George Alagiah 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.
Browse content similar to 03/11/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The Greek Prime Minister sees political support bleed away. He's
in the middle of an emergency Cabinet meeting. Last week, a
Europe double act thought they'd saved the day. Now, it's no longer
Greece but the eurozone they Welcome to GMT. I'm George Alagiah.
Also in the programme: from the 20th richest to the most
unfortunate, Bill Gates makes the case for development funding.
The case that's lifted the lid on corruption in top level cricket.
Three Pakistani cricketers and an agent jailed in London for their
It's midday here in London. 8pm in Hong Kong. 1pm in the southern
French resort of Cannes, where the G20 summit has been all but
eclipsed by events elsewhere. Notably, the Greek capital, Athens.
The Greek Cabinet has been in emergency session. Prime Minister
George Papandreou is watching his political support ebb away. He was
due to meet the Greek President after the session. The uncertainty
in Athens spells danger for the eurozone as a whole. So, the G20
summit that was supposed to show a united front in the face of a
global financial crisis, finds itself in fire fighting mode. And
it's not at all clear that they are succeeding. We'll be hearing from
Cannes in a few moments. First, joining me from Athens is
Nicolas Sarkozy arriving at the summit in Cannes, appearing to bear
the weight of the crisis hanging over the global gathering with
relative ease. Eventually, his expression giving away the scale of
the task ahead of him and fellow leaders. Behind the welcome, the
leader of the world's biggest economy, recognition of hopes of
rescuing global recovery. The most important aspect of our
task over the next two days is to resolve the financial crisis here
in Europe. Nicolas Sarkozy has shown extraordinary leadership on
this issue. I agree with him that the EU has made some important
steps towards a comprehensive solution, and that would not have
happened without his leadership. But here at the G20 we will have to
flesh out more details about how the plan will be fully and
decisively implemented. A wish to pay tribute to the United States
for understanding about all the issues will be discussing, in
particular, the issue of the Greek crisis, the difficulty the euro is
facing, the need to be hand in glove with the United States.
the deepening Greek drama, now a new twist from the Greek Finance
Minister. The country's position within the euro area, he said,
In Greece, much exasperation over the way the crisis is unfolding
since the Prime Minister made his shock announcement he would hold a
referendum on the Greek bail out deal. This is a disaster for our
country, this man says, all of Europe has the euro, why should we
go back to the drachma? Euro? We have become accustomed to it, says
this man. What is this? In the latest and most critical
development, the expectation in Athens is George Papandreou will go
to the President imminently saying he is standing down and asking that
a coalition deformed. The question then is how the deepening drama in
Athens will influence events in the eurozone and in Cannes.
George Papandreou has been discussing his options with some of
his colleagues in Cabinet, many of whom do not support the referendum
plans. Our correspondent says George Papandreou is expected to
meet the President in the next half hour. Sources inside the Cabinet
are suggesting George Papandreou oak well offered to resign and form
a coalition government, a new government of national unity, and
he will propose Lucas Papdemos would head that coalition. Lucas
Papdemos is a former governor of the National Bank of Greece, deputy
at the European Central Bank. The aim would be foray coalition
government to vote through the bail out deal agreed in Brussels last
week, and then call early elections. Greece has been thrown into an
intense period of political instability to add to its financial
predicament. Tanya Beckett is at the summit in
Cannes. In many ways, Nicolas Sarkozy might as well tear up
whatever agenda he has and start again. It is really about Greece.
Yes, it is, very difficult to put an agenda together or adjust an
agenda went for events are moving so fast. I guess that he would be
very happy now to see that there might be a little bit more
uncertainty -- certainty, because if a national unity government
would stick to the bear that which has been put on the table, at least
that would suggest there is some prospect of a bit more certainty in
the markets and that would stop contagion spreading through the
resign -- the eurozone. Let us make no mistake, we can talk about this
being to do with the eurozone, but the Chinese other, America, they
all have a stake in making sure that this crisis does not spread?
