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tv   Focus on Europe  PBS  January 19, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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>> hello and welcome to "focus on eure." thanksery much for joing us for our very first program o 2015. 2014 w a tough year with plenty of challenges facing europe, and this year, there's no sign they are going away. on today's program, in serbia, fighting forussia over ukraine. in poland, fighting for a living wage. while in britain, fighting for more re-time -- free time. as tensions grow between europe
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and russia because of the ukraine conflict, european countries with close relations to moscow are finding their loyalties split, and that is particularly the case with serbia -- traditionally a close ally of russia, but the country is also keen to join the european union. some of those who have fought on russia's side are serbian nationalist. reporters got exclusive access to some to find out why. >> dreaming of a new and more powerful serbia. at 21, he is a bookseller by profession, but like many young serbians, he is out of work. he does many odd jobs to keep his head above water. >> i want a better life and for serbia to be a kingdom, a big country with dignity like before. i want europe to have a different attitude toward us. >> that is why he joined forces with the check nick militia.
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this fighter has just returned from eastern ukraine. he spent or the days fighting alongside pro-russian separatists. the militia have a long history. in the second world war and yugoslav war, they fought or -- for a greater serbia. >> this is my picture. >> he was part of a group of 21 serbians who went to luhansk. he says they were invited. he is also unemployed and commands one of the many groups in serbia. he believes serbia should ally itself with russia. that is why he went to ukraine, he says. although he was a mercenary
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soldier there, he says nothing about money. >> the most important aspect was helping our russian brothers and fighting fascism. fascism has returned like a vampire and is waging war against orthodox russians using nazi symbolism. >> he fervently believes this rhetoric. if a commander summoned him, he would also fight alongside pro-russian separatists. >> we have not been there yet. if need be, we join them, of course. >> that is what belgrade wants to prevent. serbia's parliament has approved jail terms for anyone found guilty of fighting and war in wars. this crackdown is part of serbia's planned to join the eu, but serbians are deeply divided. vladimir says the government are
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hypocrites. >> the serbian parliament has passed a draft law that punishes anyone who joins a paramilitary war's -- force to go to war, but some members of parliament have also gone to eastern ukraine, especially to the areas that are under the control of pro-russian forces. they went there as election observers in the election that was not authorized by kiev. >> serbia is a comparatively poor country that hopes to join the eu, but many serbians also feel close ties to russia. the militia are extremists. they publicly celebrate accused war criminal as a hero. >> of course, our activities support him. he supports us, after all.
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>> mercenaries who have returned from ukraine are spreading russian propaganda and increasing tension here in serbia. >> serbia is in a difficult position. the eu has taken a position in the ukraine crisis, and we want to join th eu, but we have ties to russia and depend on russian energy, and much of our foreign trade depends on russia and the eu. >> he has made up his mind -- he has joined the extremists. serbia should ally itself with russia side by that's his vision of the future -- ally itself with russia side-by-side. that's his vision of the future. >> we want a greater serbia with normal jobs and wages for people. that's my vision for the future
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of serbia. >> most serbians share the dream of a better future, but the majority would prefer that future to remain allied with europe. >> divided loyalties for serbia. is it a good idea to let serbia, with its links to russia, into the eu? get in touch with me on twitter and let me know what you think. now to poland, which was one of the few european countries to escape the financial crisis relatively unscathed. the economy has kept growing, and having pushed through tough economic reforms in the 1990's, it is often held up as a model for other countries to follow. one of the reasons poland are so economically competitive is that wages are low, and this means many people are struggling to make ends meet and often are forced to leave poland altogether to earn money elsewhere in europe. >> for eight months now,
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christina and marianne have had today used to parenting small children again. their son-in-law works in germany, leaving their daughter alone with three kids and a demanding job. the grandparents are in their 80's, but they have to pick up the slack. >> we're old now, and this is all pretty hard work. our daughter manages to bring the kids to school in the morning, but we have to pick them up every day, fix dinner, and check your homework. their mother comes home from work at 6:00. >> it's the norm for families with parents working abroad. there are hundreds of thousands of them in poland. well-paid jobs are hard to come
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by. retired people try to make do on bigger pensions, while many of the younger people just want out. they are that of the bureaucracy, unemployment, and starvation wages -- they are fed up with the bureaucracy. of the few jobs available, many are illegal and pay only about 300 euros a month. >> discussed about 150 euros -- my apartment cost about 150 euros. i pay some 250 euros in rent, which leaves us about 80 euros a month to live on. and i have three children. >> his son has also been working abroad for months, first in norway, then in england.
