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 Rise of Anti-Semitism In Eastern Europe (Episode #3121)
KQED World: Tue, May 28, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
On April 30, millions of Europeans looked on as Prince Willem-Alexander was crowned King of the Netherlands. At the same time, surveys show that many Europeans think having a royal head of state is a royal waste of money. However, in France a small group of conservatives wants to prove the opposite is true. The country's royalists are demanding the return of the monarchy. The details:
HUNGARY: THE RISE IN ANTI-SEMITISM - Hungary is home to the third largest Jewish population in Europe. That community is feeling increasingly under threat, as anti-Semitic discourse enters the mainstream. Jews in Hungary are facing a rise in physical and verbal assaults. One member of parliament recently called for Jewish citizens to be registered separately by the authorities as potential "national security risks". This May Day saw a gathering of thousands of ultra-right-wingers in Budapest. The event was organized by the right-wing Jobbik Party - the third biggest political force in the Hungarian parliament.
ITALY: AFTERSHOCKS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE - One year on from the major earthquake in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy, things have still to settle. Reconstruction has still to really pick up. Property damage in this wealthy part of Italy is often only being resolved on a makeshift basis. The builders and authorities in the areas affected are in despair, with support from in Rome minimal. Given the financial crisis facing the country, the government is unlikely to deliver the assistance originally promised.
FRANCE: RETURN OF THE ROYALISTS - Europe's royal families are always a favorite focus for the tabloid media. There is another group now delighted to see the new king of the Netherlands ascend the throne: France's royalists. The interest across Europe in the coronation of Willem-Alexander, the new king of the Netherlands, has been great news for French royalists. The new generation of pro-monarchists comprising the Action Francaise group dream of a France as it was prior to the French Revolution of 1789 war: a monarchy instead of a classic democracy. Their old-fashioned views have failed to gain much popularity, however - until now.
CYPRUS: THE POWER OF THE CHURCH - The Cypriot orthodox church is said to own property worth billions of euros. Now it wants to help the bankrupt island state by mortgaging its assets. Relations between the state and church are close in Cyprus. The church owes much of its wealth to tax breaks. It now remains to be seen whether or not the head of the church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, will stick to his pledge.
- KQED World: Tue, May 28, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
The Nanny Orphans of Romania (Episode #3120)
KQED World: Tue, May 21, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
Many of the autocratic leaders that rule in Africa, Latin America and Arab countries often purchase properties abroad. Many have long favored France's Cote d'Azur; entire clans purchased top quality real estate here - using money plundered from their nation's coffers. But now friendly relations with the West have cooled, and some of the luxury villas are standing empty. The details:
ROMANIA: MAMA CLEANS IN THE WEST - More and more children in Romania are growing up without parents. They're cared for by other relatives, in homes or simply live on the street. Child welfare organization UNICEF estimates that some 350,000 of these "orphans" have parents working in Western Europe. Most of the parents work - legally or illegally - as nannies, cleaners or farm laborers. For years seasonal workers, in particular, have been traveling to Western European countries like Germany, Italy and Spain where cheap labor is in demand. Some don't ever return to their children in Romania.
FRANCE: BEN ALI'S VILLAS - With 260 days of sunshine a year, France's Cote d'Azur draws hordes of tourists. But it's also an attractive place for shady rulers to park their ill-got money. Many buy luxury homes here; former Tunisian president Ben Ali is thought to own villas on the Cote d'Azur. In Ben Ali's case, France's public prosecutor is now investigating. But many French citizens of Tunisian descent believe the investigation is taking too long, so they're collecting evidence on their own. Since the Arab Spring two years ago, the number of vacant luxury homes on the Cote D'Azur has kept on growing.
TURKEY: WINEGROWERS UNDER PRESSURE - In Turkey, the country's Islamic-leaning, conservative government has massively restricted sales of alcohol. Yet Turkish wines are currently very popular. Vintners are focusing more on quality and are winning international prizes. But in many areas of the countryside and even in some large cities, bars and restaurants are no longer being issued liquor licenses. Supermarkets are having to take alcoholic beverages off their shelves and sales over the Internet are also forbidden. Yet, in spite of these measures, alcohol consumption is rising. People are crowding to the areas of major cities where alcoholic drinks are still being served.
SWITZERLAND: TICKETS FOR PROSTITUTES - Zurich's Sihlquai riverbank has a reputation as being Switzerland's toughest area for street walkers. Here prostitutes service as many as 30 customers per night. Local authorities now want to curtail this booming trade. Prostitutes are now to be given a number and purchase a ticket. A stand costs four euros a night. In future, prostitutes will be required to have health insurance and to attend counseling. Starting in August, prostitutes should no longer be seen on the Sihlquai. They're to ply their trade in an industrial area of Zurich - out of the sight of the local residents.
