tv Focus on Europe PBS June 29, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
stories behind the european headlines this is focus on europe. up here is what is coming up over the next half-hour. why the fins are looking anxiously across their border. why the greeks are appealing for outside help with migrants. and the battle of waterloo be enacted 200 years later. russia annexation of crimea left many in the soviet nations of eastern europe asking will we be
next? similar questions are being asked in northern europe. russian spy planes have rattled finland. after all, the two countries share a long border and long history of conflict. older films remember the territory they lost in two wars with russia. things are taking precautionary measures. >> he is in the finnish army posted by the russian border. family we are on the border -- >> we are on the border.
reporter: finland seated russian territory in the aftermath of world war i. the soldiers are aware of the tensions. unsure about future developments, the military recently put its reef -- its reservists on alert. >> in this letter i'm informed my position and some sort of crisis. that's about it. reporter: he is an actor and theater writer who often introduces political issues to the stage. the experience changed his outlook. he is now left-wing and more outspoken.
>> i think it is very important for finland that we can maintain a reasonable and effective army so we don't have to go into any coalitions for nato. >> resentment remains in finland over the occupation and losing territory in the 1940's. observers think finland will -- will maintain sound relations. >> people are worried about what is happening. we have good reason for that. not in any way his steric or afraid about a potential to attack finland or something like that.
reporter: the only invasion comprises russian tourists with st. petersburg 175 kilometers away. in 2013 some 4 million visitors came over from russia. those numbers have dropped off since the ongoing crisis in ukraine began last spring, primarily due to incan -- primarily due to economic sanctions slapped onto russia by the eu. >> of course the rebel exchange rate. >> many of those visitors come to take a peek over the border. the memorial to the finish following a second world war is now neighbored by a new shopping mall, built by russian customers.
here at what is apparently the largest fish counter in finland, the staff even speak russian. and there still are russian customers coming in here. although many are reluctant to admit the impact sanctions are having back home. them at the border he frequently has to deal with small-scale smugglers. right now he is researching a couple of suspect bands. the border guard seems generally
tightlipped when it comes to the bigger political picture. on that front he chooses to speak to us in finish. >> today it is irrelevant. we have a good relationship. reporter: a lot of his fellow finns are not quite as optimistic, especially with times as they are. christopher: the numbers arriving have mushroomed compared to last year. people smugglers are switching from sea to land routes. on europe's southern rim greece is particularly exposed with athens struggling to cope. many items are just a few
kilometers, making them the -- making them easily accessible. reporter: they are working along with the greek coast guard. it is only seven -- only seven kilometers by boat. more than 5000 refugees have taken that journey in the past two months. they often have to be saved from vessels in distress. the coast guard is at their limits of capabilities. >> the incidents are very often and we have five infant -- have five incidents during the night. >> this rubber dinghy arrived early in the morning with 49 people on board.
it is a lucrative business for the people smugglers, who charge $1100 per person for the show to -- for the short boat trip. the passengers will be rescued by the coast guard. most of the refugees right now are from syria. >> the work we do here affects us emotionally. we are sympathetic to the plight of the refugees. we don't simply want to manage them that offer humane conditions for them. reporter: there are -- there is room of 120 people. we are not allowed to shoot footage inside -- shoot footage inside.
it is unlikely the refugees are expected in europe to arrive like this be the greek authorities are trying to relieve the situation by setting up a tent camp next to the reception camp. the islands administration recently made the area available next to a serum -- next to a cemetery. the mayor is well aware of the conditions, but he is facing a fivefold increase in the number of refugees arriving compared to last year. >> the permanence of mechanisms
are not always capable to do the large numbers. reporter: many refugees live or sleep out doors. some local residents are unhappy with that, because they are worried such images could damage his reputation and affect tourism. most of them try to help your -- try to help the refugees as much as they can. the initiative tries to support the refugees. here they are collecting clothing for mothers and children. they are also working to the limits. >> we need help because of the situation is really out of control. summer is coming. nobody knows how it would be here in one month or during a summer.
>> they are free to remain on a kiosk or go where they like. many have a clear destination in mind. each evening about 100 refugees take the ferry from kiosk to athens. this summer more people are likely to arrive than leave, because space on the ferry is limited as well. >> this explains why farming has become the domain for industrialized factories. are they going bankrupt or bought out by the big boys? this does put cheap food on our table but also reduces the variety and quality of our food.
>> a small farm in western france. 27-year-old hannah from england is about to embark on an exciting chapter of their lives. it is their first year running their own dairy farm. a few months ago they still do and believe it would ever happen. >> it took us about two years to find a farmer. ready to sell or rent. big farmers jump onto it. they always want more and more and more lands. reporter: hundreds of farmers across europe have to give up their farms every day. they were determined to beat the odds and get a farm of their own up and running.
they enlisted the help of an organization. it buys the land and leases it to smallholders. since retiring in 2008, 67-year-old has been volunteering with them. his main objective is to help young people who don't come from an agricultural background. >> the day there is only one local farmer left cultivating grain is the day community life dies. there are no schools anymore, no public services. we want farmers here who will keep the region of float and who will foster good time -- good ties with consumers. reporter: it finances land acquisition with the help of donations and by selling shares.