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>> i try to talk him into staying in poland and studying here, but he would not be held back. just like 500,000 other young people of his generation. he says he cannot lead a normal adult life in poland. >> traditionally, a normal life in poland means a close family. many parents expect their children to help and take care of them when they are older. they hope their son would eventually care for him. all they see of him now is photos. he is doing an unskilled job in london instead of attending college in poland. >> he said, "i have to go abroad to be able to help you. your pensions will be miserable. everything is falling apart in poland." >> of course, it does happen that immigrants help their parents out financially, but the price is high. families are torn apart and can
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only keep in touch over skype, text messages, or letters. they might get together at christmas. >> their daughter's home looks quite nice, but the mortgage is not paid off yet, and the debts are piling up. the family worries constantly about what the future will bring . >> soon, we'll be completely dependent on help from our friends and neighbors. poland's social services are just too weak. we live in peace with everyone around us, but we cannot expect them to take care of us in our old age. >> at last, he can get off his
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feet. by the time his daughter comes home from the office, it has been 11 hours since she has seen her children. their father only sees them on the computer. he is working in construction in stuttgart in southern germany. they long separation from his wife and children is hard for him to bear. >> we're thinking about emigrating completely. our house in poland is not quite paid off. we can only pay back the loan if we work abroad, and we just cannot afford two residences -- one in poland and one in germany. >> for poland, the trend is a negative one. the well-educated and hard-working young people are immigrating, leaving the older generation behind.
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>> a big issue facing europe at the moment is how to deal with unprecedented numbers of refugees who are coming here to seek asylum, mostly a result of war and conflict in africa and the middle east, but the challenge for europeans is how to cope with the influx. in switzerland, even the ski resorts are now having to do their bit. >> they fled war, persecution, and repression, and now, they've ended up in a swiss spa town, a ski resort for the rich. it's the new home of 100 asylum seekers. >> is a very nice home. we have a very nice lady taking care of us. when you see the children, also, they are happy. >> but the healthy mountain air cannot dispel what they have experienced. many of the people here have been traumatized and need
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special attention. ali from iraq is one of them. michaela stephani is always ready to lend an ear, and e has organized jobs at the hotel for the refugees. >> at first, it was harder to convince hotel managers to employ asylum seekers but now there has been positive word-of-mouth. >> this is the 4-star hotel. switzerland has for years had a rule that anyone who has been in the country for three months has the right to unlimited work without being classified as a refugee. it is a swiss-style pragmatism that helps everyone. >> they work very hard. they are often very unassuming and would simply like to have a job. >> he earns the swiss minimum wage, the equivalent of 2800
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euros a month. in switzerland, there is no ebay claiming that refugees are cheap labor taking away jobs from swiss people. he is happy here, but he worries about his family back in afghanistan. >> when i call my family, it's very difficult for me. >> the asylum-seekers are distributed among what are called transit centers. they have to carry out what the government says. i have to find homes for some 700 people. numbers are determined by a town's population. refugees who come tend to stay. the problem is that the asylum process can often take years. >> it's very unpleasant for the people who submit asylum applications and also for the authorities that have to implement this. when we do not know if we will
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have to carry out a repatriation or take up infiltration -- integration efforts. it simply takes too long. >> accommodations in a resort town are not the rule in switzerland. marcel currently has a great deal of trouble finding adequate housing. he has had to place some asylum-seekers in this underground military facility. typically for switzerland, it is also pick and span here, but the refugees have nothing to do. the air is stifling and the atmosphere of oppressive. >> we have 100 places for asylum-seekers here as a temporary emergency measure because the other centers are full. there are simply too many people at the moment. >> those here are unlikely to learn german or find a job. these two were originally meant to go elsewhere, but the ski resort town went to the country's highest court to prevent the transit center, arguing that it would harm the community and lower the values of new luxury apartment
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buildings next door, but the town lost their case, and the hotel, currently empty, will soon be inhabited by 100 refugees, including some of those now living in the bunker. >> we are a tourist town, so it is not always easy. >> it is an issue, an unfortunate location. >> we hope everything will go well, but we really need snow. >> many in java's -- doorposts -- many in davos initially opposed the refugee immigration. some in the chic ski resort town were word vacationers might be bothered by the asylum-seekers. >> many of the people are well integrated. they work in the restaurants, for instance, and so also contribute to the businesses aimed at the tourist who come here. what people feared not happen.
