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tv   European Journal  KCSMMHZ  April 28, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PDT

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what's a warm welcome to you. "european journal" coming to you from brussels. here is what we, with you today. song and dance. the six grammys to represent russia in the song contest. helping those who help others. and restore with the effects of the debt crisis in europe. the crisis is not over yet. take spain, for instance. they are struggling and they are having to pay horrendously high interest rates when they want to borrow money in the markets. one look at the labor market shows things are getting worse rather than better.
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it was the beginning of a vicious cycle. without a job, it becomes difficult to pay your bills. what happens next? you lose your apartment. >> no evictions year, they chance. the police are nervous. they're due to be evicted from their apartment in the bailiffs are closing in. they are gathered upstairs. the couple has not paid their mortgage for one year. the stress has made monica sick. they have been given two weeks and then they are out. bu>> we build out an application for social housing but there is nothing for us. we looked at a few apartment but they are all too expensive. >> a few streets away, the same
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situation. they do not know whether they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow. when year ago, to recent emigrated from ecuador. >> this is what my children looked like when i brought them here. they were small then. all of my dreams? none of them have come true. >> her situation is typical for many in spain right now. she lost her job as a nurse. she was unemployed at the same time mortgage costs began to rise. most mortgages were approved with flexible interest rates. monthly payments began at 800 euro per month. they have plunged to 1700 e. euro. >> a month from a real-estate company came to my door and said i should stop throwing money away on rent and buy an apartment instead. by the end of the month, the had
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the papers ready to sign. i was so naive. i did not even read anything more hire a lawyer. >> repossessions have been divided among friends. the bailiff is due the following morning. they have banded together to form a support group. they want to raise awareness and provide legal aid for 150,000 people who have already had their apartments repossessed in spain, a contentious situation. >> we say when you cannot pay your mortgage that is your problem. when thousands cannot, the bank has a problem. when hundreds of thousands can pay their mortgages, the state has a problem. >> for years, banks in spain extended credit until the property bubble burst. many now stand empty. the prices are at rock bottom.
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there are often those that cannot pay their mortgages to receive much less money in a foreclosure sale. the home is gone but the debt remains. >> the properties were overvalued citibank ski bigger loans than necessary. they also encouraged people to borrow extra money to purchase furniture, take trips, buy cars. it is wrong. >> the banks which often provide mortgages that purchase price with no down payments and the customers bear responsibility. th>> alone is a contract between two parties. the financial institutions -- a loan is a contract. they are legally obliged to inform their customers. >> many people are angry with the banks. the public are also somewhat naive. the result now? evictions.
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in the past, the police came in and they found they were thrown out. protests have put a stop to that. they have tried to buy time so that they can get some of her debt reduced. the bank is not taking any chances now. the locksmith is here to change the lock. for her, it is a waiting game. >> before, without a lawyer, i tried to talk to the bank. i asked for debt forgiveness and offered to pay rent, but it would not listen to me. >> everything is already packed, just in case. it is good news that she can stay for two weeks and bankers promised to reconsider waiving some of her debt. >> thank you for your help and solidarity with me and my mother.
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>> debt forgiveness has become more common. they have realized many people have no way of paying and they are obliged to find socially acceptable solutions. she missed that chance and has been homeless since october squatting in an abandoned building. she is out of a job. average unemployment in spain as well above 20%, the highest in the eu. because of this, many cannot afford to keep their homes. they live in squats, broken windows, no plumbing. >> it is unbelievable. being hungry and ending up on the street. a person needs a room over their head and somewhere to hang their hat. many people fight to ensure this does not happen. i cannot understand it. a country like spain and people out on the street?
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>> she has been granted one month's break and a chance to negotiate with the banks. >> my biggest hope is that they will forgive my debt. now i am waiting for confirmation that i can really live here another month. >> for many, the dream of owning a home is over and unless the banks grant, they will spend money progress they no longer live in. >> eat your heart out, spice girls? the youngest member of this group is in her young 70's. they are able to a group made up of six elderly women that they can shake a leg to a disco beat. they do it so well that they will represent russia at the bureauvision contest.
