13/01/2012 Newsnight


13/01/2012

Comprehensive coverage of important national and international news stories presented by Emily Maitlis.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 13/01/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

France and eight other countries downgraded, the eurozone bailout in

:00:07.:00:13.

peril, is this the end of the Franco German access at the heart

:00:13.:00:18.

of -- axis at the heart of Europe. The world's leading ratings agency

:00:18.:00:22.

says austerity is failing. 20 months on, why can no-one solve the

:00:22.:00:25.

crisis that threatens Europe and the world economy.

:00:25.:00:32.

We speak to the world's largest bond trade year, a G20 adviser, a

:00:32.:00:37.

former British minister and a French economist. As the head of

:00:37.:00:43.

the Arab League warns that Syria is sliding towards civil war, we're in

:00:43.:00:47.

Damascus. We have been told not to travel anywhere outside the city

:00:47.:00:50.

centre, that is because in the suburbs, on previous Fridays, there

:00:50.:01:00.

has been serious trouble. Good evening. You don't have to be

:01:00.:01:03.

superstitious to realise today was a bad one all round for the

:01:03.:01:06.

eurozone. This evening the confirmation of the news the French

:01:06.:01:13.

dreaded, the country would lose its triple-A status with Standard &

:01:13.:01:16.

Poor's. Humiliation on a national level, particularly for paed facing

:01:16.:01:21.

re-election in spring. The move could spell disaster for the entire

:01:21.:01:23.

European bailout package, the European Financial Stability Fund.

:01:23.:01:28.

Spain, Italy and six others were downgraded too, to round things off

:01:28.:01:32.

talks on Greek debt write-offs have stalled. In a moment we will ask

:01:32.:01:35.

the world's largest bond trader what impact this will have on the

:01:35.:01:39.

world economy. We will talk to key figures here in Paris and London.

:01:39.:01:44.

Will tonight's news spell the end of the Merkozy partnership, the

:01:44.:01:50.

axis of European leadership. Germany, Finland, the netherlands

:01:50.:01:54.

and Luxembourg, these are the only countries left in the eurozone,

:01:54.:01:58.

where lending to them is 100% safe. France tonight had to face a

:01:58.:02:03.

humiliating debt downgrade. The French Finance Minister shrugged it

:02:03.:02:07.

off. TRANSLATION: We had warning this

:02:07.:02:12.

was going to happen a month ago. It is not a big surprise.

:02:12.:02:16.

No it is not a catastrophy. It is like asking a pupil, who was always

:02:16.:02:21.

getting 20 out of 20, if getting a 19 out of 20 is a catastrophy. No,

:02:21.:02:26.

of course it isn't. We have still got a great rating. But the

:02:26.:02:31.

implications are huge. The ratings agency S & P, which also downgraded

:02:31.:02:35.

Portugal, Austria and Spain, said the agreement reached on 9th

:02:35.:02:38.

December has not produced a breakthrough of sufficient size and

:02:38.:02:42.

scope to fully address the eurozone's financial problems. And

:02:42.:02:48.

they said, dammingly, a reform process based on a pillar of fiscal

:02:48.:02:52.

austerity alone, risks become self- defeating. In the short-term all

:02:52.:02:55.

this makes this a bit more costly for France to borrow money. But the

:02:55.:03:00.

move now calls into question the viability of the eurozone bailout

:03:00.:03:04.

fund, the called EFSF, that is backed by Government, and if one of

:03:04.:03:09.

them loses debt credibility, so does the fund. I don't think that

:03:09.:03:12.

the ratings agencies are giving us any new information. I think that

:03:12.:03:19.

they are telling us what we already knew. Part of what wr seeing

:03:19.:03:23.

happening is the ratings agencies were really humbled in 200, by the

:03:23.:03:28.

fact that they failed to give people -- 2008, by the fact that

:03:28.:03:32.

they failed to give people an indication beforehand. I wouldn't

:03:32.:03:35.

say they are trigger happeny now, but they are determined not to be

:03:35.:03:40.

caught out again. Meanwhile, in Greece, the eurocrisis took a whole

:03:40.:03:45.

different turn for the worse. Talks broke down between banks and the

:03:45.:03:50.

Greek Government over the supposedly big write-off of half

:03:50.:03:56.

