Germany's Eldorado

Generation E, Series 2 Episode 1 of 5

As the economic crisis deepens and schisms emerge, Lucy Ash travels across Europe to meet the continent's next generation, who face an uncertain future. She explores the challenges they face and the ways in which they are meeting them.
In this programme Lucy travels to the southern German town of Schwabisch Hall which, after a publicity drive, was inundated with job requests from Portugal; dozens simply pitched up, asking for a job.
When the economic crisis hit, Latvia introduced some of the strictest austerity measures to be found anywhere in Europe. Its GDP fell by 25 per cent. Now it is trumpeted by the IMF as a great success story. But Lucy Ash discovers that life for young people is still extremely tough. She speaks to those who have lost their homes but still owe the banks huge debts, while others have simply left the country.
In Italy she meets Milan's youngest city councillor, who says he is trying to change the corrupt politics of his country and argues that it is Italy's - and his - last chance.
The new Hungarian government has introduced a raft of new laws, which critics argue are increasingly authoritarian and, in some cases, break EU laws. Lucy hears how sleeping rough on the streets is punishable by a fine or prison sentence; and about how some students who receive a government grant are required to sign an agreement saying they won't leave the country for ten years.
In Poland she visits a re-opened coal mine which is attracting young workers in an area of high unemployment; and she speaks to young entrepreneurs who are resorting to illegal means because they say the country's taxes are crippling them.

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15 minutes

Last on

Mon 13 Aug 2012 13:45

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Programmes looking at the challenges facing modern Germany and providing context.