tv Deutsche Welle European Journal LINKTV June 27, 2013 7:30am-8:01am PDT
>> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studios in brussels. here's what's coming up today -- on the rise -- kos sacks are back in russia. under surveillance -- london's muslims after the murder of a soldier. and across borders -- german laundry washed in poland. his critics say that if vladimir putin had the choice, he would prefer to be the star
of russia and not the country's president -- the czar of russia and not the country's president. one group seems to be particularly special to putin. eight years ago, he was made an honorary cossack kernel, a title once reserved exclusively for russia's csars. >> the days when the cossacks defended the czar's frontiers with their swords and steeds are long gone, but the cossacks are undergoing a revival. the military is once again a popular employer in russia. parents can send their children here to be trained in the cossack tradition.
but there is more to it than just skill with a whip and a saber. >> a cossack is a russian orthodox worrier. >> cossack is an important man who who wears his cossack hat with honor and it ends his homeland. >> the training center has two classes. next year, a third will join them. vadim's family have been cossacks for generations. he has sent his own son to be trained at the cadet school. >> the most important thing is that we reawaken love for the motherland. that we are prepared to ward off every enemy, every attack. it's a very unsettling situation in the caucuses not far from here -- the caucasus not far
from here. >> that's also why he says he is lending a hand to the local police. the cossack of silly reforms has the blessing of the kremlin and local leaders. they fear an influx of muslim terrorists from the troubled caucasus region. the russian orthodox cossacks are supposed to help ward off this threat. the cossacks are also expected to lend respectful moral authority to local officials, who are often mired in corruption and scandal. but so far, the joint patrols have not apprehended any terrorist. >> we come across all sorts of crimes. our officers -- find officers on drugs and illegal weapons. there's vandalism, brawling. sometimes a theft or two.
>> the conflict with the local muslim population goes back many generations. a few hours to the west, it is still very much in evidence. this was where the russian empire expanded into the caucuses. the cossacks, a fierce band of horsemen, faced resistance from the residence. >> our ancestors conquered this region with their blood. every meter of soil here is drenched with the blood of cossacks. >> back then, the borders of the russian empire extended along rivers. that's why areas like his one are so important to us. but historically speaking, the cossacks who are honoring their ancestors here are not actually a distinct ethnic group. in the 15th century, they were mainly runaway serfs who banded together as free warriors.
>> for generations, the fearless bands of horsemen lived free. then in the 18th century, the czars incorporated them into the imperial army. the break with the state came only with the soviets, who saw the proud and independent cossacks as a threat to soviet system. >> not all come from a cossack family of long-standing. to be a cossack, all you have to do is share their values and be a member of the russian orthodox church. at home, dimitri does keep some livestock, but he does not have any horses. he says they are too expensive, and a cossack no longer need sources to -- no longer needs horses to ride out in the defense of the motherland. >> this is our land. this is my farm, my house, my home, and i will protect it and
help keep order, and if need be, i would go to war for it. >> back in stavropol, vadim says his work with the official guard unit is going well. he and his comrades are helping the police on patrol, but their main client right now is the russian what the docs church, which, like kremlin, wants to use the cossacks for its own purposes. he and his men carry out regular inspections in the churches, looking for explosives. but the real reason is a show of strength, as he admits. >> we have all sorts of sect nowadays. illegal organizations that say they are religious groups but have nothing to do with any actual religion.
>> and then we've got the islamic fundamentalist -- the terrorists. there's no telling what they might do. even organize terror attacks. >> here in southern russia, the cossacks are no longer just colorful figures from history. just as it did back during the days of the czars, russia once again has its band of free warriors, just now without the horse and saber. >> the murder of a soldier in the south of london last month left many in britain shocked. liu rigby was killed in broad daylight by a british citizen of nigeria dissent, who was born a christian and later converted to islam. the attack comes at a time when the immigration debate is in full swing in britain, and now muslims living in london fear acts of retaliation. there have been some already.
a muslim school was set on fire in the south of london, and in the north, a muslim community center went up in flames. >> the police investigation is ongoing. the team of forensic officers is searching for clues at the crime scene. a muslim community center in london that was destroyed by fire. who were the perpetrators? was the attack racially motivated as police suspect? she was a volunteer at the center and began coming here as a child to learn arabic and get help with her homework. now, the design student, whose family is originally from tanzania, has come to take teachers for the community, capturing the loss. >> this place was a second home. it's like you have lost a part of home, basically. that is what it is for most of the community.