Greek debt. That puts in question the second Greek bailout, worth 130

:03:56.:04:04.

billion euros. As Greek recoveryle stalls and debt spirals, the

:04:04.:04:08.

question over Europe's recovery rises. The question of brinkmanship

:04:08.:04:12.

in Greece is the big financial story today the that is the big

:04:12.:04:19.

risk. So far Greece has gotten away with this slightly artificial

:04:19.:04:24.

voluntary restructuring. It hasn't been all that voluntary. But that

:04:24.:04:29.

has been an important fiction for the markets, because of all sorts

:04:29.:04:34.

of legal covenants around that. If that breaks down, then I think

:04:34.:04:37.

really up fortunately we are going to be in a stage in the European

:04:37.:04:43.

crisis. And while all this happens, Hungary's stand-off with the EU and

:04:43.:04:48.

IMF continues. Hungary's not in the euro, but its collapsing finances

:04:48.:04:55.

means it needs up to $20 billion of loans from the IMF. Exposure to

:04:55.:05:01.

Hungary what prompted S & P to downgrade Austria and Slovakia

:05:01.:05:05.

tonight. Bit by bit the links in the eurocrisis are being forged.

:05:05.:05:09.

Let's pick up with that. One reason this throws into

:05:09.:05:14.

question the whole idea of France and Germany, they lose parity. That

:05:14.:05:18.

was all so central to the two leaders at the top? Deep within the

:05:18.:05:21.

inner circle of Mrs Merkel's Government, what they believe is

:05:21.:05:27.

France and Germany have to be equals at the heart of the Uri

:05:27.:05:30.

europroject. When you hear the French minister saying it is like

:05:30.:05:33.

getting 19 out of 206789 the Germans look at it differently,

:05:33.:05:39.

both in fistle kal terms, who pays to bail out everybody else, and in

:05:39.:05:41.

moral terms, there has to be equalty. You can't have France

:05:41.:05:44.

leaving the solution countries, and becoming one of the problem

:05:44.:05:49.

countries. It is not yet, but this is a first step down that road.

:05:49.:05:53.

There is another political problem, of course, the whole thing rests on

:05:53.:05:57.

Mr Sarkozy getting re-elected. Because his opponent in France

:05:57.:06:02.

against the treaty, that isn't now, we hear, working. Mr Sarkozy now

:06:02.:06:07.

has to go to the polls and say I'm the man who lost our triple-A

:06:07.:06:10.

rating. Not easy to do. We heard one commentator say this

:06:10.:06:14.

is a new stage in the European crisis just when you thought it

:06:14.:06:19.

wasn't going to get any worse. What are the solutions now, are they

:06:19.:06:24.

changing as a consequence of this? It hasn't got worse in a sense

:06:24.:06:29.

tonight, S & P says the policy of pumping money into the system is

:06:29.:06:33.

holding the situation. There is a really interestingp couple of lines

:06:33.:06:38.

in this, where they say you are misdiagnosing the problem, you

:06:38.:06:42.

think it is profligacy on the borders, Greece and Ireland, it is

:06:42.:06:47.

both that and Europe's general lack of competitiveness, its general

:06:47.:06:52.

malaise and problem. They say if you try to solve this with

:06:52.:06:55.

austerity alone, it will not work. It will be a spiral that will

:06:55.:07:00.

simply, the implication is, lead to a whole string of defaults. That

:07:00.:07:04.

sounds a bit like what Ed Balls says in this country, but in the

:07:04.:07:10.

eurozone it is what Barroso has been saying, and Dominic Strauss

:07:10.:07:16.

Khan used to say. You can't cut your way out of the crisis. And for

:07:16.:07:19.

a very neo-liberal American Wall Street company to back that up is

:07:19.:07:23.

quite surprising. Thank you very much.

:07:23.:07:26.

The eurozone crisis threatps the entire world economy, clearly, and

:07:26.:07:32.

to try to see where it might end, I'm joined now from Paris from

:07:32.:07:37.

Professor Christian de Boissieu, an economist, and from California by

:07:37.:07:41.

