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European Journal

Putin's Revenge (#3128)

Greece: Workers at the Helm - Workers in Thessaloniki have put a building materials factory back into operation after occupying the site several months ago. The factory's owners had abandoned it two years ago because of financial difficulties. The workers now produce all-purpose cleaners and detergents. Because of the economic crisis, there's very little demand for building materials. The cleaning products are sold via solidarity networks. At present, nearly 2,000 factories in Greece stand idle. Even the state television station was shut down recently. The workers from the building materials factory have earned a great deal of recognition, and their products are also in demand abroad.

Russia: Putin's Revenge - Artyom Savyolov demonstrated against Vladimir Putin's re-election last year. He may now have to pay for that dearly. In a trial that has just begun, he's threatened with eight years of imprisonment. Just weeks after the demonstration against Putin, Artyom suddenly disappeared in the notorious Moscow police station Petrovka 38. He is now on trial for incitement to mass disorder and obstructing the police in the line of duty. His father is fighting desperately for his son, and neighbors are backing him with donations and support. Relatives of those imprisoned suspect Putin set the wheels of justice in motion as revenge and in order to silence opposition.

France: Paternal Protest - In France, increasing numbers of divorced fathers are demanding custody of their children. Some even scaled a crane to demand the government hold talks with fathers' advocacy groups. France once played a pioneering role on the child custody front. It was the first EU member state to recognize shared parenting rights. According to the law, children of divorced parents are entitled to have a home with each of their parents. The situation in practice is different, however; where custody is disputed, judges will generally award it to the mother alone. The number of fathers lodging appeals against such rulings is growing.

Slovakia: Living More Cheaply in Austria - The Slovakian capital Bratislava is booming. In recent years many new jobs have been created. But real estate prices have skyrocketed. Slovaks who can no longer afford housing in their home country move a few kilometers away just over the border to Austria, where plots of land there are cheaper. About a third of residents in the border villages are citizens of Slovakia. Not all Austrians are pleased about the situation. Schools and kindergartens are already bursting at the seams. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

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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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