13/02/2012 Newsnight


Paul Mason at the heart of the Greek riots. Is The Sun newspaper at war with itself? And sexual abuse of protestors in Egypt. With Gavin Esler.

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Disorder, default, devastation, just days for Greece to convince


creditors this time it will make austerity stick. With riots on the


streets and unease and rebellions in Parliament, four years of


recession and hardship have taken their toll. Paul Mason is there.


There's been two years of this and no sign of it letting up. The


question now is given that the politicians don't really believe in


the austerity, and the Greek people don't believe in it either, it work


and can Greek society holding to together? Is Germany saving Greece


from ruin or making the suffering worse? And is the Sun going down?


One of its leading writers says there's a witch-hunt against Sun


journalists. And Sue Lloyd Roberts asks Egyptian


women about the sexual abuse many experienced during the Arab Spring.


TRANSLATION: If a man forces you to take your clothes off and puts his


hand up into your private area, and lives it there for five minutes,


this is sexual aggression. I felt utterly defeated.


Good evening. In the Vietnam War an American officer is supposed to


have said that his troops had to destroy a village in order to save


it. You might think something similar in happening right now in


Greece. In order to qualify for more funds to pay its debts by


March 20th, Greece has had to introduce the toughest austerity


programme in Europe since World War II. It's produced violence on the


streets. In Germany, officials mutter about the bottomless pit of


Greek debts and the devastation that a disorderly unwrapping would


cause. Here is Paul Mason in Athens. Last night, the Greek Parliament


was asked to look into the abyss, to choose between rejecting


austerity, with probable default, probable exit from the euro or


implementing austerity as demanded by the EU. And 101 out of 300 MPs


said they prefer the abyss. They either didn't turn up to vote or


voted against the two main parties each had to expel 20 of their own


MPs. A third of the coalition party has left the coalition. The


majority passed the austerity measure. That should pave the way,


starting on Wednesday, for the European Union begin to write off


100 billion euros of Greek debt. But meanwhile, in the parallel


universe that starts at the Greek Parliament, there was another Greek


reality. And that was the people. Small business people, workers, and


young people facing 20% unemployment who had had enough,


and they, last night, had their say. As I found out.


It It was supposed to be one last, big demonstration against austerity.


Workers facing wage cuts, pensioners facing hardship, a lot


of people facing an uncertain future. But as dusk fell, the


trouble began. Tens of thousands of people found themselves on streets


filled with tear gas and fires. And at the front, the minority who


had come to fight got what they wanted.


The police fought into the night. Months of frustration were released.


The police made no attempt to control the streets, so the


firebombers had, for some time, free rein. There's been two years


of this and no sign of it letting up. The question now is, given that


the politicians don't really believe in the austerity and the


Greek people don't believe in it either, can it work and can Greek


society hold together? 45 buildings were burnt, including this historic


cinema. 130 people were arrested. In Parliament, Prime Minister,


Lucas Papademos, got a majority for the new austerity package, but both


of the major parties had to expel 20 MPs each who opposed the bill.


And this morning, Antonis Samaras, who is likely to be the next Prime


Minister, announced he would like to containing change and


renegotiate the agreement. After last night, how long can Greece


last without an election. Nobody can govern a democratic country


without the people. I believe the elections are necessary. The


decision making is necessary in order to have our citizens with us


and not against us. We, the politicians, we have to be more


sensitive and more responsible. We have to speak clear and honestly to


the people. Whatever last night's vote achieved


it was not closure. Greeks are shell shocked at the damage. Shell


shocked at the scale of the austerity they just voted for. And


trust in the political system is, for many, draining away.


Joining me now, live from Athens is Paul. How quickly did the EU have


to come up with a second detail out? Well, it starts effectively on


Wednesday. But I think it's the beginning of March that we're


looking at. A window at the beginning of March before 20th,


when the so called PSI, the private sector gets involved. One Greek


paper is reporting that 73% of the value of the loans gets written off


and Greece gets allowed to have its debt reduced to only 125% of GDP,


as opposed to 120, which is the plan, by 2020. But for most people


this is academic. What I've heard since I've been here is political


operators on all sides of the Parliament saying, in the first


bailout we tried to sell it to people on the grounds that it would


work and we'd stabilise ourselves and the economy would come back.


