15/11/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


15/11/2011

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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Transcript


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New York police cleared the first anti- capitalist camp that inspired

:00:09.:00:13.

a worldwide protest movement. More than 70 protesters were arrested

:00:13.:00:19.

for defying orders to leave. But most of those Diddley voluntary.

:00:19.:00:24.

Based around of the park in riot gear. They are trying to block off

:00:24.:00:34.
:00:34.:00:43.

every street right now. They are Welcome to GMT. In the programme,

:00:43.:00:49.

heading for victory. Spanish polls put the right-wing candidate in the

:00:49.:00:52.

lead, but winning the election will beat the easy part. I'll be

:00:52.:00:55.

reporting from Spain, where the Socialist government is bracing

:00:55.:00:59.

itself for defeat as the economy heads into even deeper crisis.

:00:59.:01:03.

Syria's opposition leaders meet Russian officials. Can Moscow

:01:03.:01:13.
:01:13.:01:13.

really played honest broker? It is 1230 in London, 8:30pm in Hong Kong

:01:13.:01:16.

and 7:30am in New York, where police have closed down the

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original occupy Wall Street encampment. It saw several arrests

:01:20.:01:25.

and accusations of heavy hand it must from the protesters. They'd

:01:25.:01:28.

been in the city's parks since September, spawning a protest

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movement that spread across the Atlantic to Europe. The Europe --

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the New York authorities said the encampments became a health hazard

:01:35.:01:45.
:01:45.:01:59.

and say the protesters can return I am sorry, we've got a problem

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with that report. It just came in a few minutes ago. Let's go to a

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report we've also got from Humphrey Hawksley, on the events of that

:02:10.:02:18.

night-time operation, clearing Zuccotti Park. Stay calm, do not

:02:18.:02:25.

give up! It is 1am and police start to evicted protesters from there it

:02:25.:02:28.

two a month old encampment in the shadow of Wall Street. Those who

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came here to demonstrate against corporate greed and the gap between

:02:31.:02:39.

rich and poor are being ordered out. The whole world is watching!

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police say they are clearing the park to clean it. The owners have

:02:43.:02:47.

complained about the dirty conditions. Some chained themselves

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together in protest. Others go. They're angry confrontations

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between the police and the protesters. At about 3:25am they

:02:58.:03:04.

started with arrests. It immediately escalated into punching.

:03:04.:03:08.

The police pushed a big group of us. The woman in front of me had a

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whole bunch of people behind her and couldn't back up. The police

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started beating her with batons. I went to helper but we got sprayed

:03:16.:03:22.

with pepper spray. What is going on in this city that you think this is

:03:22.:03:26.

necessary? The one so from the rows of riot police lining the streets,

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blocking off access to the park as the protesters were removed. The

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protesters are angry about being evicted. They've been told they can

:03:33.:03:37.

go back but they've got to go back without any tents, so they know

:03:37.:03:41.

this is the end of their encampment. Already they are planning to move

:03:41.:03:47.

somewhere else in the city. This was the scene in the middle of the

:03:47.:03:51.

night. Those who came here to make their voices heard against what

:03:51.:03:56.

they see as corporate excess left without a place to protest. What do

:03:56.:04:04.

you think about the fact you've been evicted? I think it's sad but

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maybe it's what we needed. I think it will just make us stronger.

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protesters are roaming the streets of trying to regroup. Some want to

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retake the park once it's been cleaned. Others say their powerful

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anti- capitalist message has been heard and it doesn't matter where

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Staying with the US but turning to political rather than financial

:04:32.:04:36.

leadership, we can see that trying to prove you can run the country is

:04:36.:04:39.

no easy task. The Republican Party are holding a series of debates

:04:39.:04:43.

between the party members hoping to be nominated as a candidate for

:04:43.:04:47.

next year's elections. Last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry had an

:04:47.:04:50.

absent-minded moment and forgot which government department he

:04:50.:04:55.

would cut if he got into power. Yesterday it was White House

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hopeful Herman Cain's turned to go a little bit blank, when a reporter

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from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asked him about one of the biggest

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foreign policy stories of the year. So you agreed with President Obama

:05:08.:05:18.
:05:18.:05:30.

on Libya? OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising -

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correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi, I want to

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make sure we are talking about the same thing before I say yes, I

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agree, or no, I didn't agree. I do not agree with the way he handled

:05:45.:05:55.
:05:55.:06:07.

