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tv   Escape to Paraguay  BBC News  April 28, 2022 2:30am-3:01am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: president putin has warned that russia will respond immediately to any country attempting to interfere in the war in ukraine, saying he has all the tools to respond. that's after the european union accused moscow of economic blackmail and of escalating the war by cutting off russian gas supplies to poland and bulgaria. despite president putin's warning to the west, britain's foreign secretary, liz truss, has said western allies must double down in their support for ukraine. in the clearest indication yet of the uk's aims for the conflict, she said russian forces must be pushed out of the whole ukraine. india struggles under the weight of an extreme heatwave, as firefighters tackle flames at a huge landfill site near delhi, which is releasing toxic
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fumes into the air. prime minister narendra modi says his country is getting too hot, too early in the year. now on bbc news, escape to paraguay. on the banks of the parana river, built among some of paraguay�*s most fertile land, hohenau, obligado and bella vista — or the united colonies. these german settlements were first established more than 100 years ago by immigrants wanting to farm the land. recently, paraguay has seen a new wave of german immigration.
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yes, we have a problem in germany, but it is not so easy to talk about this problem. but that's not all. we've been told that in the last four weeks, at least 1,200 people have entered the country illegally. so can that be true? are german immigrants really breaking into paraguay? and if so, why? it's one of the oldest cities in south america. asuncion, the capital of a nation built on immigration. paraguay lost half its population during the triple
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alliance war of 1864, fighting against brazil, uruguay and argentina, and opened its doors to immigrants from all over the world as it tried to repair. in the early 1900s, almost 400km south of the capital, a handful of german families, led by a man named wilhelm closs, began to build the united colonies, and thousands more would follow. germans escaping nazis during the second world war fled to the united colonies — and ironically, nazis themselves fleeing justice back home would find sanctuary here, too. since then, there's been a steady stream of immigration — untiljune 2021, when suddenly the numbers began to accelerate. so i made the six—hourjourney
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from asuncion to the colonies to meet some of the new arrivals. "fuhl dich wie zu hause." it means, "feel like you are at home." and for thousands of germans who have arrived here in recent months, this really is home now. amongst them, the hausens — two—year—old ella, her mum, teresa, and dad, stephan. they moved to paraguay in novemberfrom nuremberg. but why? laughs.
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like so many others, for the hausens, it was the covid—19 pandemic which pushed them to leave germany. corona might well have been the final straw for this family, but there was another reason they decided to move.
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we'll come back to them later. michael schwartz is another new arrival — an architect from stuttgart. he dreamt of building his own german community here in hohenau. but when nobody would move with him, he decided to pack up and come alone. many people tell about vaccination, but this is not the main thing for me. i want to have blue sky. not so much clouds, cloudy, and not so much rain. and i want warm weather, and i want to do many things outside. and, of course, tax. 0k, taxes. taxes is a big problem in germany. many people say in germany, we have the most taxes in the world, but the money is not put in for the people who live in germany long time.
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corona changed many things. 0k. over one million people lost their companies. so the pandemic, the situation with the pandemic played a role in your decision to come to... but the methods are the problem, not the pandemic or corona is not the problem, because what they do is wrong. they destroy the infrastructure. and what about the vaccination rules? what do you think? yeah, vaccination is now a big, big problem, that you don't, erm, allow to criticise this. are you vaccinated? no, no. no. i don't do it because there are many questions with this vaccination. many doubts. doubts. do you think you can live here without vaccination? yes, yes, yes. but there is a campaign. it's not so that all paraguay find it good, this vaccination.
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many pa raguaya ns say "no". well, but vaccines save millions of lives. when you see the figures and you compare with the old vaccination, for other, er... it is much, much, much more people have problems with this vaccination. and then, you know, from the man who create this test, that the test is not able... show infection. this is fact. but this is incorrect. pcr tests do accurately diagnose corona, and that's not the only misconception we have discovered among the newcomers. covid measures here are actually quite strict.
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vaccine certificates and pcrs are carefully checked. you can find hand—washing stations like this outside virtually every public place, and masks are commonplace. but the fear among the locals is that some of the new arrivals don't feel that these rules apply to them. it's a big worry, especially as paraguay had the highest number of covid deaths per capita anywhere in the world when this new spike of immigration began.
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the country is running a national campaign to inoculate the population, so unvaccinated immigrants are a worry for the mayor. and then, the mayor says something that confuses me.
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in january this year, paraguay made it mandatory for all non—residents entering the country to be vaccinated. since then, message boards have been filled with ways to get around the rules. michael and the hausens arrived legally and through the airport. but since the rules changed, we're told german citizens have been breaking into the country illegally through its porous borders. "juan" — not his real name — is a government official. he's risking his job to speak to us, because he's angry. he says paraguay had to change the rules because of the immigrants.
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but they are still entering without that certificate. how is that happening? paraguay is surrounded by bolivia, argentina and brazil. with limited resources, policing the perimeter
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is not easy. juan says this means illegal immigrants are easily able to enter the country and bypass the covid checks. he says corrupt officials then legitimise their paperwork. the bbc cannot independently verinyuan�*s figures. estimates we've received differ hugely. in response tojuan�*s allegations, the government told us... they added...
