Front and rear wipers not working

My [pensioner] dad has a Year 2000 K11 1.0 Micra and the front AND rear wipers have stopped working.

o Is there anyone who's had a similar problem or who might have an idea on what it could be ?
o Is this indicative of a wiper relay failure ?
o Is there just one relay for both wiper mechanisms ?
o Is it possible that the stalk has failed ?

Any help, suggestions, ideas would be gratefully appreciated.
Thanks again for this. Ya apparently the pre-facelift has a separate amplifier/relay, in the form of a small black box, to control the intermittent functions etc... The facelift has the electronics built into the stalk and a single relay at the rear wiper... I say apparently because I'm going by what my dad's told me and what I've been reading around on the web.
The whole thing's a bit complicated as my dad [and his car] live in Dublin... and I'm trying to help him fix this problem from London (!) He's trying to remove the stalk at the moment but is having some difficulty. Once he has it out and given me the part number, hopefully I can try and get him one on eBay or something. They're not massively expensive. Given what you said, it's worth trying that first.
Really sorry to be a pain here, but my dad's having trouble getting the steering surround off. He's taken three screws out - 2 underneath the cowling and one adjacent to the key. The surround is loose but he's unable to prise it off, he can't get a screwdriver between the two halves. Are there more screws that need to be undone ? Do you know how it's held together... is there a knack to getting it asunder ? He's afraid of breaking the thing.

Again, really sorry about this... I imagine if I was there with him I'd probably be able to work it out.