Skip to main content

tv   European Journal  PBS  April 29, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT

1:00 pm
and hello and a very warm welcome to this week's edition of "european journal" coming to you from the dw studios in brussels. cannabis against the crisis -- the spanish village that once to form part. monastery in danger -- christians in turkey, under danger. and the man who saved a zoo.
1:01 pm
moment, spain is having a particularly hard time. the country's debt is piling up, banks are of money, and half the country's young people do not have jobs. the country has answered with harsh austerity measures, but the people in one village in catalonia thought that could not be the only answer. they had an idea thahas been causg quite a sti are beyond the borders of the tiny community. still well in the world. the sense of time is different here. miguel boras does what he has done for the last 50 years -- her goats. but it is a profession with no future. it does not p. >> most of the people here live
1:02 pm
from white goats, but every year, there are fewer. >> so what do they live from now? then what? the goats? >> no, the people. >> the people moved away to other villages where there is work. of the 2000 people we once had, we are now just 800. >> but now, the place is making headlines. local officials want to cultivate cannabis here to bring back money to the village. a cannabis users association wants to pay 1.3 million euros to grow hemp. even legal herder thinks it is a good idea. >> a great idea, especially if it is legal. otherwise, nothing is left for us here. the authorities have forgotten us. if this will keep us going -- but it has to be within a legal framework.
1:03 pm
>> the mayor came up with the marijuana idea. for weeks, he has been defending the project. >> we have a legal study that says we are on solid ground. we also asked the justice officials to examine the project and take a position. as city hall, we do not want to do anything illegal, after all. >> if the project happens, cannabisultivation would not take place in the village itself, but outside in a well- guarded greenhouses. the tower will be paid 1.3 million euros, and it could really use the money. >> our main interest is to be able to continue funding our environmental policy. the economic crisis made that impossible for us. this is a real opportunity.
1:04 pm
>> it is primarily an opportunity to reduce the town's debts. wind generators would do that, but the mayor does not want huge windlls dominating a landscape currently characterized by nature an agriculture. the idea is that cannabis users will provide the needed funding, but! some villagers disagree. >> i don't want to talk about this topic of drugs. if these damned drugs come here, the scum of the earth will follow. member for weeks, people in the village have talked of little else. the issue has divided the residents. in a referendum, 56% of the villagers voted for cannabis
1:05 pm
cultivation. the mayor, who expected even more support, announced his resignation, but first, he wants to implement the project. agriculture can secure the future, but that is also possible whout marijuana and the media attention. juan ramon vidal traded in his life as a journalist for a rural life. he bought this species of grain years ago and found a market for it in spain. >> an individual can change things, especially in plas that have gone truin we are in spain here where there is still freedom and flexibility.
1:06 pm
>> he wanted a sustainable enterprise that would provide not only grain but also jobs, but that kind of entrepreneurial spirit is not always, and in spain -- not always, and in spain. >> there is a saying here -- let somebody else invent it. we livwith the arrogance that we can devote our self to the pleasures of life while letting others provide our things and do our thinking for us. >> even in the most remote areas, there is always some story of success. even the village which wants to grow marijuana has examples. helga, a german woman who was rn in spain, began planting vineyards in the middle of the financial crisis.
1:07 pm
>> yes, it is difficult, but we have the advantage that we grow organic grapes and thus have less competition. everyone who has tried our wine once more of it, but our focus is on quality, not volume. that is our principal. butherere not enough such businesses, so perhaps the cannabis project will be launched. one problem currently afflicts all spanish agriculture. >> we have a drought that has lasted almost a year now. the plants should actually be
1:08 pm
about 30 centimeters high by no butou s how stunt they are. >> drought on top of the financial crisis. vidal is still optimistically hoping for rain. >> the government of the hungarian prime minister does not have many friends these days after he made big changes to the hon gary and constitution. the eu constitution launched legal proceedings against the country. the aegis is budapest is eroding vital elements of democracy -- e eu says budapest is eroding vital elements of democracy. >> and hunt areas are also starting to voice their criticism. young people in particular. the big title of the protest movement is a rapper. with his aggressive lyrics, he is not everybody's darling, but that makes him even more popular with those who do love his music and videos.
