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tv   Focus on Europe  PBS  June 20, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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♪ >> hello, and welcome to london for a very special edition of "focus on europe." yes, we're back in my homeland, but we're not here so i can hang around my old haunts. we are here because the future of the european union is about to be decided in the u.k.. the british are about to vote in a referendum on whether to stay in the european union. it is all anyone is talking about. many say they want to leave to curb migration from other parts of europe -- particularly from eastern europe. we wanted to find out more. we went to one of the areas of britain most affected by that migration.
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>> the small town of boston has long had close international links. in the early 17th century pilgrims started here for the united states. today, migrants are coming to boston, mainly young people, from eastern europe. zbigniew is from poland. he is an instructor at the town's karate club. when the weather's good, he trains with his polish friends outside on the edge of town. zbigniew: our main purpose is self-development through karate training. we always try to be better every day than the day before. tomorrow we will try the same. we will try to be better than today. >> keep moving forward, that's zbigniew's approach to life. he and his wife agnes came here 13 years ago. their son patrick was born in england. they started off working in a factory, but now both have jobs in management. and like many of their friends, they've bought a house here. agnes: work hard as much as
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possible, save as much as possible. some of them, they will be back to poland. i know a lot of my friends now, they settled here, they've got own houses here. they call england home, really. >> around 10% of people in boston now come from eastern europe. overall, there are some 3 million eu migrants in britain. far too many, say the eurosceptics. one reason they want britain to leave the eu is to stop further migration. >> exit from the european union. >> people are being drawn here because of our high rate of benefits. we earned those benefits. we earned the right. we re-invested in ourselves, that's why this country is a great country. >> what can we lose? what have we lost? we've lost a lot. all our industries are gone. it's not britain no more, is it? >> it's too much a mixed bag.
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>> and we are attracting too many people. yes, the wrong people, the wrong kind. >> the eu opponents are popular here. many britons believe the eu's policy of free movement of labor is wrong. jonathan: i hope that the eu implodes. it's an artificial construct. we face 2 tyrannies in this country. one is islamic fundamental terrorism. the other is the tyranny of european bureaucracy, which is imposing rules and regulation upon us, that we have little control over. >> so what would a brexit mean for boston's polish community? they come to st. mary's church every week. mass is now also held in polish. many members of the congregation are worried. they say the brexit debate has stirred up resentment against them, although they have helped
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to make boston prosperous. father kowalski: because we came here with education, with culture, and people are ready to work, they pay taxes. and yes, i think we enrich this country. >> the eu opponents are out in force of the streets. they say that eu migrants that are already in britain should be allowed to stay. but they want more controls introduced to restrict the flow of future immigrants. even agnes agrees, that not everyone should be allowed into britain. agnes: we never ever claimed anything. we work hard. so if you want to work hard, there is a place for you here. you can just find a job and work. but if you think you will come here and you will be claiming benefits, i think that is a mistake, to be honest. >> agnes and zbigniew want to stay in boston and work for good relations between the polish
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community and the rest of the town. in his karate club, zbigniew works with children from ten different nations. zbigniew: community integration is possible. for all of us, including british people, it would be better for everybody if all europe would be united. agnes: england is made up from immigrants. it is not only england, the whole world is changing right now. so, we have to be prepared. >> both agree that britain would be worse off without the migrants from eastern europe. and boston, like many small english towns, would suffer both economically and culturally. >> german sausage in the british capital. now that's what i call european integration. this is a tasty reminder of my home in berlin. germany is, in fact, one of the main supporters of britain
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staying in the eu. berlin sees london as a good pro-business and pro-free-trade ally in europe. many german politicians worry if britain leaves the eu germany would be footing most of the bill in brussels. but a british vote to leave is even more worrying for many of us british citizens who live elsewhere in the european union. to discover why, we've been to chatting to some of my fellow brits back in berlin. ♪ >> you could describe arthur taylor as the perfect european. his girlfriend is finnish, he set up a software company in germany, and he was born in britain. now his british nationality is starting to worry him. if britain votes to leave, taylor will no longer be an eu citizen. what would that mean for his company and his more than 30 members of staff? arthur: it is frightening to
