04/11/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


04/11/2011

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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The world watches as Greece waivers on a political knife-edge. The

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Prime Minister is fighting to save his job. With the future of the

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euro tied to events in Athens, the G20 leaders make an appeal to

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Greece. National unity is key. It is really

:00:27.:00:30.

needed, a strong commitment of the main forces to solve the current

:00:30.:00:40.
:00:40.:00:47.

Welcome. Also in the programme, seven

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workers are rescued, 50 remain trapped underground after an

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accident at a coal mine in China. And, the head of a report on

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Tehran's nuclear activities, we ask is -- is a miniature strike is

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getting closer. It is 12:30pm in London, and 2:30pm

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in Athens, where the Greek government is sunk in political

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chaos. The Prime Minister faces a confidence vote in parliament in a

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few hours. After an extraordinary series of about turns in the last

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48 hours, the outcome is impossible to predict. It is clear that his

:01:27.:01:32.

plan for a referendum on the latest bail-out plan seems to be off. Who

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will run Greece tomorrow? What will they economic strategy be?

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Continued deep uncertainty in the eurozone and the world economy. We

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will hear from the summit in France in a moment, but first, the latest

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from Athens. It reads, game over. After all of

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the uncertainty, or of the speculation of the last few days,

:01:57.:02:01.

confidence in George Papandreou is plummeting fast. All eyes are now

:02:01.:02:06.

on a confidence vote, to be held in the Greek parliament tonight. It

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could be tight. For now, he has a majority of two. A handful of his

:02:11.:02:15.

MPs have warned they would vote against him because of his plan to

:02:15.:02:19.

hold a referendum on the latest deal for Greece. That would spell

:02:19.:02:24.

disaster for him. But at least one of those has withdrawn her threat

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to rebel after the referendum idea appears to have been shelved.

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Speaking in parliament last night, he called for support and suggested

:02:33.:02:38.

a new national unity government could be formed afterwards.

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TRANSLATION: The vote of confidence is the guarantee for how we will

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move forward. We will discuss with the opposition parties and pour the

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groups as to how we can co-operate if they want to do so. With the

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opposition calling for him to go, any grand coalition may need a new

:02:57.:03:03.

man at the top. What is most important is to have stability. The

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same is also applicable for Europe. Right now, the Government is

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unstable, both within Greece and also for Europe and the eurozone.

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That is why this political crisis spreads beyond Greece. Instability

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here means markets elsewhere plummet, and the fear of contagion

:03:24.:03:28.

to do they eurozone countries remains high. Among ordinary Greeks,

:03:28.:03:34.

anger and frustration. I only want elections, says this man. What is

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going on his psychotic, a disgrace, he has to go. I want a national

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unity government, she says, a coalition government, with the

:03:44.:03:48.

fewest useless politicians possible. George Papandreou faces another

:03:48.:03:53.

future Test in that building behind me. Will he scraped through all be

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brought down by his own MPs? Whatever happens tonight, the

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opposition must will demand his resignation. The pressure on him to

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stand aside might prove too great. George Papandreou is an

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unpredictable bad, nobody is sure of what his next move will be. He

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has played a high-stakes gamble, but his luck may just be running

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:04:24.:04:33.

So much uncertainty in Athens, and Let me ask you, do you believe that

:04:33.:04:43.
:04:43.:04:48.

George Papandreou's days as Prime I do not know. I do not know where

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we are Donorlink, but what a sure is that all of us are surprised.

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:05:05.:05:06.

Everybody wondered why the Prime Minister asked for a referendum.

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When we already had attention in that the society -- we already had

:05:11.:05:18.

tension. Was this necessary? That is the big question in front of us.

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After this, everything is open at the moment. We expect that tomorrow

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morning we will face a new reality. We hope that that will be in the

:05:33.:05:40.

direction to have a movement to a better Europe, to a better society

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in Europe. We never said that we do not accept... I want to ask you

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what that really means. When you cut through all of the politics and

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confusion, what matters is, are ordinary Greeks prepared to bite

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into the austerity package that is the basis of the bail-out deal? To

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you think you are prepared to say that you are on side with that

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:06:18.:06:20.