Now, we're selling it to people on the idea that the alternative is


disaster and doom. Very few people are prepared to go out and say,


"And it will work" and that's because when you look at the


dynamics of this country, few restaurants while I've been here


with will take credit cards. They want cash. They'll give you a


receipt, but they will not take plastic. And slowly but surely,


cash, bank deposits are leaking out of the economy and it juz does not


-- just does not look like this can turn itself around. And some of the


people on the streets were not radical radbles, they are voters.


In an election they will want to have their say with their


candidates. They will place pressure on the candidates which


the European Union will find inconvenient. So what the European


Union now has to judge is whether the political system. I'm not


talking about it fragmenting and falling apart, but simply


delivering what they've just voted on. If they can't do that, that's


key for the leadership as the euro approaches the technicalities of


giving Greece 130 billion euros. Thank you very much. I'm joined by


geest's Finance Minister last summer, Giorgios Papaconstantinou,


and Costas Lapavitsas and Christian Schulz. Listening to that, it's


clear many people don't want the austerity and many politicians


don't think it can work, so who are you doing this for? We're doing it


for the country and the citizens obviously. It's been an extremely


tough two years. There is no question that people are hurting.


Unemployment is at a record level, wages and pensions have been cut,


taxes have opinion been raised so it's no surprise that people are


looking at the middle of the recession and its worst point and


cannot see the exit. And what this new programme is supposed to


deliver is to turn the page, to show that confidence can return and


that we can put all this behind us and slowly but surely go back on a


path of sustainable growth. But it is very clear we were not on such a


path before. Indeed, but you have riots in the streets. Within a


couple of months you could have elections which could throw all the


existing government out and there are those who think this is the


insincere acceptance of the impossible. You know you really


can't do it? You know, it's easy to look at the riots and say this


represents a situation. The demonstrations are, of course, an


indication of how people feel. The riots themselves are done by a very


small minority of extremists, and plain criminals. It is very clear


that at the end of two years of austerity it is not easy to


convince people. The question is, is there an alternative to this? Is


there something else that we can do. You could leave the eurozone. That


would be an alternative? Yes, at a disastrous cost for the country and


for the citizens. It is very easy for people to say that. Let me tell


you, in very brief term, what would have happened this morning in


Greece if the Parliament had voted a different way last night. If it


had voted "no", rather than "yes". This morning, around 9.30, there


would have been queues at the banks and the Government would have had


to close down the banks and Greece would be an island unable to trade


with the rest of the world, unable to pay salaries and pensions. It


would be a total unmitigated disaster. Those who think there is


a way to get out of the euro that is painless and does not shut down


the banking system are either deluding themselves or playing a


very dangerous game with the Greek people. This is the least worst


option, is that an argument? Not at all. I think what is happening to


Greece at the moment is a disgrace. There is real despair and poverty


in the country and that has been imposed on it by its so-called


allies and partners. This is the first thing that has to be said.


This has not got a snowball's chance in hell of working. It is


heading towards the exit from the Europe and towards bankruptcy in a


chaotic way. This is what we've got in front of us, and the argument is


among many people in Greece and elsewhere, it is the Greeks who


should do that, they should take charge of their own future


deliberately and with a plan. is your reaction to that, minister?


