02/12/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


Stephen Sackur presents international news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story. Plus up-to-the-minute global business news.

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Fiscal union or bust - Germany and France edged towards a far-reaching


political deal to save the euro. Chancellor Merkel and President


Sarkozy talk of a new European treaty to impose strict control


over national budgets. TRANSLATION: We need fiscal unity with strong


powers of intervention, at least Welcome to GMT. Also in the


programme, standing together for Burmese democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi


says she is cautious but hopeful after talks with Hillary Clinton.


Preparing for the final exit - the Americans hand over Camp Victory,


their biggest military base inside Iraq.


It is 12:30pm in London. Chancellor Angela Merkel today told the German


parliament that only strict new rules enforcing fiscal discipline


could rebuild trust in the euro- zone. There is no quick fix, she


said, it is a process that will take years. Mrs Merkel and


President Sarkozy of France are attempting to come up with a joint


plan for significant changes to the EU treaty which governs the euro-


zone. But will talk of fiscal union be enough to calm the fears of a


break-up of the common currency? From Europe's biggest economic


power, the latest message that it really is time to think big on the


euro crisis, as another crisis summit looms. The key political


figure in all this is the return must start work on tighter fiscal


union, but also warned that the crisis will be a long haul.


TRANSLATION: There are no easy solutions. Especially not as some


people insist on staying ahead of every summit, the apparent one last


push. That is neither my kind of language, nor my way of thinking.


The resolution of the euro crisis is a process, and this process will


take years. In France, President Sarkozy delivered his own, sombre


judgment that Europe is not measured up in this crisis. He said


the French and Germans had agreed on the need for a revised treaty to


tackle the failures and weaknesses of the euro. TRANSLATION: France is


fighting for a new treaty, more disciplined, more solidarity, a


true economic government. Britain's David Cameron, in Paris to meet his


old ally from the Libby conflict. The two men are not as close on the


euro crisis. Mr Cameron will be anxious to hear what is on the


table in terms of possible treaty changes, and how much instep France


and Germany really are now. His calls for action may have irritated


his French host on occasion, at the same time, he is worried Britain


could become more marginalised. The longer the euro storm goes on, the


more both the French and British economies could be blown off course,


as could President Sarkozy's re- election hopes. On Monday, the big


two will have their latest get together to thrash out their joint


ideas. Mrs Merkel may have talked in terms of years to sort out the


euro, but the focus now is on the crisis calendar that will lead to


Brussels again at the end of next week, and the latest crunch EU


summit. So, France and Germany doing their


best to calm the storm around the euro, is it working? Let's go to


Brussels. What you're hearing from Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy,


is it convincing view that there is a credible plan to restore faith in


the EU wrote? I think what I hear it is good news, but it is not


convincing yet. To be convincing, we need detail on how they want to


do it, whether they really agree to give up national sovereignty and


put it to a European level. That is something we have to hear next week.


Giving up so run deep -- sovereignty is the key. Do you


think the Germans want Sarkozy to give up more? I think the Germans


are now determined to give up more, they want to push this thing ahead,


push towards fiscal union, a stability Union, as they like to


call it. This will include more giving up of sovereignty by the


French. Would it go so far as some have suggested, as to see the


creation of a year -- euro-zone finance ministry, essentially


running national economies across the euro-zone, from Brussels or


Frankfurt? I think this is possibly the ultimate scenario. I don't


think we was in national parliaments being closed down as of


next year, but we do need a central organisation, a European


organisation, which really has a say. This will prevent the horse


trading we have had over the last 10 years in the country breaches


the rules. The problem Mrs Merkel pointed to today, is it is going to


take years to sort out such a fundamental shift inside the


European Union. For you as a banker, is it important that the other


discussion about immediate short- term action still continues,


considering the role of the European Central Bank, and the


possibility of Euro bonds? Obviously, the fiscal integration


is one part of the resolution of the problem. The other one, the


short-term fix, will be giving the European Central Bank a bigger role.


Politicians cannot give the EC be a bigger role, the ECB will have to


take this role and decide it on its own. If politicians decide on more


fiscal union next week, I think the ECB will be willing to do more, and


then we will have a good combination between a short-term


fix and a long-term solution. markets look sanguine today, they


are pretty much around the world. But that could change pretty


quickly. Is this coming summit of EU leaders in a few days, is that


make-or-break? It is not make-or- break, but it is very important. We


have had so many make-or-break summit over the last month, I don't


think that on 10th December, everything will be over the Sun


will be shining. But it will be very important on the red was a


better euro-zone. Thank you for joining us.


The Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, says she is


confident there will be no turning back on the road to democracy in


Burma. But she warned that the country had a long way to travel.


She was speaking after talks at her home with the US secretary of state,


Hillary Clinton. It was the second meeting between the two women


during Mrs Clinton's historic visit to Burma. Mrs Clinton also met the


Burmese president, Thein Sein, on Thursday.


Our correspondent has been travelling with Mrs Clinton. This


is her assessment of the trip. Never before has this house


welcomed such a high-profile foreign visitors. The American


secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, arrived in the morning in her black


limousine, for a second meeting with Burma's noble react. Aung San


Suu Kyi's home is where she was held in detention for almost two


decades, but the fact that she can welcome Hillary Clinton here is a


sign that perhaps things are changing in Burma. As the US tests


the waters and tries to re-engage with this isolated country, Aung


San Suu Kyi's influence over this process cannot be overestimated. A


few weeks ago, President Obama called Aung San Suu Kyi, they spoke


for over 45 minutes. She told him she bullied the country's president,


Thein Sein, was serious about reform -- she believed. Only then


did President Obama announced he was sending his top diplomat to the


country. Aung San Suu Kyi and her political party are now re-entering


the political process. She herself said she would stand for Parliament


in the upcoming by-elections. These have been extraordinary days for


Burma, but these are also early days. In the coming months,


Washington, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Burmese people will be watching


closely to see if this country's leadership does indeed deliver on


its promise for change. The government of Taiwan says it is


planning to issue a passport to the exiled former prime minister,


Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr Thaksin lives in Dubai after being


convicted of corruption and stripped of his Thai passport under


the last government. The current government, led by his sister, says


the past but will be issued as a new year's gift. Herman Cain, one


of the Republican presidential candidate in the US, has admitted


giving money to a woman who said they had a 13 year affair. He said


he repeatedly helped the woman, Ginger White, with build and


expenses, but denies having sex with her.


The UN Human Rights Council is holding an emergency session on


Syria to discuss evidence that President Assad's security forces


have committed crimes against humanity. The meeting in Geneva


comes in the wake of a UN report accusing Syrian forces of operating


a shoot-to-kill policy against unarmed protesters.


The US military has handed over control of its former headquarters


in Iraq to the Baghdad authorities as part of the plan to pull out all


American soldiers by the end of the year. Camp Victory were set up on


the outskirts of the capital in a former country club built by Saddam


Hussein. At its peak, it was home to nearly 50,000 US service


personnel. Let's cross live to Baghdad now. It


is a highly symbolic moment, isn't it? Very symbolic, very iconic, as


you sit in your introduction. This used to be a huge complex, it was


more of a city than a complex. This is where US officials, generals,


used to draw strategies for Iraq, oversee the execution of these


strategies, and now it is under full control of the Iraqi


authorities. What are the Iraqis going to do with it? I just spoke


to be defence spokesperson, and he said that this place is listed


under the properties of the government of Iraq now, they have


no plans to use it for military purposes, but some parts of it


might be turned to museums, or maybe they might make use of the


parks inside the complex. Iraqis have made it plain they do


not want to see any residual US forces left behind in Iraq, so how


close are we now to the last set of American Boots' leading Iraqi soil?


Theoretically, the last soldier must leave Iraq by the end of this


month, the end of this year. But it seems that the pace of this


withdrawal is getting quicker, and it might be even before the end of


this year. Thank you are joining us. While many countries are suffering


from an economic downturn, some are still enjoying rapid growth. Among


them, Argentina, where the economy grew by more than 9% last year. An


extraordinary number, when you remember that a decade ago, the


Argentine peso collapsed, there were riots in the street, and the


country defaulted on its foreign debt. Even now, many people feel


the effects of that crisis. Argentina is growing at full force.


The country is enjoying one of the biggest booms in its history, and


is one of the fastest-growing economies on the planet. On BT


streets like this one hearing Buenos Aires, you can sense a


vibrant country. One that has left behind the shadows of a dark past.


A decade ago, Argentina had one of the worst economic knockdowns in


history. On 3rd December 2001, the Argentine government restricted the


amount of money people can withdraw from banks, prompting widespread


unrest and the downfall of the government. In one week, the


country had five presidents, and defaulted on its external debt


repayments. Many Argentines suffered huge losses. Before the


crisis, this woman had savings to buy an apartment, but months later,


after the crisis, the money had lost so much value that it was only


enough for a par. It was very sad, because it was our hope to have a


new house, a new quality of life for our family, our children. And


in just one day, because of political decisions, we had lost


that opportunity. Argentina's economy had been growing steadily


for eight years, boosted by the exports of soy beans. But the


recovery was also built at a number of steps taken by the authorities.


What was done was to establish some pillars, one of the pillars was to


reduce, as much as possible, the fiscal imbalance and converted into


a surplus if possible. The second pillar was established, also a


competitive exchange rate. But the consequences of the crust is still


affect Argentinians today. -- of the crisis. A for our society, it


was something completely new, so I never put my savings in the bank


Argentina seems to have recovered her groove and this could prove


hopeful for the troubled European countries today.


Still to come: The aye rate calls keep coming. Jeremy Clarkson's


comments about striking British workers prompt thousands of


complaints to the BBC. Right now, it's time for the


business news. We've been talking about the eurozone today, but of


course, very important jobs figures out of the US today.


Yes, we're expecting 125,000 new jobs to have been added to the jobs


labour market in November. These are hugely important figures.


Everyone watches what's going on in the US with keen interest. We have


had some positive economic data out of the US in recent weeks. We've


had strong consumer confidence figures and improved manufacturing


picture, but it's worth remembering that the eurozone crisis has been a


problem for the US economy. The markets there are very worried.


Let's list ton what this analyst had to say. It's been known for a


flexible labour market that bounces back quickly after recession, we're


actually seeing the opposite in this recession al recovery. The


labour market is improving, but it's improving extremely slowly and


it's patchy. It's worth remembering this is really important, the US


economy is a huge issue for re- election for President Obama as


well. Now, I am going to drag you back to Europe, because leaving


aside what Sarkozy's up to with Cameron and Angela Merkel,


manufacturers are worried about the state of the eurozone, particularly


the car makers. They're meeting, they've been meeting in Brussels


today. All the car makers are coming together in a big group. We


have Ford Europe, the boss of Fiat, they are together to complain about


eurozone leaders about how they're handling the crisis. Their argument


is that they're eroding consumer confidence by not solving the


crisis. When that's eroded what do people do? They buy less, in


particular they spend less on cars. They're worried the prospects for


the car industry look bleak. Let's see what this analyst had to say.


We are looking at a situation where we have to slash production. It


will have negative effect on employment. Also on growth,


innovation and on the industry as a whole. We are unfortunately afraid


that we are moving back where we were in 2008/09. The boss of Fiat


has come out and said that 2012 could be a year of stagnation for


the car industry and he also said he warned that if things don't


change soon, he could take Fiat out change soon, he could take Fiat out


of Italy because he wants to save money. Now the markets: the markets


are up, why? Because of the important news information out of


the US. Also the European Central Bank is talking about lending money,


so markets are more positive. Plenty of green despite the crisis.


We want to hear what you think. Get in touch with us. Go to our website,


bbc.co.uk/GMT. More on the European bbc.co.uk/GMT. More on the European


debt crisis, and plenty more as well.


This is GMT from BBC World News. I'm Stephen Sackur. The headlines:


Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, calls for greater fiscal unity in


the eurozone, but warns finding a solution to the crisis could take


years. Burma's pro-democracy leader, Aung


San Suu Kyi, says she's confident of reforms in her country, after


talks with Hillary Clinton. A rebel Libyan soldier, shot during


the battle for Tripoli, has been talking about his treatment here in


the UK. He had his lower right leg amputated after doctors in London


decided that it could not be saved. He's one of 50 Libyans who the


British Government said they would treat at the request and cost of


This man didn't come to Britain expecting to luz a foot, but he's


now coming to terms with his new pros theet is. He was shot three


times the day Tripoli fell to anti- Gaddafi forces. He fought alongside


friends and strangers, armed with a hunting rifle. One bullet exploded


in his lower right leg, shattering his bones.


TRANSLATION: I was shot in the battle with the Gaddafi brigades.


In the first five minutes, I felt nothing. After that, I fell down.


His surgeon says amputation was the best option. He'd had a severe


injury to the bones of the leg. But he'd also, because of the blast


injury, had lost a lot of soft tissues, down to and including the


ankle joint, so that was open. It was clear he had deep infection.


You could see the state of the wound and smell the bacteria.


had his lower right leg removed the very day Colonel Gaddafi was


captured and killed. His physiotherapist says he's making


good progress. I think since the surgery and since having the limb


fitted, he can probably see now that he's making progress and that


he's actually going to return to a fully independent life and be able


to do all the things he was doing before. I think generally, he's --


his mood is improving and he's working really well in the gym and


he's making great progress. patient himself remains


philosophical. TRANSLATION: When I left home and I


went to fight, I was expecting even to die, so although -- all the


options were there. This is fate or destiny from God. I believe in that.


I accepted this. The international criminal courts


chief prosecuter has requested ab arrest warrant for Sudan's Defence


Minister. He's wanted for alleged crimes against humanity and war


crimes committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004. The ICC already has


issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's President over allegations


of genocide. Now, the BBC has received over


21,500 complaints over TV presenter, Jeremy Clarkson. Can you see him


behind me, fine figure of a fell ya. His off-hand comments about


striking workers in Britain. The Top Gear presenter has apologised


for any offence caused and said his comments were never meant to be


taken seriously. Here's what he said. Frankly, I'd have them all


shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their


families. I mean, how dare they go on strike, when they've got these


gilt edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed, while the rest of


us have to work for a living. incident doesn't appear to have


been laid to rest with that sort of apology and words issued by Jeremy


Clarkson afterwards, calls continue to come into the BBC. Let's hear


from James Delingpole, a columnist for the Spectator magazine. This is


dividing Britain right now. Where do you line up on the debate, for


or against his right to say what he said? I'm for free speech and I'm


for Jeremy Clarkson. Let's examine what happened here. Jeremy Clarkson


was invited on the BBC to be Jeremy Clarkson. Jeremy Clarkson behaved


like Jeremy Clarkson. I think your viewers all around the world will


have seen shows like Top Gear. They know what he's like. He said some


Clarkson-ish things. Apparently this had been agreed beforehand


with the show's producers - Hang on, I'm going to stop you right now.


What is this idea that Jeremy Clarkson has every right to be as


offensive as possible. Are you saying there's nothing he could say


that would be unacceptable? I think we need to learn to be grown ups


and be treated like grown ups. I think context is all. If you looked


at Jeremy Clarkson's words in bold print, you might think, "That's a


bit dodgy." When you hear him delivering them in his Jock lar


style and you heard the laughter in the studio audience there. They


knew he was Clarkson being Clarkson. That perfectly acceptable. What


about the argument that the biggest crime of all that he was


staggeringly unfunny. Humour is a matter of taste. What you're saying,


he should be shot for that? It's interesting you come back to the


phrase "shot for that". Is talking about executions and people being


shot in public, is that in any way, ever funny? I think it would depend


probably on what kind of regime you lived under. There are parts of the


world where people are shot and that would be very worrying. It


doesn't generally happen in Britain. We have a culture of tolerance. And


tolerance, which extends or traditionally has done to freedom


of speech. We treat our perfect like -- people like gron ups. They


can use context to decide whether somebody is fomenting hate. There's


no question, he was being jocular. What does it say about Britain,


many around the world will know Jeremy Clarkson as one of the


leading figures of entertainment in Britain. Many see him as a boarish


figure. What does it say about Britain that he is so popular.


also see him as rather refreshing and outspoken in a culture


dominated by political correctness, which unfortunately the tone is set


for that by the BBC itself. So you do see, what you're saying and


perhaps what he says as a fight against PC behaviour, do you?


Absolutely. I think that Jeremy Clarkson, behind the jocularity of


his remarks, was making a serious point about the public sector.


Those public sector strikes he was talking about, were a massive flop.


They were a flop tore two reasons: First of all, they weren't nearly


as widespread that the militants of the left had hoped they'd be. And


they focused a lot of people's anger, people in the private sector,


who have been really suffering during this recession, are aghast


to see how the public sector is being feather bedded by ring-fenced


pensions... James, you've expressed a series of views that are, it's


fair to say, right-wing views in this country. Is that the way it


lines up, if you're pro-Clarkson you tend to be right-wing and


conservative? It doesn't have to be about left or right. There are lots


of people working in shops, on factory floors in the private


sector who feel, who may be traditional Labour voters. They


probably feel just as strongly about this as people like me do. It


is not just that the public sector is better paid and has better


pensions than the private sector. They are not taking their share of


the misery, which we are all suffering in the recession.


suspect many people will have views on what you just said, thank you


for joining us. Before we go, let's remind you of the main story:


Chancellor, Angela Merkel, today told the German Parliament that


International news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story with Stephen Sackur.

Featuring exclusive reports from BBC World News correspondents based around the world, plus up-to-the-minute global business news.

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