07/06/2012 Newsnight


07/06/2012

Mark Urban analyses the latest massacre in Syria and asks if it is a turning point in the reaction of the international community to the Assad regime. Presented by Gavin Esler.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 07/06/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

We cannot allow mass killing to become part of every day reality in

:00:12.:00:16.

Syria, the words of the UN's envoy, Kofi Annan, decribing exactly what

:00:16.:00:21.

now seems to be happening. In the latest outrage, 78 civilians, many

:00:21.:00:25.

women and children, apparently slaughtered with the finger again

:00:25.:00:27.

being pointed at pro-Government militia. We will hear from the

:00:27.:00:31.

women in the UN mission that was shot at, and ask if Syria is

:00:31.:00:39.

descending into civil war. It is raining, the British weather is

:00:39.:00:44.

with me. David Cameron meets Angela Merkel in Berlin, but can Britain

:00:44.:00:49.

avoid the political weather in the two-speed Europe. We will discuss

:00:49.:00:54.

if it is right to pursue a eurozone with Britain on the outside. Forced

:00:54.:00:57.

marriage, tomorrow the Government plans to make it a criminal offence.

:00:57.:01:02.

Will this help the women victim, or quite the reverse. We will debate

:01:02.:01:06.

with two campaigners who take opposite sides on the new law.

:01:06.:01:10.

The European country, where being a midwife at a home birth can get you

:01:10.:01:20.

arrested, a personal report from Hungary.

:01:20.:01:24.

Good evening, if words were bullet, the Syrian regime would already be

:01:24.:01:27.

full of holes. At the United Nations, the secretary-general, Ban

:01:27.:01:31.

Ki-Moon, spoke of the unspeakable brutality of the latest massacre.

:01:31.:01:35.

Dozens were killed, 19 of them reportedly women and children. With

:01:35.:01:39.

the UN's own investigators coming under fire. President Assad and his

:01:39.:01:43.

Government have lost all legitimacy, Ban Ki-Moon said. With 50 countries

:01:43.:01:46.

now planning to meet in Paris next month, to discuss how to get rid of

:01:46.:01:49.

the Assad regime, what is particularly shocking in this

:01:49.:01:53.

report, is that so many of the victims are indeed women and

:01:53.:01:59.

children. The scenes which follow are quite horrific.

:01:59.:02:07.

Two weeks ago it was Houla, now the Hama province. Here, as there,

:02:07.:02:12.

reports of shelling and then claims that militia men from Alawite

:02:12.:02:16.

villages, that surround Sunni populated Qubair, went in on a

:02:16.:02:20.

killing spree. It all speaks to a growing tide of violence, and the

:02:20.:02:26.

breaking down of the structure of a multiethnic state. The question is

:02:26.:02:32.

now how far out of control is it going to get. Are the regime

:02:32.:02:36.

secretly directing everything? It is unlikely, there are certainly

:02:36.:02:39.

some groups operating independently on either side. In the same way the

:02:39.:02:41.

opposition themselves are not controlling all the opposition

:02:42.:02:46.

activity. Today, Syrian state television

:02:46.:02:51.

blamed this latest act on terrorist groups too. Last week, President

:02:51.:02:57.

Assad went to parliament to deny any official role in the Houla

:02:57.:03:01.

killings. TRANSLATION: We will remain ashamed every time we

:03:01.:03:06.

remember Houla, and I remember that the Houla massacre will not remain

:03:06.:03:10.

engraved in the eyes of the children. Are the denials credible,

:03:10.:03:15.

even if these latest incidents were perpetrated by rogue groups, the

:03:15.:03:18.

Syrian Government still has a general responsibility for arming

:03:18.:03:24.

certain militias, and indeed, adopting sectarian tactics. It has

:03:24.:03:28.

been the regime's tactic, right from the word go, since the

:03:28.:03:33.

uprising began in March of last year, to really play on the fears

:03:33.:03:37.

of sectarian violence. To make people in Syria afraid that what

:03:37.:03:42.

happened in Lebanon and Iraq could happen in Syria, moing the

:03:42.:03:46.

different ethnic and sectarian communities that exist there. Even

:03:46.:03:50.

though it looks quite bad from the outside, internally it continues to

:03:50.:03:54.

play into this wider narrative the regime is spinning, that they are

:03:54.:04:01.

the only defence against Syria defending into sectarian violence.

:04:01.:04:06.

Today's pictures have shocked, but equally the escalation of violence

:04:06.:04:11.

by opponents of the Assad regime, for example, using car bombs, has

:04:11.:04:15.

also caused accusation and denial. It all suggests a train of violence

:04:15.:04:24.

increasingly out of control. So is a picture of suicide bombing,

:04:24.:04:29.

militia groups that operate as death squad, and warring ethnic

:04:29.:04:33.

factions credible? Well, certainly, that is the position that Iraq

:04:33.:04:37.

found itself in seven or eight years ago. It is quite possible

:04:37.:04:41.

that Syria is well on the way there too.

:04:41.:04:45.

The question now, is whether anything can be done to check that

:04:45.:04:49.

slide towards oblivion. Reporting to the United Nations in

:04:49.:04:54.

New York today, its former boss, and now Syria envoy, Kofi Annan,

:04:54.:04:58.

painted a bleak picture of events on the ground. With his six-point

:04:58.:05:03.

peace plan being widely ignored, he urged a new initiative.

:05:03.:05:08.

The longer we wait, the more radicalised and polarised the

:05:08.:05:13.

situation will become. And the harder it will be to forge a

:05:13.:05:19.

political settlement. The international community has united,

:05:19.:05:26.

but it now must take that unity to a new level. We must find the will,

:05:26.:05:34.

and the common ground to act, and act as one. Individual actions, or

:05:34.:05:40.

interventions, will not resolve the crisis. But Mr Annan is hemmed in

:05:40.:05:45.

on all sides. China and Russia, whose leaders have met today, have

:05:45.:05:49.

rallied allied countries to their position that the Assad regime

:05:49.:05:54.

cannot be changed by outside military intervention. TRANSLATION:

:05:54.:05:58.