Mohamed El-Erian, one of the world's biggest bond traders, and

:07:41.:07:46.

here by the former minister, Baroness Vladivostok, thank you

:07:46.:07:51.

very much for joining me. Professor De Boissieu, we heard your Finance

:07:51.:07:55.

Minister say it was not a catastrophy, of course it is not a

:07:55.:07:58.

catastrophy. As Paul was saying, it puts France now in the position of

:07:58.:08:03.

being one of the problem countries, not solution countries. That is

:08:03.:08:10.

bad? It is not a catastrophy, for me it is an event. It it is an

:08:10.:08:14.

event in the sense that it is creating, as you said, a gap, a

:08:14.:08:19.

financial gap between France and Germany, and I think that one

:08:19.:08:25.

purpose of the next summit, at the end of this month, will start to

:08:25.:08:29.

close this gap. I would say at least from the political viewpoint.

:08:29.:08:35.

And we have to deepen the Franco German co-operation, not despite

:08:35.:08:40.

thep gap, but because of the gap. That is interesting. Do you think

:08:40.:08:44.

that kind of co-operation, that parity can exist in the same way we

:08:44.:08:49.

have seen it in the last year or so? You are talking about austerity,

:08:49.:08:56.

you know. Just a word about this, we have to work on the two legs. I

:08:56.:09:06.
:09:06.:09:06.

remember that one year ago the rating at were asking only for

:09:06.:09:12.

fiscal consolidation, and now, they are right when they ask for the two,

:09:12.:09:17.

fiscal counsel daigs, plus some growth initiative -- consolidation,

:09:17.:09:21.

plus some growth initiative. The same, the next European Summit at

:09:21.:09:26.

the end of January, will have to address the growth, the growth

:09:26.:09:30.

problem for Europe. Very interesting. We will just try to

:09:30.:09:34.

fix that sound problem. Apologies for that there. If I can turn to

:09:34.:09:39.

you, Mohamed El-Erian, is it wrong to take too much from one agency.

:09:39.:09:46.

Will it actually make a difference to how you trade, how you invest?

:09:46.:09:52.

In the short-term it will not. In fact, the markets had priced in a

:09:52.:09:56.

much biger downgrade than what S & P delivered for fraps. In the short

:09:56.:10:01.

run, no, -- France. In the short run, no. In the long run this is

:10:01.:10:05.

really consequential. First, as has been discussed. It creates a wedge

:10:05.:10:09.

at the inner core of the eurozone, that makes solutions much more

:10:09.:10:13.

difficult. Secondly, it undermines pan-European vehicle that is are

:10:13.:10:19.

there to bail out other countries. Thirdly, let's not forget that when

:10:19.:10:23.

you lose your triple-A, you change your investor base, there are fewer

:10:23.:10:27.

people out there, because certain people have a limit of triple-A on

:10:28.:10:34.

where they are willing to invest. In the short run it is not an

:10:34.:10:37.

immediate reaction because the market had priced more, but it is a

:10:37.:10:44.

par dime shift for Europe. leaves -- Pardigm shift. For Europe.

:10:44.:10:50.

It leaves Germany where it didn't want to be, going it alone? That is

:10:50.:10:54.

a very valid point, the fund that is there to bailout European

:10:54.:10:58.

countries has now got fewer triple- A countries backing it. That will

:10:58.:11:03.

make really hard for it to raise money. Literally one major one, it

:11:03.:11:08.

is Germany? Indeed. The question that is now facing Europe is, in

:11:08.:11:11.

the event that Italy and Spain can't access the markets any more,

:11:11.:11:15.

where is the source of liquidity, if it is not this fund, it doesn't

:11:15.:11:19.

want to be Germany, and the European Central Bank says it is

:11:19.:11:23.

constrained and can't do certain things, who going to bail out Italy

:11:23.:11:26.

and Spain. That is the question we are going to face going forward.

:11:26.:11:32.

Are you saying this is the end of the EFSF in its current shape now?

:11:32.:11:37.

To be perfectly Honest, the EFSF has had a limited amount of money,

:11:37.:11:41.

and the situation hasn't particularly changed. The agreement

:11:41.:11:45.

they reached to leverage it four or five times was always rather

:11:45.:11:48.

nonsensical, the situation is actually very similar to where we

:11:48.:11:52.

were before, which is who going to provide the liquidity. Mohamed El-

:11:52.:11:57.

