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tv   Quadriga - International Debate from Berlin  LINKTV  March 20, 2022 10:30pm-11:01pm PDT

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?c?g?góe >> this is "focus on europe." hello and welcome to the show. europe is plunged into uncertainty after russia escalates the crisis with ukraine and provokes its nato allies. with the stroke of a pen, vladimir putin has recognized the self proclaimed peoples republics of luhansk and donezk in ukraine as independent states. in doing so he has violated international law. well it's a bitter pill to , swallow for people in ukraine . the sovereignty of their nation has once again been called into question and the threat of war
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, draws even closer. some 800 kilometers to the west is the black sea city of odessa , the idyllic metropolis isn't near the front line yet some , residents are rattled. slavomir is a former ukrainian soldier who fought in eastern ukraine's war in 2014. he is one of the many internally displaced people from the region who can't find peace, even in odessa. >> the mood is tense in odessa, a city of one million on ukraine's black sea coast. the threat from putin's troops is omnipresent. over the past years, thousands of people from eastern ukraine have sought safety here. but the relative proximity to russia is also noticeable. a third of the city's residents have russian roots. odessa is a mix of splendor and misery. this occupied building in the center of town is slavomir's new home. the pensioner came here five
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years ago, fleeing pro-russian separatists in the east of the country. >> i'm from the donetsk region, from the town of dzerzhynsk. it's now called toretsk, it was renamed. the town is right at the front. that's why i had to leave and come here. >> separatists took control of his town in 2014. slavomir, who was the commander of aanti-tank battalion, found himself fighting his pro-russian neighbors. forced to flee, he came to odessa and moved into this derelict building. the city cut off electricity and running water to the building years ago. >> the city won't say why they did this, but the residents of
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this house are sure they want us out of the building. it makes sense. after all, the building is in a great location in the city center. i think soone has thr sigh set on the ilding. >> slavomir refuses to leave his new home simply because he doesn't match the image odessa wants to present to the world. odessa relies on tourism, its reputation for elegant architecture, luxury boutiques, the good life. this glamour is what diana mironenko, who represented ukraine at miss earth in 2017 - counts on to earn a living. >> we are a little bit crazy with the beauty, really. i think it's something that has come from our past. it is a little bit hard to -- you always want to be beautiful. you want to wear something what you don't have. >> diana wants to see a modern and westernized ukraine.
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but like many in the city, she also has family in russia. her identity is shaped by two countries now on a collision course. >> we don't have this hate. of course we will protect, will , fight for our country if something will happen. but we don't hate everyone. >> we return to the occupied building. one floor down, we meet olga, who is back from work. she's an intensive care nurse at the local hospital. in the evening, she helps her youngest son with his homework. olga came here in 2014, fleeing pro-russian separatist attacks. >> we were warned that we could be next and that we should leave. we couldn't believe it at first, but then we heard the explosions. we packed up our belongings and left the city, myself and my oldest son.
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he was in first grade then. we left in august 2014. >> her son was traumatized by what happened and is now in therapy. olga is a single mother. she shares these 12 square meters with her own mother and two sons. life here anything but easy. >> the worst is the cold. we're always sick. the children were sick three times already this winter, and my mother and me too. we can't afford to move. the bank won't give us a loan because of the high interest rates. i'm the only one bringing in money. >> she isn't jealous of her wealthy neighbors here in downtown odessa. all she wants is to make a new life here in odessa. and to leave the trauma of war behind forever.