We did not say anything about the deal. The loan package was accepted

:06:20.:06:30.
:06:30.:06:30.

from all of society. What is not acceptable what these funds but --

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these unbalanced measures. The government only follow one strong

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and hard policy, and this policy was to ask for more taxes, to cut

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our wages and our pensions, just to change the social model that we

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have worked hard to build. We want to have a common policy, a fair

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policy, and nothing different. That is what we are fighting for. The

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package is acceptable, but we need additional roles, who can protect

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society? In the parter of George Papandreou -- party of George

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Papandreou, there are so many different voices. Everybody is

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against this policy. Thank you for joining us. Let's go to France, the

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sight of the G20 summit. The whole point of this summit was to take

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measures to reassure the world that the global economy could be put

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back on track. To what extent do you think they have succeeded,

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given what they have had to watch unfolding in Athens? They have had

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to put the agenda of this summit to one side and concentrate on what is

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happening in Athens. The nude descending on the summit is as grey

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as the sky behind me, they do not think it has achieved very much,

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hardly surprising. We have had comments from Angela Merkel, she

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said that the G20 has failed to agree on the extra resources for

:08:20.:08:25.

the IMF. We knew already they wanted to try to bolster the war

:08:25.:08:28.

chest of the IMF, they have not been able to come up with a figure

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or get any real commitment from the bigger global economies. She said

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that hardly any G20 countries have said they will participate in the

:08:40.:08:46.

European bail-out fund. They had planned to expand it under the

:08:46.:08:50.

agreement made last week. It is crucial they get that investment,

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because they are talking about a one trillion euro to cover the

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debts of Italy, Greece and Spain, but with no investment from outside,

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what will the markets make of that? Already, the euro is falling

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against the dollar, and we have seen the German bond futures rising,

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at the expense of Italian bond futures. Pessimism on the markets

:09:16.:09:21.

about what has been achieved. tempted to say, so much for the

:09:21.:09:26.

G20! The whole point was for Europe to appeal for help from the newly

:09:26.:09:31.

powerful economies, China, Brazil, and the United States, but far from

:09:31.:09:38.

being unity, it seems there is disunity. I do not think you can

:09:38.:09:43.

underestimate just how frustrated Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy

:09:43.:09:47.

are, not just with George Papandreou but also that Silvio

:09:47.:09:51.

Berlusconi. This is a really difficult relationship. They called

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him into a Mini summit last night, they invited Barack Obama to

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eyeball him, to impress on him how serious they take this. They do not

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feel he is getting to grips with the programme. Apparently, he was

:10:09.:10:13.

offered a 44 billion euro crutch, a credit line to support the Italian

:10:13.:10:17.

economy. He turned it down because he was frightened of the stigma

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that would be attached to it. He would be seen as a failure at home.

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He thinks there is already too much interference in Italian budget

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making. He turned down that credit line, but he has accepted the IMF

:10:31.:10:37.

can oversee the austerity programme they have. We will see what the

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Italian parliament make of that, but here, they are far from

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impressed. Fascinating stuff. We will keep you

:10:45.:10:55.
:10:55.:10:55.

The other stories. Syrian tank fire killed at least

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two people in the city of Homs early on Friday, according to human

:11:00.:11:04.

rights activists. Violence has continued despite Arab League

:11:04.:11:06.

claims of a civilian government pledged to pull back troops and

:11:06.:11:11.

begin talks with the opposition. The United States has warned a

:11:11.:11:14.

group of pro-Palestinian activists not to try to break the Israeli

:11:14.:11:18.

blockade of Gaza. The activists from the USA and eight other

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countries to set sail on Wednesday, aboard two yachts, carrying medical

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supplies. The Israeli military have said it will not allow them to

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bridge the blockade. Six men who spent time in isolation

:11:33.:11:36.

on a mock mission to Mars have emerged from their cut short in a

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Moscow where house. For 17 months, their every team mirrored life in a

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real space ship. The project tested how their minds and bodies would

:11:46.:11:50.

cope on a long-haul flight. Several miners have been pulled out

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alive after being trapped underground following an accident

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as a coal mine in China. Rescuers are searching for 50 more who are

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still missing. Four men have died in the blast. The explosion

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happened in Simon Shaw, a city of 2 million people in Henan province.