1:09 pm
>> the wrapper " a line from the national anthem on the suffering of the hungarian people. the rest of his song denounces the country's political establishment in a series of profanities. he is now under criminal investigation for defaming a national symbol. never one to shy from controversy, the rapper is unfazed. >> i know what i'm talking about. you see a lot of social injustice here in my neighborhood, but you will also find it across the entire country. there's increasing social tension, but o politicians are arrogantly ignoring the problems. >> he grew up here in budapest's eighth district, the poorest neighborhood in the capital. unemployment is high. large families struggle to get
1:10 pm
by amid a deepening economic crisis here in new anti-vagrancy laws impose fines on the homeless. don't men -- dopeman was planning to goo law school but instead ended up in the music business. numerous grass-roots initiatives meet up in downtown budapest. they are united by their opposition to the government. one group has elected dopeman alternative president. >> we desperately need people who have the courage to be troublesome, who say what they think loud and clear. he is one of the few who can do that. >> in a normal country, collecting an alternative president would be superfluous, but here, the state and leadership have proven incapable of meeting their obligations.
1:11 pm
>> the wrapper makes his debut speech as alternative president of the hungarian national holiday. then the patriots, i greet you. i will listen to your voices. [applause] i am now the alternative president, but in hungary, the republic has become nothing but an alternative as well. it is under threat. i am a hungarian. i am ag. i am agency. i am a mongrel -- i am a jew. i am a gypsy. it is the only way to be a hungarian. >> but a still larger number sure the prime minister. he called a rally to show he is still in charge. hundred' controversialedia law has insured state owlets tell the government line. an air attack cannot expect
1:12 pm
flattering reviews. >> what he's doing is defending millions of hungarians. that has nothing to do with art or politics. it is simply tasteless and violates any sense of morality. >> dopeman weathers the criticism, insisting basic principles of democcy and freedom of speech are under threat. he points to the planned removal of a statue outside parliament of a 20th-century hungarian poet, was -- who was a marxist and whose statue was erected by the communists. >> the government is trying to use culture as a means to its ends. artists who surrender unconditionally to the government get its support. those who do not comply do not get a chance. >> dopeman can rest assured he
1:13 pm
will not be receiving any support from the government. his latest song is a direct and personal attack on the prime minister. "you have forgotten your people, sold your soul to the double," he raps -- sold your soul to the doubevil. the artist says he will not stop dealing out blows as many withdraw in resignation. "what it comes to this government, there are only two types of spos you can practice -- you can box or you can run. the opposition in parliament appear to be running away. i prefer boxing. that he believes in fighting fire with fire. he is unlikely to build any bridges, but he has given the prime minister's opponents a rare owl but for venting.
1:14 pm
>> london streets are places where religious communities live, and we tend to associate them with contemplating in silence, but at one of the world's oldest chrisan monasteries, there is peace and quiet only inside the walls and not outside. the orthodox christians who run the monastery in southeasrn turkey are having a hard time dealing with their neighbors -- kurdish farmers from nearby villages have been filing lawsuits against the monastery for a simple reason, says the region's been shipped -- they want to get rid of the christians. >> sunday mass on sacred ground. christians have been praying here for more than 16 hundred years. the small congregation of syrian orthodox christians in southeastern turkey are not alone in considering this unimposing place a second jerusalem.
1:15 pm
the monastery lies on a high plateau. every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come here, but most of the syrian orthodox population has left the region over the last 50 years, driven away b discrimination and the violence between kurdish rebels and the turkish state. only the monks have remained behind the monastery walls. but now the monastery is in danger. the surrounding kurdish villages and state forestry authorities have filed several legal suits, accusing the order of illegally occupying the land. the monks say the conflict could be politically motivated. >> the monastery has no income of its own. they live from donations and agriculture on the surrounding
1:16 pm
land. i of the monastery loses that, too, then it will have dire consuences for the monastery [applause] existence. without these lands, the monastery will not be able to survive over the long term. >> the disputes were triggered by surveying work. the legal proceedings are attracting attention in europe. politicians have expressed concern about religious freedom for christians in turkey. legally, the situation for syrian orthodox christians has improved in turkey in recent years. in this church complex, children are taught in aramaic, the ancient language jesus is supposed to have spoken. up to the 1990's, such christian religious instruction would have been illegal in turkey. >> we can maintain this instruction only thanks to donations from europe. the turkish state merely tolerates us.
1:17 pm
the foreign donations cover the costs of printing our school books. >> today, more and more syrian orthodox christians are returning to their homeland and building new churches. gabriel return from switzerland with his wife 10 years ago. he now wants to turn his large house into a hotel. now the fighting between kurdish rebels and the turkish army has subsided, increasing numbers of tourists are visiting. when the gabriel's first left for europe, they thought they would never return here. >> when we fled to europe, we were leaving for good. but after a few years, our people got organized in europe and thought about how we could manage to return, and step by
1:18 pm
step, we have. >> gabriel has also invested in a one-pressing house, thereby reviving an aramaic tradition thousands of years old -- 81- pressing house. the turkish state has even subsidized the project . --a wine-pressing house. the affluence of many christian returnees has harassed and be in many -- arousednvy. >> we have always extended our hand for compromise on the pastors. but they refused. nonetheless, we showed restraint because they are a minority.
