10/11/2011 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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A serious warning from the European Commission - economic growth in the


eurozone is at a standstill. With growth in Germany forecast to slow


down, the commission says it is time for action. The recovery in


the European Union has now come to a standstill. There is a risk of I


knew recession unless action is taken.... -- there is a risk of


another recession. Welcome to GMT. Also in the


programme: Dozens still trapped as Turkey's earthquake zone is hit by


a massive aftershock. Nine people were killed.


A hidden world of Afghanistan's women - we have a special report on


whether life has got any better ten years on from the fall of the


Taliban. In Brussels, the European Union's


economy commissioner has just thrown a verbal grenade into what


is already a pretty explosive economic crisis. Olli Rehn says


that growth in the EU has stalled and there is a risk of another


recession. The numbers support it. The latest forecasts in Germany


predict growth of less than 1%. Add to that the crisis in Italy and


that in Greece, and you can see where it is coming from.


As the eurozone is enveloped by a storm of uncertainty, there is


intense debate about the way forward. Will Italy's Prime


Minister stepped down as promised? And how much longer will it take


greased to form a new government? The IMF is seeking clarity.


Political clarity. It is much needed in Greece, in Italy. There


is clearly some rumours, expectations, trepidation. No-one


really understands always going to come out as the leader and when.


And I think that confusion is particularly conducive to


volatility. In Greece there are more talks


under way to end the power vacuum. Lucas Papademos was seen arriving


this morning. He looks likely to avoid -- to replace George


Papandreou was Prime Minister. But time is short.


In Italy people have been left guessing what they are politicians


will do to resolve the crisis. There have been efforts to calm the


money markets after borrowing costs rose to levels that most of you as


unsustainable. Elsewhere in Europe there is a mood of anxiety about


what is happening in Italy. current state is a clear and


present danger to the eurozone, and the moment of truth is fast


approaching. If the leaders of the eurozone want to save their


currency then they, together with the institutions of the eurozone,


must act now. In Brussels the latest forecast, delivered by the


European Union's monetary affairs chief, is one of gloom. This


forecast is, in fact, the last wake-up call. The recovery in the


European Union has now come to a standstill. There is a risk of


another recession unless determined action is taken. There is fresh


talk of that two-speed Europe and changes to treaties. But there are


no detailed plans and the President of the European Commission says


that a split of the European Union simply will not work.


Our correspondent is in Athens, where Grace's president is expected


to make an announcement about the government, we think, in the next


few minutes or so. Mark, I wonder if there is any indication of what


this indication might be? It really is just a matter of time


before the signals come from the president's office. I am just being


told that we are getting an announcement. An announcement has


just come as we have been on air. It says that Lucas Papademos is now


the new Prime Minister of Greece. That has come in the last 30


seconds. He was the front runner, we thought it was all but certain,


then there were several spanners in the works. He seems to have


negotiated behind the scenes to stay in office for longer. He also


seems to have accepted that the current finance ministers should


stay in place. This country will now begin anew interim national


unity government with one priority, and that is to vote through the


latest bail-out package for Greece so that it can receive its next


vital instalment of a bail-out loan. Without that money, bankruptcy and


default could spread shock waves through the eurozone.


Lucas Papademos has a technocratic background. How much confidence


will there be that he can deal with all the infighting that goes on in


Athens? Well, he has one distinct advantage and it is this - he will


be leading a national unity government, a government that


brings together the different political factions that have


paralysed this country for the last few days during these coalition


talks. That is a began vantage to have over George Papandreou. The


other advantages that he is not George Papandreou. -- that is a big


advantage. He will have the confidence of Europe's leaders.


Against him is the fact that he is a banker and bankers are not


exactly the most popular of professionals here at the moment.


He will have a tough task. A bail- out package will require of him to


push through more austerity measures. We saw how the reached


boiling point here with demonstrations on the streets of


Athens. We will expect more of that under his premiership. Thank you.


Just a reminder that, in the last couple of minutes, we have heard


that Lucas Papademos is to head a new Greek government. That has come


from the president's office in Athens.


I am joined by a journalist from the Economist. We are watching the


news on rattling as it happens. What is your reaction to that? He


is a technocrat, a former banker, now taking charge of events in


Greece. I think the first in to say -- the first in to save it has


taken an in orders at -- an enormous amount of time for Greece


to form a unity government in this crisis, even though it seemed


obvious who the replacement would be for George Papandreou. With so


much pressure on Greece and an offer of new finance, they have not


been able to get it together. you accept that that is true but


now, going forward, they appear to have agreed to a government of


national unity and, therefore, it should looked different going on.


think it is a positive sign. It remains to be seen if he is able to


do the difficult things that need to be done in Greece are to put the


economy back on a sure footing and keep Greece in the euro. Until we


see signs of that, people will continue to worry. I wish him well.


We have a real indication of how high the stakes are today. Olli


Rehn, the European economy commissioner, used the word


recession. I am not surprised by that. The numbers could be really


bad next year. Shehzad Tanweer worries. There is a short-term


worry about market panic, the break-up of the euro, what happens


to Italy and so on. Then a more medium term panic around the fact


that, in order to keep countries like Greece in the euro, they are


going to have to implement some tough austerity packages. Where is


the growth going to come from if countries on the periphery of the


eurozone are tighten their public finances? You mentioned Italy. We


have kind of, we hope, sorted out Greece with a new government. There


is still a political crisis in Italy. Greece is a relatively small


problem. It accounts for about 2% of the eurozone's GDP. Italy is


another thing altogether. It is a huge economy. Its sovereign debt


market is the third largest in the world, after America and Japan.


There is no big bank in the world that does not have major exposure


to Italy. When people start to panic about Italy, as in the last


few days, we are all worse off. Let us take a look at some of the


other stories making headlines around the world. At least nine


people have been killed and up to 100 more are believed to be trapped


in rubble after an earthquake hit eastern Turkey, causing buildings


to collapse. The earthquake struck the city of Van. Survivors are


being found but many more are still trapped. Just over two weeks ago an


earthquake hit the same region, killing more than 600 people.


Joining me from Istanbul is our correspondent the stop Jonathan,


what can you tell us on the latest on the rescue mission? They are


still drilling holes into the hotel that collapsed. They still not know


many -- how many people are inside. Some have managed to send messages


out by a mobile phone. They think the current number is around 37 who


were staying there. But it is a busy hotel and have a lot of people


working and having meetings there when it collapsed. They have been


pulling out one or two people every hour. A total of 27 people have


been rescued so far, including a two Japanese workers who came to


help with the earthquake last month. Tragically, one of those workers, a


doctor, died from his injuries after he was rescued this morning.


His colleague is safe and suffering minor injuries in hospital.


Thank you very much. The Israeli Supreme Court has


upheld the rape conviction of the country's former president, Moshe


Katsav. He is expected to begin serving his prison sentence next


week. He was found of raping an assistant while he was a cabin


isn't -- a Cabinet minister. The South African National con --


the South African National Congress has fired its Youth League leader,


Julius Malema. A coal mine accident in south-west


China has killed at least 20 workers and left more than 20


others trapped. It was caused by I gas leak. Hundreds of rescuers are


trying to free the trapped workers. It is the latest in a string of


back should -- accidents in China's Mining Industry.


In Britain, the executive chairman of News International, James


Murdoch, has accused two former executives at the News of the World


of misleading MPs over who knew what about for hacking at the paper.


This is his second appearance at a parliamentary committee after


discrepancies in the evidence he gave over the summer.


Still to come: As violence continues in Syria, we hear from a


resident of the embattled city of Osh. -- Homs.


We have just heard about the new Prime Minister being announced in


Greece. Turning to Italy, the Italians have a bond auction today,


haven't they? What will that tell us? The crunch to it was what kind


of interest rates the Italian government have to pay. On one year


bonds be paid over 6%. Last month they paid 3.5% interest rate on


that. That gives you a flavour. This is because investors are


losing confidence in Italy's ability to attack it -- tackle its


debt. One former bond trader told me that things are going to get


even tougher, particularly on ten- year bonds. At the level we're


talking about, it is seven to 8%. The cost is two euros for every 5


euros of revenue that you receive. You are paying 40% adjusted your


borrowing cost of all your income. The worst part is, if we are


looking at Italian growth of 0.5% in the next year or so, the


question is: Where is the money going to come from? That is the


issue. A lot of people are speculating that the European


Central Bank will have to do more. It has been buying bonds but many


people say that is not enough. The Germans do not want that because


they say it will increase inflation. Part of the way out of the crisis


is what these countries can do to get their books in order -


austerity packages. Portugal has a vote on its austerity package.


is right. The parliament is debating it for next year. Portugal


has already had a bail-out, but really the measures that people are


having to stomach are very difficult and our correspondent


The cuts are very deep. For example, the most controversial measure has


been the removal of holiday and Christmas pay for most public


sector employees and for many state pensioners. That is a one-seventh


cut in annual income. That was deeper than some had expected. Many


tax rises. Other spending cuts which will affect pretty much


everyone here. That is an example of how bad things have got for some


of how bad things have got for some people in Portugal. I want to show


you the market reaction, not only to the European zone difficulties,


but other issues out there in the markets. You can see the FTSE is up


by 30 points. Asian markets, a good deal weaker. That is before the


D this is GMT from BBC world news. The headlines: Lucas Papademos is


named as Greece's new Prime Minister. He will head a coalition


Government until early elections in February. A dire warn from the


European Commission - economic growth in the eurozone is at a


standstill and urgent action is needed.


South Korea is holding its National College entrance exam this Friday.


The pressure for academic success is fierce. Many young Koreans find


when they graduate there are not enough jobs to go around. They are


now urging them to opt for vocational training instead. There


are not many excuses for arriving late to Korea's National College


entrance exam. This is the one day of the year when the Government


changes flight schedules and even holds up the morning rush hour to


give students the best possible chance. University is seen as


crucial here. 80% of school leavers now go on to higher education.


That's causing a problem. This boy is taking a different


route. At 17 he has decided he wants to be a chef. Rather than


cramming for the university entrance exam, he is learning


practical skills at a vocational high school. Today's lesson, read


bean noodles. My mum and my dad, they didn't want


me to go to this school. In our culture, in Korea, man was not


supposed to cook in the kitchen. I really want it. People around me,


they told me, you shouldn't do that, you know. That's one of the reasons


why I choose culinary because I didn't want to be like normal


students. The Government wants more students to think like Woonmo.


The dilemma for South Korea is with 80% of its students going to


university there are not enough top jobs to go around. Many of the gad


watts end up unemployed -- graduates end up unemployed. The


President has been promoting a new scheme to give those with work


experience the same benefits and status as those with degrees.


This is what he's up against - parents who will do almost anything


to get their child into university. At Seoul's main Buddhist temple the


price of your off spring's success is 100 bows a day, every day since


July. TRANSLATION: I am here for my granddaughter. The Government is


wrong to discourage people from learning. I would have liked to


have gone to university myself. It was not possible in my day. Ju-sung


Eun is old enough to remember the days before democracy. For her and


many others here, fear for ending up on the wrong side of a two-tier


system still runs deep. The Arab League is preparing for a meeting


on Saturday when they will consider what they say is Syria's failure to


implement a peace plan agreed last week. They are split over the key


issues. On Wednesday, opposition leaders who favour dialogue were


pelted with eggs as they tried to hold talks with the Arab League at


its headquarters in Cairo. They had to turn back. The Syrian National


Council, mainly led by opposition leaders outside the country wants


no dialogue, just regime change. Well, the Syrian uprising was


inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests began


in March, with raltlys calling for freedom in Deraa. -- rallies


calling for freedom in Deraa. Several people were killed when


forces opened fire. The protests and violence spread to many towns


and cities. The central city of Homs emerged as what activists call


"the capital of the revolution." The UN says there have now been at


least 3,500 hundreds in the country. Here in the studio I am joined by


Helen Abdul Dayem, a former resident of Homs, who lived there


until her family was caught up in the revolution. I say caught up in


the revolution. In fact it was your son who was shot. Yes, he was shot.


Actually, as a family, in general, we were very active in the


revolution. My son went out on the first demonstration. Specifically


after children were tortured. There was a demonstration that came out


on the road to Hama. We considered these boys very brave to even dare


to do that. It's very iron-fisted regime in Syria and you dare not.


should say your son is back here in Britain and he's fine. He's fine.


Presumably you're still in touch with people in Homs, are you?


What are you hearing? Absolutely unbelievable stories. Empty houses


are now being taken over. Smashed. Troops are moving into empty houses


now. Snipers on the roof top. I have friends who are trying to get


out now, a particular friend of mine actually has tickets to leave


the country and cannot even get out of the area where we lived in,


because it's very close to where the snipers are on the roof. She


cannot even leave her house. there any sign, do you think, that


these - I have just talked about the Arab League in discussions - is


there any sign this is a regime willing to listen to anybody? Is it


in the end going to have to be the phase many people are using -


revolution? "I Think it is a revolution. It has been a


revolution for a long time. would call it a revolution? I would


from a long time ago. These are the bravest people I have ever seen,


daring to go p against this regime, who are ruthless, heartless,


vicious, torturing children. Raping women. It just doesn't stop. They


will fall. I believe we've got, from Homs, a physician, a dock who


has been witnessing the unrest. For -- a doctor who has been witnessing


the unrest. For his safety we will just call him Dr Abdullah. What can


you tell from the patients you see and the kind of injuries you are


dealing with? So, can I start from what happened today? Today, more


than 50 tanks are surrounding the hospital right now. They are


preventing all the medical supplies to come into the hospital. We just


got a phone call from there that someone dying from his collar. He


died because they would not let blood get into the hospital. I am


so sorry, but we have to leave it now Dr Abdullah and of course here


in the studio, Helen Abdul Dayem. Thank you too for your time. Thank


you very much. Now, the European Union has blocked


the release of a documentary on Afghan women in jail for what are


called moral crimes. The EU said it decided to withdraw the film, which


it commissioned because of very real concerns for the women who are


portrayed in the film. Human rights workers say it is important to lift


the lid on Afghan judicial practises.


A glimpse inside a hidden world. Badam Bagh, a women's prison. Many


have been jailed for so-called moral crimes, like running away


from forced marriages or violent husbands.


This woman is here because she was raped. When she reported the attack


She remains a prisoner behind these walls. She dared to tell her story


in a documentary. The European Union has decided not to release it.


They say it fears for the safety of those who were filmed. Human rights


workers say many of the woman in jails like this are guilty of


nothing. They were victims of violence, abused first by their


husbands or relatives and then by the judicial system itself.


Some are now serving long sentences, thanks to corrupt judges and police.


Human rights workers want their stories to be told.


I think it's very important that people understand that there are


these extraordinary horrific stories happening now, ten years


after the Taliban Government, ten years after what was supposed to be


a new dawn for Afghan women. many, that new dawn has not come.


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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