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-- Sanmenxia are. This was the Mehmet rescuers and families had

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been waiting for. Miners found alive to, being brought to the

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surface. There was relieved applause as the men were

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stretchered out to waiting ambulances, and on to hospital. A

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couple had only minor injuries, and they managed to walk out into the

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daylight by themselves. Dozens more are still trapped underground. Work

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to find them started late last night, and continues. China has a

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terrible record when it comes to mind safety. Thousands die every

:12:46.:12:51.

year. But this might not be to blame for this particular accident.

:12:51.:12:56.

It is still not clear exactly what happened, but miners appear to have

:12:56.:13:00.

been trapped after a sudden explosion of rock inside the pit.

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That came just minutes after an earthquake that hit the area where

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the mine is located. At least one official linked to the events. That

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is to work out later. For now, those at the surface just one News

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of the miners' who might still be alive. The authorities say they are

:13:21.:13:25.

doing everything they can to get them out.

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Still to come, after much media speculation about a possible

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Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear installations, we will get the view

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from they had about the stock -- view from Ehud Barak.

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First, the business news. So much talk still about instability inside

:13:49.:13:56.

the eurozone. A focus on Italy. an interesting twist. On Wednesday

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evening, the Italian government held another crisis meeting about

:14:00.:14:05.

their structural reforms. The reason they held that was that

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Silvio Berlusconi could arrive at the G20 put something on paper,

:14:08.:14:13.

something concrete to show the leaders. But nothing came of that

:14:13.:14:18.

crisis meeting, so Silvio Berlusconi arrived empty-handed.

:14:18.:14:22.

The IMF and the European Commission announced today they are going to

:14:22.:14:26.

monitor the Italian box, they will go through them with a fine-tooth

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comb, in particular, the pension reforms and labour market reforms.

:14:32.:14:36.

The markets are hammering Italy at the moment, the cost of borrowing

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is up over 6%, unsustainable. This is despite the fact that the ECB

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has been purchasing Italian bonds. The amount that they have acquired

:14:47.:14:51.

so far is miniscule compared to what they will have to do, despite

:14:51.:14:56.

all of the Commons yesterday, the ECB will end up being the purchaser

:14:56.:15:02.

of the last resort, they will have to go down the quantitative easing

:15:02.:15:05.

croute -- Road, and you will have to find a massive programme to

:15:05.:15:15.
:15:15.:15:18.

It is going to need a massive programme, two trillion Euros, that

:15:18.:15:23.

is the debt Italy is sitting on. What about the United States? New

:15:23.:15:30.

jobs just come out? Yes, 80,000 new jobs created, we were expecting

:15:30.:15:35.

100,000. It is keeping up with the population growth but it needed

:15:35.:15:41.

more than 200,000 to keep up with the unemployment rate which is

:15:41.:15:47.

about 9%. Employers are saying we won't continue hiring into we seek

:15:47.:15:51.

steadier consumer demand. Consumers are saying, until we see more jobs

:15:51.:15:56.

and higher wages we won't be reluctant to spend. The big fear

:15:56.:16:02.

for US officials is the length of time workers are out of the job.

:16:02.:16:07.

Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve is worried

:16:07.:16:11.

reciprocal unemployment could become longer lasting. That is when

:16:11.:16:15.

people who have been out of work for more than a year lose skills

:16:15.:16:19.

and find it harder to relocate, putting them in danger of being

:16:19.:16:24.

permanently shut out of the workplace. Even Ben Bernanke saying

:16:24.:16:27.

himself, he does not expect unemployment rates to come down

:16:27.:16:30.

unemployment rates to come down until about a played 5% until the

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end of last -- next year. A quick look at the markets in Europe.

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look at the markets in Europe. We want you to get in touch with us.

:16:42.:16:52.
:16:52.:17:02.

This is GMT from BBC World news. The headlines: Several miners have

:17:02.:17:07.

been pulled out alive after an accident at a coalmine in China.

:17:07.:17:12.

Rescuers are searching for 50 men still trapped underground.

:17:12.:17:18.

Pressure is increasing on Iran as the world's nuclear watchdog, the

:17:18.:17:23.

IAEA prepares to publish a new and critical report on to Iran's

:17:23.:17:31.

nuclear programme. There is speculation it will highlight

:17:31.:17:40.

Iran's weapons. There are reports defence minister, Ehud Barak and

:17:40.:17:49.

the Iranian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad need to talk soon. Iran

:17:49.:17:53.

insists its nuclear programme is peaceful and has warned all nations

:17:54.:18:01.

against "colliding with Iran". Is this the sound of savers being

:18:01.:18:05.

rattled or the prelude to military intervention which could grave

:18:05.:18:11.

global consequences? With me is the Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud

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Barak. Is this the case you are persuaded Iran's nuclear programme

:18:16.:18:19.

has reached a critical juncture and Israel will have to respond with

:18:19.:18:28.

military action? Listening to your opening remarks,

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the Israeli press will follow the BBC and see all these economic

:18:32.:18:38.

crisis looming large. It will draw their attention to something more

:18:38.:18:43.

immediate. The Israeli press has been reporting you and your Prime

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Minister, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been pushing the military

:18:46.:18:56.
:18:56.:18:58.

establishment to draw up -- Benjamin Netanyahu. I want to see

:18:58.:19:05.

the IAEA report. If they are daring enough to tell what they know about

:19:05.:19:11.

the nuclear intentions of Iran, many in the world will realise Iran

:19:11.:19:16.

is a major challenge for any conceivable world order. It is

:19:16.:19:24.

making its best to be determined to deceive and defy the whole world on

:19:24.:19:28.

its nuclear capability. But the tone of recent statements from the

:19:28.:19:32.

Prime Minister, things that have been written in the Israeli press

:19:32.:19:36.

and taken seriously by the Israeli public suggests something has

:19:36.:19:40.

changed. One of your former political colleagues fears the you

:19:40.:19:47.

are considering what he calls a rash attack? I cannot debate the

:19:47.:19:53.

freedom of the press in Israel. This isn't the press, it is from a

:19:53.:20:00.

politician? To write and quote what ever they want, our position did

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not change. We think Iran should be prevented from turning nuclear and

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it is the opinion of basically does all around the world. I think many

:20:16.:20:21.

actions should be taken. The no option should be removed from the

:20:21.:20:25.

table. That his opposition for a long time and I don't think there

:20:25.:20:30.

is anything extremely immediate or urgent about it beyond what I have

:20:30.:20:36.

said. Nothing urgent about it? And yet you have said and so has

:20:37.:20:40.

Benjamin Netanyahu, what you have seen from Iran and the information

:20:40.:20:45.

you have about developments there, if the international community does

:20:45.:20:53.

not act soon there will be a real danger? Surely that is a -- urgent?

:20:53.:20:59.

They are trying to reach some kind of immunity by reaching a high

:20:59.:21:03.

level of redundancy and low level of an ability. They are spreading

:21:03.:21:09.

it over many sites, many places, some of them into the hills to

:21:09.:21:15.

protect it. Leaving aside the timing, do you believe a military

:21:15.:21:21.

strike on Iran could significantly derailed their nuclear programme?

:21:21.:21:26.

think any conceivable approach to delay them make sense and should be

:21:26.:21:36.
:21:36.:21:38.

considered. I do not think moving the should be discussed in an open

:21:38.:21:43.

manner between us. To get sanctions, requires Israel to have friends on

:21:43.:21:49.

the top table of nations. At the moment you do not have many friends.

:21:49.:21:55.

Talked-about a diplomatic tsunami that would face Israel this year.

:21:55.:21:59.

His role is more isolated than it has ever been before, would you

:21:59.:22:06.

agree? We are not as isolated as some people believe. But we need to

:22:06.:22:11.

take action to avoid, first of all to follow the recommendations of

:22:11.:22:15.

the quartet, and to enter sincerely into new positions with the

:22:15.:22:22.

Palestinians about two states. on a minute, you sat in a cabinet

:22:22.:22:27.

meeting which approved 2000 new housing units on occupied land. How

:22:27.:22:32.

can that be paving the way for serious snigger situations. It is

:22:32.:22:39.

not an issue we put 2000 units within our capital city. Like

:22:39.:22:43.

London in your case, in Jewish neighbourhoods in our capital city.

:22:44.:22:50.

It is a city of three-quarters of a million. It is occupied land, the

:22:50.:22:54.

Palestinians insist until there is a freeze on settlements there can

:22:54.:23:00.

be no return to the Nicosia turntable. Why are you still

:23:00.:23:04.

standing of on settlements? These are the preconditions the world

:23:04.:23:09.

shouldn't accept from the Palestinians. I strongly recommend

:23:09.:23:16.

to however is interested, to focus on bringing both sides home to

:23:16.:23:26.
:23:26.:23:27.

Nicosia. I was the Prime Minister of Israel 10 years ago. Followed me

:23:27.:23:31.

was a Prime Minister who built twice the pace of present

:23:31.:23:40.

construction. We did not have this issue. We did have active talks

:23:40.:23:50.
:23:50.:23:51.

with the Palestinians happening. Now for some reason they feel the

:23:51.:23:55.

support from many countries in the world. But the winds are blowing

:23:55.:24:01.

against Israel in the international community. You announced he will

:24:01.:24:05.

stop the taxation funds go to the Palestinian Authority. If you are

:24:05.:24:10.

serious about wanting talks with the Palestinians, why are you

:24:10.:24:14.

putting off their financial supply which means they cannot even pay

:24:14.:24:19.

their own security forces? I hope this issue will be solved. Is it

:24:19.:24:23.

the wrong thing that this is what you Prime Minister, Benjamin

:24:23.:24:29.

Netanyahu has ordered? Running a Government in Israel is extremely

:24:29.:24:34.

delicate. I am asking you a simple question, do you think Benjamin

:24:34.:24:43.

Netanyahu has got this one wrong? do not give any weight to an acting

:24:43.:24:47.

Prime Minister in his role. It is about the future. I believe a way

:24:47.:24:51.

could and probably will be found once the other obstacles are

:24:51.:25:01.
:25:01.:25:03.

removed to resume the flow of funds into the Palestinian Authority.

:25:03.:25:08.

want to promote them, you keep saying that. If they don't have the

:25:08.:25:17.

money to pay their own police how is that in his role's interest?

:25:17.:25:22.

is not in our interest they will collapse, but you may find many in

:25:22.:25:26.

the Israeli public, including the Government who believe it is good

:25:26.:25:31.

for what ever reasons. I think it is bad for his role and bad for the

:25:31.:25:36.

Palestinians. It could happen? Hypothetically it could, I hope it

:25:36.:25:41.

does not. There are many ups and downs on the road to peace. I

:25:41.:25:48.

believe the issue of funds for the security forces will be solved.

:25:48.:25:53.

Before we finish, I must turn to the Arabs bring. We have reported

:25:53.:26:00.

on new violence in Syria. All- rounder Israel there is uncertainty.

:26:00.:26:04.

Isn't it time for Israel to reach out to the Palestinians and to the

:26:04.:26:10.

world rather than hunkered down in isolation? It is an explicit

:26:10.:26:16.

objective of a Government to resume talks based on no preconditions and

:26:16.:26:21.

two states for two. I believe we can come with ideas about security,

:26:21.:26:28.

borders, refugees, even about Jerusalem and the end of conflict.

:26:28.:26:33.

If there is no way to reach an agreement, we should reassess. But

:26:33.:26:37.

the events of the Arab spring should lead us to accelerate

:26:37.:26:41.

efforts, not just with the Palestinians, but with the

:26:41.:26:46.

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