>> hello and welcome to the "journal" live on dw. >> here's a look at our top stories at this hour -- >> the spanish prime minister says his economy is on the road to recovery. >> violent protests erupt against austerity in bulgaria, forcing the government to resign. >> and wide-board cameras are capturing more than usual in russia -- why dashboard cameras
are capturing. it is tough times for spain battling its crippling economic crisis, and to make matters worse, many spanish politicians who are supposed to be leading the country out of the crisis are themselves the target of corruption allegations. >> even spain's prime minister has been implicated, but at his state of the nation address, he skirted the issue, instead playing up economic improvements and announcing a new tough line against corruption. >> it is his first state of the nation address, and it comes at a tough time -- his party is embroiled in a slush fund scandal. but he went on the attack, calling for cross-party support for anti-corruption drive. >> corruption is a problem that alarms the people and affects the image of spain. all corruption is unbearable. it is corrosive for civic spirit. it injures democracy and
discredits spain. >> many spaniards remain skeptical, given the harsh austerity measures forced upon them. >> spain is a country full of corrupt people. i think that is terrible. >> the politicians are a disgrace. let's hope things change. >> there's been some good news -- spain's 2012 budget deficit is down from 9% to 7%, but many of the same core problems remain. >> we will not rest. we will work on tirelessly and relentlessly because this has just begun. the road ahead to achieve our great objective for this legislation, job creation, is still long. >> with unemployment still at a staggering 26%, it could be a very long road in deed. >> tens of thousands of greeks walked off the job today in what was the nation's first general strike of the year. greeks reiterated that the combination of falling incomes,
higher taxes, and rising prices are unbearable. >> unions participating in the protest included those for workers in the public sector. that cost ferry and bus services to be shut down. police fired tear gas and angry demonstrators. this as widely unpopular austerity measures are demanded by international lenders to stave off bankruptcy. we will have more on the strike from our correspondent in athens in a moment, but first, we take a look at the progress greece has made towards reviving its shrugging -- struggling economy. >> some are finding a way to turn the crisis to their advantage. still, the government's deep cuts have hit the economy hard and ordinary greeks are still struggling to get by. >> the winter months have produced a rare bright point for the greek economy. this ski resort is only two hours from athens, and business is good as many greeks shy away
from costly vacations abroad. fuel has become more expensive, so many people cannot afford to travel long distances. that is why many holidaymakers are returning to our ski resorts, but ski slopes are not the only success story. last year, exports of all of oil from greece increased to record levels. the export sector is the only one that is expanding during the crisis, forcing greek companies to rethink their markets. >> businesses that rely exclusively on greet customers to buy their products have had to except that the domestic market here has collapsed, and they have to seek new opportunities abroad. >> some greek firms have expanded during the crisis. one pharmaceutical company develops generic drugs that are cheaper than their brand-name counterparts. the internationally active company says the investment climate in greece has improved. >> the environment has become
much more business-friendly. the government has abolished many bureaucratic hurdles that had been holding our companies back, so things are going in the right direction. >> but structural reform and austerity cuts have left their mark. the country is still in recession, and many families have seen income cut. trust in greek banks is slowly returning. billions of euros had been redeposited, but not enough to make up for last year's losses. >> what has improved? that we now have to break our backs for wages as low as the pocket money of a primary school kid? nothing has changed for us. >> the climate has changed slightly because greece leaving the eurozone is no longer on the table. things have calmed down. >> analysts say more austerity cuts could lead to a further drop in consumer spending by the
end of the year. >> the biggest question for greece is how people will cope with the pension cuts and tax hikes over the coming four months. >> greeks are now hoping that the worst of the crisis is over. analysts say recovery should kick in by 2014 at the latest. >> for more in the greek economy and today's protests, we go live to athens to our correspondent. what is happening there now? what has the mood been like on the streets today? >> the protests have basically died out now. what happened during the day was pretty much a rerun of about 20 general strikes there have been since the greeks went into the spiral of the economy about a year ago. a few hours later, there was, as
you mentioned, clashes between police and small numbers of demonstrators, but i would say there was not quite as big a turn out as in 2012. >> we heard in that report that there are some signs of progress. is the economy on the mend? >> i think it is too early to say that. there are some signs of some green shoots appearing, but i think one of the things that has happened is greeks are looking at where their exports go and what they can do. 60% of their olive oil is exported to italy, which then packages it and makes an awful lot more money than greeks make just sending it off to italy. but nearly every analyst, i think, agrees greece is going to
have a rough year this year, and it will not be until well into next year before they figure any real sign of recovery. >> thank you very much for that report. >> bulgaria's government has been forced to resign after days of mass protests over its austerity measures. >> demonstrators have been taking to the streets in the tens of thousands to voice their anger over low living standards and high electricity bills -- not to mention tax hikes. the rallies have shaken the country to the court as police have clashed with protesters. >> the prime minister, who handed in his government's resignation, said he does not want to be part of a government where violence has replaced political dialogue. >> he looked weary as he entered parliament ahead of his resignation speech. he told deputies trust needed to be reestablished in the country. "every drop of blood for us is a stain.
i cannot look at a parliament surrounded by barricades. that is not our goal. we would not benefit from power if we have to protect ourselves from the people." many bulgarians are fed up with soaring electricity prices, poor living conditions, and austerity measures. demonstrations have been taking place across the country. clashes with the police left some demonstrators injured. as the cabinet stepped down, the opposition had been scrambling to exploit public anger. amid a decline in support for established parties, they are using the internet to organize protests and have vowed to continue their efforts. >> we want to hear the voice of the people in every town. we want to gather strength and not lose the support of the people.
