Skip to main content

tv   European Journal  KCSMMHZ  April 23, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT

2:00 am
>> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studio in brussels. here is what is on the show today -- france -- what will become of the last farm in paris? coast soon be home to a nuclear power plant? and belfast's new museum pays homage to the titanic. it is hard to believe that rents were once very cheap in paris. one of the most popular neighborhoods was were virtually penniless artists such as painter pablo picasso and write your earning -- ernest hemingway used to live and work. today, it is one of the most expensive areas of paris.
2:01 am
no wonder real-estate agencies are desperately seeking every square meeting under a lamp there. this could mean the end for a remnant of the past, that the people have grown fond of, the last farm in paris. >> lived in the middle of the district for 30 years. he says he does not enjoy visiting the district anymore because it has become too classy. >> i am really quite sad about the way the street looks today. this used to be a village where everyone knew each other. >> a bakery, a laundry, a bookstore. back then, small shops lie in the street, and in the midst of it all was a farm. >> i used to come here to get milk. i brought my milk jugs, and the
2:02 am
farmer's wife poured in the mill, and then i walk back home again. ♪ >> in the early 20th century, there were around 500 working farms within the paris city limits, complete with horses, goats, and cows. this farmhouse is the only one that remains. the view from the street is now blocked on all sides. eight years ago, and paris developer bought the farmhouse, planning to demolish the buildings to make way for new construction. this man opposes the idea. he is an artist and also heads a citizen's initiative that wants to preserve the farm. for years, it has been battling to prevent the demolition.
2:03 am
a tenant in this building supports the initiative. she let us have a look into the grounds of the farm. 2700 square meters of pride in paris real estate, but the farm buildings were in disrepair. >> back there is the barn. it is huge. it has been ripped up and left to fall apart, especially the roof. they know it is had to get permission to tear down buildings that are intact, so he waits until they are in ruins. >> most realistic companies were wary when the farm went up for sale. back then, local residents were already banding together to preserve the farm. they organized publicity events on weekends. in the end, they forced the real-estate company to postpone
2:04 am
the demolition plans. they were helped by something underneath the earth -- an old stone quarry. >> this used to be under the city. there used to be a labyrinth 280 kilometers long. >> many buildings in paris were constructed with stones like this, and the quarry directly under the form is of particular interest. >> large stone pillars dating back to the middle ages. it is unique. it is only under the small, green open areas that the original quarries have been preserved. >> the citizens' initiative manage to get the quarry declared an historical monument. that is the only reason why paris' last farm has not been replaced by new construction. the people in the district are
2:05 am
proud of their victory. >> i am in favor of preserving historical buildings. that is why the farmer must be saved as well. >> in this district, we need spaces where citizens can gather and joined together. the farmer could serve as a space for that, sir citizen groups, and serve people in general. >> it is wonderful that our district has a farm. i would like to see it turned into a real farm, an organic one. >> the citizens' initiative also has big plans for the space. >> it would be great if children could come here on the metro to get a look at a working farm. the way it is now, schools always have to rent a bus and drive all the way from paris. >> but the real estate company is not giving up without a
2:06 am
fight. it wants to build 80 apartments on the site. with property costing up to 14,000 euros per square meter, the profits are just too tempting to pass up. >> we will win this -- win this in the end. we have already invested a great deal of money and time in this project. why should we abandon it now? we have no reason to do that. after all, we do on the farm. it belongs to us. >> that once again applied for planning permission and promises it will preserve the old buildings. the citizens' initiative has already won more than 10 court cases. >> i want to show people that they can take their destiny into their own hands. the construction company and the city cannot simply decide things for us.
2:07 am
>> does paris belong to its citizens or to the real estate giant's? the fight for the farm has become a symbol and could be copied in other districts of the french capital. >> not so long ago, a mere 13 years, serbia was the target of nato bombs during the kosovo war. the country that was once part of yugoslavia has just been made a candidate for eu membership. a big step for the serbs, but the candidacy also entails big challenges. >> kosovo has since declared its independence, which serbia still will not recognize, but it has to. it is one of the conditions to join the eu. the question of how to deal with it is also made an issue in the current election campaign. many young people have enough of political squabbling and are now taking matters into their own
2:08 am
hands. >> a few photos to show the folks back home. students are touring the serbian parliament in belgrade. their visit would have been unthinkable just a few years ago when kosovars and serbs were archenemies. she is a serbian city, a member of an organization that promotes reconciliation between the former enemies. >> i think only direct contact can help reduce fears, mistrust, and prejudice. it is an investment in the future of my country on its way into the european union. it is my small, personal contribution. >> the serbs and kosovars are spending three days together in belgrade and then three days in kosovo. it is a completely new experience for both sides. these posters in belgrade say a step towards europe would benefit everyone.