Erian, we were talking about the dual angle of the news today, you

:11:57.:12:01.

were saying that this made it much more difficult for countries to

:12:01.:12:05.

have a concerted project, if you like, to help others. We know that

:12:05.:12:09.

Greek debt talks have now stalled, what's the future there, do you

:12:09.:12:13.

think we're actually going to see that whole debt having to be

:12:13.:12:21.

written off, because basically defaulted on its own? There is no

:12:21.:12:25.

doubt in my mind that Greece will default. By he default I mean that

:12:25.:12:29.

if you are a holder of Greek bonds, the terms of your bonds are change.

:12:29.:12:34.

You will take what's called a haircut. You will have a lower

:12:34.:12:39.

claim on Greece. The question how is this done? There was a hope that

:12:39.:12:43.

you could do this in an orderly fashion, which is is another way of

:12:43.:12:47.

saying you don't trigger legal contracts. What happened today

:12:47.:12:51.

makes that more complicated. But I don't think it is that bad news. I

:12:51.:12:55.

have been stunned as to how tolerant the Greeks have been with

:12:55.:12:59.

their private creditors. Their private creditors were scaring the

:12:59.:13:02.

Greek, and I think it is a good thing, that the Greeks have

:13:02.:13:07.

realised that the balance of power is much more balanced than they had

:13:07.:13:10.

perceived before today. It is quite interesting, Christian de Boissieu,

:13:11.:13:14.

does it mean that France no longer has this moral authority then to

:13:14.:13:20.

turn to other countries and say, you know, you need to cut, you need

:13:20.:13:25.

to rein in, these are the areas that you need to work on? No, this

:13:25.:13:31.

is not the end of France. Let's be cautious about this. May I say it

:13:31.:13:38.

is not either the end of the EFSF, it is going to complicate the

:13:38.:13:43.

working and the cost of the EFSF. Therefore, I want to open for

:13:43.:13:47.

debate about the role of the ECB, because I think that beyond what

:13:47.:13:52.

has been at the sided today by Standard & Poor's, I think that --

:13:52.:13:54.

decided today by Standard & Poor's. I think that the debate about the

:13:54.:13:59.

possibility for the ECB to be a full lender of last resorter for

:13:59.:14:02.

the eurozone will come back. It will come back around the table.

:14:02.:14:08.

is interesting, isn't it, Germany's resisted this, Baroness Vladivostok,

:14:08.:14:13.

it is pretty much Germany on its -- Baroness Vader, it is really much

:14:13.:14:16.

Germany on its own with the fund, really doesn't matter? It does

:14:17.:14:21.

matter, as far as the ECB is concerned, they have constraints on

:14:21.:14:25.

their own institution, they can only buy debt on the secondary

:14:25.:14:31.

market. Today one member of the ECB said they are unhappy at the draft

:14:32.:14:36.

fistle kal pact that has been circulating, saying -- fiscal pact,

:14:36.:14:45.

saying that it has been wartrd down. Something to do with the S & P's

:14:45.:14:49.

downgrading saying austerity is not the only answer. With the ECB

:14:49.:14:54.

intervening it is asking for much tougher austerity. The other

:14:54.:14:59.

complication with the Greek debt that we should be aware of. If the

:14:59.:15:04.

deal becomes coercive not voluntary, it is the ECB, as a significant

:15:04.:15:09.

holder of Greek debt, will have to take a haircut and a loss. This

:15:09.:15:12.

idea that too much store was put on austerity, Christian de Boissieu,

:15:12.:15:18.

and it comes from quite an unusual source. Do you think that Europe

:15:18.:15:25.

will start to re-think the way it has been talking? We will be

:15:25.:15:29.

talking about spending rather than cutting? First, let me say, I don't

:15:29.:15:34.

think this do. Let me first say that there was a word "alone",

:15:34.:15:40.

fiscal austerity "alone", that is because fiscal solvency has a

:15:40.:15:44.

numerateor and denominator. You get into problems because you have too

:15:44.:15:54.
:15:54.:15:55.

much debt, and also because you have too little growth. Any debt

:15:55.:16:00.

has to deal with the numerator and the deno mam theator. In Greece all

:16:00.:16:08.

the focus has been on the numerator. Two years where the Greeks have

:16:08.:16:12.

consentrated a lot on certain things and given a lot, it is no

:16:12.:16:15.

better than two years ago. The design of the programme has been

:16:15.:16:20.

too tilted towards the fistle kal side. It has to be brought back

:16:20.:16:25.

towards fistle kal and structural reforms to promote economic growth.

