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.
Environmental Scandal In Austria (#3313) Duration: 26:10 STEREO TVG
Norway: Unwelcome Extremist - In Norway, an Iraqi Islamist is keeping the entire country on tenterhooks. The man, who calls himself Mullah Krekar, was granted asylum in Norway in 1991, but in the meantime has been held responsible for terrorist attacks by an Islamist group in northern Iraq. Now he's about to be confined to a small village in northern Norway. Krekar has been facing deportation for 10 years because he is seen as a danger to Norwegian national security, but according to international law he cannot be sent to Iraq because he would be subject to torture and possibly the death penalty there. The Norwegian government is sending him to the isolated village of Kyrksaeteroera, on a fjord southwest of Trondheim, where he will remain until a deportation order can be enforced. But the village residents - neither the Norwegians, nor the 200 well-integrated asylum seekers already there -- are enthusiastic. Austria: Toxins in the Gortschitz Valley - It's an environmental scandal in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia. A cement factory is said to have burned waste there for years, probably releasing highly toxic hexachlorobenzene - a carcinogenic substance that can damage DNA. The entire Gortschitz Valley is highly contaminated. Bucolic tranquility in the Gortschitz Valley is a thing of the past. Contaminated milk and animal feed have had to be destroyed, and hundreds of cows and sheep slaughtered. The damage to farmers is enormous. The scandal reaches as far as the state capital, Klagenfurt, where the toxin has been identified in the blood of school children whose milk is delivered straight from the Gortschitz Valley. Republic of Moldova: Escape Route to the West - More and more Ukrainians are fleeing to Moldova, and causing the country increasing problems, both material and otherwise. In addition to refugees from Ukrainian war zones, young men seeking to avoid military conscription are arriving. Faced with the conflicts in eastern Ukraine, the government in Kiev has reintroduced conscription. But the protests against the mandatory call-up are growing, and some conscientious objectors have been going to the neighboring Republic of Moldova, which is one of Europe's poorest countries. Its pro-Russian and pro-western populations are deeply divided. Parliamentary elections late last year failed to bring stability. Britain/London - Trafalgar Square - "Europe's Squares Series" - No other European country keeps as close a watch on its citizens as the UK. For years, the government has been broadening its powers of surveillance in the name of security. In other nations, its laws would long since have been considered breaches of privacy. Now opposition has also been growing in Britain. Nowadays, British intelligence services have access to citizens' communications data, whether telephone calls, emails, Facebook messages or other forms of communication. Where video surveillance on the streets is concerned, surveillance has a long tradition here. Since 1926, an unassuming structure that was once billed as the world's smallest police station has stood at the corner of London's Trafalgar Square - a traditional rallying point for demonstrators. For a time in the twentieth century, it even had a direct phone line to Scotland Yard. Belgium: Allotments for Cannabis Smokers - Cannabis is by far the most frequently consumed illegal drug in Europe, although producing it privately is illegal in the EU. Even in liberal Amsterdam, consumption of cannabis is only tolerated. Right outside the gates of the European Union, in Belgium, another loophole has opened up. Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC) are being founded, organizations that are a bit like allotment associations for adult cannabis smokers. Plants are grown and harvested in strictly secret locations. Every club member gets one of the plants from a harvest, and pays an annual fee for it. Cancer patient Omer Scheire has long been a member of a CSC. He says cannabis is the only thing that relieve