BARGAIN PRICES FOR CASTLES IN IRELAND
Chechens are fleeing to Poland, but the country is ill-equipped to handle all the asylum-seekers.
Poland: 3000 Kilometers to the EU - More and more Chechens are fleeing to Poland, but the country is ill-equipped to handle all the asylum-seekers. Poland can accommodate about 2,000 people in its refugee centers, but estimates say there are more than 10,000 Chechens in the country. About that same number have continued onwards to other EU countries. Some of these refugees say Poland never processed them as asylum seekers -- even though, under EU regulations, the first EU country of entry is required to do so. Series: Europe on the Edge, Part 5 - France/Guadeloupe: Of Rum and Ox Carts - The French Overseas Department of Guadeloupe is a favorite vacation destination, and it's also home to the fabled white rum. But the cost of living on the island is high, and sugar cane is still harvested largely without machinery. Just as it has been for centuries, ox carts still transport the sugar cane harvest in Guadeloupe. Electricity is too expensive - as is most everything else. A chicken costs almost twice as much there as in Paris. Though there have been general strikes protesting conditions on the island, prices continue to rise. While France provides billions of euros in subsidies to Guadeloupe, many local residents still feel Paris is leaving them in the lurch. Spain: The Battle over Water - As a result of the economic crisis, many municipalities in Spain have sold their public water utilities to private companies. Now some local communities are finding out that the water supply networks are no longer being maintained properly and that water quality is on the decline. By the end of the year, about 60 percent of water utility management will be partly or entirely in private hands, making Spain the frontrunner in water privatization within Europe. Some experts are already calling it a "water bubble", and communities that are still trying to sell their water utilities are no longer able to obtain top prices. Now some communities are trying to regain public control over their water supply. Ireland: Castles for Sale - Ireland is slowly emerging from the economic crisis. But even so, there are still some amazing real estate bargains to be had. In many parts of the country, magnificent castles and country estates are up for sale. Although prices for single-family homes are once again on the rise, millionaires can still find castles and villas going for a song. Buyers who can afford to think big have plenty to choose from, and some properties change hands for a tenth of what they were worth just a decade ago. The high-end real estate market is especially popular with affluent Americans.