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noemijara works in the tourism office. she's in the business of welcoming people, but she's worried that double standards have become the norm. noemi goes farther. she says she often feels belittled by the new arrivals.
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but that isn't the end of this story. it is notjust the pandemic driving this new wave of immigration. newsreader: angela merkel is absolutely putting - on the pressure, and has been doing so...i since 2015, around 1.5 million migrants, many of whom had fled war in afghanistan, iraq and syria, have entered germany in response to former chancellor angela merkel�*s open—door policy. but the strategy has led to tensions at home, and some say fuelled
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a rise in the far right. stephan and teresa say the main reason they emigrated to paraguay was to protect their daughter from the "influences" of islam. what's the difference
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between muslims arriving in germany and you europeans arriving in this country?
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stephan says he's been warmly welcomed in paraguay. i asked him why the same welcome couldn't be extended to immigrants in germany. the husband's position is not unique. in fact, every german immigrant we spoke to during our visit cited muslims in germany as one of the main reasons they left the country.
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"hana" — not her real name — left her home in germany four years ago. we worked very hard. a0 years long. now she helps germans settle in paraguay. she refuses to show her face on camera, because she says she is sick of bad press campaigns.
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but they are protecting their children from what, exactly? but that is a strong accusation. do you have, or do they have any evidence of that? what would you say to people who think that argument is racist, that you are being racist?
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i pointed out to hana that the new immigrants who are breaking into paraguay in order to flout the country's covid rules are not being respectful. hana herself is not vaccinated, and tested positive for covid—19 later that day. coughs. but this is not a campaign. this is what is happening. there are some people from germany who are entering illegally the country, because they don't have the vaccine certificate.
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no, no, of course not all of them. but this is a... this is a illegal thing. of course, those sort of things are legal things and they have the right to do that, to start a new life in a new country. but since january. .. enter paraguay,
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you have to show your vaccine certificate, and these people are entering through other borders to escape that control. that is illegal. betweenjune 2021 and march 2022, just over 1,300 new residence permits were issued to german immigrants, but the true number of new settlers is thought to be much higher. the exact number of illegal immigrants remains unknown. paraguay has a long history of welcoming migrants from all over the world. it's a part of the fabric of society. they are proud to be open and inclusive, and they say that while this new wave of immigration is welcome, any kind of prejudice is not. it's just un—paraguayan.
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hello again. many parts of scotland, northern ireland, western england and wales had some decent spells of sunshine, but across central and eastern england, we had some of this cloud yesterday. this is called stratocumulus. now, through the afternoon, in hastings, that cloud began
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to break up, and because it's a thin cloud, it's only 200—300 metres thick, above that, you've got clear blue sunny skies, and once it starts to go, it can go very, very quickly, so it was a lovely end to the day here. now, i'm telling you about that because that's what this type of cloud is, running in off the north sea, affecting parts of eastern england and the midlands at the moment. now, that is going to be prone to thinning and breaking up a bit more, i think, as we go through thursday. but with clearer skies out towards the west, it's cold at the moment. we've got some frost to watch out for, heading into the first part of the morning. now, across southern england, a better chance of seeing some sunshine. should have some sunshine, as well, across much of the northwest of the uk, and i suspect this cloud will tend to get eroded, so the areas that are most likely to keep it into the afternoon, well, probably east midlands, lincolnshire, norfolk and suffolk, but otherwise, i think most of you will see some sunshine. dry for many, an odd shower for northern scotland, an odd shower in southwest england, but in the best of the sunshine, we're looking at highs up to 16 degrees. it's a similar kind of day, really, on friday.
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again, we start off with some of that patchy cloud coming in off the north sea, but for many of us, it's a dry day, again with some spells of sunshine, and starting to turn just a little bit warmer as well. 17 the top temperature in cardiff and glasgow as well. after this lengthy spell of dry weather, caused by this high pressure, we're actually going to see some changes into the weekend. it starts to weaken, to allow this weather front to move in from the north and west. so, saturday, although england and wales is looking at another fine day, with some further spells of sunshine, much thicker cloud than we've seen all week will be heading into scotland and northern ireland, with outbreaks of rain, especially through the afternoon, the rain turning heavier and steadierfor a time. temperatures, though, out of the rain, still around 15 or 16 celsius, which will feel pleasant given the light winds. through saturday night and into sunday, the rain moves southwards across england and wales, but as it does so, it will weaken, so it will turn lighter and patchier. temperatures on sunday should reach a high of around 1a or 15 celsius, with the best of the drier and brighter weather in scotland and northern ireland.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories. president putin cuts gas supplies and declares russia will respond immediately to any country attempting to interfere in ukraine. translation: if they create threats for us, threats - of a strategic nature, our retaliation, our counterstrike, will be instantaneous. but, despite that warning, the uk's foreign secretary says western allies must double down in their support for ukraine. we can't be complacent. the fate of ukraine hangs in the balance. another desperate appeal from a ukrainian commander trapped inside a steel works
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in the city of mariupol. he says people will die if they're not rescued.


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