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know that a lot of my fate and the fate of the people who work here are dependent on people who aren't even aware of what we are doing here in berlin. and that's true for a lot of expats in europe. >> non-eu citizens require both residence and work permits for germany. taylor is currently wondering whether to become german, but he's only been here for seven years and you have to have lived in germany for eight years before you can apply for german citizenship. the impact of brexit is unclear. arthur: there is no role model for this process. itas never happened before in history. nobody knows what the implications would be legally or for people working here. >> martin gordon has already become german -- largely because of his son, chesta. chesta's mother comes from indonesia. if britain left the eu, chesta and his parents would no longer
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have been eu citizens. chesta doesn't understand why so many people in britain support the brexit. chesta: i think they said it's because europe is undermining their power or something. i don't think there's any reason for england to leave europe. >> martin gordon moved to berlin from london 18 years ago to work here as a music producer. martin: i didn't consider that i would end up being german as a result of having lived n berlin. and as you know, the english have a rather curious relationship with the germans. but i am. >> gordon received his certificate of citizenship a few days ago, after filling out numerous forms and taking a citizenship test. he also had to take a solemn oath. >> i had to swear not to overthrow the german constitution by force.
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>> gordon is familiar with german red tape. he even wrote a song about it a few years back, "only one dream per person." the song describ how germans would organize paradise if they were to run it -- very efficiently, of course. positive to say about his homeland, especially not the brexit debate. martin: i mean, boris johnson and his nazi-remarks for example. this whole thing has devolved into entertainment. >> arthur taylor has a contingency plan. he could marry his girlfriend, get a finnish passport, and remain an eu citizen. but this plan has a snag. hanna-maija: that's something i don't consider this to be a legitimate reason to get married. arthur: when you talk about plans you have together as a couple, you don't usually have
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to consider geopolitics. >> arthur taylor is not the only brit in germany who's worried about the future. there are 10,000 in berlin alone. almost everyone at this meeting of expats is considering applying for german citizenship. >> once i heard about the referendum, i got worried -- so i applied for citizenship and got it a couple of months ago. >> i am sure there will be some kind of escape door. so i didn't take it further. >> eu rights are much more important to me than anything that a british passport gives me. >> most people here agree. arthur: i don't think it would make any sense at all to me to try to hold on to citizenship of a country that decided they don't want to be a part of europe. >> so while some brits want to leave the eu, other brits are thinking seriously about leaving britain. >> what i have really noticed over the past few months is how
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ferocious the debate has been about the referendum. i'm here with 2 british voters. what do you think? >> i think it is about continuing peace in europe. that you should stay in the eu. >> how about you? >> i think it works. why change it? i would not like to see any change to the way that i like it. >> the other big question is what does britain leaving the year mean for the rest of the european union? for some in brussels, they think it would mean that eu integration could go f aster without the bothersome grbrits. others though say brussels would just not be the same without britain. >> it's puzzling, the brexit debate. brussels is so concerned the uk may decide it's game over that the commission avoids the word brexit wherever they can. >> the eu commission here behind me, europe's powerful executive
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has decided to stay silent. they try not to openly support the remain campaign, says the chief spokesperson. margaritis: this is now up to the british people, and the british people alone. >> officially, i am told, there is no plan b. any post-divorce scenarios could be perceived as brexit scaremongering. but it's an open secret: all high level british civil servants would loose their jobs. this man for instance. jonathan hill, the british eu commissioner. the man in charge of financial services would be among the first to leave, followed by this man rob wainwright, the british director of europol, the eu's law enforcement agency. then the foot soldiers, the british civil servants. in the european council, about 1200 in the eu commission, plus the staff of over 70 british lawmakers here in the eu parliament. the lower ranks are likely to keep their jobs, but will