Yes, what I hear is a collection of slogans, but I hear no answer to


the scenario which I -- the nightmare scenario that I just


painted for you. Of course Greece should take care of itself and take


its own destiny in hand. But when you have a country that year upon


year was spending more than it had. That was not really producing and


got a huge external deficit and found itself with a debt of 360


billion euro then it is very easy to say, "Let's just forget this


debt." We can't survive if they somehow, by ourselves decide not to


pay our creditors. We do not have a surplus to have more revenue than


expenditure. Forgive me for interrupting, but if you do all


these good things that you say you feel you have to do by 2020, after


another eight years of austerity, your debt will still be 125% of GDP


and that in itself may not be payable? Which is about the level


of Italy and Ireland and certainly less than the level of Japan. 120%


is too high and hopefully we will be able to grow fast, but again on


a more sustainable footing and reduce it faster than that. But


let's remember what happened in these last two years. In these last


two years we reduced it by a massive 20 billion because people


took serious sacrifices. Can we really throw all this out and to


claw back some of the competitiveness that was lost in


the last ten years, do we just throw it out of the window. How do


you buy into the argument that this is doable and if so, how much pain


is Greece going to have to accept, given that many think in Greece


they are being bullied into this by German and other countries? I agree


that we should not look at Greece in a deep recession after four


years of recession and say this is the way Greece and this is how it


will always be. The Germans shouldn't do that, the ones that


say at the moment that Greece might be a bottomless pit and the Greeks


and the markets shouldn't do that. The level doesn't matter of GDP,


what matters is the direction the country is taken in. If the


trajectory of the country is 100% it is a different view we have to


take. But a German MP said today that a Greek exit from the eurozone


would not be the end of the world. That is a very dangerous feeling


that is spreading in some parts of the Conservative Party in Germany,


that the firewalls are high enough now that a Greek exit wouldn't be a


problem any more, but we doubt this is the case. Greece has had 14%


contraction of GDP in the last two or three years. It has 21%


unemployment and this plan aims for primary surpluses of the Government


next year and the year after that. Greece has no business going for


primary surpluses right now. This is entirely the wrong economic


policy. The people who designed this need to go back to schedule.


But with a Greek election in April, do you think it will be rejected by


the people? I think the Greek political system in its entirety is


competely discredited right now. This is the end of an era in Greece


and I don't know if people realise this, but this is where we are. The


party that's run Greece is completely finished. The party on


the right is in disarray because of how it voted yesterday. I think a


new configuration is emerging and the thing that is making all the


difference is what is happening on the ground. And what people want is


an end to this. They want an end to this humiliation and want a new


policy. In terms of the overall future of Greek democracy is that


something you worry about. I don't mean specifically that your party


is low in the opinion polls, but the whole future 6 Greek democracy


is up in the air? Look, we're paying the price of being the


firefighters and rather the people turning on the ones who put the


fire in the first place, they're turning on the firefighters who are


trying to do something about the situation. We're paying a political


price. That is what politics is about. I am worried about the


future democrats democracy because I am worried about the rising of


the extremes. I am worried when a listen to people like Mr Lapavitsas


who try to say it's a painless way of getting rid of all the debt upon


our country and be able, the next day, come back to the ways as we


used to keep going. In other words by spending, but now there will be


nobody willing to lend us the money to continue spending. We were a


society that was over consuming, who was buying from abroad and did


not have a productive base. And we did not restructure our economy in


time. This programme is not just about austerity it is about deep


reforms reforming the state and the Social Services reforming the tax


system so people pay and not evading taxes. This is what it is


about. It is a mistake to reduce this programme simply into


reductions in expenditure in the public sector. This is part of it,


but it's not the whole thing. tell you one thing that really


infuriates Greeks right now, precisely the class of politicians


that brought this country to this pass, are wagging their fingers and


telling people what to do now. It cannot be done. Greece needs a new


political line and new organisations. No-one said that


getting out of the euro or defaulting on the debt, which


actually the country is doing by itself, is going to be easy. But


looking at the policy adopted right now is guaranteed to end up in


failure. A quick word on that? don't think it's guaranteed to end


up in failure. I think Greece is taking the right steps, it just got


unlucky. Last year exports were rising but then the mistake was


made to restructure Greek debt and there by destroy all the confidence


people had been building into a recovery of the country. Now, if


Greece were to exit the country we would make the same mistake and


spread that mistake to other countries. A final word? I do not


my country to become North Korea in Europe. I want my country to become


a normal country and I believe we have every possibility to do so. We


have the people and the productive resources and there's nothing


different in the Greek DNA than that in the rest of Europe. We had


a political class that failed the country, but let's not lump


everybody together because those who tried to make amends in the


last few years are being lumped together with those who created the


mess in the future. It's about values and what kind of democracy


we want and about presentation and not about a clientistic system of


governance. This is what it is about. But it's certainly not about


far-fetched ideas that claim that we can somehow get out of this


situation without hard work and sacrifices in as just a way as


possible. Thank you all very much. In typically robust form, the Sun


journalist, Trevor Kavanagh lashed out at the police. Senior figures


at the Sun have been questioned after information which came


apparently from inside the parent company. Is this global media


empire now at war with itself or is it a witch hunt and a threat to


press freedom as Mr Arrive nar said? This feels like a witch-hunt.


