17/06/2011 Newsnight


17/06/2011

How worried should the UK and the rest of Europe be about a bail-out for Greece? Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have met to dicuss the offer.


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to 70% would render the ECB close to 70% would render the ECB close

:03:04.:03:13.

to 70% would render the ECB close that Greek default would impose

:03:13.:03:14.

direct losses on loans made by direct losses on loans made by

:03:15.:03:18.

French, German and Belgian banks to Greece. The third is that it would

:03:18.:03:22.

trigger losses contracts from US banks which have

:03:22.:03:26.

bet heavily that Greece wouldn't default. Of those three,

:03:26.:03:32.

think the last is likely to the next couple of months. Today

:03:33.:03:39.

Prime Minister Papandreou reshuffled his Cabinet. Out went the western

:03:39.:03:46.

oriented oriented technocrat who negotiated

:03:46.:03:56.
:03:56.:03:57.

the austerity package and in came Mr Venitsalos. The advantage isn't

:03:57.:04:00.

obvious. The old guy was western oriented but had little roots in

:04:00.:04:07.

business Mafias that run Greece so he was pulling levers which just

:04:07.:04:15.

aren't working. The next man party bruiser so things may change.

:04:15.:04:19.

TRANSLATION: I told the defence ministry that today I leave from

:04:19.:04:23.

defence to go to the real war and come here in the name of the Greek

:04:23.:04:27.

people because they are the managers of the crisis. They are the

:04:27.:04:33.

ones called to make sacrifices. Only with people, only with society, only

:04:33.:04:38.

with the productive forces climate of consensus and mutual

:04:38.:04:45.

understanding can we carry out this great historic challenge. In Berlin

:04:45.:04:50.

meanwhile a climbdown. Chancellor Merkel suddenly persuaded not to

:04:50.:04:54.

insist on making investors bear the cost of the second bail-out.

:04:54.:05:00.

The crunch comes on Sunday with a confidence vote. If he wins,

:05:00.:05:05.

Papandreou will most likely try to re-negotiate the austerity package

:05:05.:05:09.

with the EU. If he doesn't, the opposition may yet again come into

:05:09.:05:15.

frame with calls for a national unity coalition. TRANSLATION: We

:05:15.:05:18.

have before us a difficult negotiation. These next days are

:05:18.:05:21.

critical because the handling of our country's crisis in the European

:05:21.:05:25.

Union had some not so correct calculations. The crisis has now

:05:25.:05:28.

spread and the right solution for our country will be the

:05:28.:05:36.

But the problem remains. Any serious But the problem remains. Any serious

:05:36.:05:38.

austerity package stands the chance of plunging this economy so

:05:39.:05:46.

into recession that it out. The people here want a default.

:05:46.:05:50.

Luke, the world famous riot dog, be resting now but he and the

:05:50.:05:54.

protesters are prepared for more. On the streets and in the Parliament,

:05:54.:05:57.

everybody knows this is just the lull.

:05:57.:06:01.

In the last hour Paul has managed to In the last hour Paul has managed to

:06:01.:06:05.

escape from baggage reclaim at Heathrow and hot footed it to the

:06:05.:06:11.

studio. The Greeks want to re-negotiate this austerity package.

:06:11.:06:17.

What do they want? The principle of the renegotiation will be social

:06:17.:06:22.

justice, so this is delivering to the social base in Greece. They are

:06:22.:06:25.

working on changes they want to the thing they have already signed up

:06:25.:06:29.

with the European Union, will be trying to soften some of the

:06:29.:06:33.

blows that what we call the horizontal cuts, so cuts in welfare,

:06:33.:06:37.

cuts in wages. The other thing he said is that the fiscal story

:06:37.:06:40.

have to be delayed. Now, slightly speaking in riddles, but I

:06:41.:06:46.

read it as that they will ask for some forbearance. They

:06:46.:06:49.

going for such a big cut in the of the Greek state, which

:06:49.:06:58.

to be cut from about 55% to about 40-something% in about three years

:06:58.:07:04.

of GDP. How worried do you think those leaders are, particularly

:07:04.:07:07.

Sarkozy and Merkel? If they've got their intelligence services as well

:07:07.:07:11.

as their global and national on the job, their first worry is not

:07:11.:07:15.

going to be contagion taking down the banking system. That's going to

:07:15.:07:18.

be their second worry. Their first worry is going to be, and

:07:18.:07:22.

should be given what I've seen this week, a breakdown of European

:07:22.:07:26.

solidarity because the Greek people are beginning to think of this in

:07:26.:07:30.

