This series provides offers a fascinating mix of stories exploring the important political, economic and cultural developments in Europe. With the unity of the region under threat from the bankrupt economies of Greece, Portugal, and Spain, the global economy continues to feel Europe's pain, and EJ is there each week with reports and analysis from Berlin, Paris, and London. The program also views the crises in Europe through the eyes of those whose lives have been affected the most. Presenter Nina Haase provides her unique take on the week's stories, telling the story with compelling video, strong reporting, and a good sense of humor.
European Journal Previous Broadcasts
Living In Estonia and Longing for Russia (Episode #3215)
KQED World: Sun, Apr 13, 2014 -- 5:30 AM
FRANCE: THE CHINESE CEMETERY - Tens of thousands of Chinese laborers supported Allied forces in World War One. A cemetery in northern France is a memorial to their fates. The French and British armies recruited millions during WWI. Among those recruits were around 140, 000 Chinese. They were laborers who helped build railway lines or worked in ports and munitions factories in France and Belgium. Conditions were miserable and many died. The largest Chinese cemetery has 841 graves. It is located in Noyelles-sur-Mer, not far from Abbeville. Once a year, Chinese from all over Paris visit the site. < br>GERMANY: LEAD IN GAME - Most hunters in Germany cling stubbornly to their lead ammunition even though studies show the toxic heavy metal harms predator and prey alike. In other European countries with a hunting tradition, such as Britain or Sweden, using lead ammunition has long been illegal. In Germany, however, it's estimated that as much as 9000 tons are fired in German forests annually. Each year environmentalists say that birds of prey in particular are threatened with lead poisoning when they consume the remains of animals that have been shot. And people are said to be at risk from lead a well. < br>ESTONIA: LONGING FOR RUSSIA - The city of Narva, on the outer frontier of the European Union, is falling to bits. The decay has led more and more residents to consider rapprochement with Russia. More than 90% of Narva's residents are Russian. Since Estonia joined the EU in 2003, they've suffered more and more economically. A few years ago, a former tailoring collective went broke; ending any hope of affluence in what was once a working industrial town. Today Narva is dirt poor. If anyone, anywhere in Europe is longing for the "good old Soviet days," it would be here on Estonia's eastern frontier.
PORTUGAL: PLAGUED BY PLASTIC - The Portuguese have a dubious claim to fame - their country is known as the "plastic bag" capital of Europe. Every minute, thousands of plastic bags are toted out of shopping centers. Portugal adopted western European consumption habits and the throw-away mentality when it joined the European Union. Now every Portuguese uses around 500 plastic tote bags a year, adding their contribution to the EU total of 8 billion. That was reason enough for a video maker to poke fun at this aspect of Portuguese lifestyle.
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 15, 2014 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 15, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
World's Oldest Bank On Brink of Collapse (Episode #3214)
KQED World: Sun, Apr 6, 2014 -- 5:30 AM
ITALY: THE FALLEN BANK - Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the world's oldest bank, and it is on the verge of collapse. This development has plunged Siena into crisis. For more than 500 years, Monte dei Paschi presided over the city. For generations, the venerable bank helped fund charities and civic works, including the famed Palio horse races. In 2012 it was revealed that the bank had strained its finances past their limit and had been concealing major losses totaling 20 billion Euros. Now the city, which had a major stake in the foundation that was the bank's main shareholder, is facing possible bankruptcy. And it fears that the scandal may harm Siena's chances to be a 2019 European Capital of Culture.
BULGARIA: YOUNG PEOPLE BATTLE CORRUPTION - For the past year, many Bulgarians have been calling upon their government to resign, and urging an end to nepotism and corruption. The "children of the transition", as they call themselves, are determined to continue their activism. They are urging young people who are considering emigration to stay and seek change. The student-led protests have wide support from the many Bulgarians who say their political elite are hopelessly corrupt and the economy is run by a clan of oligarchs. The controversial coalition government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has faced 3 votes of no-confidence in just 5 months.
