European Journal

Season 32, Episode 28 of 52

Series Launch: Secret Heroes - Part 1: Hungary: A Loophole to Freedom - The beginning of the end of the Soviet Bloc came 25 years ago in Hungary. One million East Germans had arrived there and put pressure on the already crumbling Iron Curtain. In the summer of 1989, the first group of East German citizens managed to flee en masse to the West - with the knowledge of the Hungarian government. Even though the borders were still patrolled, hundreds of them passed through to the Austrian side. Hungarian Arpad Bella was a commander at a small border crossing that was reopened after decades of being closed. Bella was completely on his own, since his superiors had failed to inform him. And he reacted with a great deal of sound judgment and humaneness. No shots were fired, and the East Germans entered the West unharmed. Britain: Operation "Trojan Horse" - For months, debate has raged in Birmingham over the role of Islam in the city's schools. An anonymous warning about Muslim fundamentalists has authorities alarmed. The allegations are serious: there are indications of an organized campaign to covertly co-opt schools in England. An inquiry discovered that at several schools in Birmingham, girls and boys were segregated. At some schools, Arabic is a required subject, and Christian holidays are no longer observed. School trips are organized to Mecca and Medina. The conservative education minister, Michael Gove, has announced that with the coming school year, all state schools are required to teach "British values." The schools under investigation have rejected the accusations. Poland: Test Tube Babies - Many Polish couples with fertility problems are fulfilling their wish for children by using artificial fertilization techniques. One Warsaw woman is expected her second child using this method. The surprising thing is that, while the entire family had to collect money to pay for her first artificial insemination, her second test tube baby is being funded by the government. Laws have been relaxed in Poland, a Catholic country where some priests refuse to baptize babies conceived through in vitro fertilization. Still, the method has been used in that country since 1987, and now the state is even helping defray the costs of the expensive reproductive procedure. Italy: Wasted EU Funds - To keep Europe growing together, the European Union is providing billions of euros in the coming seven years. But supervision of the structural projects is difficult. Spain and Italy head the list of countries receiving high European Union subsidies and being suspected of investing those funds in pointless projects. There are also accusations of bribery and undue advantage-taking. The EU budgetary committee has its eye on both countries. Our reporter Cornelia Kolden went to take a closer look in Italy. On the shores of idyllic Lake Trasimeno, she discovered EU investments that have literally been bogged down.

Previously Aired

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