Anywhere else it might be cruelty to animals; in France it is part of the national cultural heritage: force-feeding of geese. The practice produces a famed delicacy, foie gras - an especially fatty and tasty poultry liver product. More and more European members of parliament are raising critical voices.
The French love their foie gras, and the fatty liver product is a must at up-market events. But the producers of the luxury food are coming under attack.
The production of foie gras involves force feeding birds to enlarge their livers. Fatty goose livers are considered a special delicacy. Animal rights campaigners are demanding an end to the practice. Nearly 20 countries around the world have banned it, but France continues to be the leading producer and consumer of foie gras.
In Poland drivers with raised blood alcohol levels can expect drastic punishments. That also applies to bicyclists who've had too much to drink.
Car drivers and bicyclists who are caught twice with blood alcohol levels of more than 0.2 grams/liter can go to jail. Thousands of drunk drivers are already behind bars. The reason for the strict measures is the country's high rate of alcohol-related traffic accidents. Poland has one of EU countries with the highest number of deaths on the road.
More and more Germans are heading to Switzerland for work. Most of these voluntary exiles are highly qualified. Many of them have jobs as scientists or doctors.
Many Czech churches and monasteries are in a state of ruin. The churches are impoverished, in part because property seized during the Communist era has not been returned.