1:19 pm
them in serious said they have money and influence and they cannot win. we said that we have allah on our side. >> the monastery has won some of the losses and lost others. now, gabriel [applause] attorney has called on the european court of justice. them up in the 1990's, the walls around the monastery lands were raised and broaden for security reasons. no one had any objections, but 10 years later, suddenly, they say the walls red illegally through the forest. there e evenriminal proceedings against the chairman of the monastery foundation. >> crosses on churches and in a monastery are all like once again, but the land dispute is a
1:20 pm
sour note in the new beginning for the orthodox christians in turkey. >> it is a true story -- a british journalist was working happily in france and had nothing to do with lions and tigers and bears, but then one day, he learned that a zoo in the southwest of england was up for sale. he bought it, not knowing what he was getting himself into. then, well, you can either go and watch the hollywood film that tells one version of his tail, or stay tuned and get the real story here. then -- >> benjamin is a director but often seems more like a hospital manager. the bear has a today, and he is trying to find out where it hurts. the bear has constant problems with his teeth. visitors were allowed to feed him peanuts and doughnuts before the takeover of the zoo. >> he got used to begging, which we found that is actually quite
1:21 pm
useful. but he was massively obese when we arrived. then the bear was not the only animal in for condition. he found many cages dirty and full of rotting meat. the former owner had his license revoked. if someone else did not take over the zoo, many of the animals would have probably been destroyed. benjamin and his family were living in southern france where he was working as a journalist. when he read about the situation, he came home, and he has never looked back. >> it seemed like an injustice that was about to unfold, and all it needed was someone to step in. there is nobody else was going to do this, take this step forward. it was a step into the unknown, i suppose. here i am five years later,
1:22 pm
living with the consequences, but still just as motivated. if i step back, what happens? so, you know, here i am. >> the book about his incredible event to became a best seller and has since been turned into a hollywood film -- the book about his incredible adventure has become a bestseller. and his face is perfect. i do not mentioned it earlier? >> it is a bit complated. that it is a zoo. >> a zoo? >> yay! >> in real life, he said he would only batty if his children feel comfortable in it, and they do. it has become an enormous playground for them. >> at that time, you can watch them still walking around and their eyes glowing. it is quite a cool feeling. >> both his children realize that running a zoo is not only
1:23 pm
fun and games. it i a lot of hard work, too. that he keep saying it is really hard, so, yes. he sometimes sits on the computer. >> he spends hours in his office negotiating loans, applying for grants, and hoping he will be able to pay his staff at the end of the month. for a long time, he also had to do with greed. his wife died shortly after the family moved in. -- also had to deal with grief. >> i had a very bad few years of real, proper. i started getting palpitations where your heart is racing and you cannot stop it. i notice when i brush my teeth in the morning, i would gag with the nausea of the worry. people ask why i did not give
1:24 pm
up, but then it would have just been worse. would have lost kathryn and all the family's assets and the zoo would have closed, and how would you feelbouthat? >> the story was perfect material for hollywood -- a family living something similar to the american dream. >> i don't have a lot. >> and never giving up or losing hope. the film is a hollywood version of the book, but he is happy with it. the studio one him in events that his real life story would have to be altered to appeal to audiences. >> it wasowhere near as bad, the representation is 30%, if that, of the real deal of the whole thing. i mean, it was really heavy-duty bad year. as he is in the sunshine, for one thing, and california makes
1:25 pm
it look better. >> the zoo is in an english rural area famous for an abundance of rain and far away from popular holiday resorts. visitors to not come here by accident. it is not have enough money for expensive advertising. he hopes the film will help them make weekdays as busy as the popular lion feeding sessions on saturdays. now what that without the film, i did not think there would have been the hope and the environment for us to survive. we have been told it might give us about five times our visitor numbers for this year. >> with a bit of luck, the zoo will thrive, securing the long- term future of benjamin and his animals. >> that report wraps up this week's "eurean journal." as always, we hope you enjoyed the show, and we look forward to having you with us again next time. from all of us here at the dw
1:26 pm
studio in brussels, thanks for watching and good bye for now. captioned by the national captioning institute national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
1:27 pm
1:28 pm
1:29 pm

160 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on