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tv   European Journal  KCSMMHZ  May 14, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT

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>> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from the dw studio in brussels. expenses serenade -- how a bulgarian acquire is helping you collect taxes. vendetta against shell. they are already being called the lost generation. young people in spain have been hit particularly badly by the economic crisis. half of them do not have a job. whether they have a university
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degree or not. with the education budget also being cut by the prime minister, many young people expect things to just get worse. so some spanish girls are willing to risk their health to learn a little money on the side. >> it was not an easy decision, but anna has decided to become a paid a donor. she will help infertile women become mothers. in return, she will receive 750 euros per donation. that is a lot of money for the chemistry student. >> it is not a regular monthly income, but it is enough to help a family that urgently needs money. in my case, i needed to pay the registration fee so that i could keep working towards my master's degree. >> donating eggs is legal, and an increasing number of women in
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spain are doing it, including here. compensation and expenses for the examinations, hormone treatment, and a extraction. anna needs the money. although she is 26, she is almost too old. this clinic is looking for even younger donors, and it has plenty of applicants to choose from. >> every day, we get calls from two or three women who want to donate eggs. we now have a list of $200, even though we do not have that may potential recipients. >> anna heard about a donation from a cousin. in these difficult times, news of the unusual income opportunity gets around fast. >> it is not a bad idea. everyone has to build their own future. people are always looking for a
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way to do that. >> spain has the highest unemployment rate in the european union. 50% of young people are jobless, and the government has radically reduced spending on education and benefits. many young people have no way of funding their studies. >> our stipends are not enough to live on any more. the new government is making more and more cuts. it is a problem, especially for students because we depend on stipends. lots of people have dropped out of their courses because their funding was cut. that is why men are donating sperm and women are donating a. -- eggs. >> donating eggs as a lucrative source of income, although in spain it is illegal to sell them. donors receive money in the form of compensation. four years ago, this professor
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was a member of spain's's committee on bioethics and reproductive medicine. the committee set the maximum donor compensation at 900 euros. >> i was one of the few people who was against that amount because i saw it as a financial incentive for potential donors, rather than just a payment for expenses. >> michele, just six weeks old, was conceived in a laboratory from her father's sperm and egg from an anonymous donor. parents have to pay the clinic 6000 euros for the procedure. they empathize with the possible motives. >> i was a student for a long time, and i did not have much money. help is always welcome, no matter where it comes from. if you can make other people happy at the same time, why not? >> esther rodriguez wants to help other people become
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parents. the 22-year-old mother of three children recently donated eggs. for her, it is not about the money. >> i would not want to see the baby, although i would want to know it is doing well. in the end, it has got my genes. it is nice to know the mother will be just as happy as i am with my children. >> only the clinic knows whether her eggs have been successfully fertilized. the files are confidential. that is a problem because legally, no more than six children may be conceived from the eggs of a single donor. up until now, there has been no way of monitoring that. >> as long as there is no nationwide database, it is difficult to check whether the rule is being kept. there is no accurate way of knowing how many children have been conceived from the eggs of the same donor.
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you cannot tell exactly what has gone on. >> currently, clinics are responsible for enforcing the rule, but entrusting clinics with the task is risky. experts believe some women may secretly donate to several different clinics in order to maximize their income. >> it is a gray zone. that is why our clinic has decided not to accept any donations from a woman after four children have been conceived. even if they are good donors, after three or four children, that is it, to be on the safe side. >> anna is preparing to make her first donation. it will mean she may already have biological offspring before she becomes a mother herself. >> my partner and i need to be financially stable first before we decide to have kids.
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we love children, but at the moment, it is not possible. >> if one day at -- and -- anna has her own children, they will -- they may already have older siblings from a genetic point of view, but they'll never know about each other. >> when voters cast their ballots in france and greece this coming sunday, the outcome of the elections will have results for all of europe. hollande could take over for sarkozy, and greece could be in for even more of a change. and many greeks are truly fed up with how the crisis is affecting their livelihoods. their anger and despair will likely benefit small and more radical parties.
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they use simple slogans to attract voters, and a single that scapegoats for the greeks misery -- the european union, the international monetary fund, and the germans. and an enthusiastic welcome is not the greeting most greek politicians receive these days, but this is an exception. his party, independent greeks, has touched a nerve among voters who feel they have been sold out in the financial crisis. away from athens, he's treated as a serious candidate. local media give full coverage to the party leader, whose campaign has been highly critical of the political establishment. >> we are a new popular movement. people are listening to us instead of the guys who sold their souls to the banks. those responsible for the austerity measures in greece do not dare show their face on the streets anymore.