I've got to go back... I've got all this stuff twirling around in my

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head. Herman Cain there. We will have more on that, on the

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Republican nomination race, later in the programme. Let's take a look

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at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. Syrian

:06:21.:06:25.

opposition activists say at least 80 people were killed on Monday by

:06:25.:06:29.

government forces. The opposition is responding to the latest

:06:29.:06:33.

violence with a multi- pronged a diplomatic offensive. Their

:06:33.:06:37.

representatives have held talks in Moscow with the Russian Foreign

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Minister, Sergei Lavrov. The head of the Syrian National Council has

:06:44.:06:47.

been speaking to reporters in Moscow after that meeting with the

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Russian Foreign Minister. He is part of what he had to say.

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wanted to explain to our Russian Bent -- friends about our point of

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view. About the need to adopt these decisions by the Arab League,

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Russia and the international community, so that we can form a

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force that will put pressure on the regime, that would prevent it from

:07:16.:07:26.
:07:26.:07:27.

getting away, from stopping the killings. Let's go now to Daniel

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Sandford, our correspondent in Moscow. What exactly is Moscow up

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to? On the one hand, they seem to veto any suggestion of taking

:07:37.:07:42.

action at the UN, but here they are talking to the opposition. Russia's

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position is they don't believe that further sanctions on necessary or

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useful. They don't want to see any kind of unnecessary pressure

:07:50.:07:54.

towards regime change in Syria. But what they do want to see is some

:07:54.:07:58.

kind of negotiated solution. They recognise there are some legitimate

:07:58.:08:01.

complaints by the opposition in Syria, and what they want to see is

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the Syrian government and opposition talking together. What

:08:04.:08:08.

is at the meeting today for Russia is to try and persuade the Russian

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-- the opposition groups to get around the table to negotiate this.

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But the opposition group's view is, we want to see pressure from

:08:16.:08:21.

countries like Russia on President Al-Assad to resign before we will

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get into that process. They want to see Assad making clear commitments

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towards democracy before they will get round the table with him.

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there is a challenge on the ground for the Russian position. We are

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hearing that dozens of people, possibly as many as 70 or 80 shot

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yesterday and today in Syria. How does that help Russia when asking

:08:47.:08:52.

the Syrian opposition to get into a dialogue? It doesn't help at all.

:08:52.:08:57.

Russia is finding itself, as it was over Libya, slightly isolated. At

:08:57.:09:02.

least a Bolivia, Russia had not vetoed these Council resolutions.

:09:02.:09:05.

On Syria, they are saying they would oppose any further sanctions.

:09:05.:09:10.

They are getting themselves in a position where they are starting to

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see the opposition interior as a supporter of President Assad.

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That's causing big problems. The opposition groups are saying that

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Russia is having the wool pulled over its eyes by the Syrian regime

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and that Russia should start listening to the views of the

:09:24.:09:27.

Syrian people. That is what they've been saying, what was described as

:09:27.:09:33.

very Sybil talks today. I have to say, listening to the press

:09:33.:09:36.

conference after the meeting, it doesn't sound like the two

:09:36.:09:41.

positions have changed very much. The opposition are still saying

:09:41.:09:46.

they want more pressure from Russia on President Assad to stand down,

:09:46.:09:49.

or at the very least make very concrete moves towards

:09:49.:09:52.

democratisation. Do you get the impression that the opposition

:09:52.:09:57.

movement is there simply because it feels it has did, rather than it

:09:57.:10:02.

really does think that Moscow can be some kind of honest broker able

:10:02.:10:08.

to have influence over the Damascus government? I got the impression as

:10:08.:10:11.

they went into these talks that they came here genuinely hoping

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they could persuade the Russian government, to convince them of

:10:16.:10:20.

their credentials and what they were trying to achieve. It didn't

:10:20.:10:23.

sound from the press conference afterwards that they felt they'd

:10:23.:10:27.

manage to do much persuading. They said it was a perfectly decent

:10:27.:10:31.

discussion and that both sides have listened to each other, but they

:10:31.:10:35.

didn't sound as though they felt that they'd managed to change

:10:35.:10:39.

Russia's position. A British minister has called for the release

:10:39.:10:43.

of political prisoners in Burma. A number of prisoners were due to be

:10:43.:10:48.

released this week but this appears to have been delayed. The

:10:48.:10:50.

international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, is visiting Burma.

:10:50.:10:54.

It's the first such visit by a British minister for a generation.

:10:54.:10:57.

He told me that the reforms being introduced by the government are

:10:57.:11:01.

grounds for cautious optimism, as he put it, but that more needed to

:11:01.:11:06.

be done. Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is pushing to

:11:06.:11:10.

overturn a ban on sales of uranium to India. The move would remove a

:11:10.:11:13.

diplomatic thorn between the two countries and comes ahead of a

:11:13.:11:17.

visit by US President Barack Obama. The ban was introduced four years

:11:17.:11:20.

ago because India had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation

:11:20.:11:24.

treaty. Julia Gillard said a change in policy would strengthen

:11:24.:11:28.