There's a mass hysteria going on now. This is going to be a great


cloud hanging over News Corp for the next few years. The Sun came


out with heart-felt pleas for justice, for the Sun.


The words of Trevor Kavanagh, its senior writer.. Whether we're from


red-top tabloids or TV programmes late at night on the BBC,


journalists have a tendency to self-mythologyise. We're all


legends in our own lunchtime. And the Sun say the wave of arrests at


their own newspaper are now threatening the freedom of the


press. I Why do we have to have dawn raids and 171 police mn on the


case. It's complete overkill. many policemen should be involved?


Not 171. And if this is about whether our soldiers had the right


equipment I'd say it was a public offence here, just as the MPs


expenses. Others who have taken on News International say without


knowing what is being investigated it is far too early to claim a


public offence. I don't think it's a witch-hunt. I know why it might


be perceived as such, but if the police think there is a group of


witches somewhere they have to hunt for them. They can't decide to


interview some but not others, they have to look for the whole lot of


people. But isn't it overkill when you have 120 police officers raided


journalist's houses at dawn? It's a bit rich for the Sun to complain


about dawn raids, they used to attend dawn raids on other people.


Trevor Kavanagh said those arrested had been dropped in it, implicate


the in alleged wrongdoing by the parent company, News Corp. A large


number of extremely good journalists who have worked very


loyally for the company for a very long time, as the company has


announced itself, are often in police cells for a long period of


time on evidence provided by the company. Shareholders at New corps


are deeply concerned that the scandal in the British papers is


now threatening Murdoch's entire show. America's foreign and corrupt


picturess Act has had the FBI investigating for over six months.


These investigations are broader in scope. We now have a different


newspaper and part of the company that will be the focus of inquiry


and we now have a much broad Erekat disagree of "foreign officials"


that were allegedly the recipients of payments. Including some in the


military. Last summer, Rupert Murdoch flew into the UK to give


his endorsement to international's Rebekah Weighed. She then resigned.


Those people hoping that the Sun will close down and go out of


business should be careful what they wish for because without it


there will be no Sunday papers because they subsidise it. We need


a free and varied press in this country and the Sun is part of that.


Sources in America say James Murdoch, Rupert's son, is


increasingly unlikely to persuade shareholders their business could


be safe in his hands and across the Murdoch media, law enforcement will


want questions answered. They typically ask the where else


question. In other words were payments like this occurring in our


News Corp businesses or subsidiary areas, including all over the world.


That's why inquiries like this can generally take several years.


Another thing they will be asking is what did the executive officer


know and when did they know it? Did they participate in any of the


wrongdoing? Did they authorise any of the improper payments? Did they


have knowledge of the impour payments but failed to put a stop


to them, they're some of the questions that will be asked.


Metropolitan Police tonight issued a statement saying no more than ten


officers were used in the raids on journalists. They added that they


don't believe that the level of resources on the inquiries is in


any way dis proportionate to the task in hand. With me is Dominick


Mohan and Charlotte Harris, and Michael Wolff who wrote biography


of Rupert Murdoch. It's hardly a witch-hunt if the police follow the


evidence and go where it leads and make an arrest if necessary.


everything in proportion. Of course there probably has been some


wrongdoing, but it is the way it is done. We now live in a country,


where I can't believe and your listeners won't believe where Abu


Qatada can walk free but the police are banging up the journalists. Ten


officers per arrest. 15 police officers this weekend at a time


where there are drugs going on. Do we really need 50 coppers? But even


if Abu Qatada is a case that gets people worked up. This is


proportionate? I'm proud to say I know one of them in his 60s. Do


they think he will run off. This is ridiculous. It's serious overkill.


I don't think that anyone was really going to run away and I


agree that ten police officers did seem somewhat excessive. But I


don't think that was the only point that the article that has caused


all this discussion today was making. And it's quite interesting,


because, of course, the Sun have never been particularly


proportionate in themselves. that's an excuse, is it.


necessary. But to an extent is it rich and interesting watching this


shocked response. Of course the police have to follow up. That's


very, very important. We spent six years. More police officer than


investigated Lockerbie or Madeline McCann, or July 7th. This is a


Murdoch smoke screen. This is classic Murdoch stuff. You're


missing the entire point. Was there a crime, that's the only issue here.


