Inside Europe 09.04.2021
The w inside europe. Hello and welcome. I'm helen seaney in bonn germany on today's program. A polish salt mine provides relief for post covert patients. The dutch go techno to learn more about easing corona virus restrictions and what kind of impact will the pandemic have on rome's historic center long. We need a cultural change. We have to ask ourselves. What city do we want. Do we really want a city in which romans live on the outskirts and the heart of the city is populated by tourists. Like a sort of disneyland. I sincerely hope we have a liveable city with a mixed economy. Those stories and more coming up on the program. Many countries around europe and now struggling to cope with a third wave of the corona virus. Poland is no exception hospitals. They are overwhelmed. But for those patients who make it through this now an unusual of treatment available for post cova spirit retract disorders deep down inside a disused salt mine the historic village. Mine near the city of cracow has a unique micro-climate and scientists say it's ideal for post cova patients yu-lian berna has more journey down to the work out galleries. Some one hundred and thirty meters below ground. Start in complete darkness inside. A fairly cramped lived which was once used by miners the galleries throughout the complex situated on various levels but this particular one has been chosen because it features in underground salt lake was mineral. Content is similar to that of the dead sea site in the underground spa. Group of patients chanting religious. Him sit in a circle in half darkness around the fountain but therapeutic. Say this is a very good reason for that. The singing relaxes the muscles. And the fountain strays tiny particles of selene solution. Which is great for inhalation. Manala gist professor romanov appeal ski. Once supervise the treatment of patients with asthma and other bronchial diseases down in the mine. He's now in charge of a trail-blazing covert recovery program developed a deal on university in cracow. The patients spend two to three hours on the ground each day for two weeks while every precaution has taken when show that there's no risk of infection everyone is tested on the arrival and all the medical staff had been fully vaccinated. Patients are required to wear face masks all the time even during strenuous workouts professor of abuse explains why she this big village as the site for the project. The goal of these exercises is improve walk of ashby author muscles temperatures stable from twelve to fifteen degrees celsius unique microclimate. We've of specific chemical contents high concentration of free ions in eight and high humidity. The another important factor is air free of pose primary schoolteacher dorota leads clark of went down with covert in the autumn. She spent two weeks fighting for her life in hospital and now she struggles to breathe whenever she needs to make an effort for now. Going back to score is out of the question. She even finds online classes too. Exhausting originally announced ma safra dot is hoping the underground clinic can how curry's zoom teaching. I have problem with us man to travel with my lungs this the moment and suddenly. I heard that. I'm disease problem. Because i'm a teacher and that's the main problem. I hope put treatment will help me to throw him here. No it wasn't difficult for therapeutic. Parvo janas to switch from caring for asthma sufferers to working with post covert patients as well as overseeing the daily exercise regime he also gathers data for the regular onion university study program to determine just how much the patient's quality of life can be improved the needles as each and every patient. Who arrives down here says straightaway on the first day. That breathing is much easier even wearing a face mask. They're really surprised. They say they feel less tired. So just being year makes them feel better but we also have some hard data. We examine each patient before during and after therapy. We monitor them carefully all the time. The results are very encouraging both in terms of breathing capacity and overall performance. Their condition improves by at least thirty percent. It's a march progression. But you'll each is much more than an underground clinic. Wants patients regain the strength program includes tolls of the complexes. Many historical monuments carved by knows the earliest date back to the eleventh century. An include chapels with altars religious statues and sparking chandeliers. They're all made entirely from sold. The mineral was one so precious. The village combine which was the prized possession of the kings of poland paid for most of the landmarks which can now be admired in the city of crack off. Treatment and village is available to both public and privately founded patients another probably salt mine nearby. Buckner astounded a similar program although without the added advantage of breathtaking historical sites. An above ground clinic sound are being encouraged to build out official sold chambers to ease the breathing of post covert patients young e w lita. Many countries are backing lockdown as europe battles and other wave of covert infections. People and economies are both suffering now in the netherlands their chests underway to see how to safely bring back some fun. Our correspondent teri schultz. Got to join