Australia's connection with what she called dynamic, democratic

:11:28.:11:32.

India. As India rises and brings hundreds of millions of people out

:11:32.:11:37.

of poverty, it will need more energy, it is looking to supply 40

:11:37.:11:42.

% of that energy need through nuclear energy. We are a very big

:11:42.:11:46.

supplier of uranium. So having access to this new and growing

:11:46.:11:53.

market is good for Australian jobs. Italy's new appointed Prime

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Minister is holding talks with representatives of the two largest

:11:58.:12:01.

political parties today, as he seeks to form a new government

:12:01.:12:05.

which can steer Italy through its debt crisis. Their votes will be

:12:05.:12:08.

crucial in a confidence vote likely this week, which would seal the

:12:08.:12:18.
:12:18.:12:20.

Back to US politics, the Republican Party are holding a series of

:12:20.:12:23.

debates between the members hoping to be nominated as a candidate for

:12:23.:12:27.

next year's elections. Last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry had what

:12:27.:12:30.

can only be described as an absent- minded moment and forgot which

:12:31.:12:35.

government department he would cad if he got into power. Yesterday, it

:12:35.:12:39.

was White House hope for Herman Cain's turn to go a bit blank when

:12:39.:12:42.

a reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asked him about

:12:42.:12:46.

one of the biggest foreign policy stories of the year. Joining me now

:12:46.:12:55.

from Virginia is Dr Larry Sabato, from the University of Virginia.

:12:55.:13:00.

The hopefuls seem to be making a habit of this. Yes, we've learnt

:13:00.:13:03.

two important scientific developments from the Republicans.

:13:03.:13:07.

Brain freeze is real and apparently it's communicable. I don't know if

:13:07.:13:12.

would -- if it will spread between the two we've seen so far.

:13:12.:13:16.

President Obama with a huge smile on his face. They are doing his

:13:16.:13:22.

work for him. They are. Of course, the White House believes in the end

:13:22.:13:27.

that the most credible candidate who will be nominated his former

:13:27.:13:31.

Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. They are preparing for a very close

:13:31.:13:36.

competitive battle with him. But obviously, to the extent that the

:13:36.:13:41.

other republicans can embarrass me to rob me, it helps a lot. --

:13:41.:13:45.

embarrassed Mitt Romney. What is it about American politics that throws

:13:45.:13:49.

up this kind of thing? Sitting here on the other side of the pond, it

:13:49.:13:55.

is laughable that men who aspire to the highest office some would say

:13:55.:14:03.

in the world could be like this. Well, I have to be honest with you,

:14:03.:14:07.

Ivor followed politics for 40 or 50 years and I can tell you honestly

:14:07.:14:10.

this is one of the weakest of fields that I've ever seen in

:14:10.:14:15.

either party. That just enhances Mitt Romney's standing, because he

:14:15.:14:21.

is a major player. But most of the other Republican candidates are not

:14:21.:14:24.

really major players, even in their own estates. Texas Governor Rick

:14:24.:14:28.

Perry would be but a number of the others don't even have a home base.

:14:28.:14:32.

This is not an impressive group of opponents. In the end, one would

:14:33.:14:36.

assume that this would mean that the one who is impressive would be

:14:36.:14:41.

nominated. Does it make a difference in the end, because one

:14:41.:14:46.

remembers George W Bush and his brain freeze moments in his

:14:46.:14:53.

campaign. There he was, he was there for eight years. It depends

:14:53.:14:57.

on the opposition. In the case of Texas Governor Rick Perry, I think

:14:57.:15:02.

the brain freeze has heard him. That was just a devastating moment.

:15:03.:15:08.

It has been played and replayed on almost every television channel. It

:15:08.:15:12.

makes him look quite foolish and unprepared. As far as Herman Cain

:15:12.:15:16.

is concerned, this is just the latest in a long series of

:15:16.:15:19.

incidents that suggest to most reasonable people that he is not

:15:19.:15:23.

prepared to be President. I think the sexual harassment charges are

:15:23.:15:33.
:15:33.:15:35.

more serious for him and are indeed Still to come on GMT: Could this

:15:35.:15:45.
:15:45.:15:47.

man put the Spanish economy back on First, let's get all the business

:15:48.:15:55.

news. This big debate in Europe, some people say we need to go for

:15:55.:15:59.

growth, others say we have to have austerity and cut. In a way, we're

:15:59.:16:03.

getting some of the answer to that. The new eurozone growth figures are

:16:03.:16:08.

out today. Yes, it is a tough balance.

