A Political Outsider Rises To The Top In Italy
series: European Journal
air date: 3/12/13 5:00 AM
Croatia/Germany: Hoping for Justice - Croatia is set to join the European Union on July 1. This is giving hope to former Croatian exiles and their families, who want to take former members of the Yugoslav secret service to court. Until the end of the 1980s, Yugoslavia's State Security Administration ordered the murder of numerous Croatians living in exile in Germany. A court in Munich issued a warrant to arrest several suspects, but the men were never extradited to Germany. To this day, the suspected masterminds of the operation continue to live as free men in Croatia. Much of this difficult chapter in the country's recent history remains shrouded in mystery. Sweden: Homesick at the Arctic Circle - The Arjeplog region in Lapland is known as one of the coldest places in Europe. But it's also a popular spot for automakers to test their cars. Specialists from around the world come here to put the latest prototypes through their paces. They test the models for their ability to handle the cold. A crew from South Korea spent close to three months there, trying to get accustomed to the harsh Scandinavian winter. To keep the technicians happy they brought along their own cook. But the mechanics still get bouts of homesickness and often work long hours to forget their troubles. Italy: The Outsider - The parliamentary elections are over, but Italy still hasn't been able to form a government. That's because close to 60 percent of Italians voted for political outsiders -- like former comedian Beppe Grillo. In the 1980s Grillo was a popular TV personality, known for his biting political satire. Then he became an activist and, eight years ago, started his own blog. In 2007, Grillo organized a massive rally to demand that over two dozen Italian politicians with criminal records leave office. His party "Movimento 5 stelle" or the "Five Stars Movement" won more than 25 percent of the vote in the recent general election, but Grillo has vowed it will not join any coalition. Germany: Saving Reutlingen's World Record - For six years, the Swabian city of Reutlingen has been the home of the world's narrowest street. But now that record is in danger. The world's narrowest street is just 31 centimeters wide. It's really just a gap between two crooked houses. But Spreuerhofstrasse became famous after it earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. It's now one of Reutlingen's biggest tourist attractions. However, the beams of the neighboring half-timbered house are bending and could cause the building to collapse.
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