24/11/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


George Alagiah presents international news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story. Plus up-to-the-minute global business news.

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The eurozone's big three - Germany, France and Italy - meet in yet


another bid to find an answer to the eurozone crisis. New man on the


block, Italy's Mario Monti, could be caught in the middle as the


Germans and French argue over the Hello and welcome to GMT. I'm


George Alagiah with a world of news and opinion. Also in the programme:


Sienna Miller tells an inquiry about UK media ethics had the


paparazzi affected her life. For a number of years, I was relentlessly


pursued by about 10 to 15 men, almost daily. A truce after five


days of clashes in Egypt - the ruling Military Council issues an


It's half-past 12 here in London, half past two in Cairo and have put


one in the French city of Strasbourg, the venue of the latest


in a long line of meetings aimed at finding an answer to the eurozone


greatest. -- eurozone crisis. It is Mario Monti's first as Italy's


Prime Minister. Signor Monti could be caught in the crossfire, if it


can be believed that France and Germany are clashing over the role


of the European Central Bank. There are plenty of urgent issues to


resolve between France and Germany, and they are joined by Mario Monti.


The message they want to send to the markets - the eurozone's third


largest economy, too big to fail but too big to bail, is back in


safe hands. But can Mr Monti, a respected academic economist, also


play a role in mediating between France and Germany? As efforts to


find a way out of the crisis seems stuck in the mud. France still


wants Germany to change its mind and allow the European Central Bank


to guarantee the debts of any country which runs into trouble.


The fundamentals are solid, but the But there is little sign of Germany


or the ECB itself changed its position. The bank is not there to


print money. But how much of a jolt did Germany feel yesterday when its


debt agency had to do retain nearly 40% of an auction of German bonds


because of a lack of demand? Some analysts believe pressure on Berlin


could be building. And another idea it has rejected so far - Eurobond


issued jointly by all eurozone countries. It will certainly be


discussed by the three leaders in Strasbourg.


I think that today's meeting will move us closer to Europe, rather


than distancing us. The German government is no longer ruling out


euro bonds. Germany, of course, has its own ideas, including far-


reaching treaty changes to make the rules which govern the eurozone


much tougher. That will have to be part of any grand bargain which


emerges. And it really does feel Joining me from Brussels is Thomas


Klau from the European Council on Foreign Relations. Thank you for


being with me on GMT. Do we call this a three-way meeting, or a two


way meeting with Mario Monti on the side? I think it is fair to call it


a three-way meeting. It is significant that for the first time


the Italian leader has been asked to participate in what is an


important meeting, bringing the German Chancellor and the French


President together. And it is a sign of the respect with which


Mario Monti is held, and the necessity to ensure that Italy


continues on its reform course. Mario Monti is a heavyweight, an


academic economist and also a former European Commissioner with


long-standing experience of the workings of eurozone governments.


He is a man of ideas, and both the French and German leaders will


listen to him. I accept that he has got novelty value and a track


record, but he is basically part of the problem, or his country is. And


as we heard from Chris Morris there, it is the Germans and French that


have got to work out what they do, not least on the European Central


Bank. Absolutely. I think there is also a


time when leaders and particularly the French and German leader, I


genuinely looking for a convincing and plausible plans. Angela Merkel


said herself in a recent press conference that one of the problems


for her is that she gets conflicting advice. Mario Monti has


not only the Italian leader, and are therefore the new leader of a


country in trouble in many ways, he is also one of the most widely


respected analysts and thinkers in terms of how to manage the eurozone


better. So I think there is also an important meeting here in that


respect. They have now and your partner to discuss major issues.