It doesn't really matter how many police officers are devoted to


finding a crime if there was a crime. I agree. The crime. Are you


guilty? Are you guilty? Michael, you're not listening. I'm saying of


course if there is a crime there has to be an investigation. One at


a time. One at a time. This is Murdoch stuff. Smoke screen. They


pulled police officers off London 2012, beat can you justify that.


don't think anybody thinks Mr Ferrari has committed a crime but,


Michael, has the information behind this come from News Corp and if so


what do you think is going on within that organisation? And I a


apologise, I thought Mr Ferrari worked for the Sun. I used to.


Clearly this is coming from inside News Corp, but I'll tell you from


the American side, what is going on inside this company is that


virtually the entire American operation has had it with the Brits.


There is no up side that they can say everybody but Rupert himself,


that they can see in maintaining the British operation here. The


British operation, from every point of view within News Corp is poison


and it will not be rehabilitated. Nobody believes that. They will see


it now purely as downside and their approach now, which is different


from the past number of years, is to say let it all out. Let these


guys sink or swim on the basis of their own performance and their own


behaviour. A swamp that needs to be drained. That is what Trevor


Kavanagh took on and the implication of what was said there.


I thought Trevor's piece was fantastic and I cheered every part.


I understand that murder murder murder is still very well thought


towards the Sun. He enjoys the Sun but BSkyB is the jewel in the crown.


But there is a distinction there. Remember, BSkyB is a separate


company which I think they're going to have problems there, but that's


a separate company. Right now I'm looking at the subsidiary stkwigs,


which is News International. swamp that needs to be drained. Is


that the view you have of the Sun? If the evidence shows there have bs


mass payments to the police, inappropriate payments and evidence


has been destroyed then it might be that I adopt that metaphor, but


with all of these things you have to be careful that you wait for the


charges and deal with these things forensically. In terms of evidence.


I think why the police went there in the morning is that in the same


organisation, evidence has been destroyed. We've had to go to court


on behalf of clients and we've had admissions in the last year from


the police that they didn't do enough. And it's been like getting


blood out of a stone, trying to find e-mails. Going through a


child's pyjama draw? Look, the Sun have made a lot of money on the


private information of others that they have published. And so in


Kavanagh's article...That's Jealousy. This is nothing to do


with jealousy. When hypocrites expose hypocrites. It's payback.


it's not payback, it's them being treated like everybody else. Forget


the reason, just look at what's going on here. You might as well


face this. You might as well begin to judge what's going to happen in


the future on the basis of what's happening now. What is the reality?


The reality is that the company itself is turning over evidence


which the police are acting on. Now that would indicate to me that


things are probably pretty bad. You have the company and the police on


the same page. Yes, the Sun is the odd man out. I would say the Sun is


secured, whether for whatever reasons and they can be debated,


but I think what you are looking at here is a serious situation. I


don't think the Sun is going to recover. OK, the Sun is secured?


It's in huge trouble. Rupert Murdoch is here, I don't think


he'll close it. Would you weep if the Sun were to close? Yes, I would.


I'd be very upset. Now, let me. Hold on a minute, I want to hear


what Charlotte has to say. Was that irony? No, it wasn't. When the News


of the World closed I got a message and I sent a message saying "are


you having a joke. This can't be true." I didn't want that to happen.


I wanted them to change. Is Rupert Murdoch actually in charge then is


he the one who will decide whether the sun season stays or goes?


think that's the crux of this and I don't think he is in charge, not


the way he has been in charge for the 60 years he's run this company.