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>> many here now see the refugees as an enrichment and not only on the job market. the town likes its image as a cause mythology city, one attractive oath to those seeking luxury and those seeking asylum. -- the town likes its image as a cosmopolitan city. >> both sides accuse each other of human rights abuses and use the media to focus their clones, particularly problematic in baltic states, three countries which were once in the soviet union and are now you. russian speakers tend to consume media coming from moscow, so they have a very different view of the crisis from some of their neighbors. now in what is becoming a war of propaganda, the u.s.-funded channel radio for europe, has launched a rival russian language tv station. >> the deployment of russian troops to ukraine was a lead story on the program.
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broadcast from pronk in russian, the show is aimed largely at the baltic states with the aim of giving russians fair and balanced news reporting. >> the important thing for us is to help people so they can better analyze and understand what is happening around them. that is our mission. >> the u.s. financed broadcaster radio free europe had its heyday during the cold war, but after 1990, many programs were canceled. now the station is ramping up its content again in order to provide an alternative to what it considers russian state propaganda. >> there is a deep demand for objective journalism because lately, we witness there he serious attempts of propaganda coming from moscow, from kremlin , from mr. putin, and this is very effective.
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so for us to challenge and in some ways confront that not with counter propaganda but with journalism to give people a chance for truth. >> the team of experienced radio free europe employees and tv professionals from ukraine and russia produces 30 minutes of television programming a day. a program does not have its own channel. it is broadcast largely by public stations in countries that border russia -- torture, ukraine, moldova, the baltic states. a bit like during the days of the iron curtain. -- georgia, ukraine, moldova, the baltic states. >> it is a bit like going back to the cold war times. it is very strange because we all experience that. >> the program has recently started broadcasting in lithuania, mainly at the russian minority there. after a few weeks, it became the most popular program on the news channel that shows it. the management here has no
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problem saying openly that this show, produced in prague, is a bulwark against possible disinformation from russia. >> we must care about what happens to lithuania. we must build the information gap, especially for viewers who watch russian news and consider it to be a credible information source. >> russian channels have reported on tensions between lithuanians and the russian minority in the country. this russian couple says they do exist but that conflicts of that kind are not part of everyday life, so they do not really trust any broadcaster anymore. >> each broadcaster presents things the way it sees fit. basically, every broadcaster has its own subjective opinion. on one channel, there's russian propaganda. on another, there's something else. the more sources of information you have, the better you are able to form your opinion. >> the team in prague wants to be even more involved in this shaping of opinion.
