tv Focus on Europe PBS February 21, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PST
♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> hello and a very warm welcome to focus on europe thanks very much for joining us. i'm damien mcguinness -- and on today's programme we're jumping all over the continent with some pretty unusual stories a painful memory of terror in spain a difficult dilemma in austria and a school curriculum with bite in slovakia europe is still coming to terms with the charlie hebdo terror attacks in paris last month.
but more tan a decade ago, another european capital was hit hard by terrorism: on march 11th, 2004 in madrid 191 people were killed, and thousands injured, when several bombs exploded on commuter trains. but today many people are still suffering the scars of that attack - while receiving little help as we found out when we met up with one of the survivors. it was windy on 11 march 2004. araceli cambronero can remember that quite clearly. she had just taken her children to school and was on her way to work - like thousands of other commuters in madrid that morning. >> the train was packed. it was very uncomfortable. the journey to atocha main station felt a lot longer than seven minutes.
when we arrived and people were getting off and getting onto the train, i remained right by the door. i heard the signal that the train was about to depart and at that moment the first bomb exploded. we all hit the floor, smoke filled the carriage. when i managed to get out, i saw the next carriage had been completely destroyed. >> there were ten bombs in total. 191 people were killed. and almost 2000 passengers in madrid's main station were wounded. it was the bloodiest islamist terror attack in europe so far. araceli cambronero is still affected by her experiences. she lost 20 kilos, underwent several courses of therapy and had to fight in the courts for compensation. >> of course, i'm still afraid. especially when i listen to the
news from paris and i know spain is also threatened. terrorism is more testing than an accident, for example, which won't happen again in the same form. the danger of terrorism still exists in europe. >> "santa eugenia" is a district on the outskirts of madrid. it's an area that's home to many immigrants and to people with low incomes. many of the people travelling that day came from suburbs like this. the survivors' assaciation "11th of march" is still fighting on their behalf today. aracelo cambronero used to be a graphic designer. she's now unemployed. the economic crisis has affected the terror victims far more than the average spaniard, according to angel de marcos, the group's chairman and himself a survivor of the attacks. but spain's politicians have already shelved the matter, he says. the attack was turned into a party political issue back then, causing deep divisions in
society -hardly anyone is interested in the subject these days. >> many of the victims are in desperate need: some don't have enough to eat. others dn't know how they will pay for a new prosthesis or expert psychological help. there is very little state support to say the least. back then, the judiciary awarded them a one-off compensation payment -- and that was it. >> the islamist terror attack was worse than anything that the spanish had experienced during the decade-long reign of terror by the basque organisation eta. nevertheless, psychologist maria jesus alvarez believes that spain has, on the whole, repressed memories of this national tragedy. >> it's a topic that triggers a
lot of sympathy at first, a big feeling of being in it together, especially in madrid. but today it's as if people have erased their memories. it's no longer part of the collective consciousness. >> the spanish have other worries. the fear of terrorism is no longer centre stage. but araceli cambronero can't get the day out of her mind. her marriage recently broke down -- another result of her trauma, she says. >> people want to forget and they think that you have to forget it and you should forget it because they didn't experience it themselves. you notice that this feeling of solidarity is slowly
dissoliving. that's only human. >> inscribed on the monument for the victims and survivors in madrid main station are the good wishes, thoughts and condolences of the spanish people. one place, at least, that is dedicated to remembering the past. now to austria, one of europe's top destinations for skiing, as well as home to some of europe's most spectacular scenery. the problem is that the more you develop the skiing, the bigger the impact on that beautiful landscape: trees are chopped down, hotels, roads and cable cars are built. all of which means a big dilemma for many of those living in austria's alpine resorts. the future is at stake here. for example, lukas resinger's future. he manages this alpine restaurant, which has belonged
to his family for generations, as well as a bed-and-breakfast and a farm in the valley. a new cable car would connect the stubaital ski area in front of his inn with the one on the other side of the kalkkogel mountain chain. >> it would make the ski area more attractive -- breathe more life into everything. >> most businesses in the stubaital depend on tourism. the glacier at the end of the valley is the big pull. the local youth wing of the conservative people's party say young skiers are attracted by the number of pistes on offer. >> the double support strut for the lift would be built right over there. and that's precisely where the infamous nature reserve is located. >> the three young men are convinced that a cable car would help kickstart the ailing local
economy. they believe that the benefit would far outweigh the environmental cost. but on the other side of the mountain, people see things differently. the opponents say that only cable car operators and big investors are the ones who'll profit. they think the skiing industry has had its day. >> the international skiing market has already passed its peak. we think that at some point you have to stop more development. >> if the project does go ahead, it would break three legal agreements -- including the alpine convention, a treaty for the sustainable development of the alps. the project's supporters want an exemption clause. the opponents fear this would set a dangerous precedent. alternatively, his area could be turned into a nature park with new paths and guided walks. gentle tourism... the residents of nearby axams village favour that idea.
