Sunday, November 25, 2012

“The Visionary Times Are Over”

Below are excerpts from a Swiss documentary about the current economic and social crisis that has enveloped most of Europe. The filmmaker visited interviewed Marion Maréchal-Le Pen and Marine Le Pen of the Front National in France, as well as Greeks made desperate by their country’s debt crisis and culturally enriched residents of Marseille who live amidst criminality and lawlessness.

Many thanks to Hermes for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

A transcript of the excerpts is below the jump. The time stamps shown are from the original video, which may be viewed here.

00:34 The time of certainties is over in Europe.
00:41 The frustration of an entire continent is relieved in street riots, mass demonstrations
00:47 and general strikes. From Lisbon to Athens.
01:01 'We must stabilize our economy and regain the lost pride of our people'
01:14 People are fed up with the established parties.
01:18 The much encouraged spirit of Europe seems to be discredited.
01:23 We are in a deep crisis which is much more than an economic one.
01:30 A feeling of impotence and anger is brewing against those who
01:35 do not take seriously the wishes of the people.
01:42 We experience outrage and lack of perspective, and the renaissance of nationalism.
01:49 Populists from the left and the right have a tailwind.
03:56 On the outskirts of Athens we visit a hospital run by volunteers.
04:05 The public health care has to a large extent collapsed.
04:10 Doctors and nurses work for free to make a shelter for sick people.
04:16 Treatment and medicines are for free.
04:22 40% of Greeks no longer have health insurance.
04:27 What should I tell all those people? Go back home and die?
04:38 This is our storage room.
04:42 Where do all those medicines come from?
04:46 Those came as gifts from individuals who happened to have them at home,
04:50 or they purchased them abroad.
04:53 Many of those medicines are no longer available in Greece, because the
04:57 state has no money. Supplies have been halted by the pharmaceutical companies.
05:05 This is our treasure chest. These are cancer drugs. There are hardly any.
05:10 We literally save lives with them. Look, one box costs 486 euros.
05:20 Some months earlier they began stockpiling baby food, too,
05:24 because more and more parents come with underweight children.
05:29 Conditions as they are in the third world.
05:50 I'll never forget the time when a man came here completely desperate
05:55 We told him: 'Do not worry, we will help you, and your children and parents.'
06:00 Then he began to cry and said, 'Had I not found you, then I would have
06:05 killed myself today.'
06:10 It's about him, Nikolas Moutzos, 33 years old,
06:15 butcher, and a father of three.
06:18 He has been jobless for three years.
06:23 'Without this hospital, I would have been dead long ago.
06:26 People die daily in this country because they cannot afford their medicines.
06:31 My parents have serious health problems, and me also. I don't
06:35 know what would we do without these people here.'
06:42 I have written a letter to the hospital. Come and film it.
06:46 I wrote: 'I was dead, but thanks to you I have risen again.
06:49 You have saved me and all my family'.
07:35 Harold James is one of the most famous economic historians in the world.
07:40 He teaches at the elite American university Princeton.
07:45 One of his fields is German industry and economy between the two world wars.
07:52 He sees parallels between that dramatic phase of European history
07:56 and what is now happening (in Europe).
08:01 'Many are afraid that the interwar situation may repeat itself
08:06 in one country after another, with failing democracies
08:11 in Central Europe, just as in South American countries, and
08:17 that was clearly, just as now, a reaction to the crisis,
08:24 the discrediting of the existing parties, the moving to
08:30 incompatible solutions from right or left, and there
08:35 is also the story in the interwar period, if there
08:40 military solutions may arise in Greece or Turkey'.
20:31 The fragility of social peace became obvious in 2005.
20:36 The death of two youngsters in a suburb in Paris
20:40 caused the worst riots since 1968.
20:44 The clashes spread to the entire country. It was the
20:48 three-week revolt. A whole generation of young immigrants
20:52 from North Africa whose integration had failed.
21:02 We travel to Marseille, to the so-called 'sensitive districts',
21:07 a politically correct term for the banlieues - suburbs.
21:19 This desolate background is the forecourt of a mosque headed
21:23 by the imam Haroun Derbal.
21:27 The actual crisis has worsened the already precarious
21:32 Conditions in the suburbs, he says. With fatal consequences.
21:38 'Our youngsters abandon school without having qualifications,
21:42 and later they find no jobs. These are kids who had
21:45 no chance from the very beginning. If this doesn't change,