a check. No concert doubling as a social experiment tickets for the dance weekend bidding and sold out almost immediately for the chance to be party animals. Thousands of dutch were willing to be guinea pigs. Fifteen hundred people were allowed each day. They had to test negative for the coronavirus to get the event and promised to test again five days later to see if anyone had become infected and during the party they agreed to wear tracking devices to see how they would behave once they got their beers and their grooves on there will be has the little bit where we don't care. This was the seventh event held by field lab a group of scientists. Researchers event organizers and government officials trying to find out whether and under what conditions it is safe to allow people to gather peterloo bert's is field labs project manager. He comes at this. From the event side of things and is very encouraged that he says only a handful of people have tested positive. After the experiments and not necessarily stemming from that activity i think we can prove that we really can increase the capacity of officials maybe in steps starting with fifty percent. go to seventy or eighty percents. And in the end we want to have the real goal one hundred percent but at those events ranging from theater to football matches attendees were given specific instructions. How to behave whether to wear masks. Keep social distancing have physical contact or not and so on at the bidding highs. In festival people were reminded at the beginning. They should wear masks but after that they were free to do as they wished while everyone was wearing masks as they checked in showed their negative test results and got their tracker pleased around their neck after that things got a little wild infectious disease specialist. Dr andrea voss. Who's part of the field lab research team admitted to being a little nervous. People are careful at the beginning and then during the party will be they will be very much less careful so that will take off that mask. That probably have enough drinks Party at they used to but the whole idea is to have a natural event and not being there was people taking them a bar asking them to to put on the mask again so we want to have the way. They party usually Because otherwise all the day that we would have would be with me senseless on one of the dance floors twenty five year old. Wesley was among those partying. Like he used to know mask on wesley or his friends nor on suba in bhutan. Who's a doctor in a corona virus ward. But for a few hours. She was just someone out dancing with her friends before. The main performer at the event was dutch today. Ranier zona feld who says the pandemic has been so hard on fellow. performers and end to lockdown. Can't come soon enough. Friends of me also are under break through your last year plan festivals. Quit their day job after. Get gasoline tree. That's for ten fifteen years. Yeah really hope. Somehow we get off. It's as soon as possible off the test results from the dance party. Weekend aren't public yet. But the dutch government is signaling optimism. It's just announced that some people will be allowed to attend the eurovision song contest in rotterdam as part of moorefield lab research teri schultz d-w bidding poison netherlands. And i'm helen seen in bonn. You're listening to inside europe The eu top two officials held talks with turkish president. Wretch up. Tie up at one this week. Tensions between brussels and ankara have spiked over a number of issues. Fungal lion the president of the european commission. An sean michelle. The president of the european council made it clear. That better ties are dependent on ankara improving. Its human rights record. And the rule of law will joining me is out. Turkey correspondent doreen jones dorian. How much progress was made well. Suddenly that was a very powerful message. That came from sean. Michelle anders live on delay and saying that The situation in turkey was unacceptable. This pulling out of the women's convention. The istanbul convention that provides legal protection for women was unacceptable and they called for turkey to reverse that decision and also they highlighted the fact that turkey second largest opposition party he's facing closure and that is another area of concern so they were very very powerful messages and the european union having facing a lot of criticism recent but human rights defenders say that turkey hasn't faced enough pushback from the european union over what is described as a rapidly deteriorating situation. But having said that all this tough lounges. Come from the two officials at the same time. They granted turkey a key concession. That has been pushing for that over the modernization of accustomed union agreement between turkey and the european union. Turkey has been pushing for this for many years and it has been held up in power over human rights concerns but the fact now that negotiations have been announced for the start of the modernisation off. The customs union agreement will be considered a major diplomatic victory on turkey's part and this will add to concern among human rights defenders. That is tough rhetoric coming from the e you could prove just to be that rhetoric rather than actions will add a one wants to update eight thousand sixteen migration agreement in which turkey receives money