>> supporters of the outgoing prime minister also took to the streets to express their concerns. >> i came here because the country is being drawn into chaos. this chaos will destroy the stock markets and destabilize bulgaria. this has begun to worry me as a young person. that is quite natural. ammonal voters will have to determine again who leads bulgaria. new elections are expected in april or may. >> more details are emerging about the dramatic night when oscar pistorius' girlfriend was shot dead in his home. >> the star has been charged with murder, and prosecutors warned he is a flight risk and should not be granted bail. >> he maintains the shooting was a tragic error, but damaging evidence is mounting against the athlete. >> oscar pistorius arrived at the court building with a blanket covering his head as
reporters jostled for a glimpse of the famed olympian. day two of his hearing brought more damning revelations that appear to strengthen the case against him. prosecutors told the court that a witness heard nonstop shouting coming from the house shortly before his girlfriend was killed. prosecutors believe she lock yourself in the bathroom during the argument where she was then shot dead by pistorius. the athlete and as the killing was premeditated, saying he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder and shot her through the bathroom door. he said he was devastated to discover his mistake. the story is dominating the headlines in south africa. before the shooting on february 14, pistorius was a national hero, but now, many doubt his innocence. >> the first thing i would do would be if i hear a strange
noise, i would say to my partner, "you stay here. i'll go check to give them an edge router would come in for the balcony, not to the bathroom. it just does not make sense to me. the very disappointed. >> the bail hearing has now been adjourned until tomorrow. the trial is not expected for months. >> in germany, it has been three years since a series of child sex abuse cases in catholic and institutions shocked the nation. the government responded by setting up a round table commission of politicians, experts, and victims' groups. >> they came up with proposals to help victims and prevent it from taking place in the future, but a lot remains to be done. >> this jesuits school in berlin was were the first allegations of abuses in germany became public three years ago. the incidents were covered up for decades. revelations set off a chain reaction, and victims of abuse throughout germany came forward
with their stories. the government now requires that justice department's be notified when offenses are suspected, the result of a round table commission. >> never again should anyone running an institution think they can hide behind their own hierarchical structures to prevent the public learning about incidents of abuse against young people. >> legislation to extend the statute of limitations for exploitation cases from 3 to 30 years is yet to become law, and a special fund has been advised to aid victi of sexual abuse, but how it will be financed is unclear. >> the federal government stands fully behind its commitment with a portion -- but the portion to come from the state governments is still missing. >> the victims are still waiting. they say there's been a lot of talk but not much action. they are grateful their plight is out in the open. more concrete help would be better, they say. >> switching gears to some sports news now, in soccer,
german powerhouse bayern munich show why they are the favorites. >> they got off to a lightning start. the bundesliga leaders dominated their opponents. to-0 after two minutes. they responded with hard challenges, racking up five yellow cards in the process. in the seconds after, there was suddenly back in contention. but bayern put the result beyond doubt -- three-one, the final score. >> we are in tremendous form at the moment. what sets us apart is how we exploit even the slightest error from our opponents.
>> welcome back. over 10 years ago, g-eight nations agreed to establish a global fund to fight aids, malaria, and tuberculosis. an impressive $20 billion had been collected thanks to contributions by 140 nations and wealthy private donors like microsoft founder bill gates. >> over the years, there's been concern that some of the funds have gone to waste. the new director of the fund is hoping to change that by shifting the focus back to fighting disease and saving lives. >> raising awareness is often the best weapon in the fight against malaria.