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-- eurovision contest. they are adored in russia and now the grandmas hpoe -- hope they will love them everywhere. ♪ >> they still need some practice on the english chorus, but singing is nothing new for them. >> if you get sick, you have to go into the forest and sing it very loudly from deep within your chest. that is how you get better. we have a saying -- heat who sings, lives longer. >> the village is about 1,000 kilometers east of moscow. it has no paved roads and no
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civics system. there are tens of thousands of similar villages throughout russia, but none sounds like it this group. ♪ ♪ they have been rehearsing for weeks for this year's eurovision contest. the traditional dress has been inherited from their great- grandmother's and they will wear the costumes on stage. they have written the parts in their village. many of them speak a language better than russian. ♪ >> we are singing about how we
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set the table for our children who now live in the city and come to visit. this is how we have a party and sing when they finally arrived. this is what my life is like. i live alone with my husband and it is often boring, but when my children are home and is instantly more cheerful. >> there are numerous focus groups in the village, but the women are the only ones who can sing of the beatles in the local languages such as this version of "let it be." ♪ >> the folks songs are mostly sad and melancholic because life
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is always difficult here. now we also sang happy songs. >> lifestyle is not easy here. ballantine that is one of many women in the village who live alone, fetching water one of their daily chores. >> during and rec after the war, we had nothing to eat. compared to then, we have everything now. white bread, for example. i'm very happy for that. if they would just not hold out paying our pensions, we use it to help out our children and grandchildren. >> most people here heat their homes with wood stoves. if you have gas heating. vlentina uses an old stone oven to cook. most of the old women cannot imagine swapping this for city life thanks to small-scale
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firing -- farming. is not need to buy milk and eggs. recently, but the concert have brought destruction to her daily routine. >> when i am away, i hire a woman to look after everything. our producers give us extra money for that. but the animals miss me. when i return, the dog is waiting for me whimpering at the door. then i changed industry to the barn to the other animals. -- change and go straight to the barn. >> it is a street fight. they have traveled here for a charity concert. they're saving their energies for the big show.
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they sang for everybody. there and treat for the euro vision contest with the english refrain. ♪ the women want one thing more than anything -- to be taken seriously even though they are not professionally trained singers. [applause] >> it's a very unusual for eurovision. do not know how they will do it, but they will be successful. f >> they were great, very unusual. i like of the mix of national folk tradition. we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will win the competition. >> for us, it is an indescribable feeling. we never expected to go to the song contest. it's a big responsibility.
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we feel that. we are representing of russia. ♪ >> they are on the road a lot these days and the turmoil is sure to increase as the big event draws closer. as always, they're donating their earnings to build a new church are,. -- church back home. and in the quiet moments, they look forward to everything returning to normal in uranovo. >> there is an international role -- you do not attack medics. the men and women with the red cross armbands are out of bounds. case in switzerland. there paramedics are complaining that they often have to defend themselves against attacks, verbal and physical. now the swiss have decided to
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help the paramedics and had equipped them with special guests that protect them against violence. -- special vests. >> ambulance services. >> this is an emergency call that promises trouble. it is just before midnight on a friday and emergency services get a call about a fight outside a nightclub. >> how many injured people can you see? >> several young people have been badly hurt. >> i will send a team right away. please leave the area. >> sasha and nick are often sent to situations like this. both of them paramedics for more than 10 years, so this is routine. this can be a tough job in zero again sometime the nighttime calls make them uneasy. -- this can be a tough job in zurich.
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>> you had out feeling nervous. will we be attacked? is the situation under control? >> footage of an earlier call of a knife fight downside of a club. police are there and several people have serious knife wounds. the mood is tense. it is a situation in which they are increasingly becoming a target of abuse and violence. sometimes they are even attacked by the people they're trying to help. >> he grabbed me by the colleran pulled me down and scream. i defended myself, and i was able to get his hands off me. >> quite often, drugs are involved and usually is a wild mix of different substances. many of the injured do not just have control over themselves anymore. >> most of the people we see to
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react in such an uncontrolled and unruly manner are the ones who consume both alcohol and drugs. it used to be opiates and people were generally sleepy and out of it. they were not aggressive. now, other things are being consumed and the alcohol and cocaine make people uninhibited and aggressive. >> last year, zurich paramedics were the victims of violence nearly 400 times during response calls. one was beaten so badly he was hospitalized. >> we think this is a very serious problem. there have been several cases where people were attacked, hit, insulted, threatened. we cannot tolerate that anymore. >> the paramedics are allowed to carry pepper spray when the drought on calls. they're given special training in using it. >> you remove the pepper spray from your belt, hold it in front
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of the attacker, stand like this, and say, "stop." spray once or twice. >> there also been given a new protective vests. if things get really dangerous, and emergency button on their radio can get back up quickly. in addition, violence prevention and self-defense are part of training. >> you have something you can use to defend yourself with an emergency if you feel safer, the same with protective vests. it only works out to a certain extent. your hardware and all the time. >> risks remain for personnel, especially during nighttime calls when drugs and all are likely to be involved. in zurich, they have clearly recognize the problem and are trying to improve safety precautions for the paramedics as much as possible.