people here have mounted a campaign to prevent the construction of a cable car over their mountain. in axams, hardly anyone lives from ski tourism. over the years, many people from innsbruck have moved into the valley and commute to work. they have come here for the peace and quiet. >> people want to escape the city. they want quiet, unspoilt surroundings. they're looking for the essence of life. and that's not to be found in huge ski areas or the apres-ski party scene, but in a natural setting. and for that you have to leave it as it is. >> unspoiled nature or ski tourism par excellence? in march, the state parliament will decide whether this panoramic view will change or not. very difficult that: we all want to experience beautiful landscape but when so many of
us start going there, we risk ruining the thing that attracted us in the first place. if you have thoughts about that, or any of today's stories, do feel free to get in touch on twitter or via the focus on europe website. this month is make or break for greece's chances of staying in the eurozone: in a bid for support, the country's new motor-bike riding finance minister has just done a rock-star like tour of european capitals his leather jacket and refusal to wear a tie in ministerial meetings got him a lot of attention and he's built up a solid female fan base here in germany. but he's failed to win over northern european governments to his anti-austerity cause. and after five years of crisis greek people themselves are more desperate than ever with many even unable to afford to bury their dead meaning that cremation abroad is the only solution, because greece's orthodox church is strictly against cremation. in his business, sensitivity and
discretion are a must. undertaker kostas baboulas speaks softly as he presents the latest collection of luxury marble funerary urns. his customer, anastasia nikoloudi wants to have her relatives cremated. that's what the family did when her grandmother died two years earlier. but because there aren't any crematories in greece, people must rely on neighboring countries. >> then they moved the body to bulgaria on a monday. by wednesday, we got the urn back. we think it's nicer to give the person who died a seperate spot, a spot at home, and thus think of them. >> the demand for cremations is rising all across the country. economic hardship in greece has left few people able to afford a private grave.
antonis alakiotis has been lobbying for many years to allow people to opt for less expensive cremation. he began his campaign ten years ago, to fulfil the last wish of a friend. he also had to send the body to bulgaria. >> every year 100 thousand people die in greece. we estimate that three to four percent of them would like to be cremated. a grave in a cemetery is only owned for a certain period. after three years, the remains must be exhumed. demand for cremation will rise as a result of this unacceptable situation. >> the powerful greek orthodox church has up to now blocked the building of crematories. they say cremation is inconsistent with the faith and tradition. the church refuses to give interviews on the issue. the threat of some bishops to deny praying for the cremated dead effectively influences their congregations.
>> cremation is out of the question. i was married to my husband for 41 years. there's a grave that i can visit and where i can light a candle. if he'd been cremated, only the ashes would be left and they could be thrown away. >> i'm opposed to it as an orthodox christian. the church says we should be laid to rest in the same soil on which we tread in life. >> antonis alakiotis wants to overcome conservative opposition to cremation. for that, he needs a political ally. greece made cremation legal over a decade ago and crematories can be built. but community plans to build them fail again and again, mostly when the church opposes the project. tassos kourakis has promised that the new government will put and end to cremation tourism to neighboring countries. >> the church fears that building crematories could be the first step towards
separation of church and state. secularization is something that should finally happen. the question of being burned after death is the business of a country and its citizens, no one else. >> but until that time comes, baboulas the undertaker must continue to take bodies to bulgaria for cremation. when the first crematorium in northern greece has been built, he says he will show urns next to coffins in his funeral parlor. >> customs and traditions are changing for us too. cremation is modern, especially for people who don't really have all that much to do with the church and think the church interferes too much in ther private affairs. >> the newly elected government
is expected to issue a permit to build the country's first crematorium before the year is out. that would enable greece finally to join other european countres who already allow their citizens to be cremated if that is their final wish. >> one of the main principles of the eu is free movement of workers: and one of the sectors where you can really see that is healthcare. the health services of britain and germany in particular wouldn't be able to survive without all the eastern european nurses and doctors. but that's not so good for the countries they've left behind many of whom lose their most talented and best qualified health workers. romania is especially hard hit, with more than 2000 doctors leaving the country last year.) some however are returning to their home countries as our reporter in romania has been finding out. >> in bucharest, cristian and cristina popa are on their way to work. the couple are doctors. romania's capital is booming and incomes are rising in many
sectors: in banking, industry and retail. even in private healthcare. but in the public sector, wages remain low. that's bad news for cristian and cristina, who work in a state-run hospital. >> i don't know if this is exploitation, however it's not something to attract you to stay in your country. sometimes you are not so happy when you are going to your job. you may be tired because you have to work in addition: you have to translate or you have to work as a consultant or in other directions. >> christian is employed at the institute of pulmonology, which treats patients with everything from chest infections to tuberculosis. romania still has the highest number of registered cases of
tuberculosis in the eu. christina specializes in treating tuberculosis, a potentially serious bacterial infection. it can be fatal, if it goes untreated. tuberculosis is transmitted through the air, so it's highly contagious. in her work, cristina takes a relatively high risk for little money. >> why i am here? i'm working in one of two centers from romania which should be on the top of the list of pneumology. here i can do research, i can try to find other ways to treat patients. >> research is an important part of her work. while tuberculosis was once a disease largely restricted to the poor, it's increasingly affecting the middle class.