I think the pressures on him in the US are enormous. Greater than


they've ever been and I think there are personalities within the


company that are nearly as strong as Rupert at this point. And Rupert


will be next month 81 by the way. So I think he is fading. I think


that he cannot defend this, his sentimental love any more. And I


think that he is here and the company, his American executives --


and some who - and some who will be here with him are here to figure


out what to do. And the solution I think in the Guardian is the best


alternative they have, which is to sell the Sun, take that money. Put


it into a trust for the Times and the Sunday Times and leave Britain


with his head held up. Thank you very much. A year after the Arab


Spring we have a series of films this week. Firstly, we are in Egypt


whose revolution was often symbolised by young women. A year


later, where did the dreams go? Tahrir Square has lost the drama


and the crowds. Recent demonstrations have moved on to


outside individual ministries in the city. Leaving here a forlorn


scene of abandonment and broken dreams for women. A far cry from


the early days when the women of Egypt defied the stereotype and


stood shoulder-to-shoulder in support of the revolution. But from


the beginning this was deemed unacceptable by those who were and


still are in charge. TRANSLATION: had been in the city since January


25th because I wanted to bring about all the aims of the


revolution. A new constitution and see Hosni Mubarak put on trial


along with others in the ministry. On March 9, the Army attacked a


group of women, including Samira, outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken


on the edge of the square. They were dragged by their hair,


handcuffed to the railings and taken to the military prison and


beaten and tortured. Samira says some died and a woman doctor


carried out virjinty tests on those who-sur- vived. She told me to take


off my clothes and carried out the test in front of the soldiers. It


humiliated me. I had gone to the square to call for freedom and they


were making me pay the price. was to get worse. TRANSLATION:


woman then said, the military officer in charge wants to test you


himself. I was made to strip again. This was sexual abuse. If a man


forces you to take your clothes off and puts his hand up into your


private area and leaves it there for five minutes, this is sexual


abuse. What do you think they were trying to tell you and the others


by treating you in this way? If you take to the streets in the name of


revolution or call for freedom or social justice they were telling us


we will violate your honour. Using a bizarre kind of logic, the Army


later admitted they had orderrd the test because men and women had been


in the square together. The Army didn't want to be blamed for any


woman who might have lost her virginity in the square, in a


country where a women not to be a virgin before marriage can lose her


life. Samira is the only one to have taken the matter to court and


to have returned to Tahrir Square. None of the other women have been


seen her again. As you can see, very few women are here now. Nine


months later, the scandal of the virginity testing was matched only


by the savage woman whose clothes were important back to reveal her


bra. It was suggested she was a religious Conservative and men and


women marched in the streets in outrage. Hadir was one of those who


protested and officers asked her to meet a Major General nearby in a


Government building. She agreed. TRANSLATION: They pushed into into


a room which turned out to be a torture room. There were already


girls inside who were being beaten and violated. The officers were


using their sticks to brutally beat us and they were enjoying what they


were doing and asked us, "What hurts the most?" it was clear they


were targeting girls more than anyone else to make us afraid and


because they wanted to make men in the square feel humiliated and


defeated for being unable to protect us. Women may have been


frightened into taking a lower profile in the square, but north of


Cairo, hodia, a 43-year-old doctor and mother of four, is being mobbed


like a popstar. The newly elected MP for the Muslim Brotherhood, is


going on a walk about in her new constituency in the Egyptian delta.


Why do they like you so much. "I was born here, she explains and


people know and like me. She'll fight for our rights. Adding that


their last MP made promises but did nothing. Hodia is a respected local


doctor, but she is also reaping the benefit of what the Muslim


Brotherhood was doing at a local level, building up their support


during the Mubarak years. They built hospitals, sheltered the


orphans and handed out food to the poor. Transtran I know she's able


to do a lot. Her party suffered in the past. Now they should be given


a chance. I hope she will work to make this country better. But the


Muslim Brotherhood is known as the party that expects women to dress


modestly and preferrably stay at home. But will she fight for


women's rights? TRANSLATION: From now on I believe that we will see


change. We will see the start of real democracy here in Egypt in a


way that allows all citizens, including women to join in, knowing


that the new politics is uncorrupted and based on rights for


all. Therefore I think that the participation of women and their


impact in the Parliament in the coming period will be completely


different. She's so genuine and reassuring you want to hug her. But,


as a woman MP, she is part of a tiny minority. Only nine women were


elected to sit in the 508-seat Parliament, which is dominated by


their bearded colleagues. More than 70% of the seats are held by the


Muslim Brotherhood and by the more hard- line Salafi Party. Ironically,


there were more women here during the Mubarak era when women had a


quota of 64 seats. The Islamic parties are in charge in Egypt


today. Which makes Bouthaina Kamel, a former television presenter, an


unlikely candidate in the next press tensionial elections. We


caught up with her on the election trail. She is standing, she says


because she wants to give women an idea of one day where they might go.


