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tv   Focus on Europe  PBS  May 19, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT

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♪ peter: hello and a very warm welcome indeed to"fokus on europe" with me, peter craven. and europe is booming. people from around the world are flocking to the old continent, which is good for the tourist industry. but it's a huge challenge for especially popular destinations like one of my favorites, venice. not least because of the monster cruise ships, 12 stories high and 300 meters in length, that sail right into the heart of the city, bringing with them tens of thousands of tourists. well, for the very first time in the history of venice the city authorities have even been putting up barriers to limit access to the main attractions. little wonder, with 30 million visitors a year. it's good for business, argues the mayor of venice. but the cruise ships and the
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crowds are eroding the character of the city, says unesco, which is threatening to strip venice of its status as a world heritage site. many venetians meanwhile are saying"basta." enough is enough. reporter: every time tour guide paolo patuzzo crosses the rialto bridge, he can't help but wonder, where did his charming city go? the one that's now overrun with millions of tourists. how can venice protect itself from the onslaught of visitors? he's sure this piece of world cultural heritage won't survive as a photo backdrop alone. paolo: my love for this city makes me seek out places and people who are keeping venice alive. because there are enough people who are countersteering and navigating the city into troubled waters. reporter: like most venetians, paolo lives from tourism, which presents him with a dilemma. he now conducts special tours to
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draw attention to the city's problems, like in his own district, where rents are rising as flats are being used as holiday homes. more and more venetians are moving away. at the bar paolo frequents, venice's decline is a hot topic. ettore: 20 years ago, the city was full of craftspeople who produced things for the local people, upholsterers, carpenters, locksmiths, bookbinders. they're all gone. today no one makes mattresses or repairs shoes anymore. reporter: and that's wounded venetians' pride. is this all that's left of their once so prosperous trading city? paolo shows us the mercato di rialto, the old fish and vegetable market. now it's just a tourist trap. venice has become a city in which few people actually live. paolo: here there are more
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tourists taking photos than paying customers. that provokes people, which is why a few fishmongers are considering asking for money to pose for photos in front of this tourist backdrop. reporter: the cruise ships are also a huge problem. activist stefano micheletti is outraged. not only do these huge vessels flood the city with daytrippers, they're also threatening the lagoon city's very foundations. stefano: the big ships' propellers have a piston effect. they churn up all the subsoil, so clay and silt from the lagoon are gradually washed into the open sea. reporter: as a result, venice, a city built on wooden piles, is slowly sinking and could eventually be completely underwater. but micheletti isn't giving up. his citizens' initiative has managed to prevent even more cruise ships from coming into venice. stefano: when a ship like that
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goes by, the water level in the nearby canals sinks by around 20 centimeters and then rises again right afterwards, due to the displacement. this hugely powerful force eats away at the foundations of the palaces, churches, and bridges. reporter: but not everyone in venice is happy about micheletti's initiative. the port authorities invested millions of euros in modern cruise terminals. now, due to the success of the protests, only half of them can be used. galliano: for four years we've been listening to these fears that our ships could even ram into venice. i can only keep reassuring people, even with the biggest ships, the chances of that happening are zero. reporter: so the industry is still fighting to keep the huge ships cruising by st. mark's square. it's a business worth millions. but resistance is growing, also due to the exhaust fumes the
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ships release into the air. more and more venetians feel their city is not on the right course. stefano: so far, big construction projects have been decided by the corporations operating the port and airport. it's only about growth, ever bigger, ever more. as for the city's welfare, there's no strategy whatsoever. reporter: that makes paolo patuzzo both angry and sad. each year venice's 55,000 residents are overrun by 30 million tourists. many think the time has come for radical counter-strategies. paolo: it's paradoxical, but the best tourist for venice is the one who stays at home. we're more than full up, with 30 million visitors a year. reporter: it's clear something must be done to reduce the number of visitors to a reasonable figure. but for that to happen, venetians will have to sacrifice some tourist dollars to save
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their beloved city. peter: and we go to istanbul now, where nihat palantoken has lost the daughter who was his pride and joy. 17-year-old helin was on her way home when she was shot and killed by a young man who claimed to be her former boyfriend. now each day on average, five people are gunned down in turkey. and since the failed coup in the summer of 2016, the number of firearms in private hands has exploded. the consequences are devastating, not least because many of the victims are girls and young women. reporter: nihat palantoken has barely set foot in his daughter's room since she was murdered. helin's desk, bed, and dressing table are all still there. she was preparing to go to college. nihat: i was looking forward to framing her university diploma and putting it up on the wall. but that will never happen now.