Germany is really between a rock and a hard place. It could cost a


lot, a helluva lot, if the eurozone fails, but if the eurozone fails,


but it could also cost a lot if it went the way that the other


countries are suggesting. This could far outweigh the cost of


whatever is needed to rescue him the eurozone from collapse. Germany


is still resisting a more massive engagement but something like the


eurobond, but to some extent, that resistance is tactical. In the last


instance, it can decide on its own how to respond to the crisis in


terms of how it manages bond purchases and its monetary policy,


although Germany's backing is important. Angela Merkel has not


said it never on the eurobond. She is partly using her stance to


extract more from her partner's in terms of the exchange. Thomas Klau,


thank you. Dr Constantine de Ejiofor is head of research at


Swiss based asset manager. What do you think is at stake at this


three-way meeting in Strasbourg? think the three-way meeting itself


could be yet another exercise in trying to devise a solution which


is really masking the actual issues the eurozone is facing. So I don't


expect much to come out of this. There will be discussion of the


eurozone, and discussion of participation. None of these issues


will resolve the problems the eurozone is facing. You say neither


of these issues will? Why not? problem we are trying to address is


not the real problem faced by the eurozone. The problem of the


eurozone is it is just not collectively the debt of the member


states, it is the overhang of debt on the economies of the eurozone at


large. By that measure, France is completely insolvent when you


factor in all of the debts that the economy is carrying in terms of


household debts, corporate debts and the banking sector debt.


Germany is partly insolvent, and all of the rest of the eurozone are


pretty much in the insolvency been as well. So if you think the


solutions we have been talking about up until now, for example


greater intervention from the ECB, if you don't think those are the


solutions are the problem is something else, what do you think


should happen? What should be happening is a restructuring of the


debt. We should be restructuring the debts of the banks and the


household. Fortunately, we cannot restructure the debt of the


corporate sector, and we shouldn't be restructuring Government --


government debts in the first place. Then we have to go about resolving


the problem of the insolvent governments. The problem is


somewhat linked to the problem of the banks, but it is also


Independent on its own. The euro- zone does not have great capacity,


and it doesn't have growth policies or institutions in place which


would be able to allow it to get out of what it is in. Thank you


very much for being with us. Let's take a look at some of the


other stories making headlines: Egypt's ruling military has


apologised for the deaths of protesters in clashes with police


as unrest in Cairo and other cities and enters its 6th day. Thousands


of protesters are still in Tahir Square. They are demanding an


immediate end to military rule. Egypt's Military Council insists


parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned on Monday.


The State Of Egypt, four days of -- ahead of what should have been a


pram for democracy. Barbed wire surrounds the Interior Ministry.


Troops are on the streets. Overnight, there was the latest in


a series of truces between police and protesters. But no one is


optimistic it will hold. There are still huge crowds in Tahir Square.


On state TV, two generals appear. For the first time, they offered an


apology for the deaths of protesters. They insisted they were


not like the former regime. They did not want to hold on to power.


But in other cities, they sent the tanks out in the night as


demonstrations continued to spread to many cities across Egypt. The


opposition claimed that live fire is now being used against them. The


army firmly deny they have shot any protesters. The military stay there


are still determined to press ahead -- saying they are still determined


to press ahead with elections on Monday. The crowds do not trust the


military version of democracy. They want the general standard a


complete power to a civilian Council immediately. Egypt is


increasingly paralysed. This could be a long stand-off.


The leaders of Hamas and Fatah could -- call themselves the head


of a new partnership. Talks between Mark Kermode and bass and Khaled


Meshaal come after previous talks fail to achieve anything. The


Islamists of Hamas Govan in Gaza. Israel, which regards Hamas as a


terrorist group, strongly opposes Palestinian reconciliation. Iraq's


foreign minister has said that Syria has agreed to a protocol to


send an Arab League monitoring mission to the country. The


decision was made at the foreign ministers' meeting of the league


which is being held in Cairo. Syria was suspended from the Organisation


last week. The meeting has been moved from Arab League headquarters


because of protests in Tahir Square. In Portugal, a general strike is


being held in protest at austerity measures being introduced their


following an international bail-out. Public transport, schools and


hospitals are among the areas expected to be affected during the


24 hour stoppage. Emperor Akihito of Japan has been released from a


Tokyo hospital after more than two weeks. The 77-year-old monarch was


admitted after suffering from a high fever, and was believed to


have bronchial pneumonia. He has endured bad health in recent years


and cut back on official duties. The actor's Sienna Miller has been


telling an inquiry into the ethics of the British press about how she


has been hounded by journalists and photographers. She was one of the


most high-profile victims of the so-called phone hacking scandal


here in Britain, and is what among a number of people who have


suffered from press intrusion. She is talking to the press inquiry --


Leveson Inquiry this week. Other witnesses include Max Mosley and JK


Rowling. Sienna Miller told the inquiry about the newspaper's


tactics. I actually now have an order against paparazzi, so my life


has changed dramatically, but far number of years, I was relentlessly


pursued by about 10 to 15 men, almost daily. Anything from being


spat at or verbally abused. I think that the incentive is to get as


stronger reaction as possible, so as other people have mentioned,


being jumped out at so that you get a shock, or saying things to get an


emotional reaction. They seem to go to any lengths to try to upset you,


which was really difficult to deal with. Ross Hawkins is following


today's proceedings at the High Court in London. I gave a brief


explanation of what these hearings are about. Could you give a little


bit of background for our viewers around the world?