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>> we are here to help. we are not the police handing out tickets. we want to help. the fact that we get attacked at all is very sad. it really makes you wonder. >> the paramedics cannot solve the problem, but in zurich they're getting support to deal with it. >> providing it agrees with bailout bonds to avert an immediate debt default is one thing. how do you get rid of the bureaucratic red tape and bring about fundamental structural changes to revive the economy? one of the biggest problems facing greece today's correction. no matter what formalities' you have to get done, there are always degrees of bribes to pay. a former greek minister was arrested for allegedly financial misconduct. now it seems the greek public is
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no longer prepared to and accept such behavior. people want corrupt officials to be held responsible. >> to 0.5 hours from athens, blue water as far as the eye can see. beautiful surroundings like this and the ongoing socio- economic crisis seems far and away. it is not. building this was a struggle against one of the most acute problems -- corruption. it all started seven years ago when he decided to construct a huge resort here on the beach. together with his brother, they drummed up support for the 30 million euro project. they applied for support through the greek loan program partially funded by the eu is personal odyssey then began. >> we were sent from office to
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office, minister to minister, deputy to deputy without being able to find a solution. >> at the greek economics ministry, he had to present his plans over and over again. at every stage he was urged to pay bribes to help accelerate the process. in total, they asked for 700,000 euro. he refused to pay. instead, he went ahead and build his hotel without cash from the program of of his funding had been approved. then the coming two months ago? >> i asked them what they mounted -- tey wanted? they wanted 4%. >> two staff members and demanded 120,000 euro in cash. he finally went to the police.
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in a sting operation, he met one of the servants as agreed and handed over the money. in short time later, the two men were arrested. their trial is now under way. dozens of staff at the economics ministry has been fired. standing on corruption like this is the job of the general inspector public administration and it is an enormous task. the estimate the underground economy makes up 30% of the economic output. he says things are changing. >> people are not afraid anymore. they realize corruption costs breezed to much and that we have to fight it. -- costs greece too much. see has asked for more support both from inside and in the eu. they presented their initial findings. small steps, but still no comprehensive underlying concept for either fighting corruption
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or tackling an unwieldy bureaucracy. >> there are too many administrative barriers and, therefore, the potential to have a reduction in this red tape, which can contribute to the future facilitations of economic activity in greece is enormous. >> until the be a mix concrete suggestions, greeks will have to come to terms with the problems on the wrong. the outskirts of athens. since the crisis began, many stores have gone out of business, more than 100,000 closed in the country. one firm is flourishing. at this development company, the staff has doubled since thousand nine. -- since 20009. five months ago, he said up a new project, a non-store that
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sounds straight forward. the bureaucracy can make simple things complicated. >> at the shop was not recognized as an online store. they viewed as as a grocery store. that is why we have to collect a huge number of documents and certificates. >> his internet start up, which only takes care of the technical administration, is supervised by the health industry and it took him 10 months to the store online. >> we even thought about moving abroad, maybe to germany or england where it is easier to set up a company. >> in the end come he decided to stay in greece where he has had his own brushes with shady officials. >> nobody says openly, "give me money," you get the feeling that they wanted. >> he also refused to pay.
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the police are now asking people to play a more active role in fighting corruption. the debt crisis has been hard on greece but it is providing an opportunity to clean up its institutions. >> that report wraps up this week's edition of a "european journal." pleased to join us again next time. from all of us here at dw studios in brussels, thank you for watching and by for now. captioned by the national captioning institute
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