>> once the land has been bought, they don't ever sell it again. that protects against speculators and means the land remains in the hands of farmers. >> so far the organization has purchased 23 hectares of land. they have to demonstrate their project is economically viable, organic, and integrated into local infrastructures. they sell their organic cheese at local markets, for example. >> this breed of correct -- read of cal produces very rich milk.
the way it is processed is very important. sometimes you can start with good quality milk but it can be ruined if it is processed wrong. am i it includes a farmhouse they renovated with financial support as well as friends and family. >> we have to get out thousand euros worth of cheese per week. in order to be able to reimburse the credit we live -- credit we made at the bank and live off of it. that is quite a lot.
reporter: they can stay here paying 480 euros per month in rent. at that point they will have to pass the farm on to the mix -- onto the next generation. christopher: good food is often more expensive than industrialized products. what you prefer? cheap food or good food? get in touch with me on that. believing in god used to be frowned upon in georgia. that was many years ago when the south caucasian country was part of the communist soviet union. after the georgia women -- when i was last in the capital i sought churches at almost every quarter -- every corner.
some georgians, the pendulum seems to have swung too far the other direction. >> walking to school has become torture. he would rather not show his face because he is being bullied at school. >> what is going on? >> i'm telling them what happened. , what are you telling them? >> that's none of your business. , but i'm his teacher. . >> we're not on school property. reporter: this is a small triumph. he was beaten up because he is an atheist and sought help from a human rights group. >> the topic was painted icons
and i said i didn't believe in god and that i'm an atheist. reporter: and intense debate followed and then at recess his classmates attacked him. >> i was not -- i was on the ground and they kicked me. others came and they just watched. reporter: atheists are a minority in georgia. the church plays a huge role in society and in the schools as well. the teacher who had been questioning him was told by the school administration to allow us to shoot footage in her class. today's lesson is about church music. >> what is the difference between orthodox and catholic liturgies? how many voices saying in the catholic liturgy? seven? no, just with one voice.
reporter: his parents have spoken to his teachers and asked him to protect -- and asked to protect him or from attacks. parents want more religion taught us, rather than less. one group has considerable influence, the union of orthodox parents. when a gated -- when a gay rights the magician was held in 2013, the union organized a counterdemonstration. the city center was turned into a battlefield and many priests were involved. we found the address of the aggressive parents group online. we wanted to ask them why they considered harry potter and halloween such a threat to children and teenagers. none of the members wanted to be interviewed on camera and there isn't even a mailbox at the address listed. the church leadership denies any
official connection to the parents group. >> that is an autonomous organization. it is not popular in the church. everyone has a right to their own opinion. even clerics have a right to their own opinion. those opinions may deviate from the official church position. reporter: this is the cathedral. the saturday evening services well attended. the orthodox church sides membership swelled halloween the collapse of the soviet union. the country's diversity is call silly under threat from groups who -- groups who preach intolerance. >> in the early 2000's it was jehovah's witnesses targeted by the fundamentalist christian groups.
for the past few years it is gays and lesbians. they also target jews. >> while the separation of church and state may be enshrined in georgia's constitution, the reality is different. the church is more different than ever. the progress -- pro-western policies are the target of george's unorthodox church, and that benefits russia. >> one of them is the orthodox belief. another is the common historical past. reporter: the outpouring of support they get on facebook shows they are not alone. >> belgium is at the center of a veritable history as people
celebrate the 200th anniversary of the battle of waterloo. in 1815 this is the battle that changed european history. to mark the anniversary, thousands of enthusiasts feverishly preparing for a week of playacting. one of the clashes leading up to the decisive one at waterloo. >> this could be what is sure looked like 200 years ago in a small town in belgium. the threat of an attack by napoleon's army hung over the prussian troops ever allies. >> they weren't in great shape. they didn't have any tens. reporter: these 1500 military history fans are here to reenact
a battle. a truck driver came from germany on foot. >> if you end up battling a stronger army you don't stand a chance. be -- he would be taken prisoner or you die. >> the french troops defeated the prussian army. >> we will win. >> we are the superior army. >> the reenactment lasts more than two hours. the battle komen eight in the
death of 11,000 french soldiers and twice as many prussian and from -- and prussian allies. >> the french didn't challenge us very much. we knew they were going to come in and they were going to charge. they were ry humane with us today. >> the erstwhile enemies are getting to know one another. these history buffs have come from all over the world. even as follow -- even as far away as australia. >> 650 kilometers on foot from east germany. >> a glimpse into the past and it is commemoration. it is about what these people went through.
reporter: he's looking for victory in the batter -- in the battle of waterloo. heavy rain the evening before the battle horse napoleon to delay his attack. >> rain is just one of the obstacles they can face. i saw victory 200 times. maybe this time i will win. reporter: no chance. the great battle was fought that ended the napoleonic era. if the weather had been this good then history might have turned out differently. christopher: that is all this week, but do get in touch with me if you have any comments. thanks for watching and see you soon. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
www.vitac.com hello there and welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, june 30th. i'm katherine kobayashi in tokyo. the greek prime minister says it would be difficult for his country to repay his debt to the international monetary fund before the tuesday deadline. the country needs to repay the imf $1.8 million. he said reaching a feasible agreement with creditors is the only way to repay the debt, otherwise, greece won't be able to repay the loan. nations decided not