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>> experts say a further escalation of the crisis could bring a wave of refugees to europe with millions of ukranians seeking safety. well these people are also , looking for protection in europe. thousands of migrants set off on a dangerous trek on their bid to apply for political asylum in france. well it's an escape route not , without risk. the journey takes them from italy across the alps and not everyone makes it. during the winter months, they must navigate freezing temperatures and treacherous landscape. >> it's minus 15 degrees celsius. several days ago, ali set out with a group of iranians to cross the alps from italy to france. walking for ten hours at a stretch, without proper winter gear, taking care to avoid french border patrols. >> we left in the ening. we didn't think it would be so bad. after a while, we found ourselves up to our hips in
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snow. walking that route, you''re really risking your life. >> their illegal border crossing took them past dangerous terrain. disoriented and exhausted, they walked through the night. >> thank god we came across two people, who just happened to see us. they helped us get this far. they're my guardian angels of the mountain. >> for the french authorities, this help could be seen as aiding an illegal border crossing, and that is prohibited. the rescuers take ali and his group to the solidarity refuge in montgenèvre, france. ali is grateful to be here. >> i'd heard that the french are good people, but i was
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still very impressed. the people up here are so kind to us. they provide us with everything we need. >> at the shelter, volunteers help tend to the migrants and refugees. >> this is where we have coffee and tea, and food is served, breakfast, lunch and so on. >> the volunteers want to help the people who risk their lives trying to cross the alps at night. local residents set up the shelter five years ago. they have provided help to thousands of people here, many of them injured and exhausted. >> we've had cases where a migrant's foot needed to be amputated. it's only natural that the people who live in the mountains want to help. there's a solidarity movement in the region. the refugees need rest and a warm meal.
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>> for most people in montgenèvre, it goes without saying that they help anyone in the mountains in distress. no one knows how many people have frozen to death. many migrants have suffered serious falls on the slopes. doctors try to find and provide medical care to the injured as quickly as possible. >> the migrants are taking ever grear risks to escape the police. they're climbing ever higher to cross the mountains, taking ever longer routes throu the snow. many here are angry that the state doesn't help. we collect statements made by doctors about what is happening at the border. >> but the local authorities say the police along the border are simply doing their job and acting in the french national interest. the border crossings, often organized by traffickers,
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are illegal. >> the volunteers always say we should shelter these people, instead of sending more police. but that isn't the state's job. the state needs to ensure the border is crossed only by people who have the right to enter france. >> ali fled iran for political reasons. he says he's been on the road for three years. an odyssey in which he was hunted, harassed, persecuted. here he is seeing humane treatment again for the first time in a long while. >> the french are really friendly. they are full of humanity. that's why i have decided to try to stay in france. i want to stay with all my heart, if that is somehow possible. >> ali can stay at the refuge for three days. then he has to continue his journey.
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>> germany is famous for its efficient recycling system. paper, plastic, glass and garbage -- each of them belong in a specific container. but below the surface lies a dirty secret. not all of it is recycled. german waste is being exported to places where it can be disposed of more cheaply, like in romania. companies there charge just a fraction of what it would cost in germany. octavian bertschanu is on the trail of waste smugglers. he says much of the imported garbage isn't being disposed of properly, and it's creating a toxic wasteland in romania. >> yet again, a case of arson at an illegal romanian landfill. octavian berceanu was then head commissioner of romania's environmental guard. he led the investigation. that was a year ago. >> a lot of garbage was burned here.
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for 20 minutes there was a lot of smoke. two more fires like that, and the south of bucharest would be engulfed in smoke and stench. >> in fact, all of bucharest suffers from serious environmental problems. several times in recent years, limits have been exceeded a hundred times over. the problem isn't just heavy traffic. there's also the repeate illegal burning of waste, some of which comesrom germany. last summer, romanian boer police made a major discovery in thblack sea port of constanza. more than 1800 tons of suspicious waste. the shipping documents showed it had been declared as plastic. but it also contained metal, tires, batteries and even carcinogenic asbestos, a dangerous mix that's prohibited by the eu. we want to confront the german company melor with the accusations and head to hamburg. it's home to europe's
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third-largest port. each year, millions of containers are shipped from here. some contain waste. we discover that greenpeace has also been aware of melor for some time. over the phone, melor says it doesn't want to comment. ten days earlier, we'd sent an official press inquiry, with no response. then, suddenly the manager appears. we're here about shipments from melor found in romania, that are illegal. >> no. >> yes, you're being prosecuted there. >> nonsense. it has been cleared up. it's a mistake. >> would you like to say that on camera? >> i'm not the right person to talk to. >> that is why we called you. >> no cameras! >> a few minutes later, the manager acknowledges the investigation, but says his waste shipments were legal.
