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tv   Focus on Europe  PBS  January 20, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm PST

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europe i'm peter craven, a new presenter, joining michelle henery here on the show. and let me say, it's great to have you with us. now, people around the world have been celebrating the new year. and they will have done so, of course, in lots of different ways. many will have been out dancing or clubbing, and some of them will have taken party drugs like ecstasy or amphetamines. and one of the biggest market places in the world for these synthetic drugs is in the netherlands, in the province of north brabant that borders belgium and lies close to germany. here, the drugs are mixed in laboratories into sometimes deadly combinations. the dutch police say they are determined to clamp down on this highly-lucrative trade, and our reporter has joined them on a
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major raid. reporter: a team briefing. these police officers rely on leads from informers in the drug scene. that's why they want to remain anonymous. the preparations make it clear this is no run-of-the-mill mission. in a warehouse located in an officer rob de vrij knows about chemistry. this is, without a doubt, a major bust. how much do you think this would be worth on the black market? rob: the chemicals have a retail value of about 200,000 euros. on the black market, this is worth about two million. and once it's been turned into amphetamine, it can bring in 50
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million or 60 million euros. reporter: but getting the right dosage can be a problem -- the wrong combination can be deadly. but it's possible to get pills analyzed before they're popped. charles dorpmans, himself a former drug addict, works for this state-operated service. its purpose is to monitor the drug market, warn users, and try to keep particularly harmful substances out of circulation. but dorpmans says their advice often goes unheeded. charles: well if you take an ecstasy pill and a month later again the same doses, you will not get the feeling. so what do the people do? they think, oh, i'll take a little bit more or half more, and they are way too much and they only feel energy. and they go bam. and last year, we had seven deadly incidents on high dosages of mdma. reporter: the police confiscate a large quantity of cannabis in a residential area in the city of tilburg.
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and they also discover a mobile drug lab in a garage. if the ventilation system were to fail or something were to catch fire, this could be a major hazard. willem-jan: not only the criminals are in danger of being injured or even dying, but the people who live around such a lab, they're in danger as well. neeltje: the drug money is giving criminals more and more influence on the rest of society. that's something we really don't want. reporter: successful raids like this usually take the neighbors completely by surprise. rarely do they suspect that when the friendly folks in the house next door said they were self employed, they were actually engaged in something so illegal. peter: and europe's drug trade is estimated to be worth a
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staggering 24 billion euros. it's still growing, and consumers will, it has to be assumed, continue to pay with their lives. now, all countries are secretive about their nuclear programs. that particularly applies to france, where there are fears that radioactive waste at a military complex close to the heart of the capital paris may pose a grave threat to the people of the area. what's called fort de vaujours was for decades used for small-scale atomic experiments. now it's being developed as a gypsum quarry. so, how dangerous is the site? our reporter has met with a local resident turned activist. reporter: gregory jurado and his friends want to give their neighbors a wake-up call at the marketplace in the village of villeparisis, 20 kilometers from paris. they want people here to know that they may have been exposed to high levels of radiation for decades -- ever since the french
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army conducted nuclear tests in the area in the 1950's. gregory: tumors have been diagnosed which are completely abnormal and there's no reliable explanation for them. we must do something. and most of all, we must get the defense department to finally reveal what happened here 50 years ago. reporter: the possible threat comes from here -- fort de vaujours, a military facility that covers 45 square kilometers. starting in 1955, france's atomic energy commission began experimenting with enriching uranium and developing detonators for atomic bombs on the site. gregory jurado was a local politician for many years. he spent much of his childhood here. while playing soccer matches, he remembers often hearing muffled explosions. gregory: we all wondered whether something dangerous had
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happened. but, as i remember, many people's initial response was they can't be doing anything dangerous because we're just 20 kilometers away from paris. reporter: but perhaps residents didn't know the truth. recently it's come to light that not everything was under control. last summer, sacks filled with radioactive waste were found at the site. they were discovered by workers from placoplatre, a firm which makes construction materials. it had bought the property to mine for gypsum. now placoplatre has been instructed to simply decontaminate the site -- without knowing exactly what took place here. the nuclear tests conducted here are still considered to be military secrets. a company spokesman says they're proceeding cautiously. gilles: at a site like this which is just earth, it's easy to spot these objects which are atypical and don't belong here.
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we pass this info on to a specialist right away and he takes care of the decontamination. reporter: but jurado and his fellow activists call that procedure irresponsible. they've sought help from the commission for independent research and information on radioactivity, a french ngo. nuclear physicist bruno chareyron shows us, for instance, how one side of a tile poses no danger, while the other side is highly radioactive. he says the same applies to the ground at the nuclear site. bruno: to decontaminate a site like this, you have to go over every surface with a fine-tooth comb. and as soon as you start removing the earth, you must keep taking measurements. because as soon as it's a few like this, you have to go over centimeters under ground, this uranium is no longer detectable -- even with high-performance geiger counters. reporter: despite the risk of
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being exposed to radiation, placoplatre is letting its workers continue digging. in the process, soil contaminated with radiation could be mixed with uncontaminated earth. france's nuclear safety authority has imposed legal requirements. yet stringent controls to ensure their implementation are lacking. bastien: the firm placoplatre is primarily responsible for ensuring protection against radiation on its site. we can't post a guard at the site's exit to check every truck that leaves the premises. that's not our role. reporter: gregory jurado says it's a scandal. he's convinced that the french state just wants to rid itself of the possibly radioactive soil. gregory: as you might imagine, there's collusion between the state and the construction materials maker.