:16:08.:16:12.

Spending cuts and tax increases are killing of potential growth. For

:16:12.:16:22.
:16:22.:16:28.

the last three months, eurozone GDP came in and at 0.2%. Germany came

:16:28.:16:38.
:16:38.:16:40.

in at 0.5%, France at 0.4%. France was better than expected. Greece is

:16:40.:16:44.

Bock down in recession, down by 5.2%. It is better than previous

:16:44.:16:47.

quarters but still a horrible number. This highlights the tough

:16:47.:16:55.

dilemma facing eurozone leaders. We have to make a choice - either

:16:55.:17:01.

belt-tightening or growth. When we look at the Hyde debt numbers in

:17:01.:17:05.

most European countries, it means belt-tightening. You have to accept

:17:05.:17:10.

it will cost growth, but if you do it together with measures that can

:17:10.:17:13.

stimulate and increase growth in the medium term, I think it is the

:17:13.:17:17.

right way to go. It is the right way to go, but the

:17:17.:17:20.

markets want to see what measures are going to be put in place to

:17:20.:17:25.

drive growth. You have to grow yourself out of debt.

:17:25.:17:31.

Tough times or road, including four companies. Richard Branson has been

:17:31.:17:38.

saying, do not let go of some of your more ethical thought.

:17:39.:17:42.

-- thoughts. Absolutely. We will focus on that

:17:42.:17:46.

later if we have more time. I want to focus on the credit rating

:17:46.:17:54.

agencies. The EU has never for given the three big ratings

:17:54.:17:57.

agencies for not giving enough warning about the crisis that hit

:17:57.:18:01.

in 2008, for not revealing some of the uncomfortable truths about the

:18:01.:18:05.

debt that some European countries were sitting on, as well as not

:18:05.:18:12.

giving Europe the credit for post crisis reforms. There is some

:18:12.:18:16.

discussion for an alternative to these three.

:18:16.:18:22.

TRANSLATION: I believe this will start the discussion again that an

:18:22.:18:25.

independent European ratings agency should be founded. That would give

:18:25.:18:29.

an alternative to the American -- the American agencies which are

:18:29.:18:35.

quite dependent on private enterprise.

:18:35.:18:40.

More business later on. For more on the Occupy a Wall

:18:40.:18:50.
:18:50.:19:02.

Street movement, have a look at our the headlines: Police in New York

:19:02.:19:06.

have carried out an operation to clear and the Wall Street

:19:06.:19:09.

campaigners from their protest camp. In a meeting with Syrian opposition

:19:09.:19:15.

leaders, Russia's Foreign Minister has restated the position that they

:19:15.:19:20.

should engage in dialogue with President Assad.

:19:20.:19:29.

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says he has paid the first instalment of

:19:29.:19:39.
:19:39.:19:40.

a tax bill. The down payment would allow his company to lodge an

:19:40.:19:45.

appeal against his tax demand. He called the payment the price of

:19:45.:19:54.

freedom of speech. Our correspondent joins us. Bring us up

:19:54.:19:57.

to date. He has described his recent life as

:19:57.:20:01.

being like a Hollywood movie. It began earlier this year when the

:20:01.:20:05.

artist was detained for three months without access to a lawyer.

:20:05.:20:10.

He was then released. The authorities said he had not paid

:20:10.:20:16.

his tax. It is something denied by the artist. He says he has paid

:20:16.:20:19.

this bond in order to allow him to fight his case. Much of the money

:20:19.:20:24.

for that Bond has come from his supporters, thousands of supporters

:20:24.:20:31.

who have made online donations. In some cases they have literally

:20:31.:20:37.

throw it over the wall of his studio. Here is what he had to save.

:20:37.:20:41.

Only by doing is do we have a chance to make an appeal. I do not

:20:42.:20:48.

think we can win the case. The whole thing is politically

:20:48.:20:55.

motivated. You will never get a fair trial in China. I see this as

:20:55.:21:05.

a ransom. A few months ago I was kidnapped. This is a payment for

:21:05.:21:10.

the price of freedom of speech. This is not just for me. If you see

:21:10.:21:15.

the report from the young -- the support from the young people,

:21:15.:21:24.

everybody expecting me to fight, to make sure that this kind of action

:21:25.:21:31.

never happens to anyone else. These are the true lives of many people.

:21:31.:21:35.

