tv European Journal KCSMMHZ July 2, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PDT
>> hello from romania, also called little venice. appearances are deceptive. we are in croatia, in the country that will become the 28th member state of the european union on the first of july. a very warm welcome to this special edition of european journal. we want to take you on a journey across croatia, a country with a turbulent history. this region around the coast once belonged to the state republic of venice pier it austrians ruled here later --
venice. austrians ruled here later. croatia is giving up some of its sovereignty again now voluntarily by joining the eu. many croatians have mixed feelings, even if accession means an economic boom and even more tourists. >> she drives home, inland on the peninsula. the restaurant owner was out buying flower in a neighboring town. he is one of the 25 citizens of the smallest city in the world. >> i'm really glad to live in such a special community. so many people from all over the world are very eager to visit. >> it was first mentioned in a
document from the 12th century with its tower and church. it has all the trappings of an old city. the people here who are catholics continue to practice ancient rituals. tally sticks are used once a year. each voter carves a notch on the stick of his favorite candidate. only men can vote or be elected. >> we also wonder why only men can vote, but that's the tradition. >> on july 1, it will be part of the eu, which frowns on elections that exclude women. she sees no reason to get worked up about it. at 80, she is the oldest citizen of the town and has experienced lots of elections. >> i told my youngest granddaughter she should run for mayor. she has the right character for the job.
but she just laughed. >> the town is very popular with tourists from austria and germany. most are thrilled with the city's medieval charm. >> these piles of stone that make it up are still authentic. that is what is fascinating. we don't have anything like this back home. >> it is taking its accession to the european union in stride. the city has been part of several different political entities. first it belong to italy, then yugoslavia. some people here have bad memories of the communist era. today the worries are different. he is a worry that the city could use its unique character. >> attracting more people and
more money, build structures that are not in harmony with this situation. so then they will destroy that same resource that we are living from. >> if the city changes too much there will be nothing to attract the tourists. in the referendum in early 2012, 2 thirds of croatian voters said yes to joining the european union. >> i voted to join as well. back then, i thought it would be best for croatia but now when i see the crisis and things developing, i have grown a little skeptical. >> business is still good in the isolated city. a popular item in the souvenir shop is a schnapps with
mistletoe. marina is working here to put herself through college in italy. she is studying german. for her, eu accession can't come fast enough. >> at the start of every academic year, i have to assemble lots of documents and have them translated, which is very expensive. when we are in the eu, none of that will be necessary. >> croatia, including backcountry, stands at the threshold of big changes. people will have to accustom themselves to new structures and implement laws thought up in faraway brussels. but the small city has always face the future with pragmatism. according to legend, giants build homes from the stones left over from other towns done below in the valley -- down below in the valley. >> not everywhere in croatia is
as picturesque and peaceful. croatia is the first new eu members stated that experienced violent conflict not so long ago. croatians achieve their independence against the yugoslav army a and the serbs. an international court is still dealing with the worst atrocities. coming to terms with the past is something that is particularly difficult in regions when neighbors suddenly turn into enemies. >> these steps lead to their past. the basement of the former hospital is now a museum rooms have been kept almost as they were in the battle in 1991.
yelena points to her father. >> and that is igor's father. both were ambulance drivers during the war. >> the last time i talked to my father was october 31, 1991. we talked on the phone. it was my birthday. >> he was later executed by serbian troops along with 170 other croatian man. the trauma of the war brought yelena and igor together. they were married three years ago. in 1991, the yugoslav people's army attacked and lay siege for nearly 90 days. after the town surrendered, hundreds of soldiers and civilians were massacred by serb
forces. at least 31,000 civilians were deported. much of the town has been rebuilt, but for the local residents, the psychological impact remains. croats make up half the towns top elation -- town's population. the community remains divided by mistrust. igor serves on the town council. he says he is concerned that the croatian government has granted so many minority rights to serbs . >> at some point, they're going to want full autonomy. and then the region will be croatia [indiscernible] >> there are even disputes about which language should appear on street signs.