Nationalist terms. An anarchist to me: I never went on demos with

:07:30.:07:34.

the Greek flag. Now I'm cool with it. We are all together. And you've

:07:34.:07:38.

got this re-thinking of the crisis as Greece versus the rest of Europe.

:07:38.:07:44.

Then, yes, it's the banking crisis. If we do get the Greek banks taken

:07:44.:07:49.

down, as you saw there 45% of the debt is held by Greek institutions,

:07:49.:07:52.

they default on half of it, the end of the Greek economy. That

:07:52.:07:55.

speeds over and spills over to rest of Europe. That's going to be

:07:55.:08:00.

their worry but the first one political. Thanks. I'm joined now

:08:00.:08:03.

by the equities investor Julian Pendock, Gideon Rachman

:08:03.:08:07.

Financial Times and Katinka of the Centre for European Reform.

:08:07.:08:13.

Is this Lehman Brothers 2? it could well be because no one

:08:14.:08:17.

foresaw the carnage when Lehman Brothers went down. People

:08:17.:08:23.

understand the interconnectivity. We do know that France and Germany have

:08:23.:08:26.

the most direct exposure to periphery nations. Secondly, what we

:08:26.:08:30.

don't know because the banking stress tests have not forced the

:08:30.:08:35.

banks to reveal how much is in their banking books is exposed to the

:08:36.:08:39.

peripheries, the degree of interconnectivity. So the problem

:08:39.:08:44.

with Lehman's is once they went down banks decided that, if we don't know

:08:44.:08:49.

how to value our balance sheets, we are going to stop doing business

:08:49.:08:53.

with other banks and then you have a Europe-wide banking crisis. So for

:08:53.:08:56.

those who say Greece is such a part of the eurozone, it doesn't

:08:56.:09:00.

matter, I think they are missing much bigger picture. Do British

:09:00.:09:08.

people get this? Because we can't quite stand idly by and watch

:09:08.:09:10.

this happen, can we? No, I don't think they do. There is a

:09:10.:09:14.

potentially dangerous problem for the British government in that the

:09:14.:09:19.

Brits tend to pat themselves on the back: we were clever,

:09:19.:09:22.

the euro, it's not really our mess. You can see that in the

:09:22.:09:27.

of the British to get involved in the bail-outs to a full extent but

:09:27.:09:30.

if there is a Europe-wide crisis we get sucked in

:09:30.:09:34.

these are our major trading partners. We heard Paul talking

:09:34.:09:39.

about that as people seeing it in Nationalist terms. Some people in

:09:39.:09:44.

Germany are seeing it that way. heard Germans saying: why should I

:09:44.:09:48.

pay my taxes for people who don't work hard and pay their taxes? They

:09:48.:09:54.

might be wrong or right but how some see it? My sense is that

:09:54.:09:58.

the mood in Germany is now more nuanced than a year ago. A year ago

:09:58.:10:05.

the mood was: the Greeks had a party, they trashed their house, let

:10:05.:10:09.

them clean it up. They were going to tide them over but there was

:10:09.:10:17.

understanding of how deep trouble in Greece was. That has now

:10:17.:10:22.

shifted. How much austerity can you impose on an economy that is already

:10:22.:10:25.

shrinking so much and can we actually afford a scenario in which

:10:25.:10:31.

the euro itself is under threat? So the debate is a bit more nuanced.

:10:31.:10:34.

It's absolutely right, the political solidarity is not necessarily there

:10:34.:10:42.

to use taxpayers' money ad infinitum to transfer it to poorer nations in

:10:42.:10:45.

the south of Europe but there is also a sense that the euro is at

:10:45.:10:48.

stake and the Germans are still very much prepared to do what it takes

:10:48.:10:52.

save this. But if people get how important Greece is to the rest

:10:52.:10:56.

Europe it's also true perhaps that they have less faith in their own

:10:56.:11:00.

European elites? The Greek government has its problems, the

:11:00.:11:05.

German government has its problems, Sarkozy has his problems and to talk

:11:05.:11:07.

about European solidarity moment doesn't play well

:11:08.:11:13.

everybody, does it? No, not at all. 50% of people in Germany weren't

:11:13.:11:21.

allowed to vote on joining the euro and so once again you see the

:11:21.:11:24.

periphery governments, just changing, shifting deck chairs on

:11:24.:11:27.

the Titanic and the problem that Europe faces as a whole is that the

:11:27.:11:31.

whole system was designed not to arrive in this position because it's

:11:31.:11:35.

almost impossible to get out of, so from here you have two choices:

:11:35.:11:39.

you have a move towards currency area which means a federal

:11:39.:11:43.

superstate like the US, where California can bail out Michigan,

:11:43.:11:48.

for example; or do you have a break-up and have some members of

:11:48.:11:53.

the eurozone, southern bloc, leaving the euro? Do you agree with that,

:11:53.:11:58.

that Europe is absolutely at a crossroads, where an Eurosceptic or

:11:58.:12:02.

a real europhile there has to be big change as a result of this?

:12:02.:12:05.

Yes, I think that's the debate that's beginning to emerge. If you

:12:05.:12:11.

speak to the real europhiles a lot will say the only way out of this is

:12:11.:12:14.

through political union, like setting up a European Ministry of

:12:14.:12:18.

Finance, much bigger financial transfers of the sort that were just

:12:18.:12:22.

referred to, sort of moving towards an US model where you have a

:12:22.:12:25.

federal system. The trouble is there's no evidence that's

:12:25.:12:27.

politically acceptable to the electorates of Europe. There was

:12:27.:12:36.

sort of gamble among some of the federalists that there would almost

:12:37.:12:41.

be an automaticity, but that hasn't happened because people

:12:41.:12:45.

willing to buy it. Do you with that? I do, in a way this is

:12:45.:12:48.

calling Europe's bluff. It was when good times were rolling to talk

:12:48.:12:51.

about an ever closer union and the European Union was always

:12:51.:12:55.

to go forward. Now we are in a crisis situation, we find out

:12:55.:12:58.

the political fabric we needed for this is just not there, so I think

:12:58.:13:03.

what's going to happen first is, rather than a federal superstate

:13:03.:13:06.

emerging, those countries that come up with the cash will set very tough

:13:06.:13:10.

rules for those countries the moment are in trouble. Now, this

:13:10.:13:14.

is somewhat ironic because, when Europe was set up part of the

:13:14.:13:19.

rationale of it was to reduce the dominance of the Bundestag, that it

:13:19.:13:24.

had over European economies, and give other countries in Europe at

:13:24.:13:31.

least a share of the decision-making - and we are now going back to a

:13:31.:13:34.

situation where other core countries together with the Netherlands

:13:34.:13:38.

the other countries exactly do. I will bring in

:13:38.:13:42.

well just to hear what you think. Does anybody say in Greece: it would

:13:42.:13:47.

be a great mercy if we had the drachma back, we could devalue,

:13:47.:13:50.

tourists would flood back and we would be out of this. They

:13:51.:13:54.

still be poor. One old guy said to me on the streets I would rather be

:13:54.:13:57.

poor than take any more money from the European Union. That's the way

:13:57.:14:01.

they think about it. I think it's likely. Because the problem is, we

:14:01.:14:05.

are talking here about the known, aren't we? We are talking about what

:14:05.:14:10.

we expect to happen. But this is a social breakdown going on in Greece

:14:10.:14:13.

and, if he doesn't get the confidence or if he does and they

:14:13.:14:19.

form a national government, it's one step closer to the kind of Bolivian

:14:19.:14:24.

leftist President who was preceded by a unity government of technocrats

:14:24.:14:29.

and I think the opponents of the whole system who are quite large,

:14:29.:14:33.

are thinking: bring it on. Bring a national government. What do you

:14:33.:14:38.

think of that? Let's take a step back. Number one, you don't help

:14:38.:14:41.

someone who is bankrupt by them with more debt,

:14:41.:14:46.

interest you take, and number two, I do believe that unity is fragmenting

:14:46.:14:54.

across Europe. Isn't it set to fail? That great thing we said a few

:14:54.:14:59.

years ago about certain banks: it can't fail, it has to be bailed out

:14:59.:15:02.

because the consequences of doing so are so awful? Yes, but

:15:02.:15:07.

think the phrase that will be entering the lexicon, and we have

:15:07.:15:11.

seen unrest on the streets of Greece, is austerity fatigue because

:15:12.:15:15.

inside what's known as internal devaluation because traditional IMF

:15:15.:15:20.

medicine is you do devalue as have just discussed, if you can't do

:15:20.:15:24.

that then your wages have to go down, asset prices like your house

:15:24.:15:29.

prices go down, you get stuck; there's less mobility of labour

:15:29.:15:33.

people get worse and worse off. Then you get social instability. That's a

:15:33.:15:36.

description of a vicious circle, isn't it, because that doesn't get

:15:36.:15:40.

you out of it but deeper into it? No, and there is a re-thinking

:15:40.:15:43.

on at the moment. I cannot quite foresee a scenario yet in which

:15:43.:15:46.