In my case it is more public. I have a chance to talk about it

:21:36.:21:40.

openly. How this case now precedes really

:21:40.:21:43.

is not clear. We have seen so many developments throughout the past

:21:43.:21:48.

few months. When I met the artist last week he simply said that he

:21:48.:21:53.

did not know what to expect. He added that the authorities simply

:21:53.:22:02.

make up the rules as they go along. Another eurozone country that is

:22:03.:22:07.

suffering is Spain. The country's governing Socialist Party seems to

:22:07.:22:10.

be heading for his worst ever defeat in this week's general

:22:10.:22:14.

election. The opposition Popular Party is promising economic

:22:14.:22:18.

recovery and new jobs. Under pressure from the EU to continue

:22:18.:22:21.

with austerity measures, can be really turn Spain's fortunes

:22:21.:22:28.

around? This report contains flash photography.

:22:28.:22:33.

This was once a Spanish-born town. Today it is a symbol of the

:22:33.:22:43.
:22:43.:22:43.

country's crisis. Manuel took me to see why. This is

:22:43.:22:48.

their factory he worked out before Spain's economy crashed, wiping a

:22:48.:22:54.

business. TRANSLATION: There are no opportunities here today, nothing.

:22:54.:23:00.

This place was dependent on doors, and that is all gone.

:23:00.:23:04.

Spain's deep economic crisis is a major burden for the Socialist

:23:04.:23:11.

government and the campaign trail. Wide by Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba,

:23:11.:23:16.

the Socialists are still fighting this election. Using scare tactics

:23:16.:23:21.

to rally support, they warned that the conservative Popular Party

:23:21.:23:27.

plans to decimate the welfare state with spending cuts. TRANSLATION:

:23:27.:23:30.

The people who are suffering most in this crisis are traditional

:23:30.:23:35.

voters, the Socialist electorate, so it is hard to convince them.

:23:35.:23:38.

What we're saying is, yes, things are tough now but they will be much

:23:39.:23:47.

worse under the Popular Party. proof they point to Castile-La

:23:47.:23:51.

Mancha. Pharmacists here have not been paid for dispensing

:23:51.:23:56.

prescription medicines for six months. The Popular Party insists

:23:56.:24:00.

it is tending to a sick economy after years of reckless spending

:24:00.:24:04.

under the Socialists. Above all, the opposition is framing itself as

:24:04.:24:11.

the party of change. A policy plans are deliberately vague. We need a

:24:11.:24:20.

new policy and a new government. That is the way to make things

:24:20.:24:24.

change and to start building the confidence and trust that we need.

:24:24.:24:28.

With the entire eurozone in crisis, voters you know that whoever wins

:24:28.:24:31.

this election will have to take tough decisions. There will be

:24:31.:24:35.

bigger spending cuts. Both of the main parties are planning to --

:24:36.:24:39.

promising to create jobs. There is deep scepticism here that anyone

:24:40.:24:44.

can actually deliver on that. Most people know that the fate of Spain

:24:44.:24:51.

is linked to outside forces. Eurozone leaders and investors are

:24:51.:24:55.

watching closely to see if the government can turn his economy

:24:55.:25:01.

around and avert a bail-out. -- turned this economy around.

:25:01.:25:04.

You might be wondering what to get your nearest and dearest for

:25:04.:25:09.

Christmas. Nothing says I Love You Like a diamond. If you have $15

:25:09.:25:13.

million burning a hole in your pocket our correspondent has the

:25:13.:25:18.

perfect suggestion for that very special gift.

:25:19.:25:23.

It is called the Sun drop, one of the rarest coloured diamonds in the

:25:23.:25:29.

world. At 110 carats it is probably a little large Ford you ring finger.

:25:29.:25:33.

It is also the biggest diamond of its kind ever to be put up for

:25:33.:25:39.

auction, but will it sell in these times of global financial crisis?

:25:39.:25:43.

$15 million is a very correct estimate, I think, for this diamond.

:25:43.:25:52.

This time last year in Geneva we sold a diamond for $46 million.

:25:52.:25:57.

There are buyers for important, rare coloured diamonds. Ever since

:25:57.:26:02.

the economic downturn began in 2008, Business in gemstones has been

:26:02.:26:08.

burning. Some people clearly still have money. What is more, jewels

:26:08.:26:15.

like these will not lose their value as quickly as the euro or the

:26:15.:26:24.

dollar. Auctioneers are expecting a storm of bids.

:26:24.:26:28.

We are coming to the end of GMT. Before we go, a reminder of our

:26:28.:26:35.

main story. Police in New York's City have closed down the original

:26:36.:26:40.

calcite occupy encampment. There were accusations of heavy

:26:40.:26:45.

handedness from the protesters. They have been in Zuccotti Park

:26:45.:26:49.

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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