rightist parties disagree with the eu government policy. the right wingers trying to play the nationalist card and lost the election. an ethnic serb says that gave him hope that the two communities will eventually be able to live in peace. reconciliation has made progress, but it will take time. >> if the owner is serbian, can be recognized by serbian. >> the serb café is right next to the croat cafe. the two communities merely coexist. they don't really live together. she is also working to promote
reconciliation and belongs to another local minority, german- speaking residents. they have built a nest during the european house, home to eight organizations. she says croatians must work together to promote reconciliation. >> piece begins with us. >> ethnic serbs and croats are taking place in this workshop. today they are discussing the concept of forgiveness. but igor and yelena, who both lost their fathers in the war, are not quite ready to forgive. they still feel the pain of their loss to deeply for that. >> whenever hollywood wants to
get an idea about roman times, film crews like to come here to get an empty theater -- to the amphitheater on the coast. thousands of tourists flock here regularly to listen to concerts or watch performances of local dance groups. the big stage is something that the 12 newly elected members of the european parliament will now have to get used to instructor in brussels. they represent a fraction of the croatian population because only one in five eligible voters actually cast a ballot. euro skepticism is not limited to croatia. the new parliament terrines are joining -- parliamentarians are joining a club. >> on st. mark's square in zagreb, croatia seems to be at home in the european union. that goes for the musicians in front of the parliament building , for croatian cuisine, and the architecture of the capital.
but for 12 croatians, the eu is really moving into focus. a member of the social democratic party will represent croatia and the european parliament for a year. >> i fulfilled my political dream, to see my country member of european union. in the meantime, i became political realist and know that within the european union, nations and individuals and families must fight. >> the croatian parliament is marking statehood day. it is also celebrating eu accession. no other country had to negotiate as long and as hard. as the guests of honor know, the criteria for admission are growing ever stricter.
>> you have to have some pressure to be better. >> his next appointment is in downtown zagreb, just below the parliament, at his party's headquarters. he has been an observer at the eu for a year now and is constantly commuting back and forth. >> and then we want you to meet on an informal basis the [indiscernible] as well. >> ok. >> the next day he is in brussels, the political heart of the eu. he needs every contact he can make. >> [indiscernible] >> the first priority for the
parliamentarians from croatia is to make themselves heard. his fellow social democrat is introducing himself. he is slated to become eu commissioner for consumer policy. he briefly greets the croatian interpreters. then come three hours of debate. he has to decide who will he will back. the eu is in the midst of a financial crisis and many countries have aligned themselves. greece wants more sharing of burdens. that would also help spain and croatia, which is in the economic doldrums. that tends to put croatia on france's site in its quarrel with germany over fiscal stringency. the croatians also want to keep the british and their attractive job market in the eu. he doesn't want to show his hand too much. at his next appointment with the german foundation, he treads lightly and promises to abide by the reform program. >> there is no reason to party.
it's not party time. we need to understand that we are part of the most important political economic time in the european history. the story is not over yet. >> that was the kind of talk that the eu likes to hear. everyone hopes that croatia will make a good addition. >> joining the european union doesn't mean that your economy will suddenly grow. it's up to croatia to push its own development within the framework of the european community. that will be difficult. >> zagreb is pending great hopes on eu accession. he has a mountain of work to do. >> i will be with my family, i do believe, over the weekend. >> the croatian parliament can
count on receiving 11 billion euros -- through 2020. for that, he would be happy to move entirely to brussels. >> for now, on the eu's external border, where strict security checks still apply. the frontier will be moving south between croatia and bosnia-herzegovina. croatia has campaigned for their membership as well. but bosnia-herzegovina, a multiethnic society, is a poor country, and many croatian citizens have already packed their bags and are ready to leave. >> her parents are not optimistic about her future prospects. they are desperate to see her escape poverty.
the family lives in the southwest of bosnia hope that -- bosnia-herzegovina. >> there is no work here. >> the area has still not recovered from the devastation of the balkan wars of the 1990's. but the people here, most of them bosnian croats, lead rutledge lives compared to other parts of the country the family's oldest daughter already lives in croatia. with croatia about to join the eu, she hopes for new opportunities. this is the day they come them rate the dead -- commemorate the dead. >> i have croatian citizenship, and i think a lot of people will move. not just to austria, but all over europe.