they have almost lost a part of home. >> how could this happen? luna cannot understand how this could become the scene of such a crime. it's a middle-class neighborhood. over 200 languages are spoken on the streets here. the area has a reputation for peaceful, multicultural coexistence. unite against fascism is an anti-fascist organization hosting an event to promote solidarity. luna and her girlfriends have come to take heart. -- come to take part. one of the unions that come to take part is a med of us. born in mogadishu, and his family fled the civil war in somalia 20 years ago. he felt safe in london until now. >> very disgraceful event that has taken place in our community, against the
multicultural is in the uk has very much saying there is a need for more input, more exercise between the different racial issues. >> the organization faith matters promotes interfaith ilog. the group offers a hotline for muslims who have been the victims of attacks. since a radical islamist murdered a british soldier in london in may, the phone has not stopped ringing. >> name-calling on the street. they receive targeted mail, twitter that is specifically islam phobic. we have that reported. we've had reports of graffiti, windows broken, and the more extreme elements, which is around in century devices thrown through grates and fires. >> some twitter users have been they think immigrants should have their windows smashed or should even be set on fire. at the other end of the spectrum, hatemongers have refused to condemn the wall
which murder. >> i do not think it's helpful to condemn anybody. >> and an islamist radicals who was deported to lebanon went so far as to welcome the attack on the soldier who was murdered while london was still in morning. members of a mosque in the brixton district in south london are disgusted by comments like those. the mosque itself was also targeted shortly after the brutal murder. police are still searching for the perpetrators. the imam here for the last seven years believes his mosque is at particular risk. like many members of the community, omar converted to islam from christianity. >> they tried to enter the building and actually tried to break in. the other side is where it was completely broken off. it has been replaced and then.
also, they threw a rock through this particular window. it was completely smashed. >> omar and other muslims do not believe violence is the right response to the attack. retaliation is not an option, say most of them, even though the majority are against stationing british troops in muslim countries. >> every day on the news, you will see this, and you want to aid them via prayer. we do not go in for violence. this brings more violence. >> brixton is trying to address the problem, especially newly converted young men who might be unstable or have a troubled history and be more prone to violence. the brixton mosque has already had to exclude some potential members.
>> if we find that they personally have ideas that need to be looked at, we will take them to an environment where we can discuss those matters openly. very straightforward guidelines regarding what our right, what are wrong. >> will be community continue to be able to live side-by-side together in the future? that's one of the questions discussed at a solidarity event. >> there's a sense of unity going around. we've got people actually traveling in. we even had one of the local schools send us cards from all the different groups sending us, "hopefully, everything will be well." it was really nice, definitely. >> the small london neighborhood could become a model for the entire british capital, but it's up to all londoners to create a sense of unity in their multicultural city. >> scientists warn that many
natural disasters could be prevented and that the causes are often man-made. extreme flooding, for example, is often caused when the natural floodplains of rivers are sacrificed to human development. it can also be true for earthquakes. europe's largest natural gas field lies deep underground in the netherlands, and now gas production there is increasingly taking its toll on the people who live there. >> fertile agricultural land used to be the source of prosperity, but today, the region's or is buried three kilometers beneath the ground. natural gas. the closely guarded wells are producing a few billion cubic meters of gas a year. she and her husband live on top of this gold mine, but the riches beneath their feet have brought nothing but trouble. gas extraction is causing the earth to shake. >> this is an old farm.
there are a lot of cracks here in the barn, and they are getting bigger. you can even see outside through this one. >> the whole farm is falling apart. >> the walls are damaged. the cracks over the doors are getting bigger. and we cannot shut the doors anymore. >> seismologists have registered 65 earthquakes here so far this year. one of them had a magnitude of 3.4, and scientists predict the tremors could soon hit magnitudes of four or five. >> that actually does not tell us a lot when it comes to working out what is going to happen. you have to measure what affects the movement of the earth are going to have on the surface to see how the kinds of houses you get around here will react.
>> the scientists want to gather more data before they issue recommendations, and that suits the gas drilling company just fine. >> we have known for a long time that -- extraction and earthquakes are connected. now we know more about their size, but we have to wait for the studies before speculating. >> activists from the local pressure group say that scientists have gathered enough information to act now. >> there's enough gas for the whole country for years. despite that, they keep upping production levels, and that's just because of the money. >> natural gas extraction is channeling 12 billion euros annually into state comfort. over the past few years, production rates have more than doubled. almost every dutch household uses gas for cooking and -- cooking and heating, and export contracts have been signed for
many years to come, so the state is hesitant to turn off the taps, even despite warnings from some official sources. that includes the general inspector of the state mine surveillance service, which is also responsible for gas extraction. his demands are not being met. >> we want the serious risks faced by the people to be reduced to a justifiable level. that's only possible in the short term it production is reduced as quickly as possible and as far as realistically possible. >> so far, the gas company has limited itself to paying for construction engineers to document the cracks in houses and is promising to pay for the damage. eric has an import -- an appointment. he says their case is not all that serious. >> well, this is an old crack
here. you can see that diets with. but it has grown larger because of the quakes, and we are going to deal with it before it gets worse. >> but they are not just worried about the cracks. they have spent a lot of money on their home and have been trying to sell it for five years now. >> sales are bad because of the earthquakes. we will have to wait and see. >> but a lot of people cannot wait. property values are falling, and more than 7000 homeowners have registered damages. >> more and more people feel like they have been taken hostage in their own home. a lot of them want to leave because they are scared of the next quake, but they cannot because their homes are unsellable, so they are trapped in an earthquake zone with an uncertain future. >> martin does not want to leave.