2:09 am
this 24-year-old agrees and is convinced that peaceful coexistence in the balkans is a key condition for serbia's entry into the eu. bamako's of all has long been independent and sovereign. i do not agree with the outdated idea of a greater serbia. i think everyone in serbia will at some point have a similarly been in position toward kosovo. >> but reality in the balkans is often grim. these scenes from last august show ethnic serb nationalists attacking its border posts. the violence was triggered by a dispute over kosovo customs stance, which serbia refused to accept. it quickly escalated into a violent standoff. the majority of ethnic serbs in the border region do not recognize kosovan independence.
2:10 am
nato-led force had to intervene to call attention. as a result, ethnic serbs blocked streets for months, fearing the survey will be forced to renounce its claim to areas in kosovo in order to gain eu membership. this expert says the border dispute must be resolved before serbia can join the eu. >> the underlying problem is the continuing dialogue. the search for a solution on kosovo's status and a feeling that serbia is in a stronger position because it is seen by the eu as being constructed. there's a frustration that the talks are not progressing well. >> back in belgrade, these students take us on a walk through the serbian capital past the brightly lit parliament. the two want greater equality and an overhaul of the
2:11 am
traditional and administrative systems to meet the new standards. they say the current system simply is not working. >> every visit to the authorities, whether it is for a simple certificate, identification papers, or a new passport, means looking for someone you know who works there, or who in turn knows someone else who can do a favor for you. >> we are good at improvising. we are capering over the cracks so the problems do not become bigger. what we lack is a long-term strategy and the reliability of long-term institutions. >> they hope for help from the eu. serbia needs to reform numerous laws if it is to regain membership. he has been closely following the development of institutions in the country. he is skeptical that things will improve quickly.
2:12 am
>> of course there is corruption in many regions, but it has to be said that just like in many post-communist countries and even in eu member states, the partly has to do with the fact that former state-owned and public property was privatized. that practically never happens without corruption. >> for instance, if a person needs good and fast treatment at a hospital, he just gives his doctor an envelope with money. for the nurses, a gift of chocolate or expensive perfume will do. anyone wanting to avoid a traffic penalty hands the police a few dinard's during the road check. that is often cheaper than paying bureaucrats to process an official ticket. even at schools and universities, it is almost normal to do a few favors for the professor and head of an important exam. that is a guarantee you will pass the test regardless of how good you are.
2:13 am
she has experienced this firsthand. >> you run into corruption at every step. you really have to make an effort not to become part of the system. many forms of bribery are simply not considered to be wrong because they are seen as normal. that is without doubt serbia's biggest problem. >> after university, they spend the evening at supermarket, a hit belgrade restaurant surrounded by boutiques and shops. she discusses serbia's e you candidate status. everyone agrees that the road to the eu is rocky. she says the important thing is to build up on the mood of optimism. she says that is the only hope for bringing about real change in serbia. >> nuclear power continues to
2:14 am
divide europeans after the tsunami hit fukushima power plant last year. germany opted out of what it calls a risky industry. : however was quick to reaffirm its plans to build its first nuclear power stations soon and possibly write on the border with germany, and it is not only the germans who do not like the idea, to say the least. there is growing concern in poland as well, but the government and private companies are doing their best to make the technology look as appealing as possible. >> these volleyball players are sponsored by polish energy bypge. the company hopes to build colin's first nuclear power facility and is spending heavily on advertising and roping in the help of attractive young girls. this is how:'s effort to attack nuclear energy looks so far.
2:15 am
30 years ago, a nuclear power plant was built but never completed. even as neighboring germany phases out nuclear power, poland is planning its first nuclear power plant. safety is a big issue. >> our nuclear plants will be built according to the highest safety standards. we are planning construction with extreme care. we are aiming to produce the world's safest nuclear energy. these sites for the nuclea facilities are not clear as yet, but we are definitely getting on board. nuclear energy is an economic necessity for us. >> these are the old nuclear construction plans from the 1970's. they are still preserved. the nuclear disaster in chernobyl in 1986 and the fall of communism put a stop to construction of the nuclear
2:16 am
facility in 1991. ruins of the plant still remain. the majority of residents here have no problems with the nuclear plant on their doorstep. >> we only stand to benefit from a nuclear plant. we need new streets and better infrastructure. existed, we would be walking on gravel paths. the nuclear facility will bring money, and then the city can invest in our children. maybe a playground for a swimming pool will be built. i would like that. and the mayor hopes that primarily the plant will create new jobs in the region. >> almost 5000 people are expected to work for the plant during the peak construction period. in the long term, the facility is expected to create around 800 jobs. >> that would mean almost full employment for the economically depressed village.