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>> i know the romanians are doing something, but they didn't analyze it. they glanced at it and thought, "oh, there's some cable and a circuit board in their." >> but dw has seen the report on the waste which the romanian prosecutors had analyzed in a german lab. it shows the waste also contained undeclared toxic components. back in romania, we meet octavian berceanu at the landfill again. he is no longer in uniform. he was released from office. did his dismissal have to do with his effortso stop garbage smuggling? >> these are structures of organized crime. they're shifting waste from countries like germany, britain, italy, but also from bulgaria and romania itself. >> this waste sometimes travels thousands of kilometers to get here. the eu commission says germany is one of the most important markets for illegal waste disposal.
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>> some of the waste goes to cement factories. some contracts cover up the fact that much more waste is imported than these factories can burn for cement production. so the waste ends up being burned in fields. >> the investigation is being headed by prosecutor teodor ni?a. the hamburg case is just one of many examples of trash smuggling he's examining. he says the problem isn't just dishonest business owners, but also corrupt politicians. in recent years he's repeatedly called on the government in bucharest to take action against trash smugglers. >> one minister's answer left me speechless. she said, "we can't do it because it would anger the big cement producers, and they have a strong lobby."
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>> he heads to the harbor for another inspection. >> i just got a call from the eu judicial authority, about coordinating the case with germany and belgium. >> in romania, charges have been filed against the hamburg-based company. now, the courts will decide whether melor acted criminally or not. since china banned the import of plastic waste in 2018, wast exporters are looking more and more to countries like romania, bulgaria and poland. germanis considered a world leader in recycling, but that's probably also thanks to the many waste exports to eastern europe. >> a doctor in despair, teresa pazich is fighting an uphill battle against anti-vaxxers in poland. the country has one of the lowest vaccination rates in europe. despite the high death toll
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among coronavirus patients, opposition to the jab is at an all time high. in fact, residents where teresa works pride themselves on living in the village of the unvaccinated. those who do decide to protect themselves against the virus risk being ostracized. >> huge billboards greet vistors to czarny dunajec. a village where anti-vaccination sentiment runs strong. the signs say that covid vaccines are genetic experiments unsuspecting citizens. the organization tt put them up collects donations over social media. they won't talk to reporters. the campaign has found a following here. hardly anyone wears a mask. and most want nothing to do with covid vaccines. they give all sorts of reasons. >> i haven't been vaccinated. i have an allergy, and i'm afraid. >> are you vaccinated? >> no.
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>> why not? >> i'm diabetic, i have high blood pressure, and i'm afraid of it. >> some people say they're vaccinated, even though they're not. >> nearly 80% of people here are unvaccinated. the authorities in the community of 16,000 seem unconcerned. hardly anyone in the town hall is wearing a mask. and those who are, usually don't cover their mouth and nose. even though officially masks in this public building are mandatory. mayor marcin ratulowski did launch a vaccination drive, but that was quite a while ago. >> to be honest, the topic here is taboo. it's just not talked about. the people in this region believe in free will, and that everyone should decide for themselves if they want to get vaccinated or not. >> yet the virus has also come to czarny dunajec. recently three people died of it here within just ten days.