in kenya, simple mosquito nets have proven effective at preventing infections. the global funds to fight aids, tv, and malaria has been sponsoring such projects. its new director is making its first visit. >> eastern europe has a multi- drug-resistant tuberculosis. it is the only area of the world with an increasing rate. >> one focus is ukraine. high-risk groups such as prostitutes are often marginalized. money from international donors has repeatedly gone missing. germany has even suspended payments to the fund. support is resuming with hopes for better control. >> we have to work with partners on the ground. >> we have to make sure these misappropriations are no longer
possible. >> in a moment, we will look at why volkswagen is racking up record sales. >> first, a look at some other news from around the world. >> in syria, opposition activists say an air raid near the capital has killed at least four people in a renewed bid. russia called for direct negotiations between syrian government and opposition leaders. >> another day of strikes by security staff has disrupted regional airports in germany. hamburg airport in the country's no. some more than 100 flights cancelled on thursday. more walkouts are planned on thursday. unions are demanding more pay
than a spectacular scenes from italy where mount etna sent giant streams of ash into the sky. it is on the island of sicily and is one of the world's most active volcanoes, but this was its first big eruption of this year. >> to some business news now -- europe is still struggling to jump-start its economy, but do not tell that to. >> the german auto giant said it had a record year in 2012, raking in more than 20 billion euros in profits. vw is currently on course for another stellar year, not least because of its acquisition of portia. >> volkswagen cars headed for export markets. the european automotive market is in retreat. vw is also set to wring more value out of its assembly lines, so some believe profits from car
sales will increase. >> despite the problems, vw could still improve by one or two billion euros this year. >> but the company will not see profit levels of the last two years any time soon. that is because half of last year's earnings gain consolidation of earnings in the company. vw acquired portia in the middle of the credit crunch, but it is now worth substantially more. >> shares in german airline lufthansa plunged by more than 6% wednesday after the company announced it will not pay a dividend this year. the airline says operating profits fell by 1/3 in 2012 and just over 520 million euros, largely due to restructuring costs. the company has struggled to cope with falling passenger numbers. they say they did that a healthy profit of 990 million euros last
year, but that was largely due to one-off asset sales. on to wednesday's market action now, and european shares retreated from their three-week highs on wednesday. our correspondents and as the summary of the midweek trading session from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> traders are very aware of the problems citizens of the debt- ridden countries are facing. the question is if the government's stick to theprefore the situation is worsening. this is the biggest question with regard to italy. traders fear berlusconi may come back and spend the entire recovery process. shares have been a burden. shareholders have been disappointed by the decision to huge profit. >> we said in frankfurt for a closer look at wednesday's
numbers. let's start off at the tax -- it closed down by 0.3%. euro stoxx 50 also suffering a setback, finishing all the way down to 640. on wall street this hour, the dow trading slightly to the downside. the euro weaker against the greenback, trading at a value of $1.3298. >> now to one of the biggest arms bazaars in the world. the international defence summit in of a doubt become so close tomorrow only weeks before the united nations needs to finalize a historic arms trade treaty. >> amnesty international warrants it would not even cover most of the weapons on display at the conference. in germany, there's been a public backlash over the sale of arms, especially to countries with a questionable human rights record. >> the largest arms fair in the
region opened with a bang in the united arab emirates. it is hoped images like these will send a signal to the other side of the persian gulf where it rations -- relations with iran are strained. leaders are also worried about discontent within their own borders. >> of course we see the problems here. and the weapons industry has reacted. you will have a hard time finding any german arms manufacturers exporting to this country. >> saudi arabia would still like to buy german leopard tanks, but in germany, selling weapons in troubled parts of the world is controversial. investigators are still trying to figure out how high-tech german assault rifles one of in libya. a special government council makes decisions about who gets which german weapons. some are calling for more public
input. >> transparency alone does not prevent a single weapons deal. we also want countries with records of human rights abuse banned from getting german weapons like saudi arabia. >> the united arab emirates is thought to have ordered about 1 billion euros worth of weapons systems at the arms fair. the most interesting it bought from germany was reportedly software. >> well, the reader writes that exploded over central russia last friday into the and its atmosphere undetected by experts -- the media right -- the meteorite. >> and yet, there has since been a flood of amateur video showing its fiery approach. much of the footage comes from so-called dashboard cameras which are mounted inside cars and continue rolling when drivers are on their way. they come in extremely handy when explaining how accidents occur, especially in situations involving corrupt police.
>> driving in russia can be a unique experience. these internet videos showed just some of the bizarre obstacles that russian drivers have to deal with. overtaking on the inside is a popular practice here -- anything to beat the traffic. then, there is the off-road approach. the widespread use of dashboard cameras is revealing illegal maneuvers and crashes. many in up online. statistics show russian roads are among the most dangerous in the world. many drivers refuse to go anywhere without their dashboard
cameras. sales are booming, and there are dozens of models. the record whatever happens in front of the car, providing video evidence in the case of an accident or a police stop. if drivers -- >> i of drivers get stopped, they can point the camera at the police officer and record sound and video. he cannot believe how friendly and upstanding and officer can suddenly be when he sees the camera. >> alexei turns on his camera as soon as he gets in the car. he believes it is no less important than car insurance. >> police here may stop you and claim you drove through a red light or on the wrong side of the road. they just make something up. without evidence, you have no choice but to pay a bribe.
you can never win in court against a police officer. >> some prefer to take matters into their own hands. the best way is to have the camera running at all times and stick to the rules, whatever comes your way. >> at least the horse was using the crosswalk. one of the smartest creatures in that whole sequence. >> do not drive a car in russia. that is all we have time for right now. thanks for watching. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--