Greece or any other country leaves the eurozone. Greece is not actually

:15:46.:15:49.

a very open economy. It's quite closed, so even a big devaluation

:15:49.:15:52.

wouldn't do an awful lot for the country to restore growth. What it

:15:53.:15:56.

needs is fundamental reform and they have started, and Greece is a small

:15:56.:16:01.

economy. It might actually around relatively quickly. It is

:16:01.:16:06.

totally right that it is a matter of how much is politically feasible in

:16:06.:16:10.

Europe, but there will be another package to tide Greece over. At

:16:10.:16:13.

point in time they will have to write down the debt. At that

:16:13.:16:16.

in time probably there won't be much of that debt left in the

:16:16.:16:20.

banking sector; it will all be in public hands so it will be the

:16:20.:16:23.

taxpayers in the rest of Europe who have to swallow some of these

:16:23.:16:28.

losses, but these are not enormous sums. As long as we can contain it -

:16:28.:16:35.

Well, not yet. As long as Spain and Italy don't come into the equation -

:16:35.:16:39.

yes. Gideon? It seems to me the key point is the one that Paul was

:16:39.:16:43.

making: how politically sustainable is this? Greece is an extreme

:16:43.:16:48.

example of a country that saw its salvation as Europe. Europe

:16:48.:16:53.

associated with rising prosperity, with democracy, and that whole

:16:53.:16:56.

narrative has turned around and now they feel almost like they are being

:16:56.:17:01.

colonised by Brussels, by and people react badly to that.

:17:01.:17:04.

Paul, you would chime with that, sort of things

:17:04.:17:07.

on the streets? Yes, I think it's impossible until you have been

:17:07.:17:10.

to get your head around the scale of the social crisis. It's not

:17:10.:17:15.

Portugal, it's not Ireland, it's not Spain, it's not Egypt. Cairo was

:17:15.:17:21.

calmer. The streets of Greece are full of single male migrants and

:17:21.:17:26.

single male poor Greeks and I think, if people think it's the demos or

:17:26.:17:30.

the 2 or 3,000 anarchists in balaclavas who have caused this,

:17:30.:17:34.

well, they have put the edge on but the politicians can't survive

:17:34.:17:39.

forever driving to and from places in closed limos and behind shutters

:17:39.:17:42.

when they are surrounded by social breakdown. That is what has caused

:17:42.:17:45.

the rethink and I think that you are right, that is what is causing the

:17:45.:17:48.

rethink in Brussels, Paris and Berlin. Thank you very

:17:48.:17:52.

much. Now, the Conservative Philip Davies suggested in the

:17:52.:17:54.

Commons today that disabled people might benefit from being allowed to

:17:54.:17:58.

work for less than the minimum wage. He said that the minimum wage

:17:58.:18:02.

prevents those people from being given the opportunity to get to the

:18:02.:18:06.

first rung on the employment ladder. Campaigners for disabled people

:18:06.:18:10.

variously said this was nonsense, preposterous, outrageous and would

:18:10.:18:15.

take Britain back decades. Here is some of what he had to say. When I

:18:15.:18:18.

went to visit Mind and I spoke people there that were using

:18:18.:18:22.

service offered by that charity, they were absolutely upfront with me

:18:22.:18:27.

and they said that when they went for a job and they came across

:18:27.:18:31.

situation where there was people who had applied for that job,

:18:31.:18:37.

they've got mental health problems; other people haven't. They said to

:18:37.:18:41.

me: who would you take on? They were quite accepting of the fact that

:18:41.:18:44.

was inevitable that the employer would take on the person who hadn't

:18:44.:18:46.

got any mental health problems, given that they were both going to

:18:46.:18:51.

have to be paid the same rate. Given that some of those people with

:18:51.:18:53.

learning disability clearly by definition can't be as productive in

:18:54.:18:59.

their work as somebody who hasn't got a disability of that nature,

:18:59.:19:02.

then it was inevitable that given the employer was going to have

:19:02.:19:05.

pay them both the same they were going to take on the person who was

:19:05.:19:09.

going to be more productive, less a risk and that was doing those

:19:09.:19:14.

people a huge disservice. I'm joined now by the Conservative MP Philip

:19:14.:19:18.