from the eu in return for halting the migrant flow to europe to what extent his brussels willing to offer more incentives in this area. Indeed at the press conference selander ally did say that they were ready to examine turkey's a request for more money on both sides want this migration deal to continue effectively. Turkey has become european. Union's gatekeeper for migrants and refugees seeking to enter the european union. Turkey currently hosts around four million syrian refugees and refugee migration deal that they have with european is seen as preventing another major exodus into the european union. Which is something that all sides want to avoid now. The key question here is that turkey is looking for billions more euros to provide assistance to the refugees that currently hosting and also they want less strings attached to it. There's a lot of irritation in. Ankara that the european union are attaching too many strings on how that money should be spent laiwu boost restrictions lifted on european union side. They want turkey to on what they say is all elements of this agreement and particularly the part of the agreement which which means a turkey takes back refugees migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected by the greek authorities. Greece's currently hosting tens of thousands of refugees is a crisis situation there according to eu officials and a key part of that it's a send those refugees back to turkey for the moment turkey's being resisting. This claiming that the eu is not honoring. Its side of the bargain. I think money is seen as a solution here. And i think both sides will be working toward a solution will turkey still wants to join the e u but having said that those efforts have been put on ice for years now. Is it still a realistic goal. At this point or both sides simply going through the motions. Actually president heard one only a few weeks ago said that it is a key foreign policy objective turkey joining the eu. But it has to be said on both sides. There is a recognition that turkey's accession bid at least in the short and medium-term is dead. If not completely and i think that this meeting of these two top your officials who actually came to incur rather than the virtual meetings that is common practice. These days is a sign of how important this meeting is. Because i think there's an acceptance on both sides that the accession process is now dead now the e u. That is a major problem because turkey joining us always seen as a major piece of leverage the e had over turkey to extract concessions. Now that's over there. Looking for a new framework and this is why the offering of concessions of modernizing the customs union agreement is seen as providing new leverage the eu to extract concessions to meet turkey on this migration deal for example. I'm from turkey side. They also want to extract concessions. They want a new framework going forward possibly visa liberalisation as well so i think both sides recognize that they do want to have talks to work together and i think uncle will also be looking for this. New era of pragmatism. The human rights is very much put on the backburner and that was dorian. John's our turkey correspondent speaking there from istanbul the historic centre of rome has changed immeasurably over the past few decades and now the corona virus pandemic is also leaving its mark the tourists who once crowded it erupts and and the few locals who still live there a working from home because of the pandemic on weekends romans go to the center to do some shopping or to enjoy the monuments but during the week it's deserted and that's becoming a big problem andrew van schaik reports jaw after years of peeling artichokes. Sonia is incredibly quick at it. A family has had a fruit and vegetable stall on the famous company fury market for three generations. She was practically born here. It always used to be busy. Good no this. Hardly anyone around then. I don dante bank you get for all our our nobody table too. Many stole used to cater mostly for tourists. But now there aren't any. Do you see those stall selling scoffs and t shirts nowadays. They make maybe twenty thirty years day. Why should they even open up. Not only is there a lack of tourists but the number of residents in rome city center is also decreasing that was already apparent. But it's become painfully clear during the pandemic over the last sixty years. The city centre has lost. Three quarters of its residents in one thousand nine hundred fifty one around one hundred and seventy thousand. Romans lived here nowadays. It's just over. Eighty thousand and their vacated buildings now hosts holiday homes hotels and airbnb. That a priebus levian vivian. He coupla lived her whole life in the center of rome. She was born on lago argentina. The spot with julius. Caesar was killed two thousand years ago and she's president of the association of residents of the cento story could handle foreign milan but so there to talk in. The tourist industry poses a security problem over the past few years. Problems have arisen in apartment complexes because a large number of airbnb residents don't know each other and in the meantime the community falls apart until the end of two thousand nineteen you could choose from more than twelve thousand accommodation options in roman rookie dot com that resulted in shops in the centre also