European Journal

Season 32, Episode 33 of 52

Romania: Corruption and Intimidation - For decades, Romanian authorities have been fighting against endemic corruption, with increasing success. Now even the president's family has become the focus of investigations. One of the most serious scandals involves President Traian Basescu's brother, who is accused of taking a 250, 000 bribe from a Romanian criminal gang. In return he is alleged to have tried to influence the court investigating the clan - and video evidence has now surfaced. Parliament is demanding Basescu's resignation, saying he knew about the deal. The national anti-corruption directorate is investigating. France: Charm and Arrogance - Familiar scenarios for foreign tourists in Paris: a waiter brings coffee instead of water, or a hotel clerk supposedly can't understand English. Service in France is in need of improvement. France remains a hugely popular tourist destination. Hotel bookings are decreasing year by year, however, especially in the capital Paris. Service there doesn't exactly have the best reputation, while not speaking French can also be a major problem. That's set to change. Voluntary city guides called Paris Greeters accompany small groups of tourists, showing them local life in their own parts of town. At the same time, hotel and restaurant owners in particular are resisting the newly prescribed hospitality. Greece: Crisis and Desperation - Redundancies, bankruptcies, corruption: for years, Greeks have been reading the same headlines. Many can no longer take the constant pressure. The suicide rate in Greece is higher than it's ever been. Desperate pensioners, insolvent bank employees, jobless fathers - many poverty-stricken Greeks are taking their own lives. Government figures cite up to 3,000 suicides a year. Unofficially, the number is three times as high, even though suicide is a taboo topic in Greece. The Orthodox Church still denies a Christian burial to those who take their own lives, leading many families to register the suicides of relatives as accidents. Austria: Remembrance and Humanity - 101-year-old Marko Feingold once again attended the Alpine Peace Crossing this year, commemorating the flight of Jews over the Alps after the Second World War. Every year the Austrian village of Krimml commemorates the exodus of 5,000 Jewish refugees across the Alps in the summer of 1947. They were fleeing postwar anti-Semitism in Europe, and headed for Palestine to find a new home. Marko Feingold, the main organizer back then, takes part in the annual memorial peace hike over the Krimml Tauern pass. Now 101, he survived four concentration camps and is still fighting today for humane refugee policies the world over.

Previously Aired

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