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The Nanny Orphans Of Romania

series: European Journal

air date: 5/21/13 5:00 AM

Romania: Mama Cleans in the West - More and more children in Romania are growing up without parents. They're cared for by other relatives, in homes or simply live on the street. Child welfare organization UNICEF estimates that some 350-thousand of these "orphans" have parents working in Western Europe. Most of the parents work - legally or illegally - as nannies, cleaners or farm laborers. For years seasonal workers, in particular, have been traveling to Western European countries like Germany, Italy and Spain where cheap labor is in demand. Some don't ever return to their children in Romania. France: Ben Ali's Villas - With 260 days of sunshine a year, France's Cote d'Azur draws hordes of tourists. But it's also an attractive place for shady rulers to park their ill-got money. Many buy luxury homes here; former Tunisian president Ben Ali is thought to own villas on the Cote d'Azur. In Ben Ali's case, France's public prosecutor is now investigating. But many French citizens of Tunisian descent believe the investigation is taking too long, so they're collecting evidence on their own. Since the Arab Spring two years ago, the number of vacant luxury homes on the Cote D'Azur has kept on growing. Turkey: Winegrowers under Pressure - In Turkey, the country's Islamic-leaning, conservative government has massively restricted sales of alcohol. Yet Turkish wines are currently very popular. Vintners are focussing more on quality and are winning international prizes. But in many areas of the countryside and even in some large cities, bars and restaurants are no longer being issued liquor licences. Supermarkets are having to take alcoholic beverages off their shelves and sales over the Internet are also forbidden. Yet, in spite of these measures, alcohol consumption is rising. People are crowding to the areas of major cities where alcoholic drinks are still being served. Switzerland: Tickets for Prostitutes - Zurich's Sihlquai riverbank has a reputation as being Switzerland's toughest area for street walkers. Here prostitutes service as many as 30 customers per night. Local authorities now want to curtail this booming trade. Prostitutes are now to be given a number and purchase a ticket. A stand costs four euros a night. In future, prostitutes will be required to have health insurance and to attend counselling. Starting in August, prostitutes should no longer be seen on the Sihlquai. They're to ply their trade in an industrial area of Zurich - out of the sight of the local residents.

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