We do not think that Annan's plan is dead, or it does not exist any

:05:58.:06:02.

more, and there is no need to implement it or to fulfil the UN

:06:02.:06:05.

Security Council resolutions. These attempts to say it is dead are

:06:05.:06:10.

unacceptable. Civil strive is already widespread

:06:10.:06:16.

in Syria, and never mind the debate about whether this is civil war or

:06:16.:06:20.

not. With violence escalating and diplomatic options narrowed, it

:06:20.:06:25.

will be a brutal summer. The Annan Plan, as we heard, may or

:06:26.:06:28.

may not be dead, but it is certainly not working, is there

:06:28.:06:32.

anything else they can do, a Plan B? Kofi Annan has been in with the

:06:32.:06:37.

Security Council tonight, briefing them. He's tried to put some flesh,

:06:37.:06:40.

I think, on the bones of that suggestion he made in the General

:06:40.:06:42.

Assembly there, that the international community needs to

:06:42.:06:46.

raise its level of involvement here. He has talked about clear

:06:46.:06:50.

consequences for Syria, if it doesn't fulfil its part of the

:06:50.:06:54.

Annan Plan. Which is to do with ceasefire, withdrawing heavy

:06:54.:06:57.

weapons, allowing humanitarian access, that type of thing. Now, is

:06:57.:07:01.

that possible with Russia and China holding the positions they do?

:07:01.:07:05.

Clear consequences would seem to mean sanctions, or further

:07:05.:07:09.

additional pressure, maybe, just possibly, it is going to be

:07:09.:07:11.

achievable, because those two countries did sign up to the Annan

:07:11.:07:16.

Plan. But any sort of more energetic intervention doesn't seem

:07:16.:07:21.

credible. Mr Annan has also pushed this idea of trying to form a

:07:21.:07:24.

Contact Group, that the permanent five members of the Security

:07:24.:07:29.

Council, and one or two other regional powers, Turkey, Saudi

:07:29.:07:36.

Arabia, but also Iran, the UK and the US are sceptical that could

:07:36.:07:38.

achieve anything. We sense the diplomacy meandering about trying

:07:38.:07:42.

to find purpose and meaning and not succeeding. Even if he does get

:07:42.:07:45.

somewhere in that little space between what the Russians and

:07:45.:07:48.

Chinese are prepared to agree to, and the western powers want, the

:07:48.:07:52.

big question still unanswered, in trying to bring about an orderly

:07:52.:07:56.

transition of power in Syria, will the opposition go along with that.

:07:56.:08:02.

So far, they haven't. A little earlier I spoke on the

:08:02.:08:09.

phone to Mikhail Gorbachev in -- Sausan Ghosheh in Damascus, I asked

:08:09.:08:18.

her what happened when the UN monitors tried to enter Qubair.

:08:18.:08:22.

dispatched patrols to go to al- Qubair, they have spend the whole

:08:22.:08:25.

morning to try to get into the village to try to figure out what

:08:25.:08:29.

happened, to verify the reports of large scale killings in that

:08:29.:08:34.

village. Until sunset they weren't able to go in. They returned back

:08:34.:08:40.

to our base in Hama. They will go back again tomorrow morning.

:08:40.:08:47.

Ki-Moon was saying that gunmen shot at the UN monitors? We can confirm

:08:47.:08:53.

that our car was hit, our UN vehicle was hit with small calibre

:08:53.:08:57.

bullets. Have you any idea who was doing the shooting? No, as a UN

:08:57.:09:01.

mission on the ground, we only report what we see and what we can

:09:01.:09:05.

verify and what we can see with our own eyes. Is it possible for you to

:09:05.:09:09.

do your job, given the terrible difficulties you face? We are

:09:09.:09:12.

actually very, very concerned about the restriction imposed on our

:09:12.:09:16.

movement, this is the first time we have seen it in such a large scale.

:09:16.:09:20.

For this, this impedes our work, our mandate is to monitor, observe

:09:20.:09:27.

and then report. If we can't have access to these place, this sort of

:09:27.:09:31.

stops us from fulfiling our mandate, that is concerning for the UN as a

:09:31.:09:33.

whole. Thank you very much for taking time

:09:33.:09:37.

to talk to us from Damascus. Your welcome.

:09:37.:09:41.

Two Syrians are with me here, Malcolm Tucker, who opposed

:09:41.:09:48.

President Assad's ray -- My guests are here with me now.

:09:48.:09:53.

Are you convinced, as Ban Ki-Moon is, that the Assad Government is

:09:53.:09:57.

behind these killings? The Assad Government is in charge of the

:09:57.:10:03.

country, they are in responsibility for the killings, even if they are

:10:03.:10:10.

not behind it. All the information tells us so far is that the Assad

:10:10.:10:14.

forces were nearby, and they allowed the shabiha to enter and

:10:14.:10:18.

commit the crimes. That is the problem for those in favour of the

:10:18.:10:21.

regime, either the regime is carrying out the killings or has

:10:21.:10:26.

lost control of the country, in which case it is finished? I have

:10:26.:10:32.

to disagree with the other guest. The investigation is still under

:10:32.:10:36.

way. So you can't. The point is they are not in control of the

:10:36.:10:40.

country, they could have stopped it, they could have stopped the

:10:40.:10:42.

killing? The Government is trying to gain control. It is not in

:10:42.:10:46.

control of the country? Because of the opposition, it is gaining more

:10:46.:10:52.

weapons, more funding. They are getting more unconventional weapons.