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eventually hit a glass ceiling. experts say y e uk would loose all its influence in brussels. out means out. janis: my overall estimation is that it will be a rough ride that other member states will not give the uk an easy way out, because the fear of a domino effect. what signal it would send if one leaves and then gets to cherry pick whatever -- that others might follow suit. >> for uk citizens in brussels, this uncertainty is already very real. francesca jenner, works as a consultant to the eu institutions and can be candid how it feels like to have a british passport in brussels at the moment. francesca: it's a very strange time to be in brussels. i think everyone is hoping for a positive outcome. everybody is really hoping that the british public votes for remain, but there is a very unsettling edge knowing that leave could happen. >> she worries about future red
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tape on the european job market if she looses the privileges of eu citizenship. so for her, it's clear where this part of the puzzle belongs: in the eu. georg: in? francesca:yes, definitely. >> a good bit of irish dancing here to get me back in touch with my irish roots. london has one of the largest irish communities in the world. this referendum is not only about england leaving the european union, it is about the whole of the u.k. leaving. that includes ireland. now, when my grandfather left belfast, the region was a warzone. and i can remember myself the bombings here in england as part of that conflict. today, though, northern ireland is more peaceful than it's been for years. and some say that's partly thanks to the eu. but there are very real fears could be under threat if the u.k. votes to leave the european union. barry cullen, sales manager for a duck farm, is making his daily rounds. as a native of northern ireland,
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he's feeling a bit worried these -- a bit concerned these days. he is worried that if britain were to leave the eu, it could have negative consequences for the farm -- which lies right on the border between northern ireland and the republic of ireland. the farm, might end up having to pay customs on meat exports to the north. should britain leave the eu, the border to the single market would run right through county monaghan. barry: the road signs change from miles per hour to kilometers per hour, that's how close we are to the border. >> the border also symbolizes an age-old conflict, marking the edge of the united kingdom for protestants, and dividing an island that many catholics see as one nation. the eu has been a decisive factor in keeping the peace on both sides of the border for two-decades now. barry: you could set the
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political landscape in northern ireland back, you know 15, 20 years to what it was like whenever the british army was in the north. if you were travelling anywhere, you would always have to be stopped in your car, you would have to get out, and they would search it. we were always searched, so it was not a very nice time. >> huge police stations like this one in the border village of crossmaglen, a catholic stronghold in northern ireland, or former customs posts are relics of that era. before the peace process, the inner irish border was among the most closely monitored in europe, says anthony soares. anthony: so a lorry driver passing from the republic of ireland coming into northern ireland would have to stop at this building. the lorry driver would have to
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enter this building with all the documentation, declaring what he had on board of his lorry. >> later, the british authorities converted the customs posts to checkpoints. in the 1970's and 1980's, many of the smaller crossing points were demolished and the border fortified. british forces kept an eye out for terrorists at the official border crossings. irish farmer hugh conway would not like to see that situation return. he sees today's open border as a huge step forward. he even remembers the frequent smuggling that went on here during world war ii. hugh: the police would not touch you for small things, they let you go with small things when you had nothing big. only two loaves, or half pound of tea, or something. >> it used to be difficult for the farmers in the south to do business with the north. hugh conway's farm was right behind a closed border crossing.
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hugh: it was very awkward. we could not take cattle from this road to that road you had to take them back to the south. at this place here they took their cattle away to amagh and killy. >> the northern irish farmers wouldn't like to see a return to the old days, either. keith and alan wilson are cattle breeders, protestants, and optimists. the elder wilson can still remember the customs duties. but they hope that any re-introduction of border checks would have only economic and no political consequences for northern ireland. joseph: if it did happen that they would leave the eu i don't think that it will affect the peace process. i think it has gone far enough now for it to stand on its own feet. >> northern ireland's largest protestant party backs a brexit and says farmers shouldn't worry about leaving the eu.
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most catholics on the other hand, like barry, oppose leaving the eu. barry cullen may enjoy a close horse race, but not close political ones. he is worried that the great majority of voters in britain simply don't understand what's actually at stake. barry: if i was betting, i would say they stay in, but a very low-odds bet i think. evens. 50-50. >> barry is voting yes in the referendum, and hopes that in future he will still be able to enjoy his quick trips across the border to bet on the horses. >> with the polls looking really tight, i don't think i' be placing any bets on this referendum. what is clear is that britain decides to leave the eu, it could tear europe apart. which is why for our special program on the eu referendum in britain, i've come to another
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symbol of division: the thames, which separates north and south london. and i'm standing on the millennium bridge. it has some of the best views in the city. another spot though which straddles a divide is gibraltar: it's a remnant of the british empire and the southern tip of spain. because it is still british territory, people there are feeling very involved in this referendum. the ceremony of the keys is a typically british tradition, played out here on the main street of gibraltar. the historical uniforms are a reminder that the rock has been a british territory for over 300 years. gibraltar was and is a strategically important military base. tito vallejo spent 30 years in the army, and so he still has access to the tunnel system which stretches some 50 kilometers through the rock. sometimes he takes groups of
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visitors around this subterranean military world. the 68-year-old is proud to come from gibraltar. tito: i am not english, i'm not spanish. i am british, gibraltarian, you know? like scottish is scottish-british, and irish is irish-british, we are gibraltarian-british. that's something that spain doesn't understand. to spain we're all english. we are not english. they call the union jack the english flag. it's not the english flag, it's the flag of great britain. >> gibraltar has long been a bone of contention: spain wants it back. but having both britain and spain in the eu has served to reduce tensions between the two countries. still, vallejo is an eu skeptic through and through. tito: brussels saying that now that we are brother nations we should not have any borders. that's where the danger lies, because spain will see that as gibraltar being handed over to
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them. us being dissolved. absorbed into andalusia. to me, that is what i fear most. >> but that opinion is prey much the exception here. the majority of the 33,000 residents are worried about a possible brexit. and there's an active anti-brexit campaign underway. they believe the votes from gibraltar could tip the scales in the referendum. the campaign is focusing on economic arguments to try to win over the last remaining skeptics. gemma: i work in the construction sector. i work in construction law and financial services. i think that should britain vote to leave the eu. my job will be severely affected. i can see that there will be a downturn in the gibraltar economy, and as a result, the economy that we've worked so hard to build over the past 30 years will suffer. >> commuters are used to
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congestion at the border crossing, but this could just be a foretaste of what's to come should britain leave the eu. spain has threatened to close the border if that happens. madrid would seek to use economic pressure to underline its territorial claims tito vallejo is not worried about such threats. he's already experienced one blockade when the then spanish dictator franco blocked off the land route in 1969. overnight, families were divided. it was effectively a siege, designed to bring economic hardship to gibraltar. tito: we've got the whole commonwealth behind us. you know they think that we might not need europe. don't worry. we've got the whole commonwealth. we still use the commonwealth for many things: like meat, butter, and things like that come from new zealand, australia, places like that. so, they want to close? they're going to suffer again.
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all these towns, cities around here, will become ghost cities again, and all the people will have to emigrate. >> in la linea, the border city on the spanish side, mayor juan franco has enough worries already. unemployment here stands at 37%. for this town, gibraltar's strong economy is a lifeline. mayor franco: economically, we -- every day 8,000 residents , cross the border from la linie to work in gibraltar. there is a saying. if there are clouds hanging over gibraltar, la linea gets a cold. >> tito vallejo remains optimistic whatever happens. gibraltar's famous barbary macaques are blissfully unaware of all the goings on. they will no doubt continue to flourish -- whether their rock remains in the eu or not.
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>> it is impossible to predict what the outcome of the referendum will be. the polls are and -- are neck and neck. and a big section of the electorate is still undecided. it will be nailbiting. do drop me a line on email, twitter, or facebook with your thoughts. but for now it's goodbye from me and the whole team here in london. look forward to seeing you next time. ♪
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hello there, welcome to "nhk "newsline."" heavy rain and landslides. it killed two people and left three others missing. only two months after the region was rocked by a series of deadly quakes. the rain is also putting people in other parts of southwestern japan at risk. landslides killed one person and another man died plunging into an irrigation drain. at least three people are missing after falling earth crushed their


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