:16:25.:16:29.

How much of the euro zone is currently in resection. We won't

:16:29.:16:33.

know for sure, but when you look -- recession, we won't know for sure,

:16:33.:16:37.

but when we look at today and put it into practical terms, do you

:16:37.:16:47.
:16:47.:16:51.

think most of the eurozone is in recession now. I do, Germany is

:16:51.:16:55.

slowing, but it isn't in recession. Everywhere in the world the head

:16:55.:16:58.

wind will come from Europe in the form of lower growth, and low

:16:58.:17:02.

demand for exports, and more financial disruptions. He yes,

:17:02.:17:05.

unfortunately, most European countries are already in what feels

:17:05.:17:10.

like and what is a recession. Christian de Boissieu, just a very

:17:10.:17:13.

last question, your Finance Minister said before Christmas that,

:17:13.:17:17.

actually, Britain was the one that should be downgraded rather than

:17:17.:17:23.

France, would you go along with that? No, you know, I don't want to

:17:23.:17:29.

come into this debate between Great Britain and France, you know. I'm

:17:29.:17:33.

glad that Great Britain still triple-A, and we will see what is

:17:33.:17:39.

going on. This is not the end of the movie. And to come back to the

:17:39.:17:46.

growth initiative, I think that we have to do something very quickly,

:17:46.:17:52.

most European countries to go out of recession and of the zero growth

:17:52.:17:56.

situation, and to face the challenge of unemployment, which is

:17:56.:17:58.

the main challenge that we have to face today.

:17:58.:18:04.

Thank you very much all of you. In Syria, protests have erupted in

:18:04.:18:08.

several cities and the head of the Arab League says he fears the

:18:08.:18:11.

bloody unrest could degenerate into civil war. Opposition activists

:18:11.:18:17.

have called for mass rallies in support of the Free Syrian Army,

:18:17.:18:20.

defectors seeking to topple the Government. The Arab League sent a

:18:20.:18:24.

mission into the country to see if authorities were complying with a

:18:24.:18:29.

plan to halt the violence. One of the monitors said the league

:18:29.:18:35.

mission has only bought, Assad, the President, more time.

:18:35.:18:39.

Friday morning, the start of what usually is the biggest day of the

:18:39.:18:44.

week for anti-Government protests in Syria. Outside Damascus's most

:18:44.:18:47.

venerable mosque, with Government Goons standing around, all the

:18:48.:18:57.
:18:58.:18:59.

voices are pro-regime. TRANSLATION: Everyone loves Bashar

:18:59.:19:04.

al-Assad, that is why we go out, in the rain, in the cold, even in snow.

:19:04.:19:08.

Everyone goes to support him. what do they think of all those who

:19:08.:19:14.

say there is no democracy here? They are not protesting about the

:19:14.:19:17.

freedom. They don't want the freedom. What do they want? They

:19:17.:19:22.

want to destroy our city. They say they simply want democracy, they

:19:22.:19:28.

want freedom? No, they are liars. This demonstration, in a tightly

:19:28.:19:31.

controlled environment, is the only one the Government wants us to see

:19:31.:19:36.

today. We have been told we can't travel anywhere outside the city

:19:36.:19:40.

centre, and that's because, in the suburbs, on previous Fridays, there

:19:40.:19:47.

has been serious trouble. Today, all main intersections were

:19:47.:19:56.

guarded by plain clothes security. The pictures posted on YouTube,

:19:56.:20:00.

show, what opposition sources say, was a sizeable anti-regime

:20:00.:20:07.

demonstration, in a suburb today. There was another, according to

:20:07.:20:17.

those sources, in the eastern day of city of Deraa, others show smoke

:20:17.:20:22.

billowing over Homs, scene of some of the Washington Post violence in

:20:22.:20:26.

the ten month uprising. Gunfire can be heard in the streets, and a

:20:26.:20:29.