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on one hand, it's in the french state's interest for us to forget everything as quickly as possible, so we won't keep asking questions. and on the other, the site's buyer, placoplatre saint-gobin, wants to get its hands on the gypsum under the ground as quickly as possible. reporter: gregory juardo plans to keep on fighting until the full story of the nuclear testing is unearthed. but by then, it could be too late to do much about it. peter: let's go to russia now, which is a country where you might expect women to enjoy equal rights. after all, most historians agree that women played a crucial role in the russian revolution. what's more, they won the right to vote earlier than women in a number of other european countries. but all that was a century ago. today, feminism is widely viewed as an un-russian import from the west, and women are complaining about growing sexism and
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discrimination. some, though, are fighting back. reporter: it looks like there's more on offer here than just refreshments. the female flight attendants on russia's national carrier aeroflot are young, charming, and attractive -- without exception. these women, on the other hand, were subjected to discrimination by the company. russia is waging a war on women, they say, and along with hundreds of other flight attendants, they are the losers. yevgeniya: i got a call from management saying they wanted to have some photos taken. i only realized later how humiliating it was. they took a portrait and a full-body photo. they wanted me to stand at a 45 degree angle. then they divided us up like cattle, according to who was they allowed to fly where. a 45 reporter: aeroflot discussed
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eir actionopenly, declaring passengers preferredo see slim women. male flight attendants were not subject to such restrictions. the women were to settle f less pay and a lower ranking. so yevgeniya magurina and irina yerusalimskaya took aeroflot to court -- and won. the company was told it could not dictate the size of its flight attendants' clothing. irina: but although we won in court, nothing changed for us. they still never put me on as a senior flight attendant. yevgeniya: it became psychologically unbearable. irina: it was just terrible. yevgeniya: there was constant pressure. they wou turn the her female colleagu against u espeally the younger ones. reporter: one of the women left the company. the other was no longer put on the better paid international flight despite having 20 years of experience. russian women frequently suffer discrimination. there are few places in the
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world where so many jobs are off limits to women. and a gender equality bill tabled back in 2011 has failed to make headway. ksenia: take google, for example. google russia told me they have no one responsible for gender equality. google has equality commissioners everywhere, but not in russia? the concept has apparently not caught on here -- the country isn't ready for it. reporter: sexism sells well. this is a commercial for a beverage. nothing out of the ordinary. take this advert for an asian restaurant. she's from st. petersburg, he says, but she can do asian too and can satisfy my appetite anytime, anywhere. state television has even made fun of the victims of hollywood producer harvey weinstein, and expressed sympathy with the perpetrator. some russian women have even protested in favor of weinstein, standing outside the u.s. embassy in moscow. their posters read -- harvey
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makes me excited. harvey, come to russia. but these two women in st. petersburg are looking to change that attitude. a few men watch them at work. feminism is seen as a western idea put out by aggressive, ugly women. feminists are often attacked. these two woman, former dj's, started their own clothing label. ironic slogans draw attention to ordinary things like they fight for women to have the right to live out their sexuality and dress as they please. lolja: on the one hand, women are supposed to be super housewives -- faithful, submissive, sweet, innocent, forever young and always at home in the kitchen.
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and on the other hand they have to be sexy, dress provocatively, always look stylish, and wear high heels. reporter: they also sell bags, and give the proceeds to women's shelters. half of all russian women ar thought to suffer sexual violence or harassment at some stage. many say sexism is on the rise in russia. lolja: i think putin is the ultimate patriarch. a patriarchal society is his entire ideology. reporter: russian television shows vladimir putin giving a successful business woman his fatherly advice. president putin: don't forget to fulfill your demographic duty. reporter: in 1917, it was russia's women who went out to protest, thus helping to trigger the revolution and the overthrow of the tsars. they gained the right to vote
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long before most western women did. and they were the first to gain the right to a legal abortion. feminism flourished here. but 100 years later, the tide has turned. under the tsars, the smolny cathedral complex in st. petersburg operated a finishing school for young ladies, where they were trained to be good mothers and officers' wives. now there's a school for girls harp. the parentare fully behind it. >> they need to learn here how to be women. so much has been lost today in what it means to be a woman. they wear jeans, have to work. but i think a woman should remain a woman. reporter: the girls learn history and french. etiquette and dance. patience and humility.
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courses like this are in high demand. not just for girls, but also for adult women seeking to become more feminine. and the secret of this femininity is simple. natalia: the man is the head of the family. the wife is there to support him. she is the mother. that's her primary purpose. reporter: 100 years after the first women's revolutionary march in russia, many modern girls are once again aspiring to become princesses. peter: many mornings, i cycle to work through the tiergarten park in the heart of berlin. and it's impossible to overlook the rising number of homeless people, many of them from eastern europe. local authorities were already struggling to deal with the problem, but alarm bells really began to ring when a berlin woman was recently murdered in
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viereck has been looking into the situation of the homeless in berlin, and she met up with michal from poland at central alexanderplatz, which he calls home. linda: even though he lives in the middle of berlin, he feels as if he were invisible. three years ago, michal came here with nothing but a backpack. since then, he's been sleeping on the streets. michal: when i first came here i slept at alexanderplatz. back then, i was one of a larger group, 10 or 15 people who slept under this bridge. all of us were polish. a few russians joined us. people of the same kind stick together. we were all in the same situation. linda: more and more immigrants from eastern europe live on the streets of berlin. the number is estimated at between 3000 and 10,000.
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but this estimate is not official. michal has given up on finding an apartment. he's gotten used to his life on the streets. he knows most of the homeless in this area, including this young polish woman. they help each other and protect each other against violent attacks, day and night. michal: there are many of things that you yourself can't change. linda: that makes a lot of people in the city feel unsafe. in september, a woman was killed by a homeless man while walking through the park on her way to the subway. the district mayor is under a lot of pressure. he warns that the situation is getting out of control for park officials who deal with eastern european homeless people. stephan: we don't know what would happen if we kicked them out. if we say, you are no longer allowed to sleep here, they might throw beer bottles at us
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or spray us with urine. that was what they told me in a confidential employee meeting. and that was when i realized that we cannot solve the social problems that are happening in poland, hungary, and romania, in our parks. linda: michal tells us that berlin is a magnet for east european homeless. he says it's easy to live here without any money because there are so many charitable institutions. he visits a center for young homeless people twice a week. there he can wash his clothes, shower, sleep, and eat. about 350 people come here -- almost all of them from eastern europe. politicians looked the other way for years when it came to homeless people, they tell us here. the topic only began to get public attention when the stream of migrants from eastern europe increased. anett: i think berlin, and germany as a whole, has to admit
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that not only well-situated europeans benefit from open borders. and i believe that deportation is not the solution. many homeless don't want to return to their home country, for various reasons. linda: but deportation is exactly the topic that is being discussed by germany and poland. in the near future, polish social workers will be coming to berlin to try to convince their homeless countrymen to return. michal: i don't want to go back to poland under any circumstances. too much has happened. i have bad memories. if i went back, i'd do something i regret. i have a daughter there and it's not easy for me. when i'm there, i do things that i shouldn't. linda: and he's more afraid of this than getting through a
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freezing winter on the streets. he says one day he'll tell his daughter what went wrong in his life. but until then, he'd rather just stay invisible in berlin. peter: now, one way to prevent young men and boys from falling into the clutches of militant muslim groups is to go to the places where they are typically recruited. and that is precisely what karim mabrouk does. the champion kick-boxer is a member of a de-radicalization the idea -- top martial arts performers offer the youngsters coaching in the hope of winning their hearts and minds. the project has the backing of two ministries. but what happens next under austria's new government that includes the far-right freedom party? reporter: kickboxing is much more than a sport, says karim mabrouk. he says it also teaches valuable life lessons.
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karim: combat sports teaches kids determination. it teaches them never to give up in life, to have dreams and pursue them. reporter: he says kids with a focus are less likely to get radicalized by religious just 24, karim mabrouk has already won the austrian kickboxing championships several times, and has competed all over europe. he can't get into the ring today due to an injury, so he's cheering on his training partner. that. they've just posted a new video online. [video clip]
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>> in the ring you have to give it your all and be aggressive. but after the fight, we're all brothers. regardless if you're a jew, a muslim or a christian. outside the ring, we treat each other with respect. when preaches tell you can't make it in austria, know this -- we are a community. you are welcome here. reporter: these athletes are positive role models. they often visit schools to talk to students about islamic extremism. >> we've all heard about the attacks. once, a man drove into a crowd of people with a truck. he had a black i.s. flag. karim: no muslim, no human being should ever do this -- no matter what his or her background. nobody should be murdered. i'm trying to do the best i can and to lead by example, an example of a good muslim.
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reporter: mabrouk, who has egyptian roots, is a devout muslim. he prays five times a day. born in vienna, he says life is becoming more difficult for muslims in austria. karim: even as a kid, the fact that i am a muslim was an issue. people would make comments about it. yes, people often give you weird looks, or make you feel unwelcome. we fear things are going to get worse. reporter: now, austria's new political situation is putting anti-radicalization efforts like these in jeopardy. that would lead to more cases like that of emre, who became acquainted with i.s. sympathizers while in jail. emre: i felt the state hated us -- those who've emigrated here, foreigners. so i thought i might as well give them a real reason to hate me. that's what motivated me to get
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wants to reach kids before the radicals do. they offer free training sessions around town. and they're open to everybody -- muslims, jews, christians, everyone. karim mabrouk is committed to the project -- whether the austrian state supports him in his efforts or not. peter: well, good luck to karim in his efforts to use the do, though, get in touch with us and let us know what you think about the show. for now, from me, 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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