In essence, the judge is leading an inquiry here to try to work out if


there is a better way to run and regulate the British media that has


been riven by scandal in the last few years as it has emerged that


some journalists, particularly on one paper, the News of the World, a


paper now closed, had got stories by hacking into the voice mails of


people's mobile phones. And in doing that, they have heard from


some very high-profile people like the actress Sienna Miller. At the


moment they are hearing from former motor Sport boss Max Mosley. They


are talking not just about photographers misbehaving, but


privacy. Max Mosley is making the case that years after a piece about


his sex life was published in the News of the World, he is still


fighting court actions in 22 or 23 countries around the world to close


down stories and websites. And at the heart of this is that


for a question of how you regulate the press. It is a thorny question


If taught extent to lead us to buy something because you say it in the


public interest? It's a defence of British journalists in other cases


and in others, it's not. We've heard from many Seventies and


victims of crimes saying there must be much tighter rules are -- from


celebrities. Of course, journalists here say if you bring that in, you


could end up with a celebrity chatter, when all we hear from


famous people is what they want us to hear when they are selling a


film or book -- Charter. Still to come on GMT: Coming up we have a


special report by the BBC's Angus Crawford, on the future of Afghan


children, who have failed in the their asylum claims to Britain.


First though let's get all the business news. I've been spending a


lot of time talking about the eurozone. One thing I want to pick


up with you, it looks as if even Germany is now beginning to pay a


price. I think it's safe to say that this crisis is running out of


road of. The leading financial experts to talk to say we have


reached the end game, not so much the end but a moment of truth where


we either take a leap forward all we face the break-up of the


eurozone. Global markets are turning their back on Europe. We


are seeing large selling volumes out of Asia and the US on all


things Europe. We have to remember, back in September, world leaders


gave Europe six weeks to save the euro. In effect, so did the markets.


Two options, either break up the eurozone or the ECB step sin in a


big way. Some believe the EC be stepping in won't save it. Listen


to this. I'm afraid we are getting to the situation, even if the ECB


was to step in, which I think is very unlikely because of German


resistance, even if it stepped in with unlimited buying, I think this


stage we have got to now, in the global market place, is shying away


from the euro because they are fed up with the dithering and


uncertainty. I'm not even sure that would save the situation. So that's


all right then. Talk about doom and gloom. The backdrop to this is


where is growth going to come from? Retail figures coming out of


Britain suggest it's not happening here. UK retailers are taking a


hammering and have for some time. Consumers are hanging on to their


money. Arcadia, the owner of big high-street shops, their profits


slumped nearly 14%. It blames the weather. Warm weather meant less


people in their winter collections. We spoke to Philip Green and ask


them how to have it's going to get. It's going to be tough landscape


for quite a period of time for the very competitive. We are going to


have to be better than we've been before. There's nowhere to hide. We


have got to hope fleecy the economy Let's have a quick look at the


markets. Don't be fooled, they are up. Lots of bargain hunting going


on, George, at the moment, but we Thank you very much. This is going


to run and run and run, the story. And you can read much more on the


eurozone debt crisis on the BBC website. You know the address,


because I have forgotten it, This is GMT. The headlines. Italy's


new prime minister joins talks on the eurozone debt crisis, amid


sharp differences between France and Germany. Egypt's ruling


military council has said parliamentary elections will go


ahead as planned on Monday. Earlier the generals apologised for the


deaths of protesters. The BBC has learned that Britain


and three other European countries may start sending Afghan children,


who have failed in their asylum claims, back to Kabul next year.