>> the eu has always attracted itinerant laborers. now, white-collar workers have the opportunity to immigrate there. young members of this church will soon be able to go to university in the eu, thanks to their croatian passports. but the anticipated brain drain could mean new problems for the patchwork state of bosnia- herzegovina, especially in the largest city in the southwest of the country. the conflicts of the 1990's (blood between ethnic croats and muslims was next -- left bad blood between ethnic croats and muslims bosniacs. one recent joint art project involved the painting of this ruin. he is bosniac, another ethnic
croatian. in their view, every young person who leaves the city leaves one less symbol of a peaceful shared future. >> a keeps dividing the city -- it keeps dividing the city. >> for those with croatian passports, previous barriers to the eu are now gone. he is a teacher at this school. classes are taught separately according to ethnic and religious background. we talked to some of the croats students during lunch break. >> i want to go visit my brother in nuremberg and learn german, then go to college there eventually. >> bosniacs do not have that option. it adds to the youngster's f rustration. >> it's not fair. they have dual citizenship.
they can work here and in croatia. but that's how the lies. and the law is made by the state -- law is. the law is made by the state. >> that would be bosnian law, which has yet to deal with this issue. croatia's accession could initially mean a step back for bosnia, a step back in terms of peaceful interethnic relations where rural communities may see the numbers of young people declining still further. >> croatians, bosniacs, italians -- many people have lived side by side for centuries. we end our journey in italy, in venice. just a couple of sea miles away from croatia's very own little venice where we first started off. a poet from the region once wrote, the borders are the cross we bear. they shape our face, our vision, and our thoughts. croatia's accession to the eu
means that even more borders will be lifted. italians are particularly pleased about it. >> the green, white tricolor flies. the legacy of the old venetian republic's rule over the entire peninsula is symbolized by the wind line of saint mark. the architecture here is similar to that elsewhere on the eastern side of the adriatic sea. across the bay is one of italy's largest transshipment ports. these freight cars are headed north for germany. the local business community hopes that croatia's accession to the eu will also see growth for the town. >> we are in urgent need of a
better infrastructure to link up the hinterlands here in northern adriatic. that means faster train connections, now that the last borders are disappearing. >> when francesco poss family founded their shipping from over 200 years ago, it was the trading gateway between the balkans and western europe. >it's a headache for the italian entrepreneur and his associate. he recalls the days when the town was a top shopping destination for 20 million yugoslavs. >> they came in masses. easy business for the town. for the yugoslavs, it was like a dream. enjoying the freedom and being able to buy a pair of jeans or
drink a cup of coffee. those days are long gone. >> now croatia is seeing an upswing in foreign investment, not necessarily good news for the italians. potential investors are put off by high tax rates and excessive red tape. and it's not just investors were shifting to croatia. italians can buy upscale homes there at low prices. she sells vacation apartments. booming business is expected. >> back then private individuals from italy could not buy anything in croatia. you had to use middle name or real estate firms -- middle men or real estate firms. those obstacles are gone now thanks to croatia joining the eu . >> the region has a history as a
melting pot. italians, croats, lived here as friends. that peaceful coexistence was shattered in the second world war when hitler and mussolini invaded and occupied yugoslavia. towards the end of the war, yugoslav partisans committed mass killings of italians, throwing them into deep pits and ryan shafts -- rhine shafts. there is never beneficial reconciliation over the fence -- the events. >> relations between italian and croatian individuals are far from held dear. >> he has a multinational patient base and he is delighted to finally see croatia admitted to the eu. >> more important than whether people move from one country to the other is that it is easy to work in the other country, to do your taxes, and get medical
treatment everywhere. >> this painting is a president -- present from one of his italian patients. july 1 looks set to be a historic day. the region grows a little closer together and closer to western europe. >> croatia is joining the eu. it has been through many a crisis and it has always been ready to make a fresh start. for us, it's time to leave the adriatic coast. until next time, from brussels, goodbye. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--