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at the health center, dr. teresa pasich tries to convince her patients to get vaccinated with limited success. >> i feel tired of this pandemic and a bit helpless. above all, i think it's a lack of education that's keeping people from getting vaccinated. as a medical professional, of course, i believe vaccines are the greatest blessing of the 20th and 21st century. >> but most people here aren't interested. the health center administers only 20 vaccinations a month. >> the patients just smile, or they don't listen, no matter what i tell them. i can tell when someone doesn't want to hear the truth or just ignores it. nothing i say gets through. less than half an hour away is
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nowy targ, the county town. eight-year-old matylda and her mother have come to the outpatient clinic here. they live closer to czarny dunajec, but they don't want to be seen getting vaccinated there. they fear being ostracized by their own community. matylda is the only one in her class who is getting vaccinated right now. >> the others said they would get it during the summer. >> even here, the vaccination drive is languishing. fewer and fewer people are interested. billboard, with a simpley message -- don't get vaccinated! many locals have their own ideas for how to best deal with the coronavirus. >> what helps you? >> herbs and honey.
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>> do you wear a mask? >> i try not to wear a mask. >> are you afraid of getting infected? >> no, i'm not. i had a kind of flu. that was it, and right now i'm immune. >> what can convince you to get the jab? >> nothing so far. thanks, bye. >> have your friends and family been vaccinated? >> no, they haven't. >> only god knows when we'll die, not vaccines. everything lies in god's hands not in vaccines. only god knows what he's got planned for us. >> here in czarny dunajec, the village of the unvaccinated, it seems ignorance is currently triumphing over modern medicine
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>> hitting the slopes in turkey's eastern anatolia. it's a vacation destination that's attracting turkey's wealthy. sky-rocketing inflation has made travel abroad too expensive, even for those with deep pockets. though many turks are barely making ends meet, it's a different reality at the ski resort of palandöken. 3,000 meters high, holidaymakers are enjoying life on the piste, world's away from the country's economic crisis. >> pristine slopes, plenty of snow, and no waiting at the lift. palandöken is a ski resort in erzurum, in eastern anatolia. it used to be an insider's tip for tourists from bulgaria, russia, and iran. now it's started attracting a growing number of turkish visitors. >> the last few years we went in bansko, bulgaria. it was nice. but the euro is so expensive
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now, and skiing vacations aren't cheap. we would have ended up paying five times more than last year. we can no longer afford to go skiing abroad. >> the five-star hotel at the resort is fully booked. it's the best winter they've had in 11 years, says manager ömer akcay. >> 95 percent of our customers are turkish. we have 3000 hotel beds in palandöken. we need 5000. >> the hotel has its own bakery and laundry. at about 300 euros per night, it pays off. despite turkey's economic crisis, there are plenty of visitors who can afford it. >> i get the same service, the same quality with maybe the half of the price. >> a ski holiday in anatolia instead of the austrian or swiss
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alps -- no one here seems to mind. >> hotel prices have gone up, so have flights. the ticket was more than double the price from last year. that shows how high inflation is. >> tourism creates jobs in erzurum. but for most city residents, the luxury of the hotels up on the mountain is out of reach. they're suffering under skyrocketing energy and fuel costs, and soaring inflation. buying food is also a challenge. >> i buy 20 loaves of bread every day and set them aside here for those in need. many others do the same. the poorest do their shopping at this outdoor market, even in icy conditions. a portion of fruit and lentils, some rice -- that's all they can afford. up in the mountains, a glorious day on the slopes is slowly coming to an end.
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for the 250 hotel employees, it's time for their next shift - - including erdal. he's been grooming the snow here for 11 years. it's a tough job. the father of three earns a little more than the minimum wage. about the same as guests pay for an overnight stay. but he remains optimistic. >> i'm sure, insh'allah, that we'll overcome this crisis. after all, it hasn't only affected us. things are bad around the world , and covid was the trigger. we need to get used to the fact that life has become more difficult. sometimes things work out. sometimes they don't. >> despite the pandemic and inflation, the ski season is well underway in erzurum. >> that's all from us this week at "focus on europe." don't forget you can watch more of our stories online at dw.com.
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i'll see you next week. which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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