Focus On Europe
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.
Focus On Europe Previous Broadcasts
A Mining Frenzy Hits The Arctic (Episode #3033)
KQED World: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 -- 6:30 AM
SPAIN: HEADING SOUTH - Part 2 of our series "Journeys in Europe": In the summer, Europeans go on vacation. Schools are closed and many companies make do with a skeleton work force. The motorways, in contrast, are busier than ever, with people trying to get to the seashore as fast as possible. Nothing stops European drivers - neither overfilled service areas, nor high gasoline prices and tolls. That's certainly true on the E15, the European route that runs more than 3600 kilometers from Scotland through England and France, directly to Spain. Traffic on the last segment of the route, from Valencia to Gibraltar, is especially heavy. Millions of Moroccans are on their way to visit their families in northern Africa.
SERBIA/MACEDONIA: PENALIZING ASYLUM SEEKERS - The European Union has long been pressuring Balkan countries to do something to stem the influx of immigrants from the region. Now Serbia and Macedonia are planning drastic measures. They want to penalize illegal immigration and abuse of asylum by their citizens. Their border police are to be allowed to confiscate passports and vehicles and impose a ban on entering the EU.
SWEDEN: MINING BOOM IN THE ARCTIC - Since worldwide prices for natural resources have shot up, copper and iron ore for industrial use have become real money-makers. In northern Sweden, open cast mining is booming. There's an absolute mining frenzy going on in the Arctic. This is where Europe's biggest deposits are. Because of demand from China prices are soaring. The region's villages are turning into towns. Thousands are rushing to the north to get a slice of the cake.
RUSSIA: THE OLD BELIEVERS OF TUVA - Up to 15,000 Old Believers live a nomadic life on the banks of the Yenisei River in Siberia. They are hunters on the river rapids. To live in tune with nature is more important to them than civilization. Southeastern Siberia is one of the poorest and least accessible parts of Russia. The Old Believers originally belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church, but reforms led to a schism among the faithful. The forest nomads consider themselves to be the true Christians.
A Duel for Matterhorn Tourists (Episode #3032)
KQED World: Sat, Aug 18, 2012 -- 6:30 AM
SPAIN: GROWING FURY - Spain's government has instituted harsh austerity measures in exchange for aid from its European partners. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is aiming to slash 65 billion euros from the budget - and low-income and middle-class workers are being hit particularly hard.
BULGARIA/GREECE: BABY TRAFFICKING - A black market trade is flourishing on the border of Greece and Bulgaria. Desperate and disadvantaged young mothers are selling their newborns to buyers in Greece. Aid organizations estimate that 1 in every 2 mothers living in Bulgaria's poorest urban neighborhoods is selling their children across the border.
SWITZERLAND: THE MATTERHORN - The Matterhorn looms above the Swiss ski resort town Zermatt. It's a popular tourist attraction, but it's causing trouble for the neighboring town, Saas Fee. As one of the highest peaks in the Alps, the Matterhorn is one of Switzerland's national symbols. It also serves as a dramatic backdrop and a tourist magnet for the town of Zermatt. But the neighboring town of Saas Fee says the Matterhorn is a source of problems: the iconic mountain is blocked from view in Saas Fee, and the town says it sees fewer tourists and less revenue as a result. Officials there have proposed blasting through the view-blocking rock, and now they're discussing a complicated cable car project. But Zermatt has swatted down every last plan. Journeys in Europe:
NORWAY: A PILGRIMAGE ROUTE GOES ECUMENICAL - There are several St Olav Ways and they all lead to the shrine of St Olav in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Taken together, the pilgrimage routes, which crisscross Scandinavia, are 5000 kilometers in length. St Olav was a king of Norway a thousand years ago who did much to Christianize the country.
A Finnish Village Faces Life Without Nokia (Episode #3031)
KQED World: Sat, Aug 11, 2012 -- 6:30 AM
GREECE: SUBSIDIES FOR GOING OUT OF BUSINESS - For years, smaller Greek fishermen have been paid to keep their boats in port. The aim was to combat overfishing of the Mediterranean. But the plundering of the seas goes on.
SLOVAKIA: DISPUTE OVER THE HIGH TATRA - The world's smallest high-altitude mountain range is teeming with bears and chamois. Investors want to open the region to tourism, but environmentalists warn of the consequences.
FINLAND: A FUTURE WITHOUT NOKIA - The ongoing financial crisis hit mobile phone pioneer Nokia broadside. The company has already had to close down several facilities. The Finnish town of Salo practically lived from Nokia.
FRANCE: EUROPE IN AN INDIAN VILLAGE - French Guiana is generally ruled by French law. The schools are also based on the French system. Every morning, the children of the Palikur Indians look forward to their lessons with their schoolteacher, the only white Frenchman in the village.
Britain's Middle Class Fights Back (Episode #3030)
KQED World: Sat, Aug 4, 2012 -- 6:30 AM
RUSSIA: PUNKS IN CHURCH - Feminist punk-rockers called on the Virgin Mary to chase Putin out. Now they are in jail. Members of the Pussy Riot collective held a surprise performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February. Three women alleged to have taken part were arrested and have been refused bail. They are to be tried on hooliganism charges because of their protest, pointing out the close ties between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church. The story is causing quite a stir as it addresses many issues troubling Russia. Human rights activists are furious at what they consider a political trial.
FRANCE: AMERICAN VILLAGES - Val d'Europe is an artificial development just outside Paris - a picture-book village, thought up by the Walt Disney Company and missing just one thing: life. In 1987, when Disney signed a contract with the French government on building Disneyland Paris, its subsidiary running the site set an additional condition. It stipulated that it would have a say in town planning in the surrounding area. What resulted was a model village in pastel tones reminiscent of Barbie doll houses. Everything is neat and tidy and utterly sterile. Val d'Europe is said to have 33,000 residents, most of them young families. But its empty streets most resemble those of a ghost town.
BRITAIN: THE MIDDLE CLASS FIGHTS BACK - In the financial crisis, Britain's middle classes are making themselves heard again. Citizens' action groups are running pubs threatened with closure and taking over libraries local councils no longer want to fund. Neo-liberalism became a dominant force in Britain in the late 1970s and the 1980s. The later return to power of the Labour Party did very little to change its affects on the country's economy. Now, however, a counter-movement is spreading to increasing numbers of traditionally middle-class villages: the cooperative movement. It includes cooperative societies, volunteer work and people's banks. Some communities are planting food crops together and sharing the harvest. This time, ideas that originated with hippies in the late1960s are being put into action by the middle classes.
NETHERLANDS: SQUATTERS VERSUS ANTI-SQUATTERS - Squatting in uninhabited buildings has actually been illegal in the Netherlands since 2010. Property owners who want to play it safe are offering lodging to anti-squatters, who usually have to pay only water, electricity and gas costs and be prepared to vacate the premises at very short notice. The service is also attractive to students who are more conservative in their convictions and have little sympathy for the squatting movement. The competition is, of course, extremely annoying for real squatters.