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reporter: last october, 17-year-old helin was murdered on her way home in istanbul. the culprit, a male acquaintance who shot and killed her shortly after she had turned down his advances. incidents like these are becoming all too common in turkey. helin's father has called for stricter gun laws. nihat: i want to see at least the many illegal arms confiscated. that would save many lives. because many of these firearms are owned by uneducated people who have a sick mentality. reporter: nihat doesn't need to long to find the spot where his daughter was killed. it looks like a war zone. the culprit fired repeatedly on his daughter with a semi-automatic rifle. he was later apprehended. the man who illegally sold him the gun, however, was quickly released.
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nihat: i or anyone else could end up being shot soon, too. this has to stop. i don't want others having to live though what i have endured. i lost my child. enough. reporter: there are now fatal shootings on the streets of turkey every day. helin's former school friends were shocked by her death. but they know how easy it is to buy a gun these days. >> it's simple. you order a firearm online, and it's delivered to your doorstep. incredible, really. reporter: it's illegal to buy arms online in turkey. but that does little to allay the concerns of girls and young women, the most common victims of male gun crime. >> sure, we're scared. every day, this street corner reminds us of the danger.
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reporter: there are an estimated 20 million illegal guns in turkey. every day, there are five gun-related fatalities, murders, accidents and suicides. private gun ownership rose by over 20% last year. now an initiative made up of citizens groups and newspapers is speaking out. ayhan: it's become easier to get a gun license. all you need is a clean police record and medical clearance. also, crime and political volatility have increased in the past decade. and penalties for illegally owning a gun are negligible. reporter: we head over to the european side of istanbul. after some hesitation, a firearms dealer agrees to
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discuss the country's gun situation with us. inside his shop, he shows us a shotgun made to look like an assault rifle. he keeps his more serious firearms elsewhere. he doesn't think banning guns would save lives. instead, he says gun ownership should be legalized. fatih: they should make it easier to legally purchase a firearm. then the state would have control over gun ownership. and there would be fewer fatalities. culprits could be quickly apprehended because every gun would be registered. reporter: the arms dealer regularly showcases his arsenal on youtube. he denies this constitutes illegal advertising. he claims, he's merely targeting gun-lovers. nihat palantoken visits the
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family grave every day. helin, who was his oldest daughter is buried here as well. ,she was one of 20,000 gun crime victims in 2017. nihat has vowed to do everything he can to combat turkey's obsession with guns in honor, he says, of his daughter. peter: now did you know that we owe every third bite of what we eat to the bees? that's because bees don't just make honey. they also pollinate 80% of fruit trees and vegetable plants. but in many european countries, bee populations are declining dramatically, mainly due to the widespread use of pesticides. and that's why the e.u. has now voted to ban bee-harming pesticides. to take a closer look at the problem, let's go to the small village of puiesti in south-eastern romania. reporter: millions of bees used
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to collect pollen here. but two years ago, all the buzzing activity around beekeeper costel gresala fell silent. costel: take a look. all the bees are dead. all because of this chemical they sprayed on the fields. my entire business is destroyed. at some point, i'll have to burn everything down. reporter: in spring 2015, wheat fields here were sprayed with the insecticide fiprocid to kill ticks. its use near domestic animals was already banned at that time. people in the village of puiesti in one of eastern romania's poorest regions were not even informed, says greschala. costel: it was a disaster for us beekeepers. we were robbed of our livelihood. a beekeeper can't exist without bees. these gentlemen caused an ecological disaster here. they didn't think about the
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people, nor the animals, nor us. all they're interested in is money. and they can't get enough of it. reporter: greschala lost 24 beehives and with them his livelihood. the same happened to other beekeepers. along with farming, honey was one of the few sources of income for people in puiesti. the beekeepers are suing this man, the pest exterminator constantin dragut for using banned chemicals. he sprayed the fiprocid, and now he presents it to us with a clear conscience. he no longer sells it, but he does still sell similar poisons. constantin: look here, you can buy it for 15 lei and do what you want with it. reporter: but how is it applied? constantin: the directions are on the bottle. reporter: the trial against dragut is already in its second year. the court wants expert advice from the agricultural
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authorities, but they haven't even looked into the case. and the beekeepers suspect that's because dreguts's wife works in the agency and is protecting her husband. constantin: the evidence shows that i'm innocent. everything was signed and permitted. i was supposed to exterminate ticks. they live in the fields, not on airplanes or ships. so that's where i sprayed. i am not to blame. reporter: the beekeepers see it differently. the company ignored interview requests, but this invoice shows that it delivered fiprocid to animal breeders, although the e.u. banned the chemical in 2013. fiprocid killed about 50 million bees here in 2015. costel gresala is sad that no one seems to have learned anything from that. costel: we exported honey from here all over europe, to germany, france, italy. there were contracts. but since the disaster, since
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the bees died, we no longer sell honey. reporter: otherwise, this is a pristine region with huge forests. there was never any environmental pollution. reporter: nature seems to be slowly recovering. costel gresala makes a discovery, wild bees have moved into one of his hives. that encourages him to begin keeping bees again. but it will be a long time before he can once again make a living from it. peter: now people in my home country britain are generally incredibly friendly. but that could be changing. certainly, the mood towards immigrants, especially immigrants from eastern europe, has turned ugly since the brexit vote nearly two years ago. our reporter frank hofmann has been to the seaside town of great yarmouth to see how the hostility manifests itself between neighbors.