adapting visitors the traditional butcher shop bakery or fishmonger made way for pubs cheap for our shops and fast food chains. The remaining shops struggle to survive the energy quanta say don't go is in the heart city and has been making hats since eighteen fifty seven. Not crawley is the fifth generation in his family to run the shop daily. Anti sorry show donnie. We have our regular customers both italians and foreigners that all americans and germans who come here every year or so to buy a house but we've lost a lot of turnover due to the pandemic forty percent less compared to previous years until the nineteen nineties. This was a real neighborhood where real people lived but nowadays with no tourists and people working from home. It's empty here. Talk really is an exception to the city center. That's been taken over. But as atm's and mcdonald's of this world according to the city authorities there are around one hundred and fifty traditional shops and cafes the center and they should be protected as much as possible. Says regional. Council member medallion. Ori noyau motoo therapists teed up with their mainly artisan shops and they're part of the city's culture and history in this neighborhood. Many streets are named after crafts pupil that used to have their shops here for example. There's a cherbourg street and a carpenter street. If these shops and companies have to shut their doors because of this crisis they'll never come back. Tradition will be lost and replaced by international chains. We want to prevent that. This will not doing another bad girl. accuser. Local residents have already prevented one big multinational company from muscling in says reality. Capela mcdonnell kacem. She differ. Mcdonald's tried to open a restaurant next to the pantheon. The two thousand year old roman temple joined forces with the city. Authorities took them to court and after years of legal battles we won. It's a battle that can only be one by residents and this city working together now face with a deserted city centre. everyone wants things to change. But what happens when the pandemic is over. There's money to be made from tourism again. Will it be business as usual council member. Maddalena nori hopes not long. Will we need a cultural change. We have to ask ourselves. What city do we want. Do we really want a city in which romans live on the outskirts and the heart of the city is only populated by tourist like disneyland. I sincerely hope we have a liveable city with a mixed economy. Problems facing rome repeated other european cities prague amsterdam venice to name a few. The reliance on tourism revenue has created a mona culture and degraded cities to theme parks in which inhabitants have become extras interest fantasies. The covid nineteen pandemic has made this problem painfully clear. It may provide an opportunity to rethink economic and cultural models and save europe's cultural heritage which not only made of stone but also of real people. Dwi from rome. We would love to hear your feedback on the show so do get in touch. Our email addresses europe at d. w. dot com. Hope to hear from you. This inside europe and i'm helen seaney in bonn germany. This is inside europe. And i'm helen. Seaney in bonn germany from bonn germany. You're listening to inside. Europe people in england or waiting to hear when and where they can travel abroad this summer. After the prime minister refused to confirm that foreign holidays would restart next month as planned. Boris johnson said the government would introduce a traffic light system of red amber green with different levels of restrictions. he's nervous of allowing variants of covid nineteen into the uk as a third wave spreads across europe but the travel industry says the uncertainty is driving companies out of business. Lucy taylor reports from the u. k. For the first time this year it's now legal to meet family from another part of the country if only outside. Engines lockdown is slowly easing as covid nineteen cases. Full foreign travel is still against the law. And for some people that means no family reunions for the foreseeable future. I three flights booked last summer and every single one of them was council. So i'm hesitant now to book. Anything at all. Either is a teacher with family in austria. She'd usually fly to see them at least twice a year. I would like to see My mother and my family ostra soon soon as possible. I have actually missed my dad He died before i could see again. in That was talking to my mother asks every time movie we talk. She asks every sunday. When are you coming. And i said well soon as i'm allowed she's getting on this well and had just having lost to'spend she'll be wondering whether she'll seals again hopeful that we can get gutting prime minister. Boris johnson says the government hopes to allow some shovel. Some next to safe shoal. We don't want to see the virus being reimported. Into this country plainly there is a surge in other parts of the world and we have to be mindful of that and we have to be realistic. He's introducing a traffic light system from reds high risk countries to green low risk ones but the government is asking people not to book holidays for now and the travel industry says the uncertainty is pushing people. We're making a few bookings for later in the year. The odd person is speculating for the summer. But majority