SWITZERLAND: WILL LUXURY TOURISM DESTROY THE ALPS? - An Egyptian investor plans to open the largest ski resort in the Alps in the sleepy town of Andermatt. Time seems to have stood still in Andermatt. But that may soon be a distant memory. Several months ago, an ultramodern luxury hotel opened there. And if Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris has his way, it will soon be joined by scores of similar hotels and vacation apartments. Sawiris launched his plan after he bought land vacated by the Swiss army, which for decades had been the mainstay of the local economy. Many in Andermatt are hoping that the town will one day rival Davos or St Moritz for Alpine glamour. But not everyone here shares that vision of the future.
SPAIN: MADRID'S CLEAN SWEEP - Madrid's street performers are facing a new challenge. A new noise reduction law pushed through by the mayor now requires them to pass an audition to obtain a permit. According to the city, one-third of the musicians didn't pass muster at the auditions. Those that did also have to follow new rules, including remaining at least 75 meters away from other buskers. Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, has also called for a ban on downtown protests. She has been sharply criticized for these moves and some even say she is more repressive than General Franco.
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 8, 2014 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 8, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
Russians Invest Millions In Austria (Episode #3213)
KQED World: Tue, Apr 1, 2014 -- 4:30 AM
AUSTRIA: IN THE VALLEY OF THE RUBLE MILLIONAIRES - Austria is popular with wealthy Russians. The small town of Kitzbuhel is one of the places profiting from its rich guests. Now there are fears that sanctions will scare away the Russian elite. To Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austria's Economy Minister, it's long been clear that sanctions are an own goal for his country. In the high season in winter, charter flights from Russia land hourly at the small airports serving Salzburg and Innsbruck. Last year, 1.4 million Russians vacationed in Austria, most in popular ski resorts such as Kitzbuhel. Many Russian millionaires and even billionaires have bought property here. In doing so, they're combining business with pleasure, because Austria offers favorable tax conditions to well-heeled private investors.
MACEDONIA: MONUMENTAL BATTLE - "Skopje 2014" is the name of an expensive government project that is increasingly dividing the country. From Alexander the Great to Mother Teresa, the city is home to increasing numbers of statues. When building began two years ago, "Skopje 2014" was meant to beautify the old town center. But it is now clear to everyone involved that it has much more to do with the issue of whose history is being immortalized in bronze and whose isn't. In a small country in which Macedonians, Turks, Albanians, Serbs and Roma live more alongside than with each other, each new statue leads to a heated dispute. The Albanians in particular feel they're inadequately represented in the sea of monuments, and a statue of Stefan Dusan, the self-proclaimed medieval Emperor of the Serbs, has infuriated the mainly Muslim Albanian minority.
FRANCE: HIGH-FLYING HELMET CAMERAS - Michael Schumacher had one - and thousands of other skiers do as well: a micro-video camera mounted on a helmet. But the pursuit of impressive skiing pictures often leads skiers to take greater risks. In Europe's highest ski resort, Val Thorens, piste attendants have long been aware of a dangerous trend. More and more people are skiing in deep powder snow off-piste. What's new is that most amateur skiers intentionally go out when the risk of avalanche is at its greatest, simply because that's when they can get the best pictures of deep-powder skiing.
SPAIN: BELATED JUSTICE FOR FRANCO'S VICTIMS? - To this day, Spain's legal system has not dealt with the crimes of the Franco era. A female Argentinian judge is now giving many victims new hope. Because of an amnesty, even torturers from the Franco era have been able to live unpunished in Spain. Protection from criminal prosecution was originally meant to facilitate the peaceful transition to democracy. Many victims, however, are demanding that the amnesty be lifted at last. A female judge from Buenos Aires is also seeking belated justice for these victims. Now Spain faces a flood of litigation: some two hundred lawsuits have been filed by Argentinian lawyers living in Madrid. They want to try perpetrators still living in Spain before courts in Argentina.
- KQED World: Tue, Apr 1, 2014 -- 10:30 AM