Davies and by Liz Sayce of RADAR, the leading organisation helping

:19:18.:19:22.

people with disabilities. Why should disabled people become cheap labour?

:19:22.:19:26.

Well, I didn't solely feature disabled people in my speech. This

:19:26.:19:31.

is something that the media have latched onto. I made the point - You

:19:31.:19:35.

did say it though and Downing Street repudiated it. You said it

:19:35.:19:37.

undermines fairness in the place. No, no, I said that

:19:37.:19:41.

who was having difficulty in accessing the jobs market should

:19:41.:19:44.

able, if they chose to - they shouldn't have to, shouldn't be

:19:44.:19:48.

expected to - but if they chose to, were trying to build up some work

:19:48.:19:51.

experience and weren't getting the opportunity, they should be able to

:19:51.:19:55.

if they chose to, to work below the minimum wage. Are you actually

:19:55.:19:58.

saying that disabled people were better off when there was no

:19:58.:20:02.

wage? I was pointing out that was said to me by people at

:20:02.:20:06.

Mind, the service users at Mind said that they encountered this

:20:06.:20:09.

problem - Are you saying that people with disabilities were better off

:20:09.:20:15.

before the minimum wage? No, I before the minimum wage? No, I made

:20:15.:20:21.

the point in my speech - You they were better off - if you

:20:21.:20:24.

let me answer, lots of people have benefited from the minimum wage.

:20:24.:20:27.

Lots of people, with or without disabilities, but we

:20:27.:20:30.

heads in the sand and pretend there isn't an issue, there's lots of

:20:30.:20:33.

people out there who haven't got job who are finding it very

:20:33.:20:36.

difficult to get a job and for those people, some of the

:20:36.:20:39.

former prisoners, people disabilities, people who leave

:20:39.:20:43.

school with no qualifications, actually the status quo is doing

:20:43.:20:48.

them a great disservice. Why did many disability groups and people

:20:48.:20:50.

with disabilities find this really offensive? Well, I think it was

:20:50.:20:53.

insulting to kind of assume that just because you are

:20:53.:20:57.

you are going to be less productive, have less to contribute. We need to

:20:57.:21:00.

think about assets that people bring and also about the support that

:21:00.:21:03.

people need in order to be productive. So if, for example,

:21:03.:21:06.

are blind and you don't have right software on your computer,

:21:06.:21:10.

then of course you are not going to be productive because you can't work

:21:10.:21:13.

on a par with everybody else. Aren't you describing a

:21:13.:21:16.

we would like, which is people having much more equality of

:21:16.:21:19.

opportunity, no matter what their background or disability may be, but

:21:19.:21:22.

that's not the world we live in? world we live in is very

:21:22.:21:25.

competitive, tough to get a job and people with disabilities,

:21:25.:21:29.

unfortunately, tend to be at the of the queue? I think for the last

:21:29.:21:33.

couple of decades we have been fighting hard for equality. We have

:21:33.:21:35.

anti-discrimination law and employment rates

:21:35.:21:39.

have been going up and we now know - I've just done an independent Review

:21:39.:21:42.

for government, we know what works and it's not dropping the minimum

:21:42.:21:46.

wage. What it is is support that is flexible for individuals and

:21:46.:21:49.

employer knowing that there's somebody to turn to for advice if

:21:49.:21:54.

they need it and there's all sorts of types of support that mean that

:21:54.:22:00.

people with learning disabilities who Philip mentioned can have the

:22:00.:22:04.

instruction they need to do a job. They have status with their families

:22:04.:22:10.

and communities as never before. is she wrong? No, not at all. So

:22:10.:22:16.

therefore everything is fine? No, what I am saying is it may be

:22:16.:22:19.

unpalatable but we have lots of people with or without disabilities

:22:19.:22:23.

who want a job and can't find one. The preposterous situation where

:22:23.:22:27.

it's fine for somebody to go and work for nothing, but if they said I

:22:27.:22:33.

want to work for �5 an hour to prove myself for a short period of time,

:22:33.:22:37.

that's - Why do you think Downing Street ran away from your comments

:22:37.:22:41.

like a scolded dog? They are fundamentally wrong but they

:22:41.:22:47.

think that plays to the chord that people want to call them the nasty

:22:47.:22:52.

party. I'm actually highlighting real issue for lots of vulnerable

:22:52.:22:57.

people in the country and we can pretend there isn't a problem, it's

:22:57.:23:03.

an unpalatable truth but what I'm saying is with employers being

:23:03.:23:06.

reluctant to take on people, true. That bit is true and

:23:07.:23:10.

