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
The Swiss Vote On Limiting Corporate Salaries (Episode #3108)
KQED World: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
Italians go to the polls later this month. The center-left coalition is favored to win. Many ordinary Italians - as well as investors and the banks - view its leader Mario Monti as a guarantor of economic stability. But scandal-plagued former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is trying to close the gap. The details:
ITALY: BERLUSCONI'S FINAL BATTLE - Italians go to the polls later this month. The face of former prime minister and current candidate Silvio Berlusconi can be seen on virtually every TV channel. He's promising jobs, tax cuts and better times. Yet Italy was verging on bankruptcy when he left office less than a year and a half ago. Berlusconi's coalition is still trailing the center-left in the opinion polls. Still his popularity increases with every television interview - in spite of the fact that he's been charged with paying for sex with an underage prostitute. The former prime minister wants to sit in parliament again. He'd even be content just to win in Lombardy, where recent polls say his coalition is out in front. This would allow him to prevent the formation of a stable majority government, to block reforms and even demand a government post, in the hopes of achieving immunity from prosecution.
GERMANY/SWEDEN: A VIKING STORY - The Viking villages of northern Europe had planned to band together to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But now the Swedes have changed their minds. Having UNESCO collectively recognize the places in northern Europe where the Vikings lived and worshipped would have meant more subsidies and more tourism. In the German Viking village of Haithabu they're disappointed with the Swedes' decision to withdraw from the project.
SWITZERLAND: REFERENDUM ON 'FAT CAT' PAY - On March 3, Swiss voters will decide whether the salaries of top executives should be set by the company's shareholders. The 'yes' side is thought to stand a good chance of winning. The referendum campaign was launched by MP Thomas Minder, a small businessman turned politician from the town of Schaffhausen. If successful, bonuses and salaries for top managers could be limited and golden handshakes eliminated.
TURKEY: ISTANBUL'S MODERNIZATION CRAZE - With a population of 15 million, Istanbul is one of Europe's fastest-growing cities. In recent years, areas of the city that have been around for centuries have fallen victim to the wrecking ball. Most of the lucrative property is being scooped up by large-scale investors. Owners who refuse to sell can do little to stop the demolitions. By law, the state is allowed to expropriate land in the interest of the common good. Legal challenges to the law have already been dismissed. Now entire districts are controlled by holding companies and a building boom has begun - even though Istanbul is located in an earthquake zone.
- KQED World: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Russian Orphanages On Trial (Episode #3107)
KQED World: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
ORPHANAGES ON TRIAL: Hundreds of thousands of children in Russia are growing up as orphans. Many of them are what are called "social orphans" - meaning they have at least one living parent, but have been relinquished by the latter to the state. Despite these figures, President Vladimir Putin has sharpened the laws governing adoption. In the past, many Russian orphans were adopted by couples from the US and Western Europe. Now American families are banned from Russian adoptions entirely. President Putin has said that the country can care for its own children. In reality, however, Russian orphanages have a reputation for abysmal conditions. Apart from a few showcase orphanages, the majority of children's homes are closed to public scrutiny.
REIMAGINING THE BANLIEUE: Desolate housing developments, torched cars and angry youth - these are the images that dominate media coverage of urban suburbs in France. Now architects have taken their hand to a Parisian banlieue in a regeneration program that aims to revitalize the troubled district. Champigny-sur-Marne, south of Paris, is known as a socially disadvantaged area. Many of its residents are immigrants, and many are unemployed. The town is blanketed with tracts of unattractive pre-fab housing. Now a multi-million euro project is building new single-family houses - and in an especially unusual move, they're being built directly on top of the prefabricated units. The goal is to create dwellings that will breathe fresh life into the community.
A LIFE SPENT IN HIDING: Nearly a century after the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, an increasing number of Turks of Armenian heritage are acknowledging their roots. Out of fear of discrimination, many survivors had converted to Islam and adopted Turkish names. While a number of countries say the massacres constituted genocide, Turkey still rejects the term. The government has taken steps towards rapprochement with Christian communities, however, such as returning many properties confiscated over past decades - among them properties owned by Armenians. Moves such as these have encouraged people to acknowledge their Armenian heritage - including in eastern Anatolia, the region which was once home to a large Armenian population.
PRISON ISLAND OF GORGONA: Series: "Small Worlds" Part 5 - Most former prison islands today are museums. One exception is the penal colony on Gorgona. Gorgona Prison has been in existence since 1869. Those behind bars today include men convicted of robbery and manslaughter - who are now being trained for work in the farming sector, animal husbandry and winemaking. Anyone trying to approach the island unannounced will be turned back by the police. On visiting day convicts are allowed to meet friends and family at the island's sole bar, which then doubles as a pizzeria.