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frank: these cameras aren't part of a home security system. they were installed to spy on a polish family across the road. and are pointed right at the children's bedroom. dorota: you got cameras, can you see how they -- there's another one, the black one next to the white. oh, there is one there. can you see it? frank: what's happening here in great yarmouth, in eastern england, is more than just a feud between neighbors. the polish family are being targetted simply because they're e.u. citizens, says dorota darnell. as the neighbor drives away in her car. darnell, from poland herself, is advising the victimized family. she came to britain to work in a bank. today she's self-employed and helps her compatriots when they run into problems. the mother of the family, agnezska, doesn't want us to show her face, for fear of further repercussions.
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dorota: she's afraid of the fact that she's going to get recognized, and it's a small town. if she goes out, and people get to see her, then probably she's going to have some aggravation. and she's got five kids, and she just wants to protect them and herself. frank: dorota darnell started off helping polish citizens with their residency applications, after fighting her own way through the british bureaucratic jungle. but now she also accompanies them to the police station when they've been threatened simply for being foreigners. the video surveillance is yet another case of xenophobia. agneszka: she's done it to intimidate us, to show she's in control. she's installed all these cameras, whether they're recording or not. what matters is she's intimidating us on social media and also in person. she screams out,"i can see, you --"i can see you all the time." frank: agneszka and her family have been living here for four years.
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their british neighbors moved in two years ago. the threats began with the brexit referendum in 2016. and they didn't just come from one neighbor. agneszka: i'd never had a problem with doctors or at school. now the children get called names. we all know kids just repeat what they hear their parents say at home. i'm afraid to speak polish on the street, because we'll be told off. frank: one police officer suggested she could just move away. in great yarmouth, more than 70 % of voters were in favor of brexit. the seaside resort in norfolk is a bastion of anti-e.u. sentiment. a high proportion of staff in the bars and restaurants here are eastern europeans from e.u. member states. many more work on the farms outside great yarmouth, another reason for local resentment. >> it is people coming in here that aren't trained here. they've got no licenses to do those jobs, but yet they're going to do them for less pay than people that have trained to go and do that job. i think it's disgusting.
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frank: 200 kilometers away in birmingham, e.u. citizens are meeting to enjoy a cup of tea, and discuss the headaches brexit has caused them. they belong to an organisation called the three million, named after the number of e.u. citizens living in the u.k. the group gathererd today includes germans, french and poles, like kassia talbot. she married her british husband in poland and moved with him to england. kassia: suddenly after brexit, will i have to start to worry that, ok the fact that i am , european is not enough now, because i have to sort my paperwork to be able to stay here? frank: kassia talbot collects her son from school. both of her children were born in britain. they live in a small community in the birmingham area, a place known for its openness to immigrants from europe. but at the local fish and chip shop, that tolerance seems to have vanished. gemma: they should leave. frank: why?