patients here include bankers and software developers. so how did they contract the disease? people are looking to christina and her husband for answers, as many of their colleagues have left romania to take better paying jobs elsewhere. >> we are very dedicated and we want to change something. and probably with our little pieces of the puzzle we'll change something. >> cristian has already worked elsewhere in the eu, in france. specialists like him are in demand everywhere. so the prospect of working abroad is tempting. >> it was really a very good period for me. i enjoyed that. some of me was in the country and i was sometimes thinking about the country. and i really wanted to come
back, even if there the life was easier. probably this was my destiny to come back. >> after a hard day's work, cristina and cristian take a stroll through the city center. once ugly, dilapidated and dirty, bucharest's old town has undergone a renaissance in recent years. now it's home to hip bars and chic restaurants which would look at home in many other major european cities. that's yet another reason for cristina and cristian to stay in romania -- in spite of their tough working conditions. >> finally to slovakia where one small village has come up with a rather unusual way of inspiring local schoolchildren and bringing new life into the area. to help pupils develop their talents, a lot of schools focus on sport.
others specialize in music. some even say chess helps teach useful skills for later life. but pupils in this particular slovakian school learn transferable skills through the ancient art of falconry. and for some children, learning how to work with birds of prey might even help them later find a job. >> this village is different. stiavnicke bane is in the tiavnica mountains in central slovakia. there's something special in the air. birds of prey are aiding educators here. >> i was afraid of the birds at first. but not any more, not even the eagle. >> the school's principal, pavel michal is responsible for introducing birds of prey into
the school cirriculum. the innovative educational program saved the school. falconry is a compulsory subject for all pupils in grades seven through nine. but even the younger kids love it. >> the pupils learn to take responsibility for the birds. they must care for them daily, even during holidays. by working with live animals, they learn to make decisions and be patient. that's very important. >> those skills have to be learned. the teacher tells the children how to use the equipment. the pupils practice working with the birds properly. sara shows how to put the hood on the eagle, even if the american bald eagle nixon isn't so crazy about the headwear. he's teaching sara that she must be the boss. the school now has 40 birds.
they're quite valuable. some of them are worth more than 5000 euros. the youngest pupils care for the owls. they feed them dead chicks -- and are not in the least afraid. the older children train vultures, eagles and falcons. >> one of the most difficult skills is learning to place food on the glove properly. the bird should go for the meat, but not the pupil. >> it's a great feeling when the bird does what i trained him to do, even though he's a bird of prey. >> one of the secrets of stiavnicke bane is the close bond between people and animals. during the middle ages, the region started to be a center for gold and silver mining.
but today, all that's left is the label unesco world cultural heritage site. the village's 800 residents live from tourism, wood carving and forestry. many are jobless. >> look where we are. our mountain village is difficult to access. investors don't come here. and besides, you can't build factories in the unesco area. >> the village needs a plan. this concept is only just getting off the ground -- and it's as unusal as it is appropriate. it brings nature into the classroom with wild birds. >> falconry offers possibilities for the pupils. the can work at airports, for breeders or in shows. and i they can't find a job in slovakia, they can work abroad as well. >> the pupils get their first experience at presentations held all over europe.
the falcons -- the feathered friends of sheikhs -- have already got them first contacts to the united arab emirates. the effort is great and everyone -- teachers, pupils and their families -- must do their part. even sara's family. when the birds came, things changed for them. >> as long as sara was dealing with the birds at school, it wasn't really a problem at all. but since she's been tending here own falcons, she's got to go to school on weekends, too. that's changed our priorities as a family completely. >> falconry is sara's favorite subject. she's planning for the future and says she wants to become a veterinarian. and things couldn't be much better for pavel michal either. since he's introduced falconry, 50 additional school pupils have come in from neighboring
villages. the birds saved his school and have brought a shimmer of hope to stiavnicke bane and perhaps, the whole region. >> very impressive indeed. i wish my school has something like that. well that's it for today. thanks very much for watching. remember if you use twitter do join the conversation with me online. or get in touch via email. but for now, it's goodbye from me and the whole team and look forward to seeing you next time. ♪
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,
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, 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