- KQED World: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Watching for Islamic Backlash In France (Episode #3106)
KQED World: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
SERIES "SMALL WORLDS" PART 4 - SCOTLAND: THE SHEEP OF NORTH RONALDSAY ISLAND - The natives of North Ronaldsay were always a bit unusual. Until the 19th century they still spoke a dialect of Old Norse, a language that had already died out on the neighboring islands. About 600 people once lived on North Ronaldsay. Nowadays the number of inhabitants is tiny. Life on the northernmost of the Orkney Islands was just too harsh on the human population. The native breed of sheep, however, which feed mainly on marine algae, could now become a lucrative source of income. But new farmers are having a hard time finding land while native residents are loath to give up their property.
POLAND: COUNTING THE COSTS OF EURO 2012 - Since it co-hosted the UEFA European Football Championship last summer, Poland has 1000 new kilometers of motorways and new stadiums in Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznan. But now, six months later, debt levels are rising. In Gdansk the stadium has already run up millions in debt for its operators. The Wroclaw stadium is so deep in debt that the electricity was almost turned off. Poland had invested some 200 billion euros in preparing for EURO 2012. That has yet to pay off. The country had hoped the new sport venues would attract additional tourists, but so far that has not been the case.
BULGARIA: PARTY ZONE AMID GRAY HOUSING PROJECTS - Pulsating beats till the early morning hours: that's Studentski Grad. Students have breathed new life into a communist-era high rise district in southern Sofia. Nowhere else in Bulgaria's capital is living space so cheap and that has attracted many university students. But what was initially viewed positively as the revival of a district now has clear disadvantages for residents because students like to party. More and more clubs are springing up and there's occasional trouble with the police. Sofia's municipal leaders don't want to see the entire district turning into a party zone and are now threatening to impose curfews.
FRANCE: THE INVISIBLE THREAT - French security services fear retaliatory attacks from Islamist terrorists following the country's military intervention in Mali. The threat is not only confined to people with Arab roots. Security experts are warning that danger could also come from French converts to Islam. Meanwhile the Malian community remains complacent. Although Malians in France often live in extremely humble circumstances, they welcome the French military mission in their home country.
- KQED World: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
A Tale of One City (Episode #3105)
KQED World: Tue, Feb 5, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
SPAIN: THE RICH NEIGHBOR - The border-town of La Linea is close to bankruptcy. Many citizens actually earn their living outside the Euro zone by smuggling or working illegally on the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. La Linea is struggling to pay its employees, and the town is facing massive unemployment. That's quite a contrast to the heady days of the 1980s and 1990s when it was known for its laissez-faire attitude. Back then corruption was quite open and the town's bureaucracy was huge. Now the town's true financial situation is slowly coming to light.
POLAND: HOMELESS IN KRAKOW - Icorn is an international association of cities dedicated to helping persecuted writers. The Polish city of Krakow has adopted a blogger called Kareem who had to flee his native Egypt. He studied law in Alexandria and spoke out in favor of a secular state with equal rights for women. This commitment brought him a five-year prison sentence in which he also suffered torture, long before the uprising against Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Now Kareem's year in Krakow is ending, and he's hoping to get refugee status somewhere in Scandinavia. Returning to Egypt is not an option.
"SMALL WORLDS" SERIES, PART 3 - ROMANIA: THE TURKISH ENCLAVE OF ADA KALEH - The island of Ada Kaleh on the River Danube used to be filled with bustling activity, coffee houses and Turkish bazaars. But about 40 years ago the island in southern Romania had to be evacuated because of a hydroelectric plant being installed. The authorities promised residents that they could relocate to the downstream island of Simian and that everything would be rebuilt there. But Simian is now a wasteland. Only part of the old fortress was rebuilt, and a number of graves were moved. The former inhabitants of Ada Kaleh were forced to reconstruct a new life for themselves on the mainland.
BRITAIN/GERMANY: A TASTE FOR THINGS GERMAN - Brits having a hankering for things German - from the country's cars to the capital city of Berlin. The traditional German sausage, the "bratwurst", is more popular than ever. "Hermann ze German" is the brainchild of a young couple originally from the Black Forest region. Two years ago they opened their first sausage outlet under the name, and others have followed. Even their slogan plays on a stereotypical German accent "Our wurst is ze best". And the hungry Brits come in droves.
- KQED World: Sat, Feb 9, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, Feb 5, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
KQED World: Sat, Feb 2, 2013 -- 7:00 AM