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gemma: because that's why they'll moan about money problems and things like that. well, more people here, more people getting in, the more money's going out. that's why. frank: by"they" she primarily means immigrants from eastern europe. kassia talbot has now acquired british citizenship. she couldn't live with the uncertainty that she might be deported one day, just because she's an e.u. citizen. although her husband james is a pastor, and used the authority that comes with his office, he says the hours he spent on the phone were torture. james: unless you have that piece of paper, don't tell me it's gonna be all right. because you're not living through it. you're not going through what we have had to go through. you're not feeling the pressure that we've had to go through. sorry. frank: in great yarmouth, agneska and her family are also feeling the pressure. without dorota darnell's assistance, they'd be all on their own with the cameras and
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, their xenophobic neighbor. peter: now what you do in your , home and indeed on your terrace is surely your own business. well, not so here in germany, where a couple in the city of dortmund has been given a timetable for when they can and cannot smoke. this after the neighbors claimed that the fumes were intolerable and took the smokers to court. axel rowohlt reports. axel: enjoying a smoke on on your own terrace? that's not so easy for dirk dowe of dortmund. as noon approaches, he has to quickly get in his last few puffs or face jail time. the dortmund regional court has ruled that dowe and his wife may only smoke tobacco in their own yard according to a strict timetable for three hours at a stretch. dirk: we can't smoke from noon to 3:00, but from 3:00 to 6:00 we can. ,then we are banned from
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6:00 to 9:00 and allowed again from 9:00 to 12:00 on a 24-hour basis even at night. i can set the alarm for 3:00, sit out here and smoke until 6:00 a.m. axel: the smoke bothers their neighbors in the townhouse complex, but only since the dowes had a roof put in over their patio. as it happens, the roof diverts the smoke. dirk: they say the smoke drifts over from here, like in a chimney, across the fence and down onto their patio, which is a bit lower. and then it gets into their house, specifically into their basement and through the bedroom windows. axel: the courts have been considering the dowes' roof and the air currents for three years now. the county court found it caused no nuisance to the neighbors, but the regional court said it does and imposed the timetable.
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now, the dowes face a fine up to 250,000 euros or six months in prison for smoking outside the designated hours in their own yard. reporter: and down here in the yard? dirk: can't smoke. reporter: you're not allowed to smoke? dirk: not in the yard. not even in the back. reporter: why? dirk: the neighbors demanded it, and the judge agreed. axel: the neighbors wouldn't talk about the cigarette squabble on cameras. all dortmund is debating it, the smokers and the non-smokers. >> i don't know why they smoke at all. everyone knows it's harmful to your health. >> actually, they should just mind their own business, because i'm sure there's something in the neighbors' household that bothers others, and they're keeping quiet about it.
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but when it comes to smoking, suddenly it's"no." so we'll start a court battle over it. i don't know. >> it's very german to want to limit everything and say, after a certain time of day you can't , make noise at home, or you can't smoke. that's an invasion of privacy. axel: health risk or no, the dowes' lawyer can't accept the judges' line of argument. peer: this is a dispute over two basic rights. one, the right to one's health, where the neighbors claim they're exposed to a hazard, and two, the couple's right to do whatever they wish on their own property. they're not renting it. they own it. reporter: what's the time? dirk: 11:56. reporter: so in four minutes -- dirk: i have to stop. reporter: but i can. dirk: sure. you can smoke. bring your coworkers. they can smoke too. axel: the smoking ban takes effect at the stroke of noon but only for the dowes.
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it doesn't sound logical, but according to the ruling, any guest here may smoke like a chimney non-stop, round the clock, even the reporter. dirk dowe can only watch. axel: after 12:00, no problem. in dortmund, smoke isn't always if you'd like to see any of our reports again, then just go to our home page at or visit our facebook page, dw stories. but until next time, it's bye-bye and tschuss. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪
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steves: from the destruction of world war ii, europe has steadily rebuilt itself into a forward-looking and united continent. with the creation of the european union, economic integration has made another devastating war unthinkable.
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there has been a massive investment in cutting-edge infrastructure projects. efficient high-speed rail systems tie europe together. superhighways and stunning bridges further enhance the continent-wide transportation system. within cities, sleek subways move millions underground. on the streets above, public transit reduces traffic congestion. and nearly every city is creating traffic-free pedestrian zones, making urban life even more people-friendly. as the world grapples with climate change, europe is taking a leading role in developing alternative energy sources.
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and while still preserving the historic character of its cities, europe has found a way to integrate innovative architecture into the landscape, giving the old world a modern face. and the human face of contemporary europe is more diverse and vibrant than ever. even as this continent of 500 million people unites, it's finding ways to allow its rich mix of cultures to celebrate their unique identities. from norway to greece and from portugal to bulgaria, people are proud to preserve their distinct languages, foods, and traditions.
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