Yes, they do. In the case of China, its exports a great deal to the
eurozone and would not want to see a loss of economic power in the
eurozone because that would affect China's economic growth. By the
same token, they are very unwilling to invest in solving this crisis,
put money on the table, when they really do not know what It is a are
investing in. The point at which we were discussing the possibility of
Greece leaving the eurozone, we are not talking about 50 sent but a
100% right down of Greek debt. Greek coffers would not extend to
covering foreign exchange risk, with a jack man depreciating. You
can assume -- with the drachma. Fresh elections could occur in
Greece within weeks. Let us go back to Athens now where
we are joint by the Greek joint President of the British Hellenic
Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for being with us. Events are changing
so rapidly. Can I ask you to say what your reaction is to this
latest news, it looks as if George Papandreou is about to go to the
present and say he will step down, and is calling for a coalition
government? I can describe my feelings in three words. Relief.
Vigilance. Hope. Relief, because this bamboozling chapter is over.
Vigilance because it is a time to make it work. And hope because this
magnificent country with human wealth can really make up to its
obligations with the EU in the eurozone but with its citizens and
further generations to come as well. Relief. Why do you think a
coalition government is going to be so much better for Greece, and the
eurozone as a whole. The whole of the eurozone is watching this.
referred to the prime ministers expected resignation. Or at least
the withdrawal of support from his own parliamentary team. This relief
is explained by the fact in the past two years, Greece has been
under a very heavy austerity plan which has increased massively the
brain drain from the country, it has increased unemployment, and
given no hope for the future because of the breakdown of the
backbone of the Greek economy. For small-to-medium enterprises. Lack
of liquidity. It has brought the economy to a dead end. Vigilance
has to do with the kind of government of national unity which
will be formed. If we just have a coalition of already existing
parties, each of which will try to promote its own party purposes,
then I am sure it will be back to the same point we were yesterday
sooner than later. Whatever happens in Greece over the
next couple of days, next couple of hours, will send shock waves around
the world, starting with the eurozone. Leaders are at pains to
stress they are making every effort to contain the danger of contagion
from Greece. But, markets remain nervous. Joining us from
Westminster is a Nobel winning economist. If getting reaction to
this latest news, what you think of this latest idea of what we might
be seeing in Greece, it might happen today, a coalition
government rather than the government we have got now?
I think it will be a very good development actually, because party
politics have started interfering with the programme of reform,
whether there should be implementation of this programme or
not. I think, the current Prime Minister George Papandreou managed
to get a very good deal for Greece at the Brussels meeting last week.
And I am sure he will want to implement it. The reason he called
the referendum is because he realised he was not going to get
the political support in Parliament to pass it. So if he had a popular
what -- popular vote in his favour he had -- he could have gone to his
party. But that has backfired on him. The only way to get the reform
programme accelerated his to have a government free of party politics.
If you talk about this reform programme, the austerity package.
The fact of the matter is that, in order to have it implemented, you
do need public support, and isn't that what George Papandreou was
trying to get? It is what he was trying to get and what he Apache
has failed to get. The opposition of course should have given him
support on the free-market reforms that he was trying to put into
practice, trade unions objected. There was opposition all round. A
government of national unity, a coalition government, especially
under the person Lucas Papdemos, mentioned, very well respected
economist, I know him very well, I think he can do a very good job.
And especially what we need is for everyone to realise that, although
austerity is not a good thing to take on, it is not good to be part
of a reduction of living steerage - - standards, it needs to be done.
Just before this crisis, Greece was living beyond its means.
For the events in Greece are talking many other issues as we
have been hearing. One particular group is trying to raise awareness
to a side effect of the austerity drive. Oxfam says rich nations are
cutting the amount of aid they are prepared to give to the developing
world. Bill Gates is also at the summit to deliver a report on
development financing. When I caught up with him yesterday in
London, he told me he favoured a financial transaction tax to boost
It's clearly a political question, and when we talk about the
financial transaction tax, there's many flavours of this. What I was
looking at is, are there ways for countries that are falling a bit
short of their aid commitments - are there ways that they could
raise money to get to those commitment levels? You know, my
expertise has been being able to say if you do apply it to
development aid, it's going to be a fantastic effect.
Joining me now from Cannes is British actor Bill Nighy. He's at
the G20 summit as an ambassador for Oxfam.
Thank you for being with us on GMT. You've got the support of people...
My pleasure. - like Bill Gates for more funding for developing
countries, but the truth of the matter is all your voices are going
to get drowned out, are they not, by this crisis in the eurozone?
hope you're not correct. The system has broken down. The system needs
fixing, and the Robin Hood tax could play a very important and
healthy part of a new system. As you say, this is a very popular tax,
and resistance to it is becoming more and more difficult, and it is
supported not only by figures like the Archbishop after, the Pope,
Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, a thousand economists worldwide, a
thousand Parliamentarian, but also billions of people, as reflected in
the protests worldwide now. I find it very moving that these protests
are so dignified, restrained and so powerful. I think in all my time
being involved with Oxfam and an ambassador for the Robin Hood tax
this moment is most crucial and when I feel most bullish. I think
resistance is now more difficult because it has been condemned by
the IMF and EC. There have been feasible studies. It has been
declared eminently desirable by some major figures. We'll leave it
there. Thank you very much. Still to come on GMT: Three
Pakistani cricketers are given jail terms for deliberately bowling no-
balls in a betting scam. The judge says they have let down supporters
of the game. First let's get all the business
news. Susana is here. What have you got? We're really looking at all of
this volatility in the bond markets because of this cloud over the
whole euro project with fears the Greek Government might collapse.
It's really spooking traders, and investors have pushed up the cost
of Government debt, so for example, Italian debt - currently, the ten-
year bond is - the yield is currently 6.4%, and usually 6% is
considered very high, and one City believed it's politicians'
indecision. All the talk we have seen in Cannes is politicians'
indecision that's really led to this crisis. We have already seen
contagion spread. That's why Italian bond yields are trading
where they were. What we should have seen is 12-18 months ago,
place a strong firewall around Greece than throw more money at the
problem, but the lack of decision- making around Greece and the lack
of commitment to just throw a load of money at the country to solve
the problem. Really it does seem contagion is spreading. German and
French borrowing costs has widened to a record - another sign of
concern in the financial markets. Spain held a bond auction this
morning. It raised $6.2 billion, but had to pay much higher interest
rates. We tend to, quite often anyway,
look at this kind of thing in a political way. Of course, there's
business - they're watching this as much. What's the reaction there?
Interestingly, we have had some numbers out from Adidas, the major
sports bran, and they've actually had an extremely good year. They've
come out to say that they're expecting that its sales forecast
for this year will rise. Sales will be up 12% for 2011. I asked the
Chief Executive Herman Hainer if the euro debt cries was having an
impact on his business. I mean, there is quite a lot of uncertainty
out in the markets, which definitely will not help the
financial market or even the economical market if it continues
because consumers will get nervous, and the consumer confidence will go
down, so I definitely hope that within the summit in Cannes, the
politicians will find the solution to that. Even so, Herman Hainer had
told me he still believes that 2012 is going to be an extremely good
year for them. They have just expanded into outdoor equipment by
taking over the US firm Five Ten. So that's a new area for them, but
also they're looking at the 2012 Olympics. They think that's going
to be really good for them, but we don't know, of course, where the
bond markets will be by then. Thank you.
We want to hear what you think, so do get in touch with us at GMT. The
best way to do that is to go to our website - bbc.co.uk/gmt. You can
watch highlights from the programme and look back at some of our recent
interviews. This is GMT from BBC World News.
I'm George Alagiah. The headlines: Greece's Prime Minister George
Papandreou will visit the country's President shortly and offer to
stand down to allow a new coalition government to take power.
And there is more pressure on Greece at the G20 summit in Cannes.
World leaders say the country must decide whether it wants to be in,
or out, of the euro. Three top Pakistani cricketers have
been jailed today for their role in a betting scam. A court in London
sentenced the former captain of Pakistan's cricket team, Salman
Butt, to 30 months in prison. Two of his former teammates have also
been jailed, while their agent received the longest prison term.
With me is the cricket writer and broadcaster Mihir Bose. Thank you
for being with us. You know, this was once hailed as the gentleman's
game. It's lifted the lid on all of that this is hardly that anymore.
Cricket is a very moral game. To get a decision like LBW, you have
to appeal to somebody else. In football, you can appeal as much as
you like, the referee won't give it. The players don't appeal for a
decision that is not out. Here we have a case of cheating. What is
fascinating is these people have cheated - faceless cheating.
Normally, the victim of cheating comes forward and says he has been
robbed of eggs. But these are illegal bookmakers in the Middle
East and the Indian subcontinent - we don't know where they are - and
what the judicial authorities in this country have shown is, they
have said the fact you have cheated in the game of cricket is
interesting. The judge said they have cheated the game of cricket.
In fact, they have cheated the concept of the integrity of sport.
Without that, there is no sport. Isn't there a sense, though, this
court case - actually, what it says is that the sport itself should
have been doing more. It shouldn't wait for a London court to start
sentencing people. After all, there has been an anti-corruption drive
for, what, ten years? Ten years. I covered the story when it broke -
the South African captain and the authorities there just had a
judicial hearing. You're right it shows the limitation of sport. They
don't have an Army and borders, but they manage everything. They don't
need Government help. What this demonstrates is they cannot police
their own. If you look at what happened, these are Pakistani
cricketers playing away from home. Their board should have been proper
regulations to make sure the middle man, the agent, who got the highest
sentence, was not in touch with them to entrap them in whatever way
- lure them. We had lots of evidence about, yet they didn't do
that. The cricket authorities didn't discover it. It's our breed,
the journalists, much maligned, that did a sting operation. This
affects the subcontinent. Is it bigger than that or is it still
really... I am told it's very widespread. I am told because
cricket is breaking into 20 overs games it allows a lot of discreet
moments. Six balls have to be bowled, so there aresies discreet
moments that you can bet a no ball or a wide. Also, on TV millions are
watching, and these glam gamblers are all there, these middlemen
doing it are all there. It provides a lot of opportunity for people who
think they can get away with it. Thank you very much.
Let's look at the other stories making headlines.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has
told the UN that mercenaries may be trying to help Saif Gaddafi flee
from Libya. Luis Moreno Ocampo called upon all states to disrupt
any plans of escape by Colonel Gaddafi's second son who has been
indicted for crimes against humanity by the ICC.
Russia says it will try to bring home arms dealer Viktor Bout, who
was found guilty in New York of agreeing to sell arms to people he
thought were Colombian militants intent on attacking American
soldiers. Bout was captured in Thailand in 2008 following a sting
operation organised by US agents. A former Soviet military officer,
Bout was dubbed the "Merchant of Death" for his arms smuggling
activities. Officials in Afghanistan say two
security guards died and at least four others were injured during a
militant attack in the west of the country. The assault began with a
suicide bombing at the entrance to a compound used by a private
security firm in the city of Herat. The security firm provides
logistical support to the international troops based nearby.
The pilot who was forced to make an emergency landing after his landing
gear failed has been talking about his experience for the first time.
The Boeing 767 was en route from the US to Poland with 230
passengers and crew onboard when the incident happened.
It came in on its belly and skidded along the runway at Warsaw Airport
with smoke sand flames licking the wings of the aircraft. The Boeing
767 had circled Warsaw Airport for an hour to burn fuel before it
landed. As soon as it came to a halt, the evacuation doors were
opened and passengers spilled out on to the Tarmac. They'd been
warned before the emergency landing that they'd have to get off as
quick as possible. The pilot said he was thankful they'd all arrived
savely. I felt a huge relief when the head
flight attendant told me a minute and a half after we'd landed that
the plane was empty. Emergency crews continued to doubt
the plane with water long after it had landed to make sure there were
no embers left. No-one was injured in the incident, but the captain
isn't taking any credit for that. He says he was just doing his job.
TRANSLATION: It's too much to say I'm a national hero. I'm absolutely
sure that any of our pilots could have landed the plane and the
result would have been the same, because we train for situations
like this on simulators. The plane was checked before it left the US,
and no faults were found, but the authorities say a thorough
International news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story. George Alagiah shares his experience as one of the BBC's most successful foreign correspondents to communicate why world stories matter to a UK and global audience.
Featuring exclusive reports from BBC World News correspondents based around the world, plus up-to-the-minute global business news.