2:17 am
>> if the government really wants to build a nuclear power plant, they should build it here. we have all the right prerequisites, and the environment here is ruined anyway, so it will not make a difference. >> but not everyone is as welcoming. this baltic sea resort town is considered an alternate location for the plant, but the many hotels here fear it would drive away visitors. hotel owners say a nuclear facility in the region would be disastrous. >> there is no rational way of saying this. more than 90% of the people here live from tourism. we are all really scared that no one will want to spend their vacation here. a proper holiday atmosphere and relaxation simply is not possible in the shadow of big, concrete blocks. >> local politicians are also worried about the impact of the nuclear plant on their region's
2:18 am
image. >> the nuclear facility would simply overshadow everything. everyone who comes here will only see the power plant. the idea is to build it here between the houses. this concrete monstrosity will spoil everything. >> we do not want our livelihoods to be destroyed. that is why we will do everything we can to oppose the construction of the nuclear plant. i am in talks with the government. we are organizing demonstrations and protests. we will never accept a nuclear plant in our community. >> should we now retrained tourism experts to become nuclear power technicians? we will be finished. there will be mass immigration. everyone will leave their homes. who wants to live near a nuclear plant? nobody. within months, a lot of people will be made homeless.
2:19 am
>> citizens' protest groups organize a referendum on the planned nuclear facility. the result is a blow to politicians in warsaw. 85% of the people do not want a nuclear power plant. the referendum is not legally block -- binding, but it does reflect the opinion of the residence. polish politicians have backpedaled and say they do not want to build a nuclear facility against the wishes of the people. now, there is speculation that construction may begin by 2016. >> it was exactly 100 years ago that the famous titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank. some 1500 people lost their lives. the disaster continues to fascinate us, even today. hollywood director james cameron's film is being released in a 3-d version, and the
2:20 am
anniversary is also an occasion for northern ireland to finally close a chapter of history. for a long time, the people of belfast did not want to be reminded of the fact that the titanic was built at the airport, but now they say it is time to accept the fact, and they are inviting visitors to come on board in the city's brand-new titanic museum. >> belfast has a new landmark. even the exterior of the titanic center is reminiscent of the world's most famous ocean liner. the titanic was built here in belfast, and now the city is presenting its side of the story. for this local resident, it is a very personal one. her great-grandfather helped build the titanic. the engineer sailed on the titanic's maiden voyage 100 years ago and lost his life when it sank. his break the granddaughter's
2:21 am
says that for a long time after the tragedy, people in belfast did not want to talk about the titanic. >> i suppose in this part of the world, we are not very good at showing our feelings publicly. rather than deal with the grief and shock and sorrow and the hurt pride at the time, we just swept it away to be forgotten about, and that was the case for so many years. >> but now, it is full steam ahead into the past. the titanic center gives visitors and insight into what life was like aboard the giant vessel. 3d video installations give a virtual guided tour from the machine room up to the first- class debt -- deck. the exhibition even features the ships famous stairway. exhibition organizers are proud
2:22 am
to add that it is a more accurate replica than the one in the award-winning movie. >> [inaudible] >> the new building was built on the exact site where the titanic was launched. this tour guide says it is well worth a visit. >> what happened to titanic was a dreadful thing, a dreadful disaster. the ship herself was not the problem. it was human error and circumstance, so there's nothing to be ashamed of in what was created here. in fact, it should be celebrated. belfast should be very proud of its creations. >> belfast could use some good
2:23 am
publicity. it's violent conflicts have repeatedly made headlines, and peace lines still separate protestant areas from catholic ones. she prefers to spend time at the titanic center. >> the stories can be about our more recent past, but i think we have much more positive stories to tell about the titanic and of our industrial heritage. >> the gleaming new building cost more than 100 million euros. it stands for belfast's hope for a boom in the old titanic district. these green buoys harness tidal power. they represent the city's technological innovations. >> we have two prototypes here of our energy device. it captures power from the waves in two ways -- one in the up and down motion and the other in the
2:24 am
side to side motion. >> it is not a revolutionary idea, but now, belfast as well as riding the wave of renewable energy and hopes to profit from its location as a port city. many new companies are opening offices beside the titanic center in the harbor. the titanic was a wonder of engineering art, and paul brewster says it is great pr for the city. >> the titanic is probably a way to draw attention to that on a worldwide level that people see what we did here locally in the past and what we can do again in the future. >> belfast has taken 100 years to develop a positive attitude toward the titanic. suzie will celebrate the anniversary in a very personal way -- by sailing on the titanic memorial crews. >> it will enable me to go to the place where titanic sank and to pay my respects to my great
2:25 am
grandfather. but as well as that, it enables me to sail into new york and complete the journey for him, the journey he did not get to finish 100 years ago. i can step in 100 years later and finished for him. >> a new chapter in the saga of the titanic is being written. belfast, the city that built the world's most famous ocean liner. >> that report brings us to the end of this edition of "european journal." we hope you enjoyed the show. until next time, from all of us here at dw studio in brussels, thanks for watching, and good bye for now.
2:26 am
2:27 am
2:28 am
2:29 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on