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tv   Quadriga - The International Talk Show  LINKTV  August 17, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT

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growing. across the continent, but especially in germany. social justice issues are likely to take center stage in the upcoming elections in september. ♪ michelle: an increasing number of retirees are living on the
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poverty line. as they struggle to get by waiting for their next pension payment, some have no choice but to visit food banks if they want to eat. and this is taking place right here in europe's largest economy -- germany. our reporter met a 65-year-old pensioner from hamburg. he lives hand to mouth and doesn't believe politicians' promises of change. while the country's well-oiled economic engine has motored on, the elderly it seems have been left behind. reporter: hamburg's latest landmark is the elbphilharmonie concert hall. herbert, who doesn't want to state his real name, is a pensioner who's come to see the high-profile project that apparently symbolizes germany's prosperity -- a prosperity that he has no share in. his wallet contains all of two euros and 20 cents. herbert: that's all i have left this month. i have to wait until friday for money, and make sure i don't
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overspend so it lasts the whole month. reporter: no money in the bank? herbert: no, it's all gone, maybe except 65 cents. reporter: herbert likes coming here to watch the boats. he spent his fair share of time onon the world's oceans inin s working days. before that, he trained as a welder at this renowned hamburg shipyard. herbert: it was a good job. well paid. not when i was working as an apprentice, but i learned a profession, and that was a good thing. reporter: did he ever think about what it would all be like when he retired? herbert: not at all. i didn't think about getting old -- period. reporter: today, herbert lives in a small rented apartment in steilshoop. 45 years ago the area was
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considered a model of modern housing design. but now it has an image as a run-down neighborhood associated with a high crime rate. the rents are relatively cheap, but even so, herbert cannot afford any hobbies or holidays. his only luxury is his cat. and now and then he does treat himself to some cigarettes. almost half of his 900-euros-a-month pension goes on rent. does he sometimes think he won't manage? herbert: yes, sometimes. i start to despair and think how bad everything is. but then i say to myself, there arare others who are wororse f than me.
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reporter: once a week herbert visits this food bank, where homeless and poor people can stock up on all the supplies they want for two euros. herbert worked his entire life, but even so, he can't get by on his pension. and he's not the only one. ten years ago, some 10% of germany's pensioners were officially poor. now the figure is over 15% -- an increase greater than in any other demographic in germany. what was it like when he first came here? herbert: to be honest, i felt a bit scared. reporter: why? herbert: it felt like begging. but i got used to it. reporter: a matter of pride?
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herbert: yes, but you get used to it. reporter: the social workers here say the retirees don't just lack money, they also feel they are becoming social outcasts. angela: the safety net has gone. they don't feel part of society. the gap between rich and poor is noticeceably widening. reporter: does she think the general election will change anything? angela: it would be nice, but i don't see any major change happening. reporterer: thingsgs were difft whenen herbert was a boy and hs family lived in the heart of town, and in the heart of the community. herbert: that was the entrance to the house. reporter: his father died prematurely, but his mother got by on her widow's pension. now herbert is worried about his
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grandchildren and their generation. herbrbert: today's youngsters,n their early 20's with qualifications -- what kind of pension will they get? things look really bad. pensions only increaease minimamally. reporter: while politicians in germany are currently talking about pension increases, herbert doubts that they will keep their pre-election promises. michelle: compared to retirees in germany, pensioners in france are fairing rather well. most are financially secure in old age. but that soon may change. new french president emmanuel macron wants to reform the labor market to make the country more competitive. that means reducing welfare contributions for employers and increased flexible working hours. while critics fear a shift in retirement incomes, young entrepreneurs welcome the changes. we met a young man, who despite
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running a promising new business in paris, still struggles for economic survival. reporter: here in the heart of pariris, gaetan mazo works tirelessly all day, every day -- washing, painting, and repairing to ensure his business is a success. mazo teamed up with two other friends from the suburbs to found a rather original kind of start-up -- a sneaker care service. mazo expxpects emmanuel macrons elelection as the new presidentf franance to give h his businea boost.t. gaetan: macron supports young entrepreneurs. in school, i always gogot the impression i was expected to justst find a job anand suborde myself to some boss.s. but macron h has said, don't lk for r a job, look for customer.