of our current bookings offer later in the year or even next year pool recipe is the owner of direct travel and independent travel agency. He says it's vital. The industry is given more detail on which countries which the red ones are fairly obvious. The green ones are. Ob are interesting. I think the difficulties the ones where they can possibly move to reddell to green anytime and that's one of the big issues about traffic. Light system is when the on off switch is used. We sell experienced a bit of that last year. With the with the accurate air-corridors portugal's really good example which was switch on an offer to three times. And i just close chaos mckim bookings and them so what we will need is bit of carthage as to what qualifies for green what qualifies for albert what qualifies for read on. How you move between them. It's likely that only a few countries will be on the green list. Vaccination is high in cases of the virus and its variance. Alot tourists coming back from those places won't need to quarantine but they will need full testing which they'll pay for themselves to companies worried that we're not too much to the cost of a holiday travel and having implies testing that is not affordable is going to inhibit those that want to travel. Actually travel will only be available to those at the forty do yellow buoy. Sad is the chief. Executive of advantage travel partnership which represents travel agents and we need to ensure that the government does everything possible to enable in a safe manner through with food testing places while escape to achieve messed next week. Domestic holidays can be. Start in england bookings this summer well ahead of previous. He is birmingham. Manchester may not seem quite the substitute for capetown. Newell can roam while those places seem impossibly far away escape to new perspective. The national tourism agency visit prison is asking people to try new destinations. Little closer to home. Lisa taylor d w in the uk. Well let's head now to the northernmost part of europe to greenland this week. The leftwing party won parliamentary elections there. Greenland is part of the kingdom of denmark but has broad autonomy it also has vast untapped mineral resources the winning. I a party campaigned against a project to mine. Rare earth metals from what is one of the world's largest deposits joining me is mark land chain an associate professor in political science at the arctic university of norway. Missile anton. just. How important was the mining issue in these elections. The elections this time around the mining issue had been turned into a very significant points at area political contestation for the vote. I had been out of power for quite some time. And it had kind of seen the issue of the specific mine at Kenneth feld as Certainly an area. That was a growing concern. Too much of the greenlandic population especially out of concern of the environmental impact of this mind. Why agreements resources surprised. They their prized for. I would say two reasons. First of all this is a part of the world which has a considerable amount of mineral wealth The amount of resources that is starting to become more accessible quite significant so we are talking base metals precious metals gemstones rarer All of which are starting to become Relatively easier to extract but more to the points because of climate change because of the loss of surrounding sea ice it has become much less difficult to mine these resources and actually got them out to market the second point though is that Greenland is also in the midst of a bit of a political change support for independence from danish kingdom is still very high. And this means that. Greenland's political status might change very soon so it has been the interest of several parties including the european union china and the united states to better engage greenland diplomatically. Add economically. So what do you think the outcome of these elections mean for greenland's political future. It's an excellent question because at this stage i is not in a position to govern alone. It's very difficult for any party to do. So so the next few days are going to see a considerable amount of negotiation with some of the smaller parties to create a workable coalition. Now this means the. Tom compromises might each be undertaken on various areas and also remains to be seen whether the mining project at of will actually cancelled potentially postponed. And even if a coalition put together which Winds up canceling the mining project. How long that particular. Coalition will laugh because party politics in greenland has become a little bit more volatile late. It was The reason why the election call to begin with was that one party in the previous coalition pulled out over disagreement over the of self. How does denmark view the possibility of greenland going independent denmark is very concerned about the possibility of Greenland rushing to independence that it may fall under a great deal of external influence especially from china and certainly greenland is very important to the danish kingdom. It's provides denmark with Vedic access politically and geographically to the arctic and has been trying to stress that it is very interested in maintaining the coherency of the of the kingdom and has been trying to push the fact that you know he does want to continue to be