- KQED World: Tue, May 21, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
A Shortage of Physicians Costing Lives In Poland (Episode #3119)
KQED World: Tue, May 14, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
Britain/Bulgaria - scare tactics - Earlier this year, it emerged that the British government had actually considered whether to launch a negative ad campaign designed to scare off jobseekers coming from Bulgaria and Romania. Now some smart Bulgarians have been turning the tables on the British. Starting in 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to work anywhere in the EU. Some people in Britain are worried they'll see a huge wave of immigrants similar to that from Poland in 2004. News of a possible advertising campaign designed to discourage would-be immigrants has outraged many in Bulgaria, because since their country joined the EU, tens of thousands of Britons have been buying Bulgarian houses. So why are the Brits moving in? A group of Bulgarian artists explain... Lithuania: the Charlemagne Prize for Grybauskaite - One of Europe's most coveted awards has gone to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite this year. She's being honored for her dedication to Europe. Since 1950 the Charlemagne Prize has been awarded for special contributions to European integration. The jury praised Dalia Grybauskaite's courage and discipline in overcoming widespread uncertainty at home and leading her country through the financial crisis, and closer to European Monetary Union. Dalia Grybauskaite has been Lithuania's president since 2009. After her country joined the European Union, she began working at the European Commission, first in education and culture, and later as budget commissioner. Poland: A shortage of doctors costs lives - Poland has a medical emergency. Doctors are leaving for better paid jobs in other EU countries. Many Poles have been left to rely on the emergency services. Dominika was just two-and-a-half years old. She suddenly came down with a fever and her parents called the emergency services in the small town of Skierniewice. But no doctor had time. By the time a doctor saw Dominika, it was too late. She didn't survive. Her fate has sent shockwaves through Poland, because it illustrates a dramatic situation. The country does not have enough doctors, nurses or other caregivers. Spain: The jobless turn to sheep farming - In Spain there's a new career niche for the unemployed. In Andalusia, qualified masons, waiters and academics are learning the basics for jobs as goat herders or shepherds. It's a pilot project: Experienced breeders teach jobless people the practical applications. Agricultural engineers or veterinarians teach the theory. The shepherd schools are financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Participants hope they'll soon be making a living as shepherds, pig farmers or donkey breeders - all jobs with a future in Spain.
- KQED World: Sat, May 18, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, May 14, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Unwelcome Species Invading Europe (Episode #3118)
KQED World: Tue, May 7, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
Europe has become home to over 10,000 new animal and plant species. But they're not being welcomed everywhere, because they often endanger the habitat of native species. In northern Germany, for example, the nandu - a huge, flightless bird native to South America - is growing in numbers. The details:
TURKEY: SOLDIERS BREAK THEIR SILENCE - Violent conduct within the Turkish military was long considered a taboo subject. Soldiers had to appear hardened; they were, after all, doing battle against the Kurdish PKK. But now the military leadership is facing serious accusations. More than 900 Turkish soldiers have committed suicide over the past 10 years. Citing eyewitness accounts, a soldiers' rights group says one reason for the high rate is abuse within the ranks. The organization says over 1,000 soldiers have reported beatings and humiliation. Now a growing number of families of suicide victims are taking the issue to court.
BRITAIN: SECOND HOMELAND OF THE POLES - Since the European Union's eastward expansion in 2004, Britain has been the primary destination for job-seekers from Poland. In future, however, immigrants from the EU may find it more difficult to settle in the country. British diners are now used to Polish waiters, and many home owners have employed Polish plumbers. But the immigrants are not well-integrated. They live in Polish neighborhoods, attend Polish churches, and eat imported Polish food. It came as little surprise when a recent study showed that Polish is the most widely spoken language in Britain after English.
ROMANIA: COSTLY EXODUS - During the Cold War the West German government paid for some 230,000 ethnic Germans to be allowed to leave communist Romania. Only now is the scope of those payments coming to light. The government in Bonn transferred millions in hard currency to Romania's notorious secret police, the Securitate. These payments were in addition to the billions agreed with the Ceausescu regime. A former negotiator with the West German government provides an insider's account of the clandestine talks.
GERMANY: UNWELCOME GUESTS - More and more new plant and animal species are spreading across Europe. Many enter the region via freight shipments or by tourists. Among them are a population of nandus that have settled in northern Germany. More than 10 years ago, six nandus escaped from a private farm. Today their number has grown to 120. The huge, flightless birds have adapted well to northern Germany's environment. But farmers and hunters don't like them. Top of their preferred menu - entire fields of young corn plants.
- KQED World: Sat, May 11, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
- KQED World: Tue, May 7, 2013 -- 10:30 AM