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reporter: they've already found their first customers on the ground, although their business isn't posting a profit yet. so far, the three have had to do almost everything themselves -- they can't afford to hire re ththan one employee. gaetan: social security contributions and taxes are extremely high. i have to pay so much that when we earn 10,00000 euros, only 30 are actually left over at the end of the month. reporter: hiring staff to service sneakers is expensive. plus, getting into a conflict with employees can seriously harm a small business operation. french labor laws are very employeeee-friendly, and make t almost impossible to fire them. butcher sacha milo, for example, has lost several court cases against employees. now, he's much morore careful.
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sacha: it's as if you're married to them.m. it's hardrd to brea. every time, you have to pay significicant compensasation d ensure that they get vocational training. that's a majajor burden fofor a smalall business.. rereporter: but the ununions it on the stipupulations. if labor law were to be softened, they say, big companies would explploit the situtuation to hire younger r s. the unions are concernrned tht mamacron is too business-friend. michel: macrcron wants to exemt big companies from having to port profits earned abroad. that means thehey can declaree french profits via branches ababroad. it isn't't difficult. then they sasay they've made losseses in france so they can fire people. and employeeees will then be ununle to go t to court to demd cocompensati.
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reporter: bubut major corporatis and small bubusiness are worls apart. even s so, the unionons won't b. wouldn't start-up owners like gaetan mazo be better off finding a permanent position elsewhere? michel: what will they do when there are no more sneakers? they'll be out of work. reporter: experts think macron's reforms are a step in the right direction. as it is, the proportion of french workers with permanent contracts has already been decreasing, leaving many to get by on temporary jobs. emmanuel: there's a kind of two-track system. many older employees enjoy the protection of permanent contracts, while many yoyoungr people are on fixed-term contracts. that's unfair, because without a permanent contract you can't get an apartment or a bank loan in france. reporter: gagaetan mazo has ner wanted to work for another company. he insists his little business
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has a bright future -- and demandnd is certaiainly there. expensive designer sneakers are very popular among rap musicians, athletes and everyday parisians. >> i was going to throw them away, but this modelel is no longer in production. now, they've got a new lease of life. reporter: mazo is part of the young, creative and hard-working france that president macron envisions, and that more and more french people are identifying with. michelle: how does a man end up leaving a small fortune to the place where he was once held captive? during the second world war, heinrich steinmeyer was a german p.o.w. in the scottish highlands. the kindness and generosity he experienced from locals prompted him to stay in scotland after the war. and in his will, he donated his life savings to benefit the elderly of the village where he'd initially been the enemy.
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reporter: george carson remembers the german as a friendly older gentleman who always enjoyed coming back to heinrich george: heinrich always said thatate was veryry, very gd d td not, say, the austraralians or e cananadians. he migight not havave fared quio well had he been captured byby somebody e else. and d it probably y saved his . he said hihimself that he migt not have survived the war otherwrwise, had h he not been captured when he was. reporter: heinrich steinmeyer was 19 years old and in the notorious s.s. when a scottish battalion took him prisoner in normandy in 1944. he was taken to the cultybraggan camp on the edge of the highlands, which held 4000 prisoners of war. at firstst, the villagers were wary of their neighbors. these were men representing the nazi regime that the allies were fighting against, and which at