greenland's partner the currency leadership in denmark. I should add under prime minster. Metrics frederickson has been more open to the idea of continued sovereignty for greenland but still wants to Make it very clear to the greenland population. That denmark does have greenland's at heart if we get back to greenland's mineral resources to what extent a currently being mined mining is very limited greenland right now At the moment there are only two minds that are operational one dealing with rubies. The other dealing with anthracite several other potential mining projects have been mooted including one far the owners of greenland Very large deposited zinc. But the fact is to set up any mine in greenland requires a great deal of preparation and requires a great deal of ensuring that any mining operations to be environmentally viable. And we're talking about very remote regions so any kind of personnel equipment. Infrastructure would need to be brought in over a considerable amount of time so mining in greenland is not something that can be done very quickly. And when you mentioned the concern about the signal being sent to international mining concerns after this election i would say this significance. Because other mining companies are going to wonder whether it will be possible to put down so much startup capital and infrastructure. Planning for something which may not in the end go forward and that was mark. Land chain an associate professor in political science at the arctic university of norway. Speaking there from trump's hungarian media have accused the government of putting lives at risk by preventing journalists from covering the full extent of what is now one of the world's deadliest outbreaks of covid nineteen. The authorities even appeal to students and volunteers to help overburdened hospitals. This is despite the fact that hungary has more vaccines available than any other. Eu country including jabs from and russia stefan boss reports from protesting. Hungarians filed by a long line of mask-wearing police officer cintas center of budapest. Dave hatton off of night curfew sent other gerona virus restrictions. Today claim don't work the government of hardline prime minister viktor. Orban has acknowledged that more than twenty two thousand hungarians have died off the corona virus. We supposed relation of around ten million. That means country now is one of the world's highest kofi deaths dole's per capita debts despite rolling out millions of vaccines including non you approved gaps from china and russia in an open letter hungarian journalists complain. They have no access to overburdened. Hospitals but prime minister orban defense is tough stance to watch the critical press. I mean he's done on the his It's tough. I ask everyone to support the nurses and doctors. This is not the time to spread fake news and record undercover footage in hospitals a lot of medical staff and sleep more than four hours a night. We have to support them. The government wants to prevent hospital footage like this which was recorded across the border in slovakia which has significant hungarian minority into town of costra. The local hospital is struggling to cope with cases of corona victories and one in three patients heffer bank die. Dare beck here. In hungary. the government admits that at least one thousand seven hundred. Medical students and volunteers are helping overburdened. Hospitals that are suffered years of neglect in recent years. Thousands of doctors have left state run hospitals because of poor wages and many more integrated do wealthier countries depress it end of the independent healthcare workers union adriana source is furious that government is using medical students and volunteers in hospitals during the pandemic dot. Oconee kc ish forget. They won't be able to work effectively in hospitals. I'm worried that they might even hinder hospital. Staff doctors and nurses are going to have to divide their time between caring for patients and dealing with the volunteers. The government should have started preparing for this earlier. It isn't easy to talk to volunteers inside hospitals. Brian is to orban's claims to country is at war with the virus and he's budi army. In control of hospitals commander eastern keystone is in charge of the operation. He says there's nothing wrong with soldiers guarding hospitals again. The and but the nine soldiers doing a good job and hospital directors satisfied with their work and both civilians and nurses say that the soldiers provide a sense of security bogo soldiers. Prepare to take on tasks beyond military duties and we're at the service of hungary citizens those demonstrating illegally disagree with what they view as a war-like regime the government controlling most media and other institutions. It will take more than a pandemic before. Dared demands are met stefan deal. Will you move. Legal battle is unfolding greece over the drowning of a refugee boy. Math ghanistan officials blame the father for putting his son in the boat but he blames the coast guard for failing to rescue them. Anthony corre sava has more from athens in greece. A controversial legal petition is raising questions about who's to blame when refugees drowned while trying to make it to shore the coast guard or the refugees. The case involves a twenty five year old afghan father who six-year-old son. Drowned