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they say this program is not a pilot project. indeed, if the situation between russia and europe escalates further, then even more news programs will be needed -- facts rather than propaganda. >> finally, to britain, where every few years, it seems, young people get a label slapped on them and get told what characteristics a half. there were the postwar baby boomers, who managed to build up the economy while enjoying the swinging's axes, or generation x, who in 1990's aspired to a creative job with the week and spent clubbing. today's youngest generation has been dubbed generation y, but it seems they do not want to work in quite the same way as their parents. >> many a human research manager would turn pale. sometimes work and pleasure are
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inseparable. it's the new normal. >> climbing is a way of being more creative. if you want to flex your mind, you might as well flex your body. >> andrew used to work as an engineer, leaving home for weeks at a time without a moment to spend with family or on hobbies. >> i was definitely a workaholic . the moment it clicked in my head that i wasn't right was when i started feeling there were different versions of myself -- the work version, the climbing version, the dad version. i did not want any of that to be separate. >> it was time for andrew to reset his life. he started in london advising brands on how to build customer bases over the internet. but he decides how much he works, where, and when. his boss is in complete agreement. at age 24, he is a member of generation y and knows what his
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contemporaries want -- flat hierarchies, maximum x ability, and even unlimited paid vacation just as long as they produce results. >> we wanted to find a way where people can get balance in their life. people have a good night sleep and good relationships at home and whatever, they work better anyway, so we like to say we like busy people. people who are pragmatic are good with a time, they come in and do what is need to be done and go home. it is a fight against the workaholic culture where people think facetime is important. >> this is how he attracts and holds onto the talent he needs. generation y is demanding and tends to question traditional label model -- labor models. generation y is reshaping the labor market, and employers are responding. this agency in the netherlands pools of the desks at 6:00 p.m.
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for a yoga session. the aim is an ideal work/life balance. now the influence is spreading from artistic circles into the more conventional work basis -- workplaces. this engineering giant even gives employees the option of working part-time, and many have taken up the offer. christian has been working four days a week since 2011 as department head. now he has time for hobbies and his family. he only sees them on his three-day weekends. >> i come to the office with much greater motivation and lots of new ideas. these new ideas take shape during the creative breaks. i have the best ideas during my free time, cutting roses or riding my bike. then i come in on monday and bring the ideas to work with me. >> it's not easy for everyone to let go, not to check their
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e-mail several times a day, not to make themselves indispensable. >> it was not easy for me to switch off in my free days, but the moment i'm not getting paid for the day, i have the right to tell myself i'm not earning any money now so i'm not a tubal, either. >> few were working hours also means less money. that rings the question of social status into the idea of slowing down. weather climbing, cutting roses, or being with the kids, work/life talents is an important concern or the demanding generation y, at least to those who can afford it. >> well, that's all for today. feel free to get in touch with any comments, but for now, it's goodbye from me and see you next time.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] steves: like so much of budapest, hungary's parliament was built for the big 1896 party. its elegant neo-gothic design and riverside location were inspired by its counterpart in london. it's enormous, with literally miles of grand halls, designed to help administer that sprawling, multinational hapsburg empire. by the end of world war i, the hapsburgs were gone,
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and hungary, while much smaller, was fully independent. but then came the nazis, followed by the communists. that illusive freedom was finally won after the fall of the soviet union in 1989, and since then, the city has blossomed. today, hungary rules only hungary, and it's ruled not by an emperor, but by democratically elected representatives who legislate from what's now a palace of democracy. like vienna, budapest feels more grandiose than the capital of a relatively small country, but the city remains the cultural capital of eastern europe, with a keenly developed knack for good living. you can enjoy that hungarian joy of life at the széchenyi baths. soak with the locals. of the city's two dozen or so traditional mineral baths, this is the most accessible and fun. budapest is hot, literally. it sits on a thin crust over thermal springs,
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which power all these baths. both the ancient romans and ottoman turks enjoyed these same mineral springs. they still say, "poke a hole in the ground anywhere in hungary, and you'll find hot water." magyars of all shapes and sizes squeeze themselves into tiny swimsuits and strut their stuff. babushkas float blissfully in the warm water. the speedo-clad old boys club gathers pensively around soggy chessboards. and the circle of rapids brings out the kid in people of all ages. after 2,000 years of experience and innovation, locals have honed the art of enjoying their thermal hot springs. budapest straddles the danube river. on the west side is hilly buda, dominated by castle hill. the royal palace marks the place where one of europe's mightiest castles once stood.
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since the 14th century, hungary has been ruled from this spot.
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hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, january 20th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japan's prime minister shinzo abe says the country will play an active role to achieve stability in the middle east. abe held talks in benjamin netanyahu on monday. >> translator: japan will play an active role to bring stability to the middle east. i would like to offer candid advice to both israelis and palestinians as a true friend. >> abe is to visit the palestinian territories on tuesday. he expressed condolences for


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