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that he has held the seat in parliament for 19 years, until recently as a member of the conservative new democracy party. today, his former colleagues are his biggest political enemies. the split came after parliament passed the latest the senate package in february, imposing new taxes and further cuts. -- the latest austerity package in february. >> he has seized the moment. he set up his own party right when the conservatives, who were part of the previous government, were threatening to split apart over the hastert measures. >> observers agree -- over the austerity measures. >> observers agree greeks face the biggest crisis in their history. there is a huge vacuum for protest parties. >> the campaign has been all about when the previous austerity policies will continue
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or not. the parties that are against the strict reforms do not have any ideas to get grease out of the crisis. they are just appealing to popular anger. >> he has tapped greeks widespread dissatisfaction. the 48-year-old has been touring the country by bus, hammering home his message of why the debt deal is unacceptable. and the board money has to be paid back, but at fair market interest rates -- >> the borrowed money has to be paid back. it is not right that the european central bank lends german banks' money for 1% interest and our greek banks have to pay 7% interest. >> he has been slamming german policies in his campaign and claims that berlin is trying to humiliate his country. >> there is no surge right any more, but what we are seeing now is the fourth german economic empire -- there is no third reich anymore.
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here in greece, he acts just like they did through the occupation during the second world war. >> his rhetoric has reopened a painful chapter in the country's past. many older greeks believed germany has not fully atone for atrocities it committed during the war. the day after founding his party, he visited the village in central greece. here in 1944, not the troops shot dead 218 villagers in an act of retribution. >> the nazis murdered in greece and did not bear children, either. they burned villages to the ground, stole gold from the national bank, and then demanded loans to pay for the occupation. we were never compensated for any of that. >> 70 years later, germany's wartime atrocities in greece remained a sensitive subject, but not everyone thinks it should be a campaign issue.
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this history professor at athens university says the issue is long overdue for public debate but is critical of politicians who are exploiting it for personal gain. >> these are a sense of the past, a dark past. during the cold war, a to was just assumed the matter had been dealt with. the greek left had strong ties to communist east germany, and the greek government had good relations with west germany, and the greeks themselves tended to feel a strong alliance with like-minded germans than they did with greeks on the other side of the political divide. >> few greeks think now's the time to demand reparations for nazi atrocities, but many of the voters are critical of the german government. >> the germans -- they are just out for their own interests.
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>> the germans are not going to help us, and neither will anyone else. we should not get our hopes up. we need to help ourselves. >> still, populists carry-on painting a picture of greece as the victim of a conspiracy. >> i'm still hopeful that undecided voters will come to their senses and reject this dangerous radicalism. i hope they will put aside their frustration with the previous government and cast a vote for the moderates. >> but he is sticking to his message. he knows there are plenty of voters who want their leaders to take a tougher stance. >> singing is an important part of culture in many balkan countries, and bulgaria is no exception. during the long years of ottoman rule, the songs give the bulgarians a feeling of belonging together. even today, there is acquired in
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almost every community, like in this town in the heart of the country -- there is a choir in almost every community. not everyone is happy when the men from the local quire turn up at their doorstep. >> they are called the black angels. they regularly venture forth to ensure that law and order is maintained here in their town. there employer is the town's mayor. the town is known for being home to bulgaria's largest weapons factory, but it is nearly bankrupt and owes millions of euros in unpaid taxes. that is not all. the town but the tax officer says many citizens are also in arrears, said the mayor made the black angels his tax collectors. >> i am very pleased with the black angels. they are a real success appear at first, they were bringing in up to 40,000 level of a week,
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about 20,000 euros. now, sometimes they collect as much as 30,000 euros, and very quickly as well. >> the black angels have carried out their unusual mission for nearly two years, but the group has been around for more than 50 years. it is actually a choral society, and a very good one. it is made up of workers from the weapons factory. most of the singers are now retired, so they decided to put their skills to use on behalf of their community. the town is nestled in the foothills of central bulgaria. the country's most important writer was born here. the 12,000 residents have been hard hit by the economic crisis and the decline of the armaments industry.
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just 44 years old, the mayor has been in office for nine years. searching for a solution to the town's finances, he compiled a list of all the people who have not paid their tax bills. >> look at how long this is. these are all of our friends who owe the town taxes, and i will have the black angels pay a visit to some of them. >> the mayor carries a blue folder with the names of today's targets. acquire gets its marching orders. a cafe and restaurant owner, but the amount of taxes owed has to stay a secret.
