Crossing Continents, Crossing Europe

Episodes

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Series looking at how our European neighbours tackle issues which affect us all.

Finnish school children top the world's literacy league tables.

While one in five British adults are deemed to have literacy problems, illiteracy is almost unknown in Finland.

So what are the Finns doing right?

Just eight years ago in IRELAND, a quarter of adults were classed as having difficulties reading and writing.

But since then the Irish have boosted spending on adult literacy more than ten fold.

Tens of thousands have taken up literacy classes.

Paul Henley explores if Finland and IRELAND have lessons to offer to the UK.

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Germany lags behind its European neighbours in the area of childcare.

Rosie Goldsmith visits the small town of Laer, where a childcare revolution is under way and mothers can pursue their careers.

Singing From A New Hymn Sheet2005062320050627

This programme has exclusive access to the first secret catacomb ordination since the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI.

Why secret? Because the Ordinand is a woman.

Following the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI, a group of European Catholic women have decided to defy the Vatican by organising this secret catacomb ordination, somewhere in Europe.

With the numbers of practicing Catholic congregants and priests falling dramatically across Europe, can Pope Benedict XIV afford to shun the liberal wing of his world wide church?

Julian Pettifer looks at the challenges faced by the Roman Catholic Church TODAY.

The Hunting Instinct2005060220050606

Every year tens of thousands of birds are shot or trapped in Italy as they migrate across Europe.

The hunters are breaking both Italian and European law but they are willing to risk prosecution in order to carry on their century's old custom of bird hunting.

And it is big business.

In the north of Italy birds like robins and thrushes are illegally sold to restaurants as an expensive delicacy.

While some Italian hunters are aiding the extinction of endangered birds, hunters in Portugal are helping to preserve the Iberian Lynx, Europe's most endangered animal.

In the south of Portugal hunters are working with environmentalists to restore the rabbit population, the wild cat's main food supply.

The Three Rs2005070720050711

Finnish school children top the world's literacy league tables.

While one in five British adults are deemed to have literacy problems, illiteracy is almost unknown in Finland.

So what are the Finns doing right?

Just eight years ago in Ireland, a quarter of adults were classed as having difficulties reading and writing.

But since then the Irish have boosted spending on adult literacy more than ten fold.

Tens of thousands have taken up literacy classes.

Paul Henley explores whether Finland and Ireland have lessons to offer to the UK.

Tourism20050630

Jonathan Charles travels from the Baltic to the beaches of Sardinia, to assess the impact of tourism, a rapidly expanding industry.

02What Does It Mean To Be A European Muslim?2004061720040621

To mark EU Enlargement, Crossing Continents focuses on Europe this summer.

Mohammed is now the commonest single name given to babies in Rome.

The European Union may still be a CHRISTIAN club, but its leaders rule a growing and increasingly assertive Muslim minority.

More and more of Europe's politicians want to exert state control over what imams preach.

Tim Whewell travels to IRELAND, Holland and FRANCE to find out if this is a policy that can work.

What does it mean to be a European Muslim?

03Fishing2004070120040705

To mark EU enlargement, Crossing Continents focuses on Europe this summer to become Crossing Continents, Crossing Europe.

Fishing has shaped the development of Europe and the fishing industry provides jobs for millions of people.

But the continent's fish stocks are on the brink of collapse.

Some have already disappeared - victims of years of over-exploitation and short-term profiteering.

Paul Henley travels to Europe's last marine wilderness, the Azores, where millions of years of evolution could be about to be wiped out in a matter of weeks.

And he goes to Norway, one of the world's only conservation success stories, and asks why the European Union has singularly failed to protect the fish future generations hope to catch.

03Property - Communism, Capitalism And Corruption.2004070120040705

To mark EU enlargement, Crossing Continents focuses on Europe this summer to become Crossing Continents, Crossing Europe.

Fishing has shaped the development of Europe and the fishing industry provides jobs for millions of people.

But the continent's fish stocks are on the brink of collapse.

Some have already disappeared - victims of years of over-exploitation and short-term profiteering.

Paul Henley travels to Europe's last marine wilderness, the Azores, where millions of years of evolution could be about to be wiped out in a matter of weeks.

And he goes to Norway, one of the world's only conservation success stories and asks why the European Union has singularly failed to protect the fish future generations hope to catch.

03Property: Communism, Capitalism And Corruption2004062420040628

To mark EU enlargement, Crossing Continents focuses on Europe this summer to become Crossing Continents, Crossing Europe.

House prices are a national obsession in Britain.

But nowhere is untouched by the all pervasive power of property.

Lucy Ash travels to Moscow and to the German Polish border - two very different places where property, and the problems surrounding it, have become the talk of the town.

04Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind?2004070820040712

Rosie Goldsmith travels to the Czech Republic to investigate why mentally ill patients are routinely subjected to 'medieval and inhuman practise'.

05Kosovo2004071520040719

After five years of stewardship by the West, in which promises were made to turn Kosovo into a functioning society, the reality on the ground is one of growing resentment and bitterness.

Anger against the UN administration erupted in March when Albanians rioted and attacked the Nato-led KFOR military force.

Some are warning that Kosovo could soon destabilise the whole region.

So what's to blame for the failures? Tim Whewell travels to Kosovo to investigate.

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The German town of Wittenberge lives in the future.

One in three Wittenbergers is over sixty.

This is the doomsday scenario that the German government fears most.

Within ten years a third of the German population is expected to be over sixty and there is not enough money to cope.

Paul Henley taps into the 'grey power' of Germany to discover how the country is preparing for the new age.

Across the border in Belgium he meets the pensioners who are defying stereotypes, determined to shape their own future.

07Naples Is Drowning In Its Own Waste2004072920040802

The rubbish crisis is proving a headache for local authorities, but a goldmine for the MAFIA.

Lucy Ash visits Naples to investigate why the city is failing to deal with its refuse and how the problem is linked to organised crime.

Now Italy wants to export some of its waste to its impoverished neighbour across the Adriatic.

But Albania, often described as the most polluted country in Europe, has environmental problems of its own.

Growing numbers of Albanians are fighting back against plans to turn their country into the 'trashcan of Europe'.

08Casinos In France And Switzerland2004080520040809

FRANCE has the biggest casino industry in Europe and slot machines are a casino's number one money earner.

Rosie Goldsmith meets one man who is suing his local casino after becoming addicted to slot machines.

He says the casino should have prevented him from losing all his money and destroying his life.

It is an unprecedented case in FRANCE.

But how much responsibility does a casino have to help addicts? In SWITZERLAND, by contrast, a government sponsored scheme trains casino staff to identify problem gamblers and offer advice.