But she knows a non- scarf-wearing candidate doesn't stand a chance.


And the votes only show that women in Egypt don't vote for women.


Women make up 60% of Egypt society and the percentage of literacy in


women is 07%. It is said that men and women don't know how to vote


and the number of female candidate its was very low. Beside, all the


political alliances have an Islamic bias which is determined to lower


the status of women. A number of constitutional reforms have been


created without a single woman on it. Do the more secular women of


Egypt have reason to the fearful? I asked the spokesman for the Salafi


Party, but he wanted to talk about the religious rights of women,


those who completely cover themselves. TRANSLATION: What about


the woman who wears the hib yab, who has been so discriminated in


the past who was prevented from entering university or being on the


teaching staff. Also they prospect' allowed to work in television. In


medical professions they suffered systematic persecution. In this


Parliament no-one will be forced into anything but we now have a


greater chance to advise women of the rules of our religion, such as


wearing a headscarf. Is Egypt about to become an Iran or Saudi Arabia


in its treatment of women? No-one knows quite what to expect when the


new Government is due to take over in the summer, but some women are


nervous. In axe Alexandra, Egypt's second city, Aida Noureldin, a


lawyer is taking radical action. She is setting up another


Parliament. TRANSLATION: Women were just used as voting blocks in these


last elections and we do not have any women from Alexandra in the new


Parliament. So we decided to create a parallel Parliament, which will


consist of mostly women and some men and youth, in order to share


the national responsibility with the members of the official


Parliament. Andlets to keep an eye on what they -- and also to keep an


eye on what they do. At the first meeting of the working party of the


so-called parallel Parliament, the woman in the skhraver could be


forgiven for ask, "Who is going to listen to us?" the fear is no-one.


But they conclude it will be good pictures. We'll be in a better


position to field candidates for the next Parliament, they say,


whenever that might be. Many women here are being asked to wait for


what they had hoped would be the rewards of their revolution. Not


least the women in the square who complain that they got beaten up,


just like the men. And it's not fair that they should be sent back


home. But women like Samira, who is still fighting her court case


against the army officer who carried out the virginity test says


the battle is not lost yet. TRANSLATION: The Army and the


Muslim Brotherhood are in control here and the reason why women


weren't elected is because the revolution isn't over. It's still


going on. Sue Lloyd Roberts reporting. While we've been on air


we've had news that the ratings agency, have put France on a


negative outlook. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has released a


statement saying this is a reality check for anyone who thinks Britain


can duck confronting its debts. Stephanie is on the phone. How


significant is this? It's obviously not welcome for the Government. And


it shows you can have a shadow hang nk over your triple A rating if


your economy is not growing fast enough. That's one of the things


Moodies has highlighted in this assessment. But I should say it's


not a downgrade and they haven't put us on negative watch which


would be a 50% chance that the UK would lose its A triple A in the


future. It means there's a roughly one in three chance of losing the


triple A in the next few months. And France has had the same


treatment. There are nine countries that Moodies have reassess. Three


of them, Austria, the UK and France have triple As. And others, like


Spain and Portugal have actually been downgraded. So we've not been


singled out, but it is interesting we've been included in that group,


because in the past when the countries have been looked at the


UK was not included. They've not thought we would be directly


included in what is going on in the euro zone. Thank you very much.


I'll be back with more of this I'll be back with more of this


tomorrow, good night. Good evening. Mild north-westerly


winds off the Atlantic will keep temperatures up through the night.


Drizzle in the far north of Scotland and damp patches in the


south-east but elsewhere dry. And tomorrow, hazy sunshine around. One


or two showers into Norfolk and Suffolk, but most areas will


continue with sunshine after a damp start.


Eight or nine degrees possible in Wales where you're sheltered from


the wind but the wind will bring patchy Wales across the far north


during the afternoon. Also showers in Northern Ireland, but the


southern areas will stay drier and brighter. It turns showery across


western Scotland during the day. Tuesday in Wednesday, not a huge


amount of changes, Belfast is reporting drizzle on Wednesday, an


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