03/11/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


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.

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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.

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