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.
Pompeii Collapsing from Corruption (#3243) Duration: 26:10 STEREO
Germany: Tracking down traffickers - German police are putting more effort into stopping human traffickers. Upper Bavaria is evidently a bottleneck where two main overland smuggling routes meet: from Italy and the Balkans. No other federal police inspections currently register more unauthorized border crossings. More than five thousand people were picked up this year alone. But most crossings remain undetected. Traffickers tend to transport their human cargo at night, crossing the German border at the crack of dawn. The growing floods of refugees to Europe are a business worth billions to them. Britain: A multicultural borough in London - What was once a traditionally working-class area of London has been home to many Bengalis for years. They dominate the borough council and hold the post of mayor. Once acclaimed as a model of multiculturalism, the borough now faces fierce criticism. There are allegations of corruption, suspected extremism and anti-Semitism among Tower Hamlets council members. The mayor is facing charges of electoral fraud. The borough has been nicknamed the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets. Of the 45 borough councilors, 25 are from Bangladesh. They accuse their critics of racism and Islamophobia. Italy: Rescuing Pompeii from corruption - The ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii near Naples are continuing to fall to rack and ruin. Time is running out for those trying to preserve the site. All too often, the Camorra, the local crime syndicate, has exerted influence over restoration contracts. 105 million euros are at risk: money the European Union has allocated to keep the famous city from going under for a second time. Pompeii was buried in ash and pumice in 79 AD after a violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The action plan stipulates that the funds be used and work completed by 2015. So far only a third of the money has been released. Spain: The mule women of Melilla - They carry heavy loads of goods that they buy cheaply in Europe: every day, hundreds of what are called mule women, or porteadoras, cross the border from Morocco to the Spanish exclave of Melilla and back. This shopping trip isn't without its risks. Several of the women have been trampled to death at the narrow pedestrian border crossing. From car tires to clothing and food - the women carry bales weighing up to 50 kilos on their backs. Everything is perfectly legal and duty-free. As long as they carry them, their loads are considered personal belongings. Every day about 8,000 of these women make their way toward the border crossing along a footpath near the border fence. The path is open for only a few hours a day. It's a profitable business for the merchants in Melilla, but the women receive starvation wages for their back-breaking work. Russia: "Hideaway" from Perm - Two Russian comedians have shot a parody cover of Canadian singer-songwriter Kiesza's hit "Hideaway." Instead of New York, they dance through a Russian village. It's a huge success: hundreds of thousands of people in Russia have seen the video clip. Bonya and Kuzmich are a comedy duo from the city of Perm in the European part of Russia. They wanted to show how lively the provincial countryside can be. In Russia, internet users are already calling them the answer to EU and US sanctions. Blogs are saying that, with villages like this, Russia doesn't need the West. But the parody is also a hit in the West. Kiesza, who sang the original, is said to be delighted.