Turkey: Struggle for the Seminary - The European Commission is set to release its progress report on Turkey's application for membership in the EU. The paper lays out in detail Ankara's moves towards possible accession. But one particular area may prove controversial - that of religious freedom. The Greek Orthodox seminary on the island of Halki near Istanbul has been closed for 30 years, on government order. Brussels is now calling for it to be re-opened. Dositheos Agnastopolous, a priest with a German-Greek background is spokesman for the Patriarch. He is keen on seeing the seminary re-opened and advocates reconciliation between Greeks and Turks.
Germany: How Bureaucracy is Killing off Jobs - Thomas Kiepul from the Ruhr region did exactly what politicans would like people to do when he was made unemployed. He set up his own bicycle shop. And instead of taking welfare handouts, he's paying taxes. But he's ended up in hot water with the local authorities. That's because he repairs bikes in his shop, as well. Because he doesn't have a certificate to show that he's mastered that particular vocation he's been slapped with a fine. Kiepul has refused to pay the fine and is facing a jail sentence. Some say regulation overkill in some professions is threatening the livelihoods of many Germans.
Poland: the Polanski controversy - Film director Roman Polanski faces trial in the US for statutory rape committed 32 years ago. The case has polarized people in his native country of Poland. Initially the media there blasted the Americans for wanting to make an example of Polanski, a famous Pole, an Oscar winner. Politicians like foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski have called for the director to be freed. But some conservative elements in Poland have been using the case to warm up some old anti-Semitic prejudices.
Sweden: Anders Borg - The Swedish finance minister cuts a fine figure in the country's government. Kitted out in a black suit, with his long hair and a ear ring, he could be taken for something of a hippie. But appearances can be deceiving. Borg has established a profile as a stringent financial manager, one who rejected tax cuts during the economic crisis. And with Sweden currently holding the EU's rotating presidency, Borg has a lot on his plate. [26 minutes]
This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.
Series Description: EUROPEAN JOURNAL looks beyond the headlines and sound bites to deliver relevant, unbiased and imaginative reporting on the events shaping the political, economic and cultural landscape of Europe. Each week, teams of journalists, photographers and producers scour the continent in search of stories with impact and meaning for American viewers, while alternating presenters Jim Gibbons and Cathy Smith provide in-depth analysis on this dynamic region.
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These episodes of European Journal aired in the last few months on Iowa Public Television.
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- Episode #3231