21:48 then we'll be heading towards a catastrophe'.
24:15 Marion Maréchal-Le Pen is the granddaughter of Jean Marie Le Pen
24:20 and currently the youngest representative in parliament.
24:23 Her manners and tone are moderate, just like those of her grandfather.
24:27 As for content, she keeps on fighting for national values,
24:32 but remaining loyal to family, and straightforward.
24:40 The question about national identity is now more present than ever;
24:44 young French feel that our history and culture is disappearing.
24:50 We the French are being confronted with increasing demands
24:53 from the Muslim community. For example, orthodox ones want
24:57 to send completely covered six-year-old girls to school.
25:01 This shocks us French. The strong separation of religion and state
25:05 is deeply rooted. More and more people have the impression that
25:10 everybody is allowed to be proud of their culture except us French.
25:18 The atmosphere is volatile in the suburbs, too. Are you not
25:22 playing with fire?
25:27 No, I don't think so. We are the only ones who defend our national values,
25:33 equality, fraternity, laicism.
25:40 The National Front is a kind of family enterprise. Marion's aunt,
25:44 Marine Le Pen, now leads the party.
25:47 She succeeded her father a year and a half ago.
25:55 The leader of the National Front sees herself as a
25:59 Jeanne d'Arc of the 21st century.
26:05 Her mission: to undemonize the party. No more far right,
26:10 but rather the straightforward right. And she has succeeded.
26:14 Since the beginning of the crisis, the NF has grown steadily.
26:19 So bad news is good news for you?
26:26 No, it cannot be said in that way. It is not good news
26:30 for me that the country is going bad. But it is a fact that we have said
26:35 from the very beginning that the euro will destroy our economy.
26:40 We said that this currency union will have catastrophic consequences.
26:44 And we see this verified with every passing day.
26:50 What we need now is an international cooperation between parties
26:55 who stand opposed to these fatal developments.
26:58 We have much in common with the SVP [Swiss People’s Party], for example.
27:01 The defense of liberty, of sovereignty, of identity.
27:07 We have a common DNA. That's why it makes sense when
27:11 we work together to form an opposition against a Europe
27:16 which wants to condemn nations to servitude.
27:23 You talk about the suburbs. Are those problems which we
27:27 see there above all problems of integration?
27:35 Yes, that is an enormous problem. You know , we can manage
27:40 our economic problems, but the integration problems cannot
27:45 be solved anymore.
27:50 Many young immigrants feel discriminated against. They allegedly
27:55 do not have the same chances as the other French.
28:01 Well, I'm sorry, but they are wrong.
28:04 The reality is that the government spends enormous amounts
28:08 of money in the banlieues. A study showed that people
28:11 in the banlieues get 200 times more money per capita
28:14 than people living in poor regions in the countryside.
28:18 There you find really poor people, and not in the banlieues.
30:24 It is a myth that everybody has a chance in France, Karim says.
30:30 Whoever is born in the banlieue, dies there.
30:38 Just like his colleague Walid, who was executed two days ago in the street.
30:43 Amateur videos show the car of the 25-year-old, immediately after
30:48 it was hit by shots fired from a Kalashnikov. An act of revenge in the
30:52 criminal underworld, police say.
31:01 An entire generation has grown up with mass unemployment, resignation
31:08 and gang criminality.
31:18 There were 19 casualties in greater Marseille in six months.
31:22 The mayor demanded the intervention of the army
31:26 in order to take control of the situation
31:34 'I don' t know whether there is a war, but what's for sure is that
31:38 it is weapons of war which are being used here.
31:41 We are in a deadly spiral which steadily gains momentum.'
31:48 The media exaggerate everything.
31:53 People are killed in Gaza, Afghanistan or Iraq, too.
31:58 There are deaths everywhere, not only here in Marseille.
32:04 But we are in Europe, after all.
32:08 Yeah, of course, but people die also in Palermo.
32:20 What must have a 23-year-old experienced, that he
32:23 giggles at the death of a colleague, and says that the media
32:27 would exaggerate it.
33:42 We meet once again with Karim. We would like to know
33:46 if he has dreams at least for his children.
33:54 'I dream that my children will one day have it better than I had.
33:58 No limited employment contract, no unemployment, no discrimination,
34:02 no exploitation. A fully normal life. That's what I dream about.'
49:27 But how far are those people see, or are able to?
49:32 Those who lost their job yesterday, who don't know
49:36 whether they will be able to feed their children today, and
49:40 No longer believe that tomorrow everything will improve.
49:45 It seems that the visionary times are over.