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the mayor says his novel tax collection method works because the residents have a sense of humor and a strong sense of personal honor. whenever the black angels march 4, the townspeople know that an unusual serenade is in store. the choral groups sing ordinary bulgarian folk songs, but this is no ordinary performance. whenever the black angels sing, everyone knows that a tax dodger is getting a friendly reminder. today's victim takes a look at the tax documents, but he stays inside. he does not want his guests to see him.
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at the tables outdoors, the verdict is unanimous -- a cafe owner is embarrassed, so he will pay up shortly. the singers move on to a restaurant at the edge of town. they perform a traditional folk song honoring bulgaria's national heroes. still, these women know what the real message is. >> thank you for the reminder. we always planned to pay the taxes. we just did not get around to it yet. we will get around to it right away. >> now that the black angels are in business, the town's finances are looking a lot rosier. it is not just the citizens who have received a musical reminder who are paying up. many other townspeople are paying the link with tax bills
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to make sure they will not be the next target for public embarrassment. the additional income is a boon to the community. they've been able to expand the school for children with special needs. the town also bought a school bus said the children can be picked up from home and brought to the school where they will receive good care and education. the unusual tax collection scheme is now famous across bulgaria, and word is getting around elsewhere, too. towns in india and greece have expressed interest. >> i'm not trying to humiliate anyone. but a bit of creativity and some budgetary discipline is good for almost everyone. i increase, though, they will never be able to sing enough to collect all the outstanding taxes.
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and the black angels say they will continue the serenades as long as the town needs them. they are not doing it for personal benefit but for the public good. after all, here it is a matter of honor. >> it is a long time ago that little david allegedly brought down giant goliath with no more than a sling and a stone. odern heroes use modern tools when they fight big enemies. donovan and owns a website that publishes information on multinational oil giant shell with the help of moles and said the company, and that has made him a real foreign in the side of the group. >> right next to the london i is shell corporate headquarters, and it is the target of a grassroots movement. john donovan hand out flyers to passers-by detail and the oil giant is the drilling process. donovan and fellow campaigners
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say the multinational corporation is responsible for wreaking havoc in the places where it drills. their actions have become a source of annoyance for one of the world's biggest oil companies. >> it is embarrasses shall management, things that we are able to publish in this leaflets. it is a humiliation, but they cannot do anything about it because what we say is true, and we can prove it. >> distributing leaflets outside the company headquarters is mostly a symbolic gesture. the real battle rages on line -- online. donovan secured rights to the internet domain royaldu many have read the articles about scandalous that the spirit or leaks have contaminated the niger river delta. it also says shell has cooperated with rebels there.
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he says he simply wants the company to live up to its own commitments. >> we want shell to honor its own business principles. these were launched in 1976, and people are entitled to believe the promises that are made that shell will at all times act with honesty and integrity and openness when they deal with people, with their own employees, with their suppliers, and with the general public. though in our experience, they do not. they are a ruthless, and mean oil company. >> donovan's revelations have cost shell billions. in 2005, he wrote an e-mail to russian president vladimir putin exposing lax security standards in siberia. he warned of a looming environmental disaster. as a result, a shell fell out of favor in moscow with financial
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repercussions. profits sank and russia downgraded shell to a minority partner in the joint venture. >> mr. donovan was of help to us with his documents. his files prove beyond a doubt the paperwork had been manipulated and problems had been purposely kept secret. >> not surprisingly, john donovan does not fill his tank at shell stations. but he actually used to do business with shell. he owned several gas stations and came up with advertising ideas for the energy giant. but donovan says the partnership ended after a bitter disappointment. >> one of their managers had stolen ideas from us and expected that we would not pursue it, that we would drop it because shell is so rich and
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powerful. we decided we would not drop it, and we pursued it, and it has gone on for two decades. than a shell as a first and treatment of ordinary people prompted him to dig deeper. he has been piling up his own research and in formation that has been passed on to hand by insiders. it is a full-time job for the pensioner. he even stores some of the files in an old refrigerator. >> we found out what shall really thinks about us because it is in these internal communications. we found out that they set up accounts and mergers team and instituted a global spying operation. they sought advice from a specialist unit in pittsburgh, which is staffed and partly funded by the fbi. >> donovan himself refers transparency. he informed shell of his protest
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plans, and his website is accessible to everyone. a former shell employee of 37 years says donovan's campaign is bothersome, and rightfully so. >> when you have that amount of power, you need to be held accountable, and my view is that democratic systems do not always hold multinationals like shell to account. >> john donovan is determined to keep the towering giant fully in his sights. >> that report brings us to the end of this week's edition of "european journal." until next time, from all of us here in brussels, thanks for watching and by for now --bye for now. captioned by the
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