But refugee groups have warned that the whole policy could be unlawful,


because young people risk ending up in orphanages in a war zone. The


British government insists the changes will only affect 16 and 17


year-olds whose families can be traced. The BBC's Angus Crawford


has been talking to one young man On the streets of London, far from


home, this man feel safe. In Afghanistan, the Taliban tortured


his father, cutting off his arm as punishment. The family lived in


fear. Three years ago, when he was just 14, he was smuggled a loan to


the UK. And he claimed asylum. What would happen to you if you were


sent back home? TRANSLATION: If I go back to my


village, I would have to hide and after a few days, the Taliban would


find out I was there and either they would kill me or forced me to


be a suicide bomber force of blow myself up somewhere. But we have


learned the Home Office has teamed up with a government of Norway,


Sweden, and Holland, to find a way of sending 16 and 17 year-olds


whose asylum claims have failed, back to Afghanistan. The returns


could begin as soon as next year. In September, suicide bombers


attack the US embassy. European refugee groups warned the policy


would mean returning of vulnerable children to a war-zone. The Afghan


government opposes the move and says there's no adequate child


protection system. Despite billions of pounds of aid being poured into


the country, more Afghan children seek asylum in the UK than any


other nationality. The Home Office says there has been no final


decision on starting the turns and says it will only happen if


families can be located at or arrangements for care are in place.


As for this man, he is in limbo, too scared to go home and terrified


that Britain may decide he is no longer welcome.


The Home office insists that no final decision on returning Afghan


children has yet been taken. A spokesman told this programme


repatriation will only occur if families can be located or


appropriate support and care arrangements are in place. Joining


us now from our studio in central London, is Shoaib Sharifi, an


Afghan journalist who has travelled the people-smugglers' route from


Afghanistan to the UK. Thank you for being with us. What other


chances, do you think, the British Government has of finding the


families of these people they want to send back, and ensuring they do


go back to somewhere that is safe insecure? I think that will be


quite challenging. And almost impossible, because it's not like a


couple of months journey. Some of these children have left


Afghanistan at the age of 12. During the journey, I have been


talking to them from Afghanistan or the way to France. I come across


children who left at an age of 11 and 12, and some of them were with


family members and on their way lost their family members. Three or


four years on this journey until they make it to Britain. They


hardly remember anything about Afghanistan for the the other issue


is, they don't want to go back to Afghanistan. They don't want to see


their families. The chances are, I met some children, who tried for a


second and third time when they were deported, in the other


countries, they don't want to go back to their families because they


know how severe the situation is. Is it right, to make the assumption,


that at least some of these children, perhaps the majority,


their families, if they can find them at all, they would be in areas


controlled by the Taliban now? actually, there are many areas in


Afghanistan which under the control of the Afghan government but


influenced by the Taliban. It's not only the Taliban. Also right now,


there is a demand in the exploitation market for children


like them by drug smugglers and the Taliban and, astonishingly, we have


seen many young children being exploited by drug smugglers to take


drugs to the borders of Afghanistan. We have seen a shocking rates of


suicide bombers, children. There is a high chance of them being


exploited. If they are taken back to Afghanistan. Equally, the


British Government and European governments says there must, point


when the responsibility for these children, teenagers now, obviously,


the responsibility reverts back to Afghanistan. It's only a couple of


years away from British troops leaving their altogether. Actually,


the route to the problem should be addressed. The couple is the home


of thousands of street children, and child labour is a high rate, so


if the Afghan government exploit hundreds of children into becoming


drug smugglers, they should see why children are leaving and address


the root of the problem and that the number one, unemployment. If


that is addressed, by the International Committee and the


Afghan government, I think that is the solution in the longer term,


otherwise it's impossible to stop. Thank you for being on GMT. Now


here's something that sounds like it's straight out of a film.


Australian police are trying to solve the mystery after a lot of


dough was left in a pizza restaurant, if you'll pardon the


pun! It seems a man left a suitcase at Cafe Marco in a suburb of Sydney,


which had a million Australian dollars stuffed inside. There's


been an arrest but it's still not clear if it's the person who left


the money behind. We're coming to the end of GMT. Before we go, a


reminder of our main story. Leaders of the three biggest eurozone


economies are holding emergency debt talks. The French president


Nicolas Sarkozy is urging his German counterpart Angela Merkel to


abandon her refusal to allow the European Central Bank to become a


lender of last resort. Today's mini-summit takes place in the


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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