:10:52.:10:55.

It is very hard for the Government. They are killing themselves, I

:10:55.:10:59.

simply don't follow your argument, neither do most of the viewers. The

:10:59.:11:04.

Assad Government is not in control of your country? It is not keeping

:11:05.:11:11.

it together? They are trying. it is not working? They are trying

:11:11.:11:16.

to work, they are trying to gain control, it is trying to establish

:11:16.:11:23.

law and order. Because the Government is still the only

:11:23.:11:28.

official speaker for the ...Do feel your country is turning into

:11:28.:11:34.

Lebanon? It is, and I blame the regime for it. First and foremost.

:11:34.:11:38.

In certain parts of Syria it is already like Lebanon. To stop this,

:11:38.:11:43.

of course the regime needs to go. But we need the regime to go in the

:11:43.:11:48.

safest way possible for Siria. We need the international community to

:11:48.:11:52.

-- Syria. We need the international community to behave in a more

:11:52.:11:57.

responsible way. Don't settle their old scores in Syria, don't turn it

:11:57.:12:02.

into an arena for international conflict, it is Russia versus Iran,

:12:02.:12:07.

America versus Russia. We want to solve the Syrian crisis, not just

:12:07.:12:10.

manage it. They are behaving in a way of how to manage the crisis,

:12:10.:12:14.

not how to solve it. Did you accept that the Annan Plan is

:12:14.:12:17.

fundamentally dead, it begins with a ceasefire, and there isn't a

:12:17.:12:21.

ceasefire, it can't move on, it can't go anywhere? It is not dead,

:12:22.:12:28.

but we need Annan nan Plus. It is very weak. First of all we need an

:12:28.:12:33.

entire team of mediators, not just one person. We need a tough mandate

:12:33.:12:38.

and higher number of monitor, and a stronger international consensus,

:12:38.:12:43.

we didn't need the nations to fight over Syria. There isn't a

:12:43.:12:47.

consensus? Absolutely not. Some countries say they support the

:12:47.:12:50.

Annan Plan, and then they arm certain parts of the opposition,

:12:50.:12:55.

that doesn't work. Beyond killing Syrians, has the Assad Government

:12:55.:13:01.

got any other plans for bringing stability? First of all, let's gain

:13:01.:13:11.
:13:11.:13:12.

control, or let's have a ceasefire first. The elections have started.

:13:12.:13:15.

We want stability back to our country. That was my original point,

:13:15.:13:20.

which is, you want stability in your country, the Assad regime is

:13:20.:13:24.

unable to guarantee stability, it is falling apart? Yeah, but because

:13:24.:13:28.

of the international pressure, because of the international

:13:28.:13:32.

pressure. That's the main point. it is only foreigners that are

:13:32.:13:36.

causing the problems in Syria? not saying only foreigners. Of

:13:37.:13:41.

course not. I'm not saying the Government is an angel, no it is

:13:41.:13:45.

not. They have lost all legitimacy, according to Ban Ki-Moon? No they

:13:45.:13:48.

haven't. That is according to the United Nations? No they haven't

:13:48.:13:54.

lost the back-up of the majority of the Syrian people. They didn't lose

:13:54.:14:00.

legitimacy, they never had it to start with. I'm sorry.

:14:00.:14:05.

legitimacy they never had popular legitimacy. I disagree with that.

:14:05.:14:09.

Any solution has to involve the Syrians, agree there has to be a

:14:09.:14:13.

Contact Group, but Syrians should be in the solution. They should

:14:13.:14:18.

talk to all parties, they should involve every part of Syria not

:14:18.:14:22.

just certain parts of the opposition. You agree the

:14:23.:14:26.

opposition is divided amongst yourselves? Parts of the country

:14:26.:14:32.

where the country opposition is not divided, the regime itself is not

:14:32.:14:35.

united, but that is not the point, we need the international community

:14:35.:14:38.

to rally around one solution, and you will see the Syrians rallying

:14:38.:14:44.

behind it. Talk to all groups, talk to the armed groups but also the

:14:44.:14:48.

Syrians, the rational voices coming from inside Syria as well.

:14:48.:14:52.

Now the American armed robber, Willie Sutton, was once asked why

:14:52.:14:55.

he robbed banks, he replied that that is where the money is. Berlin

:14:55.:14:58.

is clearly where the money is in the eurozone. One way or another,

:14:58.:15:03.

every European leader, including today, David Cameron, is full of

:15:03.:15:08.

ideas for how Angela Merkel should spend it. We report on whether the

:15:08.:15:11.

Prime Minister has signed up to a two-speed Europe, with Britain in

:15:11.:15:20.

the slow lane, or perhaps on the hard shoulder.

:15:20.:15:23.

Tomorrow sees the start of the quadrennial gathering of Europe's

:15:23.:15:30.

elite. And like recent EU summits, there will be plenty of

:15:30.:15:37.

misopportunities, offsides, and maybe some fancy foot work. England,

:15:37.:15:41.

not seen by many as favourites, watches with itchy feet from the

:15:41.:15:50.

sidelines. But who will win eurozone 2012. David Cameron was in

:15:50.:15:54.

Berlin today with Angela Merkel, hoping to fill the platform shoes,

:15:54.:16:03.

vacated when Merkozy ceased to be last week, anyone for CaMerkel.

:16:03.:16:09.

Judging from the Town Hall chat with students, it was all about

:16:09.:16:12.

accentuating the positives between two strong leaders. We are strong

:16:13.:16:17.

allies and strong supporters together, with the positive steps

:16:17.:16:22.

that we live within our means, free trade and enterprise, and the

:16:22.:16:26.

structural reform needed to make Europe grow again. For her part,

:16:26.:16:30.

Angela Merkel was even playing down the gulf that might result from a

:16:30.:16:35.

two-speed EU, which might arise if she pursues with her idea of more,

:16:35.:16:38.

rather than less Europe. TRANSLATION: We have always had

:16:38.:16:41.

different forms of integration in Europe. So this is not a new

:16:41.:16:45.

development for us. And the decision taken on the part of some

:16:45.:16:48.

countries, like Great Britain, and Denmark, who made their position

:16:48.:16:51.

clear at the beginning when we introduced the common currency,

:16:51.:16:55.

they made it clear they would not join. It became obvious, it has

:16:55.:16:59.

been obvious that we can co-exist quite well and work together quite

:16:59.:17:03.

well. If we don't take each and every step at the same time and all

:17:03.:17:07.

of us together. Since using his veto in last December's summit,

:17:07.:17:10.

does anyone listen to David Cameron in Europe any more. Cameron has

:17:10.:17:15.

become a little bit of a nuisance for eurozone leaders, he might be

:17:15.:17:20.

told very clearly to shut up, because his remarks may be less

:17:20.:17:27.

helpful than they should be. The eurozone may want to sort out their

:17:27.:17:30.

problems without the constant advice from parties that don't want

:17:30.:17:34.

to get involved any way. Angela Merkel, seen meeting German players

:17:34.:17:38.

ahead of their opening match at the weekend, was also softening her

:17:38.:17:42.

stance on solutions for the eurozone crisis. She would,

:17:42.:17:46.

afterall, go along with banking union, and even eurobonds, but only

:17:46.:17:50.

if Europe achieved full political union, no less.

:17:50.:17:55.

TRANSLATION: We need more Europe, not just the common currency, but

:17:55.:18:01.

we also need more common bugetry policies. We need a political union.

:18:01.:18:04.

Step-by-step we need to hand over power to Europe. Because the

:18:04.:18:08.

financial services sector matters so much to the UK economy, Britain

:18:08.:18:12.

has been one of the main winners are from the single market, that

:18:12.:18:15.

guarantees the free movement of people and money across European

:18:15.:18:18.

border, if there was a two-speed Europe, and Britain remained in the

:18:18.:18:23.

single market, of course, then the City of London's reputation as a

:18:23.:18:26.

financial hub could be retained and even enhanced. The problem arises

:18:26.:18:31.

after a banking union or fiscal union, when Berlin and Paris give

:18:31.:18:36.

their banks an ultimatum, which basically says stay in Britain and

:18:36.:18:39.

be dependant on the Treasury here if things go wrong, or pack your

:18:39.:18:44.

bags and bring them all back to Germany and France. What would a

:18:44.:18:48.

two or three-speed Europe look like, who would be in which camp. The

:18:48.:18:52.

inner core would be all the economically robust countries, like

:18:52.:18:58.

Germany, Finland and Austria, but may include Estonia and Slovenia.

:18:58.:19:01.

Those with deep economic difficulties like Ireland, Italy,

:19:01.:19:07.

Spain, Greece and Portugal, what like to join the inner core, but

:19:07.:19:09.

the austerity required may be difficult. Then there is those

:19:09.:19:14.

countries within the EU who aspire to join the euro, Poland, Hungary

:19:14.:19:18.

and Romania, it is unclear at this stage whether they would even want

:19:18.:19:21.

to join the fast-track club, let alone be allowed to do so. That

:19:21.:19:25.

leaves the outer core of countries, including Britain, Sweden and

:19:25.:19:29.

Denmark, who may wish to be part of the EU single market, but little

:19:29.:19:34.

else. They might decide to align themselves much closer to non-E

:19:34.:19:40.

United Nations, like Europe. future of Europe has to be more

:19:40.:19:44.

integrated, banking union, an economic union, or eurobonds,

:19:44.:19:48.

collective borough. All the changes will require new treaties. New

:19:48.:19:51.

treaties will require a British signature, so the institution of

:19:52.:19:57.

the EU, like the commission, can manage the new systems. And they

:19:57.:20:03.

are borrowed that Mr Cameron will do what he did before, block the EU

:20:03.:20:08.

treaty, and they will have to work outside the framework of the EU

:20:08.:20:12.

bookies think the eventual winners of Euro 2012 will be either Spain

:20:12.:20:17.

or Italy. Greece is certainly not tipped. Their politicians were busy

:20:17.:20:21.

attacking each other on TV, ahead of next week's second general

:20:21.:20:25.

election. That could decide the economic fate of an entire

:20:25.:20:35.
:20:35.:20:35.

continent. Is a multi-speed Europe inevitable, is it a good idea for

:20:36.:20:42.

Britain. The my guests are here. Was this actually quite a big day,

:20:42.:20:45.

here was the Prime Minister of our country, and the Chancellor of

:20:45.:20:49.

Germany, broadly agreeing that we have to have a multi-speed Europe?

:20:49.:20:53.

There is lots of agreement, including that you have to deal

:20:53.:20:59.

with your deficit, reform your economy, whilst at the same time,

:20:59.:21:03.

try to get growth into the European economies on the wider scale. For

:21:03.:21:07.

example, delivering on the single market in the digital abreen that,

:21:07.:21:11.

in services and so -- arena, and in services and so on. We have done

:21:11.:21:14.

all that before, this was a big day in terms of moving at different

:21:14.:21:17.

speeds towards European integration, or not, perhaps, in the case of

:21:17.:21:23.

Britain? This rown't maic idea that Europe -- romantic idea that Europe

:21:24.:21:28.

moves at one speed, as it has unravelled it is a multi-speed

:21:28.:21:32.

Europe, it is a patchwork of problems at the moment. We are on

:21:32.:21:35.

the outside whatever speed you are talking about, from the graphic we

:21:35.:21:40.

saw, it is clear we will not be in the decision-making core? Most of

:21:40.:21:42.

the British public would be thankful we are outside the

:21:42.:21:46.

eurozone. He has a point there, most of the British public would be

:21:46.:21:50.

thankful for it. It is a reality, we have a multi-speed Europe right

:21:50.:21:54.

now? We have a multi-speed Europe, the question is do we have a two-

:21:54.:21:58.

tier Europe, and can Britain actually have some say over the

:21:58.:22:03.

future of its economy. Because we might not be in the euro, I don't

:22:03.:22:07.

think we should be, immediately. But eight out of ten of our top

:22:07.:22:14.

trading partners are in the euro, the City of London depends totally

:22:14.:22:18.

on the euro, that is why George Osborne and David Cameron have

:22:18.:22:22.

overcome their Euro-scepticism and are promoting integration. Isn't

:22:22.:22:26.

the argument the exact opposite of what you are making, if we were in

:22:26.:22:29.

the euro, we would have less say on the economy, it would all be run

:22:29.:22:33.

from Berlin any way? There is a real-life example of what will

:22:33.:22:36.

happen if we carry on down the policy we are adopting at the

:22:36.:22:41.

moment, which is Norway. Which benefits a huge amount from the EU,

:22:41.:22:45.

it is their biggest single market, but they have absolutely no say

:22:45.:22:54.

over any of the regulations that get made, they don't get a seat at

:22:54.:22:59.

the table and have no say. Britain haven't joined every project, there

:22:59.:23:01.

was one principle that we should get a seat at the table and shape

:23:02.:23:04.

the future of the European Union. What is happening here is we are

:23:04.:23:09.

not being pushed out, we are marginalising ourselves. We are

:23:09.:23:11.

marginalising ourselves, and we will be another nor I wa, perhaps

:23:12.:23:16.

without the oil? The difference is -- Norway, perhaps without the oil?

:23:16.:23:19.

The difference is we are part of the single market and will continue

:23:19.:23:22.

to protect that. David Cameron using the veto is exactly that.

:23:22.:23:25.

Nobody cares about the veto? reason he's in Germany, I would

:23:25.:23:29.

argue, is we are a very important country, if there is going to be

:23:29.:23:35.

closer political, and by the way, I would go further, emotional union.

:23:35.:23:38.

The German people have to emotionally feel they can support

:23:38.:23:41.

Greece or other countries that are going through the pain they are

:23:41.:23:45.

going through. Part of the reason we have a seat at the table is

:23:46.:23:50.

because we can block those closer political unions coming together.

:23:50.:23:57.

Unless we are offered protections. It is an entirely negative power?

:23:57.:24:00.

We are in a pretty strong position, because we are a pretty powerful

:24:00.:24:04.

economy. We are not a nor I wa, we are a strong economy. That is fair

:24:04.:24:07.

point, we are much more like the German economy than any other

:24:07.:24:12.

economy in Europe? We have a lot in common with the Germans, we support

:24:12.:24:16.

liberalising open markets, we want the same as many countries within

:24:16.:24:18.

the European Union. And yet, we are forcing ourselves into a position

:24:18.:24:24.

where we are in a minority and not shaping things. Because of an

:24:24.:24:26.

ideolgical Euro-scepticism. Look at what the other countries that are

:24:26.:24:30.

not in the euro are doing, look at Sweden, Poland, countries that

:24:30.:24:34.

agree with us. They are not joining the euro, but they want to be part

:24:34.:24:38.

of everything else. We are actually sitting on the outside. I'm only

:24:38.:24:41.

smiling because that argument that we will be left behind, in some way,

:24:41.:24:46.

has been going on for deck kaisd. The Europhiles have been re--

:24:46.:24:50.

decades, the Europhiles have been resoundly defeated on that issue.

:24:50.:24:54.

Is it going to be, as George Osborne is hinting, an in-out

:24:54.:24:58.

referendum on Europe, would that be a good thing? If you make

:24:58.:25:02.

Chancellor Merkel at her word, that you need more not less Europe, with

:25:02.:25:06.

politic kal and emotional Europe, there will have to be new treaties

:25:06.:25:10.

-- political and emotional Europe, there will be new treaties. It

:25:10.:25:15.

wasth this was a historical act, the Sovereignty Act, as I call it,

:25:15.:25:19.

where there is an automatically referendum. You are not only

:25:19.:25:25.

relaxed, you want that and bring it on? We need closer Europe

:25:25.:25:29.

integration, more Europe not less Europe, we have to bring it to the

:25:29.:25:34.

people because we have an act in place. You would prefer that, an

:25:34.:25:37.

in-out referendum? If we have that I will campaign for a yes vote,

:25:37.:25:41.

because it is massively in Britain's interest to be part of

:25:41.:25:44.

the European Union. I don't see why we are distracting people with

:25:44.:25:48.

these kinds of things, when the future of the euro is at stake. The

:25:48.:25:51.

big debate everywhere else is actually about realishs use, about

:25:51.:25:56.

how you shape the future of our continent -- real issues, about how

:25:56.:26:01.

he you shape the future of your continent. This is clearly an

:26:01.:26:04.

urgent matter about saving the euro, would you see it before the end of

:26:04.:26:07.

the parliament? We have to wait for the dust to settle. There is so

:26:07.:26:11.

many problems and pain, whether it is Spain with the bank problems,

:26:11.:26:16.

that will affect the sovereign, or visa verse in Portugal, which is a

:26:16.:26:20.

sovereign problem that affected the banks. In this parliament a

:26:20.:26:26.

referendum wouldn't be kwhrond the bounds of pos -- beyond the bounds

:26:26.:26:30.

of possibility? We will have to see what the bigger and deeper

:26:30.:26:35.

political union will be. We have already passed an act that

:26:35.:26:38.

automatically requires the British public to have their say.

:26:38.:26:42.

Parents who force their children to marry will face going to jail under

:26:42.:26:45.

new laws expected to be announced by the Home Secretary, Theresa May,

:26:45.:26:48.

tomorrow. The Home Office consultation which closed at the

:26:48.:26:51.

end of March, was launched at the request of David Cameron. Last year

:26:51.:26:55.

the Prime Minister said forced marriage was little more than

:26:55.:27:05.
:27:05.:27:17.

Anwar makes from the British High Commission in Pakistan's capital,

:27:17.:27:22.

Islamabad, raising awareness of forced marriage. It tells the

:27:22.:27:26.

fictional story of Sara, a bright schoolgirl sent to Pakistan, where

:27:26.:27:30.

she's forced to marry a cousin, 15 years her senior, there she is ayes

:27:31.:27:35.

buesed and left to do the house -- abused and left to do the household

:27:35.:27:44.

chores. The Home Office estimates that between 5,000-8,000 forced

:27:44.:27:49.

marriages take place every year. But in 2011, only some 1500 cases

:27:49.:27:54.

were reported to the Government's Forced Marriage Unit. The majority

:27:54.:27:58.

of victims are of south Asian origin, with children as young as

:27:58.:28:03.

five, known to be coerced into marriage.

:28:03.:28:10.

We have the chair of the Ashiana Network, a charity that provides

:28:10.:28:14.

refuge for victims of forced marriage,. There is an agreement

:28:14.:28:19.

that there may be a problem here. What do you think of the prospect

:28:19.:28:23.

of criminalising it? I think it is another tool that will help young

:28:23.:28:27.

people protect themselves against being foreed into marriage. Why?

:28:27.:28:31.

think -- forced into marriage? Why, I think it will give them a more

:28:31.:28:34.

clear understanding of what their rights are. At the moment we have

:28:34.:28:39.

the civil legislation, a very positive way, but actually having

:28:39.:28:42.

the weight of the judiciary behind young people, and women, and boys

:28:42.:28:47.

and girls that are forced into marriage, will make it far more

:28:47.:28:52.

powerful. Presumably, if it helps one 14-year-old girl not be forced

:28:52.:28:56.

to do something she doesn't want to do, it is a good thing? We welcome

:28:56.:29:01.

any measure designed to strengthen the armoury against forced marriage.

:29:01.:29:04.

But we have real concerns about whether or not this is actually the

:29:04.:29:08.

most useful measure. The reality is, that it's unnecessary, it is

:29:08.:29:12.

surplus to requirements. Existing criminal offences are more than

:29:12.:29:16.

adequate to deal with the problem. What sort of things? What is forced

:29:17.:29:22.

marriage, it involves assault, rape, kidnap. To date, those have not an

:29:22.:29:26.

actively prosecuted. Those are already on the statute book, we

:29:26.:29:30.

don't need more legislation. Doesn't this all bring it all

:29:30.:29:33.

together, saying you can't do this, you as a parent cannot force

:29:33.:29:37.

somebody to do something they don't want to? It will provide some

:29:37.:29:41.

symbolic value, we are concerned as to what practical measures it will

:29:41.:29:45.

provide, what assistance on a pragmatic level it will provide for

:29:45.:29:49.

victim. It will confuse victim, we are concerned it will drive the

:29:49.:29:53.

issue underground and possibly overseas. Do you think there is an

:29:53.:29:57.

argument there, if you are a very vulnerable teenager, in this

:29:57.:30:00.

position, and you are forced, not just to disobey your parents, but

:30:00.:30:04.

actually to say to the police, look my mum should go to jail, or my

:30:04.:30:08.

father should go to jail, or my uncle, whatever it is, that is

:30:08.:30:11.

pretty difficult to see that? a very difficult thing to do. But

:30:11.:30:16.

what we are talking about is the prevention of abuse. In the case of

:30:16.:30:20.

young people it is child abuse. So, actually, if this legislation does

:30:20.:30:28.

come in, it will prevent the rape, the serial rape, the domestic abuse,

:30:28.:30:30.

the torture. Suicide rates amongst Asian girls is three-times the

:30:30.:30:34.

national average. We need to look at all the consequences of not

:30:34.:30:37.

having this as a criminal offence. We looked at the figures and quoted

:30:37.:30:41.

them today, do you see a lot of this, because the figures seem to

:30:41.:30:44.

be a bit flexible, depending on who you talk to? Nobody really knows

:30:44.:30:49.

the amount of people foreed into marriage. We have a 24/7 helpline,

:30:49.:30:53.

we have numerous calls in from young people every day. We go into

:30:53.:30:56.

schools and deliver assemblies, every school I have visited, there

:30:56.:30:59.

has been at least one person who has come up who has a friend or

:30:59.:31:03.

somebody they know. Every school? Every school we have been in to.

:31:03.:31:07.

What would you do about this, you said that there is an armoury of

:31:07.:31:10.

things available now. Presumably you are not content. If it is as

:31:10.:31:14.

widespread as we have been talking about? The figures, as you say, are

:31:14.:31:19.

flexible. We would question figure of 5,000-8,000 a year, it is

:31:19.:31:24.

certainly a very significant problem, but those figures are

:31:24.:31:28.

conflated with other issues of honour-based violence. We need a

:31:28.:31:31.

proper study into how many cases there are out there. What this

:31:31.:31:36.

criminalisation will do, the creation of a specific criminal

:31:36.:31:39.

offence, will undermine existing civil remedies, they have been in

:31:39.:31:42.

place for the past three-and-a-half years, it has served to protect

:31:42.:31:49.

about 400 victims. It provides very fast and effective remedy. Would

:31:49.:31:52.

you just sit back and say there is a prob embl, but it is fine. For

:31:52.:31:57.

instance -- problem, but it is fine. First Minister, we make it an --

:31:57.:32:02.

for instance, we make it an offence to speed on the motorway, society

:32:02.:32:08.

doesn't like it and we shouldn't do it, criminalising it is symbolic?

:32:08.:32:14.

have axed that already. We are concerned it -- acknowledged that

:32:14.:32:19.

already, we are concerned it will drive it underground or overseas.

:32:19.:32:23.

We don't have a specific offence of domestic violence, that doesn't

:32:23.:32:26.

stop us effectively prosecuting cases of domestic violence. The

:32:27.:32:31.

concern we also have, and the noises are coming from Government

:32:31.:32:35.

on this already, as anticipated, that there may be cuts to Legal Aid.

:32:35.:32:40.

And so where it is deemed to be sufficient protection, which virtue

:32:40.:32:45.

of criminal bail conditions, then there will be no Legal Aid

:32:45.:32:50.

available for the civil remedy. would hope the remedies already

:32:50.:32:54.

there will remain. We are told there is additional funding

:32:54.:32:58.

available to help with education in schools, we will run a big

:32:58.:33:02.

programme. We are hoping that will make a huge difference. It won't

:33:02.:33:05.

undermine things? One would hope the Government would see what is

:33:05.:33:09.

already there, and the Legal Aid we would hope would be in existence.

:33:09.:33:13.

If there is money available in these times of austerity, it should

:33:13.:33:17.

be provided to support those essential lifelines, which are the

:33:17.:33:21.

support organisations for these victims. As you know, that is a big

:33:21.:33:24.

if, in these times. The practice of giving birth at

:33:24.:33:28.

home, is as old as human history. In recent years it has enjoyed

:33:28.:33:32.

renewed popularity here in Britain, and some other parts of the world.

:33:32.:33:37.

In Eastern Europe it is not so easy. In fact, it is actively discouraged

:33:37.:33:42.

by the medical establishment and authorities. In Hungary until

:33:42.:33:47.

recently, home birth was almost illegally. Agnes Gereb, an

:33:47.:33:50.

independent midwife, was taking huge risks attending women at home.

:33:50.:33:54.

She spent time in prison and is under house arrest.

:33:54.:34:02.

Nick Thorpe, a long time friend of Agnes, has sent this personal view

:34:02.:34:12.
:34:12.:34:23.

A film about the birth of my second son, Matthew. He, like all my five

:34:23.:34:29.

sons of born here in our flat in Budapest. Each birth was such a

:34:29.:34:32.

good, safe, positive experience, that is why we have so many

:34:32.:34:38.

children. That was very much thanks to the work of one brave pioneering

:34:38.:34:48.

midwife, Agnes Gereb. Like many other couples, who have given birth

:34:48.:34:52.

with her, we regard her as something like the second mother to

:34:52.:34:57.

our children. But, 15 years on from Matthew's birth, the hands that

:34:57.:35:07.
:35:07.:35:07.

delivered our baby are tied. She's been ostracised from the medical

:35:07.:35:11.

profession, sentenced to two years in prison, and banned from doing

:35:11.:35:19.

the work she loves. When Agnes Gereb appeared in the courtroom

:35:19.:35:25.

behind me, the judge in justifying her sentence said this was a woman

:35:25.:35:29.

that Hungarian society needs to be protected from. So, what did she do

:35:29.:35:34.

wrong? And how will her fate effect the future of birth in Eastern

:35:34.:35:41.

Europe? Agnes Gereb has been under house arrest for the past 16 months,

:35:41.:35:46.

awaiting trial on further charges. She has successfully delivered over

:35:46.:35:50.

3,000 babies. But whenever a home birth ended up in hospital, an

:35:50.:35:54.

investigation was launched. And when tragedy struck in September

:35:54.:36:04.
:36:04.:36:07.

2007, and a baby died in childbirth, she was found guilty of negligence.

:36:07.:36:12.

TRANSLATION: I did not commit malpractice, but I could have been

:36:12.:36:17.

much more skillful. I wish so much I had been better. Until now,

:36:17.:36:20.

whenever that particular complication occurs in my practice,

:36:20.:36:24.

I could solve it, that time I failed. It is a huge trauma for me,

:36:24.:36:29.

as well as the little girl's family. I will always think of them on the

:36:29.:36:35.

15th of September. Why were you sentenced then, if you made no

:36:35.:36:41.

mistakes? TRANSLATION: Their approach to me was not benevolent

:36:41.:36:44.

from the start. The Hungarian medical experts who gave evidence

:36:44.:36:49.

at the trial looked at what happened exclusively from the

:36:49.:36:54.

perspective of hospital practice. They tried to transplant an

:36:54.:36:57.

obstetricians' behaviour in the ward, on to a midwife at a home

:36:57.:37:01.

birth. You can't do that, these are two completely different

:37:01.:37:08.

professions. More than 99% of Hungarian babies are born in

:37:08.:37:12.

hospitals. Simply assisting at a home birth could result in

:37:12.:37:16.

prosecution, until last year. And the leading body of the profession

:37:16.:37:22.

remains totally opposed to it. Hungarian doctors are proud of low

:37:22.:37:25.

neo-natal death statistic, comparable to those in western

:37:25.:37:29.

Europe. I personally think that to deliver a baby at a hospital is

:37:29.:37:36.

much safer for the baby and even for the mother. 90% of deliveries

:37:36.:37:40.

go on without any complication, but if there is any complication, if

:37:40.:37:44.

there is a serious comply kaiing, then it is much safer if --

:37:44.:37:48.

complication, then it is much safer if you are in a hospital. The all

:37:48.:37:52.

important thing for us, as obsstrigss in hundred guarantee, is

:37:52.:37:57.

the safety of the baby or the mother. Neither Dr Acs, or any

:37:57.:38:00.

members of the Board of Obstetricians, would be drawn on

:38:00.:38:05.

the case of their former colleague, Agnes Gereb. She was once a part of

:38:05.:38:08.

this world, an obstetrician in a top university clinic, before

:38:08.:38:13.

quitting to set up as an independent midwife, attending to

:38:13.:38:19.

mothers and delivering babies at home. TRANSLATION: I can best

:38:19.:38:26.

explain my switch from being a doctor to a midwife, with two words,

:38:26.:38:29.

"equality", and "presence". To be really there for the woman and

:38:30.:38:34.

really share in her joy. When a woman thanks me after her birth for

:38:34.:38:40.

my help, I always want to say, no, thank you, for letting me be here

:38:40.:38:43.

with you. There is something intimate and so universal, which a

:38:43.:38:52.

midwife shares with a mother and her baby.

:38:52.:38:56.

Joli Szaz gave birth to Eliza two years ago, at home, etended by

:38:56.:39:02.

Agnes Gereb. The baby had a strepkok cuss infection, which can

:39:02.:39:08.

cause -- strepkok cuss infection, which can cause brain-damage or

:39:08.:39:12.

death, an ambulance was called, they sued Agnes Gereb for

:39:12.:39:16.

negligence, not the parents. The baby and her parents are fine.

:39:16.:39:22.

TRANSLATION: The main thing for me was not the place of birth for my

:39:22.:39:26.

children, but I was treated as an adult throughout the pregnancy and

:39:26.:39:30.

birth, that I was intelligent enough to choose the birth for my

:39:30.:39:34.

child. I received that from Agnes Gereb. Everywhere else they gave

:39:34.:39:44.

the impression that they wanted to save the baby from me.

:39:44.:39:51.

Hungary is deeply divided over Agnes Gereb. Many share my view,

:39:51.:39:59.

that this is one woman's battle for a gentler philosophy and practice

:39:59.:40:07.

of birth care. Others regard her as a dangerous and reckless witch. The

:40:07.:40:10.

Government has already taken one important step, last year they put

:40:10.:40:17.

home birth on a legal footing for the first time. Now the President

:40:17.:40:22.

is considering whether to absolve its leading practicer of the crimes

:40:22.:40:28.

for which she was convicted, and grant Agnes clemency. Last year

:40:28.:40:33.

your Government regulated home birth for the first time in Hungary.

:40:33.:40:38.

Would it not be strange to first allow something and then send to

:40:38.:40:44.

prison the best known practitioner? TRANSLATION: We have to make a

:40:45.:40:49.

strict division here between what a court of law decided and what the

:40:49.:40:52.

Government did. As a Government we recognise that there was a legal

:40:52.:40:59.

vacuum, so we regulated it. While that obviously has no retrospective

:40:59.:41:03.

effect on the criminal proceedings, it is true, if Agnes Gereb had not

:41:03.:41:06.

drawn public attention, first the possibility of fathers being

:41:06.:41:11.

present at birth, and now to out of hospital births, then our

:41:11.:41:18.

regulation might not have been born. In hospitals, though, opposition to

:41:18.:41:22.

home birth is deep-rooted. Hungarian parents expect to pay at

:41:22.:41:27.

least a month's wages to an obstetrician, in gratitude, for the

:41:27.:41:33.

safe birth of their child. Midwives are sidelined, that gives a strong

:41:33.:41:40.

financial incentive to doctors to maintain the status quo.

:41:40.:41:43.

TRANSLATION: Statistics show the public regard the healthcare system

:41:43.:41:47.

as the most corrupt. You can't change it overnight. One cause is

:41:47.:41:51.

that doctors' wages are so low, and the health budget is simply not

:41:51.:41:59.

capable of doubling or tripling their wages. Four times a day the

:41:59.:42:04.

police check on Agnes. After 32 years attending births, half that

:42:04.:42:09.

time in hospital, half at home births, it has been a

:42:09.:42:14.

claustrophobic, deeply frustrating experience, to be couped up here,

:42:14.:42:18.

not even allowed out in the yard. Why are you fighting, and what are

:42:18.:42:28.

you fighting for? TRANSLATION: I'm fighting for anything, then I'm

:42:28.:42:32.

fighting for peace. If children are born in an undisturbed way, they

:42:32.:42:35.

will be more peaceful. What do I want to achieve, that everyone be

:42:35.:42:39.

allowed to do what they are good at. I think I'm good at attending home

:42:40.:42:44.

births. And I want home births to be available for everyone who wants

:42:44.:42:54.
:42:54.:42:54.

Without Agnes, the first children we had would almost certainly have

:42:54.:42:59.

been by Caesarean, and then we certainly would not have had five.

:42:59.:43:06.

So I can say, without exaggeration, that Jack and Casper, owe their

:43:06.:43:11.

lives to Agnes Gereb. For more families, not just here in Hungary,

:43:12.:43:14.

but across Eastern Europe, to get the kind of support during birth,

:43:14.:43:18.

that we had, would mean something akin to a revolution, but are the

:43:18.:43:22.

authorities willing to shake up the maternity wards, and take on the

:43:22.:43:30.

medical profession? That decision lies in the hands of President

:43:30.:43:36.

Janos Ader, any day now, he will have to decide whether to grant

:43:36.:43:40.

Agnes Gereb clemency. The present Hungarian Government has a poor

:43:40.:43:43.

image internationally, freeing her would look good for its human

:43:43.:43:47.

rights record. But it would be a blow to the doctors and the justice

:43:48.:43:53.

system, which found her guilty. Let's have a look at the front

:43:53.:43:57.

pages tomorrow morning. The Guardian has the Syrian

:43:57.:44:07.
:44:07.:44:07.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

:44:07.:45:02.

Mark Urban analyses the latest massacre near Hama in Syria and asks whether it will prove a turning point in the reaction of the international community to the Assad regime. Presented by Gavin Esler.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS