? This week we ring up our favourite Sloveniologist Aljaž Pengov Bitenc to find out. We're also talking about Bulgaria's political rock star, and a shocking attack on a Dutch crime journalist.

6

Bread Week

Few people talk about bread in such magical terms as Apollonia Poilâne. This week we speak to the head of one of France's most prestigious bakeries about the secrets of sourdough and taking over the family company aged just 18. We're also talking about Iceland's four-day week experiment, a cyberattack that took out hundreds of Swedish supermarkets, and boosting body positivity in Norway.

5

The women who built Europe

Streets, cities, train stations: across the continent, they're likely to be named after men. What if the women who shaped Europe were given the recognition they deserve? This week, Katy speaks to the Irish journalist Mary Fitzgerald and Italian writer Francesca Cavallo, co-author of Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls, about a wonderful project which reimagines the Brussels metro map in celebration of brilliant European women. We're also talking about the row over LGBTQ rights at the Euro football tournament, and how unsexy-but-important housing policy brought down Sweden's prime minister.

4

The best rainy city in the world

Jens Thoms Ivarsson has one of this continent's most fascinating jobs: chief "rain man" for the city of Gothenburg. We chat to the creative director of Rain Gothenburg about the Swedish city's rather wonderful plan to become the best place in the world when it's raining. Also this week: expensive Finnish breakfasts, accidental asparagus, and why Budapest's plans to build a Chinese university campus have gone down so badly.

3

Thinker, Plaintiff, Merkel, Spy

This week, a murky spying scandal and a huge climate lawsuit. It seems that our American friends may have been using Denmark's internet cables to spy on European politicians. But how much did Denmark know about it? We're also talking about the landmark Dutch court ruling that could force Shell to drastically cut its carbon emissions. Plus, the European Review of Books! We chat to George Blaustein and Sander Pleij about why they're setting up a new magazine of ideas for the continent.

2

The bear, the prince and the streaming giant

Like everyone else, we Europeans have been watching a LOT of television over the past year. But something rather nice has been happening: we've been watching *each other's* television. Could streaming giants like Netflix be helping develop a shared European culture, as we all sit down to enjoy shows like Lupin and Money Heist? This week we speak to Jérôme Dechesne of European producers' group CEPI about the Europeanisation of binge-watching. We're also talking about the prince who apparently-accidentally shot Romania's largest bear, and the Belgian farmer who may have apparently-accidentally moved the French border.

1

Cheese Diplomacy

Halloumi has just been recognised as a product unique to Cyprus — something that eurocrats have hailed as a positive step towards reconciliation on the divided Mediterranean island. Is there any truth to that? Cypriot podcaster Natalie Lamprou is here for a great chat about cheese, politics and Cypriot identity. We're also talking about the French mayor running a town from his jail cell, and the German gymnasts taking a stand against sexualisation in sport.