Davies says some people with disabilities have said they would

:23:10.:23:13.

take a job at less than minimum wage. Absolutely. Some people

:23:13.:23:16.

obviously work in voluntary work for nothing. I don't dispute

:23:16.:23:21.

people may have said that but just done a rue speaking to hundreds

:23:21.:23:25.

of people and that is not disabled people are saying. They are

:23:25.:23:31.

saying we want fair chances to get jobs. It's not rocket science. We

:23:32.:23:35.

can do this and I think otherwise we are just entrenching

:23:35.:23:37.

inequality. We are saying disabled people can work for less than

:23:37.:23:42.

minimum wage. It sounds like exploitation to me. But aren't

:23:42.:23:46.

having your head in the sand about this because it's a very competitive

:23:46.:23:50.

job market and employers will discriminate, whether we think it's

:23:50.:23:54.

legal or good, they do do that? Well, I think what we need is the

:23:54.:23:57.

opportunity for disabled people to get into apprenticeships, to get

:23:57.:24:02.

internships, work experience, and that is a growing area. There are

:24:02.:24:03.

number of employers number of employers doing very good

:24:03.:24:08.

work in this area and there's also a law to challenge employers that are

:24:08.:24:11.

not doing their bit. I think things are gradually moving in the right

:24:11.:24:15.

direction but I have just been doing a review that made recommendations

:24:15.:24:19.

to double the number of people would provide the support that

:24:19.:24:23.

this possible. You don't want a minimum wage for anybody?

:24:23.:24:28.

would prefer it if there was a private agreement between employers

:24:28.:24:33.

and employees. But it seems preposterous to me that we want

:24:33.:24:36.

disabled people to be in internships where they are paid nothing but it's

:24:36.:24:40.

totally offensive to suggest they might take a job at �5 an hour.

:24:40.:24:45.

Surely it's more offensive that get jobs for nothing than taking

:24:45.:24:49.

jobs just below the minimum wage for a short period of time to prove

:24:49.:24:52.

themselves to an employer who might be reluctant. We will leave it

:24:52.:24:56.

there, thank you. In Canada there was a riot recently after

:24:56.:25:02.

hockey match as the police in full Robocop deer piled in to clear

:25:02.:25:05.

protesters, a photographer took a picture of a young couple appearing

:25:05.:25:10.

to be kissing in the middle the mayhem. It became an internet

:25:10.:25:15.

sensation. We try to work out what was really going on and what makes

:25:15.:25:20.

an iconic photograph. A kiss is a lovely kiss.

:25:20.:25:22.

They are not just kissing, they are They are not just kissing, they are

:25:22.:25:27.

making out, aren't they? Second or third base.

:25:28.:25:35.

# I have been looking for so long at # I have been looking for so long at

:25:35.:25:40.

# I have been looking for so long at these pictures of you #

:25:40.:25:40.

these pictures of you # these pictures of you #

:25:41.:25:41.

Incredibly these are Canadians and Incredibly these are Canadians and

:25:41.:25:43.

# I have been they are rioting over an ice hockey

:25:43.:25:48.

game. In the midst of the skirmishes between fans and riot police in

:25:48.:25:53.

Vancouver a photographer took a picture of a young couple apparently

:25:53.:25:57.

embracing on the street. They been identified as Scott Jones and

:25:57.:26:03.

his girlfriend, Alex Thomas. I it's special for lots of reasons

:26:03.:26:05.

really. The policeman in the foreground out of focus is really

:26:05.:26:09.

strong and very well placed in the frame. The kiss is a lovely kiss,

:26:09.:26:14.

you know. There's moments that it looks boring, ugly,

:26:14.:26:18.

clumsy, but this is just the delicate moment that he is caught

:26:18.:26:21.

and as I say the colour, I don't know if it's street lighting

:26:21.:26:29.

smoke in the background, just gives it that vibrancy.

:26:29.:26:32.

But was it a kiss at all? Another But was it a kiss at all? Another

:26:32.:26:37.

picture of the scene suggests rather different interpretation. I

:26:37.:26:44.

think it was Cartier Bresson who said you can reconfigure the world

:26:44.:26:48.

totally if you are a photographer just by moving a few paces to the

:26:48.:26:52.

left and of course another picture of the same scene taken from

:26:52.:26:56.

makes it clear that actually this isn't a kiss, that some sort of

:26:56.:26:59.

accident has taken place. I one of the things about all of these

:27:00.:27:03.

pictures is that what you tend to get is a huge narrative, compressed

:27:03.:27:10.

into it. Then it's up - then you can read the picture, you can expand the

:27:10.:27:14.

moment depicted and build a around it.

:27:14.:27:17.

In the past couple of hours In the past couple of hours

:27:17.:27:20.

Newsnight has caught up with an eyewitness, a reporter who was

:27:20.:27:24.

covering the ice hockey riot. I think it was a kiss. He was trying

:27:24.:27:28.

to just make sure she felt comforted. I am sure she was hurt a

:27:28.:27:32.

little, so in the middle of that chaos, and you got to remember flash

:27:32.:27:40.

bank bangs were going off so that is pretty disorienting, so I think he

:27:40.:27:44.

was just being a good lover and helping her up.

:27:44.:27:48.

There's something about love across There's something about love across

:27:48.:27:51.

the barricades, says the man who took this picture during the poll

:27:51.:27:55.

tax riots. I think it's the conjunction of the flames of London

:27:55.:28:01.

burning, the police, the feeling of tension that you still get and their

:28:01.:28:05.

complete lostness in each other, the woman and

:28:05.:28:12.

woman and - her name is Lawrence and the guy is Nidge I found out later

:28:12.:28:15.

and they were just out of and out of everywhere, they

:28:15.:28:19.

just in each other. She is pregnant in that picture by the way and now

:28:19.:28:25.

But ever since this famous French But ever since this famous French

:28:25.:28:28.

kiss in postwar Paris was have been a little stage-managed by

:28:29.:28:34.

the photographer, Robert Doisneau, some of us are sceptical about such

:28:34.:28:39.

striking images of intimacy. I reckon the worldwide disappointment

:28:39.:28:43.

about the Robert Doisneau kiss was enormous. With this one, I think,

:28:43.:28:49.

OK, if it turns out that it was kind of set-up, it would be

:28:49.:28:54.

disappointing but the thing is things are speeded up so much now

:28:54.:29:00.

that it achieved its - you know, it achieved its instant iconnicity and

:29:00.:29:08.

then the disillusion. Will be equally quick, I think. Well,

:29:09.:29:14.

sign of that as we go to press, or do I mean bed? As far as we know,

:29:14.:29:21.

That was our snogging correspondent, That was our snogging correspondent,

:29:21.:29:24.

Stephen Smith. Now here is Suzy Klein with a word of what's

:29:24.:29:30.

Thanks a lot, tonight we have Thanks a lot, tonight we have

:29:30.:29:31.

highlights of the Edinburgh Film highlights of the Edinburgh Film

:29:31.:29:32.

Festival and the Sheffield Festival and the Sheffield

:29:32.:29:33.

Festival and the Sheffield Documentary Festival, everything

:29:33.:29:35.

Documentary Festival, everything Documentary Festival, everything

:29:35.:29:36.

Thanks a lot, from domesticated chimps to killer

:29:36.:29:39.

plagues. For all the hot tips, join me in a moment.

:29:39.:29:44.

A quick look at tomorrow's front pages. The Independent has: Greek

:29:44.:29:49.

debt, Europe at a crossroads. The Times has a picture of Rory McIlroy,

:29:49.:29:53.

66 makes history at the halfway the US Open. Let's hope he

:29:53.:30:01.

do what he did before. The FT: Berlin concedes on the Greek rescue.

:30:01.:30:07.

The Guardian also has McIlroy. he hold on this time? Biggest strike

:30:07.:30:12.

for 100 years says union chief over pensions. It won't be like miners

:30:12.:30:19.

because we will win, says the Unison leader.

:30:19.:30:21.

For now we leave you with a reminder For now we leave you with a reminder

:30:21.:30:24.

How worried should the UK and the rest of Europe be about a bail-out for Greece? After days of rioting and political unrest in Greece, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have met to dicuss the offer of a bail-out. And was that really a couple kissing on the ground between police and rioters in Vancouver? Newsnight is presented by Gavin Esler.


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