last year. Authorities have charged him with putting his son's life at risk but now he's arguing in a legal petition that authorities should instead be investigating. Why the greek coastguard took so long to come to his rescue. And that of his sons when their boat packed with scores of asylum-seekers hit craggy rocks off the coast of the island of samos last november sinking swiftly into choppy waters. The father whose identity has not been made public says rescue crews scramble to the scene after receiving a distress signal from the asylum seekers yet the coast guard boat left migrants adrift and in distress six hours later though they appeared on land with vehicle to round up those who managed to swim to safety. The afghan father survived his son though. Didn't his lifeless body found just meters away washed up on the shores of samos days before his sixth birthday the twenty five year old afghan father now faces up to six years in prison. If found guilty of putting his son's life at risk a charge which no other sign them seeker has ever faced a move which rights groups here. Fear was set at worrying precedent in criminalising migrants and their continued bid to seek safety in europe through turkey. Coastguard officials contacted for. This report have denied any wrongdoing. They say they never spotted the sinking boat because of bad weather conditions and darkness that hindered their search effort. Since the government of geico's tacky search to power in two thousand nineteen greece's taken a more aggressive stance on illegal immigration but the afghan refugee and his lawyer told. Dwi this week. They're more concerned about the recurring use of migrant pushbacks by creek coast coastguard. Which is a knee legal practice but the afghan refugee and his lawyer believed coast guard. Crews on ensemble refused to the sinking vessel last november and they instead attempted to round up the migrants once on shore trying to herd them into life rafts and then towing them back to turkish waters to block their entry to europe for migrants to turn around is a serious breach of international law violating asylum seekers rights to safe passage and protection week authorities vehemently denied the accusation but the investigation launched by the afghan father. May shed a different light on this. Practice are salva w athens. And i'm helen in bonn. You're listening to inside. Europe and historic monument has sparked a diplomatic spat between latvia and russia. It's been thirty years since. Latvia regained its independence following the collapse of the soviet union and its territory is dotted with memorials glorifying. These soviet era military but at the end of february someone stole and hid apart of one of these monuments. Russia has launched a criminal investigation into the incident. Get at scales has more from riga. It's nighttime at the end of february and tractor hits the road in the south east of flabby driver. Reaches the city of york appeals and stops in the park historic memorial two troupes of the soviet soviet union the tractor and removes a heavy green artillery gun installed on top of concrete blocks and drives off with it the very next day. One of my friends drove by the monument early in the morning. And he calls me. That's leon also. Nato to yield pensioner russian living in the bills. She's from local war veterans society that laid flowers lit candles and drunk to the glory of the soviet army. A day earlier. it's a damn artillery gun is gone. I thought he was joking or something. It's a real shame that somebody actually removed it. That believes suspected. A local farmer named mooner scowled is the main culprit. He denies any involvement but the fifty one year old faldo four is clear there to regard is now at the bottom of a nearby river. Lil sitter well. The tillery gun is gone forever. Let's be was occupied by both the nazis and the soviets during the second world war then for fifty years. It was part of the soviet union and only regained its independence in nineteen ninety-one after the. Ussr collapsed however call says he still has to put up with symbols of moscow as totalitarian regime reds at guitar cash. Near go your shot. The excellent every year descendants of the soviet occupiers gather at the monument for celebrations on russia's victory day. They lay flowers and drink toasts. They're insulting attitude. Really irritates me was golovin adila. The incident involving the missing oregon didn't go unnoticed in russia. It launched a criminal. Investigation incited anti-soviet sentiments. Something that the kremlin has accused latvian. The other baltic states are for years when neighboring estonia relocated a soviet era war memorial back in two thousand and seven it sparked violent riots by ethnic russians. The country suffered a sophisticated cyber attack. To though the kremlin denied involvement later that year the latvian and russian governments signed a special agreement for the protection of historic burial. sites ensemble. Is hit over. The warriors cemetery society latvian. Ngo the agreement concerns. Russia's military burial sites symmetry particular sectors of some graveyards individual graves in latvia latvia's graves in russia on both says they are around three hundred fifty burial sites of soviet soldiers and latvia and russia spins up to a million euros each year looking after them not to be a meanwhile has blazed commemorative plaques and russia for thousands of its people who perished at the hands of the soviet regime. Baton-wielding says the kremlin has been throwing a spanner in the works. In recent years others are the russian officials find various reasons to prevent them from installing memorials. They say their problems with the land that the local authority doesn't consider such a plaque necessary that they have concerns that it might cause social tension and so on not to be a is the resting place of at least two hundred thousand soviet soldiers and about ninety thousand german troops batonga postwar communist regime. The soviet authorities only created memorial sides on other own. We'll just books is a historian that the institute of latvian history adventure so to me. Oh beliefs the soviets directed obelisks in the center of latvian towns and any place of political importance. The main purpose was not only to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the red army. They were also meant to demonstrate ideological power domination and military victory of the soviets in the so-called great patriotic war and we still see them today in many places neighbor says that politicians have refrained from removing these memorials because of the country's large ethnic russian community and he believes the borough sides of both sides should be maintained to commemorate wartime wiggins. Meanwhile buccaneer appeals. Local officials are yet to decide what to do with a monument. Without its jewel the seventy six millimeter artillery gun gathered was d w riga having demonstrating frontal city who of francis third city leon. After its new mayor banned meat from school canteens. Farmers also gave passes by free tastings of beef pork lamb and chicken. Eating meat was until recently completely uncontroversial. In what many considered to be francis gourmet capital but now farmers and the food industry say it's under attack. John lawrenson farmers came to leo city hall with goats lambs and cattle to protest. The removal of meat from school menus. Abano red stop ideology in our plates. Felony club came with some cows from her farm. Just outside the city for me. It's not a question of eating or not eating meats. It's a question of liberty choice inside city hall new green party. May gregory do say to klein our offer of an interview. He didn't want to feed a new controversy. His spokeswoman said he's though no stranger to controversy such as when he refused to allow the tour de france cycle race to stop in. Leon because it was he said match oh and polluting but in a written statement. He said he'd removed to meet temporarily from school menus. Because of covid nineteen the statement said the measure allowed canteens to adopt a single menu which speeded up lions and made it easier to enforce social distancing measures. Madame la b. Doesn't buy it now. Because i have children who is going to score not in leon. Distancing is respected and it meets. It's just a capacity of organization. The reality she says is that the man is anti meet he has. She claims band. Patty and ham from official reception buffets. Something city hall said. It wouldn't comment on a -tudios bechtel. One of one hundred and twenty nine schools where meet the not fish or eggs have been banned. Parents like stiffen. Put her upsets responser. Question phone cordell. It's nonsensical decision. I was quite angry when i received the email about it. From city hall. Meat is an important source of protein and our daughter doesn't much like fish eggs so when she comes home from school now she's famished was at a farmers market on the outskirts of a customer buys some chicken and the rib of beef in these parts say limousine and people don't think car they think breed of cow book user whom the culinary institute of america named chef of the century came from here who's signature dish was a chicken cooked in a pig's bladder. The french have a bit of a thing about meet. They like their beef. Bloody and when it's pig sheep found or cow. Each bits that are national unity would be squeamish about mentioning let alone putting in their mouths. I get talking to the customer. Whose name is uber. Dim wa. he tells me it's in the nature of the french to be. Omnivorous that think we ever meet culture. We hit a hold your complete anymore from head to from head to toe from ed. Thanks sorry about that even the inside the stomach kidney everything everything under thing. I think it's a very specific thing fronts back at city hall. The processing farmers are cooking up. A barbecue for passes by there are plenty of takers. Though fewer than two percent of french people described themselves as vegetarians. Compared with ten percent of germans a harris poll shows one into fringe. People have reduced them meat consumption in the past three years that if there's a retreat from meat it's a slow and limited one. As the outcry here has illustrated the mayor is promising to restore meet to school canteens. when the pandemic's produce daily vegetarian option next year johnson. D-w leo that wraps up this week shock you enjoyed it. It was produced with help from kathleen. She'll star and sound engineer philip. Rubinstein do join us again at the same time next week till then i'm helen seaney. Thanks for joining me inside. Your comes to you from germany's international broadcaster. Dpw in bonn.