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one point had threatened to invade britain. but some of the p.o.w.'s would soon win the villagers' trust. lalaura: when theyey got off e train,n, they sang. anand this cauaused a great feg of -- well, , they're people, e same as we are people, a a this to bolster t their confidedencn their situation. they didn't t know what they we walking into. it bolsters their confidence, and the villagers treated them with respect. reporter: among the prisoners who marched into the camp singing was s a young heinrich steinmeyer. today, cultybraggan is the largest p.o.w. camp of the period still preserved. the simple corrugated-iron-covered huts have occasionally been used as a setting for movies. the e village of c comrie is wog to protetect this s piece of s history. there's little record of
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steinmeyer aside from a photo of him in the visitors' center. after ththe war, he ayeded on n scotland, working on farms. even after he returned to germany in 1970, he often came back to visit comrie. he died childless at age 90. then news came that he'd left the village over 400,000 euros, specifying that it go to benefit elderly locals. laurura: i thihink it was ee humaninity and respect he s shown as a man rather than a foe that impreeded him so o much. and,d, at 19, peoplele are very impressisionable. rereporter: in germany, rurums persrsisted thatat steinmeyerd remained an unrepentant nazi right up to his death. orge doesn believe tm. he'sure his pants would rener otherwe haveeennt nazi felong frids with m. death. orge: ceainly nothat. i nevegot ananytng likikthat
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om heieiich, aall. anhe had lg convertions thth my d when he was across. and mymyad woulde mentned,d, yoknow, that oh, heinrich,e had the view i n't know anything about y convertions li that,t all. , quite the revee,e, tbe host. porter: coie explicitl rejects iticism th it acceed moneyrorom man leged to be a staunch nazi. george: yeah, i can't understand how anybody could even put a negatitive spin on thahat. that wouould be awful. people who are making these kind of accusatioions, really, , i k they shohould have a wee look t themselves and wonder what is their own agenda that they would be coming up with things like ththat. no, no.. reporterer: the one real problm is that comrie hardly has any needy citizens. its elderly popupulation iss genenerally well-to-do. so what should the money be used for? a regular transport service might be of help to many seniors. so what do locals think?
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>> i i think it should b be sp, bubut not on a building g or bes round about the villagage or th. >> for tripsps out, again, for e elderly for chriristmas party r parcels, christmas parcels, which we usesed to do years ao ananyway. >> it was lovely, i ththink. it was a verery, very generous donation to the village, but it will b be very diffificult to k out t where it sululd all .. rerterer: and heinririch steinmeyer was so taken with the place, that he chose it as his final resting place. george: they arranged for heinrich's ashes to be delivered to comrie. they spread his ashes in the hills over there, overlookokig the cleft over, at the end.ich so what we did with this money was thatate planted this te e in heinchch's memory ---- plantedt here at the entrance to the cultybraggan camp. reportrter: now w a small plae commemorates heinricich steinmeyer, the gegerman p.o.. who wawanted to do something gd in thehe place of his foformer incarceratioion.
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michelle: just ovever a decade ago, spainin was undergoing a property boom. but early on in n the global financial crisis, the bubble burst. it left entire complexes, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, vacant across the country. with unemployment sky-high and a severe shortage of subsidized accommodation, a black market for cheap housing emerged. organized criminal groups routinely install squatters. many are poor families, like zulay and juan alberto, who say they know they are breaking the law, but would otherwise be homeless. reporter: zulay is glad to have a roof over her head. the 46-year-old has mobility problems. she lives with her husband and son in barcelona. rents are very high. her husband alberto is unemployed and zulay earns a small wage working in a call center. zulay: we couldn't find a place we could afford.
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then someone said we could move into this apartment. it belongs to a bank, and we could squat here. we had no choice. there are long waiting lists for social housing. reporter: they moved in over-night back in february. a helper had broken open the front door and put in a new lock for them. zulay: he said the apartment had stood empty for three years. we paid him for the keys. now we can stay here until something elsese turns up. we hadad to pay him 85850 eur. reporter: now the bank is taking zulay and her husband to court. but an eviction order could take years, and until then they are safe. juan: i can take a lot, but i cannot allow my wife to end up
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sleeping on the streets, especially considering she is disabled. reporter: poverty is becoming increasingly widespread in spain. many people lost their jobs in the economic crisis -- and their homes, because they couldn't pay the mortgage. this is why many apartments now belong to the banks and are vavacant. some 90,0,000 apartmenents in n are now believed to have people squatting in them. squatting is not a serious offence in spain, and property owners are angry. it's almost impossible to get the unwanted residents evicted. some of the apartments here are squats. others are lived in by their owners, like fulgencio. fulgencio: it's a mafia, and we owners are the losers. it's a mafia protected by law. reporter: fulgencio says his neighbor's apartment stood empty after he left. now, squatters have moved in. they tore out the meter and now they get their electricity for
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free. fulgencio: the owner was on vacation in rio. when he came home, he couldn't get in. he went to the police, but was told he was forbidden by law from forcing his way in. more and more squatters s are breaking doors o open, but n ne protects us. reporter: many expensive apartments stand empty in spain. too many were built during the property boom. now the squatters are well-organized and exchange information on how to deal with the local authorities and face legal proceedings. salvador, a vovolunteer worke, saysys the government is to ble for ththe situation.n. salvador: sisince franco, governments have always tried to persuade people to buy apartments. but they've failed to ensusure there werere enough memes available to rent, like there are in central european
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countries. rereporter: zulay y and albeo oe they will soon find somewhere affordable. they are slowly renovating the run-down apartment, but some neighbors still see them as illegal residents. zulay: i don't know how long we can stay here. if they change the law, the police could come and evict us, like criminals. that m makes me scared. reporter: but for the time being, they need not worry. no new legislation is in sight. although squatting does remain illegal in spain, and they are very well aware of that. michelle: like spain, greece is looking to its tourist industry to boost its struggling economy. in recent years, chinese tourists have begun flocking to the country's holiday islands.
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santorini, with its volcanic sand beaches and stunning views, is a notable example. and while the local economy is now booming with many shops and services changing to cater to the tastes of their new clients, some residents are less concerned about the debt crisis and more about an identity crisis. reporter: with its black volcanic sand, perissa is one of the most popular beaches on santorini. it starts to fill up in early april, andnd staysys busy thrh october. european tourists have been flflocking here fofor decades,n in times of economic crisis. and an increasing number of chinese visitors are now joining them. 150,000 in 2016 alone. their numbers are growing by 20% a year. on average they spend three days here -- sightseeing, taking photos, and soaking up that
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special santorini atmosphere. liu: it is so beautiful. in our country we cannot see such things. and because we're on our honeymoon -- i think it's one of the best places to spend honeymoon. reporter: santorini is wasting no time catering to its new guests. the lunchtime entertainment might still be traditional, but these days, the restaurants' menus are often in chinese. santorini's main town, fira, has famously spectacular views. many chinese couples come here to get married. 1500 euros and upwards for a picture-perfect wedding. all that's missing are the wedding guests. antonia veskou and dimitra bratika are wedding planners who specialize in chinese clients. at the moment, they say, chinese
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couples come by themselves. but they predict that greece will soon be playing host to huge chinese wedding parties. antonia: they're very open to other cultures, and they're really keen to learn about greek history. but in many respects, they lack experience. they'd still prefer to eat chinese food, and when we organize trips, they like to do things their way. reporter: and that explains why asian restaurants are booming here. it's a development that suits some chinese tourists. but local hotel and restaurant owners have mixed feelings. manolis karamolegos says that the growing numbers of chinese visitors ensure his hotel is full even off-season, but on the other hand, he's not keen on the way the island is changing to accommodate them. manolis: the challenge we're facing is figuring out how we -- greek society and greek business-owners -- can preserve what makes this island so special. we can't gear ourselveves to a
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particular category of visitors. we've got to maintain our ununiqueness, and d that means l products, local culture and architecture -- our lolocal characacter. reporter: the kind of greek sunset that all visitors appreciate. it's been forecast that greece will soon be welcoming 1.5 million chinese visitors per year, once direct flights from beijing to athens get going later this year. and as for this summer, santorini is already fully-booked. mimichelle: and if, like me, yu haven't yet bobooked your vacation, don't worry -- greece has plenty of other gorgeous islands to choose from. that's it for today. thank you for watching. if you'd like to find out more until next time, it's goodbye from me and the whole team. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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[anils chatterering] simons: eve ensler is one of the most inspiring artists, activists, , leaders i've ever known. [cheering and applause] yeah, really. she has used the arts as a vehicle to accelerate the wakening of mass consciousness a and to advance women's rights, healing, and justice through cultural activism more effectivelely and more globally than n anyone in history. the thing i find most awe-inspiring about eve, though, is the way that she continues to learn about the


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