Government tank was apparently set on fire. Across the country, at

:20:29.:20:34.

least ten people were reported killed in protests.

:20:34.:20:38.

Back in it central Damascus, life appeared to be continuing as normal.

:20:38.:20:41.

But you could feel the tension in the air.

:20:41.:20:45.

None of these people were prepared to talk to us. Afraid of opening

:20:45.:20:51.

their mouths in the presence of our Government minder. This district,

:20:51.:20:56.

Midian, in the heart of Damascus, has seen many anti-Government

:20:56.:21:00.

protests in recent months, many shot dead by Government forces. The

:21:01.:21:05.

regime is finding it harder to keep a grip, even op the capital. The

:21:05.:21:09.

Government says it has already offered citizens enough concessions.

:21:09.:21:14.

We see it like two parties, one part is the legitimate demands of

:21:14.:21:18.

the Syrian people. And the President doing his best with the

:21:18.:21:22.

Government to respond to legislative demands, he has

:21:22.:21:25.

completed many benchmarks and is committed to do more. On the other

:21:25.:21:29.

side there are people who are trying to kidnap the agenda of the

:21:29.:21:33.

reasonable demands of the people, to ride on it and hit Syria. What

:21:33.:21:39.

benchmark has he achieved? First, we abolished the martial law. We

:21:39.:21:47.

have a demonstrations, we are urging the opposition to

:21:47.:21:51.

demonstrate. These demonstrations are being fired on? It depends on

:21:51.:21:55.

the sequences you are watching on YouTube. I don't want to justify

:21:55.:21:58.

violence in any way. There are clear instructions for the security

:21:58.:22:02.

forces not to shoot, just to contaun. Suddenly somebody will be

:22:02.:22:06.

shooting at the soldiers, and they will be defending themselves. Yes,

:22:07.:22:11.

mistakes happened, yes, happened, but what a leader can promise

:22:11.:22:14.

accountability. There is no systematic or clear instruction to

:22:14.:22:23.

do a crackdown. I'm going to ask you one of the few opposition

:22:23.:22:27.

figures not in -- ask one of the few opposition figures not in

:22:27.:22:31.

hiding, about what the Government has saying, he is a moderate and

:22:31.:22:35.

wants talks, the regime has not reached out to him. TRANSLATION:

:22:36.:22:40.

For five months we haven't heard from the Government. They haven't

:22:40.:22:43.

contacted any opposition group. Maybe they are in touch with some

:22:43.:22:46.

political forces that are pro- regime, but the authorities are

:22:46.:22:52.

lying when they say he they want a political solution.

:22:52.:23:01.

Mobbed by reporters, Sudanese monitor, is the man many hope still

:23:01.:23:06.

will engineer a political solution. He heads an Arab League mission

:23:06.:23:09.

supposed to monitor and end violence. Even some of his own

:23:09.:23:12.

monitors have come under attack from Government forces and

:23:12.:23:16.

supporters. How worried are you about the safety of your monitors

:23:16.:23:22.

here? I am not worried about their safety. They are working, and they

:23:22.:23:27.

are doing their job. As we asked. They have been attacked?

:23:27.:23:32.

attacked. There has been an attack on them? Some of the monitors'

:23:32.:23:37.

vehicles tell another story. They have been wrecked by people who

:23:37.:23:42.

certainly appear to support President Assad.

:23:43.:23:48.

As the killing continued else, more apparently fervent supporters of

:23:48.:23:52.

President Assad gathered in a Damascus square today. Many of them

:23:52.:23:56.

are unlikely to care too much whether the monitoring mission

:23:56.:24:00.

succeeds. Syria's becoming ever more polarised. The stalemate here,

:24:00.:24:06.

of more dangerous. I'm joined now from Damascus. We

:24:06.:24:09.

heard you talking there of that need for a political situation.

:24:09.:24:14.

Where do you see this ending? strikes you, Emily, most forcibly,

:24:15.:24:19.

when you come here, that there seems to be almost no meeting point

:24:19.:24:23.

at all between what opponents and supporters of the Government

:24:23.:24:29.

believe, and all the talk by the Government of a foreign conspiracy,

:24:29.:24:34.

against Syria, just seems almost calculated to bring people further

:24:34.:24:41.

and further apart. Certainly, even the opposition agrees, that

:24:41.:24:44.

President Assad has some genuine support, on top of that there are

:24:44.:24:49.

many more people who don't like him, but are certainly afraid of the

:24:49.:24:53.

consequences of his possible fall. In some cases I have been told what

:24:53.:24:56.

that means individual families are being split, and on top of that,

:24:56.:25:03.

you have certainly the threat, now, of an ip creased militarisation of

:25:03.:25:07.

the conflict -- increased militarisation of conflict on both

:25:07.:25:12.

sides. You have he defectors carrying arms, and opponents

:25:12.:25:15.

carrying arms, as they say, to defend themselves. When you talk

:25:15.:25:18.

about individual families being split, sound like they are already

:25:18.:25:23.

on the road to civil war, now? think many people think they are.

:25:23.:25:28.

Really, a great deal depends now on the report of the monitors to the

:25:28.:25:34.

Arab League, that are come at the end of next week. If that is

:25:34.:25:38.

critical of the Syrian Government, that possibly opens the door for

:25:38.:25:43.

more pressure on the country from the UN. Although I think everyone

:25:43.:25:48.

agrees that intervention here, of the kind of intervention we saw in

:25:48.:25:53.

Libya completely unthinkable for diplomatic and geographical reasons.

:25:53.:25:57.

On the other happened, if the report favourable towards the

:25:57.:26:00.

Syrian Government, you think there is not much sign anything changing

:26:00.:26:07.

at all. Joining me now, the former US

:26:07.:26:12.

representative to NATO, and a founderer member of the Syrian

:26:12.:26:22.
:26:22.:26:22.

opposition group, Building The Syrian State, and astro fist sis.

:26:22.:26:28.

-- atrophysicist. Do you feel civil war is inevitable? I think we may

:26:28.:26:32.

have passed a tipping point, two reasons, one is the degree which

:26:32.:26:34.

people are defecting from the military to join in armed

:26:34.:26:38.

opposition to the Government. And secondly, the statements and

:26:38.:26:43.

actions by Assad himself, both saying that he is accusing the

:26:43.:26:48.

uprisers of being forp of-inspired, and willing to use force of his own

:26:48.:26:52.

regime against that really without end. I think that is a really

:26:52.:26:55.

volatile situation that may have passed a point of no return. Do you

:26:55.:26:59.

think that what the Arab League hasp done, since December, has

:26:59.:27:04.

helped or hindered? I think it was a necessary thing to go through. It

:27:04.:27:08.

was important for the Arab League to raise the issues with Syria, to

:27:08.:27:12.

give him a chance to change course. To put monitors in there. As we

:27:12.:27:15.

have seen the monitors have been attacked, more people have been

:27:15.:27:19.

killed each day, since the monitors have been there, than even before

:27:19.:27:24.

that. We have to recognise that Assad is digging in, with a

:27:24.:27:28.

monopoly of force in the military and Intelligence Services and

:27:28.:27:32.

others, we will see increased bloodshed as he tries to hang on in

:27:32.:27:35.

this situation. There cannot be a political solution to this, it has

:27:35.:27:41.

gone too far? We have to force for one, there is no choice in Syria.

:27:41.:27:45.

As said, the Syrian war already -- the civil war has already started

:27:45.:27:50.

in areas around Homs, and the countryside. If unrest spreads in

:27:50.:27:53.

Syria, it will go outside the borders, reaching Lebanon and Iraq

:27:53.:27:57.

and the other countries. We can't afford to have it. Do you think he

:27:57.:28:02.

can be encouraged to leave, still? He has to be forced. If the

:28:02.:28:05.

international community push for a political solution and the

:28:05.:28:08.

opposition as well, and the Arab League, if everybody pushes for

:28:08.:28:11.

that solution, eventually we will reach it. We have to reach the

:28:11.:28:16.

condition where we reach a peaceful, the regime accepts a peaceful

:28:16.:28:22.

transition plan, there is no other choice, we can't push for force or

:28:22.:28:26.

foreign interveings. You talk the Arab League, wider, you will not

:28:26.:28:31.

get UN countries and China and Russia to agree to something like

:28:31.:28:35.

that? They won't agree to a Libyan- like situation, but a more peaceful

:28:35.:28:39.

transition plan. You need to put forward something these countries

:28:39.:28:44.

will accept. Do you think that will happen? No, it would be wonderful

:28:44.:28:48.

if this did, that would be the best outcome, but I don't think it will.