she spent her entire life at the farm, but she's not sure the house can be saved. >> we sleep above the seller -- cellar. if you look at how the beams are banned, then i worry we will end up in the seller one day -- if you look at how the beams are then -- bent. >> a lot of people worried that there well-being is being sacrificed for the money it brings. >> you know the feeling you call the helpline of a british entry, and you find yourself talking to a friendly call center assistant based in bangladesh or india? in times of widespread use of telephones and the internet, we are no longer surprised that the service sector often disregards national borders, but it's also true for tangible products you buy in your local shop. just think of toys made in china. some goods even cross borders
every day, going back and forth. >> berlin and its hotels -- there are more than 600 of them in the german capital, but just 26 of them boast five stars. at these exclusive hotels, guest expect service that is exceptional in all respects, and the laundry is no exception. from bathrobes to sheets and towels, it all has to be white, fluffy, and clean. in short, perfect, and it absolutely has to be done by the next morning. >> imagine if the bakery did not have bred one morning. that's what it would be like if we did not get our clean laundry back in the evening. we might be able to manage for one day, but no longer than that, especially if we are booked up. >> and how do they manage to get such a huge amount of laundry cleaned by the next
morning? it is not washed here or even in the city. it's all sent to poland. we will accompany the laundry on its journey from berlin to a small town just over the border. this is a german-owned company, but it's based in poland. that way, it can take advantage of the local power plant and the steam it produces. the laundry has more than 500 staff, and they work around the clock 364 days a year, every day but christmas. the employees here earn only 1/3 of what german workers would earn, but lower wages do not mean the laundry services come cheaply. the boss puts a premium on quality. >> with costs being what they are, this kind of quality would not be affordable in germany. it's not low prices that set us apart.
we are a bit more expensive, actually. but our quality is exceptional. that's possible only because of our polish workers. we know this team up over 20 years. >> the laundry is washed at 90 degrees celsius. normally that's only required for hospital laundry services, but here, it's part of the regular package. at least 60 tons of laundry are washed here every day and returned to berlin. they now have 130 hotels on their client list. but at first, winning over customers was not easy. >> we faced a lot of challenges. first, the berlin competitors who said we were exporting jobs to poland. and then just ordinary prejudice -- people saying they did not want their laundry done in poland. >> the staff are happy to have jobs in this economically weak area. when they are asked what the
work is like, we are treated to some tongue-in-cheek humor. >> it's not monotonous. every few minutes, we get the laundry from another hotel, so this lots of variety. sometimes we even get covered napkins. >> its work. it's a job. nowadays, you cannot afford to be too choosy. there's hardly any work at all in this town. >> especially for women. the unemployment rate is well over 20%. that's higher than the polish average. for the past 20 years, the town near the polish border has been courting german companies. the laundry plans to expand next year and hire another 100 women. in city hall, the mayor calls it a win-win proposition. >> we are very satisfied with the germans. we try to meet their needs. we work closely together. we look for solutions when the companies have problems and help them keep costs down. in return, they provide work tom
a which is good for our city. >> the spirit of cooperation was evident before the german polish border was open. truck drivers could spend up to three whole days waiting to cross. then the laundry got its own border crossing station and ferried the laundry across the river, but not everyone here looks on the exchange so kindly. >> well, there are always a few critics who see things in a negative light. it's true that 90% of the laundry's customers are german hotels, and only a few are polish, but i tell everybody that the laundry pays 2 million in taxes each year or 500,000 euros. the money stays in poland, and it's crucial to our budget. >> back in berlin, it's a long drive, so of course, the question arises -- wouldn't it be faster and easier just to wash the laundry here in the german capital? but everywhere we ask, we get
the same answer -- exactly what the intercontinental hotel's housekeeping manager tells us. >> we just did another study of this last fall. we looked at other companies to see if anyone was better or at least comparable, but they all fell short in one way or another. >> so poland really is the best alternative. meanwhile, the laundry has arrived. new guests are checking in, so the 24-hour guaranteed turnaround is crucial, and once the beds are made, no one will guess that the betting has just been through a quick turnaround of its own -- a round-trip journey to poland. >> that report wraps up this edition of "european journal." from all of us here in brussels, thanks for watching. tune in again next time if you can, when we will be bringing you a special edition from croatia, the next country to
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