04/11/2011 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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The world watches as Greece waivers on a political knife-edge. The


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


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


Greece. National unity is key. It is really


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


Welcome. Also in the programme, seven


workers are rescued, 50 remain trapped underground after an


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


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


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


in Athens, where the Greek government is sunk in political


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 But at least one of those has withdrawn her threat


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


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


a new national unity government could be formed afterwards.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


That is why this political crisis spreads beyond Greece. Instability


here means markets elsewhere plummet, and the fear of contagion


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


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


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


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


fewest useless politicians possible. George Papandreou faces another


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


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


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


stand aside might prove too great. George Papandreou is an


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


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


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


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


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


Everybody wondered why the Prime Minister asked for a referendum.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


these unbalanced measures. The government only follow one strong


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


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


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


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


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


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


Papandreou, there are so many different voices. Everybody is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


underestimate just how frustrated Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy


are, not just with George Papandreou but also that Silvio


Berlusconi. This is a really difficult relationship. They called


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


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


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


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


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


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


He thinks there is already too much interference in Italian budget


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


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


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


impressed. Fascinating stuff. We will keep you


The other stories. Syrian tank fire killed at least


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


rights activists. Violence has continued despite Arab League


claims of a civilian government pledged to pull back troops and


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


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


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


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


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


bridge the blockade. Six men who spent time in isolation


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


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


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


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


alive after being trapped underground following an accident


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


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


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


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


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


surface. There was relieved applause as the men were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


doing everything they can to get them out.


Still to come, after much media speculation about a possible


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


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


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


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


evening, the Italian government held another crisis meeting about


their structural reforms. The reason they held that was that


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


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


crisis meeting, so Silvio Berlusconi arrived empty-handed.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve is worried


reciprocal unemployment could become longer lasting. That is when


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


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


permanently shut out of the workplace. Even Ben Bernanke saying


himself, he does not expect unemployment rates to come down


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


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


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


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


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


Rescuers are searching for 50 men still trapped underground.


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


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


nuclear programme. There is speculation it will highlight


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


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


insists its nuclear programme is peaceful and has warned all nations


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


rattled or the prelude to military intervention which could grave


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


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


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


military action? Listening to your opening remarks,


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


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


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


Minister, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been pushing the military


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and taken seriously by the Israeli public suggests something has


changed. One of your former political colleagues fears the you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you have about developments there, if the international community does


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


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


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


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


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


strike on Iran could significantly derailed their nuclear programme?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Palestinians insist until there is a freeze on settlements there can


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


standing of on settlements? These are the preconditions the world


shouldn't accept from the Palestinians. I strongly recommend


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


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


was a Prime Minister who built twice the pace of present


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


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


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


against Israel in the international community. You announced he will


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


serious about wanting talks with the Palestinians, why are you


putting off their financial supply which means they cannot even pay


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


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


Netanyahu has ordered? Running a Government in Israel is extremely


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


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


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


could and probably will be found once the other obstacles are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the events of the Arab spring should lead us to accelerate


efforts, not just with the Palestinians, but with the


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