Italy: The Fallen Bank - Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the world's oldest bank, and it is on the verge of collapse. This development has plunged Siena into crisis. For more than 500 years, Monte dei Paschi presided over the city. For generations, the venerable bank helped fund charities and civic works, including the famed Palio horse races. In 2012 it was revealed that the bank had strained its finances past their limit and had been concealing major losses totaling 20 billion Euros. Now the city, which had a major stake in the foundation that was the bank's main shareholder, is facing possible bankruptcy. And it fears that the scandal may harm Siena's chances to be a 2019 European Capital of Culture. Bulgaria: Young People Battle Corruption - For the past year, many Bulgarians have been calling upon their government to resign, and urging an end to nepotism and corruption. The "children of the transition", as they call themselves, are determined to continue their activism. They are urging young people who are considering emigration to stay and seek change. The student-led protests have wide support from the many Bulgarians who say their political elite are hopelessly corrupt and the economy is run by a clan of oligarchs. The controversial coalition government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has faced three votes of no-confidence in just five months. Switzerland: Will Luxury Tourism Destroy the Alps? - An Egyptian investor plans to open the largest ski resort in the Alps in the sleepy town of Andermatt. Time seems to have stood still in Andermatt. But that may soon be a distant memory. Several months ago, an ultramodern luxury hotel opened there. And if Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris has his way, it will soon be joined by scores of similar hotels and vacation apartments. Sawiris launched his plan after he bought land vacated by the Swiss army, which for decades had been the mainstay of the local economy. Many in Andermatt are hoping that the town will one day rival Davos or St Moritz for Alpine glamour. But not everyone here shares that vision of the future. Spain: Madrid's Clean Sweep - Madrid's street performers are facing a new challenge. A new noise reduction law pushed through by the mayor now requires them to pass an audition to obtain a permit. According to the city, one-third of the musicians didn't pass muster at the auditions. Those that did also have to follow new rules, including remaining at least 75 meters away from other buskers. Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, has also called for a ban on downtown protests. She has been sharply criticized for these moves and some even say she is more repressive than General Franco.
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