:28:48.:28:52.

Assad has made his stand that he will remain in power by force. You

:28:52.:28:56.

will have countries such as Russia and Iran that will continue to back

:28:56.:28:59.

him. The population that is suffering these attacks at the

:28:59.:29:03.

hands of the regime, will continue to suffer them, unless he is forced

:29:03.:29:07.

to go. Are you advocating what? is a very tough question, it is not

:29:07.:29:11.

simple, as your reporter said, there are lots of divisions within

:29:11.:29:16.

Syria, there are legitimate supporters for the regime, but

:29:16.:29:20.

there is also a lot of fear. There is an idea kicked around, I'm

:29:20.:29:23.

sympathetic to it, and I have seen it in other places where it is

:29:23.:29:27.

successful, the idea of a safe zone. You impose a zone where people can

:29:27.:29:30.

live without fear of attack, where you prevent aircraft or regime

:29:30.:29:36.

forces from getting there, that gives some space for humanitarian

:29:36.:29:41.

assistance and co-ordination with some time. It would never work, the

:29:41.:29:44.

area in north of Syria you are talking about, it is already not

:29:44.:29:50.

safe. The way to impose is by force, that will be more unsafe. What

:29:50.:29:56.

about the Syrians killed in the basements of the intelligence

:29:56.:30:01.

quarters in Homs, or hundreds of kilometres away, how will they be

:30:01.:30:07.

safe because of the area. How will those civilians be protected by an

:30:07.:30:12.

area in the north of Syria. Unless you push for a Libyan of-like

:30:12.:30:16.

scenario and push for civil war. Nobody is suggesting that? I would

:30:16.:30:21.

point to examples in Croatia, where the UN created safe zones to

:30:21.:30:25.

protect minority populations. Before it is too late? In the

:30:25.:30:28.

Kurdish region of Iraq where we had a safe zone in Iraq, that protected

:30:28.:30:32.

thousands of Kurds for a very long time. What I'm suggesting that

:30:32.:30:35.

there is a monopoly of force in the hands of the Government, they are

:30:35.:30:38.

determined to use it. In that situation, if you are going to

:30:38.:30:42.

bring about a change, you have to help the people push back on that.

:30:42.:30:46.

Thank you both very much indeed. We have lots of lovely newspapers

:30:46.:30:49.

for you, including all the French ones and their take on the

:30:49.:30:52.

downgrade, we have run out of time. Kirsty is here on Monday, good

:30:52.:31:02.
:31:02.:31:26.

night from all of uts here. It's already cold outside. There

:31:26.:31:29.

will be a widespread frost for Saturday morning, there will be

:31:29.:31:32.

some fog much patches around as well. The fog could take a while to

:31:32.:31:36.

clear, once it has gone it is looking fine and sunny out there.

:31:36.:31:42.

Similar sort of day on Sunday morning. There will be stubborn fog

:31:42.:31:47.

patches, if it lingers tchures are struggle to get much above freezing.

:31:47.:31:51.

Blue skies by the jaefpb. Temperatures reaching 4-6. Mab a

:31:52.:31:56.

touch higher in the south west. -- maybe a touch higher in the south

:31:56.:32:00.

west. A breeze that will drift across Devon and Cornwall. A bit

:32:00.:32:05.

more of a breeze, for most of Wales fine and sunny. Highs of five or

:32:05.:32:09.

six. Same sort of temperatures across noerm. A gentle breeze will

:32:09.:32:14.

bring a little -- Northern Ireland, a gent breeze will bring a little

:32:14.:32:21.

loud. In Scotland a lot of cloud. The top temperatures seven or eight.

:32:21.:32:26.

The weather has settled across the UK because high pressure, the same

:32:26.:32:29.

high pressure system promising fine conditions across France, the low

:32:29.:32:32.

countries and Germany, chilly but sunny.

:32:33.:32:36